Review: Polygloto Polish
This is the fifth installment in a series of reviews of products for learning Polish.
Read more for the full review!
The main course consists of two levels: beginner and intermediate. Each has 15 individual lessons and costs 49 EUR and 59 EUR, respectively.
There are also two vocabulary courses. Each has around 30 thematic lessons and costs 29 EUR.
(Full disclosure: I received free access to these courses in order to review them here on Linguatrek.)
The main courses
Each lesson begins with a short introduction in English describing the topic of the lesson and some review questions from previous lessons. Some of the topics include: introducing yourself, ordering at a restaurant, the weather, the train station, etc.
Next, there are several sections introducing Polish words or phrases along with audio. The context is provided through a couple of sentences or paragraphs in English.
There are occasional interjecting sections that describe some cultural or grammatical point. For example, introducing accusative case, describing Polish cuisine, or explaining the difference between lubię and podoba mi się (both mean "I like ...").
Every lesson closes with a short dialog and some questions to test what you learned during the lesson. (Answers are provided.)
- You can download all the MP3s for a lesson - this is particularly useful because each lesson contains a ton of short audio clips. The first lesson alone has 42! So you can review your audio on the go, more like a traditional audio course.
- You can download a PDF of each lesson - you can print the lessons and review them away from the computer, if you like.
- Personal notes - for each lesson, you can write your own notes and they are saved online.
- Learning status - you can mark each lesson as "To do," "To revise," or "Done," to easily track your progress.
With these features, Polygloto allows you to both, (1) learn entirely at the computer while still enjoying note taking and keeping your place, or (2) get away from the computer and experience language learning on the go -- making it a ready replacement for a physical text or audio course.
The vocabulary courses
Every lesson contains 10 to 30 words and has two phases: presentation and learning.
In the presentation phase, you're shown each word while the corresponding audio plays.
The learning phase consists of several different methods:
- Identification - like normal flashcards: you see the Polish word or phrase, then say the English, or vice versa. You simply mark whether you answered correctly or incorrectly.
- Translation - you see the Polish word or phrase, then type the English, or vice versa - or you simply hear the Polish and have to type the English word or phrase.
- Dictation - you hear the Polish word or phrase, then you must correctly type what you hear.
What's more, you can print paper flashcards for each lesson.
The material is as good (if not better) than most Polish language textbooks. In fact, it's quite a bit better than the textbook that we used in the university Polish course that I took (Jak się masz? by Władysław Miodunka).
If you're looking for a traditional textbook or audio course, I think Polygloto would be great for you!
However, as a learner, I've never been particularly fond of traditional textbooks and courses. :-) They tend to contain way too much English, have only short, boring and artificial texts in the target language, and focus too much on grammar and language mechanics. This course is, unfortunately, no exception.
That said, some people do like these types of courses. And as far as traditional courses go, I think this one is particularly good for a few reasons:
- The explanations are clear and short - still, I'd prefer less focus on grammar explanations, but at least they are very clear and short - which is something I can't say for Miodunka's textbook.
- Audio is used every step of the way - with textbooks, usually audio and listening are underutilized. In this course, practically every Polish sentence has audio to go with it.
- The alphabet is taught slowly, over multiple lessons - many textbooks start with only a page showing how to pronounce the alphabet, then expect you to be able to do so. Since this course includes so much audio, you can start by simply imitating the native speaker, while learning one spelling rule per lesson.
Have you tried Polygloto? What do you think? Write a comment below!