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


Zorro
21 Apr 2012 #1,081
Yeah....sure....uuuhhmmm, and finally "if it makes you happy, well great". Uuuhhmmm, that's the typical language of someone who is pinched for arguments!

Narratve present, I think Lyzko is right here. "Narrative present" is something which is widely used in the literature, the great (uuuhhmmm!) American literature included!
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,807
21 Apr 2012 #1,082
yeah sure...narrative present.

yeh sure narrative present...and I says to him, nooooo, and he turns rounds and says......and then he is like yeeeeehhhh...etc etc.
Yes narrative present, it's well known.
Lyzko
21 Apr 2012 #1,083
Well, in English we call it "narrative present", in German "das Erzaehltempus". Not sure in PolishLOL
It means the same bloody thing any way you say it)))

Noticed too that Polish expresses time quite differently from English. It seems Polish uses the past tense when English would use the present and vice versa. For example when Wisława Szymborska passed a year ago, the Nowy Dziennik read "Wisława Szymborska nie żyje!", lit. W. S. IS not living, instead of, "zmarła", or some such (expected) construction. An American paper would have read "Wisława Szymborska, dead at___"

The above is merely one of many such examples.
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
21 Apr 2012 #1,084
yeh sure narrative present...and I says to him, nooooo, and he turns rounds and says......and then he is like yeeeeehhhh...etc etc.
Yes narrative present, it's well known.

holy mackerel you guys have completely lost me. what are you talking about.

Nowy Dziennik read "Wisława Szymborska nie żyje!"

But in English when you say someone "is dead" or "is not alive" there is still no past tense verb.

anyway, Polish is a lot harder to learn than English. That's what's up.
Lyzko
21 Apr 2012 #1,085
For an Anglo, certainly! Only NOT for a fellow Slavic native speaker. THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT!

Furthermore, the thing is that the Polish structure simply sounds "unnatural" to an English speaker, that's all:-)

Fuzz, where's the confusion??
Zorro
23 Apr 2012 #1,086
Nowy Dziennik read "Wisława Szymborska nie żyje!"

This headline in a Polish newspaper would really be an equivalent to the English "Wisława Szymborska has (just) died". As Polish doesn't have a Present Perect tense, for events that combine the two aspects of time: present and past, either the present tense or the past tense will be employed, the latter tense most often in its dokonany aspect.

The press has its specific language, particularly in the headlines, which reflects the most typical usages of a language. Both: "W.S, dead at__" and "W.S. nie żyje" seem to be perfect examples of this. I remember the headline in a British tabloid which read: "How I died - says Natalie Wood". In Polish it would have possibly been: "Natalie Wood: powiem wam jak umarłam".
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
23 Apr 2012 #1,087
Fuzz, where's the confusion??

I truly...honestly....don't know what you mean by that question. Therefore, I have no answer.

Furthermore, the thing is that the Polish structure simply sounds "unnatural" to an English speaker, that's all:-)

Every language that isn't your own sounds "unnatural". That's a nonstatement. And no, that's not all. Polish structure is the least of most people's problems. The case system, the ridiculous numbering system, verb conjugation....just to name a few presents much larger problems.
Zorro
23 Apr 2012 #1,088
The case system, the ridiculous numbering system, verb conjugation....just to name a few presents much larger problems.

I like it. I'm sure that without the constant complains of Fuzzywickets, Polish would never ever be what it really is!

The real question is: Has Polish been showing any signs of simplification for the last 50 years or so? I don't think so. This means that it is still not that difficult for the Polish children and people!

It would be interesting to know why Old English or Middle English have simplified themselves in terms of case system or verb conjugation? What was that inner force of the language that has led to this gramatical simplification of English that Fuzzy is so proud of and would like to see in Polish? Does anyone know? The Norman language invasion can't explain this as the French still retain a conjugation system which is much more complex than in English.
Lyzko
23 Apr 2012 #1,089
Yet the very Norman Conquest "Francofied" English from "Anglish-Saxon" to the present language, the Latin/Greek muddle it remains until today, full of silent letters, merged vowels and unphonetic pronunciation:-)

Say whatever the heck you wish to about Polish; it's a phonetic paradise compared with English or even French, as well as the Celtic tongues (consonant clusters pronounced as ONE sound and every vowel spoken as written), it's inflectional bramble notwithstanding!
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
23 Apr 2012 #1,090
This means that it is still not that difficult for the Polish children and people!

ridiculous. would you like me to shoot that full of holes?

