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Using the correct grammar is stopping me from progressing with Polish language


miss_happy 1 | 10    
6 Aug 2012  #1
I have just realised today..

that trying to make sure that I am using the correct grammar is stopping me from progressing with this language. When I am thinking what I am trying to say I am too busy concentrating on conugation and declination that I just don't say anything.

I feel that the more I am taught the more I forget :(

Please tell me everyone goes through this as I feel totally lost :(
polishmama 3 | 280    
6 Aug 2012  #2
It happens. I say, keep talking and trying and trying again. I didn't learn English with people telling me about nouns and conjugations and prepositions. I would repeat in my mind what someone said if it seemed like something I needed to work on, and would keep trying and trying some more. Then again, I got hung up on the same thing as you in French and don't recall much because it was miserable to learn and I lost the feeling of "oh, french sounds so beautiful" (now it sounds so similar to German in it's growling and combined words). Just keep trying, who cares if you make mistakes. How many native English, French, and Polish speakers have I met in my life who regularly made mistakes and butchered their one and only language? COUNTLESS. Pozdrawiam...
OP miss_happy 1 | 10    
6 Aug 2012  #3
Dziękuję :)

Thing is I love the language and I spend time everyday learning it and then when faced with talking to someone I can't think what to say.....I forgot how to say how old I was when someone asked me not long ago and I know that of course but I just turn into a rabbit in headlights and I hate it. I find that my polish friends talk to me in polish and I reply in English for fear of getting it wrong!!! how stupid and I now it is stupid. What I need is someone really bossy who won't let me speak in english to them :)

Muszę ćwiczyć :)
gumishu 11 | 4,850    
6 Aug 2012  #4
you have to talk = and A LOT - forget about grammar for a while - you have to learn loving to talk Polish no matter how many mistakes you make - grammatical mistakes are not to be affraid so much - only make sure that you use the right tense with verbs - this is difficult enough in the beginning
polishmama 3 | 280    
6 Aug 2012  #5
I am so glad you haven't list the love for the Polish language as I did the French language. Perhaps, maybe pull a close Polish friend to the side and tell them, in English or Polish, how you are feeling and ask for their help. I know it's easier said than done to just tell someone to just try. That moment of panic, a pressure to (in your mind) perform, it leads you not just unable to speak sometimes, it can literally be disorienting. Perhaps, that friend would be willing to do one-on-one conversations with you to help. Just a few minutes here and there in private, they will he understanding and encouraging to you, I have never met a Pole who sneered at someone they know who was learning Polish. You will most likely get a lot smiles, correcting (tip: repeat the correction, it really does help), and they will try to speak slower for you and occasionally ask if you understand a word they said to you. Poles know their language is difficult, they love when people want to learn it English native speakers, on the other hand, well that's different. I suspect it's partly because it's presumed the whole bloody world speaks English. Some English native speakers encourage, others sneer (yet if you pay attention or read their Facebook, that superiority complex some hold for speaking English is just... Well, you get the idea). I really hope that helps you to keep feeling encouraged. :) :)
gumishu 11 | 4,850    
6 Aug 2012  #6
miss happy - you can try taking advice from David Snopek on linguatrek.com - he has learnt Polish to a very decent level
Lyzko    
6 Aug 2012  #7
Been there, done that Miss Happy!

That almost reminds me of the old joke about the (Polish) concert pianist Leopold Godowsky who gave up a promising career as a recitalist because it interfered with his practicing - guffaw, guffaw:-)))lol

"Grammatica non carborundum est" = Don't let the grammar wear ya down! The more you speak or write even, the more you're corrected, the less you'll 'notice' the grammar and, like the painless injection at the doctor's, it'll be over before your know it. I recommend learning cases for example, contextually, instead of sitting trying to memorize all those umpteen mutational endings. Also, what I did, was to try taking notes later, maybe at home, once I remembered what I'd heard.

It worked (..not to say, I still don't make mistakes)!
nunczka 8 | 458    
6 Aug 2012  #8
Polish is a hard language to learn. But yet I see native Poles speaking excellent English..
Wouldn't it be just as hard for Poles to learn to speak English? ( Just wondering?)
Lyzko    
6 Aug 2012  #9
Absolutely, nunczka! Don't let slick European PR fool you. Poles and others find English at anything other than at a tourist level, very difficult. I'm excluding naturally those rare birds who are gifted at picking up languages:-)
nunczka 8 | 458    
6 Aug 2012  #10
I am not too sure about PR.. As an American, I find that Europeans have the knowledge to speak many languages..Unlike most Americans,you find the ability to speak foreign languages as a rare gift..

