Author: Dorota Maszkiewicz

Everyone has trouble sometimes organising time; for all of us, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to work, take care of personal matters, time for family, friends, personal development or just relaxing! It is of course a matter of priorities. What is important to us?

If you are thinking about learning a new language, and especially the Polish language (we highly recommend! :-)), the best way for most people is to attend structured courses. Those Polish language lessons can be individual lessons, organised in a way that suits you and your timetable, or consistent group classes where you embark on your Polish language learning journey with other foreigners who have a passion for learning Polish, too! 

During these structured, group classes at KLUB DIALOGU Polish Language School for Foreigners, you are then obliged to devote time to learning Polish on specific days and at regular times every week. In KLUB DIALOGU, we conduct lessons so that our students get the most out of them. We enjoy using textbooks that are specifically designed to help you along during your learning but we also fully believe in learning by playing, such as board games, interactive online quizzes and other means. These fun games are also a way to interact with your classmates and get your mind off the everyday thoughts of work, university studies and so on. You can actually learn Polish and unwind at the same time! It’s important especially for people, who learn basic Polish and during online Polish courses.

It is perhaps obvious, that in order to enhance the effects of your Polish language classes, it is important to study alone in order to consolidate your knowledge and the learning you have done during courses with the help of your experienced teacher. It is no secret that learning any language isn’t easy, but taking the time to also look through your work done in classroom and, once your confidence allows it, to speak to Polish people in real life scenarios, such as in the supermarket, in a cafe or even with your Polish friends! More ideas include watching TV in Polish or with Polish subtitles (to practise reading skills and understanding), changing social media settings to Polish language, listening Polish online and so on. Doing this means you don’t even have to specifically make time to study alone, as you would be doing those things anyway. It is a fact that self-study enhances your Polish language learning, as well as enables you to move on faster, not being stuck at a certain level of Polish knowledge for longer than you need to be! 

Some people set aside even just 5 minutes a day for self-study. This may seem like very little but, little in this case is better than nothing! Besides, over time, those 5 minutes can always be extended when you realise that learning our wonderful Polish language isn’t actually a chore, but it is enjoyable. It will become a natural part of your daily activities before you know it. It is also important to not be deterred if you think that you aren’t making progress. With learning anything, there will be times when you plateau and times when your knowledge seems to soar. This is, too, the case with learning Polish both during courses and self-learnig, especially when you learn basic Polish. Students can find themselves at the ‘same place’ with their progress for a while, and then suddenly they are speaking with much more fluency and really getting a hand of some more complicated Polish grammar and sentence structures. This is natural, so don’t worry and don’t get frustrated and definitely don’t give up!! You can always express your concerns during lessons and our teachers will with pleasure discuss them with you and help you make a plan of how to effectively study further! The most important thing is to do it regularly and with pleasure. And never, never call it homework, but development work – you do it only for yourself.

During both group and individual classes, you learn important and practical skills to help you live life in Poland. You will be able to order coffee, make an appointment with a doctor or hairdresser, buy something in a shop, order a taxi. Group courses are structured around levels and modules, and all students within a group are on the same level. Some know a little more, some a little less, but general ability is the same. Individual lessons are tailored to a given students needs, be it time of day, length of the lesson or language level. Regardless, learning is always fun and our students see it as time to relax whilst learning, not time for more stress. 

The decision to learn a language is exactly the same as the decision to start any other activity – running, dancing or eating breakfast before leaving the house. Our motivation is what is important. We just have to find this time. If time is really very limited, we can decide to study individually at home – the teacher comes your home and conducts lessons with you there. What could be more comfortable and convenient? There is also the option to learn Polish online individually or in a group. In this case, you needn’t lose time travelling. However, it’s worth remembering that Polish courses at our school are about more than just learning. It is also an opportunity to meet people who are in a similar situation, people from all over the world, an opportunity to exchange views, experiences, and to have interesting discussions. Group activities, especially in a culturally diverse group, are simply fantastic. It’s worth to mention that we, every so often, organise activities outside of the school to give you a chance to further intermingle, as well as use all the knowledge you’ve accumulated in real life situations with others who are at the same level of Polish as you. Definitely worth taking a little time out of your schedule for!  The bottom line is, once you start, you’ve overcome the biggest hurdle. You will start to see your progress and, more than anything else, feel incredibly proud of yourself. You’ll not want to shy away from speaking Polish again; you’ll be speaking and communicating in no time, full of pride that YOU have achieved that! YOU are the one who has taken the time to study Polish, and YOU have really come a long way and learned a skill that will help you in certain situations, and fill you with joy in others. Come to KLUB DIALOGU Polish Language School for Foreigners to immerse yourself in a wonderful language, meet great and interesting people and learn something that you’ll have for life. We can’t wait to share the journey with you.

