When I arrived in Poland I was afraid to speak in Polish...

„Uroda” in Polish means beauty while in Russian “uroda” means ugly. Language differences can sometimes lead to unexpected situations. Meet Kristina from our S2P department and read her story.



How did your story with Poland begin?

My story with Poland begins thanks to my Granny, who grew me according to polish traditions. I had my first communion in the church of Saint Adalbert in Kaliningrad. I and my family celebrate Christmas and Easter according to the Catholic faith. I think that my story with Poland begin many years ago. 

When I graduated from my school in Kaliningrad, I decided to go to Poland to study in 2016 year and I am living in Poland for 6 years.

What were your thoughts on Poland before moving here and how does that compare to how you see it now?

When I was a child and teenager, I was in Poland many times because I lived near Poland. My hometown is Kaliningrad, Kaliningrad is a separate part of the Russian Federation, which is located near Gdansk. Before moving to Poland, I decided to get a Pole’s card. This card can be obtained thanks to belonging to the Polish nation and passing the exam which is concern the history of Poland, traditions, etc. This card, I got from The Consulate General of Poland in Kaliningrad, Pole’s card is a document confirming the foreigner’s belonging to the Polish nation. I am sure that I knew about Poland a lot before my move and these all things helped settle down me in Poland quickly.

Polish language is always a big challenge for foreigners. What kind of experience do you have?

As for me, I had extra polish lessons for 2 years before I arrived in Poland because I knew that if I want to get a Pole card, I should speak Polish well. 

I remember that when I arrived in Poland, I was afraid to speak in Polish, honestly, I don’t why. I think that a lot of people have the same problem, thinking that they will be misunderstood or make mistakes during their speech. 

I think that Russian and Polish languages are similar grammatically. In Russian also like in Polish language there are conjugations of nouns. Also, we have many similar words. 

I remember a funny story that happened to me and my friends when we visited Poland some years ago. Guys started to talk about our beauty and used Polish word „uroda” while in Russia the word “uroda” means ugly. It was very funny because we thought that these guys were very impolite to us.

How did your family and friends react to your move to Poland?

My family and friends knew that I want to study in Poland before my move. I think that this news didn’t shock them. My friends like Gdansk and often visited me before the pandemic, unfortunately now it is problematic. 

What do you miss most about your country? 

I miss my family, most of all my grandmother. I think, that I moved only because Gdańsk is near my hometown and I can spend my weekends with my family. Honestly, I feel a lack of some Russian products which are not sold in Poland for example condensed milk (sgushchenka), baked milk (toplenoe moloko) and most of all doctor’s sausage (doktorskaya kolbasa). 

What do you like about Poland?

For me, most people in Poland are very nice and sociable people. If you meet someone in the stairwell everyone says to you “Hello”. When people get off the elevator also always say “Goodbye”.

Do you have a favorite dish you can tell us about? Are there any foods in Poland that still can’t bring yourself to taste? 

As for polish dishes, my favorite is “ruskie pierogi”, when I lived in Russia, I have never eaten this dish. I prefer to eat this dish with sour cream, I know that for Polish people it sounds strange. I am sure that I would never try “flaki”. 

Can you tell us about a few of your favorite places in Poland? 

I recommend visiting “Morskie Oko” in Zakopane, this place is incredibly beautiful. Also, I very much like to visit the Christmas fair in Old Town in Gdansk where you can taste different dishes. I know that for polish people very important to visit Jasna Gora in Częstochowa, I have only been once in this town.

What have you learned while living in Poland? 

I learned that before boarding public transport you need to buy a ticket. For me, it wasn’t habitual, because in my hometown we buy all tickets directly from the person who is work in public transport. This profession is called „Konduktor” in my country.