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The best way for me to learn Polish

23 Nov 2008 /  #31
I'm also not one for learning set-phrases, to me it's pointless. I have a grammar book by Dana Bielec called Polish: An Essential Grammar and 301 Polish Verbs: Fully Conjugated in All the Tenses by Klara Janecki.

No book is perfect, perhaps there are better ones, but these two have done me OK for the beginner's stage of learning Polish. I just tend to memorise reams and reams of material. There's no avoiding memorisation, just learn to love it.

I tend to write, re-write, re-write etc. the same stuff out over the course of several days, and find that it goes to long-term memory that way. Just learning a word or verb on a single occasion ensures that I've forgotten it by the end of the week. You've just got to be patient.

The most important things are practice and patience (I think)!

Practice: Do you have any Poles at work? I've got two, and both are keen to improve their English, so I teach them English, they teach me Polish. A good swap!

Patience: Since Polish is a West Slavic language (our lovely English being a Germanic language, though lots of Romance in it too), it is sufficiently different to our native tongue to require years of day-in, day-out practice.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
23 Nov 2008 /  #32
Try polish grammar, it may help out
Bondi 4 | 142  
26 Nov 2008 /  #33
the thing that helped me most was watching Teletubbies in Danish

That made my day. FOTCH
(falling off the chair laughing)
figsdf - | 3  
30 Nov 2008 /  #34
How about a good Polilsh friends?
Mystic 2 | 48  
12 Apr 2009 /  #35
Apr 12, 09, 09:04 - Thread attached on merging:
Easiest Way to Learn Polish?

I know this is a very generalized question, but I'm curious at to what the most efficient way would be to learn Polish.

My grandma taught me how to bless myself in Polish and she's taught me a few sayings, but she's also told me that it's incredibly difficult to learn. She goes to Poland every few years to visit family, but she can only read the language. She can speak it to an extent, but not fully enough to teach me. I'm only 17 and I'm obviously in no rush to learn it now, but I would like to learn it in the future.

In school I've taken 4 years worth of Latin, but that's the extent of my languages (well, besides being fluent in English since I do live in the US after all).

Would videos be best? Books? Taking Polish in college? A lot of colleges I'm looking at don't offer Polish directly, but most do offer Slavic languages/culture.

My boyfriend is fluent in Russian and my grandma has told me there are some minute similarities in the languages, but I've also found Russian quite difficult to pick up. I know how to ask some questions in Russian and say some things, but that's about it. I wouldn't even be able to read a word in Russian.
krysia 23 | 3,058  
12 Apr 2009 /  #36
Russian is similair to Polish but it's a totally different language including the spelling.
there are cd's, tapes, etc. You just have to dedicate yourself to learning.
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595  
12 Apr 2009 /  #37
The absolutely best way to learn a language is to live with someone who speaks it, and try to communicate more and more in that language.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
12 Apr 2009 /  #38
Spot on, PolishSwede. My fiancee doesn't speak English to me, it's Polish all the time. This is really helpful and English can always be a fallback in extreme cases. I have learned a lot and I'm grateful for that.

You Swedes are pretty quick on the uptake with languages. Most Swedes speak English to a high level, compared with certain other nations.
southern 75 | 7,096  
12 Apr 2009 /  #39
Easiest way is by chatting in internet or by studying language books.
Mystic 2 | 48  
12 Apr 2009 /  #40
Language books certainly helped me with Latin, so maybe I'll give that a try. I was pretty good at Latin and it was easy for me to memorize most things, but my teacher wasn't the best at explaining the different cases (I believe there are around 7? in Latin), hence why I didn't take AP. I did get up to Pre-Ap though! :)

I just love learning about my ancestry and I've been wanting to learn Polish for quite some time...
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595  
12 Apr 2009 /  #41
You Swedes are pretty quick on the uptake with languages. Most Swedes speak English to a high level, compared with certain other nations.

At least when it comes to English. We have about 700-800 hours English in school (normally we have English for 11 years). You can't go to High School if you don't pass your exams in Swedish, Math and English. So we don't have so much choice, we have to learn English.

I believe there are around 7? in Latin

Yes, I think it's 7 in both Latin and Polish, if I'm not mistaken.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
13 Apr 2009 /  #42
Necessity being the driving force. It stacks the pressure on you but the Swedes are a confident bunch. How's your Polish, SP?
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595  
13 Apr 2009 /  #43
How's your Polish, SP?

Hehe... it's still kind of limited. But I feel I get better and better, so that gives motivation. Fortunately it's not the first foreign language I learn, so I already had some general linguistic knowledge (it helps a lot). If I get stuck I probably have to get a Polish girlfriend.

