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I need advice - how long does it take to learn Polish?


still_wisher 7 | 97
31 Mar 2009  #1
foreigners speaking polish please help !! i need someone to tell me how long it took to be good in polish not perfect?? which i started to think tha there is no way !! my brain hurting me ! i'm in poland about almost 9 months i think i can understand ppl if they will keep it slow so i can get the words without hearing some r eating (się ,ci ......)..
benszymanski 8 | 465
31 Mar 2009  #2
I have been pretty well immersed in Polish (no English speaking friends/colleagues/neighbours, no English TV) and in my case I would say about 3 years. The first two I was actively learning and studying. The last year or so I haven't studied much but just look up new vocab here and there.

My brain hurt for probably the first 18 months - hang in there!
OP still_wisher 7 | 97
31 Mar 2009  #3
really thank u ! im in the same just at least my polish friends speaking english , i'm learning by my own , but it's good to hear it will take a while because i started to think that im damn stupid , sometimes i feel that i can't jump the limit and get in my brain anymore ..
mafketis 20 | 7,180
31 Mar 2009  #4
I knew one woman who arrived in Poland after a (not very good) one semester course and after six months was taking (informal) medical advice over the phone. Her grammar hurt the ears but she got by.

Also remember that learning a language is a process, not an event. Just keep plugging away (feel free to take breaks to let it sink in too).
mark007 - | 58
31 Mar 2009  #5
czesc jak leci?Hey I have been here just over a year and I know exactly how you feel. I study with books and cds every week, my girlfriend is polish and her family can't really speak english and I swap english for polish with someone else. I still feel still I'm struggling but the pronunciation and reading have started to improve a little. Keep going and good luck.
PolskaDoll 28 | 2,105
1 Apr 2009  #6
Everyone takes different lengths of time to learn so don't worry if you appear slower than someone else who is learning because you'll also be picking it up faster than another person.

It all depends on the amount of time you can give to learning each day, each week and how easy or difficult you are finding it. Some aspects of the language you may pick up straight away and others you may have great difficulty with. Don't worry about it. It will come.

It's good that you understand people when they speak slowly, it means you're not far away from understanding them when they speak quickly. :) Keep at it. :)
cjjc 29 | 408
1 Apr 2009  #7
I've been going about 8 months now give or take and yes... my head hurts!

I've learned so much about English from learning about Polish, I did not know what a verb was... an adverb, noun, adjective, perfective, imperfective etc etc and it's been hard so far.

I still don't know a lot of stuff like the cases etc and after I've learned how to conjugate verbs then I'll move along to this.

I study new nouns all the time to keep me going. I'm actually starting to feel like I'm getting somewhere but I have a 4 year plan and then I think I'll be ready for Czech too.

My point is you can't expect miracles because it's just not going to happen.

5 Years... thats my own plan...

:)
OP still_wisher 7 | 97
2 Apr 2009  #8
5 years ! sounds long time ! but u know what , it made me feel good:)
anyways dose anyone know a good plan or better way than collecting from evrywhere ?
as i said im learning by my own , sometimes i feel lost ! and i'm fighting with the language and i know i will win one day but i don't want this day to be way far .. i found that it's better when- i catch a word from a polish (wife,parents in law, friend ,tv and so on ..)- than when i use books, because simply i know lots of words but i don't know how to write it specialy if it with (si , ci , sz , cz , ś , ć ) which i think 80% got them:)
gumishu
3 Apr 2009  #9
the rules of writing sounds in Polish are quite consistent. Maybe a bit complicated. (just a bit is my opinion) You just have to learn them.

as for si - ś
you never write śa, śe, śo, śu - i.e. those 'accented' consonant signs do not ever precede a vowel
you write sia, sie, sio, siu instead (the same goes with ć, ń, ź, dź)
siusiu - pee
sio - shoo
się - oneself/one another or nicht uebersetzbar ;)
Kasia, Kasi, Kasię - as Pani, Panią
pasie, pasiesz - he heards, you heard
masa, masie - mass (nominative, accusative/locative)

sometimes when you hear ś or ć you should however write ź and
(voiced consonants like ź, dź but also b,d,dz,g,w,z,ż often become 'devoiced' especially in the end of words but also in front of naturally voiceless consonants (c, ć, f, ch, k, p, s, ś, sz, t) in the mid of a word

