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Learning Polish - Best coursebooks?
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anospi



Joined: 03 Dec 2004
Posts: 152
Location: Perth, Western Australia

PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 10:44 am    Post subject: Learning Polish - Best coursebooks? Reply with quote

I've been learning Polish for 6 months, using the "Polish in 4 weeks" book. It's pretty good, and I'm pretty happy with my progress. I'm speaking with people every day.

Just wondering if anyone else out there has had success with any particular coursebooks, as I'm looking for a new one. My old teacher said "Czesc, Jak sie masz?" was good, and I'm considering picking it up. My DOS said she had success with "Wsrod Polakow", although that looked to be a total onslaught of grammar, making Murphy look like a course in communicative English.

Any comments would be welcome.
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redsoxfan



Joined: 18 Oct 2005
Posts: 178
Location: Dystopia

PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Colloquial Polish" is the best one I've seen. It's much more useful than "Polish in 4 Weeks." I don't know if you'll find it here in Poland, but it can be downloaded.
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anospi



Joined: 03 Dec 2004
Posts: 152
Location: Perth, Western Australia

PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My flatmate has a copy of "Colloquial Polish" and he says it's ok, but he actually prefers "Polish in 4 weeks". I've used the "Colloquial ..." series before, and can't say that I'm a huge fan.
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joshsweigart



Joined: 27 Feb 2005
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The legendary "Rosetta Stone" system has a Polish edition. I hear that it's available on the internet for free if you have the right software. I think it costs about $100+ for one course. There are two courses-beginner or intermediate. It's supposed to be the best, but I really don't know. Books are awful anyway, go talk to people.
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dynow



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 1030

PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the Colloquial Polish book as well, it is in fact a very good book, I would recommend it, but it's a book.

There is an "intermediate" level for the Rosetta Stone program??? I have level 1, have been studying with it for quite some time, but more or less mastered all the material by now. I wish they had a level 2, but according to the Rosetta Stone website and google, there is none. It's disappointing because they have level 2 for most of the other languages they offer. Not to mention, Polish is so difficult to learn, a level 2 program would be most appropriate.

If anyone is interested in picking up Rosetta Stone Polish level 1, check out craigslist. I bought mine on craigslist last year from someone who basically had all the languages and was just making copies and selling them for cheap through a paypal account. I paid just $50 (US), instead of the $195 the website asks for, and he even threw in a Pimsleur Polish CD for free. Even if the shipping cost a bit to send out here, it's still a deal.
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redsoxfan



Joined: 18 Oct 2005
Posts: 178
Location: Dystopia

PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want the Rosetta Stone course, just download it with E-Mule.
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slodziak



Joined: 17 Oct 2005
Posts: 143
Location: Tokyo

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For beginners I think "Ten, Ta, To" by Wing does a really good job of making Polish simple and fun layering grammar and vocab in easy to cope with chunks; by the end of it you come out with a fairly comprehensive and solid understanding of the different cases and are able to use quite a range of vocabulary.
For the next level I used another book by Wing called "Juz mówie po polsku" (ISBN 83-910790-1-5) which ups the ante but is still pretty user friendly - probably taking me to a solid intermediate level.

p.s. how do you get Polish characters other than "ó" to make it past the edit stage on this web page?
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Steve Smith



Joined: 06 Jul 2004
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is also a series of books published by Universitas: www.universitas.com.pl

They have by far the most comprehensive list of book for foreigners learning Polish. Have a look at this: http://www.universitas.com.pl/katalog/kat_38
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rjmacks



Joined: 26 Aug 2006
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Colloquial Polish is a good one. The learning curve is gradual and it teaches useful things that you'll hear often. 'Czesz, jak sie masz' on the other hand is rather useless. The reading sections are badly graded and the grammar sections are random and often not very useful. Yes, it has nice pictures but that's not really enough.
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marcamonos



Joined: 04 Aug 2003
Posts: 14
Location: London

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 9:48 am    Post subject: Huraa!!! Po Polsku Reply with quote

Hej!

I lived in Kraków for 3 years and have tried many of the standard books – Polish in 4 Weeks (ridiculously unrealistic) as well as the suite of JU textbooks published under Miodunka. In addition, I took a 3 week summer course at Jagiellonian University.

I’ve found that while they all provide a good introduction to grammar and vocabulary, they are hardly presented in an interesting and interactive way nor with the communicative approach in mind. For those CELTA-trained, you will understand how appalling they are.

If you like teaching from English File, then I recommend Hurra!!! Po Polsku. However, this is a textbook and I don’t think it should be used for self-study.

