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Extremely Hard - Polish the hardest language to learn


RubasznyRumcajs 5 | 498
6 May 2019 #121
@bolek_tusk
Wow, Polish is hard (for a native English speaker) but it's still easier than Hungarian, Japanese or Chinese.

@OP
Polish, unlike the English, requires quite a good grasp of the grammar.
Lyzko 45 | 9,430
6 May 2019 #122
Right on there, RubasznyRumcajs!

Hungarian I find less "involved" than its generally fearsome reputation.
Unlike say, Finnish, I eventually learned from my Hungarian tutor, only about half of the twenty-odd
cases in the language are actually used in daily communication. Writing of course, is always a different
story entirely:-)

Polish is very register-specific, as with many languages, and therefore particular attention must always
be paid to the relationship between the speaker and their interlocutor, in terms of age and social standing.

If you know someone relatively well, for instance, an "American-style 'friend' (European 'acquaintance'!),
"Ty" would be generally acceptable. Otherwise, "Pan", "Pani" is the safest way to go!
Rich Mazur 4 | 3,053
6 May 2019 #123
Which is nothing but a major pita and a dilemma: do I know this guy well enough already to drop that "pan"? Should I ask and be refused?

To keep things simple, I go to Level 2 with "ty" from the start. Don't like it? Bye or English with yous. Your choice. One thing for sure: nobody will control my list of approved words. Especially, in "America".

I remember this painful process very well. On my first job in Poland, it was mandatory to start with "Panie Magistrze". Later, it would be "Panie Zdzislawie". Next, "Zdzislaw". After that: "Zdzisiek" I lasted only till "Panie Zdzislawie". Please, ignore my spelling if incorrect.

On the first day of my first job here, everybody was on the first name basis. From the CEO down to the janitor. And, guess what - nobody died. Not even a heart attack!
delphiandomine 88 | 18,163
6 May 2019 #124
Do try harder. Anyone actually Polish wouldn't have this problem, and anyone brought up here actually speaking Polish would instinctively know the rules surrounding formal and informal language.
Lyzko 45 | 9,430
6 May 2019 #125
Exactly, Delph!

Rich is just being his obstreperous self today:-)
Rich Mazur 4 | 3,053
6 May 2019 #126
I was brought up there, hated "the rules" and the rulers, and didn't want to "try harder". So I left. Polish language rules suck.

There are about 20 synonyms of obstreperous which are simpler and you had to throw this linguistic tumor in? Why?
Lyzko 45 | 9,430
6 May 2019 #127
That's what makes language colorful, precise, above all, mesmerizing!

By the way, Polish spelling makes sooooo much more sense than English orthography, it's not funny.
kaprys 3 | 2,249
6 May 2019 #128
Native speakers acquire their mother tongue rather than learn it, so it takes quite a while to know the rules. 'Ty' vs 'Pan/Pani' or something regional dialects 'Wy' is pretty natural for us.
Rich Mazur 4 | 3,053
6 May 2019 #129
That's what makes language colorful, precise, above all, mesmerizing!

To me, the crude simpleton, it's bottom fishing to impress linguistic geeks.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,163
6 May 2019 #130
is pretty natural for us.

Natural for genuine native speakers. Those pretending to speak Polish might have much more trouble with it, though.
Lyzko 45 | 9,430
6 May 2019 #131
Such an observation says far more about your insecurities than it does about me, Rich:-)
Once more, code-switching is as run of the mill for Poles as the "everybody on a first name basis" is in the US.
Language acquisition remains the most "childLIKE" (as opposed to "childISH") of human pursuits, as it forces us to rethink, almost
to relive, life in someone else's body, thinking, and cultural/linguistic environment.
mafketis 37 | 10,908
7 May 2019 #132
Natural for genuine native speakers.

Yes, a native speaker who hasn't used the language in a long time might hesitate in borderline cases but the basic distinction is as natural as 'the' and 'a/an' is for English speakers (which non-natives need to learn rules for, rules which don't always work).

For native speakers the language doesn't describe reality, it _is_ reality, for Rich Polish is obviously a foreign system the rules of which seem arbitrarily and needlessly complex while English is his reality. No non-native speaker attains smooth fluency without some kind of formal study as many fossilized and non-idiomatic forms clog up the flow.
Lyzko 45 | 9,430
7 May 2019 #133
Furthermore, what in English spelling/pronunciation could ever hope to prepare a Pole for orthographic nightmares such as "pflegm", "reign", and the like:-)
Rich Mazur 4 | 3,053
7 May 2019 #134
no worse than "h" versus "ch" or "rz" versus "z" with a dot.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,163
7 May 2019 #135
As any Polish speaker knows, there are reasons for those spellings. Only a person with a poor grasp of Polish, perhaps acquired through Google Translate would struggle with them.
Ironside 53 | 12,425
7 May 2019 #136
As any Polish speaker knows

Speaking of which I haven't see you in the Polish section. Care to dazzle us with your brilliance?
Lyzko 45 | 9,430
7 May 2019 #137
You're correct, Delph!

