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Is Polish an easy language to learn and is there a way of learning it easily?


weaverwarrior12 6 | 3
19 Oct 2013 #1
I wanted to honor my Polish ancestors by learning Polish, I am 50% Polish. I wanted to learn it easily as well, but I don't know how to.
rybnik 18 | 1,462
19 Oct 2013 #2
I salute your wish to honor your ancestry but, truth be told, Polish is a very complicated language. One does not learn it easily (think Latin).

Be patient and learn your declinations. Plenty of folks on here you can ask for advice.
Powodzenie!
pgtx 30 | 3,158
19 Oct 2013 #3
self learning Polish is hard. some forum members may confirm that.

i recommend you to sign up for Polish language classes and hang out with Polish people as much as you can.
rybnik 18 | 1,462
19 Oct 2013 #4
i recommend you to sign up for Polish language classes and hang out with Polish people as much as you can.

Very good advice
Zibi - | 336
19 Oct 2013 #5
your declinations

declensions are fun! :-)
Wulkan - | 3,251
19 Oct 2013 #6
Is Polish an easy language to learn

it's just boring
pam
19 Oct 2013 #7
self learning Polish is hard.

It certainly is!

i recommend you to sign up for Polish language classes and hang out with Polish people as much as you can.

+1

declensions are fun! :-)

Really? That's not the first word that springs to mind ;)
Sparks11 - | 335
19 Oct 2013 #8
I would recommend you start with the basics of vocab and grammar and then listen to as much as you can. It really takes a long time and a lot of effort to drive those declensions into your head. There is almost nothing intuitive about it for a native English speaker. If you don't live in the country it will be all the more difficult.
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
19 Oct 2013 #9
Learning Polish will naturally prove essential when dealing with Polish people, within as well as outside Poland! EVERY language out there, either extinct or extant, is both "easy" and "difficult" simultaneously, all depending upon both the learner's relationship to it, along with the level of communication desired. If the bare-bones minimum is all that is required, learning to pronounce correctly a handful of useful Polish phrases might indeed prove useful. If a true understanding of the society from the ground up, so to speak, is the goal, then the texture(s) of the Polish tongue in this case, should be mastered completely. This of course can and often does take many years of serious, concerted effort and almost monastic devotion. Furthermore, don't worry all too much about getting each of the myriad declensions and assorted morphological/orthographical permutations of Polish!! Even some of us who've been studying it, using it, professionally for a long time, continue to make mistakes ^^

I assume your purposes lie somewhere in between, yes?:-)

Another thing, try NOT to rely on local English knowledge! Even in other European countries which have allegedly "fluent" English speakers on every corner, often their English is limited at best, or inaccurate, to say the very leastLOL
Jardinero 1 | 407
19 Oct 2013 #10
polishforums.com/general-language-17/polish-was-chosen-hardest-language-world-learn-d-34156/
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
19 Oct 2013 #11
Jardinero, I for one am familiar with this site resp. webpage and find that the identical criteria for difficulty might apply to any one of a dozen or so languages, hardly exclusive to Polish!
legend 3 | 664
20 Oct 2013 #12
Polish is difficult to learn unless you go to schooling with the language used daily.

I dont think its the hardest though.

Hungarian, Finnish, Eastern Asian languages seem more difficult to me.
Wulkan - | 3,251
20 Oct 2013 #13
Hungarian, Finnish, Eastern Asian languages seem more difficult to me.

Those are indeed harder.

How many languages have you aproached?
OP weaverwarrior12 6 | 3
20 Oct 2013 #14
How many languages have you aproached?

Well I'm good at pronouncing Russian words and such, fairly easy. It's just the Cyrillic alphabet that turned me away from Russian.
I'm fairly good at the Dutch creole, Afrikaans, as well.
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
20 Oct 2013 #15
I found Polish MUCH easier to pronounce in the beginning than Russian, primarily owing to the strongly palatalized consonants , 'd' and 't' in Russian compared with Polish:-)

The syllabic stress of Russian I also found harder.
el polaco - | 6
21 Oct 2013 #16
Certain parts of Polish are easy to learn, while others are impossible, like this example.


  • Translation: Polish is a hard language to learn
Wulkan - | 3,251
21 Oct 2013 #17
like this example.

this example is missing like half of it, there are over 30 ways of saying number "two" in Polish not 17. It's missing: drugi, drugich, drugiemu etc...
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
21 Oct 2013 #18
Ahemm, eh, Icelandic, Lithuanian, Finnish, Hungarian and Estonian are up there as well:-)

One of the problems with Polish (and again, by no means confined to Polish!) is its highly conservative morphology, telicity and prosody which it shares with many of the above languages:-) Slavic aspect is mostly unfamiliar to career Romanists or even Germanists, unless of course they've studied linguistics which touches on the major language groups. The humorous cartoon shown prior illustrates the degree of case application in Polish, though once more, scarcely unique to that language.

