How would you start learning Polish? (Any tips?)

Ask specific questions about your target languages. Beginner questions welcome!
User avatar
WalkingAlone13
Orange Belt
Posts: 242
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 3:03 pm
Languages: English (N) German (B2) Finnish (beginner) Swedish (beginner) Polish (beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... f=15&t=742
x 332

Re: How would you start learning Polish? (Any tips?)

Postby WalkingAlone13 » Sun Sep 20, 2015 1:36 pm

Apologies for the delay in responding to all of this great advice, I've been rather swamped these last few days.

I've read through everything that has been posted, including looking at the links that have been suggested and everything looks great, extrapolating certain resources from the recommendations, I feel a lot better about starting Polish properly this time. I am not entirely sure why, as I bought the Pimsleur 10 lesson course, and I'm curious why I would have done that if a 30 lesson course was available, but thanks to Iguanamon for letting me know there is actually a 30 lesson course available. I now have the remaining 20 lessons and I look forward to starting them. :)

I think the following resources from the recommendations are what I will try and use once I figure out an order and rough routine in which to use them.
Beginning Polish (Volumes 1 & 2) by Alexander M. Schenker
First Year Polish, by Oscar E. Swan

FSI Polish FAST
'Polish in 4 Weeks' (Books 1 and 2) by rea
Assimil Polish is also available for German speakers.
“The Polski, Krok Po Kroku”
Polish Bez Problem+.
"We learn Polish reader and grammar +2 cds

I had not heard of a lot of these, or had since forgotten about some of them, but these all sound as if they could get me going really well, and could be reasonably easy to structure. I think I'll probably start with FSI Polish Fast, alongside the 30 lesson Pimsleur course. I do a lot of audio learning due to travel so this seems like a relatively nice way to progress from purely Pimsleur. I think that once I have gone through these, noting that I probably won't do FSI Polish fast as intensively as it is most likely recommended, I'll start either Beginning Polish or Assimil with a Deutsch base as recommended by Daegga. I'd seen the French base version around so often that I had actually forgotten about the German base course, though I notice there are a few editions of this now. Polish Bez Problem+ sounds quite interesting, and is another resource I am unfamiliar with, so I might incorporate this once I research it a little more, from what Lusan had stated, if I do use it alongside Assimil Polish as well as using Anki, though I'll probably try and find an existing "course" on Memrise or create my own, I should be at a high beginner stage by this point.
I've enjoyed using readers for my German so far, so the "We learn Polish" sounds quite interesting, especially as most readers I've found so far for Polish seems to be aimed at toddlers, and not really to my fancy. Though I'm sure stories about large blue elephants are probably quite entertaining.

Thanks again for all of the comprehensive replies and useful resources! I'll hopefully start logging the beginning of my Polish adventure alongside my German one in my log, but I'll have to sort out the above resources properly first.
1 x

Speakeasy
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2257
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:19 pm
Location: Canada (Montréal region)
Languages: English (N), French (C2). Studying: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Polish, and Russian; all with widely varying degrees of application, enthusiasm, and success.
x 5945

Re: How would you start learning Polish? (Any tips?)

Postby Speakeasy » Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:56 pm

PsittacusMagnus wrote:Colloquial Polish is definitely the poorest Colloquial course I've used yet. They simply move on to new material and don't bother to explain very well.

I suspect that the "problem" with the Routledge Colloquial series is that the objectives are not clearly stated by the publisher and are therefore misunderstood by the users. It seems to me that the scope of these courses is deliberately limited to that of assisting travellers express their basic, immediate, needs in standard situations: asking a taxi driver to take them to the hotel, confirming the hotel reservation, ordering a coffee or a meal, paying for the meal, enquiring about site-seeing tours, asking for directions to the museum, checking out from the hotel, returning to the airport, etcetera. The goal of these courses is not to develop conversational ability or even to assist the traveller truly understand the native-speakers. Rather, the goal is to help travellers make themselves understood by the locals; that is, get in, enjoy your visit, get out. Students seeking a more in-depth understanding of the target language's structure, along with exposure to more expansive vocabulary, or who merely wish more exercise material, should look elsewhere. I do not fault the purchasers of the Routledge Colloquial courses, particularly as my own expectations were elevated with respect to the first Colloquial course that I bought. I believe that Routledge would do a greater service to their customers, and to themselves, were they to indicate very clearly the deliberately limited scope of this series.
4 x

User avatar
OCCASVS
White Belt
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2015 10:18 pm
Languages: Italian (N), English, Polish (B2/C1), French (B2), Chinese (A2/B1), Japanese (A1)
Studying: Polish, Chinese, Japanese
x 36

Re: How would you start learning Polish? (Any tips?)

Postby OCCASVS » Sun Nov 29, 2015 1:32 am

I would recommend Pimsleur Polish (30 lessons edition) to anyone. At the beginning it's especially important to develop an intuition sense with the language.

And I would strongly discourage against learning grammar rules, other than the very basics. This language is so full of exceptions, that even the native speakers have trouble with it. I am not exaggerating!
0 x

William Camden
Green Belt
Posts: 384
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 2:47 am
Location: Greenwich Mean Time zone
Languages: English (N), German (fluent), Turkish (fluent), Russian (fluent), French (semi-fluent), Spanish (semi-fluent), am studying Polish, have some knowledge of it, also studying modern Greek, basic knowledge of Arabic (mostly MSA, some exposure to colloquial dialects), basic knowledge of Latin and Italian, beginner in Scottish Gaelic.
x 456

Re: How would you start learning Polish? (Any tips?)

