Test your knowledge of Polish slang

Wow. I never thought I would say this, but I’m really impressed by the latest attempt by the Polish Foreign Ministry to promote Poland. They have just launched a website called “Do you know Polska?” which is a cross between a quiz, a social media-powered photo- and language-sharing site and a promotional hub aimed at English-speaking audiences.

Through a series of large-format images of Poland with superimposed words and their definitions the Ministry is clearly hoping to promote Poland as a young, vibrant and cosmopolitan destination. The opening screen asks you whether you “know Polska” and if your answer is “yes”, you take a short test. You are then able to add new words and images, share the existing words and phrases through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, or simply browse the (hopefully soon to be expanded) library of mostly slang or at least informal words and phrases. Linguistically the site is probably of limited use as it doesn’t explain for example the difference between the infinitive and other cases and therefore may be a bit confusing.

I have to say, many of the words and phrases there have surprised me – I clearly need to watch more MTV Polska.

So far I’ve counted 24 words and their definitions on the site, which seems very little, so it’s going to be interesting to see how this project develops. It’s clearly aimed at a younger audience and the simple and sleek design should help. It looks like the site nicely complements other promotional activities which so far have either focused on some traditional aspects of the Polish culture or on mass tourism, or were aimed at foreign investors. This, although a bit niche, reaches out to the younger audience for whom social media is second nature. Therefore it’s likely to reach more people worldwide.

Have you played with the site yet? If so, what do you think? Czaisz bazę? 

7 thoughts on “Test your knowledge of Polish slang

  1. I failed miserably and I hear young people speaking Polish everyday. I think even they have been away from Poland for too long!

  2. I know, I struggled with some phrases too :) Some were really funny, also many direct borrowings from English.

  3. I loved this as well! Thought it was a great compliment toward showing Poland as not just some relic of the past or, as some call it, a “heritage park and nothing more”. Poland is definitely young and vibrant like this site. :)

  4. I think there is a veeery long time until Poland gets to a status of “young, vibrant and cosmpolitan destination”.

    I just don’t see that happening in the near future. The country is too poor just yet and people must be more open to other nationalities.

    Great post!

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