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Should I learn Polish or she learn English?


dantun22 1 | 3
28 Oct 2013  #1
Hi guys,
I live in Hull, England. I have recently met a wonderful polish girl who I now meet up with on most days. The only problem is she speaks very simple english, she knows a few basic phrases and some words but it is hard for her to put a sentence together. She has taught me a few polish words and phrases but again it's hard for me to put a sentence together. So I would like to ask for your advice, obviously we would both like to learn each other's native language but would it be easier for me to learn polish or for her to learn english. And how should we go about learning. Would it be best for her to go to night classes for instance or for me to try and teach her?

Thanks in advance for your replies
smurf 39 | 1,982
28 Oct 2013  #2
Without being a smartass, but seeing as you are both living in England then it would probably be more beneficial for her to learn to speak the language of the country she's living in.

If you were living here, then the opposite would be the case.
Trust me though, Polish is extremely difficult to learn, I've been learning for about 3 years and I still sound like a retarded turnip. I'm getting there though, Rome was built....etc.
pierogi2000 4 | 229
28 Oct 2013  #3
Smurf is right

Ultimately her learning English will occur much easier than you learning Polish. I've seen people learn English from watching television and movies. Another aspect people ignore is that there are sooooo many variations of English. British, American, Australian, even in the USA alone you have different styles and accents. So expectations and standards are very low. English is basically the immigrant language. This just isn't the case with Polish but fortunately it is changing and you will receive nothing but encouragement and help from Poles seeing you try.
jon357 63 | 14,134
28 Oct 2013  #4
She's in England and you aren't in Poland. It would be far more useful for her to learn English, but of course you should take in to account your respective skills at language learning.
johnb121 4 | 184
28 Oct 2013  #5
Polish is a complete bugger to learn - 18 months in and I can only manage to read with any comfort ... get someone to translate, then I read ... I am working on vocabulary, but verbs and stuff are very had work as is anything approaching correct grammar.

Why not see how things go with this girl - you've not said how serious things are - then spend some time on alternate days learning English or Polish, so you each get to learn and you each get to teach. And nyou each see how hard it is to learn a language. Do some research into courses and books/CD/downloadable courses.
OP dantun22 1 | 3
28 Oct 2013  #6
Thanks for your replies.
I thought it would be best for her to learn english like you guys say, as it would be more beneficial.
In your opinion would night classes be the best way to for her to learn?
She has tried picking up some things from watching tv but finds it hard to follow sometimes
I have said I would help her as well but I don't want to teach her all my grammatical bad habits etc.
jon357 63 | 14,134
28 Oct 2013  #7
She has tried picking up some things from watching tv but finds it hard to follow sometimes

That's not at all surprising - totally normal. Good that she can follow the gist of a programme.

In your opinion would night classes be the best way to for her to learn?

Yes, though the more strategies she uses the better.
peter_olsztyn 6 | 1,098
28 Oct 2013  #8
to try and teach her?

Try to teach her. Initially try to imitate an American accent.
Ynglish English is very difficult to understand for us.
johnb121 4 | 184
28 Oct 2013  #9
"Best" is what's best for her. I once did an immersion course in France - stay with French family, classes every day, outings with the class - and absoutely loathed it. One of the best French teachers I had was with the Open University, but that would be way too slow for your g/f. I'd say classes, because that has a structure and a timetable, etc - all things to help you make yourself do the work. That pus some reading - nothing too hard, just something with a story - Enid Blyton is a bit old fashioned, but she was a very good writer for kids and her adventure books are still good form someone wanting to develop their language.
Monitor 14 | 1,821
28 Oct 2013  #10
If you're serious about the relationship then you should both learn each others language. Isn't that obvious?
OP dantun22 1 | 3
28 Oct 2013  #11
Yes I know that Monitor.
As I said before we both want to learn but we just want to find the easiest way for us to be able to communicate more at first.
jon357 63 | 14,134
28 Oct 2013  #12
If you're serious about the relationship then you should both learn each others language. Isn't that obvious?

One step at a time!!

Try to teach her. Initially try to imitate an American accent.
Ynglish English is very difficult to understand for us.

WTF?
Monitor 14 | 1,821
28 Oct 2013  #13
One step at a time!!

But he doesn't have to learn English again with her.
jon357 63 | 14,134
28 Oct 2013  #14
He would however have to learn Polish - far less useful for them since they live in England and much more important (and easier) to do things one at a time.

