polish greetings

Basic Polish Phrases

Becoming fluent in a foreign language is a long journey, but if you want to see the result of your language classes as soon as possible, we recommend starting with basic Polish phrases that are commonly used and can help you in most everyday situations. This way, you’ll be able to start speaking Polish immediately to not only get familiar with the pronunciation but also to start building up your confidence.

In the article below, you’ll find our list of the most useful phrases, expressions and important words to get by while shopping, ordering food or simply travelling through Poland.

Basic Greetings

There are a few ways to greet someone in Polish, depending on the formality of the situation and the time of day. The two most common ways to say hello in Poland when speaking to people you don’t know or you’re not very familiar with are:

  • Good morning!/Good afternoon! – Dzień dobry!
  • Good evening! – Dobry wieczór!

But if you want to greet a friend or a colleague you’re on a first-name basis with, you can use an informal greeting:

  • Hi!/Hello! – Cześć!/Hej!

The same principle applies to goodbyes. In formal situations, Polish people will say:

  • Goodbye! – Do widzenia!

There are a few more options when it comes to informal goodbyes:

  • Bye! – Cześć!
  • See you later! – Do zobaczenia!
  • So long! – Na razie!
  • Bye-bye – Pa, pa!

Late in the day and when saying goodbye for the night, both in an informal and formal context, you can use:

  • Good night! – Dobranoc!

A phrase that can be somewhat confusing for English speakers is the Polish equivalent of How are you? – in Poland, it’s not used as a greeting but as a way of enquiring about someone’s day/health/mood etc.

  • How are you? – Jak się masz? Co u Ciebie?


  • My name is… – Mam na imię…/Nazywam się…
  • I am… – Jestem… (you can use this phrase to give your name, nationality, occupation etc.)
  • I come from… – Pochodzę z…
  • I am … years old. – Mam … lat.
  • What’s your name? – Jak masz na imię? / Jak się nazywasz?
  • How old are you? – Ile masz lat?
  • Where are you from? – Skąd jesteś?

If you want to express that you’re happy to meet someone, depending on who you are talking to, you can say:

  • Nice to meet you.
    • Miło Cię poznać. (informal)
    • Miło Panią poznać. (formal to a female speaker)
    • Miło Pana poznać. (formal to a male speaker)

Useful Phrases to Help You Communicate Better

Even if you have a pretty good grasp of the Polish language basics, you still need to learn how to express that you don’t understand something or ask the other person to explain something.

  • I don’t speak Polish – Nie mówię po polsku.
  • I don’t understand. – Nie rozumiem.
  • I don’t know. – Nie wiem.
  • Do you speak English? – Czy mówisz po angielsku?
  • Can you speak slower? – Czy możesz mówić wolniej?
  • Can you repeat? – Możesz powtórzyć?
  • Can you say it again? – Możesz powiedzieć to jeszcze raz?
  • How do I say … in Polish? – Jak powiedzieć … po polsku?
  • What does the word … mean? – Co oznacza słowo …?

Asking For Directions

If you are planning a trip to Poland, it’s important to learn at least a few basic Polish words and phrases that will allow you to ask for directions or the address you are looking for.

  • Where is …? – Gdzie jest?
    • Where is the toilet? – Gdzie jest toaleta?
  • How do I get to …? – Jak dojść do … ?
    • How do I get to the train station? – Jak dojść do dworca?
  • How far is …? – Jak daleko jest …?
  • Is it far from here? – Czy to daleko stąd?
  • What is the address of …? – Jaki jest adres …?
  • How do I get to this address? – Jak dostanę się pod ten adres?
  • It’s not far. – To niedaleko.
  • Turn left. – Skręć w lewo.
  • Turn right. – Skręć w prawo.
  • Take a taxi. – Weź taksówkę.

Asking for Help

Another group of Polish phrases that are useful to know are expressions you can use to ask for help, e.g., in case you encounter any issues during your travel.

  • Can you help me? – Czy możesz mi pomóc?
  • I need help! – Potrzebuję pomocy!
  • Can you explain this to me? – Czy możesz mi to wytłumaczyć?
  • Wait for me! – Poczekaj na mnie!
  • Do you have a minute? – Czy masz chwilę?

Polish Phrases Useful in Shops and Restaurants

  • How much is this? – Ile to kosztuje?
  • Can I get/ask for …? – Czy mogę dostać/prosić …?
  • Can I pay by card? – Czy mogę zapłacić kartą?
  • Can I pay with cash? – Czy mogę zapłacić gotówką?
  • What do you recommend? – Co polecasz? (informal) / Co Pan/Pani poleca? (formal)
  • I’m allergic to… – Mam alergię na…
  • Is this dish…? – Czy to danie jest….?
  • Can I have the menu, please? – Czy mogę prosić o menu?
  • Can I have the bill, please? – Czy mogę prosić o rachunek?
  • Enjoy your meal! – Smacznego!

Expressing Feelings and Emotions

  • I like… – Lubię…
  • I like you. – Lubię Cię.
  • I love you. – Kocham Cię.
  • I’m sorry. – Przepraszam.
  • Are you OK? – Wszystko w porządku? / Wszystko OK?
  • Please calm down. – Proszę się uspokoić.
  • I feel… – Czuję się…

Polish Phrases Useful When Visiting a Doctor or a Hospital

  • I’m not feeling well. – Nie czuję się dobrze.
  • I feel unwell. – Źle się czuję.
  • I’m sick. – Jestem chora/chory.
  • I have a fever. – Mam gorączkę.
  • I have a headache. – Boli mnie głowa.
  • I have a stomach ache. – Boli mnie brzuch.
  • What hurts? – Co boli?
  • Call an ambulance! – Wezwij karetkę!
  • I have an appointment at … – Mam wizytę na …
  • I would like to make an appointment. – Chciałabym/Chciałbym umówić się na wizytę.
  • Where is the pharmacy? – Gdzie jest apteka?
  • Hospital – Szpital
  • Dentist – Dentysta
  • Doctor – Lekarz or Doktor
  • Nurse – Pielęgniarka/Pielęgniarz

How to Be Polite in Polish

  • I’m sorry. / Excuse me. – Przepraszam.
  • Please. – Proszę.
  • Thank you! – Dziękuję!
  • Have a nice day! – Miłego dnia!
  • You’re welcome! – Nie ma za co!
  • No problem! – Nie ma problemu!
  • Don’t worry! – Nie martw się! (informal), Niech się Pan/Pani nie martwi! (formal)
  • Good luck! – Powodzenia!
  • Take care! – Trzymaj się! / Dbaj o siebie!
  • Cheers! – Na zdrowie!

Learn Polish With Polka Dot!

While memorising all the basic polish phrases listed above is going to be helpful in most everyday situations, there’s definitely more to the language learning process than just learning basic expressions by heart. At Polka Dot, our native Polish teachers will help you understand the Polish language and encourage you to use and hone your skills right from the very first lesson!

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