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How to get started learning Polish (from zero!)

12 Feb 2013

When you're first starting a new language, everything is unfamiliar. There is sooo much that you don't know, it's hard to know where to get started.

The truth is: there's a million ways to get started... and most of them will probably work. However, some may go smoother than others. :-)

Today I'm going to give you my personal recommendation - based on my experience learning Polish!

Of course, I've already written lots of articles about learning Polish that would be useful.

Unfortunately, as a blog, these articles aren't organized in any particular way. When someone asks me for advice on getting started, I have usually have to send them at least a half dozen links. :-)

Today I'm going to organize this information into a short, step-by-step guide!

Read more for 5 simple steps to getting started with Polish!

Review: Polygloto Polish

1 Nov 2011

This is the fifth installment in a series of reviews of products for learning Polish.

Polygloto logo

Polygloto Polish is an online Polish language course created by, one of the largest online language learning portals for Poles.

Read more for the full review!

Learn Polish in Poland: Lengua Viva

4 Oct 2011
Young ladies sitting around a table
German class at Lengua Viva.

I strongly believe that you don't need to live in a foreign country to learn its language. Personally, I learned Polish primarily in my home country.

You can even learn a lot about a foreign culture from your home country. You can read the literature, watch the films, and even speak with the natives.

However, to experience certain aspects of any culture, you simply have to visit the country!

This article is about Lengua Viva, a language school in Gdańsk, Poland which offers courses in Polish as a foreign language. Plus, they've offered a special price for readers of LinguaTrek!

(Full disclosure: I have never been to Lengua Viva, so I can't personally vouch for the quality of their courses. I agreed to promote their school in exchange for a special reduced price for LinguaTrek readers. I don't personally receive any money or anything else from them.)

Read more for information about the courses!

The first grammar you should learn in Polish

23 Aug 2011
Model of a teacher and two students in a school house
"It's time to learn Polish grammar, children!" Photo by F Delventhal.

As I've written before, learning Polish shouldn't start with grammar. You should start by doing a lot of listening, learning vocabulary and maybe some speaking (possibly shadowing).

While using these techniques, it's often helpful to have a basic understanding of Polish grammar, so you know what patterns to look for. (See my overview of Polish grammar.)

But, before you focus on grammar, you should first understand some fundamentals of the language. This way, the grammar will make more sense and actually mean something to you.

So now you've reach that point. Congratulations! It's time to start studying Polish grammar. :-)

But there's so much to learn - what should you start with?

Read more for my advice!

How to swear like a Pole: pierd*lić

12 Jul 2011
Symbols - to look like censored profanity - inside a 'no' or 'not allowed' sign
These words should be used by experts only! Photo by stockicide on Flickr.

For some reason, many people are fascinated with swear words in foreign languages. Frequently, people I meet ask me how to say them in Polish. I've only given in a few times and I've always regretted it later.

Imagine hearing someone yelling the k-word everytime they see you! Or repeating it over and over endlessly at a party.

But swear words are a very interesting topic when looked at intellectually. In English, it's amazing all the different meanings that the f-word can have! Swear words are often some of the most versitile and colorful words in any language.

Today's article is a guest post by skorway on YouTube (who is a Pole) about all the different meanings and variations of the Polish swear word pierd*lić.

Note: That's not really how the word is spelled, the asterisk is to censor it (just like typing "f**k" in English). The full article is UNCENSORED and may not be appropriate for some readers! You have been warned.

Read more for the full article!

Review: Polish Through Legends

28 Jun 2011
Cover of Polish Through Legends

This is the fourth installment in a series of reviews of products for learning Polish.

Not long ago, I reviewed the free content on Real Polish. Today, I'm going to review one of the paid free courses (Ed: this course is now free!) by the same author: Polish Through Legends.

Read more for the full review!

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.

Rozmowa z Piotrem na podkaście Real Polish!

15 May 2011
Właśnie o tym myślę, kiedy myślę o podkastach. :-) Zdjęcie przez Tom Blackwell.

Po mojej recenzji Real Polish, Piotr zaprosił mnie na rozmowę na jego podkaście. Rozmawialiśmy na temat mojego doświadczenia w nauce języka polskiego. Wyszło tak dobrze, że może będziemy w przyszłości nagrywać jeszcze podkastów. :-)

Zapraszam do słuchania tutaj!

(Dla tych, którzy uczą się polskiego, jest tam transkrypcja.)


10 May 2011
PolishPod101 logo

This is the third installment in a series of reviews of products for learning Polish.

Today I'm going to review It's a collection of audio and video lessons for beginners and advanced learners (at this time, they don't have any intermediate materials). Most of the material is available for free and includes transcripts.

Read more for the full review!

Real Polish: Excellent Polish content for learners!

3 May 2011
Real Polish logo

Since far fewer people study Polish than, say Spanish, Russian or Arabic -- it can be hard to find really great material in Polish for learners.

On the one end of the spectrum, there's no lack of textbooks, grammar references, phrasebooks or vocabulary lists. On the other end, it's easy to get books, movies or podcasts intended for native speakers of Polish. But it's difficult to find something in between.

Today I'm going to review Real Polish. It's a collection of videos and podcasts (audio) -- all in Polish! -- for learners at any level (beginner, intermediate, advanced). And almost all of the material is completely free!

Read more for the full review!