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How hard is it to learn Polish?

gumishu 14 | 6202  
13 Oct 2011 /  #31
try skrzypce - - paste skrzypce into it's box and the software on the site will say it for you in Polish
13 Oct 2011 /  #32
i would kill to spend time in poland with a polish family,any ideas as to how i could do this cheaply? and please tell me what on earth tego is. i hear it all the time. teraz musze isc do pracy i to jest bardzo nudny!
gumishu 14 | 6202  
13 Oct 2011 /  #33
spending time with a Polish family - why don't you consider playing an au-pair for a time: you can also try to look for a Polish family here

another option is to look for a so called gospodarstwo agroturystyczne agrotourism farm with the hosts who can speak English

tego is just a declination form of 'ten' (or 'to')

nominative: ten
accusative: ten
genetive: tego
dative: temu
instrumental: tym
locative: tym
vocative: none

ten is a demonstrative pronoun of masculine gender:
ten chłopiec = this boy Ten chłopiec jest dzisiaj pierwszy raz w szkole. This boy is in school for the first time.
tego chłopca Czy widziałeś dziś tego chłopca na placu zabaw? Have you seen this boy on the playground today?

nominative: to
accusative: to
genetive: tego
dative: temu
instrumental: tym
locative: tym
no vocative as well

to is and demonstrative pronoun of neuter gender - to dziecko - this child To dziecko jest chore. This child is ill/sick. Nie wolno nam zabierać tego dziecka na spacer bo jest przeziębione. We mustn't take this child for a walk because it has got a cold.

you can also encouter tego without a noun - Nie rób tego. Don't do it. Nie widzisz tego? Can't you see that? Nie widzisz tego, co się naokoło dzieje? Can't you see, what is going around? Posłuchaj tego. Listen to this. Nie kupuj tego. Don't buy this/it.

you can also try homestaying
13 Oct 2011 /  #34
thanks for advice. if you want a really good laugh go to discovered website totally by accident and its really funny...enjoy!
gumishu 14 | 6202  
13 Oct 2011 /  #35
quite funny indeed :)P

as for those forms of you - these are declinational forms - in general its the verb (to do, to see, to look for) (or the prepostion (to, from, for, with etc)) that dictate which declination form (case) should be used - it's a very broad topic and should be learned bit by bit - I think if you could learn about the cases/declinations in the German language first you will be able to have a better general idea what it's all about (the German declination is much easier / just 4 cases instead of 7 and pretty consistent) - you can get the general notion what is nominative, accusative, dative and genetive

you have declination forms of you in German too - du, dich, dir (genetive does not apply to personal pronouns - you use possesive pronouns instead - you can figure out that genetive is mostly used as indicative of possession in German - it's not that straightforward in Polish though (the genetive is used in many other circumstances)
14 Oct 2011 /  #36
dont know any other languages and not about to start learning german in addition to polish!my biggest problem is that i dont see polish people every day, so learning is limited for me. however at least i have stopped trying to translate english into polish! thanks for help anyway!
rozumiemnic 8 | 3856  
14 Oct 2011 /  #37
have same problem with polish word for you.there are just too many....for example ja bede pomoc ciebie. ja daje tobie prezent. ty,ci,ciebie,tobie etc.....

thing to think about maybe pam, is to compare with English him, his, he or I, me, mine, myself, then it's less confusing.
14 Oct 2011 /  #38
ok thats been a big help because although i have a few books on polish language now, none of them explain it well enough for me to understand. some of my polish friends speak better english now but not enough to explain difference between mnie,mi,mna to me. zawsze musze zgadywac! its not easy learning it on your own but am not giving up... i like a challenge, and maybe one day i will get my dream... to live in poland. thanks for your help

you are doing pretty well given the fact that you are learning on your own actually - many expats who live in Poland a couple years already are not at that level

didnt realise i had a level lol! just have really bad polish language!
WielkiPolak 54 | 988  
23 Oct 2011 /  #39
Honest answer to original question, if I had not spoken Polish at home since I was young, I doubt I would be able to pick it up. It is so hard. I am trying to learn some Spanish and find that difficult, but much easier than Polish. Uno! dos! tres! Nah Nah! Nah Nah! Nah Nah!
rybnik 18 | 1445  
23 Oct 2011 /  #40
thanks for advice. if you want a really good laugh go to discovered website totally by accident and its really funny...enjoy!

