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Extremely Hard - Polish the hardest language to learn

sobieski 106 | 2,118
20 Sep 2013 #1
I came across this entertaining blog:

Extremely Hard: The hardest language to learn is: Polish - Seven cases, Seven genders and very difficult pronunciation. The average English speaker is fluent in their language at the age of 12, in contrast, the average Polish speaker is fluent in their language after age of 16.


I am curious about the views of my fellow non-native-Polish speakers.
20 Sep 2013 #2
Another stupid thread. Polish is neither hard nor easy (just like other languages). It is hard for speakers of NON slavic language group and is very easy for speakers of slavic language group. I have around me several Russians, Ukrainians, Bulgarians, Croatians... and all could learn Polish in a jiffy. A language is difficult only if different from one's native language and is easy if close to one's native language.
Polson 5 | 1,768
20 Sep 2013 #3
It's hard to compare languages, but Polish surely belongs to the tough ones to learn.
As to its pronunciation, it may look impossible written, but spoken, it's okay, as long as you know how to pronounce.
Pszczoła looks impossible to say...when you know nothing about Polish pronunciation.
OP sobieski 106 | 2,118
20 Sep 2013 #4
Another stupid thread.

Meaning stupid as if you posting without registering?
20 Sep 2013 #5
To Polson: it's like any language, unless phonetic. Polish is more phonetic than let's say English or French, in which prononciation and spelling differ a lot. If there are Polish sounds foreigners cannot pronounce or even recognize, it's the same for Poles learning languages, there are foreign sounds Poles cannot pronounce or recognize.

A lot of Poles are so complexed that they make up stupid theories according to wich they are always superior or unique. No, the Polish language is not the hardest to learn since foreigners speaking other slavic languages have no problem to learn Polish. The hard languages are Chinese and for Europe, Hungarian, Finnish, Baltic languages, Basque and the Celtic languages
Polson 5 | 1,768
20 Sep 2013 #6
Yes, Polish is very phonetic, and as I said, it's scarier written than spoken. Maybe it's the other way around with English and French.

And Polish is not worse than -let's say- Croatian, and it's Krk island. Krk, 3 consonants, no vowel. Such things exist in Czech too.

But still, when Germans say Stettin, Poles say Szczecin. Kinda trickier.

Actually, I heard Polish is the toughest Slavic language to learn even for other Slavic people. But yes, it's still easier for them, since Slavic languages are very close to each other.

But for all other people, it's quite different. Be they Spanish, Chinese, or Quechuan.
Polish uses the Latin alphabet, but it often almost looks like it doesn't. If you see what I mean.

As I already said in another thread, in Polish, there are like 17 different ways to say the number 2. When there's only one in many other languages (French and English are one of them).

And as a learner, I can tell you how painful this is...
OP sobieski 106 | 2,118
20 Sep 2013 #7
Another stupid thread.

For somebody throwing around abuses, you are mightily involved in the topic.
For me the cases are really very bad. In my native Flemish we do not really have them - except in some old-time texts. What baffles me big time how numbers are also affected by cases.
20 Sep 2013 #8
Polson: "Actually, I heard Polish is the toughest Slavic language to learn even for other Slavic people. "

That would make sense. Polish is far from being a typical Slavic tongue (phonology).
McDouche 6 | 284
20 Sep 2013 #9
I'm an American and I'm learning Polish because the company I work with is doing business with another company in Poland and they send me over there when it's necessary.

A lot of people will say it's hard to read because for a native English speaker it looks like someone just started smashing a computer keyboard. However, once you get used to it, it's not hard to read at all.

The grammar can be a little tricky though.

However, Polish is definitely not the hardest language to learn for an English speaker. I think Arabic or Mandarin would be better contenders for that position.
20 Sep 2013 #10
Yes, Polish is hard but at least has most of English-like letters (in comparison to Chinese or Russian).
20 Sep 2013 #11
I am curious about the views of my fellow non-native-Polish speakers.

