The BEST Guide to POLAND
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Posts by Andy M  

Joined: 20 Jan 2010 / Male ♂
Last Post: 16 Feb 2010
Threads: 1
Posts: 4
From: UK
Speaks Polish?: yes, not native speaker
Interests: music / hi-fi / DIY

Displayed posts: 5
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Andy M   
16 Feb 2010
Language / Polish was chosen the HARDEST LANGUAGE in the world to learn... :D [1558]

The words może and morze is pronounced exactly the same.

Forgive me if I am in error; I am not a native speaker of Polish; I assumed that there was a difference, morze being s t r e t c h e d and also having the "r" voiced whilst może is shorter and there is no hint of the "missing" "r"

This is how I have been informed by native speakers.
Andy M   
20 Jan 2010
Language / Polish was chosen the HARDEST LANGUAGE in the world to learn... :D [1558]

Having spent a couple of weeks in Hungary in the 90's, I found it a completely unfathomable language. We were reduced to making noises like the animal to get the meat we required at the butchers shop. Laughable but effective. On the other hand when we reached Yugoslavia; we toured Europe for three months; the similarities allowed at least some vestige of speech.
Andy M   
20 Jan 2010
Language / I need some encouragement from Polish language speakers! [30]

Hi, I'm new here and joined just today. First encountered Polish in 1970 and would have to say at the outset that motivation is the number one way to go. Mine was very high since I'd met a girl; who was to become my wife; on my first visit to Poland. Way back then, little or no English was spoken in that far flung region of Poland.

Method comes next. I'd been given a "Teach yourself Polish" from my fathers collection of language tutors. He told me that the book would be invaluable and to familiarise myself with as much as I could readily take in paying some attention to pronunciation of letters; basically as a child would spell c-a-t. No real upper case or grown up variants, so that was pretty straightforward. He next directed me to conjugate verbs, something that had existed in our household; English only; since as far back as I could remember. He then told me to cut card to pocket sized pieces; 3"x2" but lots of them plus rubber bands.

Short phrases were borrowed from the book, Polish on one side, English on the other. This was to be my life from now on. Any spare moment could be usefully spent "translating" back and forth. I had hundreds of them. Within a few short weeks I was writing letters and even speaking on the phone. I still spent much time studying grammar since it is the glue that binds it all together.

Over the years I've had sometimes only sporadic contact with Polish; after my wife learnt English she refused to speak Polish directly to me even during group conversations; but at other times the contact has been full on.

My fathers final piece of advice, now get a woman who speaks the language but of course I'd already done that.

The four years I spent living in Poland was most decidedly the most educational of all but by that time I was already reasonably fluent in all 3 disciplines but what you can't ever learn from phrasebooks is a feel for it as it is spoken and I've not yet come across books in carpentry, plumbing, building, in fact anything that I was interested in that would give me alternative vocabularies. That can only be learnt on the ground, living it 24/7.
Andy M   
20 Jan 2010
Real Estate / Housing and ownership in Poland [3]

My wife and I bought a property in Poland circa '92. At that time; due to me not being a Polish citizen; I was unable to be a joint owner and in fact did not exist to all intents and purposes, despite the full amount and all costs being paid for by me. Will my position have now changed and would it be automatic and retrospective or as I suspect will it involve much paper-work and many back-handers and palm greasing as seemed the way during the four years we were resident in Poland.

It perhaps wouldn't make any real difference since I trust and trusted my wife for many years not to just sell it behind my back. However, there is a point that has come to my attention that unnerves me a little as we both grow older.

She has a daughter from a previous marriage; lived entirely in Poland; she joined me in the UK after both of us had secured divorces. It was suggested to me that should I survive my wife, the property would automatically belong to the daughter. Is this remotely possible ?

The reason for this now being somewhat more significant is the looming possibility of us returning to live in Poland. I should hate to think that I was potentially going to be relieved of my property and family home hard on the heels of the death of my wife. Is Polish law so archaic ?

As a bye the bye, does anyone have the answer to a simple question that is unrelated to the above, I've tried the internet to no avail. Q. Is there a minimum ceiling height for upper storey extensions, ie I intend; if we return and subject to relevant permissions being granted, to add an extension to the flat roof. The house is free-standing and two storey and the plan would call for a further storey set under a multi pitched roof; mansard; giving effectively a new floor plan that could be likened to a bungalow on top; first floor and attic.

Any relevant info. would be welcomed by a new member, Nara.
Andy M   
20 Jan 2010
Language / Polish was chosen the HARDEST LANGUAGE in the world to learn... :D [1558]

Polish - 7 cases. Finnish 13! My father assured me that of the two, Polish was significantly easier to learn and he spoke both; amongst others; fluently.

Don't know whether I agree with difficult pronunciation, in point of fact I would say it is relieved of the inconsistencies that English enjoys. Once one has learnt the non changing value of a letter it becomes reasonably straightforward with the obvious exception of extremely unfamiliar letter groupings.