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I want to learn Polish. Where to start?


Jenny 1 | 1
1 Nov 2007  #1
I would love to learn to speak Polish but from what I hear it is very difficult and I have no Idea where to start!!

Any suggestions guys?
osiol 55 | 3,922
1 Nov 2007  #2
DzieƄ dobry is as good a place to start as any. Pronounced Jen Dobry (short 'ee' at the end), it means Good Day or Hello.

You can say this to the Polish person working in the bookshop where you buy one of the many books that let you know just how difficult it is.

My technique has been to learn it off Polish people at work.
porta 18 | 297
1 Nov 2007  #3
Buy the book "Polish in 4 weeks" ,it is a very good book for learning the basics. Of coarse ,it takes a bit more than 4 weeks. hehe.
gavin79 3 | 72
1 Nov 2007  #4
it takes a bit more than 4 weeks. hehe.

Yes hehe more like 4 years....
osiol 55 | 3,922
1 Nov 2007  #5
It took me a long time to get onto books.
The first one was Teach Yourself Polish by M. Corbridge-Patkaniowska, published by the English Universities Press in 1964.
It delves into a different grammatical area with each short chapter. It is old-fashioned but I like it.
I also have a much more modern one I picked up. It is rubbish, yet in one of the more popular series' of language course books.

But the way I started was learning a handful of phrases for a holiday a few years ago,
followed by learning a load of stuff by ear from workmates. It was only when I was given that first book that I got an idea of how bizarre the spelling system looks.

4 weeks

4 weeks of learning, followed by a lifetime of fluency!
sledz 23 | 2,250
1 Nov 2007  #6
Transparentlanguage.com has a good program
they have a free download, I wound up buying the full version
Lady in red
1 Nov 2007  #7
It took me a long time to get onto books.

Can you speak any Polish now then ? Have the books helped you to improve ?
osiol 55 | 3,922
1 Nov 2007  #8
Can you speak any Polish now then ?

I started by asking how to say this or that, then mimicking what I heard, then trying to piece things together, often havin gmy grammar corrected. Swearing and being (jokingly) offensive was my strong point, along with asking my colleagues to go there, sweep this, tie that up...

So I was speaking some Polish before the book(s).

Have the books helped you to improve ?

A bit. I've gone over lessons 1 to 5 in the better one of the book quite a few times. I have found that any book will be better used in combination with trying to actually use the language as well.

But the honest answer is yes, but only a bit. That's more of a reflection on the effort I have been putting in for the last couple of months.
Lady in red
1 Nov 2007  #9
So I was speaking some Polish before the book(s).

I never realised Polish was a hard language to learn till I heard people making the comments on here :)
That's one of the reasons I was interested in how you were managing with it.

That's more of a reflection on the effort I have been putting in for the last couple of months.

Must be quite hard studying it from a book, although I think the pronunciation is probably the most important part to grasp. I've noticed some Universities have now set up short part time Polish Language courses.....:)
sledz 23 | 2,250
1 Nov 2007  #10
although I think the pronunciation is probably the most important part to grasp.

thats why I like the computer programs, The one I have lets you speak through
the mic and compares it with a native speakers voice
osiol 55 | 3,922
1 Nov 2007  #11
I never realised Polish was a hard language to learn till I heard people making the comments on here

They're all difficult - even the easy ones.

I think the pronunciation is probably the most important part to grasp

Maybe. If you start by learning by ear, the pronunciation is not particularly difficult.
But then, I'm quite good at putting on different accents, doing impressions of people and so on.
Lady in red
1 Nov 2007  #12
They're all difficult - even the easy ones.

I think some languages are easier, like Spanish and French. I thought German was a hard language to learn. Not that I learnt any German but one of my friends is German.

lets you speak throughthe mic and compares it with a native speakers voice

Not sure I could learn pronunciation in that way, watched something similar on BBC languages and they went so fast,lol. Full marks to anyone who learns Polish from scratch (so to speak )

:)
_Sofi_
1 Nov 2007  #13
The one I have lets you speak through
the mic and compares it with a native speakers voice

I have one with 31 [or something] languages. None in detailed learning - but it had that facility. I don't have a mic so I couldn't try it though.
osiol 55 | 3,922
1 Nov 2007  #14
I think some languages are easier, like Spanish and French

Some knowledge of French comes from knowing English quite well.
I did a bit of French at school, which would help if I was inclined to take it up again.
This can help as a gateway to any of the Latin-derived languages.
German does look difficult - English is a bit too different.
I imagine that if I were to suddenly switch to trying to learn say, Czech instead, the knowledge I have of Polish would give me a head-start.
Lady in red
1 Nov 2007  #15
the knowledge I have of Polish would give me a head-start.

Some Eastern European languages have similarities. Like Russian for instance. I understand some words but have never learnt Russian, so sometimes can get the gist of what someone is saying if they speak in Russian but not always. Same with some of the other Slav languages. But that's only verbal not written So yes, I agree that it would help.

I studied French at school and I found it easier than most because I already was able to speak two languages. Sometimes I think, some people are more receptive to learning new languages than others.

What about the people who have been reported in the press that when they have had either a stroke or some sort of brain damage/accident. And managed to start speaking again , they have either (as reported) ended up with a different accent or have been able to speak only in a different language. And a language they never learnt before. Amazing stuff :)
osiol 55 | 3,922
1 Nov 2007  #16
I think, some people are more receptive to learning new languages than others

Agree.

