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gramatyka polskiego

Polish language grammar is largely associated with suffixes – should I be afraid?

For a large group of students, one of the most difficult aspects of Polish grammar is declension, that is – the changing endings of nouns and adjectives. Why does one word have multiple versions? There are languages – for example, the most popular language in the world – English, in which we can use one word in many ways, e.g. ‘coffee’ – I like coffee. I don’t like coffee. I dream about coffee. With a coffee in hand across the world. So in any sentence construction a given word is used in the same form.

In Polish grammar, however, the situation looks different. In Polish the word ‘kawa’ (coffee) – in those same constructions like above in English is like this: ‘Lubię kawę’ (accusative – I like coffee). ‘Nie lubię kawy’ (genitive – I don’t like coffee). ‘Z kawą przez świat’ (instrumental – with a coffee in hand across the world).

This is all the fault of declension, meaning the variation by 7 ‘cases’: Nominative, Genitive, Accusative, Dative, Instrumental, Locative, and Vocative, in Polish: Mianownik, Dopełniacz, Biernik, Celownik, Narzędnik, Miejscownik, and Wołacz.

Polish grammar: Accusative – it isn’t so bad after all!

Today we’ll focus on one of the ‘cases’ – the one we use when saying: I like coffee, I have coffee, coffee please, I drink coffee (lubię kawę, mam kawę, proszę kawę, piję kawę).

We use the accusative form after verbs such as: to have, like, eat, drink, buy, read, know, watch, ask, order, visit, want, prefer, adore (mieć, lubić, jeść, pić, kupować, czytać, znać, oglądać, prosić, zamawiać, zwiedzać, mieć ochotę na, preferować, uwielbiać).

In Polish language grammar, the feminine forms in the accusative take the following forms: Lubię czarną kawę. Mam czerwoną toyotę. Piję zieloną herbatę. Jem zupę pomidorową. (I like black coffee. I have a red Toyota. I drink green tea. I eat tomato soup). So the noun ends in “” and the adjective with “”.

In masculine and neutral form, the noun and adjective remain in their infinitive form. For example: ‘duży dom’ (big house – masculine form) – kupuję duży dom (I’m buying a big house); ‘nowy samochód’ (new car – masculine) –  on ogląda nowy samochód (he’s looking at a new car); ‘zimne piwo’ (cold beer – neutral form) – oni zamawiają zimne piwo (they’re ordering a cold beer); ‘małe radio’ (small radio – neutral) – mam małe radio (I have a small radio). Ah! It’s not complicated!

But in Polish grammar, the exceptions are the most important…

A small problem arises when our friend says: ‘Mam ochotę na hamburgera!’ (I fancy a hamburger), ‘Preferuję pomidora niż ogórka!’ (I prefer tomato over cucumber)’. How?? Wait a moment! Hamburger, tomato, cucumber are all in the masculine form in Polish! So why don’t we say: ‘Mam ochotę na hamburger’, ‘Preferuję pomidor niż ogórek’?!? We’ll explain! 😊 In Polish grammar, there is a group of inanimate masculine nouns (things, not people) that take the ending “-a” in the accusative. Most of them are borrowings from other languages.

The exceptions are:

  1. Food, e.g.:– hamburger’ – Mam ochotę na hamburgera.
  2. Fruits and vegetables, e.g.: ‘banan’, ananas’, ‘arbuz’ (banana, pineapple, watermelon)– Na śniadanie zawsze jem banana. Uwielbiam ananasa i arbuza. (For breakfast I always eat banana. I adore pineapple and watermelon).
  3. Car brands, e.g.: ‘mercedes’, ford’ – Mój kolega kupił mercedesaMarek ma forda. (My friend bought a Mercedes. Marek has a Ford).
  4. Currencies, e.g.: ‘dolar’, ‘funt’ (dollar, pound)– Mam tylko dolara. Pożycz mi jednego funta. (I only have a dollar. Lend me a pound).
  5. Dances, e.g.: ‘walc’  (Waltz) – Oni pięknie tańczą walca angielskiego. (They dance the English Waltz beautifully).
  6. Games, e.g.: ‘squash’, ‘golf’ – Czy lubisz grać w squasha? Często gram w golfa. (Do you like playing squash? I often play golf).
  7. Substances, e.g. ‘papieros’, ‘szampan’(cigarette, champagne) – Palę papierosa. On pije szampana. (I’m smoking a cigarette. He’s drinking champagne).