The regular "irregularity" though of Polish orthography beats the "irregular" irregularity of English spelling by a country furlong:-)
SlovakMaster
23 Feb 2023 #138
I find Hungarian easier than Polish to read/write. And I'm a native Slavic speaker of Bulgarian.
Lyzko 45 | 9,430
23 Feb 2023 #139
...which among the Slavic languages has clitics (unknown in Russian or Polish!) as well as more tenses per se than in Polish, for example.

My forrays into Hungarian promptly ended when my teacher returned to Szombatvasarhely following the Covid outbreak! Compared with Polish, Hungarian has zero Slavic roots, although considerable cross-pollination of neighboring vocabulary from nearby Slavs. Polish of course has seven cases compared with the approx. fifteen or so in Hungarian:-)
jon357 74 | 22,054
23 Feb 2023 #140
though of Polish orthography beats the "irregular" irregularity of English spelling

Or loses. The irregularity of spelling and intonation is one of the best things.

To answer the OPs question about Polish being the 'hardest' to learn; the answer is clear. The hardest for whom?
Bobko 25 | 2,055
23 Feb 2023 #141
I find Hungarian easier than Polish to read/write

Oh come on... I don't believe you. Bulgarian and Russian are closest to each other, outside of Belarusian and Ukrainian. Both are languages heavily influenced by Old Church Slavonic (which Byzantine Bulgarians invented). So I think I can judge the difficulty of the jump from Bulgarian to Polish...It's definitely nowhere close to Hungarian, which might as well be Japanese to me.

As far as reading goes, I've just trained my brain to transliterate all the Polish hissing sounds (the sczzzz, dzzzz, bzzzzz) to letters a normal human being would use, and everything becomes readable.
Lyzko 45 | 9,430
23 Feb 2023 #142
@Bobko,
Oh, come on yourself!
In terms orthographic consistency, SlovakMaster might well have you over a barrel, buster.

Polish is to be sure orthographically consistent, most of the time, yet as somebody who's also studied Hungarian, the latter has ZERO silent vowels and reveals a regularity in its consonants which beats even Polish:-)

Moreover, Hungarian's ever consistent pronunciation and regularity of intonation leaves Polish at the starting gate, I'm afraid,
Paulina 16 | 4,373
17 Apr 2024 #143
I'm not sure if all of it is true, but it's funny ;D:





Lenka 5 | 3,482
17 Apr 2024 #144
I love both. Would be great if actually true. Can't be as*ed to check though.
Paulina 16 | 4,373
17 Apr 2024 #145
@Lenka, yeah, me too ;D
Lyzko 45 | 9,430
17 Apr 2024 #146
Or how about "niedzwiedz" LOL
(Missing several diacritical accent marks however, sorry!)
Novichok 4 | 8,008
17 Apr 2024 #147
Extremely Hard - Polish the hardest language to learn
...and totally useless.

I stayed in Poland for two weeks and spoke English 90% of the time. My daughter and her husband - neither one speaking Polish - spent 3 days in Warsaw without any problems.

In one generation, American will be the second official language in Poland thanks to the US troops there. That horrible British version will be nothing but history.
Lyzko 45 | 9,430
18 Apr 2024 #148
@Rich, while I can't substantiate your experience in Poland
and would scarcely wish to claim you're not being truthful,
unless you were either completely soused on bimber or
were looking at pretty women's skirts (which I could well understand),
I somehow can't believe that you had zero comprehension issues
not speaking Polish in Poland, furthermore, that somehow American
English will become the "second language" there in the future.

Simply put, I think you were on something, dude!
Novichok 4 | 8,008
19 Apr 2024 #149
I somehow can't believe that you had zero comprehension issues not speaking Polish in Poland, f

I never said I had comprehension issues except once.
At Gdansk RR station, she was behind the glass, spoke fast, and the noise was awful. Out of desperation. I switched to English so she would slow down and stop using the words that were new to me. Duh!

BTW, what the fvck is the matter with you and others here marveling over my language preferences...I lived in Poland for 24 years. I lived in the US for 57 years. 57>>24. English is now my primary language. Accent is a different matter. As far as ease if use...English >>>>>> Polish.
Lyzko 45 | 9,430
2 days ago #150
Protestations to the contrary, one's mother tongue remains one's
mother tongue for the rest of one's life!

Although I've never heard you speak, based solely upon brief
samples of your English posting here on the Forum, there are still
clear, if isolated, examples of first language interference in the way
you express yourself in English, especially when angry, which seems
quite often these days:-)

Above all, you came to the States essentially as an immigrant, not
a visitor, and so ridding your accent as well as trying to linguistically
adapt at leisure to the cultural nuances of American English
and the like, were probably the last things on your young mind.

A language is much like an iceberg. It seems normal on the surface,
yet beneath the ice, there's a hard chunk below the water.

Maybe you spent hours just watching American TV for as long as
possible. That doesn't necessarily mean that you absorbed the language
like a native speaker. There're always bound to be gaps and holes.

Hate to burst your bubble.


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