We know that Polish is said to be a difficult language to learn. Non-native Polish language speakers are often put off by simply hearing this. That’s why it’s always necessary to start the journey of learning Polish with a fresh mindset! At the beginning it can be hard, whether that is a mental thing, having heard the Polish language is difficult for foreigners grammatically, technically or in terms of vocabulary. On the other hand, it can be due to the fact that some people simply don’t have the natural ability to quickly grasp languages (although that is always a barrier that can be broken!).

Once the most difficult part is past you, meaning the beginning of starting learning Polish, satisfaction is instantly met! Catching the first words in Polish conversation you hear, understanding what someone is asking and the first time you respond… it’s a feeling that money really cannot buy, and the determination that was put in to push through those difficult first times was worth it! With us at KLUB DIALOGU Polish Language School for Foreigners, we help you push through barriers from the very beginning with lessons of basic Polish that aren’t only course book based, but also very interactive, with games and fun conversational classes both at school and online. 

How fast one can learn Polish depends on the ability and motivation. We should rather not speak of the time frame, but of the journey itself. Let’s say, after a course consisted of 100 hours of Polish lessons you can deal with general life situations, you can say what you feel and ask about things. After another 100 you can write and read with understanding. After about 500-hour course in total you are able to take B1 Certificate exam. Age shouldn’t be an excuse to start learning a new language from the very beginning, taking into consideration, that online lessons are very convenient.  

Now, we can mention motivation. Motivation is generally more; motivation is always a great place to start but it is never something to rely on. Motivation always comes and goes. It can last seconds, days or months, but determination the thing to always keep in mind. You can go to Polish classes twice a week, even have an every day course of Polish, but if you don’t study alone and practise in real life situations, the likelihood of real progress is minimal. When you have motivation for something for a real reason, such as work-related matters, family, even perfectionism, then you are always inclined to learn faster. At KLUB DIALOGU in Warsaw we arrange outings that include going to shops, museums and different events that involve our students being in situations where they have to speak to native Polish speakers in Polish to practise their Polish in everyday yet calm settings. These methods have been proven to work and help foreigners in learning the Polish language faster. We use all our engagement and experience during individual, group and online courses.

Learning especially basic Polish is often a faster process for someone with Slavic origin, due to some similar grammar styles, phrases and words. This can sometimes be deceptive though, because words can mean something completely different, and even similar grammar concepts can be confusing because they aren’t actually the same. We see daily in KLUB DIALOGU Polish Language School for Foreigners that Slavic people progress faster, but those from other countries like English speaking countries, Spain and Italy, to name a few, can also learn Polish very fast and reach a relatively fluent level within a couple of years, after having started from basic Polish. Living in Poland massively helps in the process of learning our language but now when you can learn Polish online, you can take this advantage and practice from every place on the globe, when you are right now.

Come to KLUB DIALOGU Polish Language School for Foreigners to see for yourself just how fast and effectively you really can learn Polish! It doesn’t have to take years and years; if you are full of passion for languages and have determination, you can really do anything! 🙂 

‘If you can dream it, you can do it!’ – Walt Disney.

At KLUB DIALOGU, we believe that it is never too late to do something for yourself! It is especially never too late to learn Polish. It doesn’t matter how old you are, or how long you live in Poland, if you have already studied somewhere else or if you think that the Polish language is too difficult.

Start learning Polish with us today and you will see the results that will surprise you and others!

We want to help you, so that’s why we have a GREAT PROMOTION for you.

Now, EACH COURSE COSTS ONLY 675zł (instead of 710zł)

Stand out and shine with your knowledge of Polish! It doesn’t have to be perfect right away, but you will definitely get noticed!

