Drp9341's Polish and (maybe) Italian Log!

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drp9341
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Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:21 pm
Location: NYC / Poland
Languages: American English (N) Italian & Spanish (C1-C2) Brazilian Portuguese (B2) French (B1-B2) Polish (studying full time)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=5978
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Drp9341's Polish and (maybe) Italian Log!

Postby drp9341 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:56 am

Hello everyone!

I post in this forum off and on, but I decided to finally make a log in order to keep track of exactly what I am doing to learn Polish.

Exactly a week ago I moved with my girlfriend to Łódź Poland, (she's Polish,) and as a language lover, I am going crazy because my communication skills are so limited.

I've never studied a Slavic language before. I've never even dabbled in one. I started to "flirt" with Polish back in February when I was living in Argentina, and I learned the basics, (maybe about ~100 words, some basic verb conjugations, the spelling system etc.) However, I stopped studying almost entirely during March and April, and started studying about 2-3 hours a day in May, (since I knew I was coming to Poland.)

I honestly really love the language. It sounds beautiful, and everyone I've met is super helpful and really cool, so I'm really trying to eventually get Polish up to a B2-C1 level. I know this will take a long time, but I'm willing to put in the effort. Now that I can understand some Polish I am realizing how closely related to other slavic languages Polish is. This is the perfect opportunity right now for me to get into another language family, so I'm jumping at this opportunity that's been afforded to me.

Polish is a very tricky language for me.
Every time I try to say something that's not super simple, people don't understand what I mean. I have a pretty decent vocabulary, and can conjugate the verbs well, but the way the language works is still is so mysterious.
I hang out with her friends and family often, and I get many opportunities to speak, but my level is still ~A2.


Here's my daily study routine.
1. Babbel's beginner lessons, just to get a better handle on the basics. (I got a free year long membership for doing a commercial for them.)
2. Assimil Le Polonais sans Peine. I am only on lesson 18, I've been doing it at a snails pace so that I can really absorb all the details of the lesson.
3. ANKI ANKI ANKI ANKI. I can't stress how much Anki has helped with the vocabulary and memorizing sentences. I put in all the new vocabulary, and probably use Anki for an hour a day, (I do it throughout the day in chunks, not all at once.)
4. ONE CASE A WEEK, (starting today haha) This week I'm working on the genitive (Dopełniacz). I understand when to use all the cases (like 75% of the time), but my problems is remembering how to properly decline the nouns.

I also have a very short attention span, so here's what I do: Every few weeks, (or whenever I feel like I'm getting burnt out,) I switch to a different resource.
These are the resources I have...
- Babbel, (which is a surprisingly decent software, I really thought it was going to be garbage.)
- Assimil
- Polish for Dummy's (haven't started it yet.)
- Anki
- http://www.lektorek.org

Thanks everyone! I'm going to post again soon when I've finished my studies for the day, and I'll write about what I did.
4 x

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drp9341
White Belt
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:21 pm
Location: NYC / Poland
Languages: American English (N) Italian & Spanish (C1-C2) Brazilian Portuguese (B2) French (B1-B2) Polish (studying full time)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=5978
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Re: Drp9341's Polish and (maybe) Italian Log!

Postby drp9341 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:21 pm

So here's what I did today:

I went over the Genitive Case in depth. Using this site http://mowicpopolsku.com/polish-grammar/cases/genitive/
I took notes on when it's used, and how to put nouns in the genitive case. This took about 90 minutes, and I'll continue to review this all week. * If anyone has any links to online quizzes I would be very thankful! *

Then, I did about half an hour of Anki.

Finally, I spent about an hour going over lessons 18 and 19 of Assimil Le Polonais sans Peine.
Let me explain how I'm using Anki, and if anyone has any advice, please feel free to share!
1. I listen to the dialogue a few times to see how much I understand
2. I read the French translation along with the audio to see if I can understand more.
3. I then read the Polish, and try to memorize the sentences.
4. Once I have the sentences sufficiently memorized, I put them into Anki. I also put the individual nouns I learned into Anki.
* a note on nouns: I put the English on the front of the card, and then I put the singular and plural of the noun in the nominative case on the back.


My Anki deck is getting huge. However, I've gotten such amazing results using Anki so far that I'm not really inclined to stop using it. I still have like 60 cards left to review from my deck for today, let's see how that goes!

My goal is to get to about a B1 level by the end of July. I don't know if this is possible, but I believe it might be if I continue studying at this rate.
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drp9341
White Belt
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:21 pm
Location: NYC / Poland
Languages: American English (N) Italian & Spanish (C1-C2) Brazilian Portuguese (B2) French (B1-B2) Polish (studying full time)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=5978
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Re: Drp9341's Polish and (maybe) Italian Log!