Conclusion: Polish language grammar is not that scary, and the Polish language course at KLUB DIALOGU School is a great place to practice.

Accusative isn’t so bad after all 😊. Sometimes, we simply have to organise and consolidate our knowledge. The Polish language course at KLUB DIALOGU School is the right place to not only repeat and systematise this knowledge, but also practice and polish the grammatical structures of the Polish language. You can find out more about accusative (biernik) HERE.

unusual-polish-easter

UNUSUAL EASTER 2022 IN POLISH

Easter – is the most important Christian holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, i.e. the victory of life over death. What an eloquent symbol in 2022, in the 21st century, when an unjust war is being waged in the center of Europe, in Ukraine. A war in which one Slavic and Christian state – Putin’s Russia, sheds the blood of its brother Slavs, Christians – Ukrainians.  

Yet although Poles do not experience hostility themselves, it is an extremely difficult experience for us. Being both Slavs and Christians, we consider freedom and peace to be the most important values ​​of the modern world. 

It is so difficult to concentrate on preparing for Easter now, knowing that millions of people have lost all their belongings, and often the roof over their heads. That is why we want to dedicate this time to our Ukrainian brothers and sisters, surrounding them with support, love, and whatever everyone can offer in their charity. 

Traditional Easter in Poland

In Poland, Easter consists of a number of events. You probably noticed on Sunday 10th April, many people were walking with green or coloured twigs in their hands. These are EASTER PALMS – a symbol of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Let them, this year, be a symbol of the triumphant Ukrainian flag over a free Ukraine!

Saturday 16th April is a special time of blessing food in the church. On this day, Christians prepare baskets full of food. They include bread, cold cuts, eggs, salt, pepper, and cake. They also put a lamb in the basket made of bread or sugar. However, in each region of Poland, the decoration and composition of Easter baskets differ from each other.

Traditionally, we celebrate Easter on two days: Sunday and Monday. This year, when we sit down at the table, our thoughts will be directed to Ukraine, and our wishes have one word: FREEDOM.  

Holidays in the Orthodox rite, the religion of which are our Ukrainian brothers and sisters, will begin a week later. May it be a peaceful holiday, free from threats and fear for loved ones, in an independent country under the blue and yellow flag. 

Let this holiday be not only a triumph of life over death in a symbolic dimension, but also a victory of PEACE over WAR in the here and now! 

polish-for-ukrainiens

2 years of the pandemic did not put us in such shock, disorientation, and anger as 2 weeks of the war in Ukraine caused by Putin’s Russia has ….

WE SAY ‘NO’ TO WAR! And we are not passively standing by watching. I am very proud of and thankful for the incredible commitment shown by the entire team of our Polish Language School for Foreigners KLUB DIALOGU. We talk a lot about how to help meaningfully. And our conversations result in action: 

# We have launched a fundraiser that goes directly to a proven foundation run by people from Ukraine. This foundation directs appropriate help at a given moment directly to people in need; 

# We invited Ukrainian families to our homes, providing them with shelter and support; 

# Our teacher of Polish, as a coordinator and translator, travels with truck convoys to the Polish-Ukrainian border to coordinate the reloading of parcels with gifts; 

# Our office coordinator organises collections and transports of military, medical, and humanitarian items. These deliveries have already reached Kharkiv and Suma! 

# We bought food and hygiene products for infants and children from the funds raised by the team of KLUB DIALOGU School – the delivery has already reached the needy; 

# We make food for Ukrainians who come to the Central Station, who are tired and hungry after a very long journey;

# We organised a free Polish language course called ‘Necessary in Poland’ for refugees, led free of charge by our teachers; 

# To show another small gesture of support for people from Ukraine living in Poland, we also made decorations that welcome our students to the school. 

