Want to speak Polish like a pro? Then you should learn Polish sayings! The fact is, there are a ton of Polish sayings and Polish proverbs that people use in daily speech.
So, If you earn some of them, you’ll be able to speak and understand Polish. You’ll understand their culture. Plus, you will be welcome in Poland because you’re giving their language a try.
Audio Lesson to Help You Learn Polish
Want to learn Polish? Here’s an audio lesson (unrelated but useful for ALL beginners) that will get you speaking the language.
Just press the play button on the player below.
- Absolute Beginner S1 #1 – Saying Hello No Matter the Time of Day in Polish
This lesson came from PolishPod101, a Polish language learning program and website.
Must-Know Polish Sayings – Part 1
1. Like a fish in water
- Czuć się jak ryba w wodzie
- Pronunciation: Chuch shie jak ryba v vodzhie
This Polish saying refers to situations where we feel most comfortable. Kind of like a fish is most comfortable in water. This phrase refers to different types of occupations or roles and the people in them. Bakers feel best when baking. Programmers feel comfortable at computers.
And, I feel comfortable with you learning Polish.
So, in all, the translation and the meaning are the same.
2. We have two ears and one tongue to speak less and to listen more
- Dlatego dwie uszy, jeden język dano, iżby mniej mówiono, a więcej słuchano
- Pronunciation: Dlatego dvye ushy yeden jenzyk dano izhby mnyej muviono a vyecey sluchano
It’s a beautiful proverb that teaches us to be careful when speaking. Plus, it emphasizes the importance of listening and considering what others are saying.
3. When the cat is away, the mice will play
- Gdy kota nie ma, myszy harcują
- Pronunciation: Gdy kota nye ma myshy harcuyo:
In other words, when no leader around, others will not follow the rules.
This saying can be used when parents leave the home for a while and their kids end up making a mess.
4. Penny to penny, and you will get a coconut
- Grosz do grosza, a będzie kokosza
- Pronunciation: Grosh do grosha bendzhie kokosha
This proverb teaches us that every piece of money counts.
In other words, it’s the Polish version of “A penny saved is a penny earned,” which is great similar English saying. Saving money is making money. Do you agree with this?
5. Where there are six cooks, there is nothing to eat
- Gdzie kucharek sześć, tam nie ma co jeść
- Pronunciation: Gdzie kucharek sheshch tam nye ma co yeshch
In other words, “there are too many cooks in the kitchen.”
This proverb means that there is no need to have too many professionals do one thing. So, in cases where we have doubts, we should ask for an advice from one person and trust just one person.
If you call in two or three, they’ll start disagreeing with each other. The result? You will never get anything done.
6. Strike while the iron is hot
- Kuć żelazo, póki gorące
- Pronunciation: Kuch zhelazo puki goronce
This proverb means that we should use every available opportunity that will help us to achieve our goal.
It also emphasizes that you must act fast.
The iron will not be hot for long so you should jump on opportunity. So, why are you still waiting? Start learning Polish now!
This is one of my favorite Polish sayings. Why? Because I’ve missed a lot of hot irons to strike so the pain hits close to home!
7. Better late than never
- Lepiej późno niż wcale
- Pronunciation: Lepyej puzhno nizh vcale
It is worth doing things even if it’s too late.
Even learning Polish!
You can still learn Polish; there is still time.
8. It is good everywhere, but it is best at home
- Wszędzie dobrze, ale w domu najlepiej
- Pronunciation: Wshendzie dobrzhe ale w domu naylepyej
It’s fun to visit different places. It’s nice to be at a friend’s house. It’s great to visit another country.
It is good everywhere, but… it is the best at home. There is no place like home. This proverb is used to emphasize the joy of returning home. It’s used usually after a long absence.
9. There is no job which can dishonor you
- Żadna praca nie hańbi
- Pronunciation: Zhadna praca nye hanjbi
This proverb means that every job is important. That you should be proud of it and make the most of it while you’re there. That you can learn plenty with it.
The point is, we can’t be ashamed of doing a job. And you wouldn’t want to be reading this lesson from an ashamed Polish language blogger, would you? Of course not! Then chin up and keep reading!
10. If you go to crows, you have to caw like they do
- Jeśli wejdziesz między wrony, musisz krakać jak i one
- Pronunciation: Yeshli weydzhiesh myendzy vrony mushish krakach yak one
This is the Polish version of “When in Rome, do as the Romans.”
This proverb warns us that when you enter a certain social group, you must follow its rules. Even if these rules do not match your conscience. Therefore, it is worth considering whether we really want to be in such a group. It’s a great national Polish saying which clever people use teaching kids and teenagers.
Now you know a bunch of Polish sayings. Congratulations!
What are your favorite Polish sayings and proverbs?
Leave a comment below.
– PDF Jeff
P.S. I highly recommend this for Polish learners. If you REALLY want to learn to Polish with effective lessons by real teachers…
Sign up for free at PolishPod101 (CLICK HERE and start learning!