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How much time did you spend learning Polish...
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ManOfTwoLands



Joined: 22 Nov 2015
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:26 pm    Post subject: How much time did you spend learning Polish... Reply with quote

...before making your first trip to Poland? I'm not sure how much time I should invest in the language before going over there. I'm thinking maybe a month just to learn some basics.
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jenkinsd



Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any investment of time and effort in learning the language will pay off. You should be able to master a nice handful of basic phrases in a month. Poles really like hearing foreigners having a go at Polish, and you'll make friends more quickly if you show that you've bothered to try.

I'd recommend Babbel Polish. I think it's about £8 a month, and you get plenty of opportunity to say the words and phrases out loud.

Once you're there, try and put yourself in situations which will require you to speak Polish. Get away from your fellow native speakers and mix with the Poles. It's the best way by far to learn the language, culture and to get the absolute most out of your experience.

I wish you all the best. I loved my time in Poland and I'd put a fair bit of that down to the fact that I got into the language in a big way.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 1198
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jenkinsd wrote:
Any investment of time and effort in learning the language will pay off. You should be able to master a nice handful of basic phrases in a month. Poles really like hearing foreigners having a go at Polish, and you'll make friends more quickly if you show that you've bothered to try.
Ditto that. Numbers are especially useful cuz they don't always have a screen which shows you the price at smaller shops.

It also makes a big difference whether you're going to a small town or, say, Warsaw. In smaller towns, you have to speak Polish more in day-today interactions.

Good luck!
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scottie1113



Joined: 25 Oct 2004
Posts: 375
Location: Gdansk

PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got halfway through Polish in 4 Weeks before my arrival here. It was a good start.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1606
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 6:13 pm    Post subject: erm Reply with quote

Not 1 minute.
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Infinite



Joined: 05 Jan 2013
Posts: 235

PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As much as you can. It does make your life a lot more interesting. There are many things that you won't find out about if you don't speak the language. Also, it does show a level of respect that unfortunately escapes some. I know quite a few Brits and Americans here who speak rather well and are well into OTHER things besides teaching because of it. It opens up a lot of doors not only in the EFL world. Plus, living somewhere without speaking the language turns you into a jaded individual, as you can see Wink
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dynow



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 1080

PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got about half way through "Colloquial Polish" and went through Rosetta Stone as well. With that said, I got off the plane and was completely lost.

Everyone has their own method, or priorities I should say with language learning, but I absolutely crammed grammar for the first 2 years there to make sure I wasn't speaking caveman Polish. It paid off because now, I can add words to my vocabulary and immediately integrate them. I'd recommend doing the same but if you're only looking to spend a year there, concentrate on phrases to get you through the day because mastering grammar takes a lot of time.

Polish is a beast.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1606
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:25 pm    Post subject: erm Reply with quote

Everyone I know speaks good English and I can get by in restaurants and shops.
My pals who speak Polish fluently are still on the same crappy rates.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 1198
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Learning 100 or so basic phrases is definitely a good idea before you arrive. Doing this will see you through your first year in Poland, no problem. Well, unless you're stuck out in a village...

Polish is a notoriously difficult language to learn. As dynow pointed out, it takes a lot of study and mastery of grammar to be able to construct relatively basic sentences and not sound like a neanderthal. For example, even if you know the individual words to make the sentence "I was at the cinema with Shake yesterday evening." you can't just string together the words to make that sentence. You have to change the endings of several words so they respect Polish grammar conventions.

So rather than learn hundreds of grammar conventions with more exceptions than there are rules, I say stick to stock phrases. If you later decide to stay in Poland long term (or have a masochistic streak), then, by all means, hop aboard the Polish grammar clusterf**k.
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dynow



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 1080

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I still play the "how do you say five of "this"" game with my wife, family, and friends. It's amazing how a room of natives can all provide different answers to what would seem to be the most basic of questions.

I can't decide if I want Polish to evolve or just stay completely ridiculous.....for novelty purposes.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15322

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you do not learn the language you condemn yourself to a life where you have to get a responsible adult to do things for you. A life as an infant !
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 1198
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dynow wrote:
I still play the "how do you say five of "this"" game with my wife, family, and friends. It's amazing how a room of natives can all provide different answers to what would seem to be the most basic of questions.

I can't decide if I want Polish to evolve or just stay completely ridiculous.....for novelty purposes.
I say keep it around. Otherwise, I've wasted loads of time learning it! I never did care about the finer points of plurals, though.

I used to complain to Poles about how convoluted and counter intuitive the language was. They'd just smile and nod pridefully:

"Because we've learned such a difficult language, it's made us smarter and better problem solvers."

I'd say they jury's still out about that one....They've definitely set up a ass-kickingly convoluted bureaucracy to match their language.
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delphian-domine



Joined: 11 Mar 2011
Posts: 673

PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dynow wrote:
I still play the "how do you say five of "this"" game with my wife, family, and friends. It's amazing how a room of natives can all provide different answers to what would seem to be the most basic of questions.

I can't decide if I want Polish to evolve or just stay completely ridiculous.....for novelty purposes.


On the good side, once you pick up a decent command of Polish, it's remarkably easy to get by in Slovakia and Western Ukraine, easy enough in the Czech Republic and quite possible to do so in the Balkans.

I still don't understand how I can go to Croatia, speak Polish and be understood - and understand them. I'd understand it in tourist areas, but the same thing works fine in the distinctly untouristy Slavonski Brod.
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sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 629

PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You get one slavic language, you get them all....( for the most part)
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1562
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I spoke Russian and people answered in Polish.
I couldn't always understand.

Never understood how some Poles think Czech sounds funny to their ears.
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