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Extremely Hard - Polish the hardest language to learn


Wulkan - | 3,250
11 Jan 2014 #61
You didn't even get me, you probably think that Japanese and Chinese are similar because native speakers of both have slanted eyes lol while they are nothing alike, so you obviously have no "personal experience"
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
11 Jan 2014 #62
The Other, my "attitude" arises from, for example Dutch or Germans who take this 'look-ma-no-hands' approach to communicating in English! The less care taken in using English compared say with myself using Dutch, German etc..., the ever more lopsided the communication scale becomes, thereby cheapening language alltogether. If Nordic folks take the tone that they're practically Anglophone anyway (which, by the way, they aren't), so who cares how they speak English, the entire language becomes one mass garbage heap.

Contrary to what all too many people believe (including MANY right here!!!), American English is no more solely a Rambo-like collection of vulgarisms, grunts and filler words than British English is nothing more than stagey-sounding RP.

Surely there must be a middle ground:-)
TheOther 5 | 3,758
12 Jan 2014 #63
Surely there must be a middle ground

Sure there is: just don't expect any foreigner to speak English on the same level as a native speaker. It's a big accomplishment already that they can communicate with you in YOUR language, and to criticize that doesn't come across too well, if you know what I mean.
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
12 Jan 2014 #64
For the umpteenth time, TheOther, I'm in total agreement with that statement! However, I will continue to become peeved so long as foreigners who in the reverse expect, yet DON'T, hear a perfect Polish, Dutch, Swedish...from myself as a non-native speaker of those languages, insist on switching to an often equally imperfect English as their "small way" of compensating for the language barrier:-) For G_d's sake people, kindly admit to second language interference and apologize for it before launching into an English filibuster about the virtues of one world language or some such nonsense. This honestly grates on one's nerves.

We ALL should be learning from each other. Often, I get the uneasy feeling that certain Europeans in particular feel they must do the "teaching", whilst the rest of us outlanders do all the "learning"!!
TheOther 5 | 3,758
13 Jan 2014 #65
Well, how about asking them in a nice way not to switch to English when they try to communicate with you? Show some basic manners, because there's a good chance that your moaning and whinging will make you come across like an arrogant twat otherwise.
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
13 Jan 2014 #66
Often "manners" simply don't work with certain people. What I do in that case rather than become angry etc. (as you suggest that I do!!) is merely affect a foreign accent in English of the language which I'd like to speak, e.g. a Polish accent in Poland or a German accent in Germany etc.. At this point, most become totally flustered and automatically switch back to their native languageLOL
Wulkan - | 3,250
13 Jan 2014 #67
I would like to hear you doing Polish accent while speaking English
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
14 Jan 2014 #68
Vot yu arrr tolkink, meestairr Voolkonn! Pawlleesh okzentt verrii haahtt gawtt reett awffLOL

Admittedly not all Poles evidence this sort of clodhopper speech pattern, yet all too many do (..and many end up teaching English right here in Forest Hills!!)

:-)
Wulkan - | 3,250
14 Jan 2014 #69
Vot

no Polish would ever say "vot" for "what", only foreigners missing "w" sound in their language would do that, for example: Russians or Germans :-)
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
14 Jan 2014 #70
Wulkan, sorry to embarrass you, but mistaking a Polish "w" for an English "v" is but soooooo typical of Poles learning English, it's not even funny!! Perhaps you either refused to or simply COULDN'T hear your own leaner accent once upon a time, but believe me, it was there ^^

Whether or not you sound like a Brit, an Aussie or a Yank nowadays is really inconsequential:-)
Paulina 10 | 1,693
14 Jan 2014 #71
Wlodzimierz, I'm not sure what you mean, but I think what Wulkan meant was that English "w" is pronounced like Polish "ł".

Russians don't have "ł" sound, only soft "l". Germans don't have "ł" at all, I guess.
So when you hear, for example, an American actor or actress, let's say, talking with what he or she thinks is a "Polish accent" he or she most often sounds like a Russian talking English, saying this "vot".

From my experience Poles say "łot", not "vot".
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
14 Jan 2014 #72
I've heard Poles frequently confuse the "w" sound for a "v", Paulina.usion you mention may simply be visual, i.e.graphemic, rather than phonetic, that is, seeing the actual orthographic representation of the letter yet not being able to reproduce it correctly:-)
Paulina 10 | 1,693
14 Jan 2014 #73
I've heard Poles frequently confuse the "w" sound for a "v"

Well, I don't think I have... Maybe I simply wasn't paying too much attention to this, but that's one of the things that helps me tell whether someone who's speaking English with an accent is Polish or Russian - this Russian "vot do you vont" :)

