Episode 35: If Dog Eats Then Not Barks!

Jak pies je, to nie szczeka, bo mu miska ucieka!

English Phonemes: “yahk pyes yeh toh nyeh [SZ][CZ]EH-kah boh moo MEE-skah oo-CHYEH-kah”

Literal Translation: If dog eats then not barks because from him bowl escapes.

Elegant Translation: When a dog is eating, he doesn’t bark, because his bowl is running away.

English Equivalent: One thing at a time.

Caveat: This saying has also been known to start with the word “gdy” instead of “jak”. Gdy is an old, seldom-used word that also means ‘if’. Both jak and gdy are equally valid ways to start this phrase.

The first half is the most common. Jak pies je, to nie szczeka. People usually don’t finish the entire phrase, but they all know it. 

The meaning is that you should do one thing at a time and focus on what’s important, or you’ll let all the opportunities slip out from under your nose.

Jak = if/when
Pies = dog [singular, subject form]
Je = he/she/it eats or is eating
To = then [or this, depending on sentence context]
Nie = not/no
Szczeka = he/she/it barks or is barking
Bo = because
Mu = shortened from “jemu” meaning ‘from him’ or ‘for him’
Miska = bowl [singular, subject form]
Ucieka = he/she/it escapes or is getting away

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Julia Tutko