Postby William Camden » Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:48 pm

Polish is something of a heritage language for me, it was also a small part of my university course in Scotland although the main languages studied were German and Russian. I used quite a good beginner's textbook for Polish but I no longer have it and have forgotten the author's name - it was a paperback with a grey cover, published in the UK c.1980. It was good for learning elementary Polish although it would hardly get you to fluency.
Despite some early exposure to it I have largely approached Polish via Russian, whose grammar is quite similar and whose vocabulary is also somewhat like Polish.
0 x
: 4321 / 4321Greek Memrise

William Camden
Green Belt
Posts: 384
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 2:47 am
Location: Greenwich Mean Time zone
Languages: English (N), German (fluent), Turkish (fluent), Russian (fluent), French (semi-fluent), Spanish (semi-fluent), am studying Polish, have some knowledge of it, also studying modern Greek, basic knowledge of Arabic (mostly MSA, some exposure to colloquial dialects), basic knowledge of Latin and Italian, beginner in Scottish Gaelic.
x 456

Re: How would you start learning Polish? (Any tips?)

Postby William Camden » Mon Nov 30, 2015 4:32 pm

Also, I have occasionally gone to cafés where the staff are Poles, just to practise my Polish. Depending on your local circumstances that may be an option for you.
0 x
: 4321 / 4321Greek Memrise

Longinus
Yellow Belt
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:56 pm
Location: United States
Languages: English(N)
Currently studying: BCS
Maintenance: German, Russian, Albanian, Estonian
Basic level, 3-6 months worth of work each: Persian, Mongolian, Old Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Polish
Wish list: Lithuanian, Icelandic, Hungarian
x 142

Re: How would you start learning Polish? (Any tips?)

Postby Longinus » Mon Nov 30, 2015 5:45 pm

Others have already posted excellent reviews of the available materials, but there is one additional resource that I would bring to your attention. It is the single best language-learning podcast that I have seen. The site is http://realpolish.pl/. There is a very large amount of free material, and some inexpensive paid content also. Strongly recommended.
1 x

milena novak
x 282

Re: How would you start learning Polish? (Any tips?)

Postby milena novak » Fri Feb 12, 2016 9:49 pm

"We learn Polish" is really good, yet I don't think it can replace a proper language course. When I decided to take a Polish course, I realized I made mistakes before, when I was learning only from books. Good language course saves your time. The best way to learn Polish is to take a Polish course in Poland. I chose Prolog: www.polishcourses.com. Now I speak pretty good Polish and I understand Polish comedies :) The nice thing about language courses is that you meet new people. I even think about studying at a Polish university. My friends say it's really good education here and there are great job prospects for people with languages.
0 x

gangies
x 282

Re: How would you start learning Polish? (Any tips?)

Postby gangies » Fri Mar 04, 2016 9:35 am

In my opinion it would be also good for you to speak with Poles as often as you can and go to some language school like international school Poznań http://www.berlitz.pl/en/poznan. You can also learn other languages here even if you don't know Polish :)
0 x

User avatar
Lysander
White Belt
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:34 am
Languages: English (N), French (false beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=10248
x 110

Re: How would you start learning Polish? (Any tips?)

Postby Lysander » Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:36 pm

The audio for Schenker's Beginning Polish used to be hosted at the Yale website: archive.cls.yale.edu/polish/ This link is now dead. The University seems to have moved things to a new Slavic Languages website, and I cannot find the audio anywhere. I suspect it may be hidden on this Yale-only part of their site now: https://cls.yale.edu/audio

I did find it using the wayback machine here: https://web.archive.org/web/20180201000 ... du/polish/
Unfortunately, though the audio shows like it is playable, it is not. Downloading the files also does nothing.

Does anyone know if any other place to find this audio? I did not see it on yojik's site.
1 x
: 31 / 113 Nouveau Français Avec Facilité
: 1 / 40 Ultimate French: Beginner-Intermediate
: 1 / 50Journal en français facile

Speakeasy
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2257
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:19 pm
Location: Canada (Montréal region)
Languages: English (N), French (C2). Studying: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Polish, and Russian; all with widely varying degrees of application, enthusiasm, and success.
x 5945

Re: How would you start learning Polish? (Any tips?)

Postby Speakeasy » Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:54 pm

Lysander wrote:The audio for Schenker's Beginning Polish used to be hosted at the Yale website: archive.cls.yale.edu/polish/ This link is now dead. The University seems to have moved things to a new Slavic Languages website, and I cannot find the audio anywhere. I suspect it may be hidden on this Yale-only part of their site now: https://cls.yale.edu/audio. I did find it using the wayback machine here: https://web.archive.org/web/20180201000 ... du/polish/
Unfortunately, though the audio shows like it is playable, it is not. Downloading the files also does nothing. Does anyone know if any other place to find this audio? I did not see it on yojik's site.
This happened eight years ago and, being young and foolish at the time, I requested that Yale render the audio files once again freely available, which they promptly did. I will try contacting Yale with a view to having access restored (see "update" below). However, there is no guarantee that this will work a second time. Having just checked Indiana University's CeLT Recorded Materials Archive, where the audio was also once available, I notice that it no longer is. Hmm, perhaps there has been a change of ownership to the copyrights or some other problem. This turn of events makes me doubly pleased that I downloaded the audio files some years ago.

UPDATE: I have sent an Email to Yale University requesting that free access to the audio recordings of Alexander Schenker's "Beginning Polish" be restored. Cross your fingers!
4 x


Return to “Practical Questions and Advice”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests