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Vlog: Polski NIE jest jednym z najtrudniejszych języków na świecie!

21 Jan 2011

Dzisiaj poruszam bardzo kontrowersyjny temat: Mimo tego, że wielu ludzi mówi, że język polski jest jednym z najtrudniejszych języków na świecie, nie zgadzam się. Dlaczego? Obejrzyj filmik!

Również możesz czytać ten artykuł, który napisałem wcześniej na ten sam temat z tymi samymi argumentami

Czytaj transkrypcję poniżej!

Vlog: W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie

15 Jan 2011

W tym krótkim filmiku rozmawiam na temat znany każdemu cudzoziemcowi w Polsce: "W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie". ;-)

Dlaczego Polacy proszą o to (zwłaszcza w trakcie poznania kogoś -- właśnie po pytaniu "Jak się nazywasz")? Proszę piszcie w komentarzy!

Czytaj transkrypcję poniżej!

Harry Potter: The book that taught me Polish

14 Dec 2010
Pile of Harry Potter books in Polish
All my Harry Potter books

I've studied Polish mostly from reading and listening to books. The first book I ever read in Polish, was Harry Potter. When I first started to read Harry Potter, I had only been learning Polish for about a year at the University.

While I did enjoy that class (mostly because of the professor) it was basically all grammar, grammar and more grammar. At the end of that year, I couldn't really speak or understand Polish normally.

I started reading the first Harry Potter book in January of 2008. It took me four months to finish it. Honestly, it was extremely difficult and took a lot of commitment. But after finishing that book, I really felt like I spoke Polish. My brain was able to produce and understand Polish automatically!

While the first book took me four months, I managed to read all seven Harry Potter books before the end of that year! Each book was bigger and bigger, but I managed to read each one faster and faster. I read (or rather listened to) the last book in only a couple weeks. My learning accelerated exponentially.

Read more to learn about the method I used!

Review: Pimsleur Quick & Simple Polish

26 Nov 2010
Cover of Pimsleur Quick & Simple CDs

Pimsleur is a popular series of audio courses for learning a variety of languages. They come in two types: "Comprehensive" and "Quick & Simple". Basically, the "Quick & Simple" version is the first 8 lessons of the "Comprehensive" version.

I used "Comprehensive Russian I" when I started learning Russian and later "Quick & Simple Polish" when I started with Polish. This article is a review of my experience with these programs.

Polish Grammar Overview for Complete Beginners

24 Nov 2010
Girl with inquisitive look
I wonder about Polish grammar? Photo by caryatidxx on Flickr.

A big part of language learning is paying attention to patterns. But when first starting a language, everything is so new, it's hard to even know what you are looking for!

I don't advocate starting to learn Polish by studying the grammar. But having a general idea of what the grammar is about, can help you recognize patterns and pick up some of the grammar naturally, just from exposure to the language.

What follows is a brief overview of Polish grammar. None of the actual grammar rules are given! Just a quick description of what you can expect to find in Polish, intended for the complete beginner.

Polish is NOT the hardest language in the world!

23 Nov 2010
Polish boxer being declared campion
Polish is the campion! Photo of Paweł Wolak by M. Zurawicz.

All over the internet, people are saying that Polish is the hardest language in the world. Especially Polish people! The perceived difficulty of Polish is a point of national pride.

Most Polish people are simply amazed when a foreign can speak any Polish at all. My Polish is good, but not perfect. Yet I constantly get over-the-top compliments about it! If Polish is "the hardest language in the world" I must be a super genius, right? I wish! I'd love to believe that but it simply isn't true.

Polish is NOT the hardest language in the world! Read more to find out why.

The Polish Alphabet is Easy!

10 Nov 2010
Letters in Polish alphabet
Letters in the Polish alphabet. Image by Faxe on

When people unfamiliar with Polish see it written, they are often struck by the strange marks and all the consonants in a row. How can you pronounce words like "szczęśliwy" or "brzmieć"? Although it looks a little strange, the Polish alphabet is actually quite easy.

In English, spelling doesn't relate to pronunciation in a consistent way. For example, compare the pronunciation of "oo" in the following words: book, soon, door, flood. It's different in every word! And there's no way to know that from looking at the words.

I am a native speaker of English, but even I have had the following situation happen to me several times: I know a few words from reading which I have never heard out loud. Later, I'll hear someone say a word and have no idea what it means, only to find out that I know the word, I just imagined that it was pronounced differently. Or even more embarrassingly, sometimes I'll try to say one of these words, but with with the wrong pronunciation -- and other people don't know what I'm talking about!

This can never happen in Polish! Once you have the hang of all the pronunciation rules, you will always be able to correctly pronounce any word from the spelling.

Keep reading to see resources and advice for learning the Polish alphabet!

Don't Start Learning Polish with the Grammar!

5 Nov 2010
Adult students in a Spanish language classroom
Adult students in a Spanish language classroom. Photo by joeshlabotnik on Flickr.

When we were in Kraków, Poland, I met a lot of foreigners just starting to learn Polish. One of the main complaints was that Polish grammar is so complicated. Most Polish language courses, textbooks and teachers start by saying, "Learn all the grammar rules first and then we can continue."

This can kill your motovation and won't really get you any closer to your goal: to speak and understand Polish!