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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 

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!

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!  

GO TO BLOG

Easter is a joyful time for many, definitely not including for Poles! In Poland, we have many special traditions associated with this time, and we are always happy to share these with others who are not from Poland, and don’t know everything in the Polish language to understand this busy yet beautiful time of new life and beginnings! 

The first sign of Easter approaching in Poland is many branches and dried flowers being brought to church. One week before Easter, Palm Sunday (‘Niedziela Palmowa’) takes places. This is why churchgoers being ‘palms’, willows, made of colourful dried branches to Church. Spring cleaning takes place and Poles paint hard-boiled eggs (‘pisanki’). This egg painting is said to come from a ritual that is over 5000 years old. Easter baskets are brought to the church to be blessed which contain the ‘pisanki’, meat, bread, spices, cake and an Easter Lamb (‘Baranek Wielkanocny’) made of plastic or sugar. 

On Easter Sunday, there is a mass at church at 6am – the Resurrection mass. Families gather together to eat breakfast and wish each other ‘Wesołego Alleluja’! More Polish delicacies emerge: yeast-cake (‘babka’), cake with icing and dried frits and nuts (‘mazurek’) and cheesecake (‘sernik’). Take note of all the new words in the Polish language during this time of year and learn basic Polish! 

Easter Monday is where a lot of fun can really be had. In Poland, we have the tradition of Wet Monday (“Śmigus-Dyngus”), where children throw water over each other in the street 🙂 (You also should be careful).

What else is there to know about Easter celebrations in Poland? Well, there are many new and different words associated with Easter and spring time in the Polish language that a foreigner may have never heard before this time of year comes around. 

As we know, unfortunately this year, Easter will not be the same as some of us remember it as. There may not be the big family get together for breakfast and not even Śmigus-Dyngus, but there are things we can do to compensate for that. It won’t be easy to share our traditions with foreigners during the pandemic, but, at KLUB DIALOGU Polish Language School for Foreigners, we believe in the new beginnings surrounding Easter celebrations and spring time. That’s why we love to share our culture with our students and other foreigners, as well as the Polish language in Polish courses. 

Instead of the big family get together, you can always learn Polish online or in person at school or study by yourself instead! You can pick up a text book, or write down notes during all Easter preparations and study them all on the day itself! It`s like a perfect Polish course for you. A lot of our language learning comes down to self-study and time spent reviewing new and interesting words.

In our Polish classes, we prioritise not only the Polish language but also immersing our students in our culture. There isn’t a better way to learn than to also have fun! 🙂 

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!