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! 🙂
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!
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! –
Did you talk to someone a moment ago, or maybe you have just read a fragment of a book and you don’t remember much of it? Do you want to say a word and do you have it at the tip of your tongue, but you’re giving up? Regardless of age, it’s worth working on it, because good concentration is one of the elements that guarantee effective learning of the Polish language.
Concentration? What is it?
Concentration is the ability to direct and focus attention on a given thought, specific issue, phenomenon, object or situation. This is a very important element affecting everyday functioning and learning.
How to improve concentration?
- ‘Mindfulness training’
‘Mindfulness training’ is a technique that aims to force the highest level of focus by changing the way you think. It consists in the fact that we cannot ponder what has already passed or worry about the future, but rather react to the ‘here and now’. Thanks to this, we can not only effectively improve concentration, but also achieve emotional balance and the ability to relax.
Visualisation is a great way to improve concentration by visualising and keeping simple images for a moment. As you train your mind, it’s a good idea to start lengthening your time and choose more complex images so that visualisation becomes a multi-sensory method over time. It combines visual sensations with a sense of touch, taste, hearing and even smell. How to use this method in learning Polish? Well, it’s worth to visualise entire sentences in a given grammatical structure, and then ‘transfer’ the example to another context. Sounds complicated? That’s just the way it appears!
- Or maybe writing your own abstracts?
This is a very interesting method, because while creating your own mind map or writing notes, it forces focus. It’s also a great way to remember a large amount of information from a program, book or article. In addition, it allows us to choose the most important messages that will be useful later. Another advantage of this method is working on the ability to provide detailed and concise information and your own thoughts. It is certainly a solution that is worth applying while learning Polish!
- Take a break
The brain is an organ, not a machine, and it needs rest during intensive work. This is especially evident when we start to err or run our thoughts from the task at hand. Then give yourself a moment, stand up and do some exercises. The brain will rest and be oxygenated. A good solution is also reaching for a glass of water and some food providing the necessary energy. So remember about the break, and you will surely return to your activities with new strength.
- Eliminate the “distractions”!
Many of us are looking for beneficial methods that will improve and teach concentration. We often forget, however, that there are quite simple ways. To improve concentration, especially when learning Polish, it is worth to turn off the “distractions”, which include, among others, telephone, email, all messengers and devices that generate unpleasant sounds for us. As you know, not every task can be performed with music, even if it’s quiet!
Focus on one thing only. Multitasking is a desirable feature, but it can be a hindrance to achieving your goal. Trying to do several things at once, especially while learning Polish, does not allow you to achieve a good effect, but only extends the time spent on this activity.
- Try diet, physical activity and sleep
This is a ‘magic three’ affecting the condition of the human body. Why? As you know, the diet of each of us should be varied, because food affects the body and mind. Supplementing the diet should be drinking at least 2 liters of water a day. An inseparable element of a good or balanced diet is the condition resulting from regular physical activity. The cyclical nature of this perfectly oxygenates the body and also has a beneficial effect on our figure. In turn, sleep is a time of regeneration, rest for both the body and the brain. This is another, very key element undoubtedly affecting the absorption of new information while learning Polish. Avoid a fast food diet. Products containing a large amount of sugar or salt, as well as saturated fat negatively affect the work of the brain and nervous system. Excessive alcohol consumption or drinking too often also weakens your ability to concentrate.
I started learning Polish in the summer of 2017. I heard it was going to be a “challenge”. In fact, that’s all I ever heard, but honestly this was just background noise to me. This fact became important as I delved deeper into learning Polish.
Polish is a “category III” language, meaning it’s grouped with languages such as Albanian, Turkish, Hebrew and Finnish (as well as other Slavic languages) as being a language “with significant linguistic and/or cultural differences from English.” I’m rather glad I somewhat went into learning Polish with an open mind and didn’t listen to all those “it’ll be hard” comments, because I surely wouldn’t be where I am today if I had.
I started essentially from the beginner level, and once I started I just wanted to continuously improve. The thing is, is that I’ve actually never learned another language before. By chance I found the Polish Language School KLUB DIALOGU in Warsaw. That`s how my adventure with Polish has begun.
It was a slow process for a while but after 1.7 years I got to B2 level and now I can understand and speak confidently in many situations. It gives me such a huge amount of satisfaction to know that in cafes, shops, in work and university I am not recognised as a foreigner.
