The BEST Guide to POLAND
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Polish was chosen the HARDEST LANGUAGE in the world to learn... :D



lunchbox 1 | 22    
13 Apr 2009  #61

Changes happen for the oddest reasons. What about double plural? Who decided the plural of "child" should be "children" when it already had a proper plural "childer" or as some say dialectic "childre". Odd were the times when the -en plural was popular.


glaswegians    
13 Apr 2009  #62

The hardest languages in the world are generally far east asian especially mandarin and japanese.

Polack is not the hardest language to learn.
Seanus 15 | 19,750    
13 Apr 2009  #63

Japanese, I don't agree. Maybe Thai and Vietnamese, with Finnish and Hungarian too.
lunchbox 1 | 22    
13 Apr 2009  #64

That really depends... You could either look at each language's difficulty by the difficulty it poses for native speakers to master it.. or people who learn it as a foreign language. The latter however is really a subjective thing. It all depends on how close your native language is to the one you're trying to learn and which other languages you are already familiar with. So it's hard to claim that whichever language is the hardest. Switching the writing and having to get into a completely other mindset of grammar or rather lack thereof is difficult for anyone.. so having been in contact with one set of languages all your life and then suddenly trying to learn Japanese is quite a challenge, I would say.
Seanus 15 | 19,750    
13 Apr 2009  #65

I did it in reverse. First Japanese and then Polish. The difficulty also depends on how comfortable you are. When I'm with close friends, I can be more natural and use Polish better. When there's more pressure, it gets difficult.
lunchbox 1 | 22    
13 Apr 2009  #66

Oh when I've had two beers I'm a natural at Polish. :P
krysia 23 | 3,069    
13 Apr 2009  #67

It's always the easiest to learn swear words. Lol.
Seanus 15 | 19,750    
13 Apr 2009  #68

You are Slovenian, lunchbox, or a foreigner based there? Nice if you are a Slovenian, I think you'd be the first. Slovenia is a Slavic country and I've talked to Poles that have been there. It seems quite ok to follow as a language, I heard your PM speak out against Slobodan Milosevic all those years ago.
lunchbox 1 | 22    
13 Apr 2009  #69

What do you mean quite okay to follow as a language? As in you find it easy to understand? Are you Polish or just living there? Cause you understanding Slovene would make much more sense were you actually Polish.. though I have to say it shouldn't be *that* easy. Or maybe I just had some extra difficulty trying to understand Polish when starting off :P And yes, I'm actually Slovenian. Born and raised in a country one needs about two hours to pass through. :P
Seanus 15 | 19,750    
13 Apr 2009  #70

To follow, yes. I could understand parts through a knowledge of Polish though false friends do exist in language. I'm Scottish but understand Polish pretty well. Scotland is also a small country.
lunchbox 1 | 22    
13 Apr 2009  #71

It's always the easiest to learn swear words. Lol.

Is it really? Sadly, after almost three years and an exchange program in Kraków, I'm fluent in neither - the descriptive drunken banter in foul language or the normal "let's have a conversation about something other than drinking or exchanging bodily fluids" part.

Seanus: Scotland might be small by your standards.. you could still fit about four Slovenia-sized countries in there though :P
Seanus 15 | 19,750    
13 Apr 2009  #72

Czemu kurwa nie wiesz? LOL The swear words are quite easy to pick up.
lunchbox 1 | 22    
13 Apr 2009  #73

So you would say you can get quite artistic with the four swear words you pick up the first day? Until you can fluently curse in Serbian you have learned nothing. Now that is *colourful* :P co więcej chciałam powiedzieć.. ah.. takie brzydkie słowa nie mają nic do roboty w takich słodkich ustach.. tsk, strike one.. następna stacja: lanie. :P
Seanus 15 | 19,750    
13 Apr 2009  #74

Such a sweet mouth :) Nah, you can pick them up by using them in the right contexts but it takes a bit of practice.

