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Common pitfalls for Poles learning English


zetigrek
1 Oct 2010 #91
It would be unnatural for a native Poles to say b1tch where beach should have been used. More often it will be the other way around, Poles tend to say beach where they mean b1tch.

? Contrary. they tend to pronounce "y" not "i" like in the word beach.

bycz (b1tch) is easier to say than biicz (beach).

Attend to the funeral arrangements

what does it mean?
Seanus 15 | 19,674
1 Oct 2010 #92
Zeti, it means that you take care of them by dealing with it. Attend to can also mean that you listen carefully to, as in to attend to the teacher. Attend to is like załatwić/pilnować
z_darius 14 | 3,965
3 Oct 2010 #93
Dariusz, I know both are correct but that wasn't what I was trying to say. They say attend to when it should just be attend. The same with call. Surely that was clear!

Seannie, we can see only what you write, not what you intend ;)

bycz (b1tch) is easier to say than v (beach).

How so?
Oh, and "biicz" may be more difficult than "bycz", but is that really what Poles say? Not "bicz"? Since both are present in the Polish language ("bycz" and "bicz" can actually function as perfectly legal Polish words) they are equally easy, but Polish spelling tends to suggest that Poles will associate the "i" in "b!tch" with the "i" in the Polish "bicz". And that was my experience what I taught English.
Seanus 15 | 19,674
3 Oct 2010 #94
Attend to instead of attend and call to instead of call speaks for itself :)
z_darius 14 | 3,965
3 Oct 2010 #95
If words in a foreign language speak for themselves, then why do we have teachers of English in Poland, or in any pretty much any country? :D
Seanus 15 | 19,674
3 Oct 2010 #96
Common pitfall = saying attend to instead of attend, call to instead of call

Give it up, Dariusz. You're falling into your perennial pitfall, losing :)
scottie1113 7 | 898
3 Oct 2010 #97
h, and "biicz" may be more difficult than "bycz", but is that really what Poles say?

Yes, at least in my classes.
mafketis 36 | 10,785
4 Oct 2010 #98
By the way, do the teachers on here provide cultural advice too?

Yes, but IME a lot of the 'cultural advice' given by Polish teachers is based on an idealized idea of what the UK was like about 50 years ago or typical Polish cliches about the US.

Native speakers do too but will tend to contradict each other. A lot of the cultural advice I'd give (as an American) won't help them in the UK much (and vice versa).

Generally, a negative approach works better as a teacher with some understanding of Polish ways can give broad advice about things that are okay in Poland but not in the US (or UK IME). These things change over time as well though. Some years ago you'd have to mention that it's not a good idea to ask someone how much they paid for something or how much money they made (perfectly polite in Poland then though much less common now).

One problem that's still probably around is that Polish conversation is a lot more freewheeling and personal than anything most English speakers are used to. Delving into topics like religon, politics, sexual attitudes, relations between ethnic groups/races etc. happens far earlier in Poland. Polish people will usually find the bland, step on eggshells nature of English conversation (between people who don't know each other well) to be kind of boring.
Seanus 15 | 19,674
4 Oct 2010 #99
Another one that might be confused is angina. Angina pectoralis is not what the Poles mean when they think angina, a throat condition.

There was a thread here on false friends.
Skrymcz - | 30
5 Oct 2010 #100
Attend to can also mean that you listen carefully to, as in to attend to the teacher

Attend to the teacher? What would that mean?
Seanus 15 | 19,674
5 Oct 2010 #101
It means to pay attention to what the teacher is saying.
OP Teffle 22 | 1,321
5 Oct 2010 #102
Another few:

Ireland only: a common greeting here is simply "Well" especially in rural areas. It's kind of short for "I wish you well" or "I hope you are well". Treat it simply as "Hi" - it isn't, as some Poles have thought (understandably), a prompt requesting information as in "Well?"

:)

Something I hear a lot which sounds odd sometimes is when Poles refer to the time they were at university/college. They tend to either say "During my studies" which sounds a little quaint to me, or, "when I was at the Jagiellonian University of Krakow..etc" which sounds a bit pompous or at the very least, unecessarily detailed. The norm in English would be simply "at college" or "at university"

I'm not being picky by the way, just deliberately concentrating on the less obvious...
Skrymcz - | 30
5 Oct 2010 #103
It means to pay attention to what the teacher is saying.

But it's not in common usage in this century or the last, is it?

