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Poles in Poland: How did you learn your English?


Dice 15 | 452  
14 Feb 2008 /  #1
I see here on the PF quite a lot of Poles living in Poland with, IMHO, excellent English skills. On the other hand some people who come here for a visit from Poland, and sometimes even Poles who live here have a rather poor English capability. Even those with a higher education have often a poor knowledge of English. Also sometimes I see a higher ranking Polish official on TV who cant speak English.

How come? Where did you learn your English? In a school, private lessons or did you use to live abroad? Is it more common now in Poland to speak an international language like English, German, French?

PS. Some time ago I've read somewhere on the Internet that in Poland you can speak English with a Taxi driver, French with a chef, German with a car mechanic, but you need a translator to talk with an Government Official. LOL
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
14 Feb 2008 /  #2
Good questions, some answers please
James Revan 1 | 66  
14 Feb 2008 /  #3
I'm 22 years old now, i started learning when i was.. hmm... about 5, maybe 6. First it was private lessons, then some in school and cartoons in english. Now it's web sites/games/programs/music/books in english, just to be "in touch" with this language. And that's it for me.

But when it comes to the polish officials... You know, they were raised this way, russian language in schools. The new wave in polish politics are young people who speak fluently in not only english, but many of them know 2 or even more languages.
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
14 Feb 2008 /  #4
Besides, in here there's the written English, it's always easier to write than to speak a foreign language (unless you're raised among native speakers).

Me for example, I'm capable of writing a correct and coherent English sentence from time to time (when I really care I even check up words in a dictionary), but if you'd hear me speaking ... :(
James Revan 1 | 66  
14 Feb 2008 /  #5
Well, that is true, when you know how to write the word, and you know what does it mean it's very easy to assume that you "speak" in that language fluently. But when i comes to speaking in rl... that's another story...
isthatu 3 | 1,164  
14 Feb 2008 /  #6
Also sometimes I see a higher ranking Polish official on TV who cant speak English.

That would be because they are Polish officials,serving Poland....Tell me,how many languages is Mr Bush fluent in? I was going to say apart from english,but.......
Shawn_H  
14 Feb 2008 /  #7
apart from english

That could be a whole new thread...
Justyna - | 2  
14 Feb 2008 /  #8
I was an international student in Melbourne for 3 years. For one year was studying just general english and... here we are!!! :-)
OP Dice 15 | 452  
14 Feb 2008 /  #9
Tell me,how many languages is Mr Bush fluent in?

Actually, believe it or not, George W. Bush speaks fluent Spanish. As far as his English skills, I like to joke sometimes that for once in my life I can enjoy a U.S. President who's English is worse then mine.

Now seriously, I heard a couple of times that GWB may have a legitimate case of AADD and the symptoms are there, I guess the history will tell.

I remember there was a similar controversy with Ronald Reagan, rumors were flying about his Alzheimer's disease, and we had found the truth after his presidency was over. That was a sad case actually, because he was such a great speaker and writer, and then he fell in to the illness, he would forget the words... Very sad, regardless of your political view.
wizard8873 - | 4  
14 Feb 2008 /  #10
i started learning when i was 5. fam moved from Poland to the US. I learned through TV and through private lessons at school. teachers were actually amazed at how quickly i was learning it
Wulkan - | 3,251  
15 Feb 2008 /  #11
telly...
tulipan - | 28  
15 Feb 2008 /  #12
I started when I was 11. I learned English at school and then through private lessons. Now i just keep "practising" watching movies and reading.I wish I could speak it more... : ( I guess to become more fluent I'd have to visit some English-speaking country for a couple of months. We'll see what future shows :)
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
15 Feb 2008 /  #13
George Bush doesn't speak FLUENT Spanish. He can get by and a little more but most Spanish speakers will tell u that he ain't fluent.
wykrop - | 4  
15 Feb 2008 /  #14
I started leaning at the age of 5, my parents insisted on private lessons for me and my brother. That was quite good and easy learning for kids. You could forget about the lessons we had at school at that time. A couple of years later we moved to Germany and speaking English made my life much easier, especially also in terms of learning German!
JacekinLAnNY - | 24  
17 Feb 2008 /  #15
I got thrown into second grade with the words "bathroom" scribbled on a piece of paper.
Thats how I learned.

In college I skipped a mandatory English semester because my English scores were that good. I also always wanted to learn and made an effort.

For example: Even now as I talk on casual forums I spell check and make sure to use good grammar. Try and you will learn.

BTW use Firefox instead of Internet Explorer. Firefox spell checks on the fly as you type.
Michal - | 1,865  
18 Feb 2008 /  #16
ow come? Where did you learn your English? In a school, private lessons or did you use to live abroad? Is it more common now in Poland to speak an international language like English, German, French?

