‘Polish is hard’ – but is it really?
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!