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Where did you start or the best techniques for learning Polish.

kaprys 2 | 2,170
30 Aug 2017 #61
The king doth keep his revels here to-night.
Take heed the queen come not within his sight.

A fortnight later, by excellent good fortune, the doctor gave one of his pleasant dinners to some five or six old cronies ...

I bet these will make my English sound more natural.

It's 'Zmruż oczy' and there is nothing wrong about the language used in the film. It sounds natural. Actors like Zamachowski and Chyra are amongs the best actors of their generation.

I'm not sure why I'm writing this. After all, some find it hard to understand my English.
mafketis 23 | 7,834
31 Aug 2017 #62
Heh How can they correct someones English when they don't use English correctly in America!!

For better or worse, English is pluricentric with no single standard acceptable to everyone.

Im not saying there is anything wrong with American language, but its not English as we know it.

I often wish that Webster had been more successful in his spelling reforms and that the language had been encouraged to go its own way more definitively. When I hear British I understand most of it but it doesn't sound like my language, there's a lot that's just stubbornly.... foreign about it.

Interestingly my tolerance for British usage decreased as my knowledge of Polish grew (some other Americans have reported similar experiences), maybe you're experiencing something similar?
Lyzko 25 | 7,145
31 Aug 2017 #63
"Zmruz oczy" is a perfectly acceptable film, kaprys, where ever did you get the idea from reading my post that I thought it wasn't? I actually enjoyed it, and without subtitles as well.

@Maf, if English has no standard, then it's open season on language now, isn't there? For a language that prides herself on being THE "universal" language, the "passport" to freedom etc. ad nauseum, as I've asked before (though have yet to get an answer), should one keep their passport in better condition rather than all dog eared and unpresentably dirty??!

kaprys 2 | 2,170
31 Aug 2017 #64
First you stated that the level of language had deteriorated and then mentioned 'Zmruz oczy' as opposed to 'Popiół i diament'. If you hadn't meant to complain about the language used in the film, perhaps you should have phrased it better.

I'm sick and tired of this 'discussion'. There are far too many digressions - just like in any discussion with you.

If anyone wants to practise their Polish, they should watch modern Polish films. They should also read modern Polish books. 'Pan Tadeusz' might be considered the greatest Polish epic poem but no one talks like this.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,897
31 Aug 2017 #65
but its not English as we know it.

Mafketis will know better, but as far as I understand, American English is much closer to the English spoken in the 18th century UK. British English evolved differently, which is why American legal language in particular seems to be very archaic to our ears.

Either way, I agree with him, AmE should have been allowed to evolve more.
mafketis 23 | 7,834
31 Aug 2017 #66
Mafketis will know better, but as far as I understand, American English is much closer to the English spoken in the 18th century UK

Not sure about that, but standards in the UK seem to revolve around southern England and British Isles influence in the US is much more from Scotland, Ireland and Northern England. There's also German influence absent in the UK, not to mention AAVE (a major influence on colloquial language).

Interestingly, most americans have no idea how British people really speak (both in terms of range of accents and idioms, colloquial usage etc). There's a kind of fake British dialect common in the media that Americans mistake for the real thing (think Stewie on Family Guy). I know it used to come as a very big shock to Americans arriving in Poland and meeting British people to hear them speak.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,720
31 Aug 2017 #67
Stewie on Family Guy

lol do Americans really think that we talk like Stewie? :D
mafketis 23 | 7,834
31 Aug 2017 #68
do Americans really think that we talk like Stewie?

I'm afraid they do....
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,720
31 Aug 2017 #69
lol we spend a lot of time doing Stewie impressions in our house...Whill Wheaton..roooeeeened
I suppose the best technique for learning Polish is to....have a Polish boyfriend/girlfriend...
Lyzko 25 | 7,145
31 Aug 2017 #70
American English, with her wide-spread flat "a's" and frontal "r-sounds", such as typically heard in the Midwest, can still be heard in Devon, Cornwall and among the inhabitants of Bristol. Glaswegians too usually dispense with the broad "a-sound" of Public School RP, much as in the character of Hudson in the '70's TV series "Upstairs, Downstairs"!

Doubtless nobody today speaks much as in Hollywood drawing room comedies from the '30's and yet it IS possible in English to sound articulate and "natural" aka idiomatic, without coming across vulgar:-) In British English there surely is a middle ground between Alan Cordunner from "Topsy-Turvy" and Russell CroweLOL

I could understand the Polish of a film such as "Zakazane Piosenki" much more easily than "Zmruz oczy", even "Noz we wodzie".
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,720
31 Aug 2017 #71
Russell CroweLOL

there is nothing wrong with the way Russell Crowe talks -whatever do you mean? Anyway he is not British so really not sure what you mean.
Lyzko 25 | 7,145
31 Aug 2017 #72
RP is basically confined to an upper-crust horsey set who attend Glydenbourne, essentially only spoken by the Queen or a few hangers on, and so Crowe's English is good enough for today's vernacular, yet soooo different from the once "average" public school accents of those who may not even have been top of their class at Eton and Harrow.

