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Do you think there is a "Polish" problem in the Uk now that it's become the 2nd language in England?

(465 Posts)
NomadsLand Thu 31-Jan-13 20:48:52

I've been to Poland and I like Poles a lot as a people. I think Warsaw is a great city and I have nothing against Polish people.

My mother complained back in 2007 about the number of Poles in Liverpool changing the 'culture'. What she meant was that she loves to banter with people in shops and restaurants and she used to get a lot of chat back (Liverpudlians are generally very funny - IMHO - and love a bit of verbal 'how's your father'). She complained that this had changed and that she was increasingly met with blank stares. This is high insult to my mother!

I didn't think much of it. But I am now finding the same - I approached a new restaurant outlet at my local services today and joked about them selling hot dogs and milkshakes and what a welcome addition to the usual (was hungry and about to make an irresponsible food choice!). I got the same blank stare. Didn't understand a word I said.

I finally understood what my mother has been saying. AIBU?

lljkk Thu 31-Jan-13 20:50:38


blindinglight Thu 31-Jan-13 20:53:39

I don't think one incident with a random stranger is enough to declare a 'Polish problem'

littlewhitebag Thu 31-Jan-13 20:54:33

How do you know the people you spoke to didn't understand what you said or that they were Polish? They could have been quiet, reticent Liverpudlians. I don't know about unreasonable but your attitude seems odd.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Thu 31-Jan-13 20:55:10

You do know that many Polish people settled here after world war two? And somehow the English language and culture survived...

Oreocrumbs Thu 31-Jan-13 20:55:20

I think YABU. There are a lot of Poles working in my local area too and their service is excellent.

My DD started nursery a couple of weeks ago and today for the first time another mother started a conversation with me, she was Polish. None of the other mothers have yet (including myself actually).

From what I have seen they have an excellent work ethic and are very friendly and pleasant.

iloveeverton Thu 31-Jan-13 20:56:01

YABU- I live in Liverpool and one of my closet friends is Polish- they are a great family and run a very successful business. Their children are polite.

I just think your joke wasn't funny.

sooperdooper Thu 31-Jan-13 20:56:19

What in gods name does an attempted conversation about junk food in a services have to do with a 'Polish problem'

You sound a bit mental tbh

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 31-Jan-13 20:56:59

This is going to go badly. Find your hard hat OP.

As it goes,I've met many polish people who don't have a great grasp of the English language,have yet to meet any who aren't willing to engage and be friendly (in a shop situation) as best they can though. Much like most of us Brists abroad no?

AKissIsNotAContract Thu 31-Jan-13 20:57:31


I thought 'how's your father' meant sex confused

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 31-Jan-13 20:57:32

Oh...YABU btw

VivaLeBeaver Thu 31-Jan-13 20:58:11

We didn't think that during WWII when the polish airforce came over here and flew for the RAF and helped to win the war.

sooperdooper Thu 31-Jan-13 20:58:38

Also, I hate the assumed, 'oh isn't everyone from Liverpool a joker' thing too, stereotyped and boring

LittleChimneyDroppings Thu 31-Jan-13 20:59:05

I'd have probably given you a blank stare too, your joke was not very funny. Sorry!

HoHoHoNoYouDont Thu 31-Jan-13 20:59:30

My mother complained back in 2007 about the number of Poles in Liverpool changing the 'culture'.

Whatever that 'culture' was that your mother was talking about no longer exists. We are so multicultural now in the UK we don't have a culture as such.

I do think however that one of the biggest issues we are going to face is the ghettos that are going to be created because we are not integrating as we should be.

CardiffUniversityNetballTeam Thu 31-Jan-13 20:59:32


How do you propose to combat this perceived problem? Send them all back to Poland? And then what about the Slovaks, Hungarians, Czechs, Bosnians and Kosovans? Can they stay?

NomadsLand Thu 31-Jan-13 20:59:35

Oh - definitely wonderful work ethic. I agree with that. What I'm talking about is a change in culture.

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 31-Jan-13 20:59:54

I don't see the issue. Something has to be the second language of England. I would expect most Welsh-speakers are in Wales. Is it surprising it's Polish?

What language would you prefer?

Binkyridesagain Thu 31-Jan-13 21:01:03

My favourite tea house is owned and run by polish people, they are lovely, polite and their English is excellent and they always remember us even if we haven't been for a while, and they introduced me to Bigos.

Jinsei Thu 31-Jan-13 21:02:33


There are lots of Polish people where I live, and many of them work in local shops and restaurants. I know that they are Polish because they are very friendly and chatty. They also give great customer service, which is more than I can say for some of their British counterparts.

I'm sure that there are some sullen, unfriendly Poles who don't speak English well, but I find it difficult to distinguish them from the sullen, unfriendly Brits who can't be arsed to talk to me.

isthisacrazyidea Thu 31-Jan-13 21:03:16

YABU. There is a huge Polish population in my local area, and all those who I come into contact with (in the service industry and at baby groups and in every day life) can all speak English perfectly well.

NomadsLand Thu 31-Jan-13 21:04:10

I think stereotypes exist for a reason. I live in the South but when I visit my parents in Liverpool, I find the sense of humour is much more lively and witty.

Jinsei Thu 31-Jan-13 21:04:13

Cultures do change anyway, OP. What's the problem?

MammaTJ Thu 31-Jan-13 21:05:11

I live in Rural Somerset, about as far away as you would expect from this but, I go down our main street and do not hear one person speaking English!

I am not sure it is a bad thing though, as they all CAN speak English and to a very high standard. Maybe they could teach us a thing or two.

I am at college with a Polish chap and he can pull apart Jeremy Kyles best but he can also make me aware of my failings.

HeadFairy Thu 31-Jan-13 21:05:19

who says cultures should be set in stone? Cultures are by their very nature evolving things, added to by subsequent generations. No doubt there were lots of tuts about the influx of Italians to Britain during the war (when my dad came here with his parents) but don't we all love spag bol and lasagne? Each influx of people to this country bring their own contribution, add it to the existing culture and change it - usually for the better in my opinion.

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