What about the people who have been reported in the press that when they have had either a stroke or some sort of brain damage/accident. And managed to start speaking again , they have either (as reported) ended up with a different accent or have been able to speak only in a different language. And a language they never learnt before. Amazing stuff :)

One example I heard was an Essex man who started talking like an Italian. Part of this was because his stroke affected movement in his tongue and he started pronouncing t and d in the Mediterranean style. Beyond that, strange things do happen.

I don't recommend intentional self-imposed brain-damage as a language-learning tool.
Lady in red
1 Nov 2007  #17
I don't recommend intentional self-imposed brain-damage as a language-learning tool.

Lol <g> Now there's an idea.......could start a whole new way of learning languages and make a fortune. Coursework would consist of a couple of knocks to the head via a brick wall, every session. Ten sessions may guarantee success but we are unable to advise you in advance as to which language you will have learnt hahahaha !!

As there is no guarantee either, that you will live through the course then obviously we exect full payment of fees in advance and you will have to sign a disclaimer too (meaning you cant sue us)........brilliant....

:)
Polson 5 | 1,771
1 Nov 2007  #18
About German and French, they are not easy languages. French is known for being difficult, and particularly the grammar. As osiol said, when we speak English, the vocabulary of French (and German) is not that complicated as a lot of the today English language comes from French and Latin ;)

a lot of the today English language comes from French and Latin

And i can give examples of English words that come from French :

-Grammar : Grammaire
-Vocabulary : Vocabulaire
-Language : Langue, Langage
-Difficult : Difficile
-Complicated : Compliqué
etc.
osiol 55 | 3,922
1 Nov 2007  #19
There are Polish words that come from French.
French was THE language to learn a couple of hundred years ago.

English borrowed a lot then, but it had already borrowed a lot from the Norman era.

Warranty / Guarantee - the first one was from Old Norman French, the second from early Modern French.

Some Polish words from French:
plaza < Fr. plage - beach
ekran < Fr. ecran - screen (related to the English word too, I think)

I also like
usatysfakcjonowanowac
indywidualnie (there is a wy... word from this that's even better, but I don't know how to spell it)
Polson 5 | 1,771
1 Nov 2007  #20
French was THE language to learn a couple of hundred years ago

Yes, many nobles used to talk in French throughout Europe...

And actually, most of the French that came to English went via Norman language, i think...mix of Norse and French...

usatysfakcjonowanowac

Nice one ;)
HotShot989 - | 9
1 Nov 2007  #21
Don't worry! You can just go to some school! Or, something. I am polish and believe me, i go to polish school and the teacher just tells you some words and pronounce after him. But, come on, i am like twelve! Go to a polish/english college or highschool. No more suggestions!
porta 18 | 297
1 Nov 2007  #22
A bit. I've gone over lessons 1 to 5 in the better one of the book quite a few times. I have found that any book will be better used in combination with trying to actually use the language as well.

This is true, that is why i have two people on skype teaching me polish :)
In return i frustrate them by teaching them Norwegian :P
sledz 23 | 2,250
1 Nov 2007  #23
Polish in 4 weeks"

If its that good I might invest in it:)
ukpolska
2 Nov 2007  #24
i will have to try and make my skype work for this function keeps conflicting with IE7 grrhhh lmao

Hi telefonitika,
Your problem could have several causes:

1 - Incompatible add-ons
Run IE 7 in no add-ons mode as follows:
Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Internet Explorer
(No Add-ons)

2 - Misconfiguration of Internet Explorer
Reset Internet Explorer settings to defaults as follows:
Internet Explorer > Tools > Internet Options > Advanced tab > Reset
Internet Explorer settings - Reset button

3 - Misconfiguration of third-party security software
Review the settings of your third party security software to see if you
have unwittingly interfered with Internet Explorer.

4 - Malware
Use several of the better online scanners to thoroughly scan your system
for malware.

But the best idea is to roll back IE7 to IE6 as IE7 is still being sorted out and they will deliver IE7 to all Windows users via Automatic Updates beginning in November.

But far the better idea is to use firefox, which is more stable than IE.
Hope it helps :O)
telefonitika
2 Nov 2007  #25
Cheers UKPolska :o)

what i have been finding it was doing was crashing my IE window all time esp on closing .. but will give those a run .. i run mcafee 30 day trail software 12-in-1 and window washer

you certainly know your stuff .. Firefox is something alot of people are saying is good browser .. :)
porta 18 | 297
2 Nov 2007  #26
Yes ,Firefox is the solution. No more IE for me.
Kronx1970 - | 8
2 Nov 2007  #27
I tried the demo of Rosetta Stone for Polish and I have to admit, it actually worked. I'll probably buy the full version very soon. I'm downloading the demo from the website Sledz suggested now.
telefonitika
2 Nov 2007  #28
I have one with 31 [or something] languages.

what programs that sofi ??

i just have BYKI on my pc at the minute also up for more :)
AndrewJ - | 1
2 Nov 2007  #29
Hi
You want to learn Polish? Ok . Rosettastone.com will be the best for you
sledz 23 | 2,250
3 Nov 2007  #30
Rosettastone.com will be the best for you

I tried the demo of Rosetta Stone for Polish and I have to admit, it actually worked. I'll probably buy the full version very soon.

Well its expensive and by the time you get half way through it you will need
a Eng/Pol dictionary because it gets confusing.

Transparentlanguage.com is a better deal for the money.

But I`m not saying Rosettastone is a bad program either:)


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