Postby drp9341 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:43 am

I forgot to post this last night:

Finally things are making more sense. I'm getting to the point where I understand the structure of the language well enough that what's holding me back, (primarily) is now a lack of vocabulary. I'm not at that point yet, but it's getting there. When I read sentences written in Polish, if I know most of the words, I can understand the general structure of the sentence. This is very good. I was starting to get frustrated and felt like I wasn't making progress.

Yesterday I reviewed lesson 19 of Assimil, did lesson 20, and reviewed with Anki a bit. I also reviewed the genitive case some more.
It's hard to study in a studio apartment when theres a total of 4 people sleeping in it this week, lol. However, I'm making the best of it. Also, language learning aside, it's been a blast.


I went out to dinner with some friends, and got some drinks afterwards. I don't understand much of the conversation. Most of the times I can get the idea of what they're saying, but not always.

Most people I hang out with speak English very well. This is cool because I'm not isolated, but unfortunate since it would be strange to practice speaking my rudimentary Polish in these situations. Nonetheless, I still try to speak in Polish as often as possible, however most people are very excited to speak English with a native speaker.

These next few days are going to be spent traveling, so I'm planning on doing Babbel on my phone during car and train rides. The upside is, I will be hanging out in the countryside and going to a few parties over the next few days, so I expect there to be many opportunities to speak Polish, as I've been told the level of English there is very low. I'll post back in a few days and let everyone know how it goes!
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User avatar
drp9341
White Belt
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:21 pm
Location: NYC / Poland
Languages: American English (N) Italian & Spanish (C1-C2) Brazilian Portuguese (B2) French (B1-B2) Polish (studying full time)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=5978
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Re: Drp9341's Polish and (maybe) Italian Log!

Postby drp9341 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:08 pm

So it's been 5 days since I've posted.

Thursday to Sunday I stayed in the Polish countryside with my girlfriend's (quite large) family. None of them speak any English, and they were all extremely cool and friendly, so I spent Thursday night through Sunday morning speaking LOTS of Polish. As far as studying goes, I reviewed my Anki decks and the genitive case. However I learned lots of useful words and expressions from asking what things meant and using google translate.

I was actually quite shocked at how easy it was for me to communicate. I could converse about lots of topics, and I understood what was going on. I mad tons of mistakes I'm sure, but as far as communication goes, I didn't really have any problems.

This is going well, hopefully by the end of July I'll be speaking at around a B1 level.
4 x

User avatar
drp9341
White Belt
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:21 pm
Location: NYC / Poland
Languages: American English (N) Italian & Spanish (C1-C2) Brazilian Portuguese (B2) French (B1-B2) Polish (studying full time)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=5978
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Re: Drp9341's Polish and (maybe) Italian Log!

Postby drp9341 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 7:47 am

Hey everyone! I'm back after not posting for about 2 weeks.

After I got back from my girlfriend's family's house, I studied hard for about 3-4 days and then started just studying very casually. I think I burnt out. I spent 2 weeks in the city, and I studied Anki, did maybe 1-2 lessons on babbel a day, and looked up random words in google translate anytime something popped into my head. I just got tired of doing the same study grind everyday.

Right now I'm back at my gf's family's house. I've been here since Saturday, (today is Tuesday.) Her family is very cool and friendly, and I spend lots of time talking with them. My spoken Polish has gotten much better in only a few days. I understand sooooooo much more now than I did 2 weeks ago. I guess something clicked in my brain.

I am able to have conversations about all sorts of things, what I lack really is vocabulary and grammar. I am pretty familiar with the structure of the language, which is great, because when someone says something, I usually understand 70% of it, (if I know the context, if I'm eavesdropping or watching TV I understand MUCH less.)

Most random things I read I can figure out. In fact, I bought a magazine the other day, and to my surprise I am fully able to read it with some help from a dictionary and a lot of patience.
__________________
My Plan to get to B1 in the next 3 weeks.
I am doing a lesson of Assimil a day, but not doing it "hardcore" I'm just memorizing the sentences that I don't understand, or sentences that contain grammar that I am not 100% familiar with. for example "powiedz mu że... I didn't know the dative for the 3rd person masculine. I would have said something like "powiedz on że..." I know that a lot of the stuff I am saying is wrong, but everyone understands me just fine, and it would rather speak incorrectly than be rude and not speak at all. (and! I make mental notes of all the things I struggle to say every conversation I have!)

