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What is your biggest problem with Polish language?

21 Jan 2020 #1
Why would it make a difference in your life to get a good answer for this problem or find a solution for your need?( Details please.)
gumishu 13 | 6,144
21 Jan 2020 #2
Polish language is illogical and obscures the reality
RubasznyRumcajs 5 | 499
21 Jan 2020 #3
Wow, how does the language "obscure the reality"? Be specific
Rich Mazur 4 | 3,070
21 Jan 2020 #4
Polish language is illogical and obscures the reality

I read your posts about global warming and realized how smart you are. Now, with that single sentence, you got yourself promoted to brilliant.
That's right. Illogical and obscures reality - just as does speaking in riddles, overusing allegories with colorful adjectives, and hiding nouns. The concept of plausible deniability comes to mind as a tool to stay out of trouble.

Direct, simple sentences are rare. Clear and unambiguous answers ever rarer. Those must extracted - like teeth.
Lyzko 42 | 9,138
21 Jan 2020 #5
Undoubtedly for me, the biggest problem with Polish remains my frequent doubts as to when to apply perfective vs. imperfective verb forms:-) For whatever reason, vocabulary, even the counting, doesn't confound me to the same extent.

Rather as with German, the language with which I grew up and currently teach, unlike Polish, foreign learners must decide when (often why) certain verbs take their respective cases. In Polish, as an adult foreigner learner (being nearly thirty before my first Polish lesson!) I continue to grapple with those aspectual issues.

Then again, I can only speak for myself.
Rich Mazur 4 | 3,070
21 Jan 2020 #6
perfective vs. imperfective

I grew up in that language and I couldn't tell the difference between the two.
Lyzko 42 | 9,138
21 Jan 2020 #7
Perhaps that's why, Rich!

I'm presently learning Korean. Asking my native-born teacher about particles in Korean would almost be like asking the everyday, even educated, American
English native speaker to describe for a foreigner when to use tenses.
Unless you're an English TEACHER, chances are you won't know and you won't care much since it's second nature to you:-)
Ironside 52 | 11,774
21 Jan 2020 #8
Polish language is illogical and obscures the reality

WTF? Are you one of those 'thinkers' living in a cabin in the woods? What a nonsense...
21 Jan 2020 #9
I often have the most difficulties in distinguishing between all these spoken sounds: "CZ vs. Ć" / "DRZ or DŻ vs. DŹ" / "SZ vs. Ś" / "RZ or Ż vs. Ź" when they're all spelled/pronounced before most consonants (also when they're spelled/pronounced in last-letter position), and when they're spelled/pronounced before most vowels. I have less difficulties distinguishing which of those is (not) spelled/pronounced before Letters Ł & N/NI/Ń, which of those is (not) spelled/pronounced before Vowel Y, and which of those is (not) spelled/pronounced pronounced before "Vowel i + Consonant" and before Vowel i in last-letter position. Other difficulties I have are distinguishing between spoken sounds "DRZ vs. DŻ" (my understanding is that DRZ is pronounced as separate Letter D before RZ?), and spoken "ĄL vs. OL" / "ĄŁ vs. OŁ" (although my understanding is that Vowel Ą is spelled/pronounced before only Letter Ł, not Letter L? And on a different note, my understanding is that ĄŁ is commonly a past-tense verb suffix, and OŁ is rarely such a suffix, if even at all?), and spoken "EL vs. ĘL" / "EŁ vs. ĘŁ", and spoken last-letter positions "E vs. Ę" (although less difficulties distinguishing which of those final 3 duos are spelled/pronounced after Letters G & K). Also sometimes difficult to distinguish between spoken sounds "N vs. Ń" before consonants (excluding before CZ and SK), and spoken sounds "(i)ó vs. (i)u" (excluding nonexistents "Ó + Vowel" and nonexistent last-letter Ó). Also sometimes difficult to determine correct spelling of mixed voiced & voiceless (or vice-versa order) consonant clusters pronounced in first-letter positions before the 1st vowel, and when those mixed clusters are pronounced between vowels, and when those mixed clusters (and also when certain individual devoiced consonants are) pronounced in last-letter positions. The least difficulties I have in determining correct spellings from pronunciations are when certain individual consonants are pronounced in first-letter positions before 1st vowel (including when Letters J, L, Ł, M, N/NI, and R are spelled/pronounced after those first-letter consonants before 1st vowel), and when they're pronounced between vowels...the least difficult of those being being individual Letters B, C (including CI + Consonant, and CZY), CH/H (although sometimes difficult to distinguish between spoken CH and spoken individual Letter H, except certain words of non-Polish origin spelled only individual Letter H), D (including DZ, and DZI + Consonant, and DRZY/DŻY...although sometimes difficult to distinguish between DRZ/DŻ), F, G, J, K, L, Ł (although sometimes difficult to detect pronunciation if Letter Ł spelled between consonants and/or spelled in last-letter position after consonants), M, N/NI, P, R (excluding RZ), S (including SI + Consonant, and SZY), T, W, and Z (including ZI + Consonant)

Oops to answer your question in your Post #1, I guess to certain extents I enjoy learning complex subjects (such as grammar, language arts, etc), keeps my mind active...or at least keeps me awake (although sometimes not LOL)
Rich Mazur 4 | 3,070
21 Jan 2020 #10
Perhaps that's why, Rich!