It’s been said in psychological studies that speaking 2 or more languages is a “great asset to the cognitive process” and that brains of bilingual people “operate differently” than mono linguists, which is something that can have several mental benefits.
In general, it’s said that learning a second language can: boost brain power, improve ones first language, improve performance in other academic areas and provide better career choices.
Are these things true? I’d be really interested in your comments as I do have my own opinions from my own experiences!
I do believe that it’s so easy to just go along speaking English especially in big cities in Poland. But there are a lot of benefits to learning the Polish language and if one is lucky enough to be faced with the opportunity, it’s so worthwhile to do so. Many doors are opened. The point really is to learn the language, though, to at least an upper intermediate or advanced level, in order to feel that confidence and be able to fluently communicate.
Boosts brain power: Learning Polish for me has introduced an entire new way of thinking and an intricate system of quite complex rules, pronunciation and grammar. Having to very often switch between languages has been a skill I’ve had to acquire, which really hasn’t been easy (I don’t want this to seem like it’s been a breeze for me. Believe me, there have been times where I thought I just can’t carry on!) However, learning this skill has been a lot of fun as opposed to a burden. It helps me think ‘on my feet’ and think fast.
Improves first language: With this I somewhat agree, because I have learnt a lot about my native language, which is English, since I really had to research and learn some of the grammar structures in my own language to be able to understand why some things are as they are in Polish. On the other hand, actually, once I became more fluent in Polish and had to speak in this language more, I started to (and still do) get mixed up with words and sentence structures in both English and Polish. Sometimes I don’t even know or remember a word in English but in Polish it comes immediately to my mind.
Improves performance in other academic areas: Learning new languages improves cognitive skills; studies have shown that benefits of learning new languages include higher scores on standardised tests, in mathematics, reading comprehension and vocabulary by multilingual compared to monolingual students.
Learning foreign languages, for a lot of people, is testing, but fortunately, in the process it gives a lot satisfaction. People always appreciate it when you speak in their language even if it’s tough and you struggle a lot. Don’t worry, they are super eager to help you.
Don’t break down if at the beginning Polish seems scary and difficult! Step by step, sooner or later everyone is able to grasp it. Find the right school where you feel comfortable but a bit challenged. I found my place in KLUB DIALOGU Polish Language School in Warsaw, but you can find the right place for yourself, or perhaps it will find you 🙂 I wish you the best of luck!
At the end of last year, KLUB DIALOGU Polish Language School opened a brand new course called ‘LEVEL UP 500’. This drew a lot of attention quite quickly, but perhaps you’re wondering why? What does this name even mean?
The aim of this course is for the students enrolled to learn the Polish language from A0 level (a complete beginner in Polish) to B1 level (upper intermediate) in 500 hours. What’s more, these hours are to be done within 6 months of intensive learning, shared into 5 semesters, each of which are subsequently at a higher level, so students at different levels can also join this course as it’s going along at the beginning of a new semester. Each class is 4 hours long in total, and they take place at our school every week day.
The LEVEL UP 500 PROGRAM has now a very diverse and super interesting range of students, and we love to see them so eager to learn our language! A lot of our students are always interested in getting to B1 level or higher in order to communicate effectively in Polish and potentially write the state exam. It is human nature to be impatient 😉 so the fact that the Level Up 500 course boasts getting from A0 – B1 in 6 months was something that really drew attention, and still is!
Why is this course so fascinating and drawing so much attention from learners of Polish as a foreign language?
Ania, one of the two wonderful teachers running this course, who is very experienced and skilled in her field says she really enjoys teaching these lessons as you can “really immerse yourself in the Polish language 100%” and the fact it is so fast-paced means the results of effective teaching can be seen very quickly. A class that lasts 4 hours a day doesn’t have to be boring and spent only sitting down!”. And she adds, “creativity is very important being a teacher, and planning these lessons takes time to make them as interesting and engaging as possible. For example, the other day we just all stood up and played football together. We all said a positive sentence in Polish and passed the ball to one another. It was a fun and energizing way to take a break from sitting!”
Ania explains that during such a course, it’s necessary to strongly observe students to see how they learn, as everyone has somewhat different learning styles and needs. A challenge is to be able to run a class that benefits all in an equal way, but during classes they’re especially longer than others, this is more possible as there’s more time to use different methods. The biggest motivator is progress, for both the students and teachers!!
