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Polish was chosen the HARDEST LANGUAGE in the world to learn... :D


SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
8 Feb 2010 #331
Take Czech for example, which is a modern , very much SIMPLIFIED form of Polish language.

Czech pronunciation is more irregular than Polish.

And I have never heard anyone say that Czech grammar is easier than Polish.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
8 Feb 2010 #332
Czech pronunciation is more irregular than Polish.

I would say that apart from the "i - y" and "ú - ů" pitfalls, Czech spelling / pronunciation is very clear and consistent.

But

And I have never heard anyone say that Czech grammar is easier than Polish.

I agree wholeheartedly with the above. If anyone thinks Czech learners have it easy, just have a look at the Wikipedia entry on Czech grammar ;-)

(And that's just a very concise overview)!
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
8 Feb 2010 #333
I would say that apart from the "i - y" and "ú - ů" pitfalls, Czech spelling / pronunciation is very clear and consistent.

I was thinking of long/short vowels for example.

If anyone thinks Czech learners have it easy, just have a look at the Wikipedia entry on Czech grammar

On the other hand Polish grammar is also very difficult. The same number of cases (7) as Czech.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
8 Feb 2010 #334
I was thinking of long/short vowels for example.

All long vowels are clearly marked in spelling, so no problem there, I should think. They can only pose problems to speakers of languages which have no distinction between long and short vowels.

On the other hand Polish grammar is also very difficult. The same number of cases (7) as Czech.

Sure. I think what really makes Czech stand out though is the verb aspect system and conjugation ;-)

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czech_conjugation#Verb_classes
Derevon 12 | 172
8 Feb 2010 #335
Are you saying Czech conjugation is even harder than Polish? :O Hmm... at least they don't have to worry about pan, pani, panowie...

I only see 5 different classes on that link. Wiktionary lists 17 different conjugation classes in Polish (11 not including subclasses). I suppose if Czech is harder than Polish to learn it's because there aren't as many resources available to learn it.
MarkieM
8 Feb 2010 #336
Imperfect and Perfect Verbs in Polish

Another grammatical difficulty is the concept of imperfect and perfect verbs in Polish (and other Slavic languages). The verb "to see" has two completely different verbs in Polish: widzieć and zobaczyć. The only difference is that you use the first if something happens continuously or more than once, and the second if it only happens once.

Widziałem - I saw (repeatedly in the past, like I saw the sun come up every morning)

Zobaczyłem - I saw (only once; I saw the sun come up yesterday)

This is not a tense difference - the verbs themselves are different.

There are many other examples:

to take - brać / wziąć

I took - Brałem (repeatedly), wziąłem (only once)

to sigh - wzdychać / westchnąć

I sighed - wzdychałem (repeatedly), westchnąłem

So for every verb in English, you effectively have to learn two verbs in Polish, which often conjugate in the future tense completely differently from each other (the past tense is usually the same, which makes for relatively easy side-by-side comparisons, like above). The present tense is impossible for the perfective verb because you can not be doing something now and finish it at the same time.

For about 5% of Polish verbs, there is no perfective version, so you luckily only have to learn one verb counterpart.

Plural forms change based on number

The last major wrinkle is that the plural form of nouns changes depending on the number. In English, there is only one plural form for the word "telephone" and that's "telephones", whether you have just 2 or 100. In Polish, it's 2, 3 or 4 "telefony" and 5 "telefonów". (Grammatically speaking, 2, 3 and 4 take the nominative case, while 5 and beyond take the genitive case)

Occasionally the difference between the nominative and genitive forms makes the jump between 4 and 5 awkward sounding.

4 or 5 hands: 4 ręce (rent-seh) but 5 rąk (ronk)
z_darius 14 | 3,968
8 Feb 2010 #337
Well, there are many catches of course, but the basic rule, be it translating or interpreting, is always the same: translate the meaning and not the words, and it stands even on the level of "good morning" and "how are you".

The problem is that meaning is not just lexis. It's often a whole different way of thinking.

You've been living in an English-speaking country for many years so it might be that Polish has been pushed a little to the back of your mind and you find English phrases more readily available. This would probably reverse if you spent a couple of months in Poland.

Unlikely. I found it easier to interpret into English shortly before I went to any speaking English country for the first time. I interpreted Seksmisja on the fly and without any preparation (first time I saw the movie) and it actually worked quite well.

