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Is it too late for me to learn Polish..?


ladystardust - | 84
13 May 2007 #31
michal, i envy you. you're apparently a genius ;)
telefonitika
13 May 2007 #32
What is the average age of a recent polish immigrant

is between the primary age group of 18 to 35 years old!

Forget the latin, too much effort mate.

tell me about it i studied it a year at the age of 13 here in the UK at school why i have no idea .. i wanted to do Spanish or German alongside French but got Latin instead.

polish language is more similar to slovak language

This is true as Slovikians can understand the Polish when i worked alongside both at Wincanton
Michal - | 1,865
13 May 2007 #33
Sometimes I hear Slovakian spoken in the street and it is difficult to know if it is Polish or not as it is so similar to Polish-six weeks in Slovakia and I would be fluent in this language.

You know, you must do that on purpose, that "naive/I-know-everything" attitude. Then ha-ha-ha, very funny guy you are.
If not, I am really sorry, I cannot help you, if you cannot read with understanding more than just a sequence of letters, mate.

Why is Czech a difficult language?
sparrow 2 | 243
13 May 2007 #34
Why is Czech a difficult language?

It's on the same level as Polish & Slovak.
ladystardust - | 84
15 May 2007 #35
No no no :( It's not. Polish and Slovak are similar, Czech is similar on the grammatical level, tricky on the lexical (lotsa words which are written almost the same but mean a different thing, just to name jagoda = PL blueberry, jahoda = CZ strawberry), really challenging on the phonetical level. Pronunciation is a ***** (try this: Vlk škvrzl mrkl mrdl smrt frkl cvrkl krkl plkl prdl vrkl zblbl. Or this: Řežu a žeru, řežeš a žereš, žerou a řežou, žeru a řežu, žereš a řežeš, řežou a žerou. The "Ř" itself is often mispronounced even by the Czech themselves). If you still don't believe me, start learning - you'll be literally crying over an open textbook for the first 6 months :D
sparrow 2 | 243
15 May 2007 #36
It's on the same level.
glowa 1 | 291
15 May 2007 #37
www-personal.umich.edu/~wbaxter/howhard.html

here you've got a classification of languages based on the difficulty of learning by an English speaking student.
ladystardust - | 84
15 May 2007 #38
Thanks, glowa.

I find (very personal opinion) languages like English, French and German easier to learn (as I treated them all as a whole new territiory and thus learnt everything without any assumptions). With similar languages, you're tempted to draw conclusions that may be very often misleading. You base your learning on the false assumptions that something must work the same way, only if it is similar. Thus, learning Czech is for me just lots of dead ends and false assumptions ;)
szarlotka 8 | 2,209
15 May 2007 #39
here you've got a classification of languages based on the difficulty of learning by an English speaking student

Yeh, thanks Glowa. Cantonese is out for me then judging by my attempts to learn Polish !
Michal - | 1,865
16 May 2007 #40
Quote . Yesterday, 05:53 . #36

Quoting: sparrow
It's on the same level as Polish & Slovak.

No no no :( It's not. Polish and Slovak are similar, Czech is similar on the grammatical level, tricky on the lexical (lotsa words which are written almost the same but mean a different

I think that Sparrow meant that Czech and Slovak are similar in the fact that they are similarly difficult to Polish and not that the two languages are the same thing.
sparrow 2 | 243
16 May 2007 #41
That's what I meant. I don't know much about it but I asked my dad he graduated in Slavic languages or whatever do you call it nowadays, so I trust his judgement
Michal - | 1,865
16 May 2007 #42
Yes, I think that he is probably right. All these languages are conected in the same way as English has similarities to Dutch and then the Dutch can understand a lot of German and if you study German you should be able to at least read quite a lot of Swedish. I have looked at some Slovenian words and they are similar to Polish. Slovak is probably one of the nearest living languages to Polish. If you know Czech, you should be able to learn Serbo Croatian fairly easily as it is nearer than Polish is. I have never studied seriously Czech or Slovak but I studied Russian at university and my wife is Polish so if I had to, then I should be able to fill in most of the other slavic languages to some extent.
flissiebell 1 | 13
8 May 2010 #43
lol 20 too old to learn, thats funny you should try bein my age of 38 i hope i can get it hahaha
internaldialog 4 | 145
8 May 2010 #44
you need perservance and determination with the Polish language i started at the age of 27 and im not fluent as a native yet .... but getting there slowly (my task this weekend is translate an essay ive received this morning from the Hoover Institutte written by my grandfather which is all in Polish from 1942)

