/ How do Poles feel about foreigners learning their language?
Yes, but in the worst case, you speak English with a strong accent. That's not possible with Polish tho ;)
This guy: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Godson speaks an excellent Polish. (I heard him on tv giving interviews a few times). His slight accent can be only heard only in a few words, however most words he pronounces just perfectly.
See for yourself here: youtube.com/watch?v=WyXzHDZpAHY
Polish is easy only if you speak another language that is very close to it. Otherwise it's not.
Not sure how long it took him to learn it so well, but his native language certainly is not even remotely close to Polish.
IMHO learning language well may be easy or hard (depending on various circumstances) but it is possible. It is just a matter of motivation. In other words: if you keep telling yourself "it is so hard" it will be. Try telling yourself "it's not so hard, I can do it" and results will be startling :)
A further point, Jackmark, one has the feeling throughout much of urban America that ENGLISH, not Cantonese, is the real "dying" languageLOL
That might be. In a few hundred years, we will have 'Spanglish' mixed with 'Ebonics' here ;)
Just joking, who knows how the language will evolve
Poles tend also to be less "inclusive".
With Polish, I do not think this is the "inclusive" versus "exclusive" attitude that is taking place here. Since following WWII Poland was for 45+ years cut off from the rest of the world behind the "Iron Curtain", few visited it, let alone learned Polish. Even now, admittedly, few outsiders speak Polish, hence any foreigner speaking it will be met with either with awe or surprised attitude, and not because he/she is mispronouncing words or making grammar errors but because he/she is speaking Polish at all!
Of course, Slavic languages are very closely related.
Admittedly, Polish noun declension and adjective inflection is confusing even to Poles (we learn it in school and make mistakes too). But you will be understood even when making horrible errors in that regard - just don't worry about it. I had similar issues with German (similar, yet simpler) but I cared less as the most important was to communicate. After a while (and watching enough German TV) the rate of errors in my German subsided. But that was a long time ago; now I have forgotten most of my German as I haven't been in contact with the language for quite some time.
Here is another commentary to "Polish is very hard, impossible to learn for non-Slavs" discussion: fluentin3months.com/polish/
Now this guy impresses me a lot!