I don't agree too much with you that we pass as "silly foreigner" if we can't speak it very good, you know? I lived in Poland for 2 years, and my Polish is almost perfect (the pronunciation), I just lack of some vocabulary, people were dropping their jaw literally when I was speaking it, I think they appreciate they effort you put on it, no matter how you speak it, if you speak it somehow just for the sake of communicating with them, then you will gain some respect, I'm saying this because people were often telling me: "it's great that you're trying to speak our language, thank you and keep it up", Btw, I would love to see a foreigner trying to speak my native language too :)
he he, i would love to speak that well. Having only been here for a couple of months it's still a bit of an uphill struggle. I do get quite a bit of respect from Polish friends, and they are constantly saying my Polish is coming on very well. Very encouraging. It's just in day to day life - shopping, asking for directions, as in this example, not everyone, is understanding of how difficult it is to learn for an English person.
Par example, Eu esterai seis mesas em Sao Paulo, ainde falar porque portuguese. Eu pensar que portuguese e muito mais faco que polonaise. Sorry probably a bit rusty, but hope that cheers you up. :) It's been 7 years since I've spoken it properly.