just keep at it you'll get there eventually :)
Aliloveskrakow - | 19
17 May 2010 #45
lol 20 too old to learn, thats funny you should try bein my age of 38 i hope i can get it hahaha

Awww flissiebell, I'm 39 and I started learning Polish last year! You can do it, just find a very good teacher, be patient with yourself and enjoy each little victory.

I started by using a free programme from byki.com it was great to get me started. It combines learning by seeing, hearing and writing, after 8 months I started proper' lessons with a very patient and positive Polish teacher and 6 months on from there I am able to build up simple sentences, read, write and can understand some conversational Polish, though I still don't have a large enough vocabularly to answer:(

Offer to swap languages in your area; English for Polish and if you're able watch TV serials via iitv.info which has Polish subtitles for popular TV programmes. I find this immensely helpful, for some reason seeing it written down really helps to jog my memory, I've learnt loads of new words this way :)

My advice; saviour those little light bulb moments when suddenly you understand, be prepared to knuckle down and carryon when the complexities of this beautiful language reduces you to tears and most importantly ensure you have a strong motivation to learn.

Stick with it because honestly in a few months time when you know a few words and phrases you will be so pleased with yourself and it really is such a lovely language that you won't be able to stop yourself from wanting to learn more!

Good luck xx
wiktusz 1 | 9
17 May 2010 #46
Offer to swap languages in your area; English for Polish and if you're able watch TV serials via iitv.info which has Polish subtitles for popular TV programmes

Wow! Thank you so much, this is really great! I have been searching for a way to watch Polish Tv online! But what do you mean by offering to swap languages in your area?
internaldialog 4 | 145
17 May 2010 #47
here you go

flissiebell

Aliloveskrakow

links for learning:

polishforums.com/general-language-17/polish-lessons-units-10526/

polishforums.com/general-language-17/collection-learning-resources-learning-polish-language-31442 (this one has loads of useful links on and should be first port of call)

also use livemocha as well has over 34 languages for free on there including Polish.

tv wise look through the threads on this forum many have been posted before :)

a further tip is have on a piece of A4 paper (in different colours if learning more than one language like me) the key words .. so have columns say English and Polish for you all that are just learning Polish and then pin up where you will see them daily ..... repeat those words over and over.
hague1cmaeron 14 | 1,377
18 May 2010 #48
Michal, you talk some tremendous amount of crap, do you realize?
Aliloveskrakow - | 19
18 May 2010 #49
But what do you mean by offering to swap languages in your area?

Mmmm well as for the language swap, I posted an ad on a local noticeboard website under 'language swaps' offering Polish people a chance to practice their English and in return to teach me a bit of Polish for free! It's been very good, I have made a few nice friends and improved my Polish this way. krakow.gumtree.pl

Internaldialogue
Hej Internaldialogue, thanks for the links they are great! Funnily enough I found Janusz's videos on Youtube about a year ago when I was searching for all things Polska related so it's really nice to now discover that they were born from this forum. What a generous person.

Incidentally and because I am very nosy, what other languages are your learning?! :)
internaldialog 4 | 145
18 May 2010 #50
what other languages are your learning?! :)

Estonian principally behind Polish and i know a few words in German and Dutch too :)
mtczajka - | 3
18 May 2010 #51
As a complete novice, can anyone suggest and exercise books from which I can test my progress. I have purchased BYKI deluxe and find it useful, but would like more.

