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The most effective methods to learn the Polish language?


wwwpolyglotocom 1 | 21
7 Dec 2011 #1
There is many ways of learning the language. I was just wondering what do you consider to be ‘the best’ or the most effective one? Or does even one definite method exist?

How have you learned a foreign language? What methods have you used? Is there anything you can suggest to people just starting learning the language from the scratch?
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
7 Dec 2011 #2
I was just wondering what do you consider to be ‘the best’ or the most effective one?

Bloody hard work. Every day.

How have you learned a foreign language?

Yes

What methods have you used? Is there anything you can suggest to people just starting learning the language from the scratch?

Speaking because you have to. Learning and improving and analysing every day and never, ever, letting small mistakes hold you back.
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,441
7 Dec 2011 #3
Bloody hard work. Every day.

pretty much sums it up:)
sobieski 107 | 2,128
7 Dec 2011 #4
I learned Polish the hard way. Backbreaking work during many years of evening classes. Grammar, grammar and vocabulary in between.
OP wwwpolyglotocom 1 | 21
7 Dec 2011 #5
I agree that hard work and motivation is the most important. But what do you think, for example, of attending language classes? Or maybe some private lessons? Course books with CD? Or some online courses?

Do you find any of these useful in learning a language?
ShortHairThug - | 1,103
7 Dec 2011 #6
Swim or Sink but not everyone is lucky enough to find himself in that situation, otherwise good old fashion perseverance and loads of sweat will do the job.
Chrzaszcz 12 | 103
7 Dec 2011 #7
Most effective methods to learn a language

... From books and other written material ... I have a method where I write down a new word 5 times. This method is working great with Polish adverbs, comparative and superlatives included ....

I had a polish mate learning English. When encountering it for the first time, he imagined the word written down on paper, and it stuck! Lucky him.
OP wwwpolyglotocom 1 | 21
7 Dec 2011 #8
The first encounters with language are the most difficult because native speakers speak quicker than we expect them and words sound different to.

written material

And what about speaking? How can you learn pronunciation effectively? It is hard to learn it from books if you do not hear the actual language and not everyone has a 'luxury' to speak to the native speakers.
Chrzaszcz 12 | 103
7 Dec 2011 #9
And what about speaking

I do have the luxury of 'speaking' to various polish people. I go to Polish mass and talk to parishioners, and have several Polish work colleagues who guide me along the way. I don't mind speaking at all.
parrish 1 | 12
8 Dec 2011 #10
Memorizing simple but useful phrases (that have correct grammar). This won't teach you the whole language but it will get you speaking right away. It will also help you start to recognize simple grammar patterns.
OP wwwpolyglotocom 1 | 21
8 Dec 2011 #11
parrish, I agree that this is a good method to learn. It is more or less like so called Callan Method where you learn by literally repeating sentences. I think it is very efficient, but of course not sufficient to learn language. It is always good to do some extra exercises, listen to native speakers etc.
Edyta3 - | 3
4 Jul 2012 #12
yes, a good course, watching tv (you can get it even on the internet, or sky tv)
re pronounciation - google has a briliant tool for that - a translator - it has a pronounciation given and you can listen to the word - it does help, especially if you hear a word the first time
Michal K
5 Jul 2012 #13
I recommend classic Polish method: youtube.com/watch?v=6jZhJ9yGSZw :)
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
5 Jul 2012 #14
My 2 groszy:

hammer the grammar. polish is so grammar intensive that if you don't get it down pat, you will struggle forever (and poles will struggle to understand you).

I absolutely hammered grammar for the first 2 years. I'd write down word after word that one would use on a daily basis and then throw every preposition at it and case to make sure that i could use it in conversation no matter what word I would use it with or what preposition.....that's when you've actually learned a word in Polish.

In 2 years, my vocab was still small but I could conjugate everything I knew just like a Pole. During year 3, I was easily able to pile on new vocab and simply memorize it to learn it because if I remembered what the word meant I could drop it into a sentence in any situation and it would come out grammatically correct. My vocab easily doubled during my 3rd year because i had the base to build it on.

After that, go nuts with conversation. You can then start to learn through osmosis much more and your fluency will pick up. The key though is to put in the hard times in the beginning, otherwise you're on a road to broken Polish.

My wife still laughs at my Polish because I'll come out with an absolutely beautiful sentence in Polish with complex verbiage and perfect conjugation/case endings, and then in the next minute, I'll have no idea how to say the simplest thing because I can't think of the damn word. What fails me is simply not knowing a word, but nearly never because I can't conjugate it, and that's just a matter of simple memorization. That's the point you need to get to if you want to speak Polish well.....where all that's left is memorization.
Currian 3 | 10
14 Jul 2012 #15
I've been using the Michel Thomas method CDs...they don't help with reading, writing or comprehension, but I feel confident enough to express myself (which is more than I can say for my college classes in Russian and German!) I've been supplementing with other things-- flashcards, website quizzes, etc. I wouldn't say M.T. is the best method, since it only focuses on one aspect, but at that aspect it's great! (We'll find out how well it works when I travel to Poland this fall!)
catsoldier 62 | 595
15 Jul 2012 #16
Best of luck in Poland. Where are you going? For how long?
gumishu 12 | 6,086
23 Jul 2012 #17
.that's when you've actually learned a word in Polish.

very true
hola_chika - | 8
23 Jul 2012 #18
polish language is one of the most difficult languages in the world i guess.
miss_happy 1 | 10
23 Jul 2012 #19
hammer the grammar. polish is so grammar intensive that if you don't get it down pat, you will struggle forever.that's when you've actually learned a word in Polish

.............

