History of Poland part 2

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A Brief history of Poland Part 2

From bust to boom!

 

In last week’s post, we looked at the how Poland was conquered by the Polans (Polanie in Polish) tribe. Until the end of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1795, Poland’s first republic had fallen at the hands of Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Prussia and the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy.

 

In the period between 1795 and 1918, Poland was no longer an independent state. It was ruled by it’s conquering kingdoms. The Poles, being strong and resilient people, did not simply roll over and admit defeat. This led to the Polish resistance movements. The resistance movement lasted unit its last failed uprising against the Russian uprising of 1863. From then on, the resistance moved its focus to “organic work”. It focused instead on education initiatives to preserve its nation’s identity. It was only after WWI, that Poland was able to regain its independence. The three imperial powers controlling Poland had been left fatally weakened in the aftermath of the war and revolution.

 

In 1918

Finally, Poland established its the Second Republic. Unfortunately, the Second Polish Republic only last until 1939, Poland was one of the first countries to fall at the beginning of WWII. The Invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union was one the main triggering points of WWII. Sadly millions of Polish citizens perished during this time. The Nazi occupation classified Poles, other Slavs, Jews and Romani as subhuman. Germany’s plan was to exterminate the Jews and Gypsies and to enslave all the ethnic Poles and Slavs.

An exiled Polish government functioned throughout the war and contributed as much as possible the allies. Polish soldiers even went to fight alongside the British and Allied forces.

 

In 1945, Poland was now under the control of the  Soviet Red Army, who forced out the weakened German forces. The Soviets established a communist satellite state of the Soviet Union known as the Polish People’s Republic from 1952.

 

As a result of the Allies victory at the end of the war in 1945, the geographic center of Poland was moved westwards. The newly defined Polish lands had lost a lot of their history and culture because of the Nazis, which could also be down to the extermination and mandatory migration of ethnic groups during the war.

 

By the late 1980s, Poland had seen the rise of a reform movement called Solidarity (in Polish – Solidsarnośćsc). The movement was critically a peaceful transition to a capitalist economic regime and a liberal parliament. Quite impressively, the Poland we know today has only been established since 1989, when the Third Polish Republic was founded.

 

And as they say, the rest is history! Poland’s economy has grown at an astonishing rate over the last 28 years to the sixth largest in the EU. We’re looking forward to seeing what the future holds for Poland 🙂

A Brief History of Poland – Part 1

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A Brief History of Poland

Everyone has heard of Poland, but not many people know her history. That’s why over the next two weeks, we’re going to be taking a look at Poland’s history. From the humble settlements of the dark ages to the sixth largest economy in Europe, we’ll take you on a journey through time.

The birth and rise of Poland

Welcome to the what was thought to be the end of the world, the Middle Ages. After the fall of the mighty Roman Empire, Christianity was free to spread like wildfire through Europe. This led to most Europeans becoming nomadic, constantly searching for retribution.

The territory of today’s Poland was inhabited by many tribes, the strongest of them, Polans (Polanie in Polish), gave name to the nation.

The area of central Europe known today as Poland can trace its history back to the Middle Ages. The first recorded dynasty was the Piasts. The Polans tribe, led by Duke Mieszko, settled in the region after the Germanic tribes had left. His main aims were claiming the land and building forts. The Duke was baptised in 966 AD which was the main reason that Christianity was the country’s first religion, and still is today in fact.

The Piast periHistory of Polandod of growth and prosperity lasted till roughly 1385. Over the period, Poland had grown in all aspects of art, culture, and most importantly political stature. After the death of the last duke of the Piast era, he didn’t have a male heir to succeed him. This led to a new period of Polish history known as the Jagiellonian era. The 14th and 16th centuries brought about a cultural Renaissance in Poland. This period also brought ties with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. This led to the joint expansion of territories, eventually culminating in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1569.

 

After establishing a noble democracy in the country, midway through the 17th century, the state entered a period of decline caused by devastating wars and an eroding political system. Some much needed internal reforms were then made during the later part of the 18th century, the most notable reform being the Constitution of May 3rd, 1971. Sadly the neighbouring powers of the Commonwealth prevented any further advancement. In 1795, after a series of invasions from nearly all sides, including the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Prussia, and the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy, the Commonwealth union and Poland as a truly free independent state came to an end.

