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I need to be encouraged to properly study this beautiful language - Polish

Bravewarrior 2 | -
22 Sep 2016 #1
Cześć :)

I'm a new member here, so I'll just say a few words about myself. I love Slavic languages, but the one I love the most is Polish. Reasons? Because I love the way it sounds and the way it's written. How did I find this language and why did I decide to study it? Well, I found it after being interested in other Slavic languages like Russian (I don't speak any Slavic language fluently right now though). I decided to study it because I love languages and because well, I'd love to become fluent in Polish. I'm not ok with just knowing a few things here and there, I actually want to learn it fluently, so I thought this forum might help me with that and with learning other interesting stuff about Poland like its history, its culture and customs, etc. Anything else? Sure, I've been having a crush on a Polish girl for years ;) but she's not the reason why I want to learn this beautiful language. As I said, I love all Slavic languages and Eastern European countries fascinate me (I'm from Western Europe, so hello there, friends from the East!).

Where am I in learning? Well, I'm ok with pronunciation and reading and writing, but grammar and vocabulary? So many things I need to learn!

What worries me the most is grammar, of course. What about it, in particular? Cases. They scare me the most and I find them the hardest part of this language, more difficult than other grammar topics. This is where I need to be encouraged A LOT :) also, tips about the best ways of learning cases and practicing are very welcome!

I'm studying personal pronouns with all their cases now and doing exercises about them. But this is just a tiny part of the language. What I find very very difficult is knowing cases for nouns. Harder than pronouns.

P.S: my username....yes, I chose it after thinking about how brave I am for wanting to learn Polish so badly! Haha!

So....that's it, for now. Looking forward to your replies!

P.S. 2: I know the basics of Slavic languages, similarities and differences, general rules and pronunciation, so it's not like I'm totally new to this world, it's just that I don't speak any Slavic language fluently. I speak 3 languages fluently, just not Slavic ones. Russian is another language I love (and I can read Cyrillic) but for some reason, it doesn't impress me as much as Polish does.
Wulkan - | 3,243
23 Sep 2016 #2
Eastern European countries fascinate me

But Poland is in Central Europe.

I'm from Western Europe, so hello there

That sounds very exotic, what's the capital over there and tells us about the language and culture of this country.

I speak 3 languages fluently

I wonder why you don't want to specify which ones are those.
DominicB - | 2,709
23 Sep 2016 #3
Here's a clue, kid. "Love" and "passion" (in quotes) only get you so far in real life. They do little more than get you out of bed in the morning. Real motivation comes from need. If you truly need the language, you'll be motivated to learn it. If not, then chances are slim that you will stick with it though the thousands of hours of hard and frustrating work that lie in front of you, especially if all you do is "love the way it sounds and the way it's written". Learning a language well is a serious investment, and requires prodigious amounts of time, energy and pain. Without an abundant payback dangling in front of you, you'll soon give up.

Real passion comes from putting in those thousands of hours of hard and frustrating work. It a reward, and a badge of honor, not a motivation, for the suffering you put yourself though, for all the blood, sweat and tears. In fact, "passion" means exactly that, "suffering". And true love involves a whole lot of painful self-sacrifice that leaves you deeply wounded for the rest of your life. That's why older people like me want to puke when we hear younger people talk about "love" and "passion". When you have experienced the real thing, the kiddie version becomes little more than a sick joke.

Read your other message about the girl, too, and have to say that you have a lot of silly, romantic ideas that need to be flushed down the toilet soon for you to survive and be happy in this world. "Brave Warrior"? How much more romantic can you get?

Wake up and smell the coffee, kiddo! Life is not a dream. Especially adult life. It's not fun and games, but deadly serious business. Life has a way of dealing with romantic types, and it ain't pretty. Romantic types are the toilet paper that real life wipes it a$$ with.

If you want to learn Polish well, it's simple. Not at all easy, but very simple. Read, read, read books in Polish until your eyes bleed for three or four years and you'll be reasonably fluent. Look up every single word you do not know, or that you are not completely sure of, in a very good dictionary. After you've read twenty or so books, listen to audiobooks by the dozen, many hours a day, every day. As for grammar, get a good grammar book like Oscar Swan's and read it once every couple of months. At first, only five percent or so will stick, then ten, then fifteen and so on. Rome wasn't built in a day, and native Poles took many years to become fluent and proficient in their language. You have to do all the work they did in a much shorter time.

If you're happy about all the work, frustration, suffering and sacrifice that lie ahead, great! You may indeed someday achieve your goal. No guarantees, you may die tonight, but chances are in your favor. If not, things look bleak. It's not the message you wanted to hear, but it's the one you needed to hear.
adsalk 1 | 17
23 Sep 2016 #4
You are really a brave warrior if you want to learn Polish. You chose definitely not the easiest language to learn.
As you know already grammar is the most difficult part of it. For example, the number "2" has... 17 [sic!] different variations. But don't be discouraged :)

My advice to you is to not just focus on textbooks and memorizing all these "endings" of cases, conjugations, etc. Otherwise, you will get bored very fast and this is not the best solution to really learn any language in general. Why? Ask yourself how you learned your native language. Did you have to sit at the table with your parents and study textbooks? Probably not. We learn our native language by being "surrounded" by it. And this is the most efficient way to learn any language you want. Watch cartoons, movies, listen to radio, read books, find native speakers of the language you want to learn and talk to them :) Briefly, do things you like trying to use the language you want to learn. Textbooks are helpful, espiecially if you want to learn new vocabulary, but they shouldn't be the main source you learn the language. They should only serve to supplement your study.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,872
23 Sep 2016 #5
" Real motivation comes from need. If you truly need the language, you'll be motivated to learn it. "

how true, Dominic. Without need , there will be no 'meaningful input' (Krashen) and therefore no learning.
Anyway its a bit negative to say 'oh i want to learn this language but it's so hard' - kind of shooting yourself in the foot before you even started.

I remember when I was working in Greece, a lot of the English girlies would go '''oooh it's soooooo difficult' before they had even started.

they thought my mate was really clever because he had learnt some. The truth was that he was a tight fisted drunkard, so spent a lot of time sourcing cheap drinks, and sitting in old man bars, listening to the TV and to the conversation.....later lying in bed drunk with the TV on....
Lyzko 41 | 8,875
23 Sep 2016 #6
Slog on, dear heart, persevere and you will most assuredly have success! Only never let so-called English-speaking (often self-proclaimed "bilingual"LOL) Poles ever dissuade you from either learning or above all speaking Polish with them. In the end, you'll come our ahead:-)

Powodzenia a życzę Ci dużego wyniku na drodze!
ivnp71 1 | 46
23 Sep 2016 #7
Where are you from bravewarrior?

Like you, I think that the polish language is one of the most beautiful language in the world.Poland is wonderful!!!
Lyzko 41 | 8,875
23 Sep 2016 #8
The more inflected the morphology of a language, the richer, therefore, the deeper and more rewarding the experience for learning it.

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