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4 reasons to learn Polish!

31 May 2011
Row of world flags
Which language should I learn? Why not Polish! Photo by Enric Archivell.

Motivation is very important when learning a language. So, it's best to learn the language which you are most interested in.

But before you decide to learn Spanish, French or German (just like everyone else), consider the following reasons for learning Polish instead!

Read more for 4 reasons to learn Polish.

Polish is beautiful

Polish is a beautiful language with a strong literary tradition. It is a very soft language that easily lends itself to poetry and music.

If you study Polish, one day you'll be able to read the great works of Polish literature in the original language, such as Pan Tadeusz by Adam Mickiewicz or Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz, which I'm reading right now!

Eventually you will understand the lyrics by awesome Polish bands, such as Kult, Myslowitz or Bratanki. (Each link takes you to a song on YouTube!) Plus, you'll get the jokes in many fantastic Polish comedies, like Seksmisja (Sex mission) or Jak Rozpetałem II Wojnę Światową (How I Unleashed World War II).

Your ancestry

Over the last 200 years, Poles have immigrated to every corner of the world. It's hard not to have some distant Polish roots!

Poles and Polish Americans were critical in the history of the United States and many other countries. In the USA, Kościuszko and Puławski were heroes of the American Revolution, even though they themselves were not Americans. Polish immigrants played a big role in building the country into what it is today.

Learn the language of your ancestors! That's why I started learning Polish. (I've talked about it in Polish too.)

Poland and Poles

Poland is a beautiful country, complete with stunning mountains, forests, lakes and rivers. It has a rich history too. I've written at length about the Things I Love About Poland in a series of articles.

The Polish people are some of the most social and hospitable people in the world. They love to talk, visit friends and entertain guests. And a Pole will never pass up a good argument! :-)

If you ever have the pleasure of being invited to someone's home in Poland, you will be treated like a king.

You will be a rock star!

I have personally met dozens of foreigners who have learned Polish to an advanced level. But many Poles still believe that Polish is the hardest language in the world and are simply amazed to hear a foreigner speaking Polish well.

You will be very popular at parties in Poland!

But a word of warning: They will probably make you say a tongue twister in Polish. ;-)

Did I miss anything? Do you know any other good reasons to learn Polish? Leave a comment below!

Anonymous's picture

David, just a trifle, "Seksmisja" is written together.

Posted by: gregloby (not verified) | Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - 16:04
David Snopek's picture

Aha, thanks, Grzegorz!

Posted by: David Snopek | Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - 16:18
Anonymous's picture

I am really struggling with my Polish! I am trying to find people who will speak to me in Polish, but they all want to practice their English with me. I am at a wall and am not sure how to break through. Any suggestions?

Posted by: Anonymous (not verified) | Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - 03:36
David Snopek's picture

This can definitely be a serious problem! The first two times I was in Poland, I encountered it frequently.

But, eventually, I started having the problem in reverse! For example, when we were living in Poland and my parents and sister came to visit us, we went out to eat a lot in old town. Obviously, all the waiters in old town speak good English and even some German, Russian, etc. They would start out speaking to everyone in English but when they found out that I spoke Polish, they would start relaying every communication through me! It was very annoying. :-)

Here are a couple things that seemed to help for me:

  • Begin every interaction/relationship in Polish: Once a relationship is established in one language, it is extremely hard to change it. Only at the beginning is it really flexible.
  • Act very confident and like you are having a great time speaking Polish: If you look like you are struggling or suffering, people will switch to English because they think they are helping you. So, smile really big and confidently declare every sentance even if it is riddled with obvious errors! :-)
  • Tell people you really need to practice Polish: If someone starts speaking to you in English, tell them about your problem (in Polish! Something like: Nikt nie chce z mną rozmawiać po polsku, tylko chcą ćwiczyć swój angielski. Nigdy nie nauczę się polskiego!) and ask them to speak Polish. They'll understand. If it's someone at party and you know you'll be talking for a long time, offer to switch languages in 30 minutes. But speak in Polish first. ;-)

Also, when we were in Poland, I got a lot of speaking practice by having language exchanges (where you speak half the time in Polish and then the other half in English). If you put an ad on GumTree, you will find tons of willing partners!

