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What do Poles think of a foreign person who tries to learn Polish


zhi yu
3 Feb 2019  #1
And knows a few basic words ans plans to reach the beginner level?
Ironside 47 | 9,574
3 Feb 2019  #2
Nothing. They don't know that person so they think about at all about that person.
Lyzko 20 | 6,340
3 Feb 2019  #3
Poles typically appreciate any non-Slav willing to take the mighty plunge and learn their language!

In comparison with the Germans or the French, the Poles are far less likely in my experience to laugh at or tease
a foreigner who speaks Polish, albeit with a decided foreign accent:-) One reason is because most Poles know they themselves
often speak with an awful accent when pronouncing English and so are thankful for someone who speaks Polish about as
badly as the Poles usually speak English.

Germans speakers can frequently hide behind a fake-sounding British English pronunciation to mask their legion inadequacies LOL
mafketis 17 | 6,910
3 Feb 2019  #4
In Poland most Polish people like it when foreigners learn the language (if they stay in the country long enough without doing so the reaction is definitely negative). Language is the absolute key for foreigners to be able to thrive and those who neglect it end up ranting and raving about everything and turn into bitter miserable wrecks until they end up leaving.

Outside of Poland they don't think about it much one way or the other (or might be a bit bemused).
Lyzko 20 | 6,340
3 Feb 2019  #5
Amen, Maf, praise the Lord and pass the ammo! We're in absolute agreement on this matter, at least:-)
Ziemowit 12 | 3,393
3 Feb 2019  #6
What do Poles think of a foreign person who tries to learn Polish?

Most Poles would think that the person is insane.
Lyzko 20 | 6,340
3 Feb 2019  #7
....at worst, at best, admirably ambitious:-)

All the Poles whom I met who wanted to correspond in English rather than Polish, came out with stuff like "Thank from mountain!" instead of "Thank you in advance!", etc

Often their "intermediate" English was as bad as my beginning Polish, only because they're Europeans with "British-style" teachers, their flatulence had no odor, so to speakLOL
Ironside 47 | 9,574
3 Feb 2019  #8
whom I met

Geez and we're back on your favorite subject - yourself. Could you be quiet if you have nothing to say? Try it for while, will you? You know nothing about the way the Polish people think so put your imagination to a better use.Thank You from the mountain!
Sergiusz 6 | 26
3 Feb 2019  #9
We would never know what they THINK:)

You get a polite compliment (often it's an inflated praise) which is just a nice thing to say in order to show appreciation for your efforts. Or it can be a more sincere expression of fascination. It depends on how genuinely people are interested in you, how educated they are..
Spike31 2 | 904
4 Feb 2019  #10
And knows a few basic words ans plans to reach the beginner level?

That's admirable. However, beginner's level in Polish is achieved when you are able to recite Mickiewicz's "Ode to Youth" without making a single error :-)
jon357 64 | 14,382
4 Feb 2019  #11
Now that's not exactly beginners' level now, is it....

There are some very good online tests to assess language level, including Polish. What used to be called beginners', now pre-A1, just means the person can say a few simple things about them and their daily lives with frequent errors and a strain for the listener.
delphiandomine 85 | 17,823
4 Feb 2019  #12
Like listening to the Polonia speak in many cases. Anna Anders in particular makes me cringe whenever she speaks in Polish, because it's just non-stop mistakes and horrible word choices with terrible transference errors from English.

In comparison, Anne Applebaum speaks Polish wonderfully.
Spike31 2 | 904
4 Feb 2019  #13
Maybe to your untutored Scottish ear she is :-). She makes plenty of grammar errors and her accent is very thick.

Here's a sample:

youtube.com/watch?v=aliGon1mxGM
Lyzko 20 | 6,340
4 Feb 2019  #14
Having studied Polish for over four-and-a-half years, I have a quite solid idea of how Poles think, particularly when speaking English!
The best teacher of a foreign language are the transfer errors native speakers of that language make when speaking the learner's mother tongue:-)

Darek: Mark, so what you're thinking about all this stuffs?

Mark: Well, I feel things have surely gotten out of hand and we've lost all sense of proportion.

Darek: Yeah, it's the common sense! What they have to make all this bullshit and stuffs of what they don't know what they're talking?

Mark: I couldn't agree with you more, Darius! Tell me, do most of your friends feel the same way?

Darek: It's whole mess now in Poland.....

