Polish your Polish, part 20 – numbers from 11 to 20

Continuing with our exploration of the Polish numerals. Today, we’re looking at numbers 11 to 20.

Here is how to spell them:

polish numbers 11-20

The most important thing to remember is that the Polish ‘teens’ always end in ‘-naście.

Eleven to thirteen and seventeen/eighteen are created by adding –naście to either one, two, three, seven or eight. So from jeden we get jedenaście. Dwa becomes dwanaście and trzy becomes trzynaście. Siedem gives us siedemnaście and osiem – osiemnaście.

The remaining numerals up to and including nineteen are created in the same way, but the resulting word has one or two letters modified.

Here’s how to pronounce them:

By the way, a teen or a teenager in Polish is called ‘nastolatek‘:

Here is the first part of this series on Polish numbers, covering zero to ten.

Image copyright: Marta Sowinska

Polish cat-nurse conquers the world

Yes, you read that right. There’s a cat in Poland that works as a nurse. Well, almost.

It’s not often that you see a completely unpronounceable Polish city trending on Facebook. Yet that’s what I noticed yesterday: Bydgoszcz (told ya), was – and in fact still is – trending on Facebook. Why?

Polish TV station TVN Meteo posted a short film about a black cat called Rademenes from an animal shelter in Bydgoszcz. The cat, according to Lucyna Kuziel–Zawalich, a local vet who saved the animal, lives in the shelter, nearly lost his live last year, and now ‘looks after’ other animals there.

Which basically means cuddling with poorly dogs and putting his paws on other cats. Awwww. And that’s enough for kitten-obsessed social media to make the story trend worldwide.

But the real story for me here is the story of Lucyna, who refused to put the sick cat down when it was admitted last September, aged just two months, with a serious respiratory illness. She looked after the cat, and – against all odds (the cat was losing his fur, had to be isolated) – kept him alive. And that’s when the cat started displaying what she calls ‘a strange behaviour’. Maybe he’s just thankful.

But he’s definitely famous.

More pictures and videos here. 

Image: Marta Sowińska via TVN

Warszawa metro second line

Travel tip: Warsaw metro has a new line

At the beginning of March 2015 Warsaw got its long-awaited second metro line.

The east-west route’s central stretch is 6 kilometres long and forms the core of the line which will ultimately consist of  up to 27 stations. The remaining stations are planned for 2020.

There’s also another branch of the same line, the so called south-eastern branch, which will split the line in more or less the same way London’s Northern line is split into separate branches.

The new line has connected the gigantic National Stadium to the centre of the Polish capital, providing easy access to the venue from the left bank of the Vistula River.

So if you’re planning a trip to Warsaw, make sure to visit some of the new stations if only to admire their design, which can only be described as clean, simple, but also quite spectacular.

Here’s a picture of the (then still unfinished) Nowy Świat station, taken last year:

And here is Świętokrzyska Station last week, days after the new line became operational:

But probably the most spectacular escalator can be found at the new Centrum Nauki Kopernik Station:

The third line of the Warsaw metro has already been proposed, but so far proved controversial and there’s no specific launch date yet.

Images by Liwnik and Wiesław Ludwiczak, Creative Commons/Flickr.

animated history of Poland

An animated history of Poland

The recent success of Paweł Pawlikowski’s Ida at the Oscars made me revisit some of Poland’s great filmmakers again.

And by pure accident I came across this – an 8 minute video, depicting the history of Poland through animation, created by Tomasz Bagiński, a BAFTA-winning Polish illustrator, animator and filmmaker, who was also nominated for an Oscar.

In 2010 Bagiński was commissioned to create a short animated movie for the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai.

In 8 minutes and 30 seconds we experience twelve centuries of Polish history from the early settlements to the most recent events with Poland as part of the European Union.

So if you’ve never studied Polish history, here it is – in an 8-minute, animated nutshell:


Polish numbers – polish your Polish, part 19

Numbers are the most basic words you can learn and they prove hugely useful particularly when you travel to Poland.

The following table should help you understand them when you notice them written down:

Polish numerals 0-10


And here is how to pronounce them:

What’s important to remember is the fact these are the Polish numerals. Not nouns. In other words, you can use them to say ‘one ticket’ or ‘3 beers’. But in most cases the nouns used to describe the number itself are slightly different.

In the next episode of ‘Polish your Polish’ we’ll cover the basic rule that will allow you to recognise and use the numbers between 11 and 20. Such fun.
More in the “Polish your Polish” series

Ten best museums in Poland

Booking.com describes Krakow's Polish Aviation Museum as "one of the best Aircraft Museums on the planet".
Booking.com describes Krakow’s Polish Aviation Museum as “one of the best Aircraft Museums on this planet”.

Booking.com published a top 10 list of the best Polish museums as voted for by the website’s users.

There are not that many surprises there, the entire list – maybe just with a couple of exceptions – is what you would normally find in each decent guide to Poland.

I’m not exactly sure how the list was compiled (I suspect algorithmically, based on the ratings), but it’s still a great overview of what people visit in Poland – from the well-known places like Auschwitz or Malbork Castle, to less-known gems like Galicia Jewish Museum or Polish Aviation Museum.

Some usual suspects are missing though and some less traditional museums have also been skipped, but that’s why you have me to bring you the rest, no?

Here’s the entire Booking.com Top 10:

1. Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, Oswiecim

2. Warsaw Uprising Museum, Warsaw

3. Polish Aviation Museum, Krakow

4. Rynek Underground, Krakow

5. Majdanek National Museum, Lublin

6. Malbork Castle (Muzeum Zamkowe w Malborku), Malbork

7. Cracow Saltworks Museum, Wieliczka

8. Galicia Jewish Museum, Krakow

9. Jewish Museum and Synagogue Auschwitz, Oswiecim

10. Museum at Market Square (Muzeum Mista Krakowa), Krakow