"when I was at the Jagiellonian University of Krakow..etc"

That's a brilliant one. I've heard it so often. I think we're meant to step back in awe and amazement when we hear that line.
Seanus 15 | 19,674
5 Oct 2010 #104
I disagree, Teffle. I would use both of those naturally.
sausage 19 | 777
5 Oct 2010 #105
But it's not in common usage in this century or the last, is it?

I can't recall ever hearing "attend to" in that context
Seanus 15 | 19,674
5 Oct 2010 #106
I wouldn't recommend its usage personally. It's what the Poles learn in the Callan Method. It's amazing how they are being conned/ripped off these days.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,177
5 Oct 2010 #107
It's amazing how they are being conned/ripped off these days.

Worse are the schools using their own version of the Callan Method...If you get the chance, go and find out what the chain of schools called "Leader School" is using these days. It's so riddled with mistakes that it's not even funny ;)

(incidentally, the author has never lived in an English speaking country and doesn't know anything about teaching, particularly as he's not even pedagogically trained)
Seanus 15 | 19,674
5 Oct 2010 #108
Yeah, I'd be really stringent on the entry requirements as you are just stealing from people then. I should go into such a school and pretend to be Danish wanting to learn more English. I'd soon catch them out.

I see part of my job as repairing the pitfalls they unknowingly came across when learning at school. Oh, but my teacher said bla bla bla. Well, be glad you don't have that teacher now :)
OP Teffle 22 | 1,321
5 Oct 2010 #109
I disagree, Teffle. I would use both of those naturally.

What - during my studies & when I was at St Andrew's university at Fife ?!

Really?
Seanus 15 | 19,674
5 Oct 2010 #110
Well, I'd have said 'in Fife', but yeah. For sure I'd use both of those.
OP Teffle 22 | 1,321
6 Oct 2010 #111
Well, I'd have said 'in Fife',

Yep, as I should have above ; )

Still, find it a little odd.
Seanus 15 | 19,674
6 Oct 2010 #112
Different English is used in different places and that's the point :)
scottie1113 7 | 898
6 Oct 2010 #113
True Seanus. BTW, I would have said the same thing you did-both of them-except that I would have sain "in Fife". Oh, I'm also an American. Go figure.
OP Teffle 22 | 1,321
6 Oct 2010 #114
"in Fife".

Yes, a mistake on my part, as mentioned.

Ok since my last sugestion was obviously controversial:

"During communistic times...." I hear this quite often instead of communist.

And on the cultural side, boring I'm sure at this stage and you've heard it all before, and not intended as criticism but genuine advice, Poles, try to smile just a little, sometimes when in Ireland & the UK?

Personally I haven't encountered any anti-Polish comments here but it is often remarked upon that poles always seem so miserable.

Just saying...
zetigrek
6 Oct 2010 #115
Personally I haven't encountered any anti-Polish comments here but it is often remarked upon that poles always seem so miserable.

we know.
pam
15 Feb 2012 #116
Merged: do poles find learning english particularly difficult?

my polish lokator has been living in my house for 5 months now.he speaks fluent russian and german, and also italian and portuguese.he certainly has an aptitude for languages. however he is really struggling with learning english.his vocabulary is getting better, but he still can barely string a sentence together. i think the main problem is that the polish alphabet is phonetic, and the english alphabet isnt.for example, the words april and apple. he cannot understand why one vowel has 2 different sounds.am trying my best to help him, and would especially like to hear if other poles are having similar problems. i think he finds the language daunting, and his favourite phrase is..the english alphabet lies.
Wulkan - | 3,212
15 Feb 2012 #117
Enlish alphabet is just stupid, even a native English speaker can not be sure how to pronaunce an English word they've never seen before...
jasondmzk
15 Feb 2012 #118
Polish phonology is absolutely insane. I don't even mean the troublesome long words, like "dziewięćdziesięciokilkoletniemu". I have problems with the relatively short ones, like the Polish word for "blade of grass", it makes my tongue want to jump out of my mouth.
pam
15 Feb 2012 #119
like the Polish word for "blade of grass", it makes my tongue want to jump out of my mouth.

slightly off topic, but why would you want to know what blade of grass means in polish? its not exactly everyday conversation!!
jasondmzk
15 Feb 2012 #120
why would you want to know what blade of grass means in polish?

I have a poet's heart (and a peasant's tongue).


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