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Posts by Derevon  

Joined: 11 Oct 2009 / Male ♂
Last Post: 23 Sep 2012
Threads: Total: 12 / Live: 6 / Archived: 6
Posts: Total: 172 / Live: 87 / Archived: 85
From: Wrocław, Poland (orig. Sweden)
Speaks Polish?: So-so
Interests: languages, computers

Displayed posts: 93 / page 1 of 4
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Derevon   
23 Sep 2012
Language / Which is harder: Pole learning Russian or Russian learning Polish language? [57]

Actually Danish is spoken by more people than Norwegian (although the difference is quite small). I think Norway vs. Sweden would be a better analogy. Norwegians generally understand Swedish better than Swedes understand Norwegian. Mostly because Norwegian media is very much more centred on Sweden than Swedish media is centred on Norway. I guess also geography is a contributing factor. Sweden is pretty much the only neighbour of Norway (I'm not counting Finland and Russia here), and Norway being such a narrow country (in shape) the Swedish border is usually not too far away. For Sweden, Norway is just one of three "neighbours". Swedes aren't really exposed much to the Norwegian language or Norwegian culture (with a few exceptions).

As for the original thread question, I would hypothesize that it's slightly harder for a Russian to learn Polish than vice versa on account of Polish grammar being more complex, and for pronunciation reasons. For example, as a Russian learning Polish you have to get used to learn 13 different simple past forms instead of 4, and you have two plural forms instead of one, etc. From experience, though, I know that Russian speakers often learn Polish very quicky once they live here in Poland, even without studying it.
Derevon   
13 Nov 2011
Language / Spend more time on Polish verbs or nouns? [8]

When "learning" Polish what proportion of time should be spent learning verbs versus nouns? 50% each or should more time be spent on verbs or nouns?Thanks

Both verbs and nouns are of course essential to understanding and communicating in a language, so I would recommend that you focus on all words that are frequently encountered regardless of what part of speech they belong to.

Of course there are a number of common verbs that are used in all sorts of situations, and these basic verbs are probably more important than just any noun. Nouns are more connected to specific situations, so which nouns you need is probably more connected to your particular goal of learning.

In general, of course, more nouns than verbs are needed to communicate well in any language. I'm saving most "new words" I encounter in Polish in my vocabulary training software, and with 9783 entries so far they are distributed as follows:

Nouns: 4929
Verbs: 1759 (counted as aspect pairs. E.g. robic/zrobić is counted as one verb).
Adjectives: 1481

The rest of the entries are for the remaining parts of speech, phrases, sentences and expressions.
Derevon   
18 Jun 2011
Travel / Wroclaw-Bratislava (the quickest way to get by car)? [10]

526 km? With Google maps I get it to be a bit over 600 km.

What about Wrocław -> Кłodzko -> Olomouc -> Brno -> Bratislava? Looks good on the map at least and is supposed to be only 407 km. :)
Derevon   
7 Mar 2011
Study / Swedish folks in Poland! (I want to apply for university and live in Poland) [21]

I have never studied in Poland (only in Sweden), but from what I've been told cheating seems far more common in Poland. It's really hard to get away with cheating at Swedish universities and the punishments are harsh so few are willing to risk it.

I also have a feeling that in Poland university is more about stuffing yourself with knowledge whereas in Sweden it's more about solving problems (of course this depends a lot on what you study etc), but I don't really have anything to back that up (just a feeling based on what people have told me).
Derevon   
30 Jun 2010
Language / Ile by nie było to i tak jest za mało [26]

I don't think Poles know the meaning of "speak slowly". ;) Whenever I ask, they repeat the same sentence again at the same speed, and if I hestitate but for a second when speaking, they always try to fill in the blanks for me.
Derevon   
29 Jun 2010
Language / Ile by nie było to i tak jest za mało [26]

There are several reasons why I'm having trouble understand spoken Polish. Some of them are:

1. I have to somehow translate each word I hear except the very most common ones, so it means that if a sentence has more than 5-6 words I quickly lose track, because there's simply not time to do that. If I don't focus very hard when listening I am not likely to understand more than an occasional word here and there.

