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Why is the Polish language so difficult?


alexw68
9 Jul 2011 #61
Still, Russian is way more conservative than Polish in its adopting of productive Latin-based verbal prefixes of the 'konstruktować', 'telefonować' variety.

I wonder if this isn't a 20th century phenomenon. Go back to the 19th and borrowings not from generic Latinate roots, but very specifically French, are quite common.
Lyzko
9 Jul 2011 #62
True, Alex! And yet, Polish typically borrows heavily from non-Slavic word roots. Having said all that, Both Polish and particularly Czech use almost exclusively SLAVIC word roots for both the days of the week as well as the months and seasons, compared say with Russian in the case of the former.
boletus 30 | 1,361
9 Jul 2011 #63
Polish for most English speakers sounds like a "shoosing" contest, where every word sounds like the last one. it's a uni-dimensional language.

For the record: This was discussed to death in some other thread, where the original poster could not hear a difference between Polish "cz", English "ch", and Polish "ć". So you must have actually meant "ć". All you need to do is to train your ear to start hearing the difference.

So you complain that all Polish infinitives predictably end with "ć". Again, here are the Spanish examples of infinitives: salir, estudiar, comprar, pensar, aceptar, acordar, afirmar, amenazar. Horror, oh horror - they all end with the same letter - "r".
PennBoy 76 | 2,432
9 Jul 2011 #64
Russian employs its own Slavic word base

Not quite. Russian for tomato -tomato/tomat from Latin, in Polish pomidor from Italian Pomodoro, Russian for family-familia again from Latin, Polish rodzina-Slavic.
Lyzko
9 Jul 2011 #65
But, PennBoy, compare once again the Polish/Czech months (two exceceptions!) with Russian-:)
PennBoy 76 | 2,432
9 Jul 2011 #66
Polish/Czech months (two exceceptions!) with Russian-:)

Ya ne govoryu horosho po russkomu
Czech Polish Russian

January -- leden Styczen Yanvar'
February -- únor Luty Fevral'
March -- březen Marzec Mart
April -- duben Kwiecien Ahprel'
May -- květen Maj Mai
June -- èerven Czerwiec Iyoon'
July -- èervenec Lipiec Iyool'
August -- srpen Sierpien Avgoost
September -- září Wrzesien Sentyabr'
October -- říjen Pazdziernik Oktyabr'
November -- listopad Listopad Noyabr'
December -- prosinec Grudzien Dekabr'
Lyzko
9 Jul 2011 #67
Świetnie pisane, PennBoy! Własnie moim zdaniem-:)
PennBoy 76 | 2,432
9 Jul 2011 #68
Thanx :) Which language, overall, do you think is closer to Russian? Polish or Czech.
gumishu 14 | 6,288
9 Jul 2011 #69
Rain33

I discovered that she is Kashubian, so she is probably not the best person to ask to recite something in Polish.

Kashubians speak perfect Polish - they are sort of bilingual

Ya ne govoryu horosho po russkomu[b][/b]

po ruski - ja toże nie goworiu choroszo chotja ja ucziłsia jego w szkolie - Polish has it's own specific transliteration of Russian which is not completely phonetic but reflects the Russian written forms
Lyzko
10 Jul 2011 #70
I would say, PennBoy, either Czech or Slovak. Aside from some essential phonemic differences, i.e. the presence of long as well as short vowels in both Czech and Slovak (non-existent in both Russian and Polish), Czech appears both structurally as well as morphologically similar to written Polish.
PennBoy 76 | 2,432
10 Jul 2011 #71
Czech appears both structurally as well as morphologically similar to written Polish.

But which is closer to Russian? Polish or Czech. Through words used and sound?
Magdalena 3 | 1,835
11 Jul 2011 #72
Which language, overall, do you think is closer to Russian? Polish or Czech.

Neither of them. Belarussian or Ukrainian would be better choices if you are interested in a language "close to Russian".
PennBoy 76 | 2,432
11 Jul 2011 #73
Almost every Czech person I've met spoke Polish well so I never really heard them speak it to make a judgement if it's similar to Polish or not.
OP Rain33 14 | 19
11 Jul 2011 #74
True, Alex! And yet, Polish typically borrows heavily from non-Slavic word roots. Having said all that, Both Polish and particularly Czech use almost exclusively SLAVIC word roots for both the days of the week as well as the months and seasons, compared say with Russian in the case of the former.

