How do you say Hello - In Polish

I know it sounds something like “Yak shemash” and I could probably fake it verbally, but I want to write it. Any non standard keyboard characters necessary? If so, I’ll need help there too. TIA

Googling “Hello in Polish” helps

It gives:

“Czesc (Chesht) is hello is Polish.”

From Poland

From: Marek Car

Dear Mrs Weeg,

'hello in Polish: ‘serwus’
‘good-bye’ in Polish: ‘do zobaczenia’


Use “dzien dobry” (jane dough-bray), which means “good day,” as a form of saying hello. Polish speakers sometimes also use the English “hello” or “hi.”

But nothing like you are looking for.

According to my Rough Guide Polish phrasebook “hello” (and “good morning” ) is dzien dobrey. I don’t know where your word comes from but it looks more Yiddish than Polish.

According to the same book czesccan mean both hi, hello, and *cheerio *and bye.

“jak se mas” is Czech for “wassap?”

er, i mean “how do you do?”

Sorry about that - the correct writing of the phrase, with “special characters” is:

Jak se máš

Ooops! Looks like I got my Czech and Polish mixed up. Thanks y’all.

I don’t speak Czech, but I’d say that “wassup?” is a pretty good translation in that it’s an informal/friendly greeting. Doesn’t the phrase translate almost directly as “how’s it going?”

…Or (after messing with an online En-Cz dictionary), “How have you?”

I think a better translation for ‘Whassup?’ in Czech is ‘Nazdar’, and even shortened it is 'zdar (as in ‘ssup bee-atch?’)

But really, ‘Cau’ and ‘Hi’ are very common here when greeting and saying goodbye- yes, they say ‘hi’ when they say goodbye sometimes.


Actually I have a comment about this…It is informal because of the ‘mas’, which is the informal ‘you’ version of ‘to have’. To be more formal one would say “Jak se mate?” “mate” being the formal “you” or “y’all”

“Jak se mas, Joey?”
“Jak se mate, President Bush?”
“Jak se mate, Detroit?” (screamed by some singer at a concert)

Jak się masz is more like “how are you?”
Cześć is the normal, informal way of saying “hello” and “goodbye.”
Dzień dobry is more polite and formal. It means “Good morning/afternoon.”
Dobry wieczór is “good evening.”
Serwus is a greeting borrowed from German, and I believe the use of it is regional or perhaps generational. Personally, nobody in my family uses this greeting.
Do widzenia is “goodbye.”
Do zobaczenia is also “goodbye.” (a little less formal than the above.)
“Whats up?” would be better translated as Co tam? or Jak tam?

Disclaimer: I’m not an expert, but I did live in Poland for about six months. Also, I don’t know how to make the Polish special characters/diacriticals, so bear with me.

The standard way of saying hello at most times of day is “dzien dobry” (literally “good day” ), though later in the day you might say “dobry wieczor” (“good evening” – the o should have an accent over it). This is somewhat formal, however. It’s what you’d say to someone you didn’t know or someone of different status. Shop assistants and random people I met seemed to appreciate a “dzien dobry” so I used them liberally. You do run the risk of someone thinking you mean to practice your Polish – and responding to your “dzien dobry” with a paragraph or two to which they expect a response.

“Czesc” is the informal greeting and is spelled with an accent over both the final s and c. “Chesht” is an approximate English representation of the pronounciation. It can also be used on parting. Typically it’s only used between friends, family members, and people of similar status.

“Jak sie masz?” means “How are you?” as in Czech (Tomcat has given the Czech spelling). I’ve just moved, so my Polish books are at the bottom of a box some where, so “masz” may be “mas” with an accent on the “s.” The “e” needs a curlicue attached underneath it. In any case, your memory of the pronounciation is correct. As Tomcat notes, this is informal.

In Polish, the formal is “Jak sie pan ma?” if addressing a man and “Jak sie pani ma?” if addressing a woman. If you’re addressing more than one person – I forget, but it depends on whether the group is all male, all female, or mixed gender.

Now, since you had to ask this question, it’s almost certain that your accent will immediately betray the fact that you’re not Polish, so you’re likely to be forgiven the mistake of using the informal where the formal is appropriate, but it’s worth a try. Generally speaking, it’s better to err on the formal side, I think.

The reason I bought the Polish phrase book mentioned above is that we are off on a 5 day trip to Krakow at the end of this month. I must say it does seem a very difficult language. For a start there are four words for the number “2” ( dwa , dwaj , dwie and dwoje ) depending on if the subject is impersonal , masculine , feminine or neuter. Being a tourist city I know that most people we will come in contact with will speak English but the book will still be useful as it has a very good menu reader (together with a list of swear words !)

Hate to break it to you, but there are more than four words for 2 – it also depends on the case of the noun it modifies. But you won’t need to know that for a 5 day trip. As you say, English is widely understood in Krakow, especially the subset needed for business transactions among those that have contact with tourists. You are likely to find people who want to practice their English with you. Also, Poles seemed very pleased that anyone made a try at their language and are very forgiving of mistakes. The most important word in Polish is “piwo.” Zywiec is the best brand locally (pronounced “zhivyetz”).

I envy you. Krakow is a wonderful place and I long to return. I’d like to know how construction on the new shopping center is coming (next to the train station).

True. There’s 13 forms, by my count. But you can get by with just one form: dwa, if need be. It’s also good to add dwie to the list for agreeing with masculine and neuter nouns.

“Masz” is spelled with an “sz.” There is a difference in sound between “sz” and “ś,” as well as between “cz” and “ć .” The latter in each pair is a bit softer than the former. It’s a bit difficult to explain without audio examples.

“Cześć” is better rendered phonetically as “Cheshch.” Try going for the sound in “British cheese.” To be complete, the sound I’m giving you is more correctly reserved for the “szcz” combination. The “ść” is a bit softer, but it’ll be close enough for our purposes.