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


SwedeInPoland
10 Oct 2009 #181
Well, what I really meant is not that I can't hear a difference between "cz" and "ci", because I can if people speak reasonably slowly and clearly. It's more about being able to "decode" a sound as separate from another which you are used to perceiving as two variations of the same sound. It's particularly hard when there are many such sounds after one another. The flexible position of the word "się" complicates things further.

Another really annoying thing with Polish is that monosyllabic nouns sometimes aren't stressed if they're preceded by a preposition, e.g. "ode mnie" and "każdego dnia", but I guess you get used to it after a few... err, decades. ;)
Nika 2 | 507
10 Oct 2009 #182
Then please don't come to France, here people don't even try to imitate the accent (i'm generalising a bit but i know i'm right).

'You are a beautiful girl' -> (with a strong French accent) You aRR uh byouTifool guh-RRl
Nice.

hahahahahaha - you are so right Polson.
Do you know how long it took me to realise that when they said Rishar Shamberlen they actually meant Richard Chamberlain!?
Polson 5 | 1,771
10 Oct 2009 #183
Rishar Shamberlen they actually meant Richard Chamberlain!?

Haha, i know!! We say it this way in France (i'm not proud of it, but we learn it this way at school). Plus, 'Chamberlain' could be a French name. We pronounce it just as if it was French
Nika 2 | 507
10 Oct 2009 #184
(i'm not proud of it, but we learn it this way at school).

you learn about Richard Chamberlain at school?
Anyway, it's funny the way you guys pronounce everything (especially names) à la française :)
Polson 5 | 1,771
10 Oct 2009 #185
you learn about Richard Chamberlain at school?

No, Arthur Neville Chamberlain (WW2).

it's funny the way you guys pronounce everything (especially names) à la française

It's not funny! It sucks! ^^

Even when i watch a football game on TV:

'Steven GeRaRR' for Steven GerarD, no 'd' in the French pronunciation.
Nika 2 | 507
10 Oct 2009 #186
No, Arthur Neville Chamberlain (WW2).

hahahahahaha OK, that makes sense.

'Steven GeRaRR' for Steven GerarD, no 'd' in the French pronunciation.

why is it that in French language d or t at the end of a word isn't pronounced? Why is it there in the first place, I mean why do you write it if you don't pronounce it?
Polson 5 | 1,771
11 Oct 2009 #187
You will find many, many words in French with unpronounced letters.
If you want a short explanation, French was made purposedly more difficult several centuries ago, to make it more 'noble', so that only cultivated people could use it.

Before that time, French spelling was very easy.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
11 Oct 2009 #188
I reckon my linguistic awareness is pretty decent so I can imagine there being several languages more difficult than Polish. Some take to other languages more easily. For example, you could have sb with a talent for languages struggle with an 'easier' language because of lack of interest or incompatible thinking.

Criteria does exist for classifying difficulty but it doesn't work in all cases.
Arien 3 | 721
11 Oct 2009 #189
I still think Chinese is harder to learn? (For Europeans I mean!)

:)
Seanus 15 | 19,706
11 Oct 2009 #190
The grammar isn't that bad, I've heard. My Taiwanese friend wanted to teach me but I was happy learning Japanese at that time. The intonation is tough. 4 tones in Mandarin and 7 in Cantonese, I think. One tone different makes the difference between anus and grandma. If there are Chinese on here, please confirm this.
scrappleton - | 830
11 Oct 2009 #191
One tone different makes the difference between anus and grandma.

Possibly a hazard depending on how spry your grandma is.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
11 Oct 2009 #192
What does spry mean?
Arien 3 | 721
11 Oct 2009 #193
spry [spraɪ]

adj. spryer, spryest, sprier spriest.

Active and brisk; nimble.

:)
Seanus 15 | 19,706
11 Oct 2009 #194
Hmm...I wonder if he was making a point that English isn't the easiest of languages either ;)

Seanus (scratches his head and looks at the empty Errazuriz wine bottle beside him)
Nomsense - | 38
11 Oct 2009 #195
You will find many, many words in French with unpronounced letters.
If you want a short explanation, French was made purposedly more difficult several centuries ago, to make it more 'noble', so that only cultivated people could use it.
Before that time, French spelling was very easy.

My favourite example of such a word in English is "queue". I've heard English spelling was heavily influenced by French. That would explain it ;-) .
scrappleton - | 830
11 Oct 2009 #196
I wonder if he was making a point that English isn't the easiest of languages either ;)

Aren't you a teacher of it?
Seanus 15 | 19,706
11 Oct 2009 #197
Powiedzmy ;) ;)
selena - | 2
11 Oct 2009 #198
Hello, I am new here, so first off, "hello" and thank you in advance. I've just started trying to learn some Polish (just hoping for some basic conversational ability) and it is so far for me very slow going and challenging. I was wondering after reading through some of this thread how native Polish speakers react to novice speakers...is the effort generally appreciated or is bad Polish worse than no Polish? Also, what other languages might Poles be likely to speak (all I have is my American English and some French, probably not much help?). This thread seems rather technical but everyone here seems quite friendly so I thought I would ask. Thank You!
Nika 2 | 507
11 Oct 2009 #199
Before that time, French spelling was very easy.

it's definitely very difficult today! Why don't you go back to the old, good times of easy French spelling. That would save me a lot of time when I write e-mails to my French-speaking friends :)
gumishu 11 | 5,322
11 Oct 2009 #200
Also, what other languages might Poles be likely to speak

older generations often do speak some German (it was the language of science back in the interbellum) seems however these generations are soon to pass

all children were taught Russian since the 50's up until 1989 (so was I) and some people know it fairly well (I can say my ability to speak Russian is moderate but I guess I can understand much more)

knowledge of French is really limited in Poland
Polson 5 | 1,771
11 Oct 2009 #201
My favourite example of such a word in English is "queue". I've heard English spelling was heavily influenced by French. That would explain it

Heavily influenced by French? You mean TOTALLY ;)
It's the French spelling, with an English pronunciation.
In French, we say [kuh] (the 'uh' sound is..harder, like German 'ö').

