Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Dog Polish

Nothing to do with maintaining a healthy, shiny coat on your favourite domesticate, but the language that is accidentally learnt when you live with one Polish girl and her two dogs. Residing amongst a couple of Spaniards, an Estonian, a Scot, a girl from France and me, Ewa spoke her native tongue only to her doggies. Which she got in England.

So now I speak dog Polish. Three little words that kept cropping up and at some point crawled into my subconscious, before revealing themselves to my conscious. 'Spokuj', 'cicho' and 'na miejsce' (I thought this was one word, until I got Ewa to spell it), meaning 'calm down' (or calmness), 'be quiet' and 'back to your place' - all have an exclamation mark following them, properly speaking. Until recently, based on previous usage, I'd assumed they roughly meant, 'chill out and stop being a dickhead.'

Last Christmas, Ewa went home to Poland for a few days, and the two Spaniards – Pau and Agus - and I were left in in charge of the pups. Like their owner, they have a fiery nature and, not wholly unlike their owner either, they like to run around making noise. We remembered 'na miesjsce' made them do something Ewa wanted them to do, although we couldn't be really sure what it was. Try as we may, and despite attempting many and various subtleties of pronunciation, we couldn't make them do anything we wanted them to do. I'm entirely certain they understood every word…

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