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The Polish language - it's bloody hard!

Seanus 15 | 19,706
8 Dec 2008 #151
No cheating, no. There was some tense recall but I'm never fully sure on some occasions.
Marek 4 | 867
8 Dec 2008 #152
I second the congrats, Seanus!!

Well done, fellow struggler-:)-:)--:)

As far as the difficulty of Polish, I've recently made forrays into Navajo and found that it was considered the ideal language for code during WWII owing to its unusual complexity, not the least of which, it's relatively small speaker percentage in the world-:)
Seanus 15 | 19,706
8 Dec 2008 #153
Navajo, HOW? LOL

Thanks Marek
Marek 4 | 867
8 Dec 2008 #154
Well. in addition to it's being f_ _ _ _ g impenetrable looking to anyone but a bleedin' Navajo or perhaps Athabaskan-language family speaker, it's verb conjugations seem to make Polish et al. look like a jolly romp through Battersea Park!!-:)

Plus, it has NO WRITTEN GUIDE, ('cuz it's not a written language), ergo whoever the hell feels like speaking it, he or she can do it any way they bloody please! BRRRRR, scary, mate.
21 Feb 2009 #155
fajnie że nie którzy ludzie są zainteresowani tym językiem... :)
it's nice that some people are interested in this language...:)
Marek 4 | 867
21 Feb 2009 #156
It's both practical as well as fun to learn different languages. As Goethe himself said "Wer eine Fremdsprache nicht kennt, kennt nicht die eigene." = Whoever doesn't know a second language doesn't really know his own. -:):)
Seanus 15 | 19,706
21 Feb 2009 #157
Good point. I've found myself making Polish mistakes in English. Thankfully, it doesn't happen that often but I'm on the lookout for it. Prepositions are the culprit.
Marek 4 | 867
21 Feb 2009 #158
.....especially in Polish, what with case governing their use and those pesky two-way kinds such as 'na', 'pod' etc...
Seanus 15 | 19,706
21 Feb 2009 #159
Yeah, the cases throw up some puzzlers. The exceptions just have to be learned, there is no logic to work them out.
Marek 4 | 867
21 Feb 2009 #160
Much as with the gender of nouns-:):):) LOL
Seanus 15 | 19,706
21 Feb 2009 #161
Yeah, like remembering that kolega is masculine. Kierowca too.
Marek 4 | 867
21 Feb 2009 #162
etc.., ad infinitum
Juche 9 | 292
21 Feb 2009 #163
Korean, language of working peoples of North Korea, much more harder!!
Marek 4 | 867
21 Feb 2009 #164
Every language is hard compared with another,....particularly if you don't understand it-:):)

Wonder where the myth evolved that English is so easy? LOL If it were, we'd all know it MUCH better than we already do!
Bondi 4 | 142
1 Mar 2009 #165
No, it ain't easy. :) Even native speakers are lost at it, IMHO...
Marek 4 | 867
1 Mar 2009 #166
Spelling rules and the like, you mean. We sure are. Lost at sea, at least I am, when asked to spell words rarely used. Often gotta use that spell checker key. Obviously, unlike Hungarian (the polar opposite here), English words are practically NEVER pronounced exactly as they are written, right? First, there's that darned schwa-sound (the backwards 'e' so represented phonetically), then there're all those extra silent letters (unknown in Hungarian, and rare as Moon rocks in Polish as well), after that the assimilation of letters to produce sounds other than written, plus the umpteen exceptions to the exceptions!!!

Compared to all this, Hungarian pronounciation for me was almost like drinking a cool lemonade in the summer heat-:) LOL
southern 75 | 7,096
2 Mar 2009 #167
The Polish language - it's bloody hard!

