The BEST Guide to POLAND
Unanswered  |  Archives 
 
 
User: Guest

Home / Language  % width posts: 1,541

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


osiol 55 | 3,922
18 May 2009 #121
Estonian looks very similar to Finnish but with shorter words. It seems that rather than having to learn endings and prepositions, you only have to learn endings. Maybe it's not entirely as straightforward as that, but somewhere in storage I have a load of books left over from some jumble sales a few years ago, and I think there might be a teach yourself Estonian book there. One day, when I've long since given up with Polish and even decided not to bother with Portuguese (I think that's supposed to be my second choice), I shall have a look.
z_darius 14 | 3,968
18 May 2009 #122
German may not use so many cases but the language is harder than Polish all the same. There are officially more cases in Polish but they are not always used in practice though and the Poles, themselves, rarely know the difference!

How would you know if you're not proficient in either?
Michal - | 1,865
18 May 2009 #123
I could ask the same about you as you too are not so fantastic in either. Anyway, in answering the question, most slavic languages are similar so Polish would be no harder than Czech or Russian, which are grammatically very similar indeed. What about Chinese/ I would have thought that for a European, that would generally be much more difficult. Many Europeans in Poland can speak excellent Polish in Poland after a year or two.
jakubzurawski - | 17
18 May 2009 #124
17 grammatical forms for the number 2

1. dwa
2. dwie
3. dwoje
4. dwóch (or dwu)
5. dwaj
6. dwiema
7. dwom (or dwóm)
8. dwoma
9. dwojga
10. dwojgu
11. dwojgiem
12. dwójka
13. dwójki
14. dwójkę
15. dwójką
16. dwójce
17. dwójko

You are confusing some things :) you have put various forms of at least 3 different words in this list:
1) "dwa" which is a cardinal number, it is used in a similar way adjectives are (most cardinal numbers are, but "dwa" is an exception...)

2) "dwoje" which is a used only when talking about people (e.g. "dwoje dzieci"), it is used like a noun
3) "dwójka" which is a noun, it is name of the digit "2" - and by the way, you didn;t include the whole set of forms of this word :) (there also also: dwójek, dwójkom, dwójkach, dwójkami ...)

To add even more - "dwójka" is a diminutive for "dwója" - which means something like a "big" digit "2" :)
Marek 4 | 867
18 May 2009 #125
Probably, learning Polish for an English speaker is tougher than German from the perspective of inflectional changes. But German is possibly more difficult in terms of word order and sentence length, in addition to those pesky separable vs. inseparable prefixes))
Czwartek 2 | 14
19 May 2009 #126
I think it depends on the learner's mother tongue. An English speaker for example would likely find German, Dutch or Danish easier than a speaker of a Slavic language. And a Polish person would no doubt have an easier time with Czech or Russian.
Cardno85 31 | 976
19 May 2009 #127
well said that man, coming from a west coast scottish background (with a bit of gaelic), I am finding Polish much easier than german, french and italian. Which doesn't make sense as my language is based around Latin and Germanic roots. However I also find the language very interesting, so that might have something to do with it.

There is no such thing as a hardest language in the world. My family in shetland could pick up Norwegian easily and that is not an easy language. It all depends on your mother tongue and how keen you are to learn!
z_darius 14 | 3,968
19 May 2009 #128
Many Europeans in Poland can speak excellent Polish in Poland after a year or two.

How excellent and how many? 5?
Czwartek 2 | 14
19 May 2009 #129
My family in shetland could pick up Norwegian easily and that is not an easy language.

That's interesting. Is Norwegian spoken in the Shetlands? Is there much Scandinavian culture there? I'm teaching myself Norwegian (mainly from online material) and find it quite easy, despite having nearly no exposure to the language where I live. I suppose spoken Norwegian can be difficult since it has quite a different tone to English and a few new vowels sounds, but grammatically it's very similar to English.

I agree completely that it helps if it's a language you're interested in. That's likely why I find Norwegian easy. I have a small passion for Scandinavia as a whole. I tried learning French and couldn't get into it at all, simply because I had no interest in it. Is that why you found Polish easier than German, French and Italian, because you were interested in it?
osiol 55 | 3,922
19 May 2009 #130
Shetland was historically a Norse society. The language known as Norn was spoken there, in Orkney and the very far north of Scotland. It was a direct descendent of Old Norse, just as the still-spoken Icelandic and Faeroese languages are. Some kind of deal was done between Norway (or possibly some sort of Norwegian-Danish monarchy) and Shetland was handed over to Scotland and settled by Scottish landlords. I'm not sure whether they spoke Gaelic or Scots (the English language's northern twin). As the English language came to prevail over Scotland generally, so it came to be spoken in these northern Islands too.