You get the picture, don't you Ironside?
Miloslaw 6 | 1,820
4 Feb 2019  #15
. She makes plenty of grammar errors and her accent is very thick

True,she has a thick accent,but her understanding and speech is perfectly understandable.
I know very few Poles in The UK with English as good as her Polish.
Lyzko 20 | 6,340
4 Feb 2019  #16
Often, it's hard to learn a language, albeit with near perfect pronunciation, without having some degree of historical context in which to frame cultural nuance which come at one literally every second of the day, in even most seemingly mundane communications:-)

Humor, for example, is to me (that and being able to get angry in another language) is what separate the men from the boys, so to speak. I know a Polish acquaintance round about forty-five, who speaks American English certainly as well as I. He's been living here for over ten or so years, went to college in Rochester, works in an investment bank and only on occasion speaks Polish in my presence.

Only the other week, we were chatting on the street and he said, 'Bye, Mark! See you soon.", to which I replied, "Not if I see you first!". An American English native speaker would have chuckled a bit and then walked off; my friend suddenly looked at me as though I were from Mars, raised a quizzical eye brow and left.

He clearly didn't get the retort, as I know he was honestly floored.

Motto of the story, is that until somebody can watch a prime time movie in the language their studying and get the subliminal stuff, they're still in their diapers as far as complete understanding is concerned.
Miloslaw 6 | 1,820
4 Feb 2019  #17
until somebody can watch a prime time movie in the language their studying and get the subliminal stuff

That is very true and probably a good way to judge if someone is truly fluent in a language.
I can watch movies in Polish and French and catch most of the nuances and jokes,but miss some of them.
Does that make me non fluent or just a bit slow?.....I miss some stuff in English too.....especially American English.:-)
Lyzko 20 | 6,340
4 Feb 2019  #18
I try to watch Polish movies with Polish subtitles. It works most of the time, although I gladly admit I often miss plenty of stuff. And so, when I can, I try again and study

the movie as a sort of subtext from which may be gleaned cultural gems:-)
Miloslaw 6 | 1,820
4 Feb 2019  #19
I try to watch Polish movies with Polish subtitles

That would not work for me as I understand spoken Polish better than I can read it,I think that may help improve my reading of Polish in the long run,but would confuse me whilst trying to enjoy the movie.
Lyzko 20 | 6,340
4 Feb 2019  #20
To each his own, Milo. Once more, I can only speak from my experience. Although I can recommend it freely, it doesn't work for everyone:-)
Spike31 2 | 904
5 Feb 2019  #21
True,she has a thick accent,but her understanding and speech is perfectly understandable.

Yes, it is understandable, yet for a person who started learning Polish almost 30 years ago and has a Polish husband it's not spectacular to say the least.

This Russian guy has started learning Polish few years ago. He lives in Russia and he has learned Polish on his own. Check out his video:

youtube.com/watch?v=ZNvnQhbbKgo
Lyzko 20 | 6,340
5 Feb 2019  #22
Impressive at any rate!
Dirk diggler 9 | 4,224
5 Feb 2019  #23
Most Poles wouldn't care one way or the other. They'd say 'yeah... that's great...' then go about their day
Joker 1 | 834
5 Feb 2019  #24
Girls think its cute when you mispronounce words and they like the American/Polish accent:)

The guys couldn't care less.
Lyzko 20 | 6,340
5 Feb 2019  #25
Words, perhaps yes. Their names?? Not in my experience:-)

'My name's BASIA, not 'Bosh'!!!
lol
Dirk diggler 9 | 4,224
6 Feb 2019  #26
Girls think its cute when you mispronounce words and they like the American/Polish accent:)

Yeah definitely. They like practicing English too.
Lyzko 20 | 6,340
6 Feb 2019  #27
Yep, that's for sure.
Ziemowit 12 | 3,393
6 Feb 2019  #28
a person who started learning Polish almost 30 years ago and has a Polish husband it's not spectacular

Polska języka to bardzo trudna języka, ale angielska języka to też trudna języka!
Lyzko 20 | 6,340
6 Feb 2019  #29
...even harder, I should think:-)

As I recall the expression, it reads "Polska MOWA, trudna mowa!", but perhaps as a native Polish speaker, you'd know a variant with which I'm not as yet familiar!
Ziemowit 12 | 3,393
6 Feb 2019  #30
My sentence was only a linguistic joke ... :-)


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