Well it isn't easy that's for sure.
You might find this amusing.....
Monitor 14 | 1,818
20 Sep 2013 #12
Author of this blog decided to learn Polish and explains his lack of progress with such articles.
smurf 39 | 1,971
21 Sep 2013 #13

hahaha, that's hilarious ;)
Wlodzimierz 4 | 543
21 Sep 2013 #14
Probably English is the "hardest" language in the sense of correlating phoneme/grapheme/pronunciation:-)
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
21 Sep 2013 #15
English is both very easy and very hard. Easy, because it is very simple to learn the basics if all you want to say is things like "how much does this cost?" or "where's the toilet?" or "I'm hungry".

Hard, because once you pass that level you get hit with tense structures, idioms, prepositions, and vocabulary with an intensity that only the hardiest learners can survive ;-)

In Polish or most other languages however, you need to study grammar a lot more even if you want to say something really basic. That makes such languages seem more formidable to the beginner.
Wlodzimierz 4 | 543
21 Sep 2013 #16
Absolutely on the money, Magdalena! I couldn't agree more.

English starts out easy and gets harder, Polish starts out hard and gets much easier.
smurf 39 | 1,971
21 Sep 2013 #17
If you think that the article is serious I'd suggest you read this:
Wlodzimierz 4 | 543
21 Sep 2013 #18
Cute, smurf. Don't quite see your point with it though:-)
21 Sep 2013 #19
Let see if anybody can learn and understand this sentence in 2 days ( providing that you are not native polish speaker )

"Wyindywidualizowalem sie z rozentuzjazmowanego tlumu ktory oklaskiwal przeliteraturyzowana literature " :)
Wulkan - | 3,203
21 Sep 2013 #20
Another dumb thread with even dumber answers

English-like letters

wow, no wonder why this linguistic scientist prefers to stay on a guest account

So people please, watch the video below and you don't have to write on this thread anymore cause it looks like a bunch of chimpanzees talking about flying a plain. Thank you.
jon357 74 | 22,054
21 Sep 2013 #21
flying a plain

Flying a plain what?
Wulkan - | 3,203
21 Sep 2013 #22
I type too fast.... plane
ender 5 | 398
21 Sep 2013 #23
Wydrze_wydrzę wydrze wydrze_wydrzę wydrze.
I do like one above and possibility of other order of words.
Wydrzę_wydrze wydrze wydrze wydrze_wydrzę.
Do you how many combination I can make?
And how easy is to make mistake even for Poles.
jon357 74 | 22,054
21 Sep 2013 #24
I type too fast.... plane

One of those things about English - wonderfully flexible and both vague and precise at the same time.

And you made a mistake (natives do too) which is no shame at all for a non-native. Nobody expects a foreigner to write or speak in the same way as a native. And certainly nobody expects them to sound the same. I do find that people learning Polish get held back because they're determined not to make any grammatical mistakes. This inhibits fluency.

People from English speaking countries though are far more used to (and in general far more tolerant of) people speaking their language with a foreign accent and imprecise grammar than some people from Poland.
Wulkan - | 3,203
21 Sep 2013 #25
because they have much more contact with foreigners?
jon357 74 | 22,054
21 Sep 2013 #26
Yes. In real life and via film/TV. We are much more used to hearing people with foreign accents speaking our language than Poles tend to be.
Wlodzimierz 4 | 543
21 Sep 2013 #27
Same with any language, other than a fairly large speaker percentage such as German, French or Spanish.
Try attempting to speak Hungarian or Lithuanian without the accepted accent/grammar and folks'll look at you like you've got two headsLOL
jon357 74 | 22,054
21 Sep 2013 #28
They do in PL sometimes, however that's getting less and less with the years (and of course ones foreign accent also gets less and less).
Wlodzimierz 4 | 543
21 Sep 2013 #29
True enough. Fortunately, that never happened to me. Just lucky I s'ppose!
jon357 74 | 22,054
21 Sep 2013 #30
Lucky indeed.

It's a bit of a watershed though, when you've been speaking with someone for a while and they hadn't realised you aren't Polish. Especially if they're sober...

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