The BEST Guide to POLAND
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Posts by zinc  

Joined: 6 Feb 2010 / Male ♂
Last Post: 9 Aug 2012
Threads: 1
Posts: 8
From: Sydney
Speaks Polish?: nie zwyt (not really)
Interests: Languages, Science, Football, History

Displayed posts: 9
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9 Aug 2012
Law / Investment advice - my options in Poland? [50]

Thanks for the suggestions guys,

I think property is out of my league, minimum in Wroclaw seems to be about 5k per m2, but it is I think the best investment here generally since rents are often high enough to cover mortgage repayments and prices keep going up.

Ziemowit's idea of spreading across three currencies seems a good one or at least 3 different baskets. And yeah grubus I think you're right about the fine print though I'm a bit overwhelmed every time I have to sift through it.

In terms of stocks I'm considering it, the problem for me is my lack of knowledge of the local market but it's much more rewarding on a personal level to buy and sell shares than fight with banks and fine print.

Anyhow, I started asking at a few banks today and the range of options is quite large, and sometimes I'm limited by being a non-permanent-resident which is a bit annoying. a friend suggested 'open finance' so I'll take a look there next.
8 Aug 2012
Law / Investment advice - my options in Poland? [50]

Hi all,

I've accumulated a small sum (around 15k zl) which I figure I should probably invest somehow since I don't have immediate plans for it. It'll probably grow a fair bit over the next year too.

Can anyone recommend how I should go about finding a good advisor to explain my options in Poland? (I'm in Wroclaw and can speak probably enough Polish to handle a non-English speaker if need be)

My girlfriend has pointed out that banks in Poland fairly openly scam their clients by tricking them into commitments they never intended and that investment funds here are riskier than in other countries due to a lack of regulation. On the other hand inflation is high, and so not putting money somewhere is self defeating, so my feeling is that finding a trustworthy advisor (or two) is pretty critical ...

any help is much appreciated!
17 Jul 2011
Language / GCSE Polish - the best way of learning the seven cases? [12]

There's no way around it, you do need to learn cases, there are two main ways to practice them:

1) exercises, i.e. gap fills. There aren't a great deal of resources online but there is this one: polishgrammar.
2) collocations - don't try and remember words, instead focus on phrases and sentences, this requires a lot of reading/listening

Generally, the most common cases used are: Nominative, Accusative, Genetive then Instrumental and Locative, then Dative and finally Vocative.

Vocative is really not worth learning as a set of rules, it's more of a 'pick it up as you go along' kind of case.

Dative is most commonly used with pronouns so don't worry about the more general use until you're comfortable with them

A good tip to help is to remember the question words (e.g. czego, kogo for Genetive) these help because they often tell you the male/neuter adj. endings, i.e. -ego for the genetive

In my experience it really just takes time to get used to things, nom, acc and gen are pretty easy to get used to, instrumental is also easy to form and use. Locative can be a real pain, it's best to remember example words with different endings, then when you hit a similar word you can refer to the ones you've memorised. Often also the cases have the same endings, e.g. feminine dative and locatative, so it's not *quite* as impossible as it seems.

good luck and remember that to learn you need to make mistakes, so be patient!
6 Jul 2011
Language / Need Advice On Polish-English language barrier (my Polish boyfriend and his family) [59]

an alternative idea is to try and find a 'neutral' language (russian might be good) and go along with the parents to lessons in that ... most likely they will give up quickly (especially if it's a hard language for them) but it will help them realise how tough it is for you and that may probably help you to learn, as a minimum it will give you some grounds to communicate in and a shared experience.

I have a friend married to a Pole who speaks only a little Polish, her in-laws speak Polish, but she also has polish family who she lived with for a bit, she can communicate really well with them just through experience, and through both they and she really being driven to communicate. So I guess if you can find situations where your bf's mum or dad need to find a way to communicate with you, you can start to form some kind of way of communication. Finding some kind of activity you can do one-on-one with them is probably the key, e.g. helping with cooking (sorry for the stereotype but this is Poland). How far you can go depends on how keen they are to help you and probably you'll need to explain that to your boyfriend to get him to get them on side.
6 Jul 2011
Language / Is fluency in Polish for an English speaker possible?! [30]

to make the 'ę' sound, first thing about 3 sounds in English, an 'e' followed by a 'w' followed by an 'n' . Say them a few times together quickly, now focus on that last 'n' sound which is made by touching the top of your mouth with your tongue. Try to hold your tongue slightly back from touching the top of your mouth, while still making a similar sound. Now the 'n' should be nasal (using the back of your tongue).

The good thing about the 'ę' sound is that it's actually commonly just pronounced as either 'en' (e.g. before t) or 'e' (at the end of most words or before ł). 'piękny' is a good example, it's pronunciation is closest to 'piengkny'.

For 'ł' just do the english 'w' sound, it may not be exactly the same (?), but it's very close.

Probably you're having difficulties because you're finding it hard to switch out of English pronunciation mode when reading a new word, this is because the roman alphabet is a kind of false friend. Mentally it's good to tell yourself 'I'm in Polish mode' and then go through a word slowly sound by sound. A good test is when you go to say the word 'pub', if you mispronounce it as 'poob' and not 'pub' as in English, then it's a sign that your brain is doing things right (even if you're getting that one word wrong as it should retain the English pronunciation)

Anyway, hope that all helps :)
5 Jul 2011
Language / Is fluency in Polish for an English speaker possible?! [30]

I remember there's a video on youtube I saw about how to roll your 'r's with a couple of interesting words to practice ... ah found it:

I can kind of do it, though I think I'm doing it the 'Lennin' way. Anyway, the way I found that worked for me what to do an 'unvoiced' version first, I think he suggests this in the video. It's a muscle training thing though, so it's never going to happen over-night and will come and go for months before you really hit consistency.

The hardest thing for me is really forcing myself to use Polish when with almost everyone I know English is the easiest/quickest/least-painful option :/
25 Jun 2011
Language / Learning Polish...looking for a software package? [10]

yeah rosetta stone is not a good option, the main problem with it is that it's too easy, and basically you don't learn anything if you aren't challenged a bit. Pimsleur is a much better initial option.

go supermemo for vocab, but you need grammar, listening, speaking and reading in addition, as supermemo is best for vocab. I worked best by using a range of different options, there is the (free) pitt uni polish course which is good for grammar. For listening and reading I haven't found any great on-line resources so I recommend the Hurra books and course. For my speaking I started a skype language exchange which I'm still doing after a year :)

I haven't tried the supermemo 'with a teacher' option, that might be a good way to go if you have cash to fork out and are looking for an 'all in one' option, but yeah rosetta stone is a terrible waste of money
23 Jun 2011
Language / Polish & French Grammar/Vocabulary [5]

Polish learning resources are few and far between, I don't know of any french ones, but a google of "apprendre polonais" does give a few sites.

I'd recommend the first 'Hurra po polsku' book (which is purely in Polish) with a meeting with a tutor once a week.
I do a language exchange with a Polish tutor who lives in France, I can put you in touch with her if you like.
23 Jun 2011
Language / Polish B1 certificate [7]

You can see how close you are to passing by doing the practice test online:

I'll be taking the exam in a couple of months (and will hopefully pass, though it's no sure thing), I've been studying Polish for about a year and a half. There is one book which is designed for those planning on taking the exam:

Bądź na B1

I don't know of any really good level check tests to see how close you are to B1, but if for example you've finished the first 2 Hurra po polsku books, you should be pretty close.

Hope that helps!