Utterly jealous.....been learning fr a little while and it feels like I will never ever ever get the grammar :(
Lyzko
23 Jul 2012 #20
When I was young(er) with lots of time, I used to walk around with a tiny notepad (before i-Phones^^) and simply copy down words or phrases which I heard/read and then at home look 'em all up in a really solid dictionary, Polish-German at first, then eventually, bravely if gingerly attempting Polish-Polish!

I'd try and remember what was said and even what case ending I heard used, just from the context. Maybe I've just got a good memory, but eh technique seemed to work. Also, I'd try watching closed-caption Polish TV, either switching off the subtitles alltogether, or, sometimes even switching to Polish subtitles to see as well as hear what was being said. I watched "Popieł i Diamanty" this way and I found it amzingly effective.

Then again, that's me:-)
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
23 Jul 2012 #21
Utterly jealous.....been learning fr a little while and it feels like I will never ever ever get the grammar :(

you need a good teacher, preferably someone not Polish. they take too much of the grammar for granted and don't have a "feel" for why it sounds like complete insanity when they say, "well because it's komu/czemu." oh yes.....yes of course. komu/czemu. crystal clear now (that's sarcasm).

Polish grammar needs to be explained delicately, systematically, and easily digestable because your student can go from super motivated to "I'll need beer if we're going to continue" in all of 20 seconds.

find someone that learned it from scratch that speaks your native language and you'll be better off, assuming they know how to teach.

when i was in poland i seriously considered doing just that, being a native english speaker - beginner polish teacher for foreigners because i'd watch Brit after Brit after Scotsman after Irishman after American being taught beginner Polish and just see how nothing whatsoever was registering during lessons and I knew I could do it 100 times better.......but i decided to leave the country instead.
Lyzko
23 Jul 2012 #22
Fuzz, in this corner I totally agree. If Polish grammar is fed or ingested in a haphazard manner, it'll merely be rejected and spewed up all wrong when it comes time to apply it naturally as well as correctly in context:-)
miss_happy 1 | 10
23 Jul 2012 #23
find someone that learned it from scratch that speaks your native language and you'll be better off, assuming they know how to teach.

Hello :) fancy explaining it over skype???
catsoldier 62 | 595
23 Jul 2012 #24
Ok, maybe I am a fool for asking this but are the methods that are used in schools effective?

Like when you were in school learning French or German etc. or any other subject for that matter.

Are schools or their methods ineffective for teaching? I don't see schools mentioned often or their methods as a good way of learning Polish etc.

Any school that you attended.
Lyzko
23 Jul 2012 #25
Well, most US highschools, even many colleges, have done a piss-poor job of foreign language instruction, in my experience! The best period for American foreign language instruction was probably the Sputnik era during the early years of the Cold War, roughly around 1957-1967. During this tense decade, young, talented home-grown language majors were encouraged like anything to learn languages like French, German and especially Russian. These days though are gone forever and what we're left with it a world where "Global English" is treated as though it were a sewer language and noone in the States is encouraged to learn much of anything having to do with the humanities any longer.

As already mentioned, I had and have my own personal method for learning Polish etc., but that probably doesn't work for everybody:-)
catsoldier 62 | 595
23 Jul 2012 #26
As already mentioned, I had and have my own personal method for learning Polish etc., but that probably doesn't work for everybody:-)

I read it and I like it, nothing wrong with it if it works and I am sure it does for many people. Thanks.
Lyzko
23 Jul 2012 #27
Pleasure, Catsoldier!

And that says it all, I think. Probably the reason both sooooo much foreign language instruction (simultaneously, soooooo much foreign language LEARNING!!) fails is precisely for this reason. Motto of the lesson? Ya just can't fit a square peg into a round hole, and most of us are pretty square pegs, let me tell youLOL Back in the 50's I hear, the tedious 'grammar-translation' was all the rage at US college campuses. The result was nobody could speak the language they were studying out of the proverbial paper bag!!! Gentle problem with it was that they were "studying", when they ought to have been "using" the language. What good is it to hear "Dzień dobry, Panie Marku!" etc.. repeated over and over again, if you never, or only rarely, have the chance to apply what you've learned. It's essentially a bloody waste of time and money.
Currian 3 | 10
24 Jul 2012 #28
Which is another facet of the trouble learning foreign languages in the US...we don't get the opportunity to use the languages we're studying on a consistent basis. Combine a grammar-centered approach with lack of practical use, and you're lucky to make any progress!
Lyzko
24 Jul 2012 #29
Whereas an integrative-skills based approach coupled with full-paid for COMPULSORY travel during study time to the country of the language being learned, would turn around foreign-language education in America three-hundred and sixty degrees in no time!

In addition, actively encourage homestay programs from various countries, both for students of the language going there, as well as speakers of that language from the country coming here. This would bring both groups together and facilitate intercultural dialogue, much of if preferrably in the target language, e.g. Polish, being learned!
Currian 3 | 10
25 Jul 2012 #30
Yes! But the only foreign-exchange students we got at my school all spoke excellent English!


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