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


Lyzko
7 May 2011 #931
Do Poles then find Czech or Russian more challenging to master?
Antek_Stalich 5 | 997
7 May 2011 #932
I can only speak for myself.
Learning English was fun. Just because it was the "brave new world" will all words, grammar, pronunciation different. Russian was also much different, starting with the alphabet.

Now, learning speaking proper Czech, and especially write properly would be real pain. The pronunciation is killing for a Pole. I'm not unable to pronounce the work "kriz" (cross) properly at all! Then, accenting and different stresses at each word. Finally, the grammar that is so different from the Polish one!

Reading Czech books means a lot of fun, though. I started with Svejk many years ago and read now whatever I can get.
Lyzko
7 May 2011 #933
Antku,
dzięki za Twoja odpowiedź!

Learning other Slavic languages for native Slavic language speakers as yourself must be similar to, say, a Dutchman learning German (or vice-versa), a Spaniard learning Portuguese, a Norwegian learning Swedish etc...

The same though cannot be said to other language groups which might appear "related", e.g. Chinese and Korean, yet have little do do with one another-:) A Chinese acquaintance confessed once that he found learning English light years easier than learning Japanese, for example LOL
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,807
7 May 2011 #934
lyzko: It's still English, yet mightily weak and watered down.

I think he means that William doesn't sound as "posh" as his father - but hardly anybody speaks like Prince Charles any more. I would hardly call William's English "weak and watered down" - both he and his lovely wife are very well spoken and sound like the well-educated people they are..:)

Must agree with Lyzko though - English is only "easy" at a basic level.
Antek_Stalich 5 | 997
7 May 2011 #935
Cała przyjemność po mojej stronie, lyzko!

When we are at it, Czech is at least a logical language. Let's take the phrase "A smith forges metal":
Czech: Kovar kova kovo
Polish: Kowal kuje metal ;-)

I have to admit I'm experiencing problems with the declension of "książę" and "ksiądz" myself, especially in plural...
Ogien 6 | 245
7 May 2011 #936
Conversely, Ogien, for a Polish native speaker, English would have to be intuitively one of (if not THE) hardest languages to master competely and effectively!

I doubt it. I really think Mandarin is the toughest language to learn for any native speaker of an Indo-European language.

plus our grammar is as confusing in its way as either Polish or Icelandic

Well, it might be confusing because it's different but it's certainly not as complex. You should check out Finnish grammar and you'll see what a truly difficult grammar system really is.
Maaarysia
7 May 2011 #937
for a Polish native speaker, English would have to be intuitively one of (if not THE) hardest languages to master competely and effectively!

Not really. My English is not fluent and far from perfect but I feel I could master it very well if I just wanted. Grammar is really easy, the problem is that if someone wants to learn a language, grammar is useless. He needs to be surrounded by language and memorize it subconsciously. One can't think 5 minutes what tense to use, he needs to know that immediately. That's why it's good to read, listen and learn by heart full sentences if not whole texts. That's the most efficient way of learning a foreign language.

Lyzko how do you rate English skills of Polish Forums users. I find many Poles here speaking (or rather writing) perfect English!
Ogien 6 | 245
7 May 2011 #938
Lyzko how do you rate English skills of Polish Forums users. I find many Poles here speaking (or rather writing) perfect English!

Most of the Poles I know speak English very well. My only gripe is that they sometimes use very corny expressions. It's like they're trying too hard to sound like a native English speaker.

Contrary to what a lot of foreigners think, here in America we don't use those corny expressions so frequently. Although you should still learn them because you probably will run into someone using them. Just don't say them too often because otherwise you might be perceived as an annoying person.
Koala 1 | 332
7 May 2011 #939
Out of curiosity, could you list some of those corny expressions?
Ogien 6 | 245
7 May 2011 #940
These are some of the idiomatic expressions they like using off the top of my head.

"It's raining cats and dogs" which means it's raining heavily.

"Put your thinking cap on" which obviously means to think carefully.

"Put some elbow grease to it" which means put some effort into whatever physical work you're doing.

Bear in mind, it's perfectly fine to use these sayings but it just gets aggravating when it's used constantly.
Koala 1 | 332
7 May 2011 #941
I think we Poles like to use idioms a lot, also in our own language they're very frequently spoken. But maybe your Polish acquaintances indeed overuse them.
guesswho 4 | 1,289
7 May 2011 #942
Polish was chosen the HARDEST LANGUAGE in the world to learn

then try to learn Lithuanian, lol Good Luck.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,807
7 May 2011 #943
"It's raining cats and dogs" which means it's raining heavily.

"Put your thinking cap on" which obviously means to think carefully.

I blame out of date course books ...I noticed alot of speakers of english as a second language say stuff like this and have no idea that nobody in UK or US has used these idioms since about 1945
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
7 May 2011 #944
Czech: Kovar kova kovo

Kov, not kovo. ;-)
Lyzko
7 May 2011 #945
@Maaarysia, I would rate the English of the average Pole here on PF as perhaps only slightly above the mean, on the whole. Then again, the comparsion isn't really fair, since the number of Poles who learn English and are empowered by false confidence (arrogance too, maybeLOL) greatly exceeds the number of Brits or Yanks learning Polish-:) Most Americans will merrily let the average European just chunter on in often broken English and only sort of get the gist than ever crack open a book/cd set to learn even minimal Spanish, French etc... after compulsory classes in highschool (if even that)!

@Koala, I've studied some of the Baltic languages on my own, have also taken more than a passing gander at Finnish. Let me say that compared with Hungarian, Finnish may be only slightly more irregular, it's pronunciation though is far easier.

Back to English. NO language is as orthographically chaotic as ours. Period!!

GREAT THREAD GUYS.

