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How long to get fluent in Polish?

Britguyabroad 4 | 26  
10 Dec 2007 /  #1
How long does it roughly take to be fluent in Polish? I am British and admit I am not the best at languages or the most motivated. But if I did 30-60mins a day how many years would it take. I currently live in Poland, but most people close to me speak english.

Also, I am learning by book & audio cd. Is this the best method or are there others?
Curtis 3 | 73  
10 Dec 2007 /  #2
It takes 5 years for a polish child to get fluent in english from not knowing any english when they get to england.

It takes them 10 years to fluently understand what text means when they read it, Even though they can read english fine before that, they may not fully understand what the text is saying.

Just take that into consideration, I don't know any statistics about the other way around.

Best method in my opinion is to just speak as much polish day to day. Learning from a book with a vocabulary list isn't always the best way, do what you find easiest most of all.
plk123 8 | 4,148  
10 Dec 2007 /  #3
total immersion is definitely the best.. polish is pretty hard overall and i think it depends on your skills.. it may take for ever.. it may take a year or two.. it all depends.. i am not sure if there is even an average or a mean.. good luck though. listen hard and work on your tongue twisting techniques. :D

It takes 5 years for a polish child to get fluent in english from not knowing any english when they get to england.

It takes them 10 years to fluently understand what text means when they read it, Even though they can read english fine before that, they may not fully understand what the text is saying.

Just take that into consideration, I don't know any statistics about the other way around.

i am pretty sure it took me at most 4 or 5 years to understand everything and start thinking in english. but i looked up every single word i didn't know.. sometimes multiple times. then i always tried to use that word as many times as possible.. english is very easy though.
wildrover 98 | 4,451  
10 Dec 2007 /  #4
How long to get fluent in Polish?

Longer than i am going to live i suspect......
PolskaDoll 28 | 2,104  
10 Dec 2007 /  #5
You just beat me to a similar answer :)
10 Dec 2007 /  #6
does take some time i have been learning polish one year and although i am getting better at translating short pieces .. im damn if i can speak any .. sing along to certain songs in polish fine .. string a sentence together no hope in cats hell chance can i ... my listening skills are tuning in more

speaking and writing are possibly my weakest areas overall.
OP Britguyabroad 4 | 26  
10 Dec 2007 /  #7
I feel the same. Basic stuff is ok, but when you need to be conversational its very tough. A massive quantum leap.
PolskaDoll 28 | 2,104  
10 Dec 2007 /  #8
I remember written words but not sentences and I can speak some short sentences but only understand some words when listening to a sentence spoken in Polish. It's frustrating! :)
Davey 13 | 388  
10 Dec 2007 /  #9
I have been learning Polish by myself for about 5 years and went to Poland for a month but I am not even near fluent but I can communicate and create sentences, I used to have major problems with cases but I am getting used to them mostly. I have no problem reading it but trying to speak it fast is hard because I get tongue tied but I have actually learned to rap in Polish haha so I don't know why it's such a problem.
Michal - | 1,865  
11 Dec 2007 /  #10
But if I did 30-60mins a day how many years would it take. I currently live in Poland, but most people close to me speak english.

If you are living in Poland you will be using Polish to buy things in shops and when meeting new people. You will certainly be listening to the radio and television ans all of this counts towards the learning experience. Are you working in Poland as a teacher of English? If so, then that is a disadvantage as probably most if not all of the staff use English. You are in a good position to gain motivation, being as you are, in Poland. It all depends on you and how far you want to go. As most of the young are now leaving Poland and the language is going in to decline it might be more worthwhile on spending time on another language anyway.
Edmunds13 - | 2  
17 Dec 2007 /  #11
Perhaps this will give you a bit of encouragement. My girlfriend who is polish used to teach a friend of hers from south africa on a 1 to 1 basis.The guy started with no knowledge of the polish lanaguage. Within the first 12 months the guy was speaking confidently....not fluently, but he had a good range of vocabulary and was understood in a multitude of situations ..after 12 months.Of course it depends on how much you want it and you have to put yourselfin situtaions where you are made to speak it. LOL go to the post office a few times a day...that's always fun. Seriously though, you should get a 1 to 1 tutor.there are plenty of students out there looking to teach and it'll cost you like 40zl and hour or something.

Also ask your engish speaking friends to talk to you partly in polish and build it up from there. This is the best advie i can give having learnt 2 languages myself....though granted one of them are just requires a bit of extra work i guess.

In a months time i'll be in warsaw and i'll be in the same boat as you!

god luck.

17 Dec 2007 /  #12
Also ask your engish speaking friends to talk to you partly in polish

would be an idea if any english person learning english friends were interested alas mine arent to be honest. :(

I have loads of PDF files pinned up now anyways to help learn stuff ... including back of the bathroom door .. ha ha ha .. give something to read whilst in there :D
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
18 Dec 2007 /  #13
and don't get discouraged if you can't talk too soon, the natural process is that first you gain the passive knowledge (understanding of what you hear/read) the active knowledge (ability to speak and write) comes always later.
gdj67 15 | 154  
18 Dec 2007 /  #14
up now anyways to help learn stuff and me both T ;) Though, I've taken down the PDFs and started to hand write the words on cards so I can practice my writing skills.

Gosiaa 2 | 89  
18 Dec 2007 /  #15
I agree with everyone here , it takes long time years - God how often did I wish for a magic pill that i would take and learn the "bloody English " by the next day !

