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Which is harder: Pole learning Russian or Russian learning Polish language?


whitopian1 8 | 3    
19 Sep 2012  #1
okay, so i know i wrote the question down terribly, but here is what i mean:

is it harder for a person (who ONLY speaks russian) to learn polish? or is it harder for a person (who ONLY speaks polish) to learn russian?
Zibi - | 336    
19 Sep 2012  #2
I would assume it is about the same degree of difficulty. However this assumption cannot be tested really :)
4 eigner 2 | 831    
19 Sep 2012  #3
which is harder: pole learning russian or russian learning polish?

some people learn quicker than others. Whether they're Russian or Polish (or anyone else for that matter) it doesn't matter.
p3undone 8 | 1,135    
19 Sep 2012  #4
I would think that if you speak one then the other must be easier to learn then say for someone who spoke English trying to learn.I would also think that overall,the difficulties would be about even.I don't speak either so it's just my guess.
4 eigner 2 | 831    
20 Sep 2012  #5
I would think that if you speak one then the other must be easier to learn

true, however in general, some people are learning languages quicker than others. Then again, the same people might be pretty slow in math, you know how it is.
p3undone 8 | 1,135    
20 Sep 2012  #6
4 eigner,I agree.
ryoh - | 19    
20 Sep 2012  #7
It simply depends on how much motivation and interest the person has towards the culture and the language.

But as grammarwise, Polish grammar is a little more complicated than Russian grammar.
ilmc 4 | 136    
20 Sep 2012  #8
I think since they are both slavic languages, although distant from each other both would be easier to learn for the other than say trying to learn chinese. Anyone trying to learn a second language or a third or fourth will have an easier time learning a "sister language". The age of the person would also play a huge role younger children learn languages much easier especially if it is in early development when all of one language isnt learned yet. I speak english and french both i learned from a baby so neither was more difficult than the other I have been trying to learn polish for 2 years now that i am in my twenties and i cant seem to string a sentence together any more than an hour studying it and my head hurts it is so confusing I can say i love you and good day and my name is but i can't spell any of it i guess that is what 2 years gets me lol
boletus 30 | 1,367    
20 Sep 2012  #9
There are people who have "deaf ear", or as a Polish saying goes: "an elephant must have stepped on their ear". Russian is more musical than Polish because it uses movable stress; in Polish stress is most of the time put on the penultimate syllable.

This is a Russian course for the beginners, which I participated in long time ago.
Our aging lector, "Babuszka": Mister Mróz, say "máma".
Our friend "Kazik Mróz" for whatever reason thinks that the stress is actually put on the last syllable: mamá
Babuszka: máma
Kazik: mamá
Babuszka: máma
The whole class in unison: mamá !!
ryoh - | 19    
20 Sep 2012  #10
Anyone trying to learn a second language or a third or fourth will have an easier time learning a "sister language".

This might be true for many languages, except Polish ;) Polish was my 4th language and it was the hardest to learn even after I knew some Russian.

Russian is more musical than Polish

Yes, it's more musical and more emotional, so I think it's the reflection of the culture. Polish are usually calmer than Russians.
Therefore, it's often difficult for a Russian to speak Polish because they cannot express their emotions to much.
Zibi - | 336    
20 Sep 2012  #11
That is what I have always suspected...
ilmc 4 | 136    
20 Sep 2012  #12
ryoh
i would be interested in knowing what the other two languages are that you speak, polish may have been the most difficult however may have been easier for you to learn than greek may have been because you know some russian again depending what other two languages you speak. Polish is undoubtably one of the most difficult languages to learn but would be easier for you to learn knowing some russian than for me to learn only knowing french and english is what my point was and then ofcourse taking into account age and overall linguistic ability. I'm old and a linguistic moron so... i'm screwed lol but i will keep trying because im also stubborn
Lyzko    
20 Sep 2012  #13
Both pose challenges to native speaking learners of either language, I would say. A Pole learning Russian has to overcome umpteen false friends, pronunciation differences, aspectual issues etc,,, as does a Russian learning Polish. It is said that the majority language speaker understands the minority language little to not at all, whereas with the minority language speaker, it's quite the opposite. I can definitely confirm this!

Poles usually can understand spoken Russian (though not at easily as Ukrainians!), but NOT vice-versa:-) The reasons have to do with monocultural arrogance as well as sheer laziness on the part of the majority language speaker who usually feels their language is the more widely spoken/understood, therefore, the more importantLOL Same with Dutch understanding German, yet rarely the reverse, Danes understanding Norwegians vs. the other way round or finally Portuguese listening to Spanish speakers and getting more than the gist, though for the Portuguese listening to Spanish speakers, it's mostly a blur:-)

I misswrote the last sentence! It should have read, "...but for Spanish speakers listening to Portuguese, it's all a blur."