My prior comments were actually directed at Ogień and GuessWho, sorry!
Ogien 6 | 245
7 May 2011 #946
@Koala, I've studied some of the Baltic languages on my own, have also taken more than a passing gander at Finnish. Let me say that compared with Hungarian, Finnish may be only slightly more irregular, it's pronunciation though is far easier.

It still has the most complex grammar system of any European language. Period.

I know that the pronunciation/reading/writing is easy to get proficient at.

Back to English. NO language is as orthographically chaotic as ours. Period!!

I hope you're talking about European languages only...

I do agree that reading and writing in English is complicated but it's definitely not the hardest in the world.
Maaarysia
8 May 2011 #947
since the number of Poles who learn English and are empowered by false confidence

No it's empowered by certificates. Some people think that if they've passed FCE their English is fairly good while it's merely basic. CAE makes them think that they almost perfect while CPE that they've learnt already everything about English! :)
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,807
8 May 2011 #948
while CPE that they've learnt already everything about English! :)

yeh but to be honest if they do get this certificate they are better than alot of native speakers in terms of spelling, grammar etc
Lyzko
8 May 2011 #949
True, but the problem is that whether it's A-levels, Toeic, BEC etc...., there'll always be a severe disconnect between knowing the iceberg tip of any language and the unconsciously fundamental basics with which authentic native speakers are raised from their mothers' milk.

The best example is humor. How do Americans of my generation (teens to fifty odd) absorb interactive communication skills?? Easy. By watching TV! There's also knock-knock jokes, the sort of pre-school banter and general everyday stuff osmosed through our pores which simply cannot always be culturally transferred, let's face it.

Where I'm an ESL/Creative Writing/Translation Workshop instructor, we have a Bukarian Russian woman who prides herself on 'perfect idiomatic' English, even with a degree, i.e. certificate in same from Kishniev University. Guess that's like Harvard over there or something. Anyway, she was explaining that may words in certain languages are identical to others, e.g. German 'Fabel' and English 'fable', to which my riposte was (this was supposed to be social hour now, and NOT a class!!)"...or in German 'abel' and English 'able' "! The rest of us US-born teachers chuckled at my silliness, yet the Buharian teacher instantly took offence and accused me of teasing her openly in front of her colleagues!!

Moral of the story? This person might well have had two, three, four, umpteen degrees in English; it didn't mean a darned thing 'cuz the important little stuff just slips by 'em. She speaks the language, yet not the culture and then accuses us native speakers of not knowing our own language properly.

I ask you. Is that the pot calling the kettle black or what?
delphiandomine 86 | 18,269
8 May 2011 #950
Lyzko how do you rate English skills of Polish Forums users. I find many Poles here speaking (or rather writing) perfect English!

I can safely say that Torq's English is fantastic - I very, very rarely notice him making mistakes, and even then, it's often very minor stylistic ones.
Lyzko
8 May 2011 #951
However, lest pride go before the fall, so to speak, I notice numerous absent articles where definite nouns are being specified. I would agree though that for a non-native English speaker, Torq's level isn't that bad at all! Confidence is fine, merely a warning against cockiness.
Lyzko
9 May 2011 #952
In addition, despite some above average non-native English users on this forum, do we know how their English sounds??? Don't forget, even my hero, the great Joseph Conrad, might have wrote English to die for, all but indistinguishable from a born Brit, apparently when he spoke, his accent and sometiimes syntax as well, was so thick, people had difficulty to understand him. Others have maintained that this phenomenom is what made him such a masterful writter in English, indeed, along with Dickens, Hardy etc., one of the true greats!
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
9 May 2011 #953
In addition, despite some above average non-native English users on this forum, do we know how their English sounds???

Could you kindly stop with the condescending tone already?
Lyzko
9 May 2011 #954
It's scarcely condescending to wish for mere verification of stated opinions, is it?

Why so thin skinned, Magdalena? -:)
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
9 May 2011 #955
It's scarcely condescending to wish for mere verification of stated opinions, is it?

Oh, but you're doing so much more than that!
Koala 1 | 332
9 May 2011 #956
Is there something wrong with having a heavy nonAmerican or nonEnglish accent? Collin Farrel has very heavy Irish accent and yet is a very popular actor.
Lyzko
9 May 2011 #957
Anything wrong? 'Course not! Only thing is, do Poles want to learn English from someone with a Polish accent one can cut with a machete? I'd personally much rather learn Polish from a Polish native (or even bilingual native!) than from a person whose accent etc.. may not be judged authentic to the culture I'm trying to learn about.

Vive la difference, I say. Yet, a time and place for everything.
That's all I'm saying.

@Magdalena, it seems you're overreacting a bit to my perceived condescension. Didn't realize folks felt so slightedLOL
Koala 1 | 332
9 May 2011 #958
I'm not a teacher though and won't struggle to remove my accent as it'd be entirely pointless - I've never had any problems with native (or non-native for that matter) English speakers comprehending me and I'm not ashamed of my origins.

I also had a pleasure to have classes with various native English speakers for 9 years, it's only 1 hour a week, but a great experience nonetheless.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
9 May 2011 #959
Didn't realize folks felt so slightedLOL

It would help if you sometimes actually read your own posts before publishing them. Yes, I am afraid you do often sound irritatingly patronising. There are lots of native English speakers on this forum and not one of them is so obviously in love with their own English skills ;-p
Lyzko
9 May 2011 #960
I'm glad to hear it, Koala! More power to you!

Being from the US, we're all taught never to discriminate based on somebody's (foreign) accent, which I think is no more than right. I do however tend to bristle when a lazy substandard is placed on the same level as a much practiced standard and when we here in the States are told mediocrity isn't that bad, so long as one can just 'get by'.

-:)


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