Could it be that the borders are so close with many foreign toungues, that it is a must to be bilingual?
Lyzko    
6 Aug 2012  #11
Partly the borders, partly (or MOSTLY) their educational system. On the other hand, such a sort of "Look ma, no hands!" approach to, especially English acquisition, has its frequent downsides too, as I'm sure you've noticed! Many Poles, Germans etc. think they speak or know English so well that they have no further need to improve. This is a fallacy! They need to improve their English language skills as much as you need to improve your Polish, French or what have you.

They're just a little more arrogant about it, that's all. Familiarity with years of US-TV show bombardment has bred a certain degree of laziness, I've found, not to mention unconscious assumptions of priviledge LOL
Wulkan - | 3,280    
7 Aug 2012  #12
I find that Europeans have the knowledge to speak many languages

unless they are from England
Meathead 5 | 473    
7 Aug 2012  #13
I find that my Polish friends talk to me in Polish and I reply in English for fear of getting it wrong!!! how stupid and I now it is stupid. What I need is someone really bossy who won't let me speak in English to them :)

Being English you're super critical. A good start is not to be so hard on yourself.
OP miss_happy 1 | 10    
7 Aug 2012  #14
Perhaps, maybe pull a close Polish friend to the side and tell them, in English or Polish, how you are feeling and ask for their help.

They would to be fair, but I am very, very good at diversion and just smile and talk in english.....I need a bossy Pole :)

Been there, done that Miss Happy!

Tell me ......when do you start to think you are getting it??? is there a point when you feel like you know nothing and then it all starts falling into place?? I really hope so :)

miss happy - you can try taking advice from David Snopek

Thanks :) I have had a look at this and by chance a friend bought me a polish Harry Potter book but I have jut looked and on the first page I only know 81 words out of 153!!! so might be real hard going to read that.....or maybe that is the point!!

Being English you're super critical. A good start is not to be so hard on yourself.

I can't seem to get by the feeling stupid thing and going blank.....I know I have to but............

Thanks all.

Did anyone else find readingas a great way of learning? :)
Lyzko    
7 Aug 2012  #15
It depends on what you mean by "getting it", Happy! If you mean "thinking" in Polish, I'm still a bit of a ways off, but am closer than when I started. I'll probably never feel as comfortable in Polish as I will in German, but that's all a matter of acclimatization.

DON'T expect instant results though. Gove yourself a good year to acquire basic fluency, after that, read as much as possible from classic fiction to build up a vocabulary so as you don't sound illiterate as do sooooo many Poles when they commence to speak English. Often, the more four-letter slang, the better, they feel.
Meathead 5 | 473    
8 Aug 2012  #16
I can't seem to get by the feeling stupid thing and going blank.....I know I have to but............

Okay, it's like this (I majored in Speech at the Uni as I intended to become a trial lawyer) but they used to tell us not to think about how we're saying it, but concentrate on what we're saying. I think you should learn conversational Polish first. Here's a website that I think teaches conversational Polish:
OP miss_happy 1 | 10    
8 Aug 2012  #17
Thankyou, I am having a look now and I am loving the 'Grammar in a nutshell' and it is 95 pages long!!!! glad it isn't a big nutshell :)

If you mean "thinking" in Polish, I'm still a bit of a ways off, but am closer than when I started.

perfect example, looking through the grammar in a nutshell and it says...... 'To jest dom mojego przyjaciela That's the house of my friend', polish way of thinking, sentence construction. My thinking of trying to construct that sentence in my head doesn't have the word 'of' in it at all I would be thinking 'My friend's house'......so in order to say what I need to I am really on a none starter!

I love this language but flippin' 'ek .........been learning for around year now :(
Lyzko    
10 Aug 2012  #18
Only modern English structures thought like that though, Miss Happy! All Romance, Slavic, Uralic and the rest of the extant Germanic languages, tend to use "The house of my friend"-type paradigm. Scandinavian languages, i.e. Danish, can say 'My friend's house', but NOT all the time and only in colloquial or slang usage:-)
boletus 30 | 1,367    
10 Aug 2012  #19
I pointed out in another occasion to a so-called Possessive Adjective form, which is very popular with certain Slavic languages but not Polish.
-ski/-ska, -scy/ski, -wicz - Polish surnames help
Allow me to quote appropriate fragment and provide the link to the original scientific article.

For example, in Upper Sorbian the possessive adjective is the normal method of expressing what is conveyed by the genitive in many other languages.
Compare this phrase in Polish and in Upper Sorbian:

Upper Sorbian: Jan-owa kniha (Jan's book), possessive adjective form
Polish: Książka Jan-a (book of Jan), genitive form

The other possessive form, corresponding to -ow is -in, -yn.