The offer is valid from 5th to 16th November 2020.

The Polish language is our passion; we love teaching it to foreigners who are passionate about Polish language and who are determined to learn. Living in Poland, one of the best things someone could do would be learning Polish to at least a conversational level. Of course, many people now speak English and it is possible to get by speaking it, however, in more official circumstances or in every day life, this is sometimes not possible. Given the many positives of learning Polish, why do some people struggle with it? The main reason, it seems, is the fact that Polish is said to be one of the most difficult languages to learn, and having a closed mindset before starting to learn Polish can very often make it difficult to push down barriers, and to find the real passion for our language for all that it is. At KLUB DIALOGU Polish Language School for Foreigners, we know and understand all of the different issues with learning Polish and we are accustomed to helping you break your barriers and guiding you on your journey to falling in love with the Polish language!  

What are some things that are difficult about our language? It’s true, that Polish is made up of some complex grammar structures and difficult pronunciation. This needn’t put someone off delving deep into the world of Polish learning, because once one masters the pronunciation of our special letters and groups of letters, it really isn’t that hard! In Polish, we have six extra letters than the English alphabet, containing nine interesting characters: Ą, Ć, Ę, Ł, Ń, Ó, Ś, Ż and Ź. The diacritical marks are fundamental in pronouncing each of these letters as they all have quite a different sound to what you may expect from the English alphabet. We also mentioned the groups of letters, meaning SZ, CZ, DŻ, DŹ, DZI, RZ etc. Each cluster forms a different sound said as one in a given word. Perhaps it seems overwhelming, but students almost always pick these up very quickly and are able to immediately form sentences and speak with great pronunciation!  

Something that can also throw learners of Polish as a foreign language off guard is that so many words have one diminutive form at least. You may hear them often in more relaxed situations, as they’re used to express affection or friendly vibes. This is also true for Polish names, and family members and friends almost always use these diminutive forms to refer to one another. That is why sometimes it can be confusing to hear someone’s name in a completely different way. It is still the same name, however! For example, the female name Małgorzata can be changed most commonly into Małgosia and Gosia. Joanna into Asia, Krzysztof into Krzysiek and so on (the list could really go on forever. The name Anna can be changed into at least 8 forms! Maybe these things would seem strange or even difficult if you’re a foreigner embarking on your Polish language learning journey, but we promise that this is actually a wonderful aspect of our language! Practically every noun can be changed into a diminutive form!  

As it tends to be known, in Polish we have seven declinations: nominative case, genitive, instrumental, accusative, dative, vocative and locative. It wouldn’t be fair to say that this is easy to learn and doesn’t take practice (both in Polish classes and self-revision and learning), but once these are learnt to a decent level, this is when it is really possible to speak with a level of fluency and confidence in Polish in many different situations. We tend to teach these in detail during the A2 level courses. Free word order, using ‘się’ and other slightly more difficult aspects of Polish are also more intensively taught at this level. This is precisely why it’s worth to stay determined and not give up at the first hurdles of learning Polish, because we can guarantee that once our students continue to be conscientious and put continuous effort in, Polish isn’t as bad as it ‘seems’ and is said to be! It really is the same with learning any foreign language. It might not always be easy but it is most certainly worth it.  

If you’re motivated to learn Polish, join us at KLUB DIALOGU Polish Language School for Foreigners for individual and group courses, that are not only tailored to your needs, but are also informative and what’s more, super fun and make learning seem like a complete pleasure as apposed to a chore! We are looking forward to seeing you to teach you our wonderful language and learn about your culture, too!  

The Polish language is an interesting one – you’ll often hear just how ‘hard’ it is to learn, about the strange grammar rules and and the genders. People often learn Polish due to circumstances, and don’t usually think to pick it as a foreign language to study in general. It’s not often available in universities to study towards a foreign language degree. Even though it might be a bit more difficult than other languages to learn, it isn’t impossible, and it’s a beautiful, mysterious and interesting language that makes up a huge part of our fascinating culture! 