And you?
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
13 Apr 2009 /  #44
I always find that a hard thing to evaluate. Being a teacher who has learned 3 languages in the past, it is somewhat easier (French at school, Japanese and, of course, English). Polish came through desire. Some things just stay with you. There's a French teacher at my school and she reckons I'm still quite good with the vocab side of it.

I can think in Polish quite well but still have problems with cases. I haven't reached the tap stage yet where I can switch at will. I'm best at listening and translating what others say. Still a fair way to go though.
13 Apr 2009 /  #45
the best way too lern polish it's just speakinh in this language... find somebady who you can mail and do it :P
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595  
14 Apr 2009 /  #46
still have problems with cases

That's a nightmare. But I have seen that it's not impossible.

Practise makes perfect!
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
14 Apr 2009 /  #47
Practice makes perfect for sure! It can be done, just watch Europa da się lubić for encouragement :)
14 Apr 2009 /  #48
or watch cartoon's in polish :D
mafketis 35 | 12,588  
14 Apr 2009 /  #49
I used to watch Cartoon Network a lot (though I hate most modern cartoons and stopped).

Some of it wasn't great (cow and chicken is dumber in Polish than the original) but others are great. I've always like the Powerpuff Girls and they're even better in Polish (Atomówki). Partly this is because the Professor sounds like their father and not like the disinterested observer he sounds like in American... And Mojo Jojo is also great in Polish (just pronounce the j's as in Polish) maybe even funnier than in the original.
chelsinka - | 1  
17 Apr 2009 /  #50
i have been learning polish a year and i found that the best way to do it is to listen to people speaking it while you are trying to learn because you recognise things.

also i have alot of polish audio on my ipod and i listen to the music,which helps.:)

another great thing to do which i have done and found VERY helpful is to set yourself a task to learn a certain amount of words a week.

i started with nouns.:)

good luck!
polilang - | 5  
17 Apr 2009 /  #51
Have You tried a Polish school?
There are several in London for instance.

The one I recommend is

My boyfriend is attending the classes in that school.
18 Apr 2009 /  #52
I'm just starting out with the language, but I'm determined to learn it. One thing that has helped so far has been listening to the Polish versions of songs I already know. I found a bunch of disney songs on youtube and looked up the lyrics. Being able to follow along like that has actually really helped me to pick up on pronounciation. It's very nice now; I can look at a word in Polish and figure out how to pronounce it correctly (or at least get very very close) without having to look up an audio clip of it.
F15guy 1 | 160  
18 Apr 2009 /  #53
Tell your girlfriend to only speak Polish to you. (And don't pretend to not understand when she wants to do something you don't).

Total immersion at home will lead to fluency. One problem could be use of the familiar forms of address, but you can switch forms every other week.
southern 75 | 7,096  
18 Apr 2009 /  #54
Make your girlfriend say always tak and not nie.
Marek 4 | 867  
18 Apr 2009 /  #55
Crossword puzzles (rozrywki, krzykowski) are also a super way of learning new and interesting vocabulary-:))))
blindside70 - | 13  
19 Apr 2009 /  #56
The first thing to do is to find a basic course with real dialogues and listen listen listen listen. Translate the dialogues and study the vocabulary you don't know. Don't worry too much about grammar, you can check it out if you want but they most important thing is to listen to those basic dialogues A LOT. You'll build from that, filling in the blanks and trying to remember 14 forms in the singular and plural is crazy. It's enough to know they exist and that you suck them in slowly.

Get and ipod and a good course with dialogues (Polish in 4 weeks was good for me) and listen to the dialogues over and over again, you won't learn in 4 weeks but you start to internalize the language. After you're done withthat you can start moving on to real material and people and slowly step by step begin to internalize it better and better...
F15guy 1 | 160  
19 Apr 2009 /  #57
(Polish in 4 weeks was good for me)

Is it on line?
Davey 13 | 388  
20 Apr 2009 /  #58
I just learned the pronounciation, starting building vocabulary by translating Polish songs, studied the grammar intensively(still am), read a lot of books, travelled to Poland, and now am in an upper year Polish class
20 Apr 2009 /  #59
Sorry, I misspelled the word "krzyżówki"-:))))

serca 1 | 18  
21 Apr 2009 /  #60
I have been learning ( more then studying) Polish for about 6 weeks now.

The word I most used was

I studied mandarin, and I found thiseasier then Polish. Mainly because there are few words that I can relate to. Beside jeden, dwa, trze...

But I found the wikipedia sites useful.
And for the rest I try to have my Polish boyfriend translate me all kind of words. I do the same for him in Dutch, as he is living with me in Belgium.

But one day I will be addressing my skąnzę in his native language and I am sure that will make him VERY proud.
What one does for love.......


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