These are the most common mistake I have run into Polish people making in English.
If you avoid them, your English will sound way more refined. 😉
He's on the second side of the planet.
He's on the other side of the planet.
In Polish you say "z drugiej strony"...
The correct translation of "drugiej" in this phrase is "other".
... but Polish people often mistake this for another translation of "drugiej".
"Drugiej" also translates literally to "second" as in "second place" ("drugie miejsce").
But in English we do NOT commonly use phrases like "on the second side of the coin" or "on the second side of the house"... we say "on the other side of the coin" or "on the other side of the house".
My car is on the other side of town...
Today morning I was talking with my mom...
This morning I was talking with my mom...
In Polish you say "dzisiaj rano", but in English it's as though you say "tego rana".
This morning I saw a dinosaur! I think I have to talk to my doctor about the medication I'm taking...
How to say ____ in English?
How to say ____?
How do you say ____ in English?
How do you say ____?
"How to say ____" is a statement, not a question.
"How do you say ____?" is the correct way to ask how to say something.
"How do you say..." may sound wrong to a lot of Polish people, it translates to "jak Ty mówisz..."
... which doesn't make much sense in Polish. You don't care how one specific person says something, you want to know what the correct way to say it is!
But in English, this is accepted as the correct way to ask how something is said.
"How do you say" doesn't literally mean you are asking how that specific person you are talking to says something, it's just the normal way to ask how something is said or done.
This applies to asking how to do just about anything.
If you want to ask someone how to do a back flip, you say: "How do you do a back flip?"
"You" is referring to anyone in general... as in "w jaki sposób ktoś robi salto?"
If you want to tell someone how to do a back flip, you say "This is how to do a back flip."
Anybody came to my party.
Nobody came to my party.
First of all: ouch? I wasn't invited to your party. But whatever...
Second of all: Polish people seem to mistake the meaning of "nobody" and "anybody", generally the concept of "no-" (nobody, nothing, nowhere, etc.) and "any-" (anybody, anything, anywhere, etc.) for whatever reason.
This is just one of those things you have to pay special attention to when you talk or write in English and get into the habit of using correctly.
Somebody asks you "who is cooler than you?" and you say... "nobody" (not "anybody"!) Nobody is cooler than you.
I have any plans.
I don't have any plans.
I have no plans.
Many Polish people mistake "any" for translating directly to "żadne"...
... because sometimes it does! But only when it is used negatively.
"Any" actually translates more directly to "jakiekolwiek".
You wouldn't say "mam jakichkolwiek planów", that makes no sense...
... but you could theoretically say "nie mam jakichkolwiek planów"...
and to say that, you have to make the whole sentence negative by adding don't, i.e.: "I don't have any plans."
We spent there a lot a of time.
We spent a lot of time there.
As with many of the common mistakes Polish people make, I think this one stems from Polish people translating sentences like this 1-to-1 from Polish into English.
In Polish, "tam" = "there"... so "spędziliśmy tam dużo czasu" would logically be "we spent there a lot of time", but it's not.
No Ferrari is so fast as a Tesla Roadster.
No Ferrari is as fast as a Tesla Roadster.
I think this mistakes stems from the fact that in Polish, "so" and "as" are often the same word... "takie".
E.g., you can say:
"This milkshake is so good."
"This milkshake is as good as my mom's famous milkshake"...
with the same Polish phrase:
"Ten shake jest taki dobry."
"Ten shake jest taki dobry jak sławny shake mojej mamy."
Unfortunately in English, you have to distinguish between the 2.
When you want to compare 2 things, you need 2 "as"s... make sense? I also like to think of is as an "as sandwich"... 2 "as"s with a sweet, sweet adjective in between them.
.... just like 2 pieces of bread with healthy, nutritious Nutella between them.
Kim Kardashian is not as cool as me.
You're not as good at chess as me.
I'm just as good at chess as you are, maybe even better.
That's how it looks like.
That's what it looks like.
That's how it looks.
I think the issue here is that Polish people correctly associate 2 different phrases that mean the same thing ("looks like" and "how it looks") and then mix them together and incorrectly say both of them.
You should say EITHER "how it looks" OR "what it looks like", NOT both.
Correct: I've never seen his car before! I don't know what it looks like.
INCORRECT: ... I don't know how it looks like.
Correct: This is what work looks like to you? You're not even wearing any pants!
INCORRECT: This is how work looks like to you? ...
What I should do?
What should I do?
Without getting super technical:
"Should I" is used as a question.
"I should" is used as a statement.
Let's say you want to ask someone what you should wear to a party...
Correct: "What should I wear to the party?" (this is a question, so "should I" is the correct order).
INCORRECT: "What I should wear to the party?
Let's say you found the perfect dress to wear to a party.
Correct: "I should wear this to the party." (this is a statement, so "I should" is the correct order).
INCORRECT: "Should I wear this to the party." (this sounds like a question, but is being used as a statement, it's wrong.)
Let's say you want to ask somebody where to park your car:
Correct: "Where should it be parked?"
INCORRECT: "Where it should be parked?"
In Polish, a "programista" is someone who writes computer programs.
... naturally you would think that in English that translates to "programist"...
... just like "optymista" translates to "optimist"...
... but it doesn't.
Sorry. In English, it's programmer.
come for table
I love tables. Like really sturdy, well-built tables... so if you want to show me a really nice table, I'd love to "come for table"!
But if you're trying to describe how a spoiled dog feels in a human bed... then you're trying to say "comfortable".
Try saying this in Polish: "komftrbl"
My husband is a banker, she's very good with money.
My husband is a banker, he's very good with money.
I don't know what it is about these terms, but Polish people mix them up unconsciously all. the. time.
It's definitely not because they don't know the difference (if you can read this sentence, I guarantee you know the difference between "he" and "she") but for some reason they are used almost interchangeably by Polish people. As soon as I mention this mistake to anyone they immediately correct themselves and laugh, but after a while passes by they will forget and make the mistake again.
Although they are very small terms and may seem insignificant, pay extra attention to how/when you use he/she! These pronouns are very important! When you use the wrong one, the person you are talking to may think you started talking about somebody else.
That is without sense.
That makes no sense.
In Polish you say "to jest bez sensu"...
... which literally translates to "that is without sense"...
And I have good news! That phrase is 100% grammatical in English!
... but colloquially it just sounds wrong. It sounds like a proclamation a mad scientist would make in 1825.
She finished X years.
She has X years.
She is X years old.
She is X.
In Polish, when you talk about the age of a person, you can say:
The literal translations of these phrases are:
But unfortunately the literal translation doesn't work in English. In English, you ARE an age.
Hi! I'm George. I'm 15 years old and I live in a jungle.
She's not old! She's only 50!
I have a history for you.
I have a story for you.
In Polish, "historia" is a story, as in: something you tell your friends by a campfire.
In Polish, "historia" is also history, as in: the subject you probably hated sitting through in school.
But in English:
A history is not something you tell by a campfire... but it is other things:
History (by itself, no "a") is everything that's happened in the past...
... and the future, my friends, is nothing but a mystery (and also has nothing to do with this explanation).
If you want to say "muszę Ci opowiedzieć historię":
Correct: "I have to tell you a story."
INCORRECT: "I have to tell you a history."