It is possible that Gaelic was never spoken here and that the language spoken by Shetlanders shifted from Norn to English with a heavy Norse-influence. I have heard it being spoken and it doesn't sound particularly Scottish. If anything, it resembles the English of the far north of England (where there was also a lot of Norse influence, only this time much further back in history).
Cardno85 31 | 976
19 May 2009 #131
Right, shetland was a Viking/Norse community for many years after the Vikings left the UK. In the early years of Scotland we had 3 countries in one. In the North East we had Norse people, in the south east we had Pictish and in the west it was Gaels from Ireland that settled there. Eventually the Pictish overthrew the Gaelic king and formed a united Scotland under Clan Rule (still prevalent in modern scottish law). So in shetland they speak a mix of old norse and english, hence why norwegian is easy for them. For me, I have lived abroad and used to speak arabic, mandarin and malay (i learned through speaking as a child but have since forgotten). So I have had no ties to the polish language, but I don't find it that daunting. At first it seemed impossible, but as time has passed it has become easier both with pronunciation and grammar.

In conclusion, I reckon that to say any language is the hardest to learn in the world is just silly.
Salomon 2 | 436
19 May 2009 #132
As to Vikings and UK.

canute

Cnut the Great's domains, in red. Vassals are denoted in orange, with other allied states in yellow

People in UK celebrate this conquest to this day : York Viking battle re-enactment
osiol 55 | 3,922
19 May 2009 #133
There are odd people who like dressing up in a wide variety of costumes. Some of them like to quaff mead too. It's easier than learning Polish.
Salomon 2 | 436
19 May 2009 #134
There are odd people who like dressing up in a wide variety of costumes.

I like it

Here are Polish "Vikings" building fleet:



I prefere later middle ages inscenisations annyway ... I find such learning of history as very interesting.
shopgirl 6 | 928
19 May 2009 #135
Shetland was historically a Norse society. The language known as Norn was spoken there, in Orkney and the very far north of Scotland.

Donkey, why do you know so much about languages? Do you have a degree in linguistics or something. I have seen you comment on language in threads with Crow about the movements of ancient Slavic tribes, and in the DNA thread involving language, and so now I am very curious. Is this a hobby or more than that? :)
Daisy 3 | 1,227
19 May 2009 #136
The language known as Norn was spoken there

The Lords prayer in Norn

Favor i ir i chimrie, Helleur ir i nam thite,
gilla cosdum thite cumma, veya thine mota vara gort
o yurn sinna gort i chimrie,
ga vus da on da dalight brow vora
Firgive vus sinna vora sin vee Firgive sindara mutha vus,
lyv vus ye i tumtation, min delivera vus fro olt ilt, Amen.

The Lords prayer in Old English, or Englisc

Fæder ure þu þe eart on heofonum,
Si þin nama gehalgod.
to becume þin rice, gewurþe ðin willa,
on eorðan swa swa on heofonum.
urne gedæghwamlican hlaf syle us todæg,
and forgyf us ure gyltas,

z_darius 14 | 3,968
19 May 2009 #137
In conclusion, I reckon that to say any language is the hardest to learn in the world is just silly.

Not really silly if you know about the psychology of language skills. To start with, any language is easy for a native speaker. Then there are 2nd, 3rd and so on languages. Awareness and skills of languages other than your native language are a huge step in making subsequent languages easier to learn since, to simplify things, your mind has been trained, achieving a degree of mental flexibility, and the flexibility of the organs of speech. You have that experience.

The issue then is not just how hard a language is in isolation, but how hard it would be in comparison to other languages which are not one native ones. The difficulty in "unlearning" the old, rather than learning the new, if you will. Much like driving a car. My first car was a standard. I had quite a ride trying to unlearn that and drive an easier to handle automatic instead.

Still, there are languages with certain complexities not present in one's native language. Often those complexities are not subject to simple translations but are the result of hundreds, or thousands of years of social development, intricacies etc. On the basic level it's not hard to communicate in many languages after just 1 month of intense study. I tried with English. All it really takes is less than 2000 words, some basic grammatical structures and you can get by, defining word you don't know using the words you do know. Try to communicate in Polish using 2000 words and "basic" grammatical structures. No way Jose. I experienced that too. The Polish texts were incomprehensible in writing.

I also heard Polish spoken by "quick learners" (Radio Tirana). It took me about 10 minutes of intense listening to even realize I was listening to a broadcast in, what turned out to be Polish. That wasn't poor Polish, or incorrect Polish. That was simply gibberish.
Cardno85 31 | 976
19 May 2009 #138
On the basic level it's not hard to communicate in many languages after just 1 month of intense study. The Polish texts were incomprehensible in writing.