examples spadź (honey-dew) sounds almost like spać to sleep
jaź (a kind of a fish) sounds like Jaś (Johnny)

you can definitely find more thorough explanation of the issues even in the English web
OP still_wisher 7 | 97
3 Apr 2009  #10
very helpfullll!! thank u so much ..
IcyIvy
28 Apr 2010  #11
actully i know how long it takes to speak polish!
it only takes about 24 hours to learn a whole 267 words exact!
this is how!first you need to take a deep breath!Then on your computer type in polish to english translating.then fing Bing awnsers click on it and let it LOAD!After it LOADS down you will see a box about 5 inches long and 3 inches wide.Click on that then write in any word you want!For example act like i wrote in the word/sentence How are you?

then in polish it will say this Jak się miewasz?then after every word you wrote in polish on the website,write it in POLISH on a piece of paper!Finally after about 21 words on a paper exit out of ur translation website!then you look at ur paper and look at the polish word for example umm Sómmer, then you try to find out what that word is! if u think u got it right then you have to write the awnser you think it is next to it!Lastly you check ur work to see if its right!One more thing, do this every 10 minutes on one day of ur weekend until you remember everything perfecly! and theirs ur awnser!
internaldialog 4 | 145
28 Apr 2010  #12
it only takes about 24 hours to learn a whole 267 words exact!

REALLY!!!!!

alot of people have been doing it wrong then?

then fing Bing awnsers click on it and let it LOAD!

HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHA LOL use a online translator .. online translators are wrong 99.9% of the time

if you want to learn use skype, find classes taught in your local area, immense yourself in the language every day, use Livemocha, ask your Polish friends to teach you

and even Polish people will tell you you cannot learn it in 4 weeks neither ... so avoid that book and cd as you will waste your money!
wildrover 98 | 4,452
28 Apr 2010  #13
I have been in Poland 35 years...i can still say only hello...and bugger off....!
pgtx 29 | 3,159
28 Apr 2010  #14
you suck.... lol ;)
Seanus 15 | 19,706
28 Apr 2010  #15
Don't you do too, pgtx? ;) ;)

Learning Polish really depends on the devotion of time to it and how flexible a mind you have.
Arien 3 | 721
29 Apr 2010  #16
you suck.... lol ;)

Now, now! Be nice to the poor old geezer? (It's not his fault he's getting a bit slow and senile these days!)
pgtx 29 | 3,159
29 Apr 2010  #17
Don't you do too, pgtx? ;) ;)

my English may suck but i know more then one word and i have been here 7 years ;P

;)
skysoulmate 14 | 1,297
29 Apr 2010  #18
I have been in Poland 35 years...i can still say only hello...and bugger off....!

Is that true??

Can you say hello and bugger off in Spanish too? You must be a Mexican then... ;)
SouthMancPolak - | 104
29 Apr 2010  #19
foreigners speaking polish please help !! i need someone to tell me how long it took to be good in polish not perfect?? which i started to think tha there is no way !! my brain hurting me ! i'm in poland about almost 9 months i think i can understand ppl if they will keep it slow so i can get the words without hearing some r eating (się ,ci ......)..

I can't comment as a "foreigner", as I'm from a Polish family who brought me up to be bilingual. But like those guitar books which claim that you can "play like Jimi Hendrix in three months", you can't become fluent in any language in a few months. I'd say at least a year or two. Working in a country would help significantly.

Some personal examples follow.

French: I took French at school and for a year at uni, but didn't use it in public until over a decade later. To get by in French, I studied for two months before going to France, in order to be able to get around with the basics, but I still couldn't read a French paper.

Italian: No previous experience, started learning three months before going to Italy, got by with the basics with few problems. Likewise, I couldn't read an Italian paper.

Czech: prior knowledge of Polish helped significantly. Started learning two months before travelling, left the phrase book at the hotel after one afternoon in town, could read virtually all of the signs, could read local papers quite easily. Ended up having conversations a few days into my holiday, and even gave some directions to out-of-towners, haha.

Cantonese: started four months before travelling and only managed to remember a few dozen words. I can recognise about 20 Chinese characters, but sadly about 2000 are needed to start reading a paper lol :( Must try harder for next time!