In Part 2, we’ll take a look at the Polish Resistance Movements and Poland’s Part in the both World Wars.

 

AploqTranslations would like to thank Medievalists.net for the resources used in writing this week’s post

Poland’s finest holiday spots and the Polish phrases you’ll need to know!

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Poland’s finest holiday spots and the Polish phrases you’ll need to know!

Poland is often overlooked as one of Europe’s top destinations to visit. That’s why this week, we’re looking at seven of Poland’s finest holiday spots. But before we start, we’d just like to teach you some of the phrases you might need to use during your trip (though don’t worry, most Polish people speak awesome English!).

Ten Polish translations of commonly holiday phrases

  • Do you speak English? – Mówisz po angielsku?
    • (Pronouced Move-esh po ang-eel-sku)
  • Where is…? – Gdzie jest….?
    • (Pronouced G-jeah  yest)
  • Excuse me/ Pardon/ Sorry – Przepraszam
    • (Pronouced pshe-prasham)
  • Please – Proszę
    • (Pronouced proshia)
  • Thank you – Dziękuję
    • (Pronouced Jenk-co-yea)
  • Hello – Dzień dobry
    • (Pronouced Gen Dob-ray)
  • Goodbye – Do widzenia
    • (Pronouced Do Vee-gen-ya)
  • How much does it cost? – Ile to kosztuje?
    • (Pronouced il-eh ta Kosh-too-yea)
  • Can I have a beer/wine? – Jedno piwo/wino
    • (Pronouced jed-no Pivo/Vino)
  • Can I have the bill/check – Poproszę o rachunek
    • (Pronouced po-pro-she o ra-who-neck)

Kraków

We thought we’d start off with the beautiful city of Kraków. You can’t go to Poland without visiting Kraków’s breathtaking market square and Wawel, which even has its own fire breathing dragon! Although you simply have to try Polish classics like bigos or pierogi, we’d definitely recommend paying MoaBurger a visit while you’re in town. We’d also recommend taking a trip to the outskirts of town, to the Wieliczka salt mines. The mines go for miles underground and have been painstakingly decorated by one of the miners. It’s also the perfect place to go if you find the summer heat a little too much.

 

Krakow

Auschwitz

Once the largest of the Nazi concentration camps, Auschwitz has over 1.1million visitors a year and it’s located just outside of Kraków. Although it may not be the happiest of places to visit on your holidays, it is somewhere that you really have to experience.

Auschwitz

Warsaw – Poland’s capital city

Warsaw is incredible. Being a major European capital, it has most of the big-name shops that you might not expect to see in Poland. There are plenty of low cost walking tours to do, or if you have 20 euros, you can see the whole city by doing a 3-hour cycling tour. The city is also home to more history and monuments than you can shake a stick at. There are also plenty of companies doing day trips to Kraków and Auschwitz.Warsaw

Zakopane

Most cities boast both an old and a new town. Zakopane, on the other hand, has never forgotten its traditional roots and incorporated this traditional style into its newer buildings. If you like skiing, it’s the perfect spot for a winter break as it’s right at the base of the Tatra mountains.

Zakopane

Gdańsk

 

 

Poland’s not really famous for its beaches, but one visit to Gdańsk will change your mind. The city is home to an old town and a new town, and has a very rich history to it. Must see spots include The Great Mill, the Solidarity museum and Malbork Castle. But….as beautiful as the city is, the beaches in Gdańsk are even better 😉

Gdansk

Wrocław

It may be the hardest city in Poland to pronounce (well, maybe Szczecin beats it), but it is definitely worth seeing (not just because we’re based there!). Last year it was voted the European Capital of Culture. If you are looking for a romantic weekend away, Wrocław is the place to go. The city is known for hosting many street festivals during the summer, as well as being famous for its farmers markets. It is also the proud home of Aploq Translations (sorry, we couldn’t help mentioning it again :D).

Wroclaw

Masurian Lake District

Last but definitely not least, in the north-eastern region of Poland, Masuria is home to over 2,000 lakes! The region was one of the 28 finalists for New7Wonders of Nature. The lakelands cover roughly an area of 52,000 square kilometers. If you’re an outdoorsy type like we are at Aploq, you will love it here. The region is perfect for boating, canoeing, fishing, hiking, biking, and generally anything sporty.

