Based on this photo!

Sometimes I feel so ashamed that I’m not fluent in the language of the country I received my milkteeth in, where I shortened the hems of my skirts in teenage rebellion, where I decided I was adult enough to watch a gore flick. (wasn’t.) This beautiful illustration was sent to me by Julia from the handsome city of Kraków, and here I am, stuck thanking her in English as if I’ve never been to Poland before. Let me try at least, Dziekuje Ci kochanie za ta sliczna ilustracje :D

Pozdrowienia dla wszystkich Polskich czytelniczek (i czytelnikow?)! Przypominacie mi o moim rodzinnym domu!

(OK fine, I got help. Thank you Macku for helping with my crap Polish <3)

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49 Comments

  1. wow that is so gorgeous!
    Know how you feel about the language, my dad’s spanish and 2/3 of my family spanish [big family], and I never speak to them. Not because I don’t want to, but because my Spanish is so bad I just get embarrassed.
    haha, enjoy your weekend.

  2. English must be fairly prevalent in Poland if you can get by without speaking the language, did you not learn Polish because everyone around you always spoke English instead? I’m a bit ashamed to only speak one language, even though both of my parents speak several languages and I learned French in school for years. I’m still stuck just knowing English and understanding broken bits of Spanish and French.

  3. Naah it wasn’t that English was prevalent in Poland, I went to international schools so I never had a chance to become fluent at it! I do understand 80%, just can’t speak/write it :(

  4. It kind of sucks to be mono-lingual. Well, i can speak a bit of Spanish, especially in a pinch (i.e. that time when I was totally lost in somewhere in Spain where no one spoke English). But what a great illustration! It’s beautiful.

  5. totally feel your pain shini. i grew up in the middle east (various countries but all spoke arabic) until i was 16. i can’t speak a word and really wish i could. xx

  6. What a lovely illustration! I try really hard to speak my moth tongue but I’m not too great at it. My sister has sort of rebuked it alltogether. I hope planes don’t help up to lose our diversity

  7. I had no idea you grew up in Poland. That’s pretty sweet!! I, as well, am frustrated that I don’t speak more than English. Like a previous commenter, I can fair alright with Spanish, but sometimes I just feel “behind” even though, I know, English is swiftly becoming the universally recognized language. And yes, beautiful illustration. I simply adore the shape of your face.

  8. I feel the same way with Korean. Though I haven’t been there since I was three, I still feel like I’m missing this large chunk of my heritage by not being fluent in it. I can understand it well enough, but my writing skills are rudimentary at best. Though I can comprehend the enthusiastic sayings of my mom pretty well. :)

    This drawing is am.aaaaazing. It’s so simple yet expressive– this is what I love best about the drawing. Just the bare minimum that shows everything.

  9. Emilia

    Pozdrowienia z deszczowej Warszawy! ;) Well, let me ‘expose myself’ after those quite-a-few months of following your blog… I’m a linguistics student from Warsaw (well, Lodz actually) and ever since I read about you in some Polish lifestyle magazine (SLAJD, methinks…) I’ve been visiting this website regularly, ravenous not only for the extremely inspirational pictures (oh, flattery!) but also for all those linguistically-thrilling comments! Frankly, I’ve got no sense of fashion whatsoever and I’m just next to Susan Boyle in terms of frumpyness, so I used to forgo making any comments; but now that you mention one of my favorite themes in psycholinguistics, I decided to surface…;)
    There’s actually no need for frustration; a coordinate bilingualism is something *quite* impossible to achieve and -if achieved- it’s very transient – you always end up compromising on style, in one language or the other – take Joseph Conrad, once Jozef Korzeniowski, who honed his English a *smidge* too finely and at the end of the day stopped writing in Polish :)
    The modern science sees bilingualism as scalar so even if your Polish’s not perfect, it still makes you bilingual!
    Best regards,
    nevertheless-still-trying-to-be-ever-more-bilingual-herself,
    Emilia

  10. I know how you feel! I can understand 90% of Cantonese but can’t read/write and words I don’t know, I substitute for English- Chinglish some would call it! I went to a Sunday school up until I was 12 but was never motivated to actively learn it. I wish I stayed on.

    That illustration is stunning! It’s been drawn with such amazing detail!

  11. that’s a lovely illustration, simple but lovely. x

  12. I thought you’re fluent in Polish since you grew up in Poland?!

    I’m multi-lingual myself, Hakka (chinese dialect) is my first language which I know 90% of it, can’t speak it well though. Cantonese is my second language which I’m crap at it but I’m good at reading chinese characters. English is my third and currently learning mandarin and korean :D

    Sweet illustration.

  13. Sweetie – that’s so kind that you feel this way. It show that your really emotional and good person.
    Love your blog and if you ever will feel like talking polish – let me know. Pozdrawiam z Krakowa i zapraszam. Teraz jest bardzo pięknie, wiosna przyszła !

  14. Well…I’m not multi-lingual really I’m bi-lingual LOL

  15. Hey Park and Cube
    I feel a bit weird saying this, I have a friend name Lilja and you guys are very alike in a certain way. Some moment in your photos I feel like Im looking at Lilja.

    Im actually multi-lingual .
    It’s darn complicated sometimes but sometimes positively helpful especially when I travel.

  16. polish이해 하는 것 만으로도 멋있어~!!!!^^

  17. I know what you mean, my fiance and his family all speak Afrikanns. I am trying to learn, but it’s hard when your brain no longer retains everything.

