Test Driving Languages – Polish

320px-Flag_of_Poland.svgMy first Slavic language. Oh boy, what am I getting myself into? This language intimidated me before I even tried attempting to study a bit of it. All those szcz strings and everything else. Unlike many other Slavic languages, I can read it without learning a new alphabet. I went into this believing it was going to be difficult. So, let’s see what I really thought about it.

Ja jestem mężczyzną.

— I am a man.

Alphabet

It’s basically like the Roman alphabet, but with an additional 9 letters, which are basically Roman letters with accents or other things attached to them. I could get used to it.

Pronunciation

I’m lost. Well, not completely, but just six lessons doesn’t really help me figure out what they’re saying. I can’t listen and accurately type the words. This will take a lot of time to get used to. Some of the sounds don’t logically go with the letters I see, from an English centred brain.

Grammar

The good things are that it’s subject-verb-object. Thank you! Also, there are no articles. That’s easy! And that means no gendered nouns. Also, present simple and progressive are the same.

The difficult things are that the verb conjugations are a bit tough to learn. And this language has cases. Seven cases, to be exact. I really have no idea what to expect there. Plural words have different suffixes, so I haven’t been able to figure those out yet.  What am I getting myself into?

Overall Impression

Difficult. Irish was difficult. Turkish was difficult. This is difficult. I don’t recognise a single word. I kept forgetting words. My retention was quite low for this, since I had to keep checking what the words were. I couldn’t remember how to spell the words. I couldn’t even pronounce them if I looked at them. Simply put, this is going to take a huge amount of effort to study.

I still have Ukrainian and Russian to do. They use the Cyrillic alphabet, which I will have to learn before tackling the languages. They’re also Slavic, so I’m thinking they’re even more difficult than Polish!

Do you speak Polish? Are you interested in or are learning Polish? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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9 thoughts on “Test Driving Languages – Polish”

  1. It’s true, there is only one present tense, but past and future have simple and continuous tenses. We do not have articles, but nouns have genders, 3 actually, just like in German. The 3rd one is neutral (‘to’). Applies to word such as ‘child’ (dziecko), ‘animal’ (zwierzę)

    Try to listen to the Polish radio. Watch some Polish movies with subtitles. Maybe Disney movies? It’s a great way to make your ears get used to any language. Good luck 🙂 And don’t take on a few slavic languages in the same time. Choose one, or they will all mash up in your head! They are really very close to each other.

    1. Thanks for the information. Definitely helpful 🙂

      I don’t plan on studying more than one Slavic language at once. I agree, too confusing. I will focus on Russian, though. But that’s because my grandfather was born there. My aunt is trying to find information about him and his family history, and it’s quite difficult. Maybe by studying Russian, I can help a bit.

      1. Sounds like a plan. Good luck then! 🙂 For family matters I recommend https://www.myheritage.com/ I have an account there and it’s really helpful. If you learn the Russian version of Cyrillic alphabet you’ll be ready to do your research there. 😀 (Some data might not be available in Latin alphabet if you are trying to find people with Russian surnames)

    1. It’ll be a long time until I attempt to study Polish seriously. I still have to finish French and Spanish, then German, Norwegian, and Russian. And there are others I want to do before Polish, like Italian, Irish, Portuguese, and Greek.

  2. Russian’s super hard. Even after putting a ton of hours into reading Cyrillic I’m still slightly slow and it takes a ton of brainpower. In hindsight i would mostly stick to latin-alphabet languages.

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