If you’ve ever done a Polish language course, you’ve certainly spent a considerable amount of time learning how to introduce yourself in Polish. But if you were to meet a Pole for the first time at this very moment, would you be prepared to speak about yourself in a natural, convincing way? Probably not.
Though introductions only make up a tiny fraction of our conversations, the language we use when we first meet somebody is incredibly important. After all, we only get one shot at making a first impression. Not to mention that the pressure feels much higher when we’re supposed to introduce ourselves in a foreign language.
If you want to ace your way through every introduction in Polish, you’ll need to prepare your very own “script” and study it carefully. This article will help you gather all the essential information and arrange it into neat Polish sentences.
If you’re looking for a specific phrase to introduce yourself in Polish, just skip to the relevant section and read on to (hopefully) find your answer.
(You can click the phrases highlighted in green to check their pronunciation at Forvo.)
Greeting: “Nice to meet you” in Polish
When you meet a Polish person—whether for the first or the hundredth time—you’ll want to use an appropriate greeting to start off the conversation on the right foot. To learn about all the ways you can greet others in Polish, take a look at “Hello” in Polish: 7 Polish Greetings to Sound like a Native Speaker.
Once you’ve said “hello” and shook hands, it’s a good idea to follow it up with “nice to meet you”. The most universal way to do this is to simply say miło mi.
Before discussing other essential phrases, it’ll be helpful to draw the distinction between informal and formal contexts in Polish.
- When talking to family, friends or colleagues in Polish, you’re expected to use the informal forms of address. These will almost always involve the pronoun ty (regular “you”) in various grammatical cases—you’ll mostly see the forms cię, ciebie, and tobą.
- When talking to strangers or people you’re in a professional relationship with, Poles will almost always use the formal forms of address. Depending on who you’re talking to, these will contain forms of the formal “you” pronoun pan (for male addressees), pani (for female addressees) or państwo (for multiple addressees regardless of their gender).
A quite informal way to say “nice to meet you” in Polish is to say miło mi cię poznać, which is a literal equivalent of the English phrase.
To say “nice to meet you” in a formal situation, use a formal pronoun instead and say miło mi pana poznać (when addressing a man), miło mi panią poznać (when addressing a woman), or miło mi państwa poznać (when addressing more than one person).
Cała przyjemność po mojej stronie is a polite and graceful Polish equivalent of “the pleasure is mine”.
Finally, if you’d like to wrap up a greeting with a Polish person by asking how they’re doing, you can learn the most appropriate phrases in “How Are You?” in Polish: 6 Friendly Polish Phrases and When to Use Them.
Name: “My name is …” in Polish
“What’s your name?” is the first question you can expect to hear when meeting someone for the first time. There are several ways to ask it in Polish.
The typical way to answer this is mam na imię ______ (“my first name is ______”).
When you’re asked jak ma pan/pani na nazwisko? (or in informal contexts: jak masz na nazwisko?), the speaker wants to learn your last name (nazwisko).
To answer this question, say mam na nazwisko ______ (“my last name is ______”).
Being asked jak się nazywasz? (or formal: jak się pan nazywa? / jak się pani nazywa?) is just like being asked “what’s your name?” in English—you can’t really be sure if the person wants to know your full name or just your first name.
It’s usually fine to answer with either, beginning the answer with nazywam się ______ (“my name is ______”).
When answering all these questions—or when you’re the one initiating the conversation—you can also introduce yourself in Polish by simply saying jestem ______ (“I am ______”).
Then, if you’d like to learn the other person’s name as well, follow this up with a ty? (formal: a pan/pani?) This is the Polish equivalent of “and you?”, a simple yet incredibly versatile phrase.
Age: “I am … years old” in Polish
Though inquiring about someone’s age is often considered impolite, at some point, you might still need to ask or answer the question “how old are you?” in Polish.
To ask about someone’s age in Polish, say ile masz lat? (formal: ile ma pan/pani lat?)
The standard answer is mam ___ lat(a)*, which corresponds to “I am ___ years old”.
One clear difference is that while in English we “are X years old”, in Polish we say that we “have X years”.
*Here’s a quick cheat sheet to using lat/lata:
- For numbers from 10 to 21, we use lat.
- For 22, 23, 24 and all higher numbers ending in 2, 3 and 4, we use lata.
- For 25 to 31 and all higher numbers ending in 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0, we use lat.
I know it’s a bit complicated, but this isn’t the place to get into the nitty-gritty of the Polish numeral system.
Background: “I am from …” in Polish
When it comes to answering questions about your country of origin, there are two phrases you should be prepared to answer whenever you introduce yourself in Polish.
Skąd pochodzisz? (formal: skąd pan/pani pochodzi?) means “where do you come from?”.
The usual answer is pochodzę z ______ (“I come from ______”).
Skąd jesteś? (formal: skąd pan/pani jest?) is very similar and means “where are you from?”.
Here, you can phrase your answer as jestem z ______ (“I am from ______”).
If your new friend is interested in your current place of residence, they might ask you gdzie mieszkasz? (formal: gdzie pan/pani mieszka?).
The best way to answer this is simply mieszkam w ______ (“I live in ______.”).
Family: “I have …” in Polish
Poles love talking about their families. If you ever need to introduce your family or talk about your relatives in Polish, here are some simple expressions that will earn extra points with your new Polish friends.