2. Polish just doesn't sound clear to me. Sounds blur together and many sounds are too similar to distinguish between in fast conversation. The slighest amount of background noise renders any conversation 95% or more unintelligible.

3. Each word has so many different forms that even though I recognise the main form of a word it doesn't necessarily follow that I will recognise it while inflected.

4. Not all words are stressed, for example if people say "każdego dnia" it sounds like "każde godnia" (dnia not having any stress at all).

5. Poles use a lot of metaphors and a lot of things are omitted and simply assumed.

6. Word order is more flexible which makes things more confusing, because, for example, when I would expect a noun, all of a sudden there might be a verb first instead, etc, etc.

The main problem, though, I guess is:

How does one really learn words themselves rather than the translations of words?
Derevon   
26 Jun 2010
Language / Ile by nie było to i tak jest za mało [26]

When writing you have time to think about rules and such.

Anyway, I'm sure I could learn to speak decent Polish, but only if I first learn to understand when other people speak. I don't really pick up anything from listening (at least not as far as I've noticed), so that's my problem.
Derevon   
26 Jun 2010
Language / Ile by nie było to i tak jest za mało [26]

I live in Poland since August 2008, and at current rate I will be able to participate in a normal conversation around 2018 or so.

It's quite annoying at work not to understand what your colleagues are saying to each other. I usually have some kind of idea what they're talking about, but I rarely understand any details.

I've noticed that I understand a lot more for example if someone is talking (rather formally) during a meeting. Then I understand almost everything. If I hear two colleagues talking to each other during the lunch break, on the other hand, only around 10-20% depending on who's speaking.
Derevon   
26 Jun 2010
Language / Ile by nie było to i tak jest za mało [26]

How difficult it is to learn a language at adult age when you try to combine totally incompatible concepts into one framework.

Our thinking is to such a large extent based on the languages we grow up with that I wonder how it can even be possible to learn a foreign language as an adult (one that is significantly different from one's own).

I've come to the realisation that I don't really speak Polish when I speak Polish. I'm encoding sentences based on Swedish or English thinking. Sadly, Polish for me is more of an encryption algorithm than a language. Even though I know the translation of roughly 10 000 words in Polish, only a handful of them are really part of my "natural" language (i.e. those that I use all the time). All the rest are like dictionary entries that need to be retrieved, analysed (and most likely inflected to agree with person, number and gender) before use. Whenever I try to speak Polish without thinking hard, it always ends up in disaster, and even when I'm thinking really hard and manage to string together a perfectly grammatical sentence with good pronunciation, chances are big that I will not be understood, because people just don't say like that...

As for the sentence in question, if you simplify it as much as possible, would it be possible to say "ile byłoby jest za mało" or something like that?
Derevon   
24 Jun 2010
Language / Ile by nie było to i tak jest za mało [26]

Thanks for all answers.

Ziemowit: At first the whole sentence was just a pure nonsense to me, meaning absolutely nothing. Now that I know "to i tak" is some kind of expression meaning roughly "still" that part makes sense. I guess I also had some trouble understanding what exactly "by" referred to, and what sense of "ile" was intended (as much, so much, as many or so many). Now after some thought I think the only confusing part is the "nie". It just doesn't make any sense to me.

"As much as it would not be, it would still be too little".

As for "to i tak", there seem to be a lot of those expressions In Polish that you will never find in any dictionary, but still are extremely common.

You know Polish is fucked up when you know every word in a sentence but can't understand a thing it says.

Truer words were never spoken. ;)
Derevon   
23 Jun 2010
Language / Ile by nie było to i tak jest za mało [26]

I understand that this sentence is supposed to mean something along the lines of "No matter how much, it's always too little", but it still doesn't make any sense to me.

"ile by nie było"?

"to i tak"?

Could someone please help me make sense of this?

