The BEST Guide to POLAND
Unanswered  |  Archives 
 
 
User: Guest

Home / Language  % width posts: 63

Problems Polish People Have with Learning English


octopus39 1 | -
29 May 2009 #1
What problems do Poles have with English ? Do you have (in)definite articles like we do ? Do you use tenses in the same way ? Are there sounds/words/grammar constructions that don't exist in Polish ? How different is the Polish alphabet to the English one ?

Any help greatly appreciated !

Thanks
Seanus 15 | 19,706
29 May 2009 #2
The Poles don't have articles like we do. We have a broader range of tenses. The Poles use double negatives where we don't, e.g nic nie wiem whereas we say I don't know anything or I know nothing.

The Polish alphabet has many specific marks, like ź, ż, ó, ę and ą for example.

Any further help needed, please ask.
Sasha 2 | 1,083
29 May 2009 #3
The Poles use double negatives where we don't, e.g nic nie wiem whereas we say I don't know anything or I know nothing.

That reminds me of bash.org:

<Malagmyr> This linguistics professor was lecturing the class.
<Malagmyr> "In English," he explained, "a double negative forms a positive. In some languages, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative."
<Malagmyr> "However," the professor continued, "there is no language wherein a double positive can form a negative."
<Malagmyr> Immediately, a voice from the back of the room piped up: "Yeah..... right...."

Torq 26 | 2,371
29 May 2009 #4
Immediately, a voice from the back of the room piped up: "Yeah..... right...."

lol Good one, Sasha!

Also remember that "Preposition is something you should never end a sentence with."
niejestemcapita 2 | 561
29 May 2009 #5
this is bullcrap up with which I will not put...:)
Switezianka - | 463
30 May 2009 #6
Main problems:
-articles - Polish doesn't have any
-constructions with perfective aspect - no equivalent in Polish. You can either translate the so-called 'Present Perfect' into present or past tense.
-th and ng sounds
-words ending with voiced sounds. Instead of 'eggs' most Poles say 'axe' and instead of 'and' - 'ant', and so on
-phrasal verbs
Seanus 15 | 19,706
31 May 2009 #7
Just like non-Poles grapple with irregular plurals, i.e 6 butelek and not the logical 6 butelków, the Poles do the same with furniture, advice, evidence, news and knowledge to name but a few. Advices is so common. Yes, advice can become countable if you put words of or pieces of but, by itself, it's an uncountable noun.

In fact, it's so noticeable that Poles have problems even recognising the 's'. When they read, they often ignore it which confuses me.
Ziemowit 12 | 3,572
1 Jun 2009 #8
That's true: advices, furnitures or evidences look very silly. But the fact that we use such forms, isn't it beacause of poor quality of teaching? And it could have been sufficient to evoke to those Polish learners who use such forms some Polish nouns that behave exactly in the same way as English uncountable nouns. One of them is the noun "pieczywo". We never say: "dwa, trzy lub cztery pieczywa". We may say "dwa rodzaje" or "dwa gatunki pieczywa"; one might even say "dwie sztuki pieczywa", which can serve as a perfect example for promoting expressions like "two pieces of furniture" among Polish learners as the only correct way of saying it in English.

When I stayed with my British friends in London as a student, I used to say: "I'm going to make toasts". All Her Majesty's subjects being indeed very reluctunt to correct foreigners with their usage of English in England, my friends have only recently reminded me that I frequently made this mistake - and it was not until they had arrived in Warsaw to pay me a visit that they felt safe enough to do so.
eldark
12 Jun 2009 #9
Are their any teaching techniques that are particularly effective for correcting these common mistakes? Particularly the pronunciation?

A Polish friend also told me that she found it hard to abbreviate things the way we do in English. Not individual abbreviations as such. The example she gave me was that she would say 'The boss wants to/would like to speak to you.' when we would just say 'The boss wants you.' It's a small difference but across throughout conversations it makes a big difference. Any advice on how to help someone get used to this?
Wroclaw 44 | 5,387
12 Jun 2009 #10
Are their any teaching techniques that are particularly effective for correcting these common mistakes?

For the 'th' sound... try reading this simple number: 33,333

thirty-three-thousand-three-hundred-and-thirty-three.

You need something that you can have fun with. Try some tongue twisters.
______________________________________________________________________ ____
It doesn't matter how short you make a word or phrase. A native speaker will always come up with something shorter.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
12 Jun 2009 #11
Poles need to be reassured also that pronunciation is mixed and varied. For example, take Wrocław's valuable advice for a start. Ask many Irishmen to say 33 1/3 and see how differently they say it from many other native speakers. Tirty tree and a turd, LOL

Abbreviations come with instinct and practice. The boss wants you could have another meaning ;) ;)
plk123 8 | 4,150
13 Jun 2009 #12
The example she gave me was that she would say 'The boss wants to/would like to speak to you.' when we would just say 'The boss wants you.' It's a small difference but across throughout conversations it makes a big difference.

that's interesting as i find it the opposite. mainly because polish doesn't have the articles and polish has a plethora of suffixes that take a whole sentence in English to get the same meaning..

