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Can many young Poles speak German?


KingAthelstan 9 | 142
6 Oct 2011 #1
Just wondered if German (after English) has replaced Russian as a 2nd/3rd foreign language people learn?
Ziemowit 12 | 3,578
6 Oct 2011 #2
Anyway, your English as your first language has improved. This time you don't write "Can many young Poles can speak German".
pip 10 | 1,661
6 Oct 2011 #3
what is young? my husband speaks German because he had to live in Germany a year while waiting for the Canadian gov't to process documents. But I don't believe younger generations are being taught German- it is probably an elective.
gumishu 11 | 5,017
6 Oct 2011 #4
where I live both English and German are taught in elementary school at the same time (I sometimes think if it is actually reasonable)
there was a time that German wasn't taught in schools at all in certain areas (including where I live) - all schools taught Russian - some additionally taught English some French - now here in Opole region German is almost universally taught in elementary schools (and I don't mean only areas with German minority) - but I think it can be different in other areas of Poland - I don't think German is taught universally in elementary schools - I think it often is only English

I have just found a report by the Education Ministry that states that currently 1/3 of Polish schools have German as a mandatory subject
BBman - | 344
6 Oct 2011 #5
Can many young Poles speak German?

Very few. However, many are familiar with the language and would probably be able to understand some simple german.
pawian 161 | 9,971
6 Oct 2011 #6
=KingAthelstan]Just wondered if German (after English) has replaced Russian as a 2nd/3rd foreign language people learn?

Yes. High school final exam language preferences prove it. English- 80%. German - 15%. Other languages - 5%.

natablicy.pl/matura-2011-geografia-biologia-wos-najpopularniejsze-przedmioty-maturalne,artykul.html
Lyzko
6 Oct 2011 #7
I found that many Poles had in fact studied German, but preferred not to HAVE to speak it, if possible. Many instead opted for either Polish (naturally) or even English, even though they often couldn't really master it. By contrast, the older, educated set preferred German to either English or Russian, for that matter-:) In Prague and in Budapest however, most younger people knew little to any German. Older people, once again, spoke it with near idiomatic fluency. I was pleasantly surprised!
Seanus 15 | 19,706
6 Oct 2011 #8
Some can here in Silesia but more the older folk.
Lyzko
6 Oct 2011 #9
And often in that case, Seanus, it's actually 'Schlesisch' (Silesian), not 'Hochdeutsch' (High German Standard)
LOL
gumishu 11 | 5,017
7 Oct 2011 #10
not really Marku - Schlesisch is gone here - just some older folks who were born before the war can speak it - noone else

btw before the war German was very popular as a foreign language, just second to French I guess - back then it was the language of technology and science

there were also millions of Poles who would regularly travel to Germany to work in farming ('saksy') and/or forestry - many of these people must have learned some basic German - my grandpa learned German working as a forced labour on a farm just across the border not far from where he lived before the war - sure it was just rudimentary German but still (and he must have had a Prussian accent to his German (I haven't heard the Prussian accents of German))
Lyzko
7 Oct 2011 #11
I once talked with a very old gentleman, oh, I'd guess round about 85, or so, from the former Koenigsberg, East Prussia (now Kaliningrad!). When he spoke German, his accent reminded me immediately of a Pole speaking; every syllable was sounded, no schwa-sound could be heard, final r's were trilled and there was that jerky, deliberate quality to his speech.

I don't believe I've ever met or spoken with a native Silesian speaking German or even their native tongue. Same goes fore Cashubs or Sorbs.
legend 3 | 664
7 Oct 2011 #12
I know only a few basic German words from back when I was a child.
Natasa 1 | 580
7 Oct 2011 #13
Save the always scarce memory capacity resources for something Good, don't be so generous ;)

Edit: I didn't learn German in school, but terrible adolescent crisis tempted me to start learning Deutsch. So...i bought the book, the basic level. Then I had a tutor for a year and a half. I don't know why I did it, but I suspect that some deeply rooted collective consciousness type of anxiety was the motivator. God knows why.

I should delete that from my HD and replace it with some melodic southern language.

Poles learn German, it is eine sehr wichtige Sprache.
Lyzko
7 Oct 2011 #14
"....eine sehr wichtige, und vor allem eine sehr schoene, Sprache-:)

Can't forget about that! Język niemiecki jest bardzo ważnym, przede wszystkim, bardzo pięknym językiem!
Lyzko
7 Oct 2011 #15
Many Slavic speakers who claim to hate the language, nonetheless will ruefully admit at the same time its practicality, especially in business. In tourism though, yes, the case for English is indeed a stronger one(:-
Natasa 1 | 580
7 Oct 2011 #16
English indeed seems more practical, I had to say that because it is an insult for Germans ;)
I have nothing to do with business so I didn't really need it. I used it to start reading Homo Faber auf Deutsch.
But, it is excellent for giving orders. Am Besten!