Thanks
Derevon   
30 May 2010
Language / The Polish accusative case [32]

Some "non-alive" words are treated as animate and have "-a"-ending also in the accusative. These words all have in common that they have "-a"-ending in the genitive, but not all non-alive masculine words with "-a"-ending in the genitive are treated as animate. Also some of these words exhibit more "animate" tendencies than others. It's all quite confusing and arbitrary, but some kind of guideline could be what Moonlighting wrote in another thread: https://polishforums.com/archives/2005-2009/language/dostal-buta-genitive-accusative-40442/

"From what I have learnt, masculine names of fruits, vegetables, vehicles, currencies, games, dances, tobaccoes and technologies get the declension of animate masculine at the biernik case."

Examples:

Daj mi papierosa (cigarette), pomidora (tomato), Forda (a Ford)...

Gram w tenisa - I'm playing tennis
Derevon   
16 May 2010
Language / 'much better' expression in Polish? [7]

o wiele lepiej/dużo lepszy (adj)/ lepiej (adv) = much better

o wiele bardziej interesujący = much more interesting (adj)
o wiele milszy = much nicer (adj)
o wiele mniejszy = much smaller (adj)
Derevon   
3 Apr 2010
Life / DVB-T in Krakow [4]

I was just wondering if anyone happens to know whether it's possible to watch any Polish channels via terrestrial digital TV (DVB-T) these days, and if so, where. Thanks.
Derevon   
25 Mar 2010
Travel / Travelling from Wrocław to Prague [7]

My parents are coming over from Sweden for Easter and would like to drop by in Prague for a few days. They want to go on april 6, but the only bus they can find going there (Orbis) is already fully booked. Anyone knows of any other good way of getting to Prague? I suppose it's possible to go by train, but I think one has to go via Germany, or at least change several times.
Derevon   
14 Feb 2010
Language / Polish was chosen the HARDEST LANGUAGE in the world to learn... :D [1540]

I'd hardly call tagging 's at the end of a word a proper case. Only pronouns really have cases in English, and once you've learned them, you don't ever have to worry about them again.

By the way, I'm curious if anyone knows whether there is any European language that has more declension- and conjugation patterns than Polish. I know Finnish, Estonian and Hungarian have a lot of cases, but I understand they only have one gender, and that these cases are marked by tagging endings at the nouns (correct me if I'm wrong). I know that Bulgarian verbs are super complex, but at least they got rid of the noun cases. It would be interesting to know in which European language you have to know the greatest number of rules to be able to inflect all regular verbs, nouns and adjectives, but I'm sure that would be extremely hard to calculate.
Derevon   
11 Feb 2010
Life / Doughnut [Pączki] Day... in Poland [69]

Feb 11, 10, 20:49 - Thread attached on merging:
Pączki in Wrocław

So tomorrow (or today) is fat thursday or whatever they call it, and I would like to get my hands on some nice pączki with toffee (I'm crazy about toffee). I often find places with signs saying they have them, but when asking they never in fact do. Anyone know of any place in Wrocław that has them? And if not, any other kinds than the standard ones (I'm kind of sick of the ones with marmelade etc). Thanks.
Derevon   
8 Feb 2010
Language / Polish was chosen the HARDEST LANGUAGE in the world to learn... :D [1540]

Are you saying Czech conjugation is even harder than Polish? :O Hmm... at least they don't have to worry about pan, pani, panowie...

I only see 5 different classes on that link. Wiktionary lists 17 different conjugation classes in Polish (11 not including subclasses). I suppose if Czech is harder than Polish to learn it's because there aren't as many resources available to learn it.
Derevon   
5 Feb 2010
Language / brakować, braknąć, zabraknąć [9]

Thank you all. If I say "brakło mi pieniędzy" everyone would interpret that in the exact same way as "zabrakło mi pieniędzy"?

What about the form "braknie"? I did some Google searching, and it seems to work like an imperfective verb. Could it be that it's considered perfective in the past tense and imperfective in the present, something like braknie = brakuje and brakło = zabrakło? Or perhaps I'm just confused now.
Derevon   
5 Feb 2010
Language / brakować, braknąć, zabraknąć [9]

I'm a bit confused about these words, how they're used, which ones are imperfective and which ones are perfective, which ones belong together, which one is used when... If anyone could shed some light on these words with an example or two of each I'd be grateful.
Derevon   
2 Feb 2010
Language / Polish was chosen the HARDEST LANGUAGE in the world to learn... :D [1540]

