Sunday, November 20, 2011

I hope I never have to say *that!*

In the car today, on the way from my parent's house to Martin's, I mentioned to Martin how I wish we could do all the things we are going to do in Poland, all the amazing adventures we have planned, but just that, the official language in Poland was English, instead of, you know, Polish.

And then I went on to mention that I think I have been way too sunshine and lollipops about the whole language thing and that it's going to be a lot harder than I think (which is totally something I just said so that when we get to Poland and I am throwing a tantrum because I just can't get my point across to the lady next door about her dog and why it can't bark all night right under my window, that I can say, "I NEVER said the language barrier wasn't going to be hard for me. I NEVER said that"... because I totally have said that.)

And then he went on to say what he ALWAYS says, "Well, preparing now is the best way to take care of *that* problem."

To which I replied,  as ALWAYS, "Martin, believe it or not, I'm already pretty good at the language, just because I don't speak it a lot doesn't mean I don't know it."

To which he says, "Alright then, let's test it out."

(Here is where I should mention that at my parent's house "el vino did flow.")

To which I reply, of course, "go ahead!"

So, he gives me three scenarios and I have to figure out "what I'm going to do."
Here are the scenarios:

1) Martin, my husband, has fallen into a well.
2) Lina, my daughter, has been taken/kidnapped by some kids.
3) My children are sick and I need some medicine.

Now, before I relay to you my brilliantly perfect translations can we all just take a moment to say a collective...

"What the heck?"

 That's right. What, the heck?! What the heck does he think happens in Poland? Furthermore, what is he hiding from me that apparently will be *going* to happen in Poland?  If I have to know how to say those three phrases on a semi-regular basis...or *ever* (ok, except for the medicine one, which is an exception, *kind* of)... then we have some serious talking to do, and I'm not sure that the land of husband-swallowing wells and child-abducting youths is the land for me after all. Egads. He had been drinking wine too, but he was ok to drive, or so I thought...

And just for the record. The "medicine for my kids scenario" was the "one scenario that's not an emergency." Except that in REAL life, from which Martin has apparently taken a vacation, but where I still reside, that is the *only* situation in which I might actually have an emergency that needs to be attended to in a timely fashion.

Back to my translations.

I have this fear, a rational one this time, that there will come a time when I have a real emergency with the kids and I can't communicate the issue and they end up severely injured, or worse, because of my failure to know the correct words. I don't think this will ever really be a problem, especially since I know the all important phrase...

 Proszę mi pomóc!  -  Please, help me!

Said in any variation of urgency it can mean, simply, "help me carry these bags," to...  (with the appropriate hand gestures), "help me, my husband has fallen down a well and I'm all out of rope (and I can't find my camera)!"

Now, for all the Poles out there who need a good laugh ... I will give you my responses:

1) Proszę mi pomóc! Mój mąz jest na dziura. -  Please, help me, my husband is on hole.

In my defense. I have never heard the word for "well" in Polish and I was just thinking "big hole in the ground" and that's what came out. Never mind that I used the word for "on" instead of the word for "in." Never mind that.

Conclusion: If Martin ever falls into a well he will have no trouble being saved because a lot of people will surely want to see the husband that has defied all reason and laws of physics and is able to be *on* a hole.

Olivia - 1
Polish Language pop quiz - 0

2) Proszę mi pomóc! Moja kurka nie jest tutaj. On jest....  - Please, help me! My  little chicken is not here! He is...

In my defense. The word for "daughter" is córka, pronounced "tsoorka," and the word for "little chicken" is pronounced "koorka." Similar!!! And I had just basically mispronounced the letter "c"  in my mind (pr. "ts" in Polish), but I knew the word. Kind of. It counts! And I was interrupted by Martin as I started to say "he is..." for the obvious reason that my daughter is in fact a little girl, not a little boy.

Conclusion:  Either way, people would know that I need help, and that something of mine, chicken, child, what have you, is not here, with me, where it should be, and I'm upset. That's all they need to know, right?

Olivia - 2
Polish language pop quiz - 0

3) Proszę mi pomóc. Ja potrzebuję lekarstwo dla moja dzieci. Oni mają kaszle. - Please help me. I need medicine for mine (feminine singular) children. They have he coughs.

Conclusion: When they counts, I can hold mine own!

Olivia - 3
Polish Language pop quiz - 0

Martin insists that I add:

The reason why he came up with the "well" scenario was because I might have mentioned, in passing, that I'm also not too worried about the language barrier because he'll be there to help me out when I really need it. To which he replies... "Oh yeah, what happens if I fall in a well the second day we arrive?"

I don't know about Martin, but I don't plan to go anywhere near a well for at least one, maybe two, months after we get to Poland. I'll just have to make sure he can practice the same restraint so that he will be there when some rowdy hooligans try to steal Lina away. THEN, and *only* then, will he have my permission to go anywhere near to being on hole.

good fried chicken


  1. I actually laughed out loud with this one. Awesome.

  2. The picture is the best part! And it's not working!!!!!


  3. Hello again. Wow... this post is very close to my own heart. The language part is going to be the hardest I think and my Polish is by far not as good as yours. But I hope I can make the next few months count.