# We go to demonstrations expressing: ‘NO to WAR’. 

I would also like to thank our students who have committed themselves to helping. Contributions to the aid fund for Ukraine have exceeded PLN 7,300! Thank you very much, let’s keep raising more! www.pomagam.pl/klubdialogu 

Dear Students! If you feel able to help – let us know. We will organise it together! For example, we can make food for those waiting at the Central Station together. We also count on your ideas.

Dear Ukrainians! There are no words to describe the tragedy that befell you. The whole world is with you, the whole of Poland is with you, the whole KLUB DIALOGU School is with you! 
 
Слава Украиние! 

Wioletta and Piotr Kajczuk, owners of the KD School 

Dorota Maszkiewicz, Managing Director 

KLUB DIALOGU team 

SOLIDARITY WITH REFUGEES – WHAT HAPPENED?

We, the employees of the KLUB DIALOGU Polish Language School, are not indifferent to the tragedy of people who, due to the difficult situation in their country, come to Poland to start a safe life in their new homeland.

As you know, in November 2021 we participated in the March of Solidarity with Refugees. Walking through the streets of Warsaw, we wanted to show that the fate of suffering people is important. We believe that you should always protest when someone is hurt, when a person has no chance for a normal life just because they were born in a country affected by war or other humanitarian crisis.

In December 2021 KLUB DIALOGU organised the Workshop of Writing Letters to Refugees “Solidarni w Cierpieniu” (‘Solidarity in Suffering’), to symbolically show our care and understanding for those in need.

We thank our students who were with us. It is thanks to you and other students that we can learn tolerance and openness!

Currently, as part of the ‘Solidarni w Edukacji’ (‘Solidarity in Education’) campaign, KLUB DIALOGU school funded a scholarship to learn Polish for a refugee who recently came to our country with his family.

Hear his story. This is just one of many thousands …

‘My name is Javid Khan (the name has been changed for the safety of the person). I’m 36 years old. I come from Afghanistan. I am the father of four children, boys – 14, 12, 8, and 2 years old. We currently live in a Refugee Centre near Warsaw.

After the fall of the previous government in Afghanistan, life in Afghanistan became unbearable after the Taliban took power. The terror affected practically everyone who disagreed with the new policy, especially women and those who had supported NATO and the US government for the past 20 years. I was one of those who worked for the Polish NATO troops. I dealt with logistics and purchases for the army.

The evacuation of people whose lives were particularly at risk from the Taliban lasted from August 15-30 2021. Hundreds of thousands of people and families with children have been evacuated from Afghanistan, but just as many are still waiting to leave the country…

Me and my family managed to contact the Polish government. Our escape route was through Pakistan. Unfortunately, during this trip I had a heart attack. The attack was very severe, so I had a coronary graft implanted in the hospital. After a short recovery, we happily reached Poland. Thanks to the help of wonderful people, we managed to escape the Taliban and receive a second life in peace.

We have been living in Poland for a month. We haven’t seen many places yet, but we’d love to get to know our new homeland. Poland is a beautiful country and we met many friends here and experienced amazing hospitality. Now I am very optimistic about our future. We are happy here, and now I have the opportunity to learn Polish at KLUB DIALOGU. My dream is for my children to receive education and become useful citizens and members of the Polish community.’

There are so many tragedies in the world. Let’s not be afraid to help. If it is possible, the KLUB DIALOGU Polish Language School would like to support a few more people in learning Polish. However, for this action we need you and – our students. For this purpose, we have prepared CEGIEŁKI (bricks) ‘Solidarni w Edukacji’ (Solidarity in Education’). Each of you can buy one for any amount or set up a standing order. Our commitment: The total income from the payments will be allocated to learning Polish for the next Refugee! And we will do the rest!

THE 3T’s – WE SUGGEST HOW TO LEARN POLISH EFFECTIVELY

Today is January 2022 – you’ve probably heard this question: ‘Do you have a New Year’s resolution?’ Although on the one hand, you say to yourself: ‘Enough of these resolutions, of which nothing comes from’, you subconsciously wonder, what will be your priority this year? Therefore, if learning Polish is an important goal for you that you would like to focus on in 2022, here are our suggestions on how to effectively achieve it!

