Polandian po Polsku!

In a moment of madness the good people at WP.PL have agreed to publish a weekly column written by myself. It’s in Polish. I’ll leave you to figure out how I did that. Go there this very second and leave warm and supportive comments.

Banany i bose stopy – czyli co przeraża Polaków

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29 thoughts on “Polandian po Polsku!

  1. Rafal says:

    Wow! My congratulations Jamie.

  2. Bartek says:

    I am not going to try to figure out how you did it and I see they link to original feature, but I am sure the made a good choice to publish this column. Hope you’ll get more fans on the purely Polish side of this country.

  3. odrzut says:

    I always regret reading comments on wp.pl and onet.pl, no matter what was the subject of article it turns into mud swinging.

  4. Scatts says:

    We already talked about this in general so no need to repeat stuff here but good to see it up in print, well done!

    I should say two things:

    1/ I see you chickened out of the “Just the other day when I was writing my Polandian post….” approach. :-)

    [the kind people at WP refuse to give us a link – boooo to them! Then again, if mud slinging is the norm then perhaps we’re better off without one?!]

    2/ To me, that doesn’t read as well as your normal stuff. The English version of course, the Polish translation is impeccable! It reads to me the same as some of my stuff did after Warsaw Insider had bastardized perfectly good text for the sake of giving someone a living as an editor or for cutting it down to the right word count. Apologies if I’m wrong and for saying so but I think you should know.

    3/ What the bloody hell is a Felleton??

    Okay. That was three things.

  5. Ivy says:

    Just because you anglophones can’t remember a word better than “a column”, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feuilleton

  6. Bartek says:

    A Polish felieton is closer to ‘column’ or ‘feature’ than to a French word Ivy linked to.

    Polish felieton is a rather short, amusing writing that appears regularly in a newspaper (less frequently in radio or on TV), in which an author outlines their subjective opinions and views on a certain topic.

    So what’s the English word for such a thing?

  7. Scatts says:

    Jamie will tell you the answer because he’s a professional Felletonista!!

  8. Mariusz says:

    Congratulations! However, I hope you’re still going to write on your wonderful blog!

  9. mjd says:


  10. island1 says:

    The problem is that all these terms are from the print era, they don’t really work for online media. I usually call them ‘columns,’ but I recognise the inappropriateness of the word in a media that doesn’t have physical columns.

    An alternative would be op-ed: an opinion piece written by a named author who isn’t part of the editorial team and appearing, as the name suggests, on the page opposite the editorial. Again, this doesn’t make sense in a media without physical pages.

    In British online media they are usually just called blogs.

  11. island1 says:

    No. Editorials are written by unnamed members of the editorial team.

  12. island1 says:

    Thanks. Of course I will.

  13. island1 says:

    Oddly all the comments seem to have disappeared this morning, perhaps because of today’s devastating news.

    There were around 700 comments (5 hours after the piece went online) last time I looked.

    I didn’t read all of them but they clearly fell into three categories:

    1. Abuse from morons telling me to go back to my monkey island. These people aren’t worth wasting keystrokes on.

    2. Bafflement from people who took the whole thing completely seriously and wondered why they had never been offered slippers at the airport.

    3. Support and appreciation from the remarkably good-looking and intelligent majority.

  14. island1 says:

    1) Stonewalled I’m afraid.

    2) I’m surprised, I thought it was one of my better efforts. Shows what I know. There was no editorial cutting. I am aware that I adjusted my style to make it easier to translate, so maybe that was the problem.

    3) See below for a classic piece of language arrogance disguised as an answer to a perfectly reasonable question.

  15. mjd says:

    Is that a UK thing? I can’t remember the last time I saw an unnamed editorial in the Polish and American papers I read.

  16. island1 says:

    Maybe. I don’t think any of these terms have categorically-fixed meanings. In my mind, the essential thing about an editorial is that it gives the opinion of the editors and, therefore, is usually left unsigned since it represents the opinion of the paper as a whole. Signed opinion pieces are usually op-eds.

  17. mjd says:

    Ah, I see. In that case, perhaps felieton is better described as an op-ed…

  18. chris mcg says:

    I was just getting upset that I couldnt read Polish and take part in the Jamie lovefest when I noticed the handy English translation at the bottom of the page. Very funny mate, you are a natural and the picture looks less like Lou Ferrigno.

    p.s. where can I get some of those issued slippers… my mother in law is giving me dirty looks as I walk from he shower to the bedroom sans footwear.

  19. island1 says:


    Good point, I forgot to mention that it’s also in English (not a translation, it’s the original).

  20. Scatts says:

    1) No worries!

    2) Ah…the old style adjustment trick. I think that was the problem. Shorter sentences, more to the point, simple words. It read more like an instruction manual than a novel, if you see what I mean. Still, the good news is that I’m the only one who noticed or cares!

    3)Perhaps there was a smiley missing?

  21. Madja says:

    Jamie, thank you! I found “Polandian” only yesterday and by chance. I am a Pole, who lives in USA and of course the last 5 days have been horribly hard for me and my husband. Your web site gave us a great “cheer-us-up”. We love your style and find most of your observations hilariously undeniable. Thank you for writing about Poland and Poles with such warmth, kindness and sense of humor. Thanks to all contributors, too!

    Of course, I write it all sitting at the kitchen table in my kapcie z Zakopanego :-)

    Greetings from Arizona!

  22. island1 says:

    Welcome to the fold! Thanks for the kind words

  23. Polander says:

    “Projekt Mur” (creative virtual reality: – Polonia murem za rządem stoi) i “Projekt Bocian” (socjotechniczno-perswazyjny: – zostańcie, zostańcie, nie wyjeżdżajcie, zostańcie z nami, bo najlepsze i najzdrowsze dla bocianów jest Mazowsze, gdzie możecie zarobić nawet 3000 zł miesięcznie brutto).

    via Korespondentura zagraniczna « Wirtualna ciuciubabka.

  24. Oh, my. Congratulations!

  25. KDK_DD says:

    Having first read Mrs Stokes’ recent article on DP’s website, I was a wee bit disappointed to find that your “bananas and bare feet” simply reiterate the points she’s been making. So you’ve added the “English male” touch for which we all love you so much – good for you, but I sincerely hope you will not continue copying each other – it can get boring, you know.

  26. Paulina says:

    Great text, 100% true!:) Fingers crossed for more!

  27. So, I will say you congratulations.

    I believe you have discovered the secret of being the successful writer: just write. If it any good, people will soon find it and demand more. Then also maybe even offer you money to write !

    But, you already knew this information, didn’t you ?! :-)



    Rivne – UA.

    ps – I see that President of mine was in your nation today paying his respects. I hope he got permission first from Putin :-)

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