Do not think that all Poles are communist. many Poles come from the middle class. They have money which buys privilege. They can travel overseas and experience life there for themselves. Stuck in Poland, it is hard without direct contact for someone to master another language but a lot of these forum members have taken the new opportunities, especially the younger generation of women who can use their sexuality to form new bonds of friendship overseas and use it to their maximum advantage.
Kowalski 7 | 621  
18 Feb 2008 /  #17
I started with English at school as everybody probably but then had to use it in Germany, Holland, Sweden where I in fact had learned to actually communicate in English and then I had American girlfriend - my university teacher!

My humble beginnings were with BBC radio where I could get latest soccer/football scores understanding only "Liverpool ONE - Manchester City TWO"

I once met polish girl who had been living with her Scottish man and she could ONLY speak english, she didn't even know how to spell HAVE or MARRIAGE and could write close to nothing in english.
Michal - | 1,865  
18 Feb 2008 /  #18
My wife can not spell in English and has been in England for fifteen years. She can speak the language and she says that suffices for her.
Gosia - | 35  
18 Feb 2008 /  #19
i started learnig English at the age of 10. i had private lessons - believe me, in 99% of public schools you won't learn much. at highschool i had a very good English teacher (it was a public school but we paid 120 zl every month to have more hours of some subjects - thanks to this i had 6hrs of English classes per week).

Well, I have a CPE, but my speaking skills.... ekhm,... I'm planning to go to England this summer and be an au-pair there. i hope I'll manage to go.
lowfunk99 10 | 397  
18 Feb 2008 /  #20
I think it depends.

From what I understand the younger generation is learning English.

The older generation learned Russian.
kioko - | 84  
19 Feb 2008 /  #21
I started when I was about 5 or 6 through tv, but I really started learning at high school. In primary school I was learning Russian, so I wouldn't say that only older generation used to lern that language. It was probably because I lived in Eastern Poland. We also learnt German as it is Mazury, lot of Germans come there.

As for older generations, my mother used to learn French and English, but she says they did not believed that they will ever use English language so she did not learn it hard. And French at that times was still more popular than English.
gosiaze - | 2  
22 Feb 2008 /  #22
I started learning when I was 7. But I really started speaking English a few years ago when I met one English guy ;)
I speak also Russian and Dutch.
JustysiaS 13 | 2,240  
22 Feb 2008 /  #23
I'm 22 years old now, i started learning when i was.. hmm... about 5, maybe 6. First it was private lessons, then some in school and cartoons in english. Now it's web sites/games/programs/music/books in english, just to be "in touch" with this language.

basically the same situation here, but i lived in England for over 3 years, the last 2.5 in a non-Polish environment. Must say i learnt more English since ive been over here than when i was at school.
Wyspianska  
22 Feb 2008 /  #24
How come? Where did you learn your English? In a school, private lessons or did you use to live abroad?

on my own. When I was a kid, I loved some english songs and I was pissed I don't get them hah, started to look for translations, then read some books even, find contacts over internet... I never had private lessons.
PrzemekE 1 | 11  
24 Feb 2008 /  #25
thats funny. i had english in school since i was.. 10. but english in school was not so well, just because teacher was not so good. but i had a telvision, cartoon network, later internet plus oryginal star wars without dubbiing. teachers (at least when i was young, now 23) concentrate on grammar instead talk with other people, understanding, realy usefull things.
JustysiaS 13 | 2,240  
24 Feb 2008 /  #26
teachers (at least when i was young, now 23) concentrate on grammar instead talk with other people, understanding, realy usefull things.

yeah thats very true, they never even corrected me or my accent if i was making mistakes. i didnt understand the English accent when i came to England after learning English for 12 years at school lol. its taken about a month for me to start getting fluent, now im pretty good i think. i always was, but its best to use it in practice with native speakers who will correct you. i only need to be corrected once and ill remember it. and my spelling is nearly flawless ;).
rog1201 - | 16  
27 Feb 2008 /  #27
Sorry, I'm a polsih student and I'm new here.
Can you help me what does "thread" means? I check this in my dictionary and display "nitka" "gwint". but I think that must be another mean...
JustysiaS 13 | 2,240  
27 Feb 2008 /  #28
"thread"

wątek. a skoro to jest forum, wątków i dyskusji jest wiele ;)
polishcanuck 7 | 462  
28 Feb 2008 /  #29
especially the younger generation of women who can use their sexuality to form new bonds of friendship overseas and use it to their maximum advantage.

Now i know how you got married. Man, she must have been desperate. :)
rog1201 - | 16  
28 Feb 2008 /  #30
rog1201 wrote:
"thread"

wątek. a skoro to jest forum, wątków i dyskusji jest wiele ;)

dzięki :) thanks

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