There are many painters who are great at painting without knowing the chemical composition of paints. That is why I find dissecting languages - as opposed to using - extremely boring, if not annoying.

Just look at Post 9. If I didn't know better, I would bet it's a comedy routine.
How do kids learn to be fluent by the time they are eight? By reading this kind of crap?
Janusz2020 - | 1
21 Jan 2020 #11
Thank you for your detailed description of the problem. What about speaking and things like aspekt dokonany/niedokonany ?
Rich Mazur 4 | 3,070
21 Jan 2020 #12
Just use them as appropriate.
21 Jan 2020 #13
Well believe it or not I'm actually way more interested in the grammatical aspects of languages (especially orthography & phonology, and sentence structures), and not so much the communicative/conversational aspects (although I do try to learn a few basic everyday Polish phrases here & there)...basically the exact opposite of most people who enjoy learning languages. I've been reading here & there about Polish imperfective & perfective infinitives/verbs, paying special attention to conjugations of verb tenses (participles), and also adjectives/adverbs/nouns derived from infinitives. I can somewhat determine when to best use imperfective or perfective infinitives in sentences, and I can somewhat recognize basic parts of speech (noun, adjective, adverb, infinitive/verb, preposition, etc) in Polish language, although admittedly more so by eye than by ear
Rich Mazur 4 | 3,070
22 Jan 2020 #14
Let me help you out of your misery... Poland will be an English speaking country soon. To their credit, Mexico almost is where the Americans linger. No need to speak Spanish there. In fact, Mexicans are super nice people, have a great sense of humor and actually enjoy using their English. Polish is as irrelevant in the world as Swahili.
Wincig 2 | 227
22 Jan 2020 #15
Polish language is illogical and obscures the reality

A bit more complicated than that, Polish language, like all languages, reflects how the Polish mind works. And in my experience (living 6 years in Poland and having a Polish wife for the last 35 years), it works as an alliance of opposites. Rigorous when it comes to following/respecting procedures, yet impulsive and emotional, like most Slavs. When I was in Poland 10 years ago, I used to say to foreigners visiting Poland that the best way to get insight into Polish mentality was to stand at the corner of Marzalkowska and Grzybowska (close to where my offices were) and watch. Unlike in the UK or France, pedestrians would wait for the green man before crossing, thus epitomizing the respect of procedures side. On the other hand, you just had to watch how motorists behaved to see the Slavic side!
Lyzko 42 | 9,138
22 Jan 2020 #16
Language dissection is no end captivating, I must roundly disagree! Furthermore, NO country will ever become "completely" any-other-language speaking apart from her own mother tongue. Yours is a pipemare aka pipe dream nightmare, because language is actually little more than a thought process in the long run, and NOT merely a speech utterance:-)

If you bother to inform yourself concerning linguistics prior to posting flip answers, read Pinkert, Chomsky, Vygotsky and others concerning both the development as well as the practical application of language in everyday life. A Polish speaker speaking English, is still thinking in Polish with English coming out.

Multiply that by any other country's language!


Exactly right. You took the words from out of my mouth. Just because Rich believes that nearly every country will soon becoming English speaking, that surely doesn't mean that it will necessarily also be English thinking.
Ziemowit 14 | 4,361
22 Jan 2020 #17
Just because Rich believes that nearly every country will soon becoming English speaking

This is crap as almost everything Rich writes here (or at least so it was until the time I put him on my ignore list :-). We had been through this before when Latin had been spilled over the civilized world of the time, that is over southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. And what happened next? Latin split into many different languages like Italian, French, Spanish or Romanian. On the other hand, Latin, the language of a relatively more powerful empire than the US (toutes proportions gardées) is today, did not succeed in forcing ancient Greek out of the lands where it was the dominant language before the Roman expansion.

The same story will apply to English. As for any other language on this earth, its life span - whatever long it may be - is limited as it is bound to give birth to other descendant languages and thus disappear from this earth completely one day.
Rich Mazur 4 | 3,070
22 Jan 2020 #18
A Polish speaker speaking English, is still thinking in Polish with English coming out.

I don't care how they think as long as I get what I ordered. There is nothing that fascinating or intellectually stimulating about the average Joe walking down the street that is worth the effort. So, just as all airport towers communicate in English, the world is fast switching to English as the single best language ever. In China, English is everywhere. On top of that, it's the American version of it that wins hands down except where people hold their cups with two fingers.