Ahhh, this now makes more sense to me. Not so silly after all.

But as for the topic heading, is that the hardest language in the world for English speakers? Or in general. Because surely a Czech person could pick up Polish easier than say, an Italian person? No?
z_darius 14 | 3,968
19 May 2009 #139
I dunno if Polish is the most difficult of them all. It's not easy for sure.
As for the Czechs picking up Polish, yes, it is that background that'll make it easier for them. Again, that linguistic background.
Cardno85 31 | 976
19 May 2009 #140
It's not easy for sure.

There's certainly no argument there mate. Although one day I'll get there...
Czwartek 2 | 14
19 May 2009 #141
Try to communicate in Polish using 2000 words and "basic" grammatical structures.

I certainly don't know more than 2000 Polish words, I'd be surprised if I know 1000. My grammar understanding is so-so as well. But I can hold a basic conversation in Polish and make myself understood. My main problem is understanding the other person. Despite having been leaning for a few years, I still sometimes have to say jeszcze raz or proszę mówić powoli if they speak too quickly or use a word I don't know. And even if they only use words I know, sometimes it takes a few seconds to put those words in context and understand the full sentence.

In short, memorising words and grammar rules is only the start. If that was all that's involved in learning a language it would be possible to 'learn' virtually any language in a month with enough material. The difficult part is being able to think in that language and usie it as a reliable communication medium.
Michal - | 1,865
20 May 2009 #142
How excellent and how many? 5?

There are a lot of Europeans in Poland now as the borders have opened up and Polish can be spoken among British teachers who originally went to Poland years ago as teachers of English, have stayed and have assimilated Polish life, customs and the language.
Pani_Polska - | 89
20 May 2009 #143
I know a Chinese language teacher that says people pick up Chinese very easy, but he speaks several languages and could not learn Polish.

I dont know if I agree with that!
z_darius 14 | 3,968
20 May 2009 #144
There are a lot of Europeans in Poland now as the borders have opened up and Polish can be spoken among British teachers who originally went to Poland years ago as teachers of English

Interesting.
So who do those foreigners learn Polish from? After all you wrote about Polish grammatical cases that Poles but they are not always used in practice though and the Poles, themselves, rarely know the difference!, and that even though they are native speakers of the language?

I dont know if I agree with that!

You would not agree with somebody's personal experience?
Seanus 15 | 19,706
21 May 2009 #145
I agree with Cardno, saying that 1 language is the hardest is stupid. I don't find it overly hard but I'm sure I'd find some other languages a huge, uphill struggle. Swahili, Mandarin or Hungarian spring to mind.
Cardno85 31 | 976
21 May 2009 #146
I agree with Cardno

That's because you are a very clever man...
sunhp 4 | 23
21 May 2009 #147
Hi, Every body,
No, you cann't say that Polish is hardest. There are many other languages which you didn't listen. In my state people speak 35 language. Which almost totaly different between each other. Then how you could say that.

I learnt polish language within 3 months normal conversiation.
z_darius 14 | 3,968
21 May 2009 #148
I learnt polish language within 3 months normal conversiation.

I'm sure you did.

Username: sunhp PM
Member Since: Dec 23, 08
Last Post: Today, 21:36
Gender: Male
Email: Click here to contact this Member via email
Threads: 4
Posts: 32
Country, city: warsaw
Speak Polish?: little
Occupation, website: student

I tried my "hand" at Japanese a few decades ago. It was very easy, and as a result I also speak little Chinese.
lala345
7 Jul 2009 #149
I think the hardest bit about the German language is getting the cases right.. the language has rules for its genders so that shouldnt pose a problem if you know these rules. Vocabulary and pronuncational wise English and German do have similarities (especially U.K. English) Dutch on the other hand is quite unlogical.. it has very complex.. unlogical weird phrase structures and expressions and nearly no grammatical rules to genders and such (and the pronunciation is very different from English pronunciation). Dutch and German are very similar though.
NPosuniak 8 | 91
8 Jul 2009 #150
A challenge for a proper polish speaker:

Can you use each of these 17 forms in a sentence correctly? Try to make the sentences the same in respect to subject and idea.

17 grammatical forms for the number 2

1. dwa
2. dwie
3. dwoje
4. dwóch (or dwu)
5. dwaj
6. dwiema
7. dwom (or dwóm)
8. dwoma
9. dwojga
10. dwojgu
11. dwojgiem
12. dwójka
13. dwójki
14. dwójkę
15. dwójką
16. dwójce
17. dwójko

Can anyone do it?


Home / Language / Polish was chosen the HARDEST LANGUAGE in the world to learn... :D
BoldItalic [quote]
 
To post as Guest, enter a temporary username or login and post as a member.