THE 3 T’s: TARGET, TIME, THANKS

TARGET

Research shows that a target should be defined, realistic and measurable, which means that when learning Polish, it is worth to first clarify your current knowledge of the language, and then determine the level that you would like to achieve in the given time. It is essential for the success of this target that the level you want to achieve is reasonable. There is nothing more frustrating about learning a foreign language than imagining yourself as a participant in a lively conversation once you have only just started your Beginner Polish course. Setting a high goal for yourself causes unnecessary stress and troubles.

So what to do? Verify your current level, which you can check by taking a test or come to the Polish Language School KLUB DIALOGU and talk to the teacher. At the beginning, take up small challenges. Depending on your needs, try to define your progress at the level of 2-3 modules, so that you always have the opportunity to adjust these achievements and set new goals. You will not pass the State B1 Certificate Exam immediately, but by taking small steps, you have a great chance to do so in the future!

TIME

Time is a very important element in achieving our targets, as it allows us to concentrate on the task at hand and prevents postponing it ‘for an eternal tomorrow’. As in the case of the target, time must be realistic, i.e. give us space to complete the full cycle of the process: learning, practice, and feedback. Properly defined time forces us to be specific and organised. Remember, however, that too short a time frame will not allow you to complete the process, and too long a time frame will blur its possibilities, and after some time you will not remember your priorities.

THANKS

Don’t ignore the powerful influence of another person on your Polish language learning process. We instinctively hide our ‘resolutions’ from others because it protects us from embarrassment if something goes wrong. The involvement of other people, however, in our learning has a huge impact on its effectiveness. The support and feedback of people you can rely on can be very useful and can strengthen relationships, and thanks to this your learning will become more regular and consistent. It’s like losing weight, where positive support – from anguish – can turn into a healthy habit. Thanks to others, we can often achieve our goals!

Additionally, it is best to use qualified assistance. This is where the Polish Language School for Foreigners KLUB DIALOGU comes in handy, which offers a wide range of courses at various levels and intensity.

Christmas in Poland is preceded by a long period of preparations and events that begin four weeks before Christmas itself. The period of spiritual preparation for Christmas is called ‘Advent’. Advent is an important time in the Christian church in anticipation of the birth of Jesus and his coming at the end of the world. This year, this began on 28th November. On 6th December, we celebrate ‘Mikołajki’ in Poland. This is the only day of this kind, especially for children who expect little gifts left in their slippers by Santa Claus when they wake up in the morning. In addition, in December, children in schools and kindergartens take part in ‘Jasełka’, or nativity play performances, and the cities shine with the light of a thousand beautiful Christmas lights.

Three weeks later, it’s Christmas time.

This is a special time for many Poles. Christmas traditions are very important in Poland. These customs are nurtured and passed down from generation to generation so that they can still give the holidays a solemn and family feel.

The most important family event is the evening of 24th December, when Christmas Eve is celebrated. The whole family sits down to the Christmas Eve dinner, which does not start before the first star shines in the sky. An extra plate is always served with supper for an unexpected guest, and there is hay under the tablecloth – a reference to the birth of Jesus in the stable. Before eating, family members share a wafer, expressing their best wishes to each other. This custom emphasises the special bond that binds loved ones together, as well as the readiness to forgive and reconcile with each other. During the dinner, 12 meatless dishes are served, and depending on the region of Poland, these are: borscht with dumplings, fried carp, cabbage with mushrooms, vegetable salad, potatoes, carp in jelly, dried fruit compote, kutia, poppy seed cake and cheesecake. After supper, all well-behaved people are visited by Santa Claus (in Warsaw), Aniołek – a little angel (in Krakow), or by Gwiazdor (in Poznań) 😊. One of these 3 people can also leave gifts under the tree that’s lavishingly decorated with ornaments (baubles, tinsel, a star, gingerbread, etc.). At midnight begins Midnight Mass, a very solemn mass in the church, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
Christmas in Poland is, next to Easter, the most important religious holidays. Celebrating these special days in December culminated a warm, joyful, and family atmosphere. Cultivating Polish Christmas customs is conducive to strengthening the bonds between family members and emphasising national identity, but also gives the celebration of Christmas a unique beauty that can be longed for many months.

