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Learn Polish or Russian


Rudy5 13 | 36
26 Jun 2012  #1
I really wanna leave Polish because I'm polish, but I feel like it'd only be useful in Polish communities here and Poland, Russian is very useful all over the world and in science, but I'm not Russian. So pretty much I'd rather learn Polish but I'm a little iffy on the decision to.
beckski 12 | 1,619
26 Jun 2012  #2
So pretty much I'd rather learn Polish but I'm a little iffy on the decision to.

If you have the opportunity, I say go for it!
delphiandomine 85 | 17,824
26 Jun 2012  #3
because I'm polish,

No you're not. You cannot possibly be Polish if you don't speak Polish. You're a plain old American.
NorthMancPolak 4 | 649
26 Jun 2012  #4
Whenever I read these Polish-American threads, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Probably both.

Thank heavens that we think differently over here - all the (many) Polish kids in my school spoke Polish. Even if some, like my brother, lost it as they grew older (although he has returned to the language recently and speaks it surprisingly well now).

There was no question that we would speak the language - why are things so different on the other side of the Atlantic? I've heard some of these Polish-Americans speak Polish on TVP Polonia etc and I could barely understand them. That would be unheard of amongst my generation over here! It can't be just the distance to Poland, otherwise most UK Hong Kong Chinese could barely speak any Cantonese, and that's not generally the case.
Bieganski 17 | 906
26 Jun 2012  #5
Poles were among the last big wave of Europeans to emigrate to America. America, even today, is quite a bigoted place but it was far worse in the past. It has a very long, dark history of discrimination (even institutionally) against all groups of people who weren't part of the business, educational and political class dominated by White Anglo-Saxon Protestant males. If you could trace your linage to some place like England, Scotland and overtime Ireland then you were OK. Beyond that you didn't fit in unless you went out of your way to change your identity. That's why most immigrants, Native Indians and blacks in America have Anglicized names (first, middle and last). I'm quite certain the ugly phrase "Speak English or Die" originated in America which says it all about where foreign language speakers fit it. And this pattern was reinforced by older immigrants towards the newly arriving ones.

So it is not surprising that knowledge of and resources to learn Polish withered away in America.

Of course it is different now in the US and accommodations are made for the newer wave of immigrants who speak Spanish, Mandarin, etc.

England and Scotland still have their own tawdry histories of racism and discrimination too but being in closer proximity to Europe and having joined European institutions helped to attenuate their natural tendency of acting bigoted towards non-English speakers. Still, the British rank in the bottom league when it comes to learning and being proficient in foreign languages. Some habits are just too hard to break.
delphiandomine 85 | 17,824
26 Jun 2012  #6
Still, the British rank in the bottom league when it comes to learning and being proficient in foreign languages.

Along with Spain, Italy, France and many other countries. The monolingualism of the Francophone Swiss is also quite legendary.

So it is not surprising that knowledge of and resources to learn Polish withered away in America.

No, it's a sign of peasants trying to pretend that they in fact weren't peasants.

Same nonsense is seen with idiot modern immigrants to the UK pretending that they've forgotten Polish.

Scotland still have their own tawdry histories of racism and discrimination too

We never touched Jews, or indeed anyone except our own.
udo
26 Jun 2012  #7
You cannot possibly be Polish if you don't speak Polish.

This is an absurd statement. It makes newborn citizens of Poland non-Polish and mute citizens of Poland non-Polish. People with Polish ancestry are Polish, perhaps not as Polish as citizens of Poland but still they are Polish. This is an English language forum that has a section for U.S. Polonians to discuss their issues in English. Is this section really the place to deny these people their ethnic heritage on linguistic grounds? I think not.
Lyzko
26 Jun 2012  #8
Russian is certainly as practical as Polish (...or German, for that matter), Rudy! I learned Russian practically simultaneously with Polish. While this turned out to be a tactical error, pedagogically speaking, I profited tremendously from the study of both:-)
delphiandomine 85 | 17,824
27 Jun 2012  #9
This is an absurd statement.

Hello Dessie. Why don't you use your normal username?
jon357 64 | 14,382
27 Jun 2012  #10
This is an absurd statement. It makes newborn citizens of Poland non-Polish and mute citizens of Poland non-Polish

I think we can take it as read that the post referred to adults whose neural speech centres are ship shape and in Bristol fashion.

The Polish language is so inextricably bound to Polish culture, that without it someone simply isn't Polish: no matter where their great granny once lived. That is why Polish communities abroad place so much importance on Saturday schools.

The OP is right in many ways. there are only around 40 million speakers of Polish, whereas Russian reaches many more.
Lyzko
27 Jun 2012  #11
From the sheer speaker-percentage point of view, Russian surely has Polish beat. Number of speakers though doesn't necessarily determine practicality alone:-)
legend 3 | 669
27 Jun 2012  #12
I'm not Russian. So pretty much I'd rather learn Polish but I'm a little iffy on the decision to.

edit: If your family has Polish ties you are Polish. Be proud.
Learn Polish. Once you learn it most Slavic languages should come easily.
Wulkan - | 3,255
27 Jun 2012  #13
So pretty much I'd rather learn Polish but I'm a little iffy on the decision to.