First and foremost, Polish is a Slavic language, which is widely known. More specifically, it belongs to the West Slavic group of Indo-European languages. It is originally derived from Old Polish, and came into use in the 10th century, which is when the Polish state was itself developed. Initially, it was only a spoken language, and came into the written form with the Latin alphabet which was brought about by Christianity. Due to its structure, Polish is classified as an inflectional, synthetic language. The oldest record of single words in Polish is from the 12th century. 

In the beginning, the Polish language had strong influences from Czech, German and Latin. Over some centuries, French influence came into play and, now, like many other European languages, a lot of influence comes from English. In dictionaries, there contains over 130,000 Polish words, with around 20,000 being used daily. 

When learning Polish, admittedly the hardest part is the beginning. It takes a higher level of fluency to be able to hold a conversation in comparison with learning English, for example. Once this barrier has been crossed, it becomes easier and easier to speak and use Polish in daily life. That’s why motivation and especially determination is key when learning Polish. Due to the fact that Polish is similar in some aspects to other Slavic languages, being in the same group after all, it is easier for people of Slavic descent, with a Slavic language as their mother tongue, to learn Polish. This is in comparison with someone who is a native English speaker, or someone from an Asian speaking background. It isn’t impossible, though!

Lauren, who is a native British English speaker and reached B2 level in Polish said, “At the beginning, Polish was difficult. Just the numbers and alphabet were an initial challenge, and it’s easy to see how it can put someone off, even though Polish uses the Latin alphabet. However, as I kept learning and going to classes, it all started to join together and actually make sense. I really like languages, and Polish is really specific for me. I like that it’s complicated, I think it’s really charming, and I like the way it sounds. People say it’s a harsh sounding language, compared to Russian for example, but Polish has it’s own unique appeal.” 

The number of Polish language speakers can be estimated at over 45 million people, of whom about 38 million live in Poland. Polish is used by numerous groups of Poles or people of Polish origin living outside of Poland, including in Great Britain, USA, France, Germany, Australia and Canada to name a few. This shows that Polish can be spoken and used outside of Poland, and within Poland it’s worth to know and speak Polish and not always rely on English. 

One of our most experienced teachers, Ania, said the following: “It’s interesting that in Polish we understand a lot of abstract concepts possessively. ‘Mam na imię (my name is)’, ‘mam 30 lat (I’m 30 years old)’, mam nadzieję (I hope)’. In English there is ‘to be’ or a verb – I hope. 

Do you want to learn Polish? At KLUB DIALOGU Polish Language School for Foreigners, there is myriad opportunity to learn Polish in interesting ways and in a one of a kind setting, at our school with other foreigners from all over the world, individual lessons or even at your home, office or in a cafe. Don’t be put off by what you hear! Our teachers make Polish possible! 

STATE CERTIFICATE IN POLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE, what is it and how to get it?

Why do people even want to learn Polish? – there are a million reasons, and each person has their “own”. However, regardless of personal reasons, as many as 60 million people in the world use the Polish language, of which around 38 million live in Poland. The rest can be found in USA, Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany, Ireland, Brazil and Australia, to name a few. This shows that it is worth learning Polish regardless of whether you live in Poland or abroad.

An important aspect of learning is checking your knowledge and approach to the State Exam for Certificate confirming knowledge of Polish as a foreign language. This exam can be taken at levels B1, B2 and C1, and recently A2 level has been added.

What are the reasons for taking the State Certificate exam? Again – there are many, but it is enough to mention the most important:

Of course, you can also mention the satisfaction of your own achievements!

KLUB DIALOGU School has been preparing its students for passing this exam for many years. How are we doing this?

First of all, the entire curriculum in KLUB DIALOGU is precisely structured. At each stage of learning, the student receives comprehensive knowledge necessary for later, during the exam.

Before the exam, the School organises specialist courses preparing for the exam, and last but not least – KLUB DIALOGU School is an Examination Centre, which means that it has the right to conduct an exam for the B1 State Certificate.

