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What are the hard aspects of Polish according to its learners? - home essay

hunspike 1 | 1
18 Mar 2015 #1
I have to write an essay on what are the hard aspects of Polish according to its learners. If you happen to speak it on a B/C level, could you tell me that what made you cringe/angry/cry in learning this complex language? Thanks.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,846
18 Mar 2015 #2
hi I looked at the CEF levels and would put myself at A2 - still interested?
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,846
18 Mar 2015 #4
OK for me the hardest thing is the complicated grammar and case system.
this is a bit of a headspin for an English person with our relatively simple grammar and uninflected langauge.
Luckily I already knew some Greek before I learnt Polish so that had prepared me a bit,
However the words all changing in the sentence threw me to hell.
Although oddly I am now learning Welsh which does the same thing, but at the FRONT of the word
Lyzko 33 | 7,989
18 Mar 2015 #5
Welsh is in fact an excellent analogy! It's almost as mutated as Polish (and, what I'm told, far less predictable).
Actually, there are many languages out there with even greater irregularities. For me, the number quirks along with the aspectual distinctions were what I had trouble with at the start.
Szenk88HTAFC 2 | 47
19 Mar 2015 #6
A2/B1 here if you still require subjects :)
Polsyr 6 | 769
20 Mar 2015 #7
Conjugations + tenses ... holy macro... That's what made me cringe... Although having previously learned Arabic (famous for its complexity as well) somewhat softened the blow. But for English-only speakers, ouch.
jon357 70 | 19,565
20 Mar 2015 #8
Yes. I'm B2/C1ish according to the last test and it's the declensions that are the challenge, that and differences in morphology. Some of the discourse markers (im, ów etc used as discrete words) took a bit of doing.
Lyzko 33 | 7,989
20 Mar 2015 #9
The numbering continues to be a challenge for me as well. I write though better than I speak:-)
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,846
21 Mar 2015 #10
also in the beginning I found it really really hard to say certain sounds eg szcz as the shapes u make in your mouth are completely different from eg German or Spanish.
Wiem - | 7
21 Mar 2015 #11
What I find to be hard are the many irregular verb conjugations and the imperfective and perfective aspects. Though I know the rules, it is really hard to get a feeling for that, when to use which aspect. I have already learned many languages, including Latin and Greek, so no problem with the cases, but aspects are really really hard for me.
Lyzko 33 | 7,989
21 Mar 2015 #12
I agree, Wiem! I continue to have to think, even re-think, when I'm writing (as well as on occasion, speaking) whether for instance, it's "przynosi" or "przyniosi" etc. along sometimes with whether I'm speaking perfectively or imperfectively. Usually, I'll nail it from the get go, other times, I'm slightly less sure:-) Italian though, like many Romance languages, has far more "irregular" verb conjugations than Polish. I'm simply more familiar with them, that's all.

Furthermore, I find myself second guessing my own instincts. What I never have to even think about in German, I often have to think twice about in Polish!

Stuff like "On śpiewał w swojim pokoju." vs. "On ZAśpiewał koncert w Krakowie." are basically clear to me by now. Nonetheless, I console myself in the knowledge that Poles frequently make analogous errors in English with simple vs. continuous tenses, e.g. "How many language are you speaking, Mark?" vs. "How many languages DO YOU speak..?" etc.
29 Jun 2015 #13
I've practised all the cases and all their mutations so many times but still make mistakes. If someone gives me a table to fill out I can do it more or less, but in a live situation when I need think what comes after this verb and what gender it is and if it's plural etc etc then I'm usually stabbing in the dark.
jon357 70 | 19,565
29 Jun 2015 #14
I've practised all the cases and all their mutations so many times but still make mistakes.

It's normal - in every language people make mistakes. It just depends on whether you want to concentrate on fluency or accuracy.
Lyzko 33 | 7,989
29 Jun 2015 #15
It continues to be essential to learn all new vocabulary in context! This is of no end importance in training correct usage. In addition, learn the gender (and the plural forms!) for each new word acquired:-) That way, days, weeks, months into the future, you needn't nag yourself with the same irritating "!#%@! Is such-and-such masculine, feminine or neuter?? How d'you say the plural of...?" etc.

30 Jun 2015 #16
I get where you're coming from Xerxes2. Actually having a conversation with someone in Polish is a lot harder than you think, even if you can read and understand it well. Best way to improve though. Books/learning materials are good to a point but no substitute for talking to a native speaker.

Appreciate that it's not always possible for people to do this though....
Lyzko 33 | 7,989
30 Jun 2015 #17
Have you also tried listening to news on the radio?
rebecca ogawa
24 Feb 2016 #18
Hey guys. Not until I enrolled in a proper Polish course, did I start to pronounce correctly. Pronunciation used to be my Achilles' heel. It was really hard to get what I was talking about. In case you consider attending a good Polish course, I can recommend ... Here you can find great support and feedback from the teachers. I made friends with other expats from the course. Awesome experience.

This is enough adverts, one more and they all go in the bin.
AdrianK9 6 | 368
24 Feb 2016 #19
Learning all the proper grammar - like mianowinik, biernik, wolacz, etc. - basically teaches you to properly use verbs... I consider myself a fluent Polish speaker and writer and I still don't know all of those.
pawian 187 | 17,522
21 May 2021 #20
However the words all changing in the sentence threw me to hell.

Do you mean Żałoba przystoi Elektrze can be changed into Elektrze przystoi żałoba. It isn`t so easy in English - The Mourning Suits Electra vs Electra suits the Mourning.
Lyzko 33 | 7,989
21 May 2021 #21
I'm rather confused at this point, sorry to say.

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