I wrote a bit about it in my article about meeting natives:

http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2011/02/immersion-tips-how-to-meet-natives

I hope that helps! Let me know how it goes and if you find a solution that works for you.

Best regards,
David.

Posted by: David Snopek | Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - 06:00
Anonymous's picture

I can speak with you! Please, write to my mail ciastek.cool@gmail.com

Posted by: Adrian Kędzierski (not verified) | Friday, June 10, 2011 - 12:37
Anonymous's picture

Czesc nieznajomy...
Jesli chcesz moge ci pomoc w polskim,ale tez bym chciala pogadac z toba po angilelsku, by podszkolic sie w nim.
Jesli jestes zainteresowany odpisz na moj e-mal agusiag@hotmail.com

Posted by: Anonymous (not verified) | Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - 05:59
Anonymous's picture

We can also speak to each other. You can contact me via e-mail on paula421@o2.pl ;)

Posted by: Anonymous (not verified) | Sunday, June 12, 2011 - 14:37
Anonymous's picture

[...] day, I will walk in the park listening to a recording of Quo Vadis, which I am reading right [...]

Anonymous's picture

Hey

You are in comfortable situation because you know very popular language in this f....n world (it`s your nativ language) Polish language isn`t very popular :((( but perhaps one day.... . Every information, every news is in English so many peoples talking in English but not in Polish. This is one basic reason that WE (POLISH)must or should learn English. That`s basic difference.

Best regards

MrVaders

Posted by: mrVaders (not verified) | Friday, October 7, 2011 - 08:25
David Snopek's picture

Yes, unfortunately, many native English speakers are TOO comfortable in this situation. They see that everyone is trying to learn English so they decide that they don't need to learn any foreign languages. But I think they are missing out! If no language is going to be as useful as English, why not learn Polish? ;-)

Best regards,
David.

Posted by: David Snopek | Friday, October 7, 2011 - 08:36
Anonymous's picture

[...] I think Polish is one of the most beautiful languages in the world! There are many great reasons to learn Polish. For me, learning this language has been a joy and, honestly, has changed my life [...]

Anonymous's picture

Hey do you mind if I quote some stuff from this post? I'm trying to find reasons to learn Polish and honestly, it's hard to convince people to learn something hard that wouldn't necessarily be useful long-term

Posted by: Arif Johari (not verified) | Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - 07:11
David Snopek's picture

Of course! If you quote it publicly, please let me know - I'd like to see your article. :-)

Best regards,
David.

Posted by: David Snopek | Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - 07:13
Anonymous's picture

Great site! Don't forget Coma polish progressive rock band! They're amazing even if you don't have a clue about their lyrics. :)

Posted by: Tamás (not verified) | Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 09:09
Anonymous's picture

Hello David. I am mexican and currently trying to learn polish, i think it's a beautiful language but i am struggling at the moment if you could please suggest a website to learn it or some forum i could practice with polish people please let me know my email is : fashionista_stella@hotmail.com . by the way i really loved reading your article !
Best regards. Estela.

Posted by: Estela (not verified) | Thursday, July 11, 2013 - 23:28
David Snopek's picture

Hi Estela,

That's awesome that you're learning Polish!

If you haven't yet, I recommend you read my ebook. There's some general advice about language learning and a very detail description of how I learned Polish. And this site is also really great:

http://realpolish.pl/

Best regards,
David.

Posted by: David Snopek | Sunday, July 14, 2013 - 16:30
Anonymous's picture

"It is a very soft language that easily lends itself to poetry and music."
I have to disagree with you on that, Polish is not a soft language. Every foreigner whom I have asked what Polish sounds like to them has said that polish sounds very rough. My favorite comment was that Polish sounds like someone is trying to kill you with their teeth.

But good luck to everyone on learning polish! Its a really hard language. I moved to Poland when I was 10, but even with cultural immersion and lessons it took me a very long time to become reasonably proficient.

If anyone wants a polish penpal for language practice, email me at arianadelano@gmail.com

Posted by: Ari (not verified) | Friday, August 9, 2013 - 01:06
Anonymous's picture

Another great reason to learn Polish is to be able to speak Kasia's native language.

Posted by: Anonymous (not verified) | Sunday, March 9, 2014 - 20:21

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