Plus language learning can be stressful - better he supports his lady.
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
28 Oct 2013  #15
dantun22,

Personally I'd opt for learning Polish, at least at the beginning. While it is clearly incumbent upon your girl friend living in England to eventually learn the target language, knowing some basic Polish certainly can't hurt. Just so long as a bilingual household doesn't become a crutch for her siphoning benefits off of the state and remaining a perpetual dependent:-)
Lenka 3 | 1,551
28 Oct 2013  #16
Hm, as a Pole that had to learn English- the classes are a must but also TV, music, talking to you and so on. Just let her "bath" in the language at every opportunity (which won't be too hard since you are in UK) and DON't make it easy on her not to communicate in English- don't do stuff for her.
Wulkan - | 3,251
28 Oct 2013  #18
Try to teach her. Initially try to imitate an American accent.

Butt hurt :DDD

dantun22 where you from? If you are from say New Castle and talk to her with heavy Geordie accent it could be the reason she struggles to communicate with you. Talking slowly with accentless English like for instance Hugh Grant does would be helpful.
jon357 63 | 14,134
28 Oct 2013  #19
New Castle

Where?

accentless English

No such thing.

like for instance Hugh Grant does would be helpful.

Only if he wants her to **** herself laughing
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
28 Oct 2013  #20
Perhaps an English male hoping to meet and marry a girl in Poland ought to speak with the "unaccented" Polish of, say, Andrzej £apickiLOL
Wulkan - | 3,251
28 Oct 2013  #21
Where?

Are you trying to convince me that you don't know what I mean?

No such thing

Once again you are wrong

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Received_Pronunciation

Only if he wants her to **** herself laughing

At least she would understand
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
28 Oct 2013  #22
Wulkan, "RP" is an artifice! It's as much a construct as Polish stage diction and sounds utterly ridiculous nowadays, trust me on that one:-)

Films such as "Topsy-Turvy" in the late '90's were all but sleepers in the UK, having their widest audiences OUTSIDE Britain.

Motto: NOONE SPEAKS LIKE THE QUEEN EXCEPT HER MAJESTY!!! (....and I might add, "NOR WANTS TO")
Wulkan - | 3,251
29 Oct 2013  #23
having their widest audiences OUTSIDE Britain.

Why? Because people could understand it well. So he can impress her how nice is the sound of his Geordie, Brummie, Cockney or where ever he is from accent or he can make himself more understandable, whatever is his interest.
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
29 Oct 2013  #24
There IS however a sort of middle-ground English accent somewhere between a working-class Russell Crowe (an Aussie however, not a Brit!!) and a super-efite Alan Corduner as Sir Arthur SullivanLOL

Things needn't be so bloody black-white, people!
McDouche 6 | 286
29 Oct 2013  #25
If she wants to live in England, she should improve her English. Enough said.

Polish people are notorious for not learning English well here in America.
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
29 Oct 2013  #26
True enough, McDouche! Though why confine this complaint to the Poles??
McDouche 6 | 286
29 Oct 2013  #27
WTF?

I think he means that for Polish people, American accents are more clear than British accents. I've actually heard another Pole say this to me.
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
29 Oct 2013  #28
Delphiandomine, most immigrants, as opposed to visitors or exchange students, may never get their new language up to speed. This isn't their purpose. They prefer to "communicate", period. Let the chips fall where they may!
OP dantun22 1 | 3
29 Oct 2013  #29
Thanks Lenka. I appreciate your advice.

And wulkan I am from Hull. So not as far North as Newcastle. There is an accent around here but I don't speak with such a strong accent as maybe the more uneducated locals.

I do ask her to read road signs when we are in the car and so on. But that's just reading words isn't it, not actually understanding the language. Like when she sings along to the radio in english it's more an imitation of the singers voice than actually understanding the words.

I have been looking into night classes for her. And we've decided when she has completed the classes she will start to help me learn polish.
Lenka 3 | 1,551
29 Oct 2013  #30
Reading but not understanding is ok for now. Let's do it that way- when we are born we do not comprehend any language yet we learn it by listening and so on. Just remember- let her ask for directions, buy stuff and things like that. Even if she's going to have some problems it will bebefit her. Classes are a must

When I started learning Russian after a month of classes I decided I don't improve enough so I watched some stupid soap opera (they are the best for easy language :) ). Even though I understood only singular words I kept doing it- after 3 months I was the best in my class in vocabulary and comprehension. Classes were giving me the basic skills and the series developed it.


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