The arrival of the 2020 pandemic was a shock for many of us. In March 2020, our school closed for what we all thought would be only a little while. However, the following days showed that the situation was not improving, and it was in fact getting worse. And although we were very worried, we managed to switch to online lessons within a week. It was not an easy task for us at all. The lack of more appropriate equipment and materials turned out to be a big challenge, and we soon found out that this was just the beginning of our complicated adventure with remote learning…

The new teaching conditions required new investments. Purchasing computers, video cameras and microphones, adjusting our program and new internet applications required time, special commitment and intensive work of the entire KLUB DIALOGU team. We asked our students questions about the quality of online learning and, thanks to their creative and constructive responses, we decided to make further investments.

Currently, Polish language courses at KLUB DIALOGU school, as well as group and individual online lessons are conducted at the highest level, which is greatly appreciated by our students. The purchase of interactive boards for each classroom and the acoustic soundproofing of the rooms has adjusted our school to allow for hybrid classes. It is convenient for those students who, due to business trips or illness, cannot attend their course in person and do not want to miss their lessons.

Additionally, modern interactive boards make learning Polish at school and online faster and more attractive. On these boards you can not only write, but also use it to display multimedia presentations, movies, websites, or exercises and interactive applications. After the lesson is over, the teacher can send the lesson notes online to all students. Interactive boards are an excellent teaching aid, thanks to which students are more interested in the lesson and can focus on a specific topic.

Come and see for yourself how the Polish Language School for Foreigners KLUB DIALOGU has changed for the better, for you!

On 1st August every year there is a special event. This time is called Godzina ,,W”. What is this exactly? Godzina ,,W” was the codename for the date and time that began Operation Tempest in German-occupied Warsaw, and so the Warsaw Uprising. The time exactly was 5pm, 1st August 1944. This is why, on 1st August at 5pm one can expect to hear sirens, with many people gathered on the streets and even people and cars coming to a complete standstill. 

Of course, the history of World War II in Poland is rich, it’s deep and it’s very sad. It’s impossible to explain anything in detail in a short article, but we’ll begin with a short explanation about what happened before the Warsaw Uprising. 

On 31st July in 1944, during a briefing of Home Army’s general staff at 67 Pańska Street, General Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski, commander of the Home Army, received a report from General Antoni Chruściel, commander of the Warsaw district, regarding a supposed successful Soviet breach of German defenses just outside of the Praga suburb in Warsaw. The information was actually false, but on its basis,at 5:45 PM, Bór-Komorowski gave Chruściel an oral order to begin Operation Tempest on 1 August 1944 at 5:00 PM.

Why was 1st August at 5pm the chosen date and time? Well, it was initially decided that the Uprising would take place in the early morning, but in July 1944, Chruściel decided that it would infact take place at 5pm. This is due to the fact that at that time, there was a lot of street traffic, meaning that the soldiers could could much more easily blend into the crowd and get to the meeting points safely, whilst in the meantime also transporting guns and ammunition. At 5pm there was also enough sunlight left for the operation to go as smoothly and accurately as possible. The exact day, however, was to be decided the day before the fighting were to begin. 

The order was issued by Chruściel at around 7:00 PM – just an hour before military curfew. As a result, it was delivered between 7:00 and 9:00 AM the next morning to district commanders. Group commanders received it between 9:00 and 13:30 PM. In the afternoon the total number of messengers delivering the order reached 6000. There were posters on the streets with the simple title ‘Polacy!’, as an appeal to the Polish people, to tell them that the long-awaited fight-back was to shortly commence. 

Not all units managed to keep the mobilisation a secret until 5:00 PM… First shots were fired at a German patrol at 13:35 PM on Krasiński Street in Żoliborz. The Germans quickly brought a tank and a few armored vehicles with machine guns. While sweeping the area, at 5:30 PM on Suzina Street, the German patrol surprised a Polish unit who were taking weapons from a stash. Fights started before 5pm in reportedly at least 8 different instances across Warsaw. 