I can't imagine Polish being the hardest language in the world. It only has 7 cases (some would say 6 now) and follows many set patterns. Yes, there are exceptions but most languages have.
lunchbox 1 | 22    
13 Apr 2009  #75

I'm just trying to say that from my point of view picking up foul language is quite pointless until you are skilled enough to actually draw up enough context by yourself to embed the said curses in. I also find people "learning" languages and claiming they can get by ridiculous. What good does it do to anyone when you can ask where something is and then get completely lost when someone tries to give you an answer in rapid speech and you turn into a deer caught in the lights.

And no, I'm not saying people shouldn't learn languages. And yes, learning a language takes time and a lot of mistakes. I'm just saying that it'd be easier if people would drop the "I can speak a gazillion languages" act.
Seanus 15 | 19,750    
13 Apr 2009  #76

Quite right, I don't use foul language. I'm watching a Polish hooligans video and these 'people' are pathetic. I hate people that say they are polyglots when they know one or 2 phrases in different languages.

I invested time and effort into learning Japanese and Polish but I'm not fully fluent in either
berni23 7 | 387    
13 Apr 2009  #77

I know it' totally out of context, but you simply have to love Polish movies and the dialogs:

youtube.com/watch?v=uw2pzaA9Zo8

And my 2 cents about swearing:

youtube.com/watch?v=7DyeVRtnHps

ROFL
Lyzko    
13 Apr 2009  #78

Mark Twain once mused, he'd rather decline two drinks than one German adjective:)))))
Seriously though, Mafketis, as a fellow linguist with more than a few languages under my belt (give or take several notches, he-he!!), I've learned quite a bit about Navajo and the Wikipedia entry is most enlightening.

The most challenging languages for me to pronounce are Georgian and the Greenlandic variety of Innuit.

Marku
gumishu 10 | 4,385    
13 Apr 2009  #79

Marku is your surname Loeffel??? ;)

you have too many passwords to too many places in the internet I guess Marku ;) go for something strange for example a corruption of memorable name (mine is such) it's corruption of Ariadna (but you will never guess) :P :)
mafketis 16 | 4,473    
13 Apr 2009  #80

I've learned quite a bit about Navajo and the Wikipedia entry is most enlightening.

The problem is that when you try to actively figure out how larger units are built it all stops making sense. Somewhere (in storage in NAmerica) I have a Navajo textbook. It has many wonderful qualities (inluding exchanges like the following (approximate working from memory)

"The police arrested me when I passed out in the mud."
"That is not good, my son."

Anyway, it also includes lots of declination tables but finding patterns is really hard because of massive non-linear morphonemic alternations (making Polish seem tame) but the fact that every little morpheme (and there's no end to them) changes everything around it (in a ripple effect in both directions).

Greenlandic (what little I know of it) seems almost simple in comparison. I've managed to carefully avoid Georgian which seems to be in the Turkish gargle-throated phonological Sprachbund which means I can't make phonological sense of it when I do hear it.
F15guy 1 | 160    
14 Apr 2009  #81

Slovenian has however dropt the vocative case

Wish Polish would. Never really quite know what to call out for a name.

Any rules?
mafketis 16 | 4,473    
14 Apr 2009  #82

Simplified basic rules on Polish vocative (there may be an exception here or there):

Male names the vocative = the locative, if you can say "about ...." thats also the vocative

If you don't know the locative the ending is

if the final consonant is hard, then the ending is -(J)e (that is e preceded by softening the consonant before it)

Robert = Robercie!

Ryszard = Ryszardzie!

Paweł = Pawle!

Wiesław = Wiesławie!

if the last consonant is already soft or -sz, -rz, -l, -ch or -k then the vocative is -u

Januszu!
Lechu!
Karolu!
Jacku!
Jasiu! (from jaś
Kazimierzu!

For women if the final consonant is hard then -a becomes -o

Anna = Anno!
Agnieszka = Agnieszko!
Barbara = Barbaro!

