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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?

thezebrawearspurple Thu 31-Jan-13 21:39:22

There are a lot of Poles where I live (not UK) and they're great neighbours. Hard working, respectable, they place a huge importance on education for their children, are good parents and they keep fit and healthy. They improve the area. Nothing wrong with that.

PacificDogwood Thu 31-Jan-13 21:39:29

The same census that came up with 'Polish in 2nd language in England and Wales' also states: "The least common main language in England and Wales was listed as Manx-Gaelic with 33 speakers, followed by 58 Gaelic Scottish speakers."
Only 58 Gaelic Scottish speakers? I find that hard to believe tbh. In which case I find myself doubting the accuracy of the whole exercise tbh.

Also, Poland happens to be a country in which the entire population speaks ONE language, hence its frequency. I wonder what the statistics would be like if all people from the Indian Subcontinent spoke the same language?

Damn, I got sucked into this thread afterall.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Thu 31-Jan-13 21:40:18

Welcome duende. Perhaps you can give us all our first Polish lesson and teach us some useful phrases grin

Maryz Thu 31-Jan-13 21:44:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 31-Jan-13 21:44:25

pacific - would they not be first-language speakers of Scots Gaelic? I think that must be much more unusual than people who're bilingual.

StickEmUp Thu 31-Jan-13 21:45:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PacificDogwood Thu 31-Jan-13 21:47:30

Yes, it is sad that you need to say those things, duende. Welcome!

I am not Polish, but also not British. Been here 20 years, pay taxes, no benefit, yadda yadda. And I don't think I have changed the local culture too much. Wish I could... yes, I am looking at everybody who does NOT pick up their dog's crap <<bitter>>

I meet many Polish people through work and guess what, most are nice, some are so-so (or have an off day when I see them) and v few are a twats. Just like the Chinese/Indian/Pakistani/African people I come across from time to time.

PacificDogwood Thu 31-Jan-13 21:48:46

LRD, yes, you must be right. And also tbh I had not quite taken in to account that this referred to England and Wales only, doh!

BumBiscuits Thu 31-Jan-13 21:50:53

One of my pet peeves is people slagging off the Polish and other Eastern Europeans. It is bigotry, however you dress it up.

NumericalMum Thu 31-Jan-13 21:51:53

And just for the record OP saying "All Polish people are hard working" is racist.
I am sure you not be impressed if someone said all the British people are boring...

Jinsei Thu 31-Jan-13 21:51:55

But reallytired, not all Muslims speak Urdu. There will be a lot of Bengali speakers in that number, as well as speakers of Arabic and many other languages.

duende, no, you really shouldn't have to say it. sad

MrsSchadenfreude Thu 31-Jan-13 21:53:57

I love it. I speak Polish - not fluent, but can hold a conversation. When I lived in UK I could get all of my favourite foods without schlepping them back from Warsaw, from the fabulously named Polisz Szop grin. I interpreted for a woman in a charity shop in Northampton (to her amazement and gratitude), helped people with catching buses etc. They all found it most bizarre that an English person had learned their language, and even more bizarre when I explained that I had learned Polish when I lived in Warsaw in the 1980s for three years.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 31-Jan-13 21:56:02

I think no one should ever move from where they were born. Shit, I just realised I'm typing from where I live in Canada, CANADA and I'm a mixture of Polish and Scottish. Argh. Where shall I send the two halves of myself?

BTW I'm both lazy and funny. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

NomadsLand Thu 31-Jan-13 21:59:17

Well, I can see that those who posted don't agree with me.

Thanks for all your comments which I have appreciated.

SamSmalaidh Thu 31-Jan-13 22:00:27

The only problem with Polish is it's a fucking difficult language! I live in a very Polish area and have no problem with having Polish neighbours, shops, children in schools etc. They seem to be very keen to integrate with British society and contribute, most speak good English or are learning - what's not to like?

HoHoHoNoYouDont Thu 31-Jan-13 22:02:15

MrsTP, do you mind, posting from a forrin country just might change the culture of this thread grin

VivaLeBeaver Thu 31-Jan-13 22:02:15

Dd can choose polish as a mfl at her school from year 9. There is also a polish language club at lunchtime for all years.

I've tried learning polish but it is difficult. Never got much further than tak.

ReallyTired Thu 31-Jan-13 22:03:09

The Quran is written in arabic and I was under the impression that Urdu and arabic are very closely related. Many muslims learn Arabic/Urdu even if its not their first language.

Hindi is very closely related to Urdu. I am not sure at what point different dialects become seperate languages.

Perhaps going back to the orginal topic. The fact that turkish is strongly related to arabic and arabic strong related to urdu/hindi shows that people travel all round the world. Migration of people is not a new thing.

I am sceptical that English is an endangered lanuage. The chances of Polish being wiped out is greater than English being wiped out as a language.

MildredIsMyAlterEgo Thu 31-Jan-13 22:04:38

Learning Polish at school? Good grief! What a mad idea!
I can't believe I even read that. Pls tell me why that's a good idea?

OP are you joking? You're not are you? shock sad

Why is it such a mad idea that Polish be taught in school? Do you feel the same way about French/German/Spanish on the curriculum?

And with reference to your thread title, I don't really understand what you mean by ''Polish problem''. What problem exactly? That they don't get your jokes? (like most people on this thread it would seem).

You come across as very bigoted.

Witam duende - by the way you definitely do not need to say it.

Viva grin

Joiningthegang Thu 31-Jan-13 22:06:12

I have a polish problem - i can't be bothered to do it.

Oh - we aren't talking about polish - just a blatantly xenophobic op


As you were

NomadsLand Thu 31-Jan-13 22:08:39

Mrs Terry - you are on unfamiliar ground for most Brits.

EVERYONE in Canada comes from somewhere else. Well, apart from the First Nations people. Let's no go there.

Canada is a new country born of new people and has adapted that way. Perhaps the reverse is happening to Britain, former colonialists.

thegreylady Thu 31-Jan-13 22:09:19

Polish is the only language other than English offered by the touch screen at my GP surgery. I think it is great that the communities are amalgamating. Our PCSO is Polish and I always sayGood Morning to her in Polish when I see her. She helped dh and I with some simple phrases before we went to Krakow last year.
The service done to this country by Polish airmen in the last war deserves our undying gratitude, the way they were treated afterwards was disgraceful. As far as I am concerned they are more than welcome.

WhichIsBest Thu 31-Jan-13 22:09:32

I have just clicked that Karol Wozniak, from my primary school, must have had Polish parents.

thegreylady Thu 31-Jan-13 22:11:33

Isn't 'tak' Norwegian ? Polish is very difficult I think.

Jinsei Thu 31-Jan-13 22:12:09

Urdu (and Hindi) certainly have lots of imported Arabic words, but they are very different languages. I can understand Hindi (and therefore most Urdu) but I wouldn't have a clue what people were talking about if they were speaking any one of the versions of Arabic.

I think lots of Muslims do learn Arabic but I don't know if they actually learn to speak it as such, or if they tend to concentrate on being able to read the Quran.

But you're right, the similarities between languages are clear evidence that people have been migrating and mixing for centuries. After all, Urdu, Arabic, Polish and Enhlish all share the same Indo-European roots!

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