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Learning Polish, good for beginners?


IronsE11 2 | 442
10 Apr 2008  #1
I have decided to take the plunge and actually start learning this wonderful language. Can anyone suggest any books which will help me get started. My ability to grasp languages (other than English) is virtually non-existant (I learnt French for some 9 years but can barely speak a word), so something very basic for beginners would be ideal.

Thanks in advance.
Jova - | 172
10 Apr 2008  #2
My ability to grasp languages (other than English) is virtually non-existant

Sorry to say that, but you don't stand a chance :P
OP IronsE11 2 | 442
10 Apr 2008  #3
Really? :(

Surely you know a book for beginners? I know some good British comedies btw ;)
Firestorm 6 | 400
10 Apr 2008  #4
Sorry to say that, but you don't stand a chance :P

Lol Bad girl..
Jova - | 172
10 Apr 2008  #5
Really? :(

Surely you know a book for beginners?

Well, if you give it a try... 10 years of studying should take you to a communicative level :D
I don't know any books for beginners since I'm a native Polish speaker ;) I'm sure others will help you out soon.
Good luck with your learning! :)

I know some good British comedies btw ;)

Do you want to talk about it? :P
Firestorm 6 | 400
10 Apr 2008  #6
BW Mazur has some good self help books and tapes.

You could also try the language section of this Forum :)
OP IronsE11 2 | 442
10 Apr 2008  #7
You could also try the language section of this Forum :)

That might be a good idea... thanks

Do you want to talk about it? :P

What do you want to know?
Jova - | 172
10 Apr 2008  #8
What do you want to know?

I want to know EVERYTHING :P
Marek 4 | 867
10 Apr 2008  #9
Hi,

I used a book 'Wśród Polaków' (Wydawnictwo Fundacji Kośćióskiej - 1992) eons ago and found it incredibly helpful. My version had NO English and even the cassettes were all in Polish!

Not even sure if it's still in print, but it's worth a try googling.

Powodzenia,
ArcticPaul 38 | 233
10 Apr 2008  #10
Can you afford £20 for a weekly lesson?
Learning Polish by yourself from books, tapes, internet sites etc will be very hard.

In additiion to lessons (which usually come with e-mails containing attachments of pdf files - to be printed and used during the lesson. Pdf files to be printed off and used as 'homework'. And audio files to help with pronounciation) you'll need a good Polish-English, English-Polish dictionary, Basic Grammar by Dana Bielec, 301 Polish Verbs (I forget the author).

You can find a study partner at myhappyplanet.com and a teacher at myngle.com.

Despite the difficulties of pronounciation, coming to terms with a 32 letter alphabet (including 9 vowels) the real problem is the grammar.
Case endings, genders, pronouns....concepts alien to English speakers are everywhere!
Seanus 15 | 19,706
21 Nov 2009  #11
This is an old thread but may help you or get people talking about what it's like to be a beginner student in Polish.
Xendar - | 2
21 Mar 2010  #12
Mar 21, 10, 21:24 - Thread attached on merging:
Books for absolute beginners

Hi folks

Well this is my first thread but i have been reading here a few weeks now.

To start...im an absolute beginner to the Polish language.

I have been seeing this amazing polish girl work for several months now and she teaches me some basic phrases from time to time that i speak back to her over the phone etc.

Sometimes..(and i know this language and its grammar is one of the hardest to learn)...she corrects me when email/txt her something.

Basically what im looking for is a good decent book that can teach me the principles of the language and some noobie stuff to go along with it.

Im not looking to learn the whole language yet, i just want to understand how it works so when i am told im making a mistake I can hopefully apply what i have read to improving myself.

Thanks in advance

Xen
Darun 1 | 55
21 Mar 2010  #13
Hello,
I've been trying to learn Polish for a couple of months already and it's not going well for me, but perhaps some of the beginners around here are more astute.

The books I'm trying to learn from: The "Teach Yourself Polish" book - if you have an Oxford centre around you can order it from them, it comes at a good price, with a CD also and has some interesting things.

The one it is used at my courses is Hurra Po Polsku 1 and is a good one to my opinion.

Hope it can be of some use to you.
Enjoy and good luck!
Polish Tutor - | 80
22 Mar 2010  #14
Hi,

It is not so difficult to understand how Polish works if you have a good teacher. But it is not easy to find a good teacher (-:

Mostly Peaple on this forum think that you do not need Polish teacher at all (-: and then they mostly write that Polish is the hardest language and so on.

I appreciate ArcticPaul's opinion.

From my experience, learnes of Polish need from 20-40 45-minute lessons to learn and understand basic and the most important Polish rules (including pronunciation)

Polish is difficult not because it is not to understand, but it is difficult because is very different form other western languages. But you just need to have a good guide. If you find such a person, you will achieve what you wish sooner than you expect.

I'm not going to pretend that I am not a good one.

But anyway, your strategy is very reasonable. At the beginning of learning you have to be focused more on how Polish works, then you can learn faster how to speak Polish.
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
22 Mar 2010  #15
Polish is very difficult in the beginning. You must learn completely new linguistic structures. When you know them it's much easier to learn the rest.
Xendar - | 2
22 Mar 2010  #16
Polish Tutor

Hey guys, thanks for your response and help. Its much appreciated really.