If the final consonant is soft, then -ia becomes -iu

Ania = Aniu
Asia = Asiu
Zosia = Zosiu

but if the final is -ja or -ia (where -i- is pronounced as -j-, almost like a separate vowel) then they act like hard stems

Natalia = Natalio
Patrycja = Patrycjo

If the final consonant is -l- or -sz- I'm not so sure, I'm pretty sure I've heard both Elo and Elu and Olu and Olo (I think the forms in -u are more common but I'll leave that for Poles to debate).

The vocative of Pan is Panie and the vocative of Pani is .... Pani. These aren't used on their own though, they're followed by a name or title.

Panie Norbercie! Pani Krystyno! Panie kolego! (Mr Colleague!)
z_darius 14 | 3,975    
14 Apr 2009  #83

Simplified basic rules on Polish vocative (there may be an exception here or there)

To really simplify those rules just use Nominativus. It's acceptable in Polish and it seems to be increasingly frequent.
mafketis 16 | 4,473    
14 Apr 2009  #84

Hej Ty! works too and also seems to be spreading.
Marek 4 | 867    
15 Apr 2009  #85

Mafketis, perhaps that's why Navajo was chosen to be the code-talkers' language during WWII; almost noone outside the Navajo themselves knew or even recognized it, plus, it is, we both agree,ferociously difficult-)))
z_darius 14 | 3,975    
15 Apr 2009  #86

A while ago, in pre-Internet times, I read somewhere the Polish language was used by Israeli pilots during the Six-Day War of 1967, and it also was, what Egyptians thought, an unbreakable military code.

A lot of Israeli military had Polish military training at the time, including the top brass.

Btw. Navajo ineed sounds like a linguistic hell for the non native speakers.
Marek 4 | 867    
15 Apr 2009  #87

......and it is!!!!
avoice    
16 Apr 2009  #88

I've given this some thought and Polish is no more complicated than most other Slavic languages, with maybe the exception of Bulgarian. They all share common characteristics of grammar and vocabulary. Standard Russian may be the greatest deviation from the original Slavic tongue because Moscow was pretty much on edge of the Slavic world when the language was developing. Naturally, I can't say which is the most difficult language to master because I have not been exposed to most of the languages, but the one that seems extremely difficult is Arabic. First it is highly declined and conjugated like the Slavic languages, but added to that it is massively idiomatic, so you have to learn all the nuances of their expresssions to speak it fluently. In this it's a little like English, whose grammar is very straightforward but whose idiom is also massive.

The most challenging languages for me to pronounce are Georgian and the Greenlandic variety of Innuit.

Georgian and some small Caucasian area relatives seems to be an isolate like Basque is, unrelated to any other large language families. I don't think it's turkic or altaic. I have heard it spoken but only by some Armenians so I can't say whether I have the full flavor of it.

A while ago, in pre-Internet times, I read somewhere the Polish language was used by Israeli pilots during the Six-Day War of 1967, and it also was, what Egyptians thought, an unbreakable military code.

A completely unknown language--except to its speakers--would indeed be an unbreakable code if it was unrelated to any known existing languages from which its structure and vocabulary could be inferred. If you could reconstruct Etruscan, you'd have yourself a perfect code. The Navajo tongue was chosen I think because the Japanese probably didn't have any Navajo speakers or even any linguists who had knowledge of it (I could be wrong about that, though) and there are quite a few Navajo speakers. Even if the Japanese had some linguists who could figure this out, it would be hard to break because Navajo was used on the spot in combat and its messages needed to be understood only in the moment. By the time a linguist got to it and tranlated it and sent it back, it would be too late.
mafketis 16 | 4,473    
16 Apr 2009  #89

Navajo ineed sounds like a linguistic hell for the non native speakers.

Oh, did I forget to mention it has tones?
osiol 55 | 3,927    
16 Apr 2009  #90

I believe some of the Central American languages make a distinction between creaky and non-creaky vocal sounds, rather like the kind of affectation people often make when imitating the very old or like the aaarrgghh that one of the Eric Idle characters in the Holy Grail makes when he's deciphering something written on the wall of a cave.




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