A language barrier prevents us from understanding how other cultures look at public administration, as "semantic fields" differ between languages. These differences can never be fully grasped, but what we can do is study what happens when a particular concept crosses the border. In this article we select a concept, public-private partnership, that in recent times migrated from one administrative order, the United States, to another, Poland. We follow this concept on its migration to see how it changes and to find out what these shifts in meaning tell us about the differences between the two social realities involved. © 2010 SAGE Publications.