It would be interesting to know why Old English or Middle English have simplified themselves in terms of case system or verb conjugation?

really?

i can't have this conversation. it's amateur hour up in here.
Zorro
23 Apr 2012 #1,091
i can't have this conversation. it's amateur hour up in here.

I truly...honestly....don't know what you mean by that statement. Therefore, I have no answer.
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
23 Apr 2012 #1,092
because the answer is friggin' obvious and has been discussed and discussed and agreed upon 1,000,000,000 times on this forum. it's not "interesting", it's old hat. the answer is obvious.

masz.
Lyzko
23 Apr 2012 #1,093
Zorro and Fuzz, regarding OE > ME, the answer's PRINTING!!!!

When it was first introduced by Caxton, most Brits couldn't even read or write:-) This lack of standardization led to the mess in spelling etc.. we have today!
Zorro
24 Apr 2012 #1,094
Fuzzzzzzz, my response for you was a clever copy of your clever answer to Lyzko's "Fuzz,where's the confusion??":

I truly...honestly....don't know what you mean by that question. Therefore, I have no answer.

I truly...honestly....don't know what you mean by that statement. Therefore, I have no answer.

Fuzz, mówisz i masz!
Lyzko, can you tell me a few words more about Caxton? As Fuzz, whose contributions to this thread have a truly professional look, has shrewdly pointed out, I am a mere amateur in linguistics. But I just want to point out that what I had in mind in OE > ME > Modern English question, was the simplification of the case system and the verb conjugation in ME versus OE and ME, and not the phonetic

muddle it remains until today

.
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
24 Apr 2012 #1,095
Fuzzzzzzz, my response for you was a clever copy of your clever answer to Lyzko's "Fuzz,where's the confusion??":

Holy mackerel......I mean....I wanted to say "Captain Obvious" 3 posts ago but........I gotta move on from this.
Zorro
24 Apr 2012 #1,096
Yes, you definitely gotta move on from this. I mean...I want to say... you're too professional to take part in this!
p3undone 8 | 1,135
24 Apr 2012 #1,097
I only know a few Polish words which I'm told I pronounce quite well.I don't think I would have too difficult a time learning Polish.

I should think the Asian languages would be a bit more difficult.
Lyzko
24 Apr 2012 #1,098
Actually no, surprisingly! They have nowhere near the grammatical baggage which encumbers the learner of Polish, English, German etc...
Mandarin's snap in terms of grammar; no cases, artcles, declension, conjugation of any kind. The phonetics???? That's what takes a lifetime:-)
Lyzko
25 Apr 2012 #1,099
Incidentally, I don't know any Asian language (save for a smattering of Korean), so I'm basing my observations solely on linguistic research.
Falixus - | 8
25 Apr 2012 #1,100
I feel it for the people that are trying to learn it! I
strzyga 2 | 993
25 Apr 2012 #1,101
What was that inner force of the language that has led to this gramatical simplification of English that Fuzzy is so proud of and would like to see in Polish?

The simplification was an after effect of numerous conquests of the British Isles by various Germanic tribes, which took place between 450 AD and 1100 AD (the Norman conquest marked the transition from Old English to Middle English). Anglos, Saxons, Jutes, Danes and Normans were all Germanic tribes who once shared a common language. In the course of the centuries when they were spreading all over Europe, the common language diversified into separate languages or dialects, as you prefer. The roots of most words remained the same but endings, flexion etc. began to differ from one dialect to another. Now, when all these tribes came together again in the British Isles, the easiest way to communicate was to drop the endings, as they created confusion, and use just the roots of words. This, in turn, structuralised the syntax, as the word order of a sentence had to take over the functions previously contained in inflectional endings.