23 Oct 2011 /  #41
isnt it just! was only trying to find book on polish grammar when i stumbled upon it by accident! lol
rybnik 18 | 1445  
23 Oct 2011 /  #42
Obviously written by someone, who knows how frustrating learning Polish can be.
24 Oct 2011 /  #43
yes it is extremely frustrating, but website was actually factual as well as being hilarious. good news is if you have appalling english grammar, for example double negatives, you should find polish language a walk in the!
24 Oct 2011 /  #44
how hard is polish? chances are, if you're asking this's impossible.
Ziemowit 14 | 4046  
24 Oct 2011 /  #45
Learning Polish isn't hard at all. Just look at the totality the Polish children who are able to master it fluently almost without exceptions. And that is the ultimate proof: if a Polish child can do it, anyone can do it (and particularly an American can do it) ...
24 Oct 2011 /  #46
Ziemowit wrote:

Just look at the totality the Polish children who are able to master it fluently almost without exceptions. And that is the ultimate proof: if a Polish child can do it, anyone can do it

Japanese children read and write in Japanese, Italian children read and write in Italian, but there's no comparison when speaking about which language is more difficult to read and write for someone studying these languages. Japanese is simply far more difficult to learn.

My Polish is decent after 4 years in country, constant studying (and I mean constant), lessons with Polish teachers and living with my Polish wife but I still struggle to understand a lot of what i hear on Polish TV channels. Turn back the clock and let me do the same thing in Italy, France, Spain, even Germany.....and in 4 years, putting forth the same amount of effort I did with learning Polish....hell, I'd be straight up fluent in any of those languages right now.

by your logic, there are no difficult languages or at the very least, they all have the same level of difficulty "because a child can do it" so why stop at language learning? children can learn to do a lot of things by the time they're 8-9 years old if they've been doing it their whole lives....but are each and every one of those skills equally as difficult as the next one for an adult starting from scratch, trying to learn it?

Here's something interesting I'd like to see: Take 1,000 random expats living in France for at least 2 years and assess their French speaking ability and then do the same in Poland and see what you get. I would bet all the money in the world that the expats living in France would be able to speak, read and write WAY better than the expats in Poland. Another assumption I'm willing to make is that the assessment results in France would show close to zero people with no French speaking skills at all yet in Poland, there would be a significant number who can barely string a sentence together.
pip 10 | 1658  
24 Oct 2011 /  #47
Fuzzy- you are spot on with this.
Krazzy - | 4  
24 Oct 2011 /  #48
I came on here to try and get some form of saving grace...quick fix on learning Polish only to really be told what I already know...its dam difficult...My partner of a number of years is polish and we plan to leave London and move to the country in Poland in 3-5 years so would welcome any "helpful" suggestions as to best methods to learn....cannot do it with my partner as she like an earlier post on the forum is "never wrong" and would only wish to converse with her not be taught...

Kind Regards

gumishu 14 | 6202  
24 Oct 2011 /  #49
start with basics - the sounds of the language - learn to recognize them and speak them - there are entries on Polish alphabet on youtube - learn the pronouns I,you,s/he,it,we,you,they (these are personal pronouns) - their declination forms (yes they have declination forms) is a thing a level higher but are a good start to learning declinations
Krazzy - | 4  
24 Oct 2011 /  #50
Thank you very much indeed for your input I will certainly go and have a look as it gets silly me going to Poland and expecting everyone in the family to speak English as it really makes me feel like a well a D.I.C.K....I have been trying however but just when you think you are starting to learn the most basic of words someone else gives you another idea of the use of the word....I WILL NOT GIVE UP THOUGH !

Kind Regards

catsoldier 54 | 574  
24 Oct 2011 /  #51
How hard is it to learn Polish?
Go to minute 3 of the video in this link to see something about how hard it is to learn the language, but to be honest I can't say how hard it is as I speak Polish poorly.

"helpful" suggestions as to best methods to learn

Learn about what you are interested in, read what you are interested in, listen to what you like to listen to etc. and get some lessons, if you like video games change the language to Polish, if you like sports read the results in Polish etc., live your life through Polish where possible.
gumishu 14 | 6202  
24 Oct 2011 /  #52
.I have been trying however but just when you think you are starting to learn the most basic of words someone else gives you another idea of the use of the word....I WILL NOT GIVE UP THOUGH !

yes - it is a problem - you can't learn too much at a time - if you learn basic meanings of words or basic constructions/phrases don't let youself be distracted too much by seemingly informed advice (the advice can well be correct but you can just chew that much at a time - you need to get confident with the use of the words you know - my idea is you should learn the basic asking words - where, when, why, whose, (there are more of these in Polish than in English) - you have to reasearch an issue (a word) - see plenty of examples, try using the word in your own sentences - and then repeat the same process with the same word after some time a couple of weeks - and then repeat it again after some time - so it would be adviseable to have a notebook and write down what you learn including examples found and heard and examples you create on your own (so you can return to these later on)
catsoldier 54 | 574  
24 Oct 2011 /  #53
Don't worry. Poles here are making mistakes in both the English and the Polish language and in many other subjects. My cheeks are sore now from smiling to myself.