Yes man,it is not english.
Marek 4 | 867
2 Mar 2009 #168
You're right about that one; IT'S BLOODY HARDER-:):) LOL

Polish may well have the upper hand on complicated morphology, i.e. cases, gender and the like, but English's got 'em all beat, Polish as merely one example, on chaotic spelling, pronunciation and an ever-changing vocabulary from disparate roots as well as a level of slang usage in the most everyday uses which makes even Polish seem almost straightforward by comparison

Confusing sentence. I meant that you're right, Southern, that Polish is not English; English (NOT Polish!) is "bloody harder". LOL
Bondi 4 | 142
4 Mar 2009 #169
English words are practically NEVER pronounced exactly as they are written, right? (etc.)

All because the English never have introduced diacritical marks to ease the pressure...

Remember the famous GHOTI?

-> ghoti = fish
benszymanski 8 | 465
4 Mar 2009 #170
All because the English never have introduced diacritical marks to ease the pressure...

And because we have had so many influences on the language - old English, Norse, German, French, Latin...

Plus nobody says words the same way anyway. For example "house" as said by a Londoner and a Scotsman is totally different, so which way is "correct" anyway?
Marek 4 | 867
4 Mar 2009 #171
Indeed, Bondi! That word was a Lewis Carroll invention, if I'm not mistaken.

Benszymański, unfortunately you're right. Perhaps the reason why any Tom, Dick and Harry worldwide thinks he or she can treat, resp/ mangle the poor English tongue as though it were their own personal property, while merrily insisting that Anglo speakers treat everyone else's mother language with kit gloves!!! LOL

Seems a bit silly, wouldn't you say?
1 Jan 2010 #172
You say that Polish pronounciation is hard? it's better than in English ;) there are only few exceptions, in English it's just like every word is pronounced in different way and THAT is difficult, lol^^

yeah, I'm speaking Polish since I've turned 1. Well, maybe about five months later ;)
But you know... most Poles don't know how to speak correctly and they say how they think it should be :)
I'm so happy to see that you learn Polish and you don't give up, because it's really "bloody hard"^^
And I gotta tell you that any polishman you'd try to talk polish to will appreciate your painful learning ;)

why are you learning THIS language?
2 Jan 2010 #173
My learning was scarcely "painful"!

Besides, in what other language, pray tell, does one communicate with Polish speakers, save for a smattering pre-Cold War Russian? Why is it Europeans feel this desire to 'switch' to English whenever they suspect a foreigner is struggling with their language? Who says the average Pole or whoever can speak English any better (or worse, for that matter) than any foreigner speaking Polish etc....? Never could, and still can't quite figure out the double standard here. Maybe I'm just slow)))))

I figure your learning of English has been pretty painful, yet most Poles are loathe to admit it. LOL
stevepl 2 | 49
2 Jan 2010 #174
Why is it Europeans feel this desire to 'switch' to English whenever they suspect a foreigner is struggling with their language?

I find that most Poles prefer talking to me in Polish even though I'm far from fluent (I'll never master the case endings). Even though I know they speak English fairly well.

But I agree with other comments that English is also difficult. I think as a beginer English is easier but after a certain point it's also very difficult. My wife's english is almost perfect,for fun she filled in a cambridge proficiency test without prior study and scored over 80% (I was pretty impressed). But she still struggles with written English especially with the definite and indefinite articles. That's probably because it's a fairly alien concept to Polish people.
3 Jan 2010 #175
"...even though I know they speak English well."

That small percentage of university-educated Poles, I trust you mean:-) I found the run-of the-mill Pole's English rather primitive myself. I of course gladly allowed my Polish to be corrected, the Poles, on the contrary, seemed to take almost instant umbrage at my even slightest re-phrasing of their often faulty English sentence structure! Often, I honestly COULDN'T understand what in blazes they were talking about. LOL Once, a rather attractive youngish woman,and first-time acquaintance, heard me ask her "Czy pani lepiej mówi po angielsku albo po niemiecku?". She then promptly claimed in a halting, pea-soup thick Polish accent, that she couldn't understand my Polish and requested that I repeat my sentence in (simple) English! Now if that isn't the pot calling the kettle black.

Most likely, she just wanted to flirt (though she came with someone I presumed was her boyfriend), but I wasn't taking any chances and ended up repeating my sentence in Polish.