Ultimately, the Germans were not able to stop the Uprising from happening. This is the general history from this mind-blowing, brave fight and difficult time for not only Warsaw, but the whole of Poland. 

Now, there are many things to commemorate 1st August 1944. For example, a memory plaque was placed on the building at 68 Filtrowa Street, where Antoni Chruściel signed the original order that lead to this incredible event. There’s also a street in Warsaw called Al. Godziny ,,W”. 

One of the most noticable signs of honour and respect we have for this in Warsaw is that every year on 1st August at 5pm, almost everything comes to a standstill, and with sirens blazing, Polish flags flying in the breeze, we stop to think about and remember this miraculous event in history. 

What is the best way to learn Polish? That’s a question without a definite answer, but of course there are many effective and fun ways to conduct language lessons that are a pleasure to take part in. At KLUB DIALOGU Polish Language School for Foreigners, we always strive for interactive and interesting lessons, making learning a difficult language like the Polish language easier. This is especially true during the summer time, when we have intensive Polish language lessons that include outdoor activities!  

We just finished the ‘Introduction to Polish’ group course, which was designed to open the students up to the basics of the Polish language, being a course at A0 level. Besides lessons at the school, the students actively learned also during practical classes, involving outdoor adventures. There was a lesson in Hala Mirowska where the students did shopping in Polish, after which there was a joint meal preparation with the ingredients bought! 
Why do we think this kind of lesson is useful? Of course, learning the details and getting to the nitty gritty of vocabulary and grammar is very important to be able to even do these lessons, and this kind of Polish lesson takes place in the classroom with textbooks, notepads and worksheets. However, the reason most people learn foreign languages is to actually use them in everyday situations! 
What’s more, as part of this intensive course as with others, we also went to a café and ordered coffee, to restaurants and learning by play – we made game boards in Polish and played them with the group.   

A ‘Beginners’ course like all other summer group courses, includes tons of attractions planned to make learning effective, interesting and unforgettable, but most of all, is the best way to learn Polish as a foreign language! 

‘Intermediate Conversations’ is an intensive group course, which is all about starting to really speak Polish and get a hold of the sometimes complicated grammar involved in learning Polish as a foreign language. Such a course is always very useful to the students who participate in it. This is due to the fact that at a fast pace it is possible to learn Polish grammar in structured yet super enjoyable environment with others who really want to learn Polish, devoting time and strength a few hours a day. The classes are full of interactive games both in and out of the school setting, such as: going to a museum, parks, doing ‘social research’, etc. These ‘lessons’ often don’t feel like lessons at all!  

Check all dates for our summer courses and see for yourself. Of course, all of our students are invited to the exceptional events that we hold all summer round!  

Our passion at KLUB DIALOGU Polish Language School for Foreigners is and always has been sharing the Polish language, as well as our special traditions and everyday life in Poland. That is why we have prepared an information-filled BLOG for you to enjoy – READ AND LEARN WHEN YOU WANT. 

On our blog you will find many articles, exercises, audio recordings and interesting links on various topics and suited to different levels of Polish advancement (from A1 to B2) for self-study. Some of our articles contain short questions to check correct understanding of the text. We encourage you to leave a comment or ‘like’ the article you enjoyed. It will give us inspiration and motivation to continue working for you! 

The internet is full of blogs – what makes ours different? What kind of articles do we write? We write about Warsaw, about our country in general and interesting facts that may not be so widely known! You can find anything that could interest you on the blog, and as a foreigner learning Polish, which is, as we know, not always the easiest task, having these articles, short and long, available to you for free 24 hours a day, it is one of the best ways to learn alone. As mentioned, there are some questions below articles to practise even more. The best part is that you can leave comments and ask your own questions, too! The questions can be about the topic of the article itself, or about the Polish language, like grammar questions, or a question about a specific structure or sentence. We will always be happy to respond and be in touch with you. 

So, what are you waiting for? Read and learn when you want!  

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