 

Masurian lake district

 

 

If you’d like more info about Poland, or just want to pay us a visit, all you have to do is get in touch. We’ll also help you with all your Polish translations 🙂

P.S. Thank you to MaxPixel and PxHere for all the great free images for this post!

 

 

Tips for doing business in Poland

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Thinking about expanding your business in Poland? Or partnering up with a Polish company?

Here’s what you need to know for doing business in Poland.

Polish flag

Polish economic facts

Poland proudly holds the sixth largest economy in the E.U., with a population of over 38.5 million. 71.3% of that is between the ages of 15-65 years old, meaning a whopping 27.4 million workers! Poland is actually one of the few countries that didn’t join the European currency as they remained sovereign and kept the Zloty (PLN) (which actually translates to gold). As you can see, Poland definitely has a market worth breaking into. So that’s why we’d like to go through some tips on doing business in Poland.

Poland was one of the first of the ex-communist countries to adapt to privatization and economic freedom. They were so successful because the government was able to privatize most of the small and medium sized companies, and at the time they were also able to secure a large amount of diMap of Polandrect foreign investment.

Germany, The UK, Czech Republic, France, Italy, the Netherlands and even Russia are the main exporters of Polish goods and services. Poland mainly specialises in machinery, transportation equipment, and general food stuffs, as well as exporting machinery parts, intermediate manufactured goods, livestock and miscellaneous manufactured goods. Funnily though, manufacturing only makes up 33% of the economy, with services making up a huge 63%, leaving agriculture with 3.6% of the economy.

Business in Poland

On a personal level, Polish people are very open and friendly. Saying that, during a meeting Poles are very straightforward and focus on professionalism. The aim of this is to keep the meeting a clear divide between work and pleasure. Once outside of the formal setting, you can expect to see a completely different side to your business partners.

Don’t be late! Here’s what is acceptable;

  • Be on time, though 5mins late is ok
  • Any later than 10mins = call ahead
  • Any later than 20mins = reschedule

Business etiquette Do’s and Don’ts of Poland

  • Do be polite and courteous.
  • Don’t shake hands in the doorway (sign of bad luck).
  • Do shake hands with everyone after the meeting.
  • Don’t listen to the tips they give you on the internet 😊 Many suggest kissing a woman’s hand – this should never be done at a business meeting!
  • Men should always hold the door open for a woman
  • To break the ice why not bring a little local present with you – something small and typical from where you come from will go down a treat.

If you’re thinking about expanding into Poland, talk to Aploq and find out how we can help you grow!

Should you want to know more about the facts and figures of Poland, you can find plenty here thanks to the Poland.Gov

 

 

Poles who changed the world

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This week we’ve decided to step away from translations, and give you an insight into Poland’s rich heritage. To start things off, we thought we’d introduce you to some of the famous Poles who’ve helped to save millions of lives.

 

The Bulletproof Vest

Much like the Irish and many other nationalities, Poles have traveled the world and established roots in nearly evKazimierz Zegleneery country. This is exactly what happened to Kazimierz Żegleń, a catholic priest. He went off in search of greener pastures and ended up travelling to America back in 1890. His long journey not only paid off professionally as his flock grew to over 40,000, but also hobby wise. When he wasn’t busy baptizing etc., Żegleń started spending his spare time trying to find something bulletproof to fill a vest with. After trying to use everything including hair, moss, and even week old donuts, he finally found that silk did the job. As crazy as it sounds, his silk vest was worn by a friend during a protest. Low and behold, after 8 shots, his friend was still alive and kicking!

 

The Mine Detector

Have you ever been worried that you’d have your leg blown off while walking in the woods? Ok, we know it’s not really much of an issue anymore is it, but just imagine you were back fighting in world war two. Mines were a big problem for soldiers, which inspired Polish officer Józef Kosacki to create the mine detector. His basic design was used by armies worldwide for over 50 years, only retiring back in the 1991 Gulf War.

 

Jozef Kosacki

 

Marie Sklodowska Curie

Pretty much everyone has heard of Marie Curie. But did you know she’s Polish? She was born in Warsaw and later moved to Paris to finish her studies in her mid-twenties. She was the first woman to receive a Nobel prize, and only the second person to ever have won twice. It’s quite hard to sum up all of her amazing achievements in a just few lines, but one of them has to be developing the theory of radioactivity. She also discovered polonium and radium, and developed the first mobile radiography units to provide X-ray services to field hospitals.Marie Curie