Jak się masz in the Polish language

Jak się masz the Polish phrase is the English equivalent  for how are you? is This is the first phrase most English speakers trying to learn Polish learn.   I think I learned this when I was a kid.  However I did not learn Polish until much latter.  I think most people dabble in Polish for years then buckle down and get serious at another point in time.

Different reactions to the question “Jak się masz” – can you read their faces? What are the girl’ your replies?

Phrases similar to Jak sie masz

All these phrases mean basically the same, an informal hello.  ‘ Co u ciebie’  means ‘what is up with you’.   ‘Jak tam’  is basically  ‘how are you there’.  ‘Jak leci’ is literally ‘how is it flying’,  or more generally, ‘what is going on’.

One of my favorites is,’ jak  leci stary byku’ – but warning, say this only to a guy and it is very informal. This means,’ how is it flying old bull’.

Note that when I wrote ‘Jak sie masz‘ in this  header I dropped the Polish character ę which is sounds like ‘elm’  I do this a lot when I write in Polish, I guess I am just lazy.  Everyone will understand you, but I know its not great, its like a spelling mistake in English.

Train going though the countryside in Poland

How to I say masz jak sie

Jak sie masz is pronounced ‘Yak she mash’ , basically.  Note in the above header I played with the word order.  Again I did this on purpose, to show you that Polish has a flexible word order.  Granted you might never here ‘sie masz jak’ but in Polish anything is possible as it is such a crazy language.

Masz is informal

Jak sie pani ma, might be the formal equivalent of jak sie masz. As ma is the third person of have.  In Polish you speak a formal language to people you do not know. It is almost like you are speaking about them, rather than to them even though they are right in front of you. Jak sie pani ma means ‘how oneself have one madam’  while jak sie masz means ‘how have you’, basically. In general this is a basic Polish phrase for greeting someone.

  • I like jak leci starry bik – hows it going old bull (do not say this to a girl).
  • Or
  • Jak leci – how is it flying.

If you have any questions about jak sie masz or disagree with any of the points above let me know.  I wanted to give you a phrase in Polish and tell you about it so you would learn more than how to say just ‘how are you’ in Polish.

Author: Mark Biernat

I live in with family between two worlds, US and Europe where I create tools for language learning. If you found my site you probability share my passion to be a life long learner. Please explore my site and comment.

6 thoughts on “Jak się masz in the Polish language”

  1. One method that is so great for those who want to learn the English language is to begin with the most commonly spoken words. A new learner can start with the 100 most common words, then the 500 most common words, then the 1000. The truth is that there is just so much more research and materials out there for learning English as a second language simply because of its popularity and because of the ESL or TESOL methods. However, when it comes to learning Polish or any other language for that matter the same principles can be applied. Start with the most common words or phrases and build yourself up from there. How do you know what the most common words are? Well, many are probably the same as in English. Also, consider the language that you most likely hear when experiencing the language.

    1. The is a method I recommend to learn a language. Learn the first 1000 words, and say 200 verbs and in a short time you are speaking and understanding a language at a reasonable level.

  2. My husband just told me that in Polish how are you means Jak się masz? He had known it from his Polish neighbour in Toronto. I live in Canada but originally I am from Dagestan, south of Russia. My native languages are Russian and Kumuk and in Kumuk we say how are you – yaksimysis – something like are you good? Kumuk is from Turk Language family. Really world is so small. Just curious how come they sound alike? Maybe because we both were under Ottoman empire?

    1. Thank you, I have always been interested in how languages share. Of course the Indo-European languages are all related and even Indian words are similar to European. However, this is very interesting about Kumuk. The Caucasus mountains is where it all happened. This area was a cross roads for the world and all migrations and cultures spreading further including the Indo-European. I do not know who influenced who but there seems to be a clear linguistic connection beyond coincidence.
      In fact maybe you discovered something that researchers are not aware. Really.
      I am reading that Native American languages on the North East coast of America, have Norse words in them. This is only being discovered and by an ametuer not a linguist. Maybe you discovered something about the Nakho-Dagestanian languages.

  3. My wife’s grandmother spoke a language she called “Slavish” – it’s not clear exactly what language it was, but at at least part of the family was from what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire, now on the border of Hungary and Slovakia (to the extent that U.S. census records can be trusted in this matter). There is also someone in that branch of the family called “the Russian”, though, so this particular usage might come from different places.

    By the time my wife heard the phrase, saying someone looked “yahkshemash” (ph.) or “like a yahkshemash” had somewhat negative connotations (like “you look like a beggar” might mean today), but I think at its root it referred to someone who dressed like they had in the “old country”.

    It seems pretty clear that it derives from this phrase, though.

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