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Can many young Poles speak German?


Lyzko
30 Nov 2011 #31
Many Russians though also know German, and furthermore, you probably are aware that during the 19th century, most of the physicians practicing in St. Petersburg, WERE German! Their language hence became associated with the international language of science and medicine, French for diplomacy, and not much else. English had not yet reached the world status of today-:) Russian became known as the language in which one spoke to one's farm animalsLOL
strzyga 2 | 993
30 Nov 2011 #32
Russian became known as the language in which one spoke to one's farm animalsLOL

A certain Mr. Tolstoy must have had a lot of animals on his farm. Wonder where Dostoyevsky kept his cows though.
alxmac 5 | 27
30 Nov 2011 #33
poles should learn russian. it will become very useful soon as russia rises!

in slavic europe it is the most spoken language and in turkic central asia

btw im not russian
jwojcie 2 | 763
1 Dec 2011 #34
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.

poles should learn russian. it will become very useful soon as russia rises!

ehh... every know and then, which means since ten years maybe I think it could be not bad idea to recall my long forgotten ability to speak at least basic Russian, but it always turn out that it wouldn't be very useful, at least in my field. Looking at it from wider perspective of international trade it seems it is worth more to learn German, French, Italian, Czech and even Dutch before Russian (well, except those people who are pumping gas from Russia maybe...). Thing is that contrary to popular belief Russia is far far away land from Poland, at least Russian economic core is far away. Poland is mostly regional not global economy so geography matters. So what that Russian is spoken by 250 mil, Spanish is spoken by even more. Maybe Barcelona is a little farther but it is at least turist destination, and there is much more cheap flights there from most Polish airports...

Don't get me wrong, personally i think that Russian is quite nice language. It is just not on the list of first three languages that are expected in CVs in Poland.

Personally I can speak English and I use to know basic Russian, and I regret that instead of Russian I didn't learn German. I could understand a few % of Russian anyway without learning all this endings so it was kind of futile effort ;) Heh, at least I have inprinted in my mind that "trip to Leningrad" is a must, and that after trip one should write a story about it. Though I haven't been ther yet, maybe some day I will do that homework again ;)
FlaglessPole 4 | 669
1 Dec 2011 #35
poles should learn russian. it will become very useful soon as russia rises!

well I guess it may prove beneficial to know the language of your enemy...
Wulkan - | 3,243
1 Dec 2011 #36
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.

So learn Russian yourself if you like :) and let me learn German. Lack of knowladge of Russian in Poland is one of those things that makes us different from other countries from Former Soviet Union and we like it that way :)
Wulkan - | 3,243
1 Dec 2011 #38
I have never said we were, but ppl from western countries think otherwise and they also assume we must speak Russian because of this.
Like this moron from Netherland was suprised why Polish people dont sound Russian, how pathetic is that.
ShAlEyNsTfOh 4 | 161
1 Dec 2011 #39
well I guess it may prove beneficial to know the language of your enemy...

same goes for ugly german...
FlaglessPole 4 | 669
1 Dec 2011 #40
Can't take a joke, can you..? Anyways this day and age Germany is not Poland's enemy but her biggest trading partner... It's no longer London and Paris as cultural centers of Europe, it's Berlin, ubercool city with plethora of young artists and musicians from all over the world, vibrant and creative, only an hour's drive from Polish border.

Russia is far far away... looks kinda nice... from a distance...
a.k.
1 Dec 2011 #41
well I guess it may prove beneficial to know the language of your enemy...

same goes for ugly german...

Can foreigners stop saying on behalf of the Poles who is a Polish enemy? You behave like supporters of some very conservative party...
FlaglessPole 4 | 669
1 Dec 2011 #42
Can foreigners stop saying on behalf of the Poles who is a Polish enemy?

what part of 'can't you take a joke' was particularly puzzling for you?
a.k.
1 Dec 2011 #43
Before you've posted the comment #42 it wasn't so obvious it's a joke. Besides that your joke is not funny and suggests there are some contemporary tensions between Germans and Poles.
FlaglessPole 4 | 669
1 Dec 2011 #44
suggests there are some contemporary tensions between Germans

surely you meant Russians...
Peter Cracow
1 Dec 2011 #45
My grannies remembered Austrian solders in their characteristic uniforms but they did not speak Germany. Despite of this they (and me too now) used many German's words in everyday life (ersatz, szlauf, brecha, weka, etc).
Lyzko
1 Dec 2011 #46
AUSTRIAN soldiers DIDN'T speak German???
You'll have to explain that one. Something's lost in the translation!
strzyga 2 | 993
2 Dec 2011 #47
AUSTRIAN soldiers DIDN'T speak German???