Why don't you go back to the old, good times of easy French spelling.

Actually we do ^^ Well, young people do, when they write SMSs or emails... They make many mistakes (on purpose, well most of the time..) just to have shorter messages and mails.

Example: Je vais voir un match de football à la télévision.
(I'm going to watch a football game on television)
-> Je V vwar 1 match 2 foot a la tv.

Which i find, personnally, totally unsightly ;) Some people actually can't write 'normally'.
ebowkiczulak
25 Oct 2009 #202
My mother is from Poland, and said that English is a lot harder to learn then polish. My cousins speak both polish and English and say the same... they speak both since they where young. My dad now wishes my siblings and I did learn both.

Now I am looking to learn to speak better in polish I know a few words and can understand it a little. I do not know how to read or write in polish that might be the hard part.

Why now, my husband and I are looking to adopt from, Poland.

so if any one knows information on learning to speak read and write polish as well as adopt, please let me know. My mom is trying to teach me but since I do not live close to her it is hard.
Ced 1 | 54
25 Oct 2009 #203
The hardest language to learn is: Polish

it depends for whom i guess.

it can be easier for Russians, Czech, Slovaks and other Slavs and more difficult for people whose languages have very little in common with slavic languages.
MrSchool100
13 Jan 2010 #204
Not even for them.

How can you explain to them that in Polish you need DIFFERENT FORMS for numerals, for 1, for 2 for 3 and 4, and for 5 and next... and different numerals for kids?

and 17 forms for simple number "Two" ?

That's purely insanity

mafketis 23 | 8,612
14 Jan 2010 #205
It might be if that's what people actually did. The 17 words for 'two' idea is based on formal prescriptive rules that almost no Polish speaker bothers following. In reality, most people drastically simplify the number system in various ways.

For years I didn't even try to inflect numbers (except for one, which is easy and two to a limited extent) beyond that I just used the nominative and ..... nobody every noticed.

This was partly an accidental strategy that came about after I noticed that most people couldn't answer questions I did have about number forms (or gave very different answers from each other).
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
14 Jan 2010 #206
Polish also has its own das Mädchen -- dziewczę (neuter for maiden).
jwojcie 2 | 763
14 Jan 2010 #207
I was wondering after reading through some of this thread how native Polish speakers react to novice speakers...

Speaking in the name of a nation is always tricky thing, but well, we not used to it so sometimes reactions can be like surprise, astonishment, sometimes one just cann't help it and burst out laughing... But don't worry about that and go for it...

PS.
Welcome in the polish speaking community ;-)
skysoulmate 14 | 1,297
14 Jan 2010 #208
I'm still tempted to give up Polish and learn Portuguese, Swedish or Fang instead.

Do it! Swedish is easy, logical and sounds great. American women love the "singing intonation" too... At least so I've heard... ;)

On a more serious note, the foreigners trying to learn Polish shouldn't be too worried about not being fluent... I travel in my job and noticed that as long as you make an attempt, try to learn the local language and respect the traditions and show an interest you will be welcomed whether in Poland, Brasil, Taiwan, China, Malaysia or Japan.

...well, I should add don't tell the Taiwanese they are really part of China because then no matter how much Mandarin you've picked up - you're dead to them... LOL
BrutalButcher - | 391
14 Jan 2010 #209
If you can't learn Polish ,you may not have a talent for that language. Heck, if a Vietnamese can learn it ,why can't YOU!?
skysoulmate 14 | 1,297
14 Jan 2010 #210
My favourite example of such a word in English is "queue". I've heard English spelling was heavily influenced by French. That would explain it ;-)

That's why the American English is so much easier, the spelling is more logical, follows the actual pronunciation a little bit more. Of course I'm biased and it all depends on what you're used to.

By the way, if you mention a "queue" in the US they'll think you're talking about a pool (billiard) "cue".

(hey, I'm talking about the cue, not her... ;)

Here instead of queueing we simply wait in line. LOL

...and while I'm at it...

Has there ever been a spelling reform in the Polish language? For example would it be possible to abolish the letter ó and only use u? Or to get rid of the spelling difference of h and ch? ...how about ż and rz? Different spelling but the same pronunciation, right? At least I think so? Has that ever been considered?

I'm wondering because of the way Webster reformed the English language. Noah Webster is the gentlemen who made our lives so much easier here in the US. In his own words he saved us from the "clamour of pedantry" that surround the (British) English grammar and pronunciation. :)

"...Webster complained that the English language had been corrupted by the British aristocracy, which set its own standard for proper spelling and pronunciation. As a spelling reformer, Webster believed that English spelling rules were unnecessarily complex, so his dictionary introduced American English spellings, replacing "colour" with "color", substituting "wagon" for "waggon", and printing "center" instead of "centre"..."

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noah_Webster (Off the subject - Note that the statue of Webster in West Hartford, Connecticut which is included in this article was designed by a Polish American - Korczak Ziółkowski)

UK - US

aeroplane - airplane
annexe - annex
cheque - check
doughnut - donut
encyclopaedia - encyclopedia
foetus - fetus
mould - mold
neurone - neuron
disorientated - disoriented
phoney - phony
programme - program
plough - plow
sceptic - skeptic
storey - story
theatre - theater
tyre - tire

Thank you Mr. Webster!

So has there ever been a similar language reform in Poland?


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