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Common mistakes made by foreigners in Polish

alanko - | 12  
30 Jan 2008 /  #61
not sure if "noh" has its origins in the slovak for yes "ano" you get used to it after a while nodding whilst saying no!
jkn005 1 | 127  
30 Jan 2008 /  #62
my girlfriend says that often and i always ask "polish 'no' or english 'no'?"... ;-)
but yes. that is quite confusing...

My response is usually is that no no or no yes
Davey 13 | 388  
31 Jan 2008 /  #63
my girlfriend says that often and i always ask "polish 'no' or english 'no'?"

Hahahah I always do that when I am talking to my relatives there because we talk in both languages....but they are convinced Polish 'no' sounds different
rog1201 - | 16  
26 Feb 2008 /  #64
Yes it is. Polish <no> is so hard and short
and English <no> is long and sound (nooołł) :)))

Tak polskie <no> jest takie twarde i krótkie
a angielskie Polacy wymawiają dłuugo jak nooołł
Moonlighting 31 | 234  
7 Mar 2008 /  #65
As a native French-speaker, I have a constant problem with 'r'.

I've had it since I learnt a bit of Spanish in high school. That's 20 years ago. I was never able to pronounce it correctly.

Now, with Polish, I also have a problem to distinct 'przy' and 'prze' when heard. I can pronounce them well but sometimes I don't clearly hear it when somebody else speaks.

For the good news, my teacher said I pronounce the 'ą' and 'ę' perfectly and I can pronounce with adequate difference the 'ż / ź / rz' sounds.

Something that took me some time to speak out fluently is words containing series of sounds 'sz / cz' following each other, especially if is repeated in the same word but now I'm OK. For example: 'szczypczyki'.

As for declensions, the principle was easy to understand as I learnt Latin and German in high school, but I often have problems finding the correct ending depending on the case. I mean, finding the right case is OK, but finding the right spelling among those which are available for the specific case isn't easy. For example, is it 'a' or 'u' ? Or is it 'y', 'i' or 'e' ? not to mention that some consonants may change before the vowel...

The only grammar concept that was new to me was the difference between 'imperfective' and 'perfective' verbs, but it was easy to understand.

All in all, I'm happy to learn Polish and it is a beautiful language. Its sophistication adds to its refinement.
QueenMaud 2 | 10  
12 Mar 2008 /  #66
I'm only a beginner at Polish but i'm kinda thinking that learning it fluently is impossible... :(
Jenni - | 19  
23 Apr 2008 /  #67
Here's one of my many mistakes.. The thing about Polish is there's lots of slang! I can never be 100% sure of what im saying especially since this incident.. I was trying to ask a question about grammatical structures so i decided to use (what i thought was a..) nice simple phrase.. i said 'Moj chlopak ma kota' which translates directly as 'my boyfriend has a cat' .... But actually i said 'my boyfriend is a lunatic' :-D
oliver twist - | 121  
23 Apr 2008 /  #68
But actually i said 'my boyfriend is a lunatic' :-D

HA HA ha ha ha , is he???
Jenni - | 19  
24 Apr 2008 /  #69
No, fortunately he's not ;-) wanna hear another of my embarrassing 'attempting to speak my lover's language' moments??????

I was in his house but i did the cooking and cleaning cos he was tired after work, then i put on a movie and gave him a massage.. and i wanted to joke and say something like 'i'm your little housewife' . So anyway i knew that 'dom' means home and lots of feminine things end in 'a' and i must have heard the word before (dont ask me where!) and assumed that it meant housewife so ..... as i was giving him a massage i said 'jestem twoja domina!!' = 'I'm your dominatrix' :-/ Haha :-P never been so embarrassed...

I could go on.... In my attempt to learn Polish sometimes i use sentences half in English and half in Polish and i asked him one time if he wanted some 'lody'.... I meant ICE CREAM of course! Thank God he knows im innocent really!!!!!!!!!

P.S. that's the end of my embarrassing stories for now cos im a newbie and i probably should try to avoid ruining my reputation just yet ;-) lol
oliver twist - | 121  
24 Apr 2008 /  #70
'I'm your dominatrix' :-/ Haha :-P never been so embarrassed...

Ha Ha sounds lke he is a lucky man.. I don't think stories like this will ruin your reputation they are really funny:):)lol
Seanus 15 | 19,674  
22 May 2008 /  #71
This is a good thread, nice and neutral and with a bit of substance to it.

I may have mentioned it b4, foreigners have problems with the counters as they are not entirely regular. For example, okno-okna-okien. The general rule I follow is that 5 or 6 of sth ends in ów, 6 plastrów, butelków itd. My instinct is beginning to help me, as a non-native speaker, but there is often no logical explanation. Look at me, the sheep, there is owca, owcy and owiec. I'm happy that Polish at least has some element of regularity. All the foreigners I was with in Japan just used their fingers as remembering the counter was nigh on impossible. They have different counters for everything, even between glasses (not the wearing type) and bottles. Ippai, nihai, sambai etc for glasses and ippon, nihon, sambon, yonhon etc for bottles.