Agata, our teacher and methodologist with over 7 years of experience in teaching Polish and a foreign language knows exactly what it’s like to teach Polish on levels from complete beginner (A0) to more advanced (C1). She, just like all of us, is proud that we’re a Centre of Examination. “All our courses, starting from A0, through A1, A2 and B1 levels, are led taking into account exam requirements, and the fact that students can learn towards B1 and B2 levels in order to pass the exam. What’s more, we have additional courses that solely prepare students towards the B1 exam. This course is appropriate for those students who have already reached B1 level and are preparing for the exam; the course goes through all aspects that can be expected on the exam itself – grammar, speaking, reading, writing and listening. Many of our students have already passed this exam, which is something we are so proud of!”

One of the people that passed the B1 certificate in 2020 is Julia. Julia said the following when she was asked about her experience at KLUB DIALOGU and about the exam itself:

“I will start with the fact that I like to learn foreign languages, and the Polish language course is not my first challenge. I really enjoyed the general Polish language course. Well-established, friendly relations in the group and great teachers were of great importance here. But it was time to prepare for the exam, so I had to change the nature of the class. I started a preparatory course. I believe, that  exam preparation is important and necessary. Classes were easy and natural. In the preparatory process we went through almost all common exam tasks. Now not only do I advise, but I also strongly recommend a similar preparation course to successfully pass the exam.”

Sandra, an experienced teacher of KLUB DIALOGU has led courses that specifically prepare for the B1 examination. When asked about whether running such a course is different to other courses, she explained: “The course is dedicated to students who want to take the B1 exam, so the structure of the course should differ from the one used for regular courses. Classes are longer, and all the exam elements are gone through each lesson.” She added with a smile, “Perhaps students are more tolerant of the language itself and are able to accept most of the language exceptions that appear at this level.”

When asked if she enjoys running these kinds of courses, and whether there’s a greater sense of pressure to ensure students to well to learn and remember everything to pass the exam, she expressed that, “students at this level are already able to speak the language really well. This allows you to conduct cool discussions or even take up controversial topics. Positive reinforcement always works, but the most important thing is the student’s attitude and personal commitment.”

It is worth mentioning that using any additional learning tools, such as quizzes, role-playing, field exercises, etc. work on all levels, and it’s important to make classes as lively and interesting as possible, no matter if it’s a course to prepare for an exam or not.

So, once the exam session comes round and students who have learnt with us take it, we are eagerly waiting for the news of how it went. Just like all of us, Sandra explained how when we get the news that students have passed the exam, it’s a really great feeling, for them, but also for us! “It is a great pleasure to receive such information from students. There are usually also thank you emails that greatly motivate you to continue working, and student results arouse admiration and satisfaction.”

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KLUB DIALOGU Polish Language School wants to share the Polish language and culture with you. Therefore we`d like to encourage you to learn by yourself. That is why we have created a BLOG – READ & LEARN AT HOME, with texts / exercises / audio at levels A1/A2/B1/B2. New posts appear systematically. In addition, they contain, at the end, short questions to check your correct understanding of the text. You can leave comments, write to us with correct answers, or call with questions. Using this BLOG is for free!

How to use it? If you do not see all posts, you can search them by the level (‘POZIOM’) you are interested in or click ‘WIĘCEJ POSTÓW’ (‘more posts’) at the end of the Page. Enjoy yourself!

Stay with us – Polish? We made it possible! –

June, 19th (Friday), 6 PM

FREE  OF CHARGE, TRIAL LESSON

You have probably thought very deeply about taking up Polish, because you know that this is something that can level you up in everyday life in Poland.

It usually takes some time, however, to transform that thought into… performance.

During free of charge, trial lesson we demonstrate that the Polish language is not as difficult as it`s said to be and you will develop many useful skills.

No one achieves mastery alone. You need a teacher. A coach. Just come. Ask your questions. Together we’ll determine if it’s right for you!

KLUB DIALOGU has been conducting online Polish lessons, which have proven to be very successful, but finally, WE’RE RETURNING TO SAFE LESSONS AT SCHOOL!

What does BACK TO SCHOOL mean to us?

You can still learn the Polish language online, but if you prefer lessons at school – we are here for you!

The first Polish film dates back to 1908, but Polish cinema really started to come to life in the late 1950s. Since then, and especially in the last decade, the Polish film industry has really flourished, having been nominated for and receiving prestigious awards.

