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Polski w gorsze dni. How to talk about your mood and health in Polish.

Wyglądasz okropnie! Co ci jest ? (you look awful! What’s up with you?)
Lovely – that’s the last thing you want to hear when you are not feeling well. Well, your partner or friend may say it worrying about your health, so let’s take it in a positive way and get you prepared to have a conversation about  being under the weather in Polish.
 

JAK SIĘ CZUJESZ?

 

How are you feeling?
To reply to this question you can give a quick answer using one of these adverbs:
Tak sobie – so-so
Niespecjalnie – not so special 
Niedobrze – not good
Źle (bardzo) źle – bad ( very bad)
Fatalnie– awful
Beznadziejnie – hopelessly

 

CO CI DOLEGA? CO CI JEST?

 

What’s wrong with you? What’s up with you?
You must definitely look like something is wrong with you if you hear this question. Let’s look at some patterns to reply depending on what is troubling you.
Niedobrze mi
adverb + personal pronoun in the Dative case

 

Don’t start your sentences with Jestem. Instead use this Polish construction beginning with an adverb describing how you feel and add the little word mi. This word says who is not feeling well. It can have different forms depending on who is cold, hot or sick. For now, let’s focus on you. But from the question above you can work out what is the form for informal you.
Zimno mi  I’m cold
Gorąco mi I’m hot
Niedobrze mi – I feel sick
Duszno mi – I cannot breath  / I’m stifling
Słabo mi – I feel faint

 

CO CIĘ BOLI? GDZIE CIĘ BOLI?

 

Are you in pain? Where is aching?
Now, let’s have a look at how to express English I have a headache or my tummy hurts 
In Polish the starting point is the verb boleć to hurt /ache and the pattern is as follows:
Boli mnie głowa
Boleć + personal pronoun in the Accusative case + the part of the body which hurts
With boleć you have basically two options boli mnie or bolą mnie. Have a look at these examples:
Boli mnie głowa / brzuch /noga /ucho/oko
My head / stomach /leg /ear/ eye  hurts
Bolą mnie oczy /uszy/nogi/palce/stopy
My eyes/ears/legs/fingers/feet hurt

 

You should notice that to express pain in one part of the body you need to use boli and when talking about two parts, apply bolą.
Watch out for a part of the body that are considered singular in English, but plural in Polish:
Bolą mnie plecy ( instead of boli mnie plecy)
Now, for the mnie bit. It’s another form of saying who is receiving the pain. In the previous pattern you used mi Niedobrze mi. With boleć we apply the Accusative case of personal pronouns, hence when talking about oneself – mnie. Again, look at the last sub-title to learn what’s the form for asking the question with boli /bolą. Finally, in this pattern the hurting part of the body stays in its dictionary form, Nominative case, so don’t worry about changing ending here.
 

MASZ KATAR?

 

Do you have a runny nose?
Now, let’s see when you can use the verb mieć:
Mam kaszel I have a cough
Mam katar  I have a runny nose 
Mam grypę – I have flu
Mam gorączkę – I have a fever 
Mam mdłości – nausea  / I feel sick
Mam zawroty głowy – vertigo / I feel dizzy
Mam dreszcze – shivers / I’m shivering
Mam wysypkę – I have a rash
Or you may not have something, for example if you don’t feel like eating, say:
Nie mam apetytu – I have lost my appetite 

 

JESTEŚ PRZEZIĘBIONY?

 

Have you got a cold?
Lastly, let’s see what you can say in Polish with być followed by an adjective: 
Jestem chory – I’m ill
Jestem zmęczony  – I’m  tired
Jestem przemęczony – I’m exhausted
Let’s finish with an example which shows that direct translation from English is never a good idea.:
Jestem przeziębiony – I have a cold 
We have a word in Polish for a cold:  przeziębienie, but saying Mam przeziębienie is not natural. Instead use an adjective przeziębiony /przeziębiona. 

 

ZDROWIEJ SZYBKO

 

Get well soon!
If you are not feeling well, people who asked you what’s wrong will feel sorry for you and certainly wish you a quick recovery:
Szybkiego powrotu do zdrowia! 
Wishing you a speedy recovery!
Zdrowiej szybko!
Get well soon
This post should give you some ideas on how to answer questions about you not feeling well. However, you may be in the opposite situation seeing a friend under the weather.  Prepare also for asking the questions and wishing a speedy recovery to full health. Look at the post and go through the questions. 

 

TO TAKE AWAY

  • Polish uses different  constructions from English when talking about being under the weather. Don’t translate directly, learn an example from each one and apply to your context : niedobrze mi / boli mnie noga / bolą mnie nogi etc. 
  • Put yourself on the other side and when your partner or friend is not feeling well, ask the questions and listen for replies. Being able to ask questions is also as important as answering them. 
  • To check  if you are ready to discuss your health and wellbeing in Polish, take my little test here

If you want to converse with Poles about your mood and health, arm yourself in useful sentences watching short videos on my Youtube channel.
27/01/2020

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