^^
ryoh - | 19    
21 Sep 2012  #14
Poles usually can understand spoken Russian (though not at easily as Ukrainians!), but NOT vice-versa:-)

One reason that Russians cannot catch much of Poles' speaking is because of the pronunciation. Polish language has some sounds which is difficult for them to catch. Polish is pronounced without the mouth opened much, whereas Russian requires to use lots of mouth muscle and pronunciation is much clearer(for foreigners' ears).

i would be interested in knowing what the other two languages are that you speak

Well, English, and Japanese as my native tongue. Ah, so I should say Polish is my 3rd foreign language.
Wulkan - | 3,255    
21 Sep 2012  #15
Poles usually can understand spoken Russian

to be exact the Poles who live close to the eastern boarder or those old ones who had interest in learning it in schools when it was mandatory during the communism can understand some Russian, for example my parents had russian in school but they didn't want to learn it so they can't understand much of it. Majority of Poles can't understand Russian
ilmc 4 | 136    
21 Sep 2012  #16
Well, English, and Japanese as my native tongue. Ah, so I should say Polish is my 3rd foreign language

so did you learn russian or polish first? knowing those three languages it would be easier for you to learn german, dutch or ukranian (sister languages to english and polish) than say french italian or spanish which are not familial languages to any that you speak. of those languages though some would still be harder to learn that others...
ryoh - | 19    
22 Sep 2012  #17
so did you learn russian or polish first?

I learned Russian first, but not fully, then had to learn Polish, but I had difficulties in learning Polish as this language is harder to pronounce and the grammar has much more "exceptions" than Russian does. I'm still in the process of learning both languages, and I think it will never end ;)

If you can make yourself understood in Polish that's already very good, I think :)
Lyzko    
22 Sep 2012  #18
Polish grammar must be quite daunting for a Japanese native speaker, ryoh! Then again, my brief forray into Japanese acquainted me with not one, but THREE separate and distinct scripts: Kanji, Hiragana and Katagana. Literally thousands of (Chinese-borrowed) characters for symbol/sound vocabulary, Hiragana for "Japanese" language words/verbs etc. and finally Katagana for your numerous Western loanwords, whhhewww, that's a lot right there. Plus, there's word order (verb ALWAYS in final position) and your counting system, as quixotically sadistic as Polish almost. You use different counting numbers depending upon the size, shape, dimension of what's being counted (not including persons or places, right?) Almost like KoreanLOL

Japanese pronunciation though is easier than Polish, I'd guess.
4 eigner 2 | 831    
22 Sep 2012  #19
It simply depends on how much motivation and interest the person has towards the culture and the language.

true but don't forget one's ability to learn. Motivation and interest alone, don't do it.
Lyzko    
22 Sep 2012  #20
True as well, 4 eigner.
ryoh - | 19    
22 Sep 2012  #21
Re:Lyzko
Oh you know a lot about Japanese language! Have you tried to learn it?
If you're able to speak Japanese, it's easier to write down a sentense and put Kanji where it's needed, and the rest of the sentense is in Hiragana. So it's just the matter of how much Kanji you know. Even if you don't know any Kanji you can still write the whole sentense in Hiragana and people can read and understand it. But it's true it takes years to learn Kanji...I had to write each Kanji at least 100 times to learn it, so it's a long process to learn all the 2000 Kanji in the school...

And yes, counting and all are also not easy for foreigners to learn, however, there's some ways to get away from this complication by just using the word for counting "pieces(1 piece, 2 pieces, 3 pieces...)" for everything, at least for the start ;)

Anyway Polish grammar and pronunciation have been a big complication for me :)
There are some sounds in Polish which is so hard to catch or pronounce for a Japanese. Of course after some years of hearing Polish I finally started to catch.

youtube.com/watch?v=ftrqO-jkMpE
Lyzko    
22 Sep 2012  #22
Yes, ryho, I tried learning online years ago through "Yokuso Nihon-go!" (Powitamy do języka japońskiego!) and had only limited success. As a result, my Polish is more or less fluent, my Japanese, confined to various and sundry greetings, cultural expressions and that's about it. Oh, and I can instantly distinguish Japanese from Chinese kanji, though I don't know what the heckl I'm looking at!!! LOL

Polish has consonant clusters and letter mutations which are so irregular, it takes considerable patience:-)

Just curious whether Japanese has aspectual distinctions like Polish and Russian or tenses as in English, Spanish and most other Western languages.

How about asking this question on a Japanese forum?