Unfortunately, we Poles love to speak fast (I speak Polish much faster than English, even though I was born here), which probably doesn't help either!
polgen28 - | 4
11 Nov 2011  #20
Someone said it takes 20 years to learn Polish so you have 11 years to go. Good luck!
pwnage
26 Feb 2012  #21
I have been learning Polish for 16 months and I am able to understand very quick speech, I have no problem understanding contemporary polish in actual realistic situations. I am 19 years old and I have never been to Poland, but I always talk to Polish people. So don't worry, it's all good =] By the way I have no Polish ancestry.
Pooledogg 1 | 11
7 Dec 2013  #22
It depends. I have been here 3 years and am still basic but for the first 18 months I was working so much I didn't have time or money for lessons. Now I have a more stable position (teaching English of course) and do a language exchange. My problem is I always feel stupid and this led me to become an introvert as I couldn't say what I wanted as I am really an extrovert. If you spend about a year having lessons and then just use the language everywhere it will help a lot. Now I am at a weird stage where I can communicate and people understand my broken Polish but I don't understand as much as I can say so I have problems with replies to my questions or when a conversation starts and I have no context to base it on. Conversely I have a friend who has been here 7 years and is self taught and completely fluent. It depends on the person and also your first language. Any slavic language and you'll be like a native in 2 years. English/German/French/Spanish anything from 18 months-15 years to reach good intermediate.
Kevvy 2 | 37
7 Dec 2013  #23
learning Polish is the most daunting thing I have ever done, but moved to Poland with my partner and son last month, Ive never even thought of learning another language but where I live hardly anyone can speek english so i have to learn and i would estimate that i have learnt 100 words in the last 4 weeks with good pronounciation and can count to 100, it feels like i will never be able to have a full conversation but i look at it like my partner learnt english so i can learn Polish. I found that in some ways its a little simpiler than the english language but on the other end of the scale the is sometimes a hell of a lot harder there is many polish words for one english word like dobre, dobrzre, dobry.... and picking the right one to use in the right situation is i find a nightmare, same with saying hello
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
7 Dec 2013  #24
The most daunting, and surely (one of) the most rewarding, no?
:-)

Saying hello's half the battle right there. Kevvy. It's the goodbye part that keeps people reelingLOL
Wulkan - | 3,251
7 Dec 2013  #25
Any slavic language and you'll be like a native in 2 years. English/German/French/Spanish anything from 18 months-15 years to reach good intermediate.

negative sir

I found that in some ways its a little simpiler than the english language

which aspects did you find easier?
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
7 Dec 2013  #26
Pre-empting Kevvy's response for the moment, Polish orthography is MUCH more straightforward, I dare say, transparent, than English with her umpteen silent letters, muted vowels and swallowed dipthongs! Polish consonant clusters personally pale by comparison. Take for instance "P - R - Z - Y.." before a word; it's ALWAYS going to be pronounced as a "P - S - Z.." (using Polish phonetics here) and nothing else.

So much for the consistency of Polish phonology.

Granted, the inflectional morphology of Polish, verbal aspects and number quirks CAN indeed leave the rest of us non-genii out there scratching our heads:-)
Kevvy 2 | 37
7 Dec 2013  #27
It will be rewarding once I get there, but right now it's a little scary especially when I try to speak polish to my family I tend to mumble I case I get it wrong, you're right saying goodbye is just as difficult as hello lol
delphiandomine 83 | 17,626
7 Dec 2013  #28
which aspects did you find easier?

Polish is much easier when asking for things - there's no need to dress the request up with countless words, and people don't think you're being rude by being direct.
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
7 Dec 2013  #29
And if the stray Pole, seeing your heroic efforts to speak his/her "unpronounceable" tongue, casts a chirpy English greeting your way, "HALLAOO!" as they often do in that sort of nasal drone of theirs, just politely respond in your best Polish and that usually does the trick.

Delphiandomine, you're right on the money!

Poles, like many other Europeans, become most impatient with this Anglo-American habit of smiling before an exceptionally indirect, super-polite request, rather than simply getting right to the point and making their request plain without warming up, e.g. "Hi there! Howya doin'? When you have a chance, would you kindly let me have the check/bill?" etc.. Poles just say, "Proszę o rachunek!", Germans, "Zahlen, bitte!" (lit. "Pay, please!") and so on.
Kevvy 2 | 37
7 Dec 2013  #30
I noticed that you just come out and say something with out longing it out. I might be wrong but you wouldn't say please May I have you'll just say the word if the item you want


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