Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:23 pm
We talk languages
StringerBell wrote:While working on dopełniarz/genitive case this morning, I got hit by a very big "OMG that's it, I can NOT learnt these f*!&ing case endings, I give up!" Had I attempted to start out with grammar in the beginning, I would be 100% giving up right now. But having invested so much time and energy into this language, I don't want to give up that easily. I can deal with biernik/accusative and narzędnik/instrumental, but dopełniarz/genitive just might just be the nail in the coffin.
So, I'm questioning what I want to do about Polish. Originally, I wanted to just be able to read/listen, and for those things I don't have to be able to apply any case endings. But then at some point, I decided that I'd at least like to be able to communicate at a basic level (basic meaning simple, not basic meaning riddled with errors). It's possible that I'm overreacting, but it's equally possible that I will actually never be able to produce relatively simple sentences correctly. Do I keep trying? Do I just content myself with understanding and give up on ever actually speaking without a ton of mistakes? Should I give up all together? <<<probably won't do that last one, but it's on the table.
I'm not going to make any decision while I'm in such a bad mood, so I'm going to just try to keep going and see how I feel a little later. I'm hoping I'll feel more positive about Polish grammar in a few days.
For anyone reading this, what was the most frustrating/difficult/impossible grammar concept you had to learn in a foreign language and how did you deal with it?
rfnsoares wrote:The genitive and the locative cases in Polish are really difficult. I know it because I studied Polish about two years ago. You might know this youtube channel: "Polski z Anią // Polish with Ania". It is the best for grammar explanations. Besides, I like to practice writing down declensions for the 100 most common nouns. That helped me.
Daniel N. wrote:I suggest you not to attempt to learn the genitive case all at once. Learn only the genitive singular first, and only for one group of nouns (say, nouns in -a). That's how you can split a big task into smaller and more palatable ones...
In the long run, verbs will be the hardest thing, you are right.
StringerBell wrote:Thanks for all the responses and suggestions.
Grammar rant: don't read this if you're not in the mood for a bunch of whining and complaining
I was hoping that after tons and tons of exposure (I'm up to 1,500 hours) a lot of grammar would be obvious and I'd have a good enough feel for what sounded right that learning the rules and applying them wouldn't be too big of a deal. This is not what's happened, unfortunately. There are a few cases that I do have a feel for and can apply, but it's really a tiny percentage.
I'm feeling particularly angry because I'm realizing that in some instances, the case ending thing is pointless; in Biernik/Accusative, neuter words and masculine inanimate word don't change the ending at all (and neither do the plurals regardless of gender) which tells me that these case endings aren't actually necessary for understanding the meaning of the sentence. This makes me feel extremely resentful. I can accept the idea of case endings if they are actually necessary for understanding but if a ton of words don't change at all, then what's the point of changing the others?
Then there's the fact that a lot of case endings overlap, which makes them extra confusing, or that masculine words sometimes take on endings that make them look like they're feminine, or that in dopełniarz/genitive there's a list of 423,000 nouns that are masculine inanimate that take a particular ending but 715,000 masculine inanimate nouns that take a different ending... I better not get started on dopełniarz/genitive, I could write a novel just ranting about how ridiculously convoluted that case is. I can't deal with the frustrating level of complexity that's involved in identifying the case and figuring out what the ending should be based on whether the word is masculine animate, masculine inanimate, feminine, neuter. And the whole masculine animate/masculine inanimate thing makes me especially angry. Fruit and vegetables and names of cars are animate????
I know that every language has a ton of nonsense that you just have to accept, but I don't know if I have it in me to deal with this particular level of nonsense. It's too much, man! (<<<BoJack reference). Breaking it down and just focusing on one tiny part of one case doesn't work for me. Doing hours and hours of grammar exercises don't work for me because I can't apply any of those exercises to real life speaking...and I hate doing hours and hours and hours of grammar exercises. I hate it.
My understanding still feel light years away from where I can enjoy native materials; I think it will be years before I can understand the majority of what people say in a TV show or to even be able to read Young Adult books without a parallel text and that's making me feel particularly demotivated. I know that comprehension takes time, but after 1,500 hours I still feel like a beginner who can't say the most basic sentences correctly (like anything that's negative or involves a plural) and that's not a good feeling. In fact, it's making me questioning what I accomplished during all those hours.
So, I think I will take a break from Polish and see how I feel about it in a little while. Maybe once my frustration dissipates I'll decide to return to Polish, or maybe I'll decide that I've reached my limits and it's time to focus my energy elsewhere.