...only insofar as it can or cannot be compared with Polish, mod:-)

Aspect in Russian often tracks with Polish, yet differs as well in slippery, subtle ways slightly too complex to go into right here!
ryoh - | 19    
22 Sep 2012  #23
As a result, my Polish is more or less fluent

Oh, you're not from Poland. If you go to Japan your Japanese will surely improve, just like your Polish.
I see you went through checking different Asian languages like I did with European languages :) That's true Chinese kanji are simplified and deformed after going through language modifications. Many of them I cannot read(so don't worry that you too don't know them), but Chinese people can read Japanese kanji because they still know how their characters originally look like.

Motivation and interest alone, don't do it.

Motivation doesn't necessarily come from positive inspiration, it could also come from negative impact and in such case the motivation can be stronger and let you learn the language really fast.

I learned Polish much faster when I had a trouble than when I had no worries and had lots of time to learn... ;)
Lyzko    
22 Sep 2012  #24
As another poster commented, ONLY those Poles from Eastern areas near present-day Russia understand fluent Russian, to my knowledge, Chinese and Japanese are wholly and completely mutually UNintelligible, unless either group has lived with or spent time in the other's country!

To reiterate from an old post of mine, when I first journeyed to Vienna to Prague, armed with my at that time rudimentary Polish (and even more rudimentary CzechLOL!!!), I merrily confused dangerous false friends right and left, such as Polish "stały" (stale) with Czech "staly" (fresh), worse still, Czech "zapach" (stench) with Polish "zapach" (neutral smell) and after telling my Czech hostess to her face that her house smelled and her beer was stale, I quickly, and smartly, decided to return to Vienna:-)
ryoh - | 19    
23 Sep 2012  #25
after telling my Czech hostess to her face that her house smelled and her beer was stale, I quickly, and smartly, decided to return to Vienna:-)

Czech is a more closer language to Polish than to Russian, but it's interesting there are so many such small differences which confuses everyone easily. There are also lots of similarities between Polish and Russian vocabulary but I think such differences are smaller, it's either means exactly the same or means completely different(that at least it doesn't sound funny like your experience in Prague :)

Chinese and Japanese are wholly and completely mutually UNintelligible

Yes, that's true, when I visited China I was able to order a dish from the menu at a restaurants just because I could read the Kanji and I could guess what kind of food I should expect it to be, but when it comes to a long sentence I just don't understand it. Chinese belongs to a different language family from Japanese.
kj99 8 | 54    
23 Sep 2012  #26
well ,,, i am english and i have learnt russian - mainly for fun. and i am now learning polish

it took me 7 years to learn russian by my self and i think it will take me another 6 months to learn polish - mainly because polish is so similar to russian.

if you are polish , learning russian should be easy - if you are english , learning either is hard - but once you know one , learning the other is not a problem...
Wulkan - | 3,255    
23 Sep 2012  #27
i think it will take me another 6 months to learn polish

Give it a try and find out how terribly wrong you are
Derevon 12 | 172    
23 Sep 2012  #28
Actually Danish is spoken by more people than Norwegian (although the difference is quite small). I think Norway vs. Sweden would be a better analogy. Norwegians generally understand Swedish better than Swedes understand Norwegian. Mostly because Norwegian media is very much more centred on Sweden than Swedish media is centred on Norway. I guess also geography is a contributing factor. Sweden is pretty much the only neighbour of Norway (I'm not counting Finland and Russia here), and Norway being such a narrow country (in shape) the Swedish border is usually not too far away. For Sweden, Norway is just one of three "neighbours". Swedes aren't really exposed much to the Norwegian language or Norwegian culture (with a few exceptions).

As for the original thread question, I would hypothesize that it's slightly harder for a Russian to learn Polish than vice versa on account of Polish grammar being more complex, and for pronunciation reasons. For example, as a Russian learning Polish you have to get used to learn 13 different simple past forms instead of 4, and you have two plural forms instead of one, etc. From experience, though, I know that Russian speakers often learn Polish very quicky once they live here in Poland, even without studying it.
Lyzko    
24 Sep 2012  #29
Splendid riposte, Derevon!

Need I remind you, for instance, a native Swedish speaker, of the umpteen times I'm sure you've heard the "knulla"/"knulle" mistake made by the unthinking visiting Danish visitor to Sweden?? Or how about Russian "puKAT" vs. Polish "PUkać"?? The first is vulgar for flatulence, the second, merely to knock on the doorLOL

:-)
Lyzko    
24 Sep 2012  #30
.....Polish "mówić", as but a further example, appears also in Ukrainian under the guise of "mowit", an older word no longer used in the modern language:-)


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