Aussies can sound "upper class" as well, only Crowe clearly ain't one of 'em, that's all I meant:-)
jon357 63 | 14,600
31 Aug 2017 #73

Nowadays the prestige register is 'modified RP', basically BBC English. Polish has an equivalent too.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,720
31 Aug 2017 #74
PR is basically confined to an upper-crust horsey set who attend Glydenbourne, essentially only spoken by the Queen or a few hangers on

i am sorry Lyzko but I dont know what you mean and I am not sure that you do either. I can assure you that 'RP' if that is what you mean, is quite different from an aristocratic accent. Anyway nobody speaks like Queenie does, except for herself. Not even the young princes.

I ride horses and so does my daughter...(in fact she won a dressage comp the other day, showing off quickly) and my children have been to Glyndebourne..what are you trying to say exactly? Lazy stereotypes much?
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,720
31 Aug 2017 #75
..and Russell Crowe as a trained actor,has perfectly good diction...also, if you had seen the horse sale in our village today,you would have completely revised your opinion that horse riding is a 'posh' sport.
Atch 17 | 3,060
1 Sep 2017 #76
in fact she won a dressage comp the other day

Oh well done!

@Lyzko, Roz is right, the whole equestrian thing is one of those areas where the social classes in the countryside of the UK and Ireland have always mixed on an equal level. The gentry and aristocracy (what's left of them) have enormous respect for anyone who is 'good with horses' either as a breeder, trainer, horseman or even a humble groom. The main social barrier was with the Hunt where the expense involved of acquiring and maintaining hunters would have precluded most ordinary people from joining and indeed there were a number of minor and more impoverished gentry who could only get the chance of the odd day's hunting by hiring or borrowing a decent mount and wangling an invitation from the Master. I knew one old lady who was reminiscing about her youth and commented that somebody gave her a day's hunting once but she had to hack fifteen miles across country to get there :)

the once "average" public school accents

Key point is 'once'. Things have changed. I think many people aren't aware that in the nineteenth century RP was actually taught at Eton and Harrow, not simply picked up out of the ether. That's no longer the case. There is quite a mixture of accents there now and indeed as Roz says even Old Etonian Prince William doesn't speak in a classic upper class accent. I read a book by the Duke of Bedford, the grandfather of the present Duke where he commented that if you want to sound like a gentleman not to model your speech on his, as he didn't attend the right schools so he didn't have the 'right' accent :)

You might enjoy this:

Hudson in the '70's TV series "Upstairs, Downstairs"

Hudson is not a Glaswegian but a Highland Scotsman, Edinburgh I would think. The Highlanders consider the speech of the Lowland Scots to be quite inferior to their own :)

And yes Mods, I know we're going off topic but surely a bit of intelligent debate on anything is better than all that 'take a look at these young sluts, go on my son, get in there' stuff that we've been subjected to lately by PolishUltras et al.

Nevertheless, this is a thread about Polish language
mafketis 23 | 7,834
1 Sep 2017 #77
Whill Wheaton

Many Americans think the 'wh' pronunciation is the norm in the UK. From what I remember reading it's actually the opposite hardly anyone maintains a distinction between which and witch in the UK while it's not that uncommon in the US, not the norm but not rare either, like me.

Yes, I say Cool Whip with the h (the distinction is liable to disappear in connected speech but saying words by themselves I definitely pronounce the h in when, why, where etc
Lyzko 25 | 7,145
1 Sep 2017 #78
@Roz, I know exactly what I'm speaking about, indeed I henceforth edited my post immediately yesterday from "PR" to "RP" in order to avoid any such misunderstandings. You'll admit though that certain stage actors such as the late Sir Ralph Richardson, Larry Olivier, and Sir John Gielgud were an undisguised delight to hear recite:-) How about Dylan Thomas? In Polish, I prefer Hanna Stankowna and Andrzej Lapicki.

Thanks there, Atch! I didn't realize that Gordon Jackson aka Mr. Hudson etc. was a Highland Scot. Should have knownLOL
devilslayer 1 | 11
8 Nov 2017 #79
I have only been learning Polish for a very short while and started because I work with a lot of Poles. I wanted to understand what they said amongst themselves, and also wanted to try to talk to them in their own language.

I also thought that if I could learn Polish, then other languages would become easier. I currently drive trucks for a living and a lot of the agency personnel and even the permanent employees are polish.

What other languages do I know? I know a little French, as I studied it in school about 34 years ago. I also know a few words of German, as I spent 3 years in Hameln with the British Army (though I wasn't in the country for approximately 9 months of the each year, as I was deployed elsewhere). I wish I had tried to learn more of the German language though.

