Kicking the Poles Again

It's been days since the Daily Mail had a go at the Polish (yesterday, I think, when it had a story about Eastern Europeans sending money back to their homeland instead of investing it in Northern Rock, maybe?). Today's little gem is a complete non-story but it is guaranteed to bring the usual suspects out from under the bridges by the stream.

Polish phrase cards handed out to firefighters 17th September 2007

Firefighters in Lancashire are being handed Polish phrase-cards with sentences including 'What is on fire?' and 'Are you hurt?' to help cope with an influx of eastern Europeans.
Free Polish classes are also on offer to firefighters, to help make them understood by the 50,000 Polish immigrants who have settled in Lancashire neighbourhoods.
Most have arrived since the country was admitted to the European Union.
But Polish communities are said to be instinctively suspicious of any uniformed services due to experiences in their homeland.
The card has been produced to try and gain their help and support.
As well as the cards, firefighters have been attempting to raise awareness on the dangers of incidents sparked off by drying clothes over fires, cooking, and people drinking or smoking.
Therefore thousands of fire safety leaflets have also been printed in Polish and distributed across the county.
Assistant chief fire officer Peter O'Brien said that many Poles lived in shared houses which were often overcrowded and considered to be a fire hazard.
He said: "The accommodation being used is often poorly maintained and, when combined with over-crowded conditions, the risk of fire occurring and causing serious injury or death is heightened."
Phrases included in the leaflet:
• Are you Polish?
Czy jestes Polakiem?
•Do you know anyone who speaks English?
Kto Mowi Po Angielsku?
• How many people live here?
Ile osob tu mieszka?
•Is everyone out?
Czy wszyscy sa na zewnatrz?
• Where is the fire situated?
Gzdie dokladnie jest pozar?
• What is on fire?
Co jest w plomieniach?
• Is there anyone in the building?
Czy jest ktos w tym budynku?
• Are you hurt?
Czy jestes ranny?

Let's see who can be first to use the phrase 'political correctness' or do-gooders.

How about handing out ENGLISH phrase cards to POLES, which seems to me to more logical - or, are we to fit in with all the foreigners that come here, rather than the other way round?- Mike Randall, Worcester England

What nonsense. Isn't English still the official language of Lancashire?I can't imagine the local sapeur-pompier shouting to me in English if my house here in France caught fire.- Burrator, St Sulpice. France

Why can't the Polish people learn English if they want to live in this country? Give them free language lessons instead of the firefighters. Surely the firefighters have enough to do without going to Polish classes. I am assuming the Polish people will need to speak English if they want to get a job in this country?- Frances, Chatham

How about handing Polish people English phrase cards so they can tell US whats wrong?- Chris Carr, Southampton

Would it not be better if the people coming here learned English instead of the indigenous population learning Polish or any other language? This just another example of the British having to change to accomodate immigrants no other country does it.- William., Bolton UK

I suppose asking the Poles to learn our language would be out of the question.- Lickyalips, Richmond, Surrey

How are the firefighters meant to understand the responses they get to the questions on the cards?- Adrian, Reading, UK

So when Polish people reply in Polish how are the firefighters going to understand them?- Andy G, Norwich

So much for the learn English policy the government was ranting about. Nobody should suffer from fire in the home but it's hardly the responisbility of the fire brigade to learn how to communicate with immigrants who should realy not be here withouit been able to communicate with the wider population as a whole.- Ibbo, Leeds, UK

I got a better idea. Get the Polish to learn ENGLISH!- George, Bath

Here is an idea for the Poles coming here - LEARN ENGLISH. I wouldn't dream of moving to another country without learning the language. It's manners for a start.- Ali, Worcester, UK

Wouldn't it be more sensible if they spoke English before they came here?- Jacqui Weems, Southampton

Why oh why are we not insisting Poles living in the UK learn English? I live in Poland we have no translators, no help and no forms in Polish. You have to learn Polish or you cannot survive here. Why are we going out of our way to ensure another influx of immigrants don't assimilate because they can't/won't speak the language?- Steve, Warsaw

So what about all the other Eastern European languagues then? Do those people not matter when their house is burning down? Do the fireman have to carry cards in about 30 languages then? What if communication is impossible with, say, a Czech person - would they then have the right to sue the fire brigade?Yet again this highlights the total maddness that listening to the politically correct do-gooders will cause.- L. G,, Berkshire, UK

What a farce. If these people want to live and work in England then they must learn our language. Remember they have chosen to relocate to England, it's their responsibility to communicate in our language.- Anon, Surrey

It will not work. I have sung in Polish at weddings and had to learn the words Polly parrot fashion and what is written sounds entirely different spoken.What about giving the Polish immigrants English cards - surely in a fire situation it would be quicker.- Alice Hunt, Lincoln

If translating what a Polish person says when asked a question, is like using a phrase book when on holiday, the house will have burned down by the time it has been sorted out.- D.Walker, Burnley England

Obviouisly, none of these stalwarts of the community goes on holidy abroad or has a holiday home (or emigrates to hotter climes). Strangely, no mention of the Auf Wiedersehen, Pet workers in Germany in the 80s. Could any of them speak German fluently other than to order a beer?

Also, notice Steve in Warsaw does not mean what he actually wrote. Read it first Steve. Then you won't make an arse of yourself!

Good to see the clinically sane Weems woman is back on form. She likes Poles a lot. Maybe she has Polish relatives.