Caria brought my down to the PAEC dinner last night at the KLA-Tencor offices, where Michal from the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development was speaking. Had some great conversation there, in English of course, but also got to eavesdrop on a lot of conversational Polish. I think I'm falling in love with the language, it sounds so beautiful. And the rhythms melodies of conversation are so totally different from the carefully measured cadences of Rosetta Stone.
Nobody there thought our trip was anything less than a great idea, which was certainly encouraging.
Hah! Another congruency between Polish and English. We just learned the word "potrzebuje" which means "I need". My mnemonic was "Gee, that sounds an awful lot like 'potrzebie' from the old Mad Magazine." And in looking up "potrzebie" to explain it to my pop-culture-deprived wife, I find out that it's more than just a passing similarity:
Potrzebie is a Polish word popularized by its non sequitur use as a running gag in the early issues of Mad not long after the comic book began in 1952. The word is a declined form of the noun "potrzeba" (which means "need").
What's more, one of the early examples is the "Potrzebie System of Weights and Measures":
In issue 33, Mad published a partial table of the "Potrzebie System of Weights and Measures", developed by 19-year-old Donald E. Knuth, later a famed computer scientist. According to Knuth, the basis of this new revolutionary system is the potrzebie, which equals the thickness of Mad issue 26, or 2.263348517438173216473 mm.