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Poland and Polish Discussion Group and Forum
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Parlez Ponglish?


Britain's million Poles have made up a secret slang that no-one but
them can understand.

The mixture of Polish and English - dubbed Ponglish - has developed
so quickly it has become a cult language with young immigrants.

UK Poles no longer pay 'podatki' (taxes), but British 'taksy'; they
travel by 'tuba' (tube) and they complain about the 'trafik'

They spend 'kesh' (cash,) take 'offy' (days off) and make 'fony'
or 'cally' (phone calls) to their 'frendy' (friends.)

Ponglish has developed so thoroughly, it already has its own
wikipedia entry.

It's described as a language spoken by Poles living in the British
Isles which takes English words and gives them Polish endings, or
translates English idioms and grammatical structures literally into

"Young people love it because no-one knows what they're talking
about. Neither their Polish parents nor the English adults have got a
clue what they're saying," said one Ponglish speaker.

"To talk" in Ponglish is no longer 'rozmawiac,' as in Polish,
but 'speaknonch' (written: 'spiknac') from the English, 'to speak.'

To drive is not 'jechac' as in Polish, but 'driveneech'
(written: 'drajwnic,') from the English, to drive.

And UK Poles have become so British, they have even stopped making
love (kochac sie) and instead just 'meeyech sex' (written: 'miec

Re: Parlez Ponglish?

A couple that I've come across in common usage are : sorki (sorry) and trawelka (travelcard). Problem is when you go to Poland and start using these words nobody has a clue what you are on about.

Re: Parlez Ponglish?

Nothing new but for the number of people playing the game; from thirty years ago:
Bojzy i.o. Chłopcy
Smoksi i.o. Papierosi

There are two dynamics at work here. -Polish, as is true with all Slavic languages, has an almost infinite number of diminutive forms. When someone trained in that grammar and cadence comes across a language of limited noun permutations (English) the proclivity to tinker is undeniable. –There is a form of urban slang in Polish of composite words from combining the root of one word with the suffix of another. My favorite from the last time in Warsaw: “Popatrzni!” (a policeman to his partner upon seeing a car reversing with doors open and parcels on the roof). A melding of popatrz (look) and zerkni (glance, peek). As “zerknac” also means to visit/drop-in, the simple “Popatrzni!” communicated both “would you look at that” and “let’s go”.

One has to admire the efficiency and directness of such an amalgamation.

Re: Parlez Ponglish?

I've always wondered about 'Keks' Angielski...

Re: Parlez Ponglish?

I wrote a whole article about this for our in-house magazine. Went down very well it did too.