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Interest in Polish language grows in Britain


Polonius3 1,000 | 12,467
30 Sep 2010  #1
The Polish language is enjoying a growing popularity among residents of Peterborough in England.

As more and more Poles are starting up shops selling Polish food, running accounting and removal firms and publishing their own community newspapers, the city authorities have decided to start Polish language classes for locals. In most cases the courses are public financed.

Clive Mariner, manager from City College, told Polish Radio that the main aim has been to improve communication between Polish and British employers and employees.

He also disclosed that social contacts play a no small incentive for studying Polish. Mixed marriages are another stimulus to attend Polish classes. Specialist courses have been organized for rescue services, policemen and medical staff.

Peterborough, north of London, has a 16,000 strong community of immigrants from Eastern Europe, primarily from Poland. Poles currently constitute 10 per cent of the local workforce.
4gotlogin
30 Sep 2010  #2
Knowing the British, it probably has something to do with their paranoia that the foreigners are talking about them!
Seanus 15 | 19,716
30 Sep 2010  #3
Knowing the British, really? I don't think paranoia is high on the list of national traits there. There is interest but the problem is that people get so caught up in money matters that they lose sight of reality. My mother said that she has asked around but the going rates are astronomical. Lower prices and business will come.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,467
30 Sep 2010  #4
Is it true Brits have a harder time of it learning a foreign language than say Germans or French? How widely and well are foreign languages taught in British schools?
welshguyinpola 23 | 463
30 Sep 2010  #5
It is true because our grammar systems are completely different. Trying to grasp the fact that there are 3 words for go in Polish can be a nightmare for a Brit since we have only 1. Also the lack of gender in English poses a problem when learning other foreign languages.

A pole can learn eg. spanish or French more easily beacuse although not the same, the grammar is similar.
wildrover 98 | 4,455
30 Sep 2010  #6
it probably has something to do with their paranoia that the foreigners are talking about them!

It may have a lot to do with Brits noticing the Poles are rather nice looking...!
Polish Tutor - | 80
30 Sep 2010  #7
The Polish language is enjoying a growing popularity in England.

I am very surprised by this but I can confirm it.
During the last 6 months for the first time ever
I have taught more learners from the UK than from Germany.

And, what is even more surprising, English people are able to learn
and – you will not believe –
to SPEAK Polish (-:

Albion Bravo!!! Keep going!!!
Trevek 26 | 1,703
4 Oct 2010  #8
Knowing the British, really? I don't think paranoia is high on the list of national traits there.

Well, living in Shropshire, near the Welsh border, it was something I heard a few times when people dared speak Welsh in England, also heard it about Pakistanis, Indians etc. When I was studying in Belfast one colleague was teaching Protestants Irish. I areas like the Shankill it might have been surprising, but one of the reasons students gave was that they wanted to know if the Irish speakers were talking about them.

Is it true Brits have a harder time of it learning a foreign language than say Germans or French? How widely and well are foreign languages taught in British schools?

French, German and Spanish are widely taught but often don't start until secondary school (11 years old). I think another thing is that in Britain, at least until recently, it wasn't common to hear European languages being spoken on the street (at least in smaller towns etc). I lived in the Midlands in a new town and only met French people once in 20 years, so I didn't get to practice my French much. Likewise, 'foreign films' were usually on late at night because they were considered for arty types. Older generations are often a bit suspicious of subtitles. So you didn't even hear foreign languages much on TV until recently. My wife is amazed that I have hardly any knowledge of the French films she grew up watching in Poland, and have hardly any knowledge of European actors.
SidWolf 2 | 34
4 Oct 2010  #9
Is it true Brits have a harder time of it learning a foreign language than say Germans or French? How widely and well are foreign languages taught in British schools?

Definitely. It doesn't help that 95% of Brits (at least the English) have no interest whatsoever in learning a foreign language. It's a strange mindset, but it is justifiable to some extent (mainly because the language learning flow is definitely towards, rather than away from, English at the moment). Fairly fundamental grammatical differences and a natural English awkwardness just add to it.
Wroclaw Boy
4 Oct 2010  #10
more Poles are starting up shops selling Polish food

Well if you want to buy something from a Polish shop you need to speak a bit of Polish in the UK.
Seanus 15 | 19,716
4 Oct 2010  #11
True enough! The one that runs the deli in Aberdeen maybe understands hello at the very most. There is sth to be said for the enclave mentality. Give me custom, then feck off seems to be the way.
nobabody - | 10
7 Jan 2011  #12
the only adult pole i've met who doesn't speak english is my mother in law to be, since she visits uk only once a year i'll let her off.

learning polish is a *****, its purely down to the grammer, but my experience has been that though i might use the wrong case i am mostly understood, much the sameway as someone who speaks "pigeon english". the effort to speak polish has certainly been appreciated by most people i meet in poland.
Downpour - | 5
8 Jan 2011  #13
How widely and well are foreign languages taught in British schools?