So, in other words, Russian is easier than Polish?
urszula 1 | 253
11 Jul 2011 #75
Lol. It depends if you like to learn Russian letters, instead of the ones you already know.
Rebirth
11 Jul 2011 #76
Polish grammar is harder than English grammar. English writing/reading is harder than Polish writing/reading. Both languages have their difficult and easier aspects. Enough said.
gumishu 14 | 6,288
11 Jul 2011 #77
Russian for family-familia

familia is more like a family name in Russian than the family itself and Russian also have a different word for family 'sjemja' ('syem'ya') which I guess is Slavic (maybe it comes from 'seed' - compare archaic Polish 'siemię' = 'seed')

Lyzko:
True, Alex! And yet, Polish typically borrows heavily from non-Slavic word roots. Having said all that, Both Polish and particularly Czech use almost exclusively SLAVIC word roots for both the days of the week as well as the months and seasons, compared say with Russian in the case of the former.

So, in other words, Russian is easier than Polish?

Russian grammar is a bit simpler than the Polish one but it still has good couple of noun cases and comparable difficulty of verb aspects (perfective/imperfective)

Russian phonetics is a bit simpler than Polish - but hardly any Westerner masters their 'soft consonants' and most pronounce these as their plain variants (it hardly sounds Russian anymore then)

the different alphabet is not a big problem - you can read it pretty fast after some practice (I learned it almost instantly as a kid in school) - the only problem is some sounds behind the alphabet
Magdalena 3 | 1,835
11 Jul 2011 #78
Russian grammar is a bit simpler than the Polish one

Yeah, sure. Especially noun inflections. Piece of cake. I guess you didn't have a very demanding teacher. Russian is *difficult*, people.
gregloby - | 6
11 Jul 2011 #79
Polish is NOT the hardest language in the world!


Lyzko
11 Jul 2011 #80
Russian has one fewer cases (6) than Polish (7), Polish on the other hand has a slightly more "phonetic" pronunciation than Russian in the sense of fixed (Polish) vs. movable word stress (Russian) plus less extreme palatalization. Russian also has numerous examples of unstressed schwa sounds, making it actually much closer to American English! For this reasons, many younger, 'hip' Russians have a much easier time than most Poles in developing an American-style, especially a "Noo Yaawwwk", accent. Polish has equal weight/stress given to each letter, i.e. zero schwa sounds, as well as only ONE sound per every consonant cluster!

Put it all together and you have the proverbial six of one, half a dozen of the other-:)
Natalia131999
24 Feb 2013 #81
Well I'm 13 and Polish, however been living in England for over 4 years now. I often have tried teaching Polish to English people, this was very hard because while speaking in Polish your toungue has to form differently. Also the way we structure our sentences is much different, because our senteces translated directly into English would sound very random and wouldn't make any sense.
Rysavy 10 | 307
24 Feb 2013 #82
I am not sure it is so difficult after first barriers are passed. In my case it is pronounciations.

My problem is not so much the Polish as certain consonant combinations close to each other. But then again, I have a mild
speech impediment only exacerbated by wisdom teeth, still having baby teeth and having my adult upper "first molar" set knocked out.
Which is where these letter sets are supposedly to be pronounced I came to find out recently.

I can hear the differences, but lot of the "shushing" sounds mentioned earlier are my bane since I lisp them terrible. What are they called Frictives?

(though I thought ch= hard "H"? even a nearly "f" sound if like the word for moment)
Polson 5 | 1,767
24 Feb 2013 #83
It is difficult. Partly because the language has hardly evolved since centuries. When French and English for instance lost all cases (except for the very basic nominative of course), Poland still has 7. Including the very useful vocative.. ;)

I heard that the word (number) 'two' has 17 different forms in Polish. I honestly don't want to check, cuz I'd be depressed and hey, it's Sunday night... ^^

Still learning but need a looot of patience, and maybe I'll manage someday ;)
Wroclaw 44 | 5,366
24 Feb 2013 #84
Well I'm 13 and Polish

i'm sure that you meant 14 or over as 14 is the minimum age here.
jasondmzk
24 Feb 2013 #85
I got this off tumblr awhile back, thought it was informative to see it spread out in such a way:

Language Chart
ufo973 10 | 88
24 Feb 2013 #86
I know 6 languages and i have to say that Polish is among the most difficult languages of world.
Wulkan - | 3,169
24 Feb 2013 #87
You also forgot to mention how hard is English...
Polson 5 | 1,767
24 Feb 2013 #88
Apart from the pronunciation, English is clearly one of the easiest. I wish Polish was only hard to pronounce... Oh, wait...it is hard sometimes too ^^
kkk314
25 Feb 2013 #89
There is a website that has automated speakers of many languages including Polish. It is a very good reference. Especially Polish, Maja has very good pronounciation. www dot ivona dot com
Lyzko
25 Feb 2013 #90
Thanks for the tip!

I recently read in an abstract entitled "Jeden, dwa, trzy.." from a major English news daily that Polish is quickly becoming the second most widely spoken language in England todayLOL

All the more practical reason to slog on in our struggles:-)


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