"...But she still struggles with English, especially with the definite and indefinite articles..."

Most do, Steve, few however will admit it-:)

To continue only in brief, we native English speakers tend to take our mother tongue for granted, moreso, I think, than the average European. English orthography may well be the most complex in the world today. Then again, the very notion of learning over 500,000 Chinese hanyu characters, would fill the normal Westerner with dread. Polish nominal declensions run into at least a hundred some odd, true enough.

Then again, has ANY language in fact have the monopoly on difficulty??


Whoopsidaisy, mistyped that last sentence a bit.....

strzyga 2 | 993
3 Jan 2010 #176
She then promptly claimed in a halting, pea-soup thick Polish accent, that she couldn't understand my Polish and requested that I repeat my sentence in (simple) English! Now if that isn't the pot calling the kettle black.

Still, you could understand what she was saying.
I've no idea how good your Polish really is and how it sounds, so what I'm saying is just a general remark.
As it has already been stated many times in numerous threads on this forum, it's much easier to learn basic conversational English than basic conversational Polish. You need to know a lot more to make yourself understood on a basic level in Polish than in English. And the worst part is not the case endings - you could mix them up seriously and still get by - but verbs - just consider the difference in meaning between dać, zdać, wydać and zadać. It's very easy for a foreigner to mix them up and thus completely change the meaning of what they're trying to say. Add to this the usually butchered up pronunciation of prz trz szcz, and it can really take a lot of serious thinking on the part of a Polish listener to understand what the non-Pole is trying to say.

Don't get me wrong, I really admire you guys who've managed to make it with Polish and are able to hold a conversation. But it's just possible that the girl really wasn't able to get what you were saying and might have thought it easier to communicate in English.
BrutalButcher - | 391
3 Jan 2010 #177
"Czy pani lepiej mówi po angielsku albo po niemiecku?"

I can't speak Polish and even I understand that sentence.
strzyga 2 | 993
3 Jan 2010 #178
In writing. Whether you would have understood it spoken is another story.
bednar - | 2
3 Jan 2010 #179
Have you guys ever tried to learn polish from tv program'' Polonia TV''? They often play some polish tv series with English subtitles.I found it very useful to improve my English,so I think it should work the other way?
4 Jan 2010 #180

"Sprechen Sie besser (aber nicht unbedingt "lieber"!) Englisch oder Deutsch?" = Do you speak better (though not necessarily preferrably!) English or German? I decided to translate the question into your native tongue, Brutal Butcher. LOL

Had you been able to understand Polish, you would have understood what I asked the young lady:-)

Incidentally, older Poles speak far better German than English. Then again, the latter holds true for most Eastern Europeans, particularly the Czechs and Hungarians, along with other former 'Hapsburgians'.

" is much easier to learn basic conversation English than basic conversation Polish..."

Superficially at least, you're correct, Strzyga. My only addendum to your and other such commentary posted thus far on PF, is precisely this pervasive attitude in many European countries that, as English is 'easier', less seriousness need be invested in acquiring a deep knowledge of the language, compared with, say, Polish, Russian, German or French.

This notion is false! Why not simply admit the sad truth of the matter; English standards have been dumbed down horribly over the past several decades and the world is communicating in a steady stream of baby talk otherwise known as 'Globish'! Compare the speech of thebarely minimum educated classes in the US, for instance, in black-white movies from the '40's and '50's with the so-called better off denizens of these lavish blockbuster movies of today. Prior to the beginning of 1980, even popular Hollywood films had snappy, biting, literate dialogue. They too grossed millions, but my point is the general educational level of the average US public was higher.

I wonder if one compared Polish films from the Golden Post-War Era of early Wajda, Andrzejewski and Polański with those produced these days, if the contrast would be as striking as here in the States.

Sorry again for the above embarrassing typos, you guys!

B .B. I read your post too quickly and see now that you DID in fact understand my question in Polish.

However, you read/saw it, you didn't hear me pronounce it:-) Therein lies the crucial difference.

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