Grannies didn't.
Lyzko
2 Dec 2011 #48
If not German, in what then, pray tell?
strzyga 2 | 993
2 Dec 2011 #49
Read Peter's post again. His grannies didn't speak German. Austrian soldiers did.
Lyzko
2 Dec 2011 #50
Aha, the post refers to 'grannies', the plural of 'grandmother(s)', and not the soldiers! Suppose because of the faulty syntax, I misunderstood. Guess I'm used to referring to one grannY at a time, silly me)))))
mon
4 Mar 2012 #51
I was born and grew up in Pomerania. Went to school in 1989 (yes, that year!) and had to learn German from 5th grade (I was 12) and had 2 hour of German a week until I left school at 15. In my new school, I had 4 hours of German a week for 4 years. Then at the Uni at my 2nd and 3rd year, I had 2 hours of German a week. I had no English at school unfortunately.

Despite learning the language for 10 years, both at school and Uni, I could hardly introduce myself. The reason being, all my classmates passionately hating the language and not wanting to learn. I wasn’t very interested in it either. I re-started learning it at 24. I’m reaching the end of B2 level now.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
20 Mar 2015 #52
Do you think that could mean there is a market in Poland for native speaker teachers of German, French, Spanish and Italian?
jon357 71 | 20,410
20 Mar 2015 #53
Spanish was fashionable to learn a few years ago so maybe there's still room in the market. Nobody seems to like French and German is taught often in schools. I've noticed German is more common as a second language nearer Germany for the obvious reason.

One guy I know in Katowice always speaks to me in German even though I understand little and speak less, but speak only Polish in the home. This strongly suggests it's seen there as the second language and a lingua Franca. I don't see that in Warsaw.
TheOther 6 | 3,692
20 Mar 2015 #54
See for yourself: paiz.gov.pl/publications/foreign_investors_in_poland

The more foreign investors, the higher the demand for English, German, French and Spanish language skills.

This strongly suggests it's seen there as the second language and a lingua Franca.

Many employees in Polish state archives for example don't understand English, but are fluent in German. They can even read the old scripts.
Lyzko 33 | 8,153
20 Mar 2015 #55
Amen, The Other!

I think the case for German has been made:-) Spot on!!

When I met Poles for the first time over twenty-five years ago, their English was virtually non-existent. At that time I knew no Polish. Thank heaven I spoke German, or we wouldn't have been able to talk with one another.

I should amend my last post!

It's been said of late that more and more younger Poles are opting for English over German.
(:-
Roger5 1 | 1,455
21 Mar 2015 #56
Nobody seems to like French

Our uni offers joint degrees in English and French, English and Spanish, and English and Russian, as well as straight English Philology. There's even an option to take a degree in French and English with translation studies. No German.
Lyzko 33 | 8,153
21 Mar 2015 #57
Yep, that seems to be the consensus. German has always been sort of touch-and-go, so to speak. Much as with Russian in the former GDR of the Eastern Block countries, Germany and Poland have had a rocky relationship to say the very least. Practicality notwithstanding, many Poles these days, would prefer to focus as Roger5 said on either French or English with translation studies instead of German.

The irony is of course that the majority of Poles who studied German know it better than English, both from the point of view of basic fluency, not to mention accuracy! It's this persistent myth that America has no culture, and so Poles will typically have read their compulsory Goethe, Schiller etc. resp. the French classics in the original, whereas in English most are relatively illiterate, save for trashy pulp-style fiction.
Roger5 1 | 1,455
21 Mar 2015 #58
I don't really see what America has to do with anything. There is a much closer English-speaking country to Poland. While it's true that most students encounter the worst English through American popular culture, at university level students of English have to read literature from both sides of the Atlantic.
Lyzko 33 | 8,153
21 Mar 2015 #59
....and hopefully in the original!!!:-)

Can you imagine Mark Twain in Polish???! That's almost like Mickiewicz in English. It's a different bookLOL
TheOther 6 | 3,692
21 Mar 2015 #60
Practicality notwithstanding, many Poles these days, would prefer to focus as Roger5 said on either French or English with translation studies instead of German.

There are several reasons why English is slowly taking over. German as a language is simply too difficult for many, and both Britain and the US are culturally imperialist, if you know what I mean. Music and movies, software development - all of that and much more is mostly in English. No wonder that young people prefer English, and languages like French or German become less and less important. On the other hand though Polish people should keep in mind that the biggest job market of Europe is just across the border. But to land a decent job there, you'll need to be fluent in German. English or any other second language is a plus, but German is an absolute must. Plumber in Britain or engineer in Germany ... your career choice (exaggerating on purpose) ... :)


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