Sleeping car – wagon sypialny pronounced ‘vakon sipialny’. Please write it down – prosze to napisac pronounced ‘prosheh toh napeesach’.
I need a bigger size – potrzebuje wiekszy rozmiar pronounced ‘potchebooyeh vyenkshee rozmyar’, I need a smaller size – potrzebuje mniejszy rozmiar pronounced ‘potchebooyeh mnyeyshee rozmyar’, Do you have other colors? One ticket to (Krakow) – bilet do (Krakowa) pronounced ‘beelet doh (Krakova)’. Return ticket – bilet powrotny pronounced ‘beelet povrotny’. ’ I don't speak Polish – nie mowie po polsku pronounced ‘nye moovyeh poh polskoo’.
On the other hand, mastering a few useful expressions in Polish may help you to smooth things over while in Krakow, whether you want to ask a stranger for directions, do the shopping, make friends, or whatever.
And an effort at speaking their mother tongue, even a clumsy one, will almost certainly win you sympathy of the locals.
– prosze zapakowac na prezent pronounced ‘prosheh zapakovatz nah prezent’. Ticket office – kasa biletowa pronounced ‘kasa beeletova’.
Train station – dworzec kolejowy pronounced ‘dvozhetz koleyovy’. Bus station – dworzec autobusowy pronounced ‘dvozhetz autoboosovy’.
Good evening – dobry wieczor pronounced ‘dobry vyechoor”, Good night – dobranoc pronounced ‘dobra notz’.
First / second class – pierwsza / druga klasa pronounced ‘pyervsha / druka klasa’.
We’ve chosen to transliterate characters unique to the Polish alphabet because they produce illegible strings of signs unless you have the Polish letters installed on your computer. I’m sorry – przepraszam pronounced ‘pshehpraasham’. Excuse me – przepraszam pronounced ‘pshehpraasham’. Good morning – dzien dobry pronounced ‘dsyeni dobry’. Dinner – obiad pronounced ‘obyad’ in daytime, kolacja pronounced ‘kolatsya’ in the evening. Single / double room – pokoj jednoosobowy / dwuosobowy pronounced ‘pokooy yedno-osobovy / dvoo-osobovy’. Check-in / checkout – zameldowanie / wymeldowanie pronounced ‘zameldovanye / wymeldovanye.
And it’s good to remember that almost always the penultimate syllable is stressed in Polish words. Good afternoon – dzien dobry pronounced ‘dsyeni dobry’. Reception desk – recepcja pronounced ‘rehtzeptzya’.
Finally, you’ll be rewarded with satisfaction at having got a touch of one of the world’s three most difficult languages (the other two being Chinese and Hungarian). Restaurant – restauracja pronounced ‘restaauratzya’. Table for two / four – stolik dla dwoch / czterech osob pronounced ‘stolick dlah dvookh / chterekh osoob’. Second helping – druga porcja pronounced ‘druka portzya’.
Following is a catalogue of English expressions alongside their popular Polish equivalents in both phonetic transcription and original spelling as much as it was possible using letters of the English alphabet and the English standard pronunciation. Waiter / waitress – kelner / kelnerka pronounced ‘klener / kelnerka’. Vegetarian dish – danie wegetarianskie pronounced ‘danye vegetaryanskyeh’. – prosze o rachunek pronounced ‘proshe o rakhooneck’.
Basic English seems ubiquitous these days in all places frequented by travelers and most of the locals know at least a bit of English while some speak it fluently.
Also, one can meet Krakow residents with a command of German or Russian or French.