Learning a language is like climbing a mountain. It’s hard work on the way up and you only really pay attention towards each step you’re taking. Similarly when learning a language, you learn word by word, expression by expression. But when you get to the top of the mountain (i.e. master the language), then you can see the world from a whole new perspective. This blog is about that perspective, and that’s why it’s called Polisher because I’m slowly learning a more Polish perspective and becoming a little polisher (i.e. more polish) in the process.

I’ve lived in Poland for a number of years and it’s taken me a while to reach a proficient level of Polish. Note that this blog is written in English because my written Polish is lousy, but I read, speak and understand a lot.

I’ve reached a level at which I’m starting to appreciate the elegance, richness and sometimes quirkiness of the Polish language. Because I’m a foreigner, I look at Polish through different (perhaps childlike) eyes. For instance, I used to think that the Polish word for foreigner – cudzoziemiec – was derived from two other Polish words – cud and ziemia, i.e. that to Poles, foreigners were ‘a miracle from the Earth’. Of course, later I learned that the word describes ‘someone from a foreign land’, but honestly, I felt so welcome in Poland that I jumped to the conclusion that Poles saw foreigners as something wondrous.

Anyway, I’m writing this blog because a lot of Poles find my observations about their language amusing. I hope you do too.

The posts are divided into three categories:

  • Learning Polish – which describes my adventures learning Polish, especially the mistakes, struggles and misunderstandings
  • Polish Language – my observations on Polish words and expressions, especially those I find curious or quirky
  • Polish Culture – some cultural differences that I have observed living and working in Poland

I’ve got lots to share, so I’ll add a new post each week.

This blog is intended to be light and fun. Please don’t take anything I write too seriously – it’s all meant in jest. Please also note that I’m neither a linguist nor an expert in cultural differences, so please treat this as my point of view and not as fact.

The cartoons are drawn by my niece, Lena. Thank you!

Feel free to comment in either English or Polish, or email at polisher@zoho.eu. And if you like the blog, then please share on social media.

Baw się dobrze!