One of the most important names associated with contemporary Polish cinema is Paweł Pawlikowski. Paweł Pawlikowski began his career in the West of Europe as a documentary film maker for the BBC. He made his debut in the film “Last resort” in 2000. His later films are “Summer of Love” from 2004 and “Woman of the Fifth District”.

In 2013, he returned to Poland to make a film called “Ida” about the turbulent fate of a nun in a Catholic order. The picture has been amazingly successful around the world and has been showered with many awards – including the first Oscar for Polish cinema.

Pawlikowski’s next film, which brought him an Oscar nomination in the category ‘foreign language film’ and ‘directing’ is Cold War from 2018.  It is a romantic and sad story of impossible love – the young dancer Zula and pianist Wiktor against the background of the Cold War waged between the countries of Western Europe and the Communist Bloc.

KLUB DIALOGU Polish Language School for Foreigners organised watching the film “Cold War” as part of its original program “Meetings with Culture” to watch a film in Polish with English subtitles with its foreign language students.  After the film, there was a discussion during which everyone could share their impressions and feelings, and as a consequence better understand Polish culture and language.

Another name in Polish cinema worth mentioning is Wojciech Smarzowski. He is considered to be the most interesting Polish filmmaker at present. The movie “The Wedding” in 2004 immediately attracted the attention of critics. Another film “Bad House” (2009) meant that he began to be seen as a mature artist with a perfect workshop and his own unique style. Smarzowski’s subsequent films consistently depict a world full of pathology, corruption, cruelty and degeneration. These quite difficult to perceive images have gained huge crowds of admirers and critical acclaim. Worth recommended are: “Rose” (2011), “Drogówka” (2012), “Pod Mocnym Aniołem” (2014), “Volhynia” (2016) and “Clergy ” (2018).

Why is Polish cinema so interesting and why does it bring such international recognition? Polish films are often very picturesque, whether in colour or completely black and white, with beautiful cinematography as well as well-picked soundtracks which massively complement the film itself. These aspects, as well as the terrific actors and actresses, really pull the films together into a piece of artwork and create an endearing and emotional experience for the audience.

KLUB DIALOGU Polish Language School has its own list of the most interesting films of contemporary Polish cinema worth watching, for Poles and foreigners alike: It includes: “Day of the Freak” (M. Koterski, 2002), “Edi” (P. Trzaskalski, 2002), “Pręgi” (M. Piekorz, 2004), “Plac Zbawiciel” (K. Krauze, 2006), “Reverse” (B. Lankosz, 2009), “In Darkness” (2012) and “Pokot” (2017)  based on the novel by Nobel Prize winner Olga Tokarczuk – both directed by Agnieszka Holland, “Body / Body” (M. Szumowska, 2015), “Gods” (2014) and “Best” (2017) – both by Łukasz Palkowski, “Last Family” (J. Matuszyński, 2016), “Silent Night” (P. Domalewski, 2017), “Carte Blanche” (J. Lusiński, 2015), “Tower, a bright day” (J. Szelc, 2017) and “Corpus Christi “(2019) by Jan Komasa, nominated for an ‘Oscar’ this year.

Around a year ago, KLUB DIALOGU Polish Language School initiated the event called “Filmowy Piąteczek” (“Friday Film”) which was a monthly occurrence. We set up our own small cinema in the school and played Polish movies with English subtitles and proceeded to discuss the films afterwards together. Our students really enjoy and appreciate these events; it’s the perfect way to practise Polish as well as watch beautiful films and immerse in Polish culture and cinematography!

POLISH FILMS NOMINATED FOR AN ‘OSCAR’:

1963 „Nóż w wodzie” Roman Polański;

1967 „Faraon” Jerzy Kawalerowicz;

1975 “Potop” Jerzy Hoffman;

1976 “Ziemia Obiecana” Andrzej Wajda;

1977 “Noce i Dnie” Jerzy Antczak;

1980 “Panny z Wilka” Andrzej Wajda;

1982 “Człowiek z Żelaza” Andrzej Wajda;

2008 “Katyń” Andrzej Wajda;

2012 “W ciemności” Agnieszka Holland;

2015 “Ida” Paweł Pawlikowski;

2019 “Zimna Wojna” Paweł Pawlikowski;

2020 “Boże Ciało” Jan Komasa.