Myths and Stereotypes About Poland

Posted by Szymon Chmiel | November 17, 2016

Myths Stereotypes about poles

Despite the fact that Poland is a dynamically developing European country, there are still many false myths about the country and the citizens. In this article, we will bring the most popular ones, enjoy reading!

1. Poles are alcoholics

This is one of the most popular myths about Poles. Yes, we drink a lot, and we love vodka. Referring to the WHO report Pole annually drinks 12.5 liters of pure alcohol per head. Ok, it may seems a lot but we are not the leaders on this category. Ahead of us, there are countries such as for example: Russia, Belarus, Moldova or Portugal.

bottle of wine

2. Poles are thieves

Contrary to the stereotype, Polish shoppers are among the most honest in the world (According to The Global Retail Theft Barometer report). Please remember that thefts happen anywhere in the world and you should always keep an eye on your belongings.

3. Poles are Russians

It may seem strange, but it is also frequently repeated stereotype. People still confuse Polish language with Russian, they believe that we are part of Russia, and the streets are full of white bears.

4. Poles do not speak foreign languages

According to English Proficiency Index statistics, Poland is ranked as the 10th country in the world (among non-English speaking countries) with English proficiency skills. Poland’s position is higher then countries like Belgium, Switzerland, Spain or France.

This stereotype might come directly from Poles. Only 8% of them declare knowledge of at least one foreign language (in the case of young people this figure is much higher). On the other hand, learning foreign languages, also exotic, eg. Japanese is now in vogue as evidenced by the numerous language schools and the popularity of the language studies.

5. Poles complain much

Sure, we like to complain a lot but as our defence could be the fact that the history really brought us to this. On the other hand, we always had a lot of distance to each other and we have a great sense of humour.


6. Poles are not tolerant

In comparison with other European countries, Poland’s population of other nationalities is rather low. However, 3/4 Poles believe that our country should give refuge to those persecuted because of belief or political activity, as well as those who flee from armed conflicts. These data show that the poles are not as intolerant as some believe.

As many countries as many stereotypes about them. Some of them are true and some of them are completely false. If we have the opportunity, let’s remember to approach every country with an open mind and develop opinions about them based on personal experience.

If you met with other stereotypes about Poles, write about them in the comments section below.

Also, visit our blog to find out more about Poland.

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