-th and ng sounds

w and v.. vather... :D

also a.. in polish a pretty much sounds the same wherever it is in any word.. in English there are a few versions..

r -- polish r is rolling.. in English it's much more throaty.. hard to get right.

personally, i still have issues with diction of certain words..

there is a lot of good info on this forum in regards to PL language.. look around..
dtaylor5632 18 | 2,007
13 Jun 2009 #13
Also prepositions usually trip them up. Quick lesson;
The general rule is that we use-
At with clock times (at 4 o'clock)
On with days of the week (on Monday) and with dates (on May 21).
In with with months of the year (in March) and with years (in 2003).
We can expand this rule as follows-

At for meal times (at lunch time);points of time (at night); festivals (at Christmas).

On for parts of specific days (on Monday morning); particular occasions (on that day); anniversaries (on your birthday); festivals (on Christmas day).

In (=during) for parts of the day (in the evening); seasons (in (the) summer); centuries (in the 19th century); periods of time (in the holidays, in Ramadan).
englishteacher1
22 Jun 2014 #14
Merged: English teacher needing help regarding problems of learning English for Polish speakers

hi
Can anyone help me with an assignement? I am an English teacher currently doing a CELTA course. I have to do an assignment about the problems of learning English if you are a Polish speaker. eg. English grammar, pronunciation etcc...Any comments appreciated?
Roger5 1 | 1,458
22 Jun 2014 #15
celta.wikispaces.com/file/.../Swan+%26+Smith+Learner+English.pdf
Check this out. Swan and Smith's book tells you what problems Poles have, as well as lots of other nationalities.
I'm not Polish but I've been teaching them for a long time, so I know what problems they have. If you provide an e-mail address, I'll write to you.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
22 Jun 2014 #16
Current link is here
go-proofreader.com/support-files/learnerenglish.pdf

(the other one is dead) and scroll to page 162 for info regarding Polish learners of English.
simpix 6 | 27
22 Jun 2014 #17
Articles, pronouns, prepositions and pronunciation of 'th' sounds.
Also, most Poles who want to learn English are not interested in UK culture (whatever that means) or life in the UK unless they are planning to move there.

Most need English because it is an International language.
englishteacher1
22 Jun 2014 #18
many thanks for your replies
scottie1113 7 | 898
31 Jul 2014 #19
Articles, pronouns, prepositions and pronunciation of 'th' sounds.

add to that verb forms (he speak) and tenses, especially conditionals and past perfect
jon357 63 | 14,137
31 Jul 2014 #20
Excuse the examples, but at least they're memorable. A big issue for Polish learners of English is pronunciation of the vowel sounds in dirty, pervert, and turd, as well as in saw, hoar and [*******] as well as over-enunciating the postvocalic R and the ng sound in -ing.

Question forms are a perennial problem too, especially reversing word order (i.e. When will you come? v. when you will come?).
2azxcy
31 Jul 2014 #21
There's a book called Zegnajcie Bledy which may help you.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
31 Jul 2014 #22
-is good book, I recommend, unfortunately my teacher she not lick it. She tell to me it is too long.
But she likes the book.
2azxcy
31 Jul 2014 #23
But I am reading this book every day.
Wulkan - | 3,251
31 Jul 2014 #24
I used to have problems with the "TH" sound at the end of the words like "with" or "mouth", not like it was hard for me to say, I just couldn't be arsed.
Spirit 1 | 26
1 Aug 2014 #25
Actually, there is a minority of languages that use the 'th' sound, including English, German, Castilian Spanish, modern Arabic and Greek. Perhaps a few others, as well.

It's called a "dental fricative" and is used voiced and unvoiced.

Often new speakers of English from other cultures that don't use the 'th' sound will substitute 'd' or 't' - like 'dis' for 'this' - or 'bat' for 'bath.'

A guide for practicing the 'th' pronunciation can be found on a video at:

youtube.com/watch?v=h5LO0hHGfQg

Best of luck.
Wulkan - | 3,251
1 Aug 2014 #26
That's a nice piece of advice but as I said:

I used to have problems

Spirit 1 | 26
1 Aug 2014 #27
Cool, I just tried to help. Evidently you are beyond that.
Sometimes I wish we had a ONE WORLD language (allowing for dialect difference), but probably not till 2100!
polandsteve - | 3
25 Feb 2015 #28
Merged: Polish people speaking English - Top five problems

Hello, I am very interested in language and I am doing a foreign language course and I would like to know the most difficult things that Polish have trouble with in pronunciation and grammatics. I am aware that they have problems with verb tenses and they sound like Germans when they talk our language (i.e. quite upfront!). From experience of people on this forum what would you say the top 5 most difficult things are.

Plurals maybe? Do they have countable and uncountable nouns like us?
I do notice there is an absence of articles such as 'a', 'an' and 'the' preceding nouns too.
Any others or help in general would be gratefully received.

thank you very much
Nathans
25 Feb 2015 #29
Do you mean spoken Polish or written? Or both :)
gumishu 11 | 5,017
25 Feb 2015 #30
I still have troubles with articles especially when writing fast as for example in chatrooms, tenses are not my strong side either - for example I often use past simple instead of present perfect (we don't have perfectiva in Polish) - i have trouble with pronouncing the 'a' sound, as in 'bad', correctly


Home / Language / Problems Polish People Have with Learning English
BoldItalic [quote]
 
To post as Guest, enter a temporary username or login and post as a member.