As far as my Polish is concerned, it certainly does lag behind, so I am unlikely to use such wonderful words as "zajebisty", or gibberish such as this: "Nie mam pojecia przed chwila dodalem weszlem tam na gamecenter skopiwoalem IP adress i nie dodaje jest tak jak bylo 5 sevow all angleiskie bo do Visty to raczej nic", or completely idiotic "Polski outdoor".
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
9 Feb 2010 #338
I only see 5 different classes on that link. Wiktionary lists 17 different conjugation classes in Polish

I daresay this results from a different classification. I read elsewhere on the net that Polish has 4 main conjugation classes which are then divided into further categories. Unfortunately, I am extremely busy at the moment, so cannot delve further, and I am also no specialist on Slavonic grammars, so cannot provide information off the top of my head. I "only" know both Polish and Czech intimately and my personal feeling is that Czech is indeed more complicated than Polish, for a number of reasons. By which I do not mean to say that Czech is in any way "superior" to Polish - the question of superiority does not enter into this.
Ghowrow
9 Feb 2010 #339
come on all. Polish is an easy language.

Estonian has 11 cases, Polish just 7.

French and German have 3 genders, polish 3 also.

The numerals are strange in french also.

It will take you maybe 8-9 years to master polish, but life is boring so polish language makes life more exciting :)
strzyga 2 | 993
9 Feb 2010 #340
Seems to me that Polish verbs are a much bigger hurdle for learners than nouns and adjectives.

But I like your attitude ;)
Lyzko
9 Feb 2010 #341
French no longer has case in its morphology. Romanian is the only Romance tongue extant which has the old Latin case system:-)

German actually has four: Nominative, Genitive, Dative and Accusative. They are more predictable than Polish or Russian, yet, for some odd reason, no less bedeviling for foreigners to learn.

Again, just ask Mark Twain. LOL

Sorry there Ghorow! I misread your post prior. Yes, of course German has only three genders as well. Can't think in fact of any language which has more, can anyone?? (Disregard the rest of my text)

))))))
mafketis 23 | 8,612
9 Feb 2010 #342
Romanian is the only Romance tongue extant which has the old Latin case system:-)

Except .... it hasn't. The current Romanian case system doesn't really have anything to do with the old Latin case system. For nouns, it's a stripped down Balkan style system (with nominative-accusative and genetive-date mergers) expressed only on articles.
strzyga 2 | 993
9 Feb 2010 #343
The problem is that meaning is not just lexis. It's often a whole different way of thinking.

exactly, that's what I was trying to say

As far as my Polish is concerned, it certainly does lag behind, so I am unlikely to use such wonderful words as "zajebisty", or gibberish such as this: "Nie mam pojecia przed chwila dodalem weszlem tam na gamecenter skopiwoalem IP adress i nie dodaje jest tak jak bylo 5 sevow all angleiskie bo do Visty to raczej nic", or completely idiotic "Polski outdoor".

You know, I'm not really bothered by this kind of youthspeak. Teenagers have always been using their own kind of slang and most people grow out of it anyway. I was no different, only there were no text messages nor Internet when I was growing up. It can seem outrageous, but it's also creative and sometimes you see wonderful word economy in these messages. It's a bit like graffitti. Besides, it's the actual street speak - how many people, even educated adults, use well-rounded, fully grammatical sentences when speaking? We have had a large gap between the written literary Polish and the actual speech of the streets and such messages are filling this gap.

"Polski outdoor".

what's that?
marqoz - | 195
10 Feb 2010 #344
Romanian is the only Romance tongue extant which has the old Latin case system:-)

In fact Romanian has 3 cases:
- Latin accusative which works also as nominative,
- Latin dative working also as genitive,
- Slavic vocative.

Romanian is probably the most mixed language and is very interesting for the researchers.
First etymological dictionary of Romanian from 1870s by A. Cihac listed:
- 2350 words with Slavic origin,
- 1150 Latin/Romance,
- 950 Turkish,
- 650 Greek,
- 600 Hungarian,
- 50 Albanian.

In XIX century it was written in Cyrillic script (the only Romance language I suppose). However there were many language engineering afterwards to make the language cleaner and closer to Latin and Romance counterparts - especially French.

Even the name of the language was lifted up. In XIX century it was called rumîneasca what sounded very Slavic (in Russian it was rumynskiy, Polish rumuński). To make it sound more Roman a special letter (â) was introduced and now you have limba română. Many words were reconstructed or invented basing on Latin stems.

Yes, of course German has only three genders as well. Can't think in fact of any language which has more, can anyone?? (Disregard the rest of my text)

Baltic and Slavonic languages have 7 cases, Sanskrit and Indian languages have 8 direct cases and some oblique ones made with postpositions, Lezgian - 54 cases, Tsez - 64, Hungarian - 29 or so.
Lyzko
10 Feb 2010 #345
Marquoz, nie mnie zrozumiałes. Mówiłem o rodzaju (gender) a NIE o przypadku (case). Już wiem oczywiście, że wiele języków ma więcej przypadków niż niemiecki, ale nie znam języka, który ma cztery rodzaje, tylko "męski", "żeński" i "nijaki", jeszcze co??