Celticists tend to be more used to the sorts of consonantal mutations found in Polish, as Welsh for example, is practically crawling with the buggersLOL
Wulkan - | 3,251
22 Oct 2013 #19
The humorous cartoon shown prior illustrates the degree of case application in Polish

and it's still missing half
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
22 Oct 2013 #20
which further serves to expand on the point I was illustrating:-)
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
22 Oct 2013 #21
I wanted to learn it easily as well,

interesting.....because i've yet to meet someone who wants to learn a language difficultly.
Steveramsfan 2 | 306
22 Oct 2013 #22
I have been teaching myself for 5 years now and I can barely hold a conversation in Polish.
Reading and writing i'm not bad with but listening and understanding is my downfall.

Now I have a flat and a residency card for the next 5 years I hope that I will improve faster.
I am booked on a course at the University of Lodz in March.

Rosetta Stone Totale is a very good way to learn if you can use it every day.
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
22 Oct 2013 #23
I have been teaching myself for 5 years now and I can barely hold a conversation in Polish.
Reading and writing i'm not bad with but listening and understanding is my downfall.

in most cases, it is due to not knowing Polish cases. if the constant declinations and conversions and gender differences don't start to sound natural to you, you're always going to struggle with comprehension.

the single best way to learn Polish is to hammer.....and I mean hammer the grammar. don't start going through the dictionary learning random verbs you'll never use on the regular if you can't even use basic words and conjugate them accordingly so you can have a conversation with them. "knowing" a word in Polish takes on a different meaning than most languages. who cares if you know how to say "car" or "building" or "house" in Polish....do you know how to use them in all their forms, including being able to quantify 1, 2, and 5+ of them? that's the difference.

additionally, you will forever sound like an amateur in Polish if your grammar is not solid. accent is one thing but if every other word out of your mouth is spoken incorrectly, nobody wants to listen to you.

Polish is in a class of its own and if you want to really learn it, you're years away from being even decent at it.

Being able to turn on the TV in Poland and understand everything on a news station? A decade or more, in country + constant studying. this isn't to discourage, simply to tell it like it is. Polish is like one big monster that takes what will feel like forever to finally slay.
szczecinianin 4 | 345
22 Oct 2013 #24
Can you speak Polish, and if so, how well?

Just curious.
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
22 Oct 2013 #25
There's a delightful series by Prof. Jan Miótek for Polish as both a first as well as a foreign language. Similar to Mark Twain's infamous "The Awful German Language", Professor Miótek's short volume "Polski - Straszny język" is rife with all the hideously difficult conundra of Polish, presented in a humorous way.
Jardinero 1 | 407
23 Oct 2013 #26
Professor Miótek's short volume "Polski - Straszny język"

Did you not mean Prof. Jan Miodek?

merlin.pl/Jezyk-polski-Nie-taki-jezyk-straszny-o-polszczyznie-do-uczniow_Jan-Miodek/browse/product/1,595086.html

Regarding how easy (difficult) it is to learn a foreign language is relative at the end of the day, as it would seem the main criterion - everything else being equal - determining their experience would be how related (unrelated) it is to the learner's own or learned language(s)...
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
23 Oct 2013 #27
Can you speak Polish, and if so, how well?

yes.

i've lost a little vocab since i moved back to the states but my wife is polish so i still have constant exposure. my grammar is my strongest suit. it's pretty much all i studied during my first 2 years in country because i quickly recognized how crucial it is to having meaningful conversation. my vocab is probably my weakest suit because like i said, i concentrated far more on grammar. i fish for words, not conjugations.

when i sit down with a 20 something and talk about my day, i can do it comfortably but i have limitations like any language learner. my polish will improve exponentially in the near future because my wife and I (she's Polish...and no, not PolAm, she's born and raised in Poland) will be raising our children with polish so i expect to learn most of what i lack through osmosis in the coming years. i really look forward to it because i've put SO much work into learning this language and it will be nice to finally have the finished product.
szczecinianin 4 | 345
23 Oct 2013 #28
To be honest, I completely disagreed with your comments about language learning. I've lived in Poland for over fifteen years, have a Polish wife, and frequently translate Polish texts into English (but never the other way round).

I'd say that trying to learn the grammar first was a big mistake. There is simply so much of it that you are setting yourself a near impossible task. However much I learned of Polish grammar, I realised there was still more to learn.

My advise would be to simply immerse yourself in the language. Watch lots of Polish films, read Polish texts and so on.

After a while you will develop an instinct as to the correct ending.

I tried to learn the way you did, but it was a failure. What was more useful was watching the news in Polish every evening and reading the news in Polish online.

Just my two cents, as Americans say.
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
23 Oct 2013 #29
As a language instructor of many years, I agree partially, Szczecinanin. Surely for the adult learner, a basic knowledge of grammar is essential, even in the very beginning. While it's true that it's more important at the start to focus on communicative utterances, i.e. daily wishes, desires etc.., being without a solid grounding in the grammar of any language makes one sound rather like a Neanderthal.

Surely this is not desirable:-)
jon357 63 | 15,120
23 Oct 2013 #30
Surely this is not desirable:-)

Very undesirable. Nevertheless, it's usually far, far better to maintain a flawed fluency than a stilted precision.


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