The other day I was walking around the Old Town in Warsaw and I met with some foreigners that were looking for their hostel. I offered my help to find their place, but when I asked them where it was I noticed that they were having a lot of problems to pronounce the name of the metro stop (Metro Świętokrzyska) that was actually close from there.
After I explained them how to reach their destination, I started to remember those good old times during my first days in Warsaw, when I was struggling with directions and unpronounceable street names. Let’s be honest, Polish language is not ‘friendly’ for many people, and I’m sure that if you have ever visited this country you will agree with me on this.
Struggling with Polish Language
One of the most common ways to travel around Poland is by train, mainly because it is cheaper and in some cases faster, but in order to get a ticket, well, you have two options: to buy the tickets by internet or to go to the Central Railway Station and have a long and confusing talk with the old lady that will be there waiting for you to sell you that ticket :)
From my experience, 4 years living in Poland, I haven’t had a chance to meet any of those ladies that would speak good English, so you need to learn some basics of Polish before going there (trust me on this).
So there you are, in front of the Tickets Office, you make eye contact with the lady and you approach her desk. You start trying to speak in Polish and get the ticket and suddenly you realize that your trip is to a city called Wrocław or Łódź. You are feeling nervous and you start to stutter because you don’t know how to pronounce it properly, and maybe the old lady might not understand what you mean, and will give you a ticket to Russia… (sad but true story :P )
The reason I’ve decided to put Wrocław and Łódź as examples is because 99% of foreigners have problems at the beginning to pronounce the names of those cities correctly (including me of course :P ). I was curious to see which other cities or towns in Poland have difficult and/or impossible names to pronounce. That’s why I decided to write a post about:
The Most Unpronounceable Cities and Towns in Poland
If you see the name of this town you might be wondering – where are the vowels..?. Pszczyna is a town in the south part of Poland. It has over 20,000 inhabitants and it belongs to the Silesian Voivodeship.
This town is located in the Lublin Voivodeship, in the south east part of Poland. Its population is really small as it is more or less 5,000 inhabitants.
It is a city located in the south west part of Poland, and is about 10 kilometres from the Czech border. In this city you can find the Książ Castle, which is the third largest castle in Poland.
It is a town in in the south-central Poland, and it has around 70,000 inhabitants. The main industry of the city is metallurgy. One of the main attractions of the city is the Saint Michael’s Church which was built in the XVII century.
It is a city in the south part of Poland really close to Katowice, one of the main Polish cities. This city was part of Germany, then became part of Poland, then part of Germany and since 1945 it became part of Poland… again.
Maybe the smallest town in this post, it is located in the north part of Poland and it has only 505 inhabitants! I’m pretty sure all the people there know each other perfectly!
Is a town in the west part of Poland close to the Oder River. The city was founded in 1644!
The name of this place is a hard one! It is not even a town, it is just a village located in the north part of Poland. The following picture was the best I could find from this place.
It is a small village in the east part of Poland, really close to the border with Belarus.
This village has a population of 1,421 and it is really close to the border with Slovakia.
This village is located in the Krakow County, and it has a really small population with just 550 inhabitants, 4 cows, 25 chickens and 10 horses :P .
This village is in the south east part of Poland almost at the border with Czech Republic. Until 1945 this city belonged to Germany.
This is one of the smallest towns in Poland, with an area of just 16 km2. The name of the city comes from a male given name Wyszemir.
Finally, the most difficult one for me! This village until 1945 belonged to Germany. It is located in the south west part of Poland and it has a population of only 180 people!!!!!
Easy names, right?
It was a complete challenge to read all of those names correctly, but now you know more places to travel around Poland. Maybe in some of them you will not find many touristic attractions but it would be awesome to experience everyday life in a town of 200 people! :)
For you: Which was the most difficult name on this list? Do you know any other city with unpronounceable name? :)