The following are Polish language items I have used / are using to try to lean Polish:

Pimsleur Polish (30 lessons)

Micheal Thomas (Total and Perfect)

Glossika (Fluency 123)

FLR Method - by Moses McMormick

The Usborne First Thousand Words in Polish

Colloquial Polish - Bolesław W. Mazur

Polish for Dummies

SuperMemo Polski Bez problemu

UDemy Polish Course

Teach Yourself Polish (Get Started in Polish and Complete Polish)

Polish Readers (all of them)

Real Polish - 100 Stories

Polish Pod 101

BYKI4 Polish - discontinued

Transparent Languages Polish online course (This replaced BYKI) -

Krok po Kroku +

Books (without audio component).:

A grammer of Contempoary Polish - Oscar E Swan
- Worbooks + Audio for Swan book from Ohio State University - Do not match book exactly.
First Year Polish Second Edition Revised and Expanded - Oscar E Swan
Speaking Polish in Poland
301 Polish Verbs - Klara Jenecki
Conversational Polish Quick and Easy - Yatir Nitzany
DK Visual Polish English Bilingual Dictionary
BBC Polish Phrase Book and Dictionary
Oxford Essential Polish Dictionary

FREE RESOURCES - excellent materials, but unfortunately without audio.
YouTube - Multiple YouTube Channels

I have found I seem to learn best by listening to native phrases and conversations, whilst reading.

Pimsleur was the first course I purchased, but I found the lessons fairly boring and slow paced. Also there isn't any written text to accompany the audio, which I think is a missed opportunity, as I find it helpful to read the text whilst listening.

Example from just hearing the audio of the word (Sher Prash Ham), I would never of guessed the word was spelled:


Course I am using the most, at present:

Polish Pod 101
SuperMemo Polski Bez problemu
Transparent Languages Online
Real Polish 100 Stories
Listening to Arlena Witt YouTube Channel for Polish learning English and trying to understand as much as I can

If anybody is interested in my opinion on any of the following or a bit of a short review, let me know.
Lyzko 25 | 7,145
8 Nov 2017 #80
The reasons you give, are to my mind, usually the best reasons for learning any foreign language.

In addition, a good way of learning the inflections, cadences, even sometimes the structure of a new language, is by listening to the typical transference errors made by native speakers of that language in English:-)

Poles for instance will frequently omit either the definite or indefinite article when speaking English! This then is a clue that article use is still strange for them because they lack any point of reference in their native tongue. Sometimes, I will hear conversely many Poles say, "Should I start with THE number one?", rather than "Should I start with number one?", because they will use the article where it doesn't belong.

Another tendency Poles tend to have, at least in class, is to address a stranger, authority figure or their teacher, by their given name preceded by "Mr." or "Ms.", for example, "Good morning, Mr. Adam!", instead of "Good morning, Adam!" etc.

I am aware though that in the US, down South, one will often hear, "Hi there, Ms. Charlotte!", more so however in small communities or among older people.
devilslayer 1 | 11
10 Nov 2017 #81

I have found, by watching Polish YouTube channels, such as Let's Polish, that even Poles who have a very good grasp of the English language struggle to pronounce words beginning with "Th"

They nearly always pronounce it "dis" or "dat".

A great place for native Poles to learn English is Arlena Witts YouTube channel:

I watch her videos to try to understand as much as I can. I can only understand the gist of it, as I am almost a complete beginner, but she pronounces her words very clearly and the videos are very entertaining referencing English Movie and TV clips to illustrate certain points.

I just wish that there was a similar channel that did this type of think for native English speakers. In English, explaining grammer and phrases / words by refering to Polish media clips.
devilslayer 1 | 11
10 Nov 2017 #82
I think that the Arlena Witt YouTube channel mentioned above would be excellent resource for learning Polish, if there were text transcripts of her videos in Polish.

That way, you would be able to use the text with a tool, such as readlang / learning with texts / Foreign Language Text Reader (FLTR). Especially, if you then grabbed the A glossay of the vocabulary at the end with new words and their meanings would be beneficial.
Lyzko 25 | 7,145
10 Nov 2017 #83
Thanks, Devilslayer.
Vaneska365 - | 1
12 Jun 2018 #84
Thanks guys for the tips! Idk where or how to get Polish TV ... I'm in Long Island NY ... I'm sure the providers in Brklyn and Queens have them. I guiess I'll check out online sites thru the back door. I'm interested in your reviews of various books/CDs/youTube !
Rich Mazur 4 | 3,794
12 Jun 2018 #85
As far as Tusk is concerned, the ONLY "r-sound"

...that comes out of this clown well is when he says Poland should take more "refugees".

Just trying to be helpful. Back to the main subject.

What is the best technique to unlearn Polish and the Polish customs? I would take that class immediately.

When a guy comes to the US for a buck his body is here but his "heart" - whatever that is - is still over there. That's not good for anybody. It's one of those neither here nor there things. And then they teach their kids that awful rendition of Polish, which is painful to hear and as useless here as tits on the bull.

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