When I gave up German, I started learning Spanish at Uni. I also had a private tutor for 6 months intensively. Fast in, fast out. I understand it quite well now, but it ends there. Probably contact and effort would result with some awakening of the sleeping vocabulary. I managed to read Marquez in Spanish in that period, 10 years ago, and found out disappointed that his work sounds better in Serbian translation. We have few excellent interpreters that spiced up Marquez. One of them is from Chile. That was the time when I realized that interpreter rewrites the writer. Tricky.

I regret missing the French. I'm afraid I will close my eyes as an ignorant on that matter.

Do you speak any of the languages from Romanic group Lyzko?
Lyzko
8 Oct 2011 #17
Survival French, Spanish, some elementary Italian and only a smattering of Romanian-:)

I presume, Natassa, you assert that English is more "practical" merely in order to spite the nasty Germans, is that it? LOL
Well, English is indeed "practical" for foreigners in an English-language environment, I should qualify! Most folks who claim that they know English, or even know it well, really don't. They only labor under the (mistaken) assumption that noone notices the difference. Sadly, they're often right!

I mean, sure if you are a Pole, say, travelling to England, Australia, Canada or the US, you'd damn well better know at least the basics. If however you're on a trip to, say, Lithuania, Russia, Mongolia, Israel or the Sahara Desert, English probably isn't the best route to follow. Perhaps a Lonley-Planet phrasebook in hand if push comes to shove, but that's about it. Face it; there's rarely if ever a suitable substitute for learning the local lingo.

I find I can express certain abstract states of mind more easily in German than in English. I'm not sure that even Polish has equivalents for 'Gemuetlichkeit' or 'Feierabend', for example, which in English at any rate, require at least a sentence to translate/explain and cannot be summed up in just a single word or concept!
emha - | 92
8 Oct 2011 #18
Gemuetlichkeit - przytulność:)
Feierabend - fajrant
Natasa 1 | 580
8 Oct 2011 #19
Survival French, Spanish, some elementary Italian and only a smattering of Romanian-:)

Bravo :))))))

Gemuetlichkeit - przytulność:)
Feierabend - fajrant

Gemuetlichkeit- prijatnost
Feierabend - fajront
Lyzko
8 Oct 2011 #20
Hate to be a plusperfect pain in the Queen's arse, but, ahhem, neither of the above (and certainly NOT the second!!) are equivalents of the German, I'm sorry. 'Fajront', like 'szlafroki' etc.. is simply polonized German, nothing moreLOL
Natasa 1 | 580
9 Oct 2011 #21
What is wrong with the first one Lyzko?
Prijatnost?
Ziemowit 12 | 3,578
9 Oct 2011 #22
"Prijatnost" is not even a Polish word, Natasza.
sobieski 107 | 2,128
9 Oct 2011 #23
JK does not speak German for sure :)
Natasa 1 | 580
9 Oct 2011 #24
Serben. Yuck.

Apologies for the soft bass you are listening to. I do all the drugs.
Palivec - | 380
9 Oct 2011 #25
I don't believe I've ever met or spoken with a native Silesian speaking German or even their native tongue. Same goes fore Cashubs or Sorbs.

Upper Silesian from Nysa: staff.uni-marburg.de/~naeser/ld202k.mp3

But OK, that's just the German dialect of a native German.

I once talked with a very old gentleman, oh, I'd guess round about 85, or so, from the former Koenigsberg, East Prussia (now Kaliningrad!). When he spoke German, his accent reminded me immediately of a Pole speaking;

East Prussian from Lidzbark Warmiński: staff.uni-marburg.de/~naeser/ld083.mp3

And West Prussian from Elbląg: staff.uni-marburg.de/~naeser/ld283k.mp3
Lyzko
9 Oct 2011 #26
Thanks, that explains the accent-:)
jochemczyk 1 | 35
30 Nov 2011 #27
My Father was from upper Silesia and could speak German,also the Polish that he spoke was a little different from Polish that I heard some Poles speak. He was born in 1921. As I understand it, his Father could speak and write German well. Wasn't there a time when the Germans tried to ban the Polish language and children in school were only allowed to speak and write in German? I was in Poland in 1991 and kids were being taught English in school,my cousins kids were 8 and 6 and could already speak quite a bit of English.
southern 75 | 7,096
30 Nov 2011 #28
Poles living in Germany tend to speak very good German without accent.In fact they can be indistinguishable from Germans except that they look more fashionable.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,387
30 Nov 2011 #29
i tend to agree.
ShAlEyNsTfOh 4 | 161
30 Nov 2011 #30
many of my cousins speak german.

I personally feel the learning Russian would be SOO much more benefitionary for Poles, considering it's a slavic language spoken by about 250 mil. people worldwide.


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