The argument "Language A is harder than language B" is kind of pointless seeing as difficulty is a subjective notion. Nonetheless, Polish is definitely among the most complex languages in the world in terms of grammar. At least if you only count "major" languages (I'm sure there are obscure Indian languages that are more complex, like Navajo).
Derevon   
1 Feb 2010
Language / weź/wej - Pronunciation questions [4]

My Polish girlfriend is kind of crazy about vegetables and often tells me something like "weź sobie surówkę/sałatkę", I could swear it sounds like "wej sobie" rather than "weź sobie". Am I hearing wrong, or people actually say like that? What other situations exist where sounds change or blend when two twords are said quickly next to each other?

Some other examples: Coś zrobić, coś zjeść...
Derevon   
1 Feb 2010
Language / Polish Language test using the European Language Frameworks [9]

This test is not so bad, and it's aimed at non-native speakers (meaning any native-speakers who doesn't score 100% should feel ashamed ;) )

transparent.com/tlquiz/proftest/polish/tlpoltest.htm

It should give you some kind of clue at what level you are in terms of grammar, vocabulary and reading comprehension (unless you're kind of advanced). I wouldn't put much faith in the final "judgment" (Your Polish on a .... level) though. The questions' points are "weighted", and not knowing a few single key words can make you lose a lot of points. It should give you some kind of general feel about how good you are at grammar and reading, though.
Derevon   
29 Jan 2010
Language / Problems remembering Polish vocabulary [20]

This rule with 7 times really seems like a major oversimplification to me. Many words are very easy to learn for an English speaker, for example the likes of "edukacja", "preferować", "analizować" etc would probably require just one or two looks and you will remember them. On the other hand, if you were to try to memorize a word like "nauczycielka" or "księżniczka "it would probably take much more effort. It's all about having something to associate with that you already know well.

My vocabulary training program keeps track of which words I've forgotten the most times. The words which have been most problematic for me so far are "wierzchołek", "ogrodzenie", "zwiadowca" and "pojednanie", all of which I apparently forgot over 30 times (from English to Polish). There are many reasons why one may not remember a word, but in my case it's usually because it's similar to another word, or because I don't really see the logic behind it, or can't associate with anything similar.
Derevon   
29 Jan 2010
Language / Problems remembering Polish vocabulary [20]

You can use a vocabulary training program for your computer. I recommend one with "spaced repetition" (meaning the program will keep track of when words need to be revised) such as Anki: ichi2.net/anki/. There are also others, e.g. Mnemosyne: mnemosyne-proj.org
Derevon   
26 Jan 2010
Language / Polish locative and case declensions [16]

Thanks for your input. There are for sure more compact ways to present how the Polish locative case works, you're right, but I would say this way is more manageable to deal with for the brain. Take one word at a time, see how it changes... One problem I have with most grammar books is that they're a bit too compact. They say something like "words with soft and functionally soft stem endings act in this and this way". But in reality, you don't want to have to reflect over whether a word has a soft ending or not. You want to know if it's this ending, then it means this... it means more tables, but in the end, at least for me, easier to assimilate. I learned a lot while making those tables.
Derevon   
24 Jan 2010
Travel / Best way to go from Warsaw to Varberg (Sweden) [7]

The downside is that these flights are just on Mondays and Fridays, and that they leave already at 6 in the morning from Warsaw. There are also planes between Gdańsk and Gothenburg on Tuesdays and Saturdays. These tickets are almost for free if you book quite a while in advance. Planes also go on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between Malmö and Warsaw. All Wizzair. Malmö is something like 2.5 hours by train from Varberg.

As for trains, I checked sj.se, and it's only supposed to take 35 minutes from Göteborg Central station to Varberg, and the price is less than 100 crowns (probably lower if you buy them early).
Derevon   
24 Jan 2010
Language / Usage: Freedom in Polish and in English [30]

"En sakta vind" Google Translate translates to "a gentle breeze", which is probably the best possible rendering of what is intended. It's literary language, though. With "en sakta" I simply implied that if "sakta" was merely an adverb, it wouldn't be used together with the article "en". I should have translated that.