Upper Sorbian: Hilž-iny wopyt (Hilža's visit)
Polish: Wizyta Hilży (Visit of Hilža)

Upper Sorbian: Našego nan-owe knihi (Our father's books)
Polish: Książki naszego ojca (Books of our father)


surrey.academia.edu/GrevilleGCorbett/Papers/766888/The_morphology_syntax_interface_evidence_from_possessive_adjectives_in_Slavonic
Lyzko    
10 Aug 2012  #20
Aha! Most instructive, boletus!

Many thanks:-)

Yet the article suggests this particular construction is relegated either to dialectal, vestigial or literary usage. Actually, I'm still reading/re-reading parts of it, so perhaps my conclusions will be different once I'm all finished:-)

Again, thanks ever so much!
boletus 30 | 1,367    
10 Aug 2012  #21
Yet the article suggests this particular construction is relegated either to dialectal, vestigial or literary usage.

Well, they are talking about Upper Sorbian and this is a full grown language. But after you finish this, google for [Possessive Adjective Czech]. As far as I can tell Czechs like this form too.

See for example,
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czech_declension#Possessive_adjectives
Examples:
otcův dům - father's house
matèino auto - mother's car
Possessive adjectives are often used in the names of streets, squares, buildings, etc.:
Neruda -> Nerudova ulice (Neruda street)
but:
Jan Neruda -> ulice Jana Nerudy (noun genitive)

Now, thinking about it, some forms of Possessive adjective still exist in Polish:
matcz-yne auto (mother's automobile) - that's perfectly valid and does not sound strange at all. However, it is rarely used.
ojc-owa chata (father's hut) - sounds kind of ancient, stylized, maybe dialectal.

Again, thanks ever so much!

You are welcome
mafketis 16 | 6,290    
18 Nov 2018  #22
[moved from]

radio and TV plus commie schools system erased much of the local differences in the way Polish is used

It's always been my impression that the post WWII spread of standard Polish and retreat of dialects was because that's what Polish speakers wanted. It never seemed forced, what are you basing that claim on?.

Even young Polish people tend to be prescriptivists, worrying about correct and incorrect forms in ways that English speakers... don't.
Lyzko 18 | 5,303    
18 Nov 2018  #23
Bingo!

For this reason, many Polish English speakers miss subtle cues and hints which often come from "incorrect" grammatical use in English, yet are an accepted part of our vernacular, especially in the States:-)
Rich Mazur 5 | 2,237    
18 Nov 2018  #24
Actually, deliberately distorting language, just like sarcasm, is an art and a proof of greater familiarity with it.
Lyzko 18 | 5,303    
18 Nov 2018  #25
True, if it's not rationalized as merely an excuse for NOT knowing the language in which sarcasm etc. is being attempted.

Think of the movie "Being There" (1980). The Chauncey Gardner character was spewing purest bilge, like a young child, from beginning to end, and others were taking

him seriously.

Difference here is that Chauncey never pretended he was an expert, whereas Crow and way too many others out there justify poor, substandard, bastardized English usage behind the excuse that English can be (mis-)used in any fashion one chooses, since it (allegedly) has no standard...and what are you gonna do about it-)
Rich Mazur 5 | 2,237    
18 Nov 2018  #26
This is where we agree 100%. Even a person who never took lessons in English, just by reading posts by others, can quickly pick up the basics. Like how to make a plural out of singular. I cringe when I discover I made an error and it's too late to correct it.
Crow 146 | 7,594    
19 Nov 2018  #27
English is just a tool. Who gives a **************** (insert word as it suits to you). If they pays me for perfect english, I would give them. So, in the meanwhile.... Its language that became global linguistic prostitute. Only important thing is that people understand each others. We communicate, isn`t it? Why do you complaint like some old granny?
Rich Mazur 5 | 2,237    
19 Nov 2018  #28
Its language that became global linguistic prostitute. Only important thing is that people understand each others.

True. And only an a-hole would make it harder by insulting people who use it properly with that prostitute.
We communicate, don't we? There is a difference between complaint (a noun) and complain (a verb). Just trying to be helpful.
Crow 146 | 7,594    
19 Nov 2018  #29
Thank you. Please feel free to correct me whenever I make mistake. I appreciate that.
Lyzko 18 | 5,303    
19 Nov 2018  #30
Would you share the same cavalier attitude towards YOUR native Serbian tongue?? I think not and herein lies the double standard:-)

Precisely because English is indeed a tool, one should keep one's instruments in tip-top condition, lest they become dulled or unusable through neglect!!

Incorrect grammar certainly won't stop you from "communicating", it may though impede ultimate clarity and understanding:-)



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