The process took about 600 years. Old English was based on Ango-Saxon dialects; contacts with Jutes,Danes, and finally Normans lead to the simplification of grammar and the transition to Middle English, the structure of which is already quite similar to Modern English.
Zorro
25 Apr 2012 #1,102
Thanks a lot, Strzyga, for this interesting outline of what happened to OE in the course of centuries. I can guess that if all Slavic tribes had suddenly come to Poland, this might have resulted in a substantial simplification of Polish, to the benefit of all foreign learners.
Lyzko
25 Apr 2012 #1,103
Correct, Strzyga!

For a foreigner, an excellent and clear English explanation. Could scarcely have done better myself (and I allegedly teach the stuff)LOL
My only suggestion would be to expand for your own edification the impact the Normans' also had on the FRENCH language, not solely the Anglos-Saxon, since, as you surely recall, the Normans were themselves "North"men and NOT Frenchmen, i.e. Gauls or Latins:-) Therefore, their original language was the ancestor of modern Norwegian dialects spoken in an area of Scandinavia where present-day Gotland (hist. "Geatland") is located.

Zorro, the "simplification" was solely in the inflectional system which abandoned much if not most between even Old and Middle English (Chaucer through Spencer), finally casting off all but a few remenants in Early Modern English, ca. 1600 on forward. Little time right now for my usual in-depth explanation:-)
Lyzko
25 Apr 2012 #1,104
Had there been no Norman Invasion, our phonetics would be more transparent than they are now, i.e. more Germanic and less "French"!
Wizard 1 | 9
25 May 2012 #1,105
Polish is rated the third most difficult in the world. Chinese Mandarin is the first, Danish is the second. These are rated by linguist specialists, and speech therapists in medical journals. These are the facts, and threads should be about the facts and reality, not about wishful thinking.
pam
26 May 2012 #1,106
Polish is rated the third most difficult in the world. Chinese Mandarin is the first, Danish is the second

i was under the impression that traditional chinese was the hardest, followed by hungarian, and then polish.Not too important....polish is still a bloody nightmare to learn.Have just ordered 301 polish verbs by klara janecki off amazon.Apparently its meant to be pretty good,anyone else got this? if so,what are your thoughts on it?
Warszawette - | 128
26 May 2012 #1,107
Witam!

This thread does not make sense since it depends upon the learner's mothertongue.

Polish is very difficult for NON slavic learners and very easy for those speaking other slavic languages. I've met numerous Russians, Ukrainians, Bulgarians, Slovakians, Croatians, or people from the Czech Republic, etc... and they all could speak Polish very well after a few months after their arrival in Poland.

In the same idea, a German speaker shall have no difficulty to learn Dutch, a Norwegian shall learn Danish very quickly, a Spaniard shall learn French or Italian with no problem, etc etc....
Rumfuddle 1 | 20
26 May 2012 #1,108
This thread does not make sense since it depends upon the learner's mothertongue.

Absolutely, and it also depends on your previous experience with other languages: English is my mother tongue and I also speak Spanish and Irish (Gaelic) and I have studied Japanese more recently. There is a lot to learn in Polish, a hell of a lot, but Japanese was still more difficult. I feel that with Polish, as a speaker of other Indo-European languages - albeit non-Slavic ones - I'm still on more familiar terrain than I was with Japanese.
pawian 175 | 13,563
26 May 2012 #1,109
Wow! Now I understand why most Polish students of mine are so intelligent.
Voiceofreason - | 2
27 May 2012 #1,110
Nice to know that. I am boy, and by origin a pakistani, born and raised in Norway. Was in your lovely country and learned polish. Love the people, the language and everything there is about the place. Spent lots of time in poznan, szczecin areas. Lived a very cool life. Now working as a doc and often end up with most polish patients that need help in our department, this way i stay in touch with the language. However, i usually travel to Poland once every 2-3 months, to visit friends and keep up with the language. Would be such a waste to forget it. Feel like Poland is my second home. :D Soooooo many nice memories.


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