What a ridiculous question. If you wanna learn language of your ancessors learn Polish, if you wanna learn useful language learn French or Spanish or German which are far more useful then Russian.
OP Rudy5 13 | 36
27 Jun 2012  #14
I meant lern in the first sentence but I typed it wrong and spell check fixed it. And just cause I wasn't born in Poland doesn't mean I'm not Polish, delphamoine.
myjustyna 6 | 33
27 Jun 2012  #15
Hello Rudy. I am Polity :)
Learn Polish although Russian is more helpful nowadays. If you'd like to learn Polish, I am also interested, we can help each other!
Lyzko
27 Jun 2012  #16
As both a middle-aged person who learned Polish at the start of his thirties as well as an American-born bilingual German speaker, I found it somehow easier learning Russian after Polish than would have been the case vice-versa. Perhaps not having to learn a different alphabet right from the beginning made it less difficult to concentrate on both the pronunciation plus other Slavic charactaristics of grammar such as verbal aspects etc.. By the time I started with Russian, I basically already knew what to expect:-)
OP Rudy5 13 | 36
28 Jun 2012  #17
Haha thanks for the offer.
Bieganski 17 | 906
30 Jun 2012  #18
No, it's a sign of peasants trying to pretend that they in fact weren't peasants.

It is ludicrous for you to describe Poles in America as peasants when it is you who is the de facto 21st century British commoner.

The real nonsense is your contempt for Polish immigrants being posted by you as an immigrant yourself to Poland.
peterweg 36 | 2,315
30 Jun 2012  #19
Thank heavens that we think differently over here - all the (many) Polish kids in my school spoke Polish.

My father never taught me a single word of Polish . He said it was completely useless and I wouldn't teach my kids to speak it in any case.

Ironic give that I'm now back in Poland and expecting a baby which will speak Polish.

Also another sign of how much of a cunt my father was.
teflcat 5 | 1,032
30 Jun 2012  #20
if you wanna learn useful language learn French or Spanish or German

Or English.
genecps 7 | 131
30 Jun 2012  #21
Rudy5, I'm from Russia, and even thought I do not speak Polish, I can understand a lot of things in Polish, especially in written form. Poland is a big country with 38,000,000 native speakers of Polish, so being a Pole yourself I would encourage you to learn the language of your ancestors. Plus Polish is similar to Russian, and if you learn one, you will have an easy time learning the other. Plus Polish is VERY similar to Ukrainian and Belarus (If you speak one, you can easily understand the other... I think), I know a few Ukrainian words and even thought they are different from Russian, they are the same in both Polish and Ukranian, which gives you a total of about 100,000,000 people who you can potentially converse with while speaking Polish.
Lyzko
30 Jun 2012  #22
Indeed, Teflcat! English too is useful, so long as it's bothe taught and learned as thoroughly and properly as French or German, and not reduced to a morass of potty-mouthed slang, texting short hand and filler words, such as "like" etc...
Wulkan - | 3,255
1 Jul 2012  #23
Or English.

doesn't he know English allready?

Plus Polish is VERY similar to Ukrainian and Belarus

Russian is very similar to Ukrainian and Belarusian cause they belong to the east slavic family.

It's Czech and Slovakian which are very similar to Polish.
genecps 7 | 131
1 Jul 2012  #24
There are a lot of Polish words in Ukrainian.
I would think the speakers of both languages could understand each other.
I can understand about 1/3 of Polish just from the similarities between Russian and Polish.
Wulkan - | 3,255
1 Jul 2012  #25
I would think the speakers of both languages could understand each other.

Well not exactly. I could understand more words in Ukrainian but Russian is more similar to Ukrainian so people from those countries can understand each other fairly well.
pawian 153 | 8,313
1 Jul 2012  #27
So pretty much I'd rather learn Polish but I'm a little iffy on the decision to.

Learn Hebrew, then.
Edyta3 - | 3
4 Jul 2012  #28
why can't you just learn Polish? you will feel better
PolkaTagAlong 10 | 186
4 Jul 2012  #29
I think Polish could be a very fun language to learn in my spare time. The problem is it would really be a total waste of time because there would be no one to speak it with. What is most difficult about the language? I don't think I'd have a hard time with the prununciation, but if the grammar is really complicated like German for example it would give me a problem. If I ever moved to like Chicago or something I would def try to learn it.
PlasticPole 7 | 2,662
4 Jul 2012  #30
The problem is it would really be a total waste of time because there would be no one to speak it with.

That's my concern. Maybe you could find a Polish friend online to talk with?


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