, but what i found the more you make it like a chore the
harder it is Just make it Fun for your brain!

The fastest way to learn another language - fall madly in love with in your case a polish person! Write each other love letters, etc Its an excellent motivation, and it dosen't feel like study just fun.!

Just have FUN with polish ppl and who cares if you make mistakes
speaking, at least you trying to communicate and use what you learned !

wish you the very best just gadaj i gadaj or rozmawiaj po polsku
anja_rose 3 | 37  
23 Dec 2007 /  #16
hi, i have been learning for two years now but have not put too much effort into study recently, actually i have improved most quickly when my boyfriend took some time where he only speaks to me in polish, then i encounter similar struggles to him when we first met (he could barely speak a word of english he has learned mostly from me).

i also have a good tip to watch cartoons in polish, childrens films etc and read childrens books, this has helped me immensely, as for speaking...dont be scared to sound silly!

i was but you must talk talk talk to build your confidence and pronounciation, Piter says i have a really good accent now so im getting better....

good luck, and dont lose heart.....last tip, in social situations a vodka can do wonders for your polish language (just the one or else you will make up your own language!)
25 Dec 2007 /  #17
omg !

Only one week if you have good teacher like me. Ask Joe! His JEZYK polski is perfect after he visited me :P
RJ_cdn - | 267  
25 Dec 2007 /  #18
Just one week, eh? Ok, but what about his language skills?
Macduff 9 | 69  
25 Dec 2007 /  #19
Hi guys any tips on a good school in Gdansk or Sopot to learn Polish, I have tried the books and audio but I think I need some intence or one on one lessons.
BubbaWoo 33 | 3,510  
25 Dec 2007 /  #20 - sopot school of polish
Macduff 9 | 69  
25 Dec 2007 /  #21
Thanks Bubba will give this place a try.
BubbaWoo 33 | 3,510  
25 Dec 2007 /  #22
i did 2 weeks there earlier in the year - first week it was just me and another student, second week it was just me... great value :-)

should mention i was in the bottom level - higher levels had more people in them - good mix of nationalities and a good way to make new friends
Seanus 15 | 19,704  
25 Dec 2007 /  #23
It's just a question of priorities. It depends on the region you are in and what your job is. Having a partner definitely helps. Here in Silesia, Poles are happy if you speak Polish to them as their English may not be what it is in the bigger cities. It also depends on what you need to express. My general Polish is pretty decent but full fluency has to be like a project or passion
Lettuce 1 | 23  
27 Dec 2007 /  #24
I've started using rosetta stone and am finding it quite good. I learnt French at school for about 4 years and cant remember any of it, but I've been doing Polish on rosetta stone for a few months now and I can remember nearly everything I've learned. I'd recommend it. I go round the house and when I see something I know the name for I point and say its name in polish, like I see grapes and I say 'zielone winogrona!' my spelling isnt great, and I've yet to have a conversation in Polish, but I'm enjoying learning. Anyone else try this method?
27 Dec 2007 /  #25

what a great way to learn ....

i have words and that pinned to various areas of the house like on the food cupboard (food)
fridge food that sits in there lol

and basic words around the pc and then some 4 sheets pinned to back of the bathroom door lmao
Seanus 15 | 19,704  
27 Dec 2007 /  #26
Also, the immersion approaches work. I learned a lot of Japanese in a relatively short space of time by being relaxed, putting on headphones and just letting the info from the tape seep in. I started out with greetings and built up from there. Specialised Polish doesn't interest me that much as even my Polish girlfriend doesn't always understand certain documents completely. The pinning idea works, my Canadian roommate in Izumo did that and he learned quickly
mia711 - | 4  
27 Dec 2007 /  #27
Yeah, my house is a sea of Post-its! I've been thinking about trying Rosetta Stone, too. I have a Polish boyfriend and he's very encouraging. I've studied Polish a little on my own (just very basic stuff) and I think it's difficult for English-speakers because it has no basis in Latin. It's really exotic. Also, all the book-learning in the world doesn't prepare you for the sheer speed of Polish speech and the fact that people normally use slang, same as we do!! I get my boyfriend to read to me and try to follow the text as he speaks. Can't understand much but it's really sexy! I think it helps to try to learn it out of love for someone, that's a good incentive to just get on with it. Exposure to native speakers by living in Poland or taking lessons or just practising with Polish workmates - it's embarrassing at first, but all the Poles I've met have bent over backwards to help me. On bad days, you can feel a bit better by asking some Poles to say 'thirty three thousand Thursdays'. Yeah...!! It works both ways...English pronunciation has its moments, too. As for fluency, it has to be a labour of love to make it happen, I'm sure of that.
Seanus 15 | 19,704  
27 Dec 2007 /  #28
No basis in Latin? I wouldn't agree with that. Many of the Latin-based words we use, Poles use in a different form, e.g circus is cyrk in Polish. It's largely a case of vowel changes. It's also similar to French at times
mia711 - | 4  
27 Dec 2007 /  #29
I stand corrected, but you know what I mean about the Romance languages? Certainly there's the odd crossover, but how do you get from November to Listopad?? What you've said about French is interesting - I feel there's a connection between Italian and Polish somehow, but I'll admit it's just an impression.
Seanus 15 | 19,704  
27 Dec 2007 /  #30
Italian and Polish, well, the vowel use can be similar. I wasn't suggesting that Polish is a form of esperanto, hehehe.

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