Do the Poles speak good English?
POLAND | Poles and foreign languages
One should actually think that in every European country at least the young people have at least a basic knowledge of English. But that's not the case in Poland. For example, at main train stations at the cash register or information (even in Warsaw), where employees in Germany have to be able to speak English - they cannot do that here. In Warsaw I bought a ticket (back) to Stettin by showing the woman at the counter my ticket, saying "to samo" and then marking the time of departure on a piece of paper with a pen she gave me have. English or German really wouldn't have helped me.
Even in a city like Szczecin, which is very close to the German border and has many German visitors, especially on weekends, people speak their Polish. I don't know whether they don't want to or really can't, but often the only thing that helps is searching or gesturing wildly.
But that doesn't mean that NO Poles can speak a foreign language. They actually exist, for example in my organization. They actually speak quite well (i.e. I understand what they mean), sometimes they mix a few German words into their sentence, because the number of hours in German they saw more often than English and Polish (so they learn it here !). But sometimes the English is really funny too. For example my mentor, who asked me by SMS the day before I went to Warsaw: "When does your train leave? Which number of car do you have?". Car? What kind of "car"? It took me some time to know that he meant my car number.
It was just as funny when he gave me the information that my Polish teacher would take me to the project on my first day at work, the final sentence was: "Take care!".
On the other hand, it also happens to you that you order something in POLISH and then get an answer in German. Example: "Dwa Cheeseburger prosze" - "Take away or eat here?"
There are still countless examples like this, but from a purely communicative point of view, going to Poland is always an experience. So my tip: knowing Polish is really better!
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