I believe French, German and Spanish are the most popular language choices respectively in British schools. Most (if not all) people I know who learnt a foreign language at school, never use it or rarely do and most aren't at a decent level that they can talk confidently with someone from the county (apart from how many pets they have).

The number of pupils taking modern languages is also deceasing. However the UK government is trying to encourage people to pick up a second language, e.g. making it compulsory to study at least one language up to a certain level and introducing languages at a younger age. Yet, if a lot of people around the world were learning Polish, there would be less incentive for Polish people to learn another language since there would be a higher chance someone could communicate with you in your native language.

From my own personal experience, I don't think languages are taught very well in schools, nor did the choice between German or French capture my imagination to encourage me to pursue it further. Perhaps if it was taught better and there was a wider range of languages to learn available I would've considered taking a language but none the less, I plan on learning one soon anyway. :D
hague1cmaeron 14 | 1,377
8 Jan 2011  #14
10 per cent

From all the reports i have heard i thought 1/2 the bloody town consisted of Poles.

and those stories about them opening businesses, surely that can't be right, because according to that brilliant newspapers that is known for its probity and research most of them live on welfare.

dailymail.co.uk/news/article-402024/The-town-Poles-took-over.html

And according to the mail-Lithuanians, Slovakians etc. They can all be classified as Poles now apparently.

But hold on. It seems that the mail can't make its mind up, apparently now they are no longer on welfare, and instead: "Skilled and highly-motivated Poles 'push British graduates to back of the jobs queue"

According to the mail and Richard Lambert- the leader of the CBI: "His remarks in a speech to university vice-chancellors suggest that some of the hundreds of thousands of Eastern European workers who have come to Britain since their countries joined the European Union in 2004 are beginning to move out of the lowest paid work to challenge Britons for more demanding and better rewarded jobs

Mr Lambert, the director general of the employers' body, was also scathing about the Government's efforts to improve the competitiveness of young Britons on the jobs market and said the quality of British graduates was too low.

"If businesses can't find the skills or work attitudes that they need in the national workplace, they can perfectly well recruit them elsewhere," he said.

"They don't have to hire people from the UK system. And they don't have to locate their activities in the UK. That surely has been the big lesson since the EU enlargement."

He added: "Since then I've lost count of the number of times that employers have told me depressing stories about how the skills and employability of their central European - often Polish - recruits compare favourably with those of the domestic labour pool.

"Of course it does not make sense for a whole society to meet its skills needs by bringing in qualified immigrants.
"But it is perfectly rational, and it is certainly possible, for an individual company to behave in this way."

So much for those self serving British university ratings.

dailymail.co.uk/news/article-505294/Skilled-highly-motivated-Poles-push-British-graduates-jobs-queue.html
A J 4 | 1,090
8 Jan 2011  #15
The Polish language is enjoying a growing popularity among residents of Peterborough in England.

Nice! Mutual and positive interest usually generates more chances and opportunities for everyone involved, plus it might help improve the social atmosphere, and bring back some kind of cohesion in the communities.
Jayd562 1 | 5
8 Jan 2011  #16
Lol the mail just happens to be probably the most racist and biased paper in the uk...
ZIMMY 6 | 1,601
8 Jan 2011  #17
Yes, Europe must be Polonized. I'm meeting with the Rich-and-Powerful at midnight at the usual gigantic bonfire and we will continue to infiltrate Anglo culture until we are all one. :)
isthatu2 4 | 2,708
10 Jan 2011  #18
Public finaced courses in Polish,are they taking the p**s? better off spending the money on usefull languages like Mandarin or Spannish. Its the only thing I agree with my towns elected mayor,stop all public financed translation and learning services.

As for this bringing community cohesion...are you kidding,that would be brought about if people who moved here didnt enclave,ghettoise themselves and learnt the local lingo instead.

Which to be fair on Polish people,most do already,so why the "need" for language courses?
spieretti 1 | 31
10 Jan 2011  #19
The Daily Mail. To think a tree died to produce that right-wing shitrag is a sin.


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