I am trying to learn some Polish for my trip there in the fall. I'm thinking 20 is not too old - I'm hoping 50 isn't either!

I've been using Pimsleur's Polish CDs and really like them. I have Rosetta Stone and personally, I don't see how you can learn a language with them. I know it's supposed to be patterned on how we learn our first language, but I no longer have a child's mind, my learning pattern's are different than a baby's mind.
STFU - | 39
18 May 2010 #52
It's never too late to learn Polish, and you're pretty young so you've got all the time in the world! It's hard to learn the language without a teacher though, because some words are hard to remember, and even harder to pronounce! But if you're going to practice a lot and try to speak it frequently, then I'm sure you'll get there!

:)

Good luck!
SzenkUK88 1 | 19
19 May 2010 #53
I started to learn Polish properly at 20, my dziadek taught me very little as Italian and English were the dominant languages in our house.

Once you get a grasp of the fact that there are a million different ways of saying one word, (was at church the other day and didn't realise there were at least 3 different ways to say Cross.) Everything starts to fall into place.

If you have someone to help you along it helps a lot as well, as I tend to translate literally and then my fiance shows me where I go wrong. Soon as I learn Polish enough to read and write I'll be back in Poland.
richasis 1 | 420
19 May 2010 #54
I'd give my right arm to learn Polish - of course, I did that to learn Korean, so it would now have to be my left arm :)
zuczek 3 | 52
19 May 2010 #55
I lived there for years and never learned it beyond a basic level. I found most expats were the same. It is just so hard and you can always seem to manage without it. Doesn't help either when people you are surrounded by want to speak English all the time. So I just kind of gave up.

But since I plan to go back there long term I really need to learn it. I just get overwhelmed every time. I don't have that problem with German, French, Spanish etc...I can study those and not feel intimidated. But Polish is just so "weird" to me. Sounds I don't like...grammar that is ridiculously complicated. Ugh....not looking forward to it but it is necessary.
espana 17 | 911
19 May 2010 #56
I'm really disappointed that my family didn't continue to use Polish in the household and let it gradually die

this is normal for the poles to disown their roots
pawian 163 | 10,430
12 Oct 2019 #57
I'm really disappointed that my family didn't continue to use Polish in the household and let it gradually die

Yes, not very wise of them. Knowledge of foreign languages gives you a much wider perspective into culture, history and social issues and in result makes you a more intelligent person.

this is normal for the poles to disown their roots

No, it depends on individuals. Some Poles care about their heritage, others don`t and do their best to become plastic Poles.
Miloslaw 6 | 3,249
12 Oct 2019 #58
Knowledge of foreign languages gives you a much wider perspective into culture, history and social issues

Agreed.
It also opens your eyes to how different cultures see, express or feel things.
I only speak English, Polish and French fluently.
But even just these three languages open my mind enormously.
Rich Mazur 4 | 5,035
12 Oct 2019 #59
Knowledge of foreign languages gives you a much wider perspective into culture, history and social issues

There is nothing that is not available in English. It there is something, it wasn't worth translating.

Which would I rather read? War and Peace using my less than mediocre Russian or the English version translated by a pro? Easy choice.
You are all ignoring that learning not followed by immersion is bs. Like learning to ski in Iraq or Nigeria.

In this debate, you have the advantage of promoting knowledge - a cheap argument akin to promoting good manners, generosity, and community involvement. Count the available hours in the day of a working person with kids and if you find one - that's one hour - when nobody needs anything from you and nothing needs fixing, you are one lucky bastard. Only single and kidless persons have this luxury.
Ironside 49 | 10,205
12 Oct 2019 #60
There is nothing that is not available in English. it wasn't worth translating.

lol! (insert what a ****** are). I mean you couldn't be more wrong.


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