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12 Things You Should Have in Mind While Learning Polish

by Kevin Nelson

Introduction

Let us carefully take a look at some of the key issues to keep in mind while learning the Polish language. The methods mentioned here are sure to assist all individuals in focusing on the most appropriate tools and techniques for learning the language. It so happens that the process is far less complicated than most people think.

It can certainly be as easy or hard as all other languages. However, describing Polish as hard is a notion normally spread by proud and unwelcoming natives. Therefore, for foreigners who wish to learn the language, such comments should be ignored. Personally I think that Polish is a beautiful and captivating language and there are a variety of reasons why anyone should learn it.

1. Identify your main reason(s) for learning Polish

Before starting any task in life, it is most important to identify your intended outcome. The same method applies when learning the Polish language. Different people may have different reasons why they would love to add Polish speaking to their resumes. Examples of these may be for travel, to pursue career goals, or simply the desire to keep learning other languages.

Learning Polish helps travelers and tourists communicate with Polish people. For tourists this is truly advantageous as it helps them understand the culture and history of the people. Besides, it also offers them a sense of responsibility and helps them in their travels around Poland.

Choosing to learn Polish may also be in order to pursue career goals. This is because it enables people to apply for jobs based in the USA where there is a high demand for qualified and skilled Polish teachers and translators. In Poland vacancies may arise in areas such as in pharmaceuticals, banking, and manufacturing.

2. There are no articles in Polish

For non-English speakers who wish to learn the language, a challenge normally arises in the use of articles. These include ‘the’, ‘a’, and ‘an’. However, in English use of articles does not change the intended meaning and the statement, either wrong or right, is still understandable. Interestingly, a majority of non-native English speakers still struggle with applying the rules of articles. In other languages also, the rules of using articles change more frequently and this may be quite challenging to those learning a particular language. However, the process of learning the use of articles is quite simplified in the Polish language. It is, hence, easier for people who struggle with use of articles while learning new languages. The language contains no use of articles, and hence, there is little to worry about.

3. In Polish word order can be flexible

In English word order is used to show the role words play in a sentence. If you change the word order, you change the meaning. For example, in the sentence 'John loves Mary' John is the subject (the one who loves) and Mary is the object (the one who is loved). If you change the word order to 'Mary loves John' then Mary becomes the subject and John the object.

In Polsh words have different endings or inflections which indicate their role in a sentence. So 'John loves Mary' is 'Janek kocha Marię' and 'Mary loves John' is 'Maria kocha Janka' - Janek and Maria are Polish versions of John and Mary. If you arrange the words in a different order, the meaning stays the same, but the emphasis may change. Some words orders are more common than others, and some are only used in poetry.

4. There are few verb tenses in Polish

The English language contains a lot of verb tenses, namely sixteen. Some of these include:

If you were to count tenses using the same method in Polish, you will find that there are only five. The Polish language categorizes them into two aspects and three tenses.

5. The Polish alphabet makes learning the language easier

In English, it can be difficult to know how to pronunce a word from its spelling. For example, let us take ‘oo’ in words such as food, book, and floor. In these three words the pronunciation of those letters is different and you just have to memorise it. However, in Polish the connection between speech and writing is much more transparent, so once you learn how to pronounce the letters, you can, in theory, pronounce any word, and when you can write any word you hear.

6. A lot of Polish vocabulary comes from Latin roots

The Latin language has a rich history in Poland, mainly because of the Roman Catholic church. Polish and English have borrowed many words from Latin, so English speakers learning Polish can find some familiar words. For example:

7. Learning Polish can help you to understanding other Slavic languages

Another reason that makes learning Polish so exciting is that it enables you to understand other Slavic languages to varying degrees. Kashubian and Slovak are the closest to Polish, and Czech is quite close. Other Slavic languages have quite similar vocabulary and grammar.

8. Skype has made learning Polish easier

A lot of Polish classes are found through Skype and other online language learning sites. Tutoring is available at affordable prices, and it's possible to find people to practise your Polish with as well.

9. There are a variety of Polish learning resources

There are a number of online resources you can use to help you learn Polish. Some are free, others provide some free lessons, then you have to subscribe.

10. It's a huge personal accomplishment

The Polish language is not an easy one to learn or master, so if you manage to do so you will feel a sense of personal accomplishment. As Polish is studied by fewer people than popular languages like French and Spanish, it will make you stand out, and will be an asset on your resume.

11. Speaking Polish may help you trace your family history

Polish people are found in many countries across the world. In the USA, for example, it is estimated that around 10 million people have Polish ancestors. Hence, if you have Polish roots, and want to learn about your family history, knowing basic Polish will help you to do online searches, and to identify dates personal and occupation names, and addresses.

Also, if you are really serious about learning about your Polish roots, you can visit archives and record offices based in Poland. Here, if you speak Polish, you are likely to be served quickly because of the improved understanding between you and the staff.

Some areas in the USA such as Chicago have managed to keep Polish culture alive. Therefore, for people who may not be of Polish origin, learning the language helps in understanding the way of life of the community around them.

12. Remember to stay positive

Compared to other European languages such as Spanish, French or Italian, learning Polish is not so popular or common. As such, it has led to the notion that studying the language is hard. However, this idea should be ignored. Similar to learning any other language, Polish requires motivation, time and use of an effective method.

Conclusion

Kevin Nelson

It’s important for writers to know the Polish language as this improves their writing qualifications and essay writing skills. However, this is not to say that learning Polish only helps writers. Think of it this way, by learning the language, you broaden your horizons, open your mind to a new culture, and to different ways of thinking, and it makes traveling to Slavic and other European countries much easier.

About the writer

Kevin Nelson started his career as a research analyst and has changed the sphere of activity to writing services and content marketing. Except writing, he spends a lot of time reading psychology and management literature searching for the keystones of motivation ideas. Feel free to connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin.

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