    ~F

  18. I love the illustration, she’s an artist definitely. Try to get someone who knows polish to skype with you, I should be doing that avec mon française! XD

  19. oh wow I didn’t know you didn’t speak Polish! I’ve been educated in Chinese from the age of five all the way until high school but I can’t speak it or write it and I can BARELY read it and understand it. Thank goodness I can type Chinese (granted that I kind of know what I want to type…). I BET you’re almost fluent in Korean!

  20. Lovely picture!
    I hope that your Polish some day will be better :)
    I’m keeping my fingers crossed! :))

  21. What a lovely illustration!

    And a great blog Shini, so cleanly designed and interesting posts.

    xx

  22. alice

    i am the product of an international school too, except in a country (holland) where practically everyone speaks english… not a very easy environment to pick up a language. the only way i ever learned was by going to a dutch uni and being surrounded by dutch people, but i still feel so ashamed when i explain how many years i’ve lived here for, in my pretty decent, but obviously foreign, dutch. i don’t want to accept that this is as good as it will get, especially given how easily i picked up english when i first came here. learning a third language is hard.

  23. That’s a beautiful portrait, she captured you so well! Does Julia have a website too?
    I completely get what you mean about the frustration with languages, I’ve studied French since I was 11 but still wouldn’t dare open my mouth in Paris! Oh the shame…

  24. śliczne.

  25. It’s so sweet that you try speak polish. It’s difficult languag, Polish also have problems with it :)
    I wouldn’t be surprised, if you didn’t know it at all. Roman Polanski, who lives in America for ages, has awful polsich-english accent, and his polish is also not good. I’m Julias friend, from Krakow. You are lovely girl Shini, can’t wait to meet you.

  26. eLLy*

    Oh wow! What a doll! And understanding 80% of another langguage is good enough. Maybe you could translate what you wrote for us? ;)

  27. Gorgeous illustration. Don’t be ashamed, you can always learn.

  28. what a nice illustration…

  29. that illustration is so beautiful… i love it!

  30. I understand Hakka too, my mom’s side of my family are all from the New Territories! xx

  31. julia really captured your emotions within your eyes.

  32. Oh same here, both of my grandparents are based in Fanling and Tai Po. The Lee clan’s village is based somewhere in Tai Po. And yours?

  33. woof woof

    umm.. okkay.. WOW!!!

    ur usage of very ”standard” english is delightful.. are you making up for the fact that you stand behind the borderline along with miss boyle when it comes to sexualness?? hmm??

    :D it did amuse me very much tho’. oh and please kindly back off.. sucking upto shini and lavishing her with flattery is MY job and i take it very seriously.. do not make me #&*()($@%#$#@Q%$% you while you sleep..

  34. Beautiful illustration. She’s really captured you!

  35. There’s an award waiting for you in my blog!

    juliet xxx

  36. I didn’t realise that’s where you grew up. I really have so much to catch up on about you, Shini! As the Photodiarist, said, it really does suck to be mono-linguistic. My whole family, it turns out, are pretty crap at learning other languages (maybe because we all use English more than the average family! We’re a pretty chatty bunch).

    Actually it was the Photodiarist who helped me realise I could translate comments on people’s blogs – in French, say – using an online program. Thank god for the internet!!

    That really is a beautiful illustration, I agree, she captured you perfectly.

    Oh! Forgot why I came here. Linking your post in the one I’m about to put up, on Hedvig, who you must meet soon. Hope you’re having a good weekend & see you Tuesday for breakfast ; )

  37. I guess it just happens to the best of us, my father an councilor at a Brazilian embassy
    my mum a brazilian writer both speak portuguese 24/7 and i stick to my 30 minutes
    a day so I wont forget.

  38. yeah dude i lived in hong kong for 18 years and barely speak the language well. I sound like a foreigner trying to blabber some words out and half the time I stare at waiters as if they’re speaking crazy to me. nooo idea whats going on. Anyway pretty illustration, your little mouth looks like a doll haha so cute!

  39. Fantastic penwork Shini! You’ve got wonderful technique – I’m jealous…

    Wish I was multilingual – I only ever manage scraps of every language I study before I move on to another one.

    Love your blog, read it everyday :-) you’re welcome to drop by mine if you want to, although it’s not quite as fabulous as yours!

    Claire xxx
    slightlynoodles.blogspot

  40. My mom’s side is from around Tai Po too. I rarely go back because my Mom is wary of all the relatives appearing and us having to give them laisee. You know the Hakka, that means A LOT of relatives! Haha.

    My dad grew up on HK island so he sees my mom’s side as country bumpkins.

  41. The penmanship is brilliant! Really captures you exactly.

  42. gorgeous illustration! oh and you can try using google translator (thats how i cheat hehe).

    keepitfvncy,
    M.E.

  43. Emilia

    Can language make up for sensuality? Absolutely. Or at least so would my university phonetician say, before he ended up in the dock for harassment. ;b
    So don’t you fondle your consonants too much, or whatever that flurry of symbols stood for…
    :D

  44. Lovely drawing!

  45. i absolutely adore these illustrations!

    xo

    justyna
    chichichic.wordpress.com

  46. Beautiful illustration .

  47. Tamee

    that is soooooooooooo super cool, I mean I always thought that Polish have no sense of style. Such a surprise…
    And trust me, I am saying that cause I am polish…
    p.s. Polish fashion blogs sucks, love urs, so inspirational it actually hurts;)

  48. the google translator si a nice free tool that you can get online~”

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