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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?

Maryz Thu 31-Jan-13 21:05:30

I've been to Liverpool, do they speak English there?

Because most of the Polish people I've ever met speak more comprehensible English than most Liverpudlians I've met [arf]


PacificDogwood Thu 31-Jan-13 21:06:22

I cannot be bothered to elaborate frankly.
Populations have always moved and changed.

marriednotdead Thu 31-Jan-13 21:06:27

YABU. Why is it a 'problem'? I've yet to met a Polish person that is anything other than friendly and hardworking.

There are many people of various ethnicities in England and without them all, our culture wouldn't even be the one your DM is so nostalgic for.

NomadsLand Thu 31-Jan-13 21:07:02

May I remind you all that I said that I like Poles and I think they are very hard working.

What I am saying is that the preponderance of one group of people is changing the culture more than I thought it would.

There is no need to be PC about this fact.

MammaTJ Thu 31-Jan-13 21:07:09

Our whole British culture is, in fact, a mix of other cultures!!

CashmereHoodlum Thu 31-Jan-13 21:07:19

I welcome a change of culture. The Polish people I have met have been far more cultured than the typical Brit where I live. As a rule they speak more than one foreign language, are more highly educated, and have more knowledge of (what I call) culture, as opposed to many of the locally born and bred people who often have an extensive knowledge of popular culture and little else.

chickensarmpit Thu 31-Jan-13 21:07:32

Would you be saying this if they were Muslim or Chinese? Or is it just acceptable to say this shit about white, europeans.

Zara1984 Thu 31-Jan-13 21:07:42


They're friendly, hardworking, pay their taxes, here legally and just trying to get on with life. What's the problem?

I bet people said the same thing as you and your mother when Irish started moving in large numbers to the UK. Or people CEO the Carribean. Or India/Pakistan/Sri Lanka.

winnybella Thu 31-Jan-13 21:09:03

YY, Viva. Battle of Britain, anyone? Squadron 303?

As far as I can tell (as a Polish person with English DP, not living in the UK, but have visited lots of times) Polish and English have lots in common and I really can't see how some Poles settling down in the UK will dramatically change the British cultural landscape.

DP is ranting now about 'fucking xenophobic idiots' grin

MammaTJ Thu 31-Jan-13 21:09:08

MaryZ, you're not wrong but the Liverpool accent is very sexy!

Zara1984 Thu 31-Jan-13 21:09:12

Oh - and maybe the reason you got a blank stare was because your joke wasn't funny.

allnewtaketwo Thu 31-Jan-13 21:09:17

Tbh I frequently get blank stares when I try to talk to "English" people. Nothing to do with language, some people just don't want to engage

CowboyPie Thu 31-Jan-13 21:09:19

I live in Liverpool. I've NEVER noticed a 'difference' when I get served in shops. YABU.

SomeKindOfDeliciousBiscuit Thu 31-Jan-13 21:09:31

YABU. I think you've met some unfriendly people, or people with limited language skills, that's all.

I was going to make some kind of cheap crack about my Polish mil not visiting until next weekend, but the poor woman's ill and very nice so it seemed a bit shit of me. So imagine some far less offensive joke which has a general feeling of integration and much friendliness.

Just wanted to add, YANBU to suggest there may be a problem with immigration as I think there probably is, but I think the Poles are more like the British (in terms of culture and expectations) than the majority who come and are less likely to integrate.

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 31-Jan-13 21:10:09

Do you know what preponderance means OP? hmm

winnybella Thu 31-Jan-13 21:10:14

OTOH I can easily see how Brits have changed the cultural landscape of southern Spain, for example.

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

I think nostalgia is a good word to use for the OP's mum. She wants to chat to people who share the same lifestyle etc which she won't get from newcomers who probably aren't great fans of Corrie or Eastenders! She probably feels she has nothing in common with them.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Thu 31-Jan-13 21:12:10

Seriously are you actually from Liverpool? You know that world famous PORT, home of one of the worlds oldest Chinatowns, the huge population of second and third generation Irish immigrants, the multicultural, multiracial, LIVERPOOL that I used to know and love.

Theicingontop Thu 31-Jan-13 21:12:25


nickelbabe Thu 31-Jan-13 21:12:37

I think the only Polish problem is that the language isn't taught in schools.
it's increasingly becoming a mainstream language and woyld be great to have it available as a modern language option.

larks35 Thu 31-Jan-13 21:13:27

I wonder what the 2nd language in Poland is, or Spain, or Germany, or France (though they'd never admit it).

YABU I think. As for your mum saying that the influx of Polish is changing the local culture, my mum would agree but with a different perspective of enjoying the new culture - Polish shops with interesting and cheap new foods to try, a much larger congregation at their local church.

NcNcNcNc Thu 31-Jan-13 21:15:01

Isn't it stereotyping just as badly to keep saying 'oh wonderful work ethic' ? Really? All people from Poland have a wonderful work ethic???? Have you met them all then? hmm

Also sounds very patronising, like someone from the deep south saying about 'Mamee' that she had a 'wonderful work ethic' in Gone With the Wind.

mummybare Thu 31-Jan-13 21:15:43

<stares blankly>

I don't understand your joke either, OP.


Isildur Thu 31-Jan-13 21:15:59

For quite a few years Liverpudlian culture was strongly influenced by Irish Catholics.

It isn't such a leap to Polish (Catholics).

Things change, cultures evolve, crap jokes are crap jokes wherever they originate.

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 31-Jan-13 21:16:28

nickel - Polish GCSE courses exist (I just looked it up), so maybe it is increasingly being taught? I agree, it'd be a good language option.

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