To be honest, I don't understand what you're talking about ;)
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
14 Jan 2014 #74
More simply put, you SEE the letter, but you instinctively pronounce the sound or grapheme "phonetically", i.e. as you THINK the sound(s) should be spoken because you still hear them in your native tongue. This is what is meant by having a 'foreign accent':-)
Wulkan - | 3,250
14 Jan 2014 #75
Wulkan, sorry to embarrass you, but mistaking a Polish "w" for an English "v" is but soooooo typical of Poles learning English

I obviously miss the idea of how would you embarrass me. Some people might not be sure of the fact that "w" is always pronaunced as "ł" but absolutely no Pole would confuse it in the word "what" because it's very basic word. Germans and Russians can say "vot" because there is no "w" sound in their language so they simply replace it with the most similar one. That would never be the case with the Polish person no matter how much you argue about it :-)
Paulina 10 | 1,693
14 Jan 2014 #76
More simply put, you SEE the letter, but you instinctively pronounce the sound or grapheme "phonetically", i.e. as you THINK the sound(s) should be spoken because you still hear them in your native tongue. This is what is meant by having a 'foreign accent':-)

OK, so you mean when someone sees "what" but says "vot" because "w" in Polish is "v", yes? ;)

Well, Wlodzimierz, don't tell me that plenty of Polish people say sth like this: "Vere is my vife, I vant her to have a vok vith me in de park" :))

Especially young people - I don't buy that ;)

Some people might not be sure of the fact that "w" is always pronaunced as "ł" but absolutely no Pole would confuse it in the word "what" because it's very basic word.

Yeah, I agree with that. That would rarely happen, if at all.
Wulkan - | 3,250
15 Jan 2014 #77
More simply put, you SEE the letter, but you instinctively pronounce the sound or grapheme "phonetically", i.e. as you THINK the sound(s) should be spoken because you still hear them in your native tongue.

Then that Polish person would pronaunce it " v - hat" never "vot". "A" is never "o" in Polish and "h" is never silent
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
15 Jan 2014 #78
Missed the last point, Wulkan. Who raised the issue of "silent" letters anyhow?? Not I, that's for sure:-)

@Paulina, as a Polish native speaker you naturally cannot judge how an attuned outside listener hears/perceives you pronouncing English! You have only to trust the ears of a foreigner who's heard Poles (miss-)pronoucning English for years. Part of Anglophone dialect comedy concerns Poles confusing the "W" of "will" with the "V" of "vote etc....
Paulina 10 | 1,693
15 Jan 2014 #79
Wlodzimierz, first of all, we're not talking about me, but about Polish people and how they pronounce "w" in English.
But if you want to talk about me, then I have "a good ear" in general (for music) and for languages too and pronunciation is usually my favourite part when studying languages :)

I can tell when someone speaks with an accent and I can hear when someone says "v" instead of "w", that's really not a big deal :)

And if you're curious, I don't speak with a Polish accent. You probably could tell that I'm neither British nor American, judging by my pronunciation, or that I'm not a native speaker, because sometimes I may mispronounce usually a word I don't know, but I doubt you could tell where I'm from.

So, people who aren't native speakers of English can also tell whether someone is speaking with an accent when using English or not. You don't have to be a native speaker of English to do that :)

You have only to trust the ears of a foreigner who's heard Poles (miss-)pronoucning English for years.

Well, so I'm asking what this "(miss-)pronoucning" of "w" looked like exactly?
Was it like ""Vere is my vife, I vant her to have a vok vith me in de park"? :)
Every single "w" was mispronounced?

Part of Anglophone dialect comedy concerns Poles confusing the "W" of "will" with the "V" of "vote etc....

What are you talking about? What Anglophone dialect comedy?
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
15 Jan 2014 #80
Paulina, every time a Pole opens his or her mouth, I can nearly always tell and this is owed in large part to this perennial confusion between Polish 'w', pronounced in Polish as though it were an English 'v', therefore often transferred into Polish pronunciation of English. This among other such idiocyncracies is commonly referred to as "second language interference" and is quite usual. Perhaps you too once were guilty of such. As I've never heard you speak, I honestly cannot judge your English pronunciation. Having dealt though with ambitious foreigners for decades now, I know that having native speaker-sounding English, i.e. 'American' is considered as important as having a driver's licence for American teenagers, so much so that folks are even known to lie about it:-)
Paulina 10 | 1,693
15 Jan 2014 #81
Wlodzimierz, most Polish people have an accent, of course. Sometimes it can hurt your ears :) Some people, who are good at languages, don't have a Polish accent and if those people live in the UK (like my friend) they sound like British people.

However, I disagree with the "w=v" part.
I think I'd notice if most Poles would speak English like Count Dracula ;) Maybe some tiny minority. I even doubt that most Russians speak that way (although I don't really know).

