In just under a month, Jordan and I will be in a plane, flying over the Atlantic Ocean, en route to our two-week Eastern European journey. How exciting is that?!
Today I’m going to have a little fun with some languages. We’re going to five different countries (Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Poland), and they all speak different languages. They might be similar in some ways, but I wouldn’t know. So I’m going to give myself a bit of a head start and find some of the basic words and phrases in some of the languages we will encounter. Maybe I’ll get the pronunciation down by the time we leave?
I may not even need to know that much, but who doesn’t love to learn a few words or phrases in a new language (or four)? Why not? It’s just for fun.
GERMAN: Since Jordan and I will begin our journey in Berlin, I’m starting with some of the basic German phrases that will perhaps help us navigate the airport and metro until we get to our hotel.
Hallo, guten tag = Hello, good day.
Auf wiedersehen = goodbye.
Ich heisse Kate = My name is Kate.
Haben sie…? = Do you have…?
Zug/Bahnhof = train/train station.
Wo ist die…? = Where is the…?
Noch einmal, bitte = Please repeat.
Was kostet das? = How much is this?
I hope I remember these phrases and others I may pick up! German is also the main language spoken in Austria. The next stop is Prague. Czech, a Slavic language, is similar to Polish.
HUNGARIAN: The first syllables of Hungarian words are almost always stressed. I will really need to work on my pronunciation here, because that, along with vowel length, makes all the difference (according to things I’ve read). I don’t want to make any grave linguistic mistakes!
One of the items on schedule in Budapest is a dinner cruise on the river. How about some cuisine-related words here?
Kérek csirkehús/marhahús = I want chicken/beef.
Kenyér es sajt = Bread and cheese
Kaphatok egy pohár… = May I have a glass of…?
Vörös/fehér bor = Red or white wine
Sör = beer
Kaphatok egy csésze kávé/tea? = May I have a cup of coffee/tea?
Nagyon finom volt. = It was delicious. (I think/hope I’ll be using this one a lot.)
POLISH: Warsaw is our last stop, so I’m going to find some words and phrases that will help us get to the airport and get situated for our return flight. Fun fact, there are 8 vowel sounds in Polish: a, e, i, o, u, y, and nasals ą, and ę. Much less than the 20-something in English!
|I hope not…|
Proszę/Dziękuję = Please/thank you.
Tak/Nie = Yes/no.
Czy moze mi pan? = Can you help me?
Metro = subway. (Fortunately, “metro” is used in almost all of these languages to refer to the subway or underground system.)
Pociąg = Train
Samolot = Airplane
Odlot = Departure (by air)
Jak dostać się do lotniska/stacji kolejowej? = How do I get to the airport/train station?
Gdzie jest bankomat? = Where is an ATM?
Ile to kosztuje? = How much is that?
Time to brush up on my language-learning skills!