Hurra!!! Po Polsku is basically a Polish knock-off of the successful and fun English File series. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Check out the link or head over to the Ksiegarnia near Bagatella if you’re in Krakow:

http://www.hurra.edu.pl/angielski/opis_materialow.html

I recommend getting the book and a native Polish teacher, thus avoiding the monotonous and utterly mind-numbing way I struggled to learn Polish.

M
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redsoxfan



Joined: 18 Oct 2005
Posts: 178
Location: Dystopia

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Hurra!! Po Polsku series looks interesting. It's about time someone wrote a textbook that actually engages the student. As we've all figured out by now, people simply don't learn foreign languages unless they are doing something. The Polish in 4 Weeks book is helpful, but no one has ever learned to speak conversational Polish with this book. It's impossible.

If I had to do it all over again, I'd pay a Polish university student who spoke English 20 zl/hr to sit down with me and simply translate the Inside Out Elementary book. Once I'd translated a section, we would simply do it as if it were originally written in Polish. Why? Well, if you can translate, let's say, the first two Inside Out books, you're in pretty darn good shape. Not only have you got great practice just translating, but now you've got a great textbook all in Polish. Of course, you would skip sections which pertain only to English, such as the use of the present continuous, etc. This process could be supplemented with grammar exercises--namely declensions and verb conjugations.

I've gone back to using the grammar-translation method occasionally with lower-level private students, and I must say that I think there is more validity to it than we give it credit for. It clearly falls short in and of itself, but it can be a useful tool. If someone only used this method, and coupled it with some basic conversation dialogs, it would be far more effective than just endlessly reading Polish in 4 Weeks.

Again, in order to learn a language one must DO something with it. "Conversation" is not the answer for most expats because they don't know what to say! There must be a starting point--I say start translating and studying the lexis. Other ideas?
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marcamonos



Joined: 04 Aug 2003
Posts: 14
Location: London

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey redsoxfan,

Translating them seems like a good idea. I've actually started to put together a vocabulary book in Polish based on the Vocabulary in Use (Int)published by Cambridge.

Most of the books in Polish aren't arranged thematically, but grammatically. Everyone tells me I make almost no grammatical mistakes when speaking Polish, but I find I have a very limited vocabulary to talk about relationships, holidays and life in general.

Has anyone used Hurra!! ?
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Rusty77



Joined: 27 Jun 2005
Posts: 39
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:23 am    Post subject: Polish language books and learning Polish Reply with quote

RedSoxFan/Manomania:
I'd be interested in hearing more about your grammar-translation learning techniques.
I've been in Poland for almost 3 years, and finally feel as if I've made some inroads in the past year learning how to speak Polish. Understanding the language when a native Pole speaks at a normal speed or about a topic that is advanced, however, is a different matter Smile . Some of the "techniques" I've used:
- it sounds a bit "too structural" perhaps, but I memorized the przypadki case endings, but only gradually (for example, started with Dopelniac (genetive), Celownik(dative), and Narzednik(instrumental) with SINGULAR MALE and FEMALE nouns, then moved on to the other 3 case endings (although vocative is not really necessary) and eventually to the plural forms and with adjectives and pronouns (I'm still working on those, of course)
- I used/ am using these declenations as often as possible in everyday life, for ex. when speaking to waiters, in shops, asking for directions, info, etc., and then I ask for clarification/feedback from the Pole to make sure I have the correct form
- this technique is a bit trying, but, as you alluded to, RedSoxFan, learning basic grammar is imperative
- I read flyers, brochures, ads for films, etc and tried to understand them, if there was something I didn't I looked it up or asked someone about it
- I spoke with my gf's parents in Polish
- I watch TV SHOWS that DO NOT have the Polski Lektor, shows in Polish language (for ex., Szymon Myewski, Wiadomosci) (at first I watched English lang. films but with Polish subtitles--this wasn't very effective)

Re-reading the Polish in 4 Weeks book isn't a bad idea, I think, but of course there are limitations after you've learned everything in it. Any other suggestions?
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wildphelps



Joined: 11 Jul 2007
Posts: 39
Location: Lubuski

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:14 pm    Post subject: Best Coursebooks Reply with quote

Not sure if you can find these in Polska, but you can find them over the 'Net:

Basic Polish by Dana Bielec (a decent grammar/workbook)
Kiedyz wrocisz tu by Lipinsk and Dambska (a higher level book with nice readings - always good for vocab).
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anospi



Joined: 03 Dec 2004
Posts: 152
Location: Perth, Western Australia

PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone know of any good bookshops in Wrocław where I might be able to have a flick through some of these books? I prefer to do that before ordering something over the web incase it doesn't suit me. I had a look in Empik on the rynek, but they only had 'Polish in 4 weeks' in the language section.

Cheers
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