I also frequently ask everyone for corrections when I speak, for example, yesterday I said, "wszyscy są w plaża" and then I said "czy to ma racja? jak się mowi?" and they corrected me and told me it's "wszyscy są na plaży."

Then I write these sentences down and put them in Anki later.

I want to sign up for a polish class in September when I will be living in warsaw, however I am afraid that they will put me in a beginner class, so I want to make sure my grammar, syntax, and vocabulary is good enough that I won't get put into a beginner class. In order to get to a good B1 level and to improve my communication abilities as much as possible before september I plan on doing the following:

1 lesson of Assimil a day, (it's pretty easy now, so I'm just focusing on stuff that I don't know)
1-2 lessons of Babbel's beginner lessons each day. (it helps a lot with grammar, since it makes me do boring exercises I would otherwise avoid like the plague.)

and then using this website http://mowicpopolsku.com/polish-grammar ... trumental/ to familiarize myself with the cases.
____________________

I'll post back in a week or so and let everyone know how it's going! I am going to be in Krakow for a few days visiting people and probably partying so we'll see how much studying I get done during those 3 days lol.
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User avatar
drp9341
White Belt
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:21 pm
Location: NYC / Poland
Languages: American English (N) Italian & Spanish (C1-C2) Brazilian Portuguese (B2) French (B1-B2) Polish (studying full time)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=5978
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Re: Drp9341's Polish and (maybe) Italian Log!

Postby drp9341 » Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:03 pm

Alright everyone! It's been a couple of weeks, so I'll post an update:

For the past 3 weeks I've been living with my girlfriends family. Monday I go to Italy, and won't be back here in Poland for a month. When I come back in September, I'll be living in Warsaw, teaching English and Spanish, so I won't be forced to use Polish as much as I have been this past month.

Everyday I have to speak Polish. It's great, and it's really hard.

Here's what I've been doing everyday:
I do one of A, B or C (depending on my mood or upcoming events):
A.) 2 lessons of Assimil, shadowing, and writing down useful phrases and words to later put into Anki.
B.) I use contexto.reverso.net to look for words when I wake up in the morning. (I usually wake up with a few question on how to say certain things.) I write down useful sentences in my notebook. I kind of just get lost in this site, learning useful expressions and words and writing them down in my notebook. I do this especially if I have an event coming up that I know I may need specifically vocabulary for.
C.) I read a page of Harry Potter and look up all the words and sentences I don't understand and write down useful things to be put into Anki.
then there's part 2 of my strategy...
1.) I take all my my notes that I got from A, B or C and I write them down on a special white sheet of paper how I would like them to go into Anki.
2.) I review grammar, (cases, verb conjugations, perfective and imperfective verb pairs etc.) sentences from these that would be useful also go onto the special white sheet of paper that will then go into Anki.
3.) I have my girlfriend look over the list and try fix any sentences that are wrong.
4.) I write out all the cards and my girlfriend records the audio for all the cards.
5.) I actually study Anki. I do this all the time, and I'd say 5 days a week I actually complete my review, and the other 2 days I only get halfway through.
6.) I review that white sheets of paper that turn into Anki cards, and occasionally look back in my notebook at notes.
7.) I make it a point to talk as much as possible with my girlfriends family for Polish practice.


My level of Polish as of the end of July is still A2 in terms of speaking. I cannot speak at a B1 level, but I could probably pass a B1 written and listening test. I find it very mentally taxing to speak Polish, and some topics I'm totally lost with. I feel totally comfortable with everyday activities like shopping or getting a haircut etc. and even can converse for long periods of time without much help on a lot of topics, but I still lack vocabulary. Maybe on a good day I could pass for B1. Before writing this, I just had a half an hour long conversation about doctors, teaching online, immigration, a sick nephew and some more things, and felt very comfortable and fluent doing so. I did have to look up the words for acid (as in acid reflux) though. I also messed up the instrumental case a few times and said some stuff in the nominative case, because I didn't want to stop the conversation in order to think about how to say a word in the instrumental case.

When I'm in Italy, I'm going to have a lot of free time, so I will make sure I do Anki everyday, and really focus hard. I can't let my Polish become forgotten. I learned it so fast that if I stop studying entirely for a month I will loose TONS of progress. I still feel like if I take a day off, I take 2 steps back. It's a very weird feeling. For example, if I study 3 days in a row, I feel improvement. However, if the 4th day I don't study or barely speak any Polish, I feel like I regress back 2 days. It's like climbing up quicksand. Maybe my memory is messed up, or maybe this is a side-effect of "speed studying."

When I'm in Italy I'll try to work on improving my Italian a bit, but that will probably happen automatically.
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