Mailing from Venezuela is one of our students who joined us for an intensive summer course, and she has now gone on to learning in our LEVEL UP 500 PROGRAM. For her, it’s all about practise. After completing a semester in this PROGRAM, which she admitted finding difficult sometimes, she says she has really improved this time around. “I can see the difference, and it’s very obvious.” Even though this semester is now a higher level than before, I think I just had to get used to this way and pace of learning. Now I have really got the hang of it and I’m enjoying it so much.”
So far this specialised program has proven to be a big success, and we’re so happy and proud to see improvement in our students and the achievements of our teachers.
I have a question! Would you like to communicate quickly and effectively with Poles in Polish, to know what Poles are talking about at work, on the street and in the company? Would you like to learn Polish from scratch in 6 months? If your answer is ‘YES’, come to KLUB DIALOGU Polish Language School and sign up for the Intensive ‘LEVEL UP 500’ PROGRAM.
We start as early as 1st October 2019.
Do not hesitate any longer! Join us and feel free in Poland!
COURSES & PRICES –> LEVEL UP 500 PROGRAM
As with every year, our ever-growing Polish language school KLUB DIALOGU opened its summer schedule to allow our students, new and old, to take part in intensive group courses that wouldn’t normally be available during the year. These courses were split into day and evening classes, both with their own unique appeal.
Our DAYTIME COURSES were very intensive, 3 hour a day classes from Monday to Friday, split into three groups depending on Polish level: ‘Introduction to Polish’, ‘Beginners’ and ‘Intermediate Conversations’. These classes focused on Polish language basics ranging from levels A0 to A2. The aim of the ‘Introduction to Polish’ and ‘Beginners’ courses was to very intensely and efficiently form a Polish foundation to build upon by using textbooks and extra materials in the classroom. Engaging activities in class and outside during the outstanding visit in National Museum was an essential aspect of the teaching process. The ‘Intermediate Conversations’ class was a group for those on A2 level and can engage with others in different situations and conversation. It was a purely interactive and conversational class that involved a lot of imagination and creativity in the group.
During the evenings we hosted our EVENING MEETINGS classes which comprised a totally different timetable and approach. It was a combination of grammar along with speaking skills, general confidence boosting and many attention-drawing topics.
What’s more, on some Fridays we held “Filmowy piąteczek” where we watched Polish movies and there were discussion at the end. On Wednesdays there were phonetics classes which were suitable for all levels and helped with pronunciation, held by one of our trained speech therapists. It’s no secret that Polish has many difficult sounds that’re very hard for foreigners to get their head around, but these classes, in a fun and engaging way, step-by-step helped to overcome many of these difficulties. Precise pronunciation is the key to speaking Polish as a foreign language confidently and understandably.
EVENING MEETINGS lessons took place most evenings from June through to August. Students were free to choose which classes they wanted to attend, which is where the flexibility aspect of this year’s summer schedule came in.
EASTER – in the Christian religion, Easter is the most important feast, and combined with traditional Polish ritual, it is a very joyful and colourful holiday. The most important symbols of this Christmas in Poland are in Polish): PISANKI, ŚWIĘCONKA and ŚMIGUS DYNGUS.
PAINTED EGGS (PISANKI) – these are extravagantly painted eggs that formerly protected from misfortunes and was a symbol of fertility, new life and fertility. Depending on the region of Poland, the eggs are decorated in different ways: they are painted with paints, wax, covered with coloured paper or rushes or wool.
HOLY SATURDAY (18 – 20/04) – Christians celebrate food. The church is given ’ŚWIĘCONKI’, or baskets, in which there are: hams, sausages, cakes, bread and ‘Easter eggs’, meaning painted eggs.
EASTER SUNDAY (21/04) – In the morning, families sit together at the Easter table, set with various meats, fish and cakes. Before meals, we share the egg and give best wishes.
EASTER MONDAY (22/04) – this is the second day of Easter (ŚMIGUS DYNGUS), which is associated with fun and … water! From early morning, especially in the villages, specially dressed boys walk from house to house, scaring the residents and pouring a bucket of water over them. This custom has also settled in cities, so do not be surprised on this day if you are, even accidentally, covered with water on the street!
Learn Polish with us, so that you will learn as well the language and many interesting things about Polish culture and custom!