A. Which test do you think will be the easiest for Anna? Which will be the most difficult? Listen to Anna doing the tests in Kraków and check your answers.

B. Listen again. Mark the sentences T (true) or F (false). Correct the false ones.

1   The taxi driver couldn’t speak English.

2   Anna understood the waitress’s question.

3   She ordered a small Coke.

4   Anna asked for directions to a bank.

5   She couldn’t understand what the woman said.

6   The man on the phone could understand her, but she couldn’t understand him.

7   Anna thought telling the time in Polish was very easy.

8   She didn’t find out what the time was.

9   Kasia gave her eight out of ten for her Polish.



The easiest test for Anna was probably getting a taxi.

The most difficult was asking for directions.


1   F   His English was perfect.

2   T

3   F   She ordered a big beer.

4   F   She asked for directions to a chemist’s.

5   T

6   T

7   F   She knew it was hard/difficult.

8   F   She did because she asked the man to show her his watch.

9   F   Kasia gave her five out of ten for her Polish (and eight for imagination).


I arrived at Kraków airport with Kasia, my guide. Test number one. I had to get a taxi to the hotel. I said to the taxi driver, in Polish, ‘To the Holiday Inn Hotel, please,’ – Prosze, do hotelu Holiday Inn. No problem. The driver understood me. But then he started talking to me in perfect English. I felt a bit stupid.

We got to the hotel, checked in, and then we went to the hotel bar for test number two. A waitress came up to us and I said ‘Prosze piwo,’ that is, a beer please. Then the waitress said something in Polish and I understood her! She said: ‘A big or small beer?’ ‘Big,’ I said. I was so happy that I could understand her. I really enjoyed that beer.

Next we went out into the street for test three, asking for directions. I decided to ask for directions to a chemist, because I knew the word for chemist, apteka. I stopped a woman who looked friendly and I said, in Polish: ‘Excuse me please, is there a chemist’s near here?’ No problem. But then she started talking really fast and pointing. I tried to listen for left or right or anything I could understand but no, I couldn’t understand anything. I was sure that Kasia was going to give me zero for this test!

I was feeling less confident now. We went back to the hotel for test four: making a phone call. Kasia gave me a phone number and told me to ask to speak to her friend. His name was Adam. I dialled the number. A woman answered the phone. ‘Is Adam there?’, I said hopefully. ‘Adama nie ma,’ she said. I understood that! Adam’s not in. I wanted to say ‘When will he be back?’ but I could only say ‘When home?’ Kiedy domu? And I didn’t understand her answer. So I said thank you and goodbye very politely. Kasia smiled, so I thought, well, not bad.

Finally, test five: asking the time, I knew this test was going to be very hard. Numbers in Polish are incredibly difficult and I’ve always found telling the time is impossible. But I had a brilliant idea. I stopped a man in the street and said: ‘Excuse me, what’s the time?’ I couldn’t understand the answer but I just said: ‘Sorry, can I see your watch please?’ He showed it to me. Twenty past seven. Perfect!

How well did I do in the tests? Well, Kasia gave me 5 out of 10 for language and 8 for imagination. So can you learn a language in a month? Not polish, definitely!

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