There is a very good reason why in Polish schools English is mandatory. Like math. Without it, it's washing dishes, night guarding, or being a parasite on the government dime in Warka.
Lyzko 42 | 9,138
22 Jan 2020 #19
Oh, I agree in theory!
But ya can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, it ain't gonna our lifetime anyway:-)
Rich Mazur 4 | 3,070
22 Jan 2020 #20
Allegories are useless or deflections. If you replace it with a direct statement that does not need interpretation I will be more that happy to comment.

To be a creative writer in a foreign language it takes the kind of effort nobody who works for a living has the time or the energy for. It's for the trust fund parasites whose daily routines include tennis, golf, and replenishing their supply of wines and cigars. Even then it will soon occur to them to ask: why the fu*ck am I doing this bs - like studying Korean. Like, what's the payback?
Lyzko 42 | 9,138
22 Jan 2020 #21
In studying Korean, for example, one learns to communicate in the client's language!
Remember that old wisdom. The most important language in the world is neither English, nor Chinese, nor Russian, nor Spanish, but the language the customer speaks:-)

The "payback" as you call it, is the satisfaction of knowing that one is contributing to an increasingly global economy. Look how many Koreans study English. Yet how many native Anglophones learn Korean! It's all a matter of supply vs. demand. The demand for foreign language speakers world wide is increasing, more today than ever, only folks such as you don't know it.

Your observations are short sighted at best, in a word, typically American.

My analogy before was meant to say that you can try through years of study to turn a Polish speaker into a future English speaker, not though into an English thinker. You can take the boy out of the country......
Miloslaw 19 | 4,640
22 Jan 2020 #22
@Lyzko A Polish speaker speaking English, is still thinking in Polish with English coming out.

This is it with languages.
You have to be able to think in the language you are speaking in to speak it properly.
I only speak three languages fluently, English, Polish and French.
And I can remember several occasiions when I have returned to England after a long stay in France or Poland and first spoke in English after a long absence and it all came out wrong..... it even sounded weird to my own ears..... because I was still thinking in French or Polish....
Lyzko 42 | 9,138
22 Jan 2020 #23
The only difference is that Poles, French, Germans, the whole bunch, are literally inculcated, year after year after bloody year with mind-numbing hack English instruction by sinecure monsters sponsored through state-sponsored bribery to even get such government jobs! Typically, they are native speakers of their mother language, not English, and consequently, Europeans in this case, learn English with no particular desire to "sound like" Anglophone out of some desire to reproduce the aesthetics of the English tongue!

A skilled and diligent Anglo-Saxon foreign language major at university from the UK or the US is a different animal all together. They are in my experience from college often ravenous to devour as much of the best which foreign languages have to offer.

Therefore, many on the whole speak a foreign language better than their foreign interlocutor knows English.
Rich Mazur 4 | 3,070
22 Jan 2020 #24
My position is simple: If you don't speak English, get lost. I will find somebody who does.
I do it everywhere, including Polish stores and restaurants here in the US. I did it in Poland 80% of the time and all was fine. It was when I tried my Polish that I got in trouble because they spoke too fast using the words that were created - form English, of course - during my 50-year absence. Even here at PF, that "Polish" looks and feels like American garbage from a Polish dump.
Miloslaw 19 | 4,640
22 Jan 2020 #25
Therefore, many on the whole speak a foreign language better than their foreign interlocutor knows English

That is not my experience I'm afraid.
In general, Brits and Yanks are terrible at learning foreign languages, because most of them don't feel the need to.
Continental Europeans are much better at learning foreign languages than "Anglo Saxons" because they feel that they need to.
Lyzko 42 | 9,138
22 Jan 2020 #26
I qualified my answer with "foreign language majors". The latter are scarcely your rank-and-file Anglophones, forced into learning high school foreign language requirements! However, for the masses, at least here in the States, I would have to agree, unfortunately.

Method aside though, we don't as often hear about lazy Europeans who speak lousy English:-)
Miloslaw 19 | 4,640
22 Jan 2020 #27
Because they are not as common as lazy Brits and Yanks who speak lousy French and German.
I would not expect any of them to speak Polish..... :-)
Rich Mazur 4 | 3,070
22 Jan 2020 #28
because they feel that they need to.

Damn right. I don't have so why should I? To feel better? If I want to feel better, I make a charitable donation or have an ice cream.

Everything has its limits and capacity. It is critical that we manage how we allocate our time and energy and purge what is useless. In the US, with the exception of Spanish, every foreign language is garbage. If I can apply for a Polish passport at the Polish consulate in Chicago in English, including a conversation with some vice-consul, my English is all I need. In my case, it also feels good.
Miloslaw 19 | 4,640
22 Jan 2020 #29
Damn right. I don't have so why should I?

But this is my point Rich, you made the effort to learn English because you felt you had to.
So much so that you now reject your mother tongue..... there are not many Brits or Yanks that would do that the other way round with,say, French or German.
Rich Mazur 4 | 3,070
22 Jan 2020 #30
you made the effort to learn English because you felt you had to.

...but not to feel better, expand my horizons or to be able to savor local culture. I did it to eat.

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