An American in Warsaw offers his experiences and musings on Poland: it's people, places, and culture.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Polish, like many languages, has a formal and informal way of addressing people. For speakers like me, it's a real bitch. It's not just the added conjugations that you have to worry about, it's to whom you're talking. OK, so people your age and lower you can address informally (ty), and those older or of higher position you use the formal (pan.) But in my internship I noticed that the professors would address the students using the formal sense, which kind of confounded me. But what is more, is what if I wanted to talk to an elderly person whom I know quite well (let's say, for sake of an example, a mother-in-law)? Would I use the formal or informal? I know it seems silly to those who are used to it, and it's perfectly normal ("Just use the formal with strangers." they say) but I think it's just a bunch of bunk.
A "student" and teacher in Warsaw occasionally. I guess the only thing I miss is the night sky.
Here are my musings and experiences in and about Poland (specifically Warsaw.) Don't take anything too seriously or personally.