Let's be grateful that Polish doesn't have those complications.
23 May 2008 /  #72
The general rule I follow is that 5 or 6 of sth ends in ów, 6 plastrów, butelków itd.

6 plastrów is OK, but it should be 6 butelek, not butelków.
Seanus 15 | 19,674  
23 May 2008 /  #73
6 butelek, aha, no fakt. Synów or kotów then. Butelków sounds nice to me
Dominika ;)  
23 May 2008 /  #74
czesć! im half polish and im new on this forum. u can always ask me if uv got any problem with polish cos i know how complicated it is!! ;)
brettchristey1 2 | 8  
24 May 2008 /  #75
My great,great grandma spoke slovic it wasn't pasted down. I am 5th generation in USA. What region speaks slovic?
osiol 55 | 3,921  
24 May 2008 /  #76

Is this some sort of slow Slavic?
Seanus 15 | 19,674  
24 May 2008 /  #77
Not that I'm aware of ;)
28 May 2008 /  #78
Sitting in a restaurant an asking the waitress, przepraszam, mogę zapłakac....
CADinDanzig - | 3  
28 May 2008 /  #79
she probably thought you wanted a shoulder////to zaplakac on
ForsakenOne - | 38  
28 May 2008 /  #80
Is this some sort of slow Slavic?


Słowik :)
KatieKasia 3 | 39  
4 Jun 2008 /  #81
the other week i asked for a bottle of vodka after my work out, i ment a bottle of water! quite similar words...easily done. ofcorse the woman thought i was a NuTtErrrr!

Zgubiony 15 | 1,553  
4 Jun 2008 /  #82
Woda and Wódka sound differently. The ó in Wódka is pronounced oo. voodka
Tamara 9 | 202  
4 Jun 2008 /  #83
(You kinda have to have lived in Poland to appreciate this one ) My first visit to Poland my fiancee took me to visit his grandmother who was quite poor and lived in a small village. I knew very little Polish but had tried to learn a little so when they of course asked me if I wanted something to drink I said "filizanka herbata prosze". My fiancee looked kinda shocked but I thought it was because he didn't know that I knew that much in Polish. They went to their china closet and took out their best china cup and gave me tea in it. It was only later that he told me that most people in Poland drink tea in glasses and it was kinda "snooty" to ask for a "filizanka", especially of one's grandmother the first time you met her! I'm sure they thought "Well, that's an American for you"!
KatieKasia 3 | 39  
4 Jun 2008 /  #84
Woda and Wódka sound differently. The ó in Wódka is pronounced oo. voodka

I know, i just got it wrong on that occasion, the look on her face was pricless though. And then when i told my boyfrined later he ruffled my hair and said that its probably just the first of many stupid things ill say by accident....8OD
Polonius3 994 | 12,380  
4 Jun 2008 /  #85
Thread attached on merging:
Common mistakes Poles make in English

Common mistakes Poles make in English include:
-- countable and uncountable, eg much people, many informations, many baggages
-- definite and indefinite articles, eg , the love is beautiful, we had a nice weather
-- disuse of perfect tenses, eg I am painting the steps since 10 o'clock
-- decimals. eg writing 3,6 and calling 3.6 three comma six
-- 0, eg confusing naught, nil, zero and oh
-- sequence of tenses, eg He said he will go tomorrow.
-- Asking "how" when "what is---like? is meant, eg How is your dog? Big, small, shaggy or short-haired?
-- Answering "fine, thank you and you" to "how do you do?"
plk123 8 | 4,142  
4 Jun 2008 /  #86
yes, there is a whole long thread about this already.
osiol 55 | 3,921  
4 Jun 2008 /  #87
It's not that common a mistake. How many times have Polish people started such a thread when there's already another one the same somewhere else?
Tamara 9 | 202  
4 Jun 2008 /  #88
Oh - the use of the word "must". When I met my husband and all his Polish friends, they would always say "you must this" and "you must that" and I, being an American where you almost never use the word must except when talking about dying or taxes would get bent out of shape about it. I later learned that they were literally translating the word "musi" as must but it doesn't have the same meaning when you use it that way.

For example "musimy isc na zakupy" they would translate to "we must go shopping which meant "you must take me shopping" and I'd say like heck I have to take you anywhere.
z_darius 14 | 3,965  
4 Jun 2008 /  #89
sequence of tenses, eg He said he will go tomorrow.

This is now in common/official use in North America.


a whole whack of prepositional phrases, such as "going to home", "in Monday" etc.
Tamara 9 | 202  
4 Jun 2008 /  #90
or saying "I will be have" or "no you business" (I love that one :)

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