To introduce your spouse, say to moja żona, ______ (“this my wife, ______”) or to mój mąż, ______ (“this my husband, ______”).
If you want to tell the other person about your spouse’s nationality, you can say moja żona jest Polką (“my wife is Polish”) or mój mąż jest Amerykaninem (“My husband is American”).
When talking about your children, use the structures mam syna/córkę (“I have a son/daughter”) or mam dwoje/troje/czworo dzieci: ___ córki i ___ synów (“I have two/three/four children: ___ daughters and ___ sons”).
If you’d also like to mention your four-legged family members, say mam psa/kota. (“I have a dog/cat”).
To tell others about your family roots, take cues from sentences such as mój dziadek pochodzi z Polski (“my grandpa comes from Poland”) or moja prababcia była Polką (“my great-grandmother was Polish”).
Career: “I work as …” in Polish
Career is yet another evergreen small talk topic that you should be prepared to address when introducing yourself in Polish.
One of the more common questions you’ll hear is Kim jesteś z zawodu? (formal: Kim pan jest z zawodu? / Kim pani jest z zawodu?), which translates to “What’s your profession?” or “What do you do for a living?”
Another way to approach this subject is to ask Gdzie pracujesz? (formal: Gdzie pan/pani pracuje?), which means “Where do you work?”
When answering a question like this or telling someone about your job, there are a few structures you can use.
Z zawodu jestem ______ (“my profession is ______”) and pracuję jako ______ (“I work as ______”) can both be followed by the name of your profession. The former places more emphasis on your learned occupation (whether it’s the one you’re currently working in or not), while the latter is used to specify what you’re currently doing for a living.
To tell the other person about the company, institution or location where you’re currently employed, say pracuję w ______ (“I work at/in ______”).
If you’re a university student, say studiuję ______ (“I study ______”) followed by your major or field of study.
Lastly, to say you’re unemployed, use jestem bezrobotny (if you’re male) or jestem bezrobotna (if you’re a female). If you’re currently looking for a job, you can express that with szukam pracy.
Language: “I’ve been learning Polish for … years” in Polish
Ah, the fun part! If you’re introducing yourself in Polish, your new Polish friends will love to hear about how long you’ve been learning their native language and what led you to take it up.
First, the question jak długo uczysz się polskiego? means “how long have you been learning Polish?”
To answer this, say uczę się polskiego od ___ lat/miesięcy (“I’ve been learning Polish for ___ years/months”).
Chances are you’ll also be asked dlaczego/czemu uczysz się polskiego? (“why are you learning Polish?”)
To prepare to answer the question, take a look at these common examples:
Uczę się polskiego, bo … (“I’m learning Polish because …”)
- … mój mąż jest Polakiem. (“… my husband is Polish.”)
- … moja rodzina pochodzi z Polski. (“… my family comes from Poland.”)
- … chcę pracować/studiować/mieszkać/robić interesy w Polsce. (“… I want to work/study/live/do business in Poland.”)
If you’d like to talk about your progress, you can use one of the example sentences below:
- Mam problemy z wymową/gramatyką/przypadkami. (“I have some problems with pronunciation/grammar/cases.”)
- Chodzę na kurs polskiego. (“I’m taking a Polish class.”)
- Nadal się uczę. (“I’m still learning.”)
Hobbies: “I enjoy …” in Polish
This might not be the first topic you’ll touch upon when introducing yourself in Polish, but it’s certainly the most extensive one.
Two simple ways to ask someone about their hobby in Polish are co lubisz robić w wolnym czasie? (“What do you like to do in your free time?”) and jakie jest twoje hobby? (“what is your hobby?”)
The question can be answered in a few ways. You can say interesuję się ______ (“I’m interested in ______”), as well as moje hobby to ______ (“My hobby is ______”) or simply lubię ______ (“I like ______”).
Here is a bunch of examples:
- Interesuję się starymi samochodami (“I’m interested in old cars.”)
- Moje hobby to gotowanie. (“My hobby is cooking.”)
- Lubię podróżować. (“I like to travel.”)
Example introduction in Polish
|Cześć, mam na imię Susan, miło mi cię poznać! Mam 34 lata. Pochodzę z Wielkiej Brytanii, ale mieszkam w Polsce.||Hi, my name is Susan, nice to meet you! I am 34 years old. I come from the United Kingdom, but I currently live in Poland.|
|Mój mąż, Michał, jest Polakiem. Mamy troje dzieci: dwie córki i syna. Co ciekawe, mój pra-pradziadek też pochodził z Polski.||My husband Michał is Polish. We have three children: two daughters and a son. Curiously enough, my great-great-grandfather also came from Poland.|
|Pracuję jako menadżer w dużym banku w Warszawie. Mój mąż pracuje jako nauczyciel, chociaż z zawodu jest dziennikarzem.||I work as a manager in a large bank in Warsaw. My husband works as a teacher, although he’s a journalist by profession.|
|Uczę się polskiego od dziewięciu lat. Chociaż nie mam już problemów z gramatyką czy wymową, nadal uczę się nowych słów.||I’ve been learning Polish for nine years. Though I no longer struggle with grammar or pronunciation, I’m still learning new words.|
|W wolnym czasie lubię robić piesze wycieczki i grać na gitarze. Interesuję się też historią i literaturą klasyczną. A ty?||In my free time I like to hike and play the guitar. I’m also interested in history and classical literature. And you?|
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