I must admit that I don't really trust your judgment, I hope you don't feel offended :P
I'd prefer if some other native speakers wrote something on this subject. I'm sure there's plenty of English teachers here.
What are your observations, guys? Do Poles say "v" instead of "w"?

Perhaps you too once were guilty of such.

No, I wasn't lol This "w=ł" rule is easy to remember, and you hear "what" all the time in the movies.

First of all, I'm not a liar, thank you very much.
Maybe one day I'll buy some kind of microphone, record myslef and send it to you, if you don't believe me that I don't have a particular Polish accent :)

And I don't have an American accent. I think my English is pretty much accentless, although I do tend to pronounce some words in a British way and other in a American way, so it's a bit of a mess :))
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
15 Jan 2014 #82
Just curious as to whether or not your 'British' reflects RP (Received Pronunciation, i.e. the English of Her Majesty's) or that of the rank and file Londoner? Or is Aussie in these days? Even Cameron speaks watered down RP. The late Lady Di didn't (miraculously!!!), as do Charles or Camilla.

Oh well, the times they are a-changin'LOL

Your English isn't bad, by the way! Oh, there are few sentence structure thingies, but nothing that reading your posts a few times won't cure:-)
Paulina 10 | 1,693
15 Jan 2014 #83
Just curious as to whether or not your 'British' reflects RP (Received Pronunciation, i.e. the English of Her Majesty's) or that of the rank and file Londoner? Or is Aussie in these days?

RP, of course. That's what I was taught at school.

Your English isn't bad, by the way! Oh, there are few sentence structure thingies, but nothing that reading your posts a few times won't cure:-)

I know I make mistakes, grammar has been always my Achilles' heel whenever I've studied a foreign language, I have serious problems with English Tenses, for example. I hate them lol :)
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
15 Jan 2014 #84
We ain't crazy about Polish aspects either, but, hey, when in Rome......
Paulina 10 | 1,693
16 Jan 2014 #85
Btw, when I write about my RP, I don't mean that it's perfect British RP. I was told by a teacher once that my pronunciation is really good, that I sound like the British queen lol (I was watching a lot of BBC World those days) After this I decided to change it, because I didn't want to sound ridiculous and too posh or sth. So I watered it down.

What I mean is that when I say "furthermore", "perfect", "therefore", etc. I say it in the British way, not American way - I'm sure you know what I mean :)

We ain't crazy about Polish aspects either, but, hey, when in Rome......

But you live in the US, right? Why did you decide to learn Polish (if you don't mind me asking)?
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
16 Jan 2014 #86
...to communicate both intelligently as well as above all INTELLIGIBLY with native Polish speakers, if you don't mind me telling:-)
Whilst many do indeed evince your level of conversation, I found far too often that I wasn't able to converse in English with them on the same level as I was in Polish. I ended up already knowing about and quoting from Pan Tadeusz, whereas most hadn't as much as a clue who Gilbert & Sullivan were etc.. Frustrating as all hell, you know?
Paulina 10 | 1,693
16 Jan 2014 #87
...to communicate both intelligently as well as above all INTELLIGIBLY with native Polish speakers, if you don't mind me telling:-)

What for? Are there many Polish native speakers where you live?

I ended up already knowing about and quoting from Pan Tadeusz, whereas most hadn't as much as a clue who Gilbert & Sullivan were etc.. Frustrating as all hell, you know?

Noone is required to know about "Pan Tadeusz" or Gilbert & Sullivan to talk with someone in Polish or English.
Also, all Poles know about Shakespeare. So, if you want to compare "Pan Tadeusz" with something you would have to compare it with "Hamlet", for example (such is the rank, significance of "Pan Tadusz" to Poles). Gilbert & Sullivan is a niche knowledge for most people on this planet, I suspect.

"Pan Tadusz"

"Pan Tadeusz"
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
16 Jan 2014 #88
Typo error, Lino:-) Keyboard kapers, he-he )"capers" of course!
krecik89 3 | 60
15 Mar 2014 #89
Polish is classed as a medium difficult language, same as Thai, Finnish, requiring 1,100 class hours to learn double that of Spanish, French..
JanMovie
29 Mar 2014 #90
(Poison: Actually, I heard Polish is the toughest Slavic language to learn even for other Slavic people.)

Czech is harder than Polish.
And since Polish is easier than Czech it logically can't be the hardest language anymore

Look what Magdalena on the site "Polish was Chosen as the hardest language in the world to learn" has said. She grew up by speaking both Polish and Czech equally and said that in Czech she has greater problems than in Polish (with grammar etc...) and she believes herself that Czech is the harder one. Also on the site "more on the hardest languages on earth" there was stated that Polish is indeed a very hard language, but Czech is still harder.

And Lithuanian? This language is so hard that it makes Polish to look like nothing in comparision. If you don't believe me try to learn


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