I think i will buy these two books to start with

Teach Yourself Polish - amazon.co.uk/Teach-Yourself-Polish-Complete-Courses/dp/0340949775/ref= sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1269290628&sr=8-1

Polish Verbs & Essentials of Grammar, Second Edition - amazon.co.uk/Polish-Verbs-Essentials-Grammar-Second/dp/0071597468/ref= pd_sim_b_4

I think that should get me on my way.

Funny thing is i think i might be able to understand how this complex language works....speaking it and learning it will be a completely different matter. I have already tried to copy some words and i physically cant shape my tongue in the right the way to produce the sounds

Oh and another thing..Please and Pig in Polish sound SO alike it isnt even funny! (i think it was pig)

Thanks again

Xen
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
22 Mar 2010  #17
I recommend

Polish in 4 weeks Level 1 (Kowalska) and 301 Polish Verbs (with conjugation tables).

There are so many other books that have really bad structure. And they will just confuse you.
Polish Tutor - | 80
23 Mar 2010  #18
Sorry guys I know it looks like an aggressive andverisment, but anyway I have never hidden my profession.
Very much or EVERYTHING depends on learning/teaching method.
If Polish is for you the first foreign language and your naitve language is not an infected language (has no endings and caces)
your chances to learn Polish succesfully are close to 0.

Not because you are a stupid person or Polish has no logic.
This is just a different way of thinking.
It is just like jumping to a swimmingpool with a manual in your hand
when you cannot swimm.
Good luck (-:

On the other hand

For example if you follow specific execises (with supervising of a good teacher) you can make
a satisfying progress taking 6-8 45-minute lesson, unless you are a dyslexic person.
wojtylania - | 5
23 Mar 2010  #19
Hi,
I am Polish teacher myself and I can suggest you to start with the book "Miło mi panią poznać" (author: Serafin, Achtelik). This book is good for beginners - you have everything explained in English and in the end you have some tables with Polish grammar :) You will find nice topics that you can you in comunicative situations.

Hurra po polsku is one of the best books to learn Polish that you can find in the stores but it is all in Polish and for beginner it can be useless.

If you need any help just send me e-mail at info@polish-world.pl

Good luck,
Anna
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
23 Mar 2010  #20
If Polish is for you the first foreign language and your naitve language is not an infected language (has no endings and caces)
your chances to learn Polish succesfully are close to 0.

Not true. If you have good basic knowledge of general linguistics and get a good course book you can be fine.

But you need some Poles to practice conversation skills with.
ShortHairThug - | 1,103
23 Mar 2010  #21
Oh and another thing..Please and Pig in Polish sound SO alike it isnt even funny! (i think it was pig)

Not even close, but you’re right it is funny to a native when he hears a foreigner trying to pronounce it. You make "sz" and "si" sound like English "sh" one sound for both hence the confusion on your part LOL.
Polish Tutor - | 80
24 Mar 2010  #22
Not true. If you have good basic knowledge of general linguistics and get a good course book you can be fine.

Let's be realistic who has this basic knowledge. If you are a lingust yes you do not need any teacher. But if you are not, you need somebody who will provide this knowlege.

I do not understand where from comes this resistance to Polish teachers. Please help me to understand it.
frd 7 | 1,399
24 Mar 2010  #23
I do not understand where from comes this resistance to Polish teachers.

What resistance :) ?
Szwed just casually commented on what you've said, that in his opinion it's possible to learn without help of professionals. Simple as that. Can't really see anything that would clearly state "teachers are bad"... you're just adding stuff which isn't really there.
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,444
24 Mar 2010  #24
Very much or EVERYTHING depends on learning/teaching method.

I don't agree. People have different learning styles and this is something most teachers forget to mention or pay attention to.

As for Szwed he has proven a number of times that his grasp of Polish is really good, so he found a method which works for him. Motivation is another REALLY important factor in my opinion.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,690
24 Mar 2010  #25
I don't agree. People have different learning styles and this is something most teachers forget to mention or pay attention to.

Indeed - any teacher who stubbornly sticks to one style of teaching is a bad teacher.
AdamUK 7 | 25
24 Mar 2010  #26
Hello,

I am English and I speak a little bit of Polish,
I have done for sometime now,
Believe me it is difficult.... But im grateful that I have Polish friends that help me to progress,

It can be so easy to give up learning.... but where is the fun in that???

I say keep learning the language, dont be put off by the opinion of others,
PERSEVERE!!! :)))

Thank you all
This has been a good thread to read,
Just orederd my self some books that were mentioned above

Take Care
Kindest regards
Adam
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
24 Mar 2010  #27
I do not understand where from comes this resistance to Polish teachers.

Taking some lessons is a good idea. I recommend that. A few lessons to get started on pronunciation and basic grammatical structures.

But many people would be surprised if they know how much you can learn on your own. If you have basic knowledge about the language and its structures.
benszymanski 8 | 465
24 Mar 2010  #28
Totally agree with SzwedwPolsce. I have never had a formal Polish lesson, mainly because I lived in the countryside for the first couple of years and didn't know of any tutors. I am self-taught from books and courses and from having lived in Poland for a while now. I also found this forum a great help for answering my grammatical questions.
Polish Tutor - | 80
24 Mar 2010  #29
But many people would be surprised if they know how much you can learn on your own.

I can confirm it too. Open-minded attitude and perseverance in pursuing a goal is more important than the best teacher. However having a good teacher is not bad either. (-:

My congratulations benszymanski! It is impressive what you said.


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