In language learning, it is useful to be aware not only of the origin of words, but also of the similarity of some of them in spelling and pronunciation. These are potential traps you can fall into. All it takes, of course, is a little awareness and knowledge. So it is good not only to learn about Polish words that sound like English words, but also to delve into the subject of homophones or borrowings. Why? All with one aim: to make your Polish beautiful and your English fluent. Of course, this will not be without hard work and time spent learning. All, of course, to learn about Shakespeare’s speech. Because, as Ludwig Wittgenstein used to say: ‘the limitations of my language are the limitations of my world’.
Polish words that sound like English words
English homophones can sometimes be deceptive for someone who is not yet confident in the English language. Mistakes involving them also happen to those who are “on a first-name basis” with English. Sometimes a moment’s inattention or failure to hear something can lead us astray. And what are the homonyms we mentioned? These are words that have the same pronunciation but completely different spelling and meaning. Of course, as your studies progress, you will become accustomed to them, which we wish you quickly. Take, for example, ‘ad’ and ‘add’, ‘aren’t’ and ‘aunt’ or ‘cell’ and ‘sell’. See? Can you feel it? Exactly!
But as you learn English, you will realise that there are many similarities between Polish and English words. Don’t be discouraged. The beginnings are usually difficult, but it will get easier further on. The most important thing is to get used to Shakespeare’s language. Learn new vocabulary regularly. This is the only way to be proficient and not get caught by any hooks!
Are you curious about Polish words that sound like English words? Here are some of them!
- A brother is not a brother, but a brat.
- A flight is not a flight, but a fate or a plight.
- A gentleman is not a gentleman, but a frying pan!
- A bath looks like an English bath, but in English it means to want.
- A shoe is not a shoe in English, but in English it simply means ‘but’.
- Leader comes from the English leader. We are referring, of course, to the leader. In Polish and English these words sound similar.
- Weekend comes from the English words week and end.
- Toples is another example of borrowing from the English language. Topless means ‘without a top’.
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Learn the English words we often get wrong
Time to master your English vocabulary? Remember the existence of so-called false friends. What is it all about? What is behind this term? These are false friends, i.e. words that sound similar to Polish but do not have identical meanings. It’s worth checking which ones might lead you astray, because although these words appear to be almost the same, they have completely different meanings. They are the bane of beginning students in particular. However, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. They are part of getting to know English!
Beware of false friends in English. Here are some examples to help you better understand the problem.
- Accord sounds similar to the Polish word chord, doesn’t it? Even the spelling is similar and the pronunciation is the same. However, when you look in the dictionary you will find that in English the word means ‘consent’.
- Affair has nothing to do with affair. Although these words sound the same, the English word means ‘romance’.
- Carnation has nothing to do with complexion. By learningEnglish you will find that the word is, of course, ‘carnation’.
- Closet and Polish closet have different word meanings. Well, the English word means ‘clothes wardrobe’.
- In English you will also find the word fatal. However, do not combine it with the Polish word fatal. Why? Just know that in English it means ‘fatal’.
- There are also words that look exactly the same. A good example of this is the word wagon. It exists in both English and Polish. Meanwhile, in the former, it means cart.
Anglicisms – English words that we use in Polish
In wanting to have the best possible language level, it is good to be aware of which words are borrowed from a foreign language. Why? Above all, to keep your Polish free of borrowings. Be that as it may, it is worth being aware of words and expressions taken from English in order to use them only in necessary situations. On another note, it is worth exploring words taken from Shakespeare’s language in order to learn about their history of appearance in Polish. In this way you not only get to know the foreign language better, but also the Polish language.
- Flash, compact or computer are words borrowed from the English language, or more precisely from scientific and technical terminology.
- Backhand, derby or doping are all English words that come from the subject of sport.
- Bestseller, drink or fan are examples of Anglicisms relating to culture and entertainment.
- Chips, dressing or lunch, on the other hand, are food-themed vocabulary, obviously derived from English.
Why learn the most commonly used words in English?
Wondering why learn English vocabulary at all? Rita Mae Brown once said: ‘language releases hidden powers, just as the moon releases the tides’. The main reason for mastering the most commonly used words is to map out a ‘shortcut’. Once you know a lot of these words, it will be much easier and simpler to have a conversation with a native English speaker. Knowing some of the words will also make it go faster for you to learn about the various issues that are involved in delving into Shakespeare’s language. Of course, it will be quicker and more fun to sit down in front of the TV screen to watch your favourite English series or films in the original. Not to mention that it is great fun to understand the words of songs you love or to reach for prose written in English.
Roger Bacon once stated that ‘knowledge of language is the key to wisdom’. There is something to it, and it certainly pays to know English. After all, it is the modern Lingua Franca, spoken by some 1.268 billion people on the planet. No one knows all the words at once, but knowing the most commonly used ones allows you to do many things: talk, listen and watch with understanding or read books, newspapers and articles on the web. It would be a shame not to take advantage of it!
Mam na imię Mieszko i pochodzę z małej miejscowości we wschodniej Polsce. Od czterech lat mieszkam i pracuję w Lublinie, który stał się moim drugim domem. Na co dzień pracuję jako tłumacz, a moją pasją jest pisanie. Lubię sporo czytać, dzięki czemu poznałem cienką, choć bardzo wyraźną linię pomiędzy teorią i praktyka. Z przyjemnością podzielę się z Państwem moim doświadczeniem i wiedzą. Poza pracą moją drugą pasją jest sport, który uprawiam od dziecka, co sprawia, że o kondycję nie muszę się martwić.