You can speak Polish . . .

At first, second and third glance Polish looks like a long string of consonants with more letters than the English alphabet  (ę, ł, ą for a few).  On fourth glance at a travel dictionary I located at least two dozen words spelled identical in English (bar, bank, pub and cinema to name just a few.)  I made a second list of a few dozen more words nearly identical to English (lampa [lamp], koncert [concert], gitara {guitar].) Hmmm, so I already know some words before I go.  And I like the Polish and European name for ATM: bankomat.  


I’m indebted to my Polish tutor Monika, who I met by sheer chance three weeks before the trip.  In our few sessions she managed to teach me the basic pattern of Polish consonants and other clues that made it less confusing. (CZ – think ‘ch’ like Czech Republic.) She also pointed out that 50% of Polish is Latin-based. Words may sound different in Polish – but in the written word they are easier to discern. 
One of the things that still impresses me about Henry is that English was his fifth language.  He loved languages and took German and Latin in high school.  In fact his six years of German were a key factor in surviving four concentration camps for three years – but more on that later. After defecting from communist Poland, he spent three years in Brussels and France – so he learned French.  Then he arrived in the US – and started again with yet another language. I think we can be tolerant if he spoke with an accent.
See if you can figure out the following:  Answers on next blog entry. Bonus:  Which picture translates to Polish as ‘zebra.’



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Tags: About Katrina, Just for Fun, Poland