My subscription to Life expired, but I still have a subscription to Mad.

Saturday, September 8, 2007


I am Polish-American.

Although I was born in Saint Mary's Hospital in Waterbury, Connecticut, my first language was Polish and that is all I spoke until my parents brought a television home from McCoy's radio store. Gradually, courtesy of the television, my ability to speak Polish took a back seat to English. Eventually, except for a few phrases, I forgot how to speak Polish.

With four grandparents who spoke mostly Polish, I understood the language. But as they died off, I did not have to understand Polish any longer and today, I have no idea what my current status is regarding my ability to understand the language.

Tonight, I took my wife and sister to Staropolska, a Polish restaurant, for dinner (which was excellent, by the way) and the subject of pets came up. During the conversation, I was trying to recall the Polish word for "dog." I was sure the Polish word started with the letter P, but I could not remember it.

When I arrived home, I looked "dog" up on an online English-Polish translation service and found out that the Polish word for dog is "pies," which is pronounced pee-is, as I remember (please correct me if I am wrong).

We own two dogs. My daughter named her bichon frise, Q-T Pie, I named my cockapoo, Pumpkin Pie, and collectively, they are known as "The Pies." What a coincidence!


  1. I'm Polish too, I came to the US 4 years ago. I'm really scared that my kids ( don't have any now) won't speak any Polish. It's seems pretty common that kids with polish heritadge don't know any Polish. Can you please give me some advice how to avoid it? You know ( knew) Polish and have kids, you might know how to make kids interested and have them learn language. Thanks for any help!


  2. Speak Polish to your future kids. They will get plenty of English everywhere else, but if you speak Polish to them, then they will at least be bi-lingual.

    One thing I didn't mention in my original posting: My family visited Poland in 1974 for three weeks and by the end of the trip, I was starting to speak Polish again. I guess the language is still buried some place deep inside my head!