:-)

Rzeczywiście są trudności w języku polskim dla obcych, n. pr. dla mnie amerykaninu, najbardziej z dokonanymi i niedokonanymi czasownikami! Nawet po niemiecku itd. są przypadki, ale aspektów, jak 'chodzić'/iść, absolut nie ma. 'Ich gehe' jest takie 'ich gehe', po raz pierwszy, po raz dwieście, pięchota oraz ze samochodem.

Ale po polsku??! To koszmar.

Please use English in this thread when asking questions, or when posting something about the topic.
mafketis 23 | 8,612
10 Feb 2010 #346
nie mnie zrozumiałes. Mówiłem o rodzaju (gender) a NIE o przypadku (case). Już wiem oczywiście, że wiele języków ma więcej przypadków niż niemiecki, ale nie znam języka, który ma cztery rodzaje, tylko "męski", "żeński" i "nijaki", jeszcze co??

"Nie zrozumiałeś mnie" or maybe "Mnie nie zrozumiałeś" remember that nothing can come between nie and a following verb. The only way what you wrote makes sense would be to add to and get 'To nie mnie zrozumiałeś' "It wasn't me you understood (but rather someone else)"

I'm also not so sure about that 'jeszcze co?' I think that 'co jeszcze' is better.

You can make the case (get it? get it? hee hee) that in Polish the masculine gender is breaking up into two separate genders animate and inanimate with koń and mąż in the first (along with banan, papieros and some other inanimate nouns that are virtually always treated as animate) and most other masculine inanimate in the other. That's clearly where things are headed but the change is far from complete. (though you can defend the position that Polish has three morphological and four syntactic cases in the singular).

Also, gender is just one system of noun classes and many (though not all) linguists call the noun classes of Bantu languages 'genders' and most Bantu languages have a half a dozen or more (sometimes many more) genders than European languages.

Note here:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammatical_gender#More_than_three_grammatical_genders
thenameisWarsza
10 Feb 2010 #347
I learned the Polish language fully in about three years!!!
delphiandomine 85 | 18,359
10 Feb 2010 #348
Shame you didn't learn the English language while you were at it.
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,884
10 Feb 2010 #349
I learned the Polish language fully in about three years!!!

define "fully".
Marta20
11 Feb 2010 #350
POLISH: SEVEN very different cases... why do you even need such crazy stuff?

English : 1 case and its clear and enough
mafketis 23 | 8,612
11 Feb 2010 #351
SEVEN very different cases... why do you even need such crazy stuff?

To weed out those too stupid to learn? Like ....... YOU!!!!!

Fortunately I'm a lot smarter than you so cases weren't that hard to learn.
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
11 Feb 2010 #352
This is a topic that can be discussed for 100 years without any clear answer.
Lyzko
11 Feb 2010 #353
Mafketis, although gender is normally 'subjective', since no two languages usually have corresponding gender assignments for many nouns, e.g. 'le soleil' (masculine in French) vs. 'die Sonne' (feminine in German), 'la montana' (feminine in Italian), but 'der Berg' (masculine in German) etc.., your reference to Bantu and other multi-gender languages would only apply if all languages applied our concept of gender, which they most likely don't. We in Polish, German etc.. imagine gender as referring to the so-called 'sex' of a noun. The very concept of 'sex', masc., fem, and neuter is in itself completely Western, i.e occidental, therefore not in keeping with non-Western associations of gender.

There's also grammatical and natural gender, to complicate things further.

:-)
Jurkal
12 Feb 2010 #354
To weed out those too stupid to learn? Like ....... YOU!!!!!

Fortunately I'm a lot smarter than you so cases weren't that hard to learn.

wow... you are the best from this universe. there is noone else like u man...

we give you crown

is there any news regarding an inmprovement in grammar rules anytime soon?
hague1cameron - | 85
13 Feb 2010 #355
kurwa

is not technically Polish, it is derived from the Latin and literally translates into skew.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
13 Feb 2010 #356
True enough, sth like zakręt/curve. Still, the word is known in different countries as a bi*ch.
Lyzko
13 Feb 2010 #357
I once read that in older Polish vulgar slang, "żydówka" - Jewess, was a common equivalent of modern-day "kurwa" or English "slut".

Is this true?
vetala - | 382
13 Feb 2010 #358
No it's not. It's a regular word, not a slang at all.
Lyzko
13 Feb 2010 #359
Although, as in other cultures, revealing an inherent bigotry of origin.
vetala - | 382
13 Feb 2010 #360
What bigotry? It's simply more practical. 'Female descendant of the worshippers of Jewish faith' is kinda long so we just settle on 'Żydówka'.


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