Disclaimer: I am sure a lot of Poles can answer the questions asked but this wasn't the point of his film, he also had a few people who may have been in a pub very recently which wasn't really fair. I am a huge fan of these films as I have posted some of them on PF before.

25 Oct 2011 /  #54
It took me almost ten years to finally get the hang of Polish, and I'm a German-English bilingual, US-born! While German, even Latin, did help, it still was an uphill struggle for a while, I make no bones about it either-:) Knowing another language, particularly a non-Slavic one, never really prepares one for Polish. LOL

Sure glad I stuck with it though, especially as I was still relatively young (30) when I first started studying, i.e. learning the language. As most Poles don't know English as well as a dedicated foreigner knows Polish, it's definitely been a tremendous advantage, I've found.

This isn't to say that I don't make lots of mistakes. At least now, I'm aware of themlol
2 Nov 2011 /  #55
Here's something interesting I'd like to see:

No, to practically everything here. Do you need to use Polish all day every day in your job? If no, then you're spending most of the day speaking English, which is not immersion. If yes, then you must know Polish a lot better than you think, at least what is required for your job... which would I imagine be considerably more than 'decent'.

Japanese is NO more difficult than any other language, barring having to learn a new writing system it's no different to learning any other language. I've known a person who has tried to learn Spanish but could never get to grips with it, who later has gone on to learn Japanese to complete fluency (Kanji too) in just over a year. The language itself isn't really so complicated, and all 2,500+ Kanji can be learned in 3-6 months. You can claim it's all down to her being a 'talented linguist' all you want but the fact remains; she struggled with supposedly the worlds 'easiest' language. Another friend of mine managed to learn huge amounts of Czech in little over 3 months of immersing himself in Prague. So I don't understand why exactly you seem to think learning any other language would be easier for you... have you tried? How many languages ARE you fluent in?

As for your experiment, it makes no sense. Firstly, how many expats in either country have jumped in with both feet to learning the language? How often are these people speaking English and not French or Polish in their free time? And finally, even if it is shown that more of the ones in France speak better French than the Polish learners, how do you prove that it wasn't just the better and more widely available resources for French learners?

Out of interest, what things can a child do that an adult cannot learn in a short time? Assuming you know by now that the idea of children having a natural ability to learn languages faster than an adult has been utterly disproven...

It stands to reason that if people no more talented at learning languages than anyone else here can learn Japanese, Russian, Hungarian, my own native Irish, Chinese, Hindi, Farsi, Kurdish or even one of supposedly the most 'difficult' languages of all; English, in under 2 years, then it stands to reason that Polish is nowhere near as difficult as some on this forum seem to like to make it out to be.
2 Nov 2011 /  #56
Polish pronunciation at least is FAR MORE straightforward than English pronunciation is for Poles learning English-:)
scottie1113 6 | 896  
2 Nov 2011 /  #57
This is very true. However what makes Polish more difficult is the grammar. I'm still struggling with it, but I'm making progress.
2 Nov 2011 /  #58
Indeed, Scottie! Once again, I was referring SOLELY to the pronunciation of Polish, surely not its morphology which is to be sure challenging for the average Anglo-Saxon without the benefit of either a knowledge of either Latin or German upon which to buttress their foundation of grammar-:) Even then, as I posted earlier, the latter is no guarantee of success.LOL

On the other hand, take more than a gander at Welsh morphology, and the seeming capriciousness of its consonant mutations will blow you away!!!! it makes even rudimentary Polish conjugation patterns of special verbs look almost "logical". Nope. Neither tongue is transparent. Then again, even a supposedly phonetic one like Italian has its tricky side. Only Turkish appears the consistent one amid a sea of chaos.
scottie1113 6 | 896  
2 Nov 2011 /  #59
without the benefit of either a knowledge of either Latin or German

I had two years of Latin in high school and then two years of French. My uni degree is in French. I also studied Italian for a while and living in Southern California for many years I picked up a little Spanish. I've also lived in Japan twice and learned some Japanese, though not kanji. Polish is more difficult than any of them.
2 Nov 2011 /  #60
By "difficult", I figure you mean the degree to which morphosyntactic inflections, e.g. cases and case endings, determine usage, plays an essential role in Polish which is not, at least no longer, true in either French or Italian. Yes, I'd have to go along with that. I repeat though that Polish 'grammar' is far from the 'most' difficult of the world's languages, if only to come back to Icelandic, Finnish, Lithuanian or Welsh! Polish is, after all, an Indo-European (Indo-Germanic) language, much like French, Italian, Spanish, German, why even Farsi, of all things-:))

Memorization IS regrettably a heavy factor in learning to manipulate Polish so that using those seven cases sounds and is in fact natural. I myself did a lot of listening practice in order to apply the structures in conversational settings, not merely in writing.

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