Conversational Polish in 1 year?

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drp9341
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Conversational Polish in 1 year?

Postby drp9341 » Fri Feb 10, 2017 6:48 pm

Hello everyone!

I want to be able to speak Polish well enough to converse comfortably, (around a B2 level I guess) within the next year. I don't care, (right now) about the finer points of the language, my main focus is being to able to converse and socialize with Polish.

Due to work I am now going to be spending time in Poland surrounded by Polish speakers my age, (all of whom speak English to varying degrees,) but as you could probably assume since I am a member of this forum, I don't wan't to let this perfect opportunity to learn a new language pass me by.

I have no experience with Slavic language at all.

Here's what I've been doing:
Assimil Le Polonais sans Peine (about 4 lessons a week, then putting the sentences into Anki)
Watching random "learn Polish! videos" on Youtube and taking notes and putting them into anki.
messaging and talking to my polish friends in my "caveman" Polish and having them correct me.
using duolingo when I'm bored to practice some vocabulary.

I've been doing this for about two weeks and I feel I am definitely making progress in the language, although I have absolutely no idea if what I am doing is sustainable.

I don't care about grammar right now per-se. I am looking at grammar online and making mental notes of things to be aware of, and I try to pay attention to noun declensions, adjective agreement etc. but my main focus is on improving my ability to socialize, and then from there I'll hit the books and go into my language nerd mode.

But what should I do?
Is there a good course for beginners? I've never gone about learning a language in such an unstructured way before and I want to make sure I'm not wasting my time.

Can anyone recommend me any resources, or give me any advice?

Thanks
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lusan
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Re: Conversational Polish in 1 year?

Postby lusan » Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:46 am

Polish is my passion. The more I learn it, the more I like it. B2 in 1 year? This is a very tough language for non-slavic speakers. After 2 years, it is now that I feel confortable with small talks and, with difficulties, I read at B2 levels. Grammar is essential. Those declinations are master key's to the kanguage. Listening is also esential. Assimil will not be enough. Believe me, I know by heart most of Assimial dialogues. People do not talk like that and it does not have enough material to reach even A2. I believe Hurra po Polsku is the best, but you will need a teacher. Second best, Krop po Krop. Sorry, there is no many good methods available. This language is a real puzzle. Welcome to the Polish world.
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: 11450 / 20000 Passive words/20k
: 1131 / 3000 Active words/3k
: 2761 / 4000 Mini dialogues/4k
: 88215 / 500000 Words Read/500k

DaveBee
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Re: Conversational Polish in 1 year?

Postby DaveBee » Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:52 am

lusan wrote:Polish is my passion. The more I learn it, the more I like it. B2 in 1 year? This is a very tough language for non-slavic speakers. After 2 years, it is now that I feel confortable with small talks and, with difficulties, I read at B2 levels. Grammar is essential. Those declinations are master key's to the kanguage. Listening is also esential. Assimil will not be enough. Believe me, I know by heart most of Assimial dialogues. People do not talk like that and it does not have enough material to reach even A2. I believe Hurra po Polsku is the best, but you will need a teacher. Second best, Krop po Krop. Sorry, there is no many good methods available. This language is a real puzzle. Welcome to the Polish world.
Polish for Dummies gets very good reviews on Amazon UK.

EDIT
Just reading the book preview, it seems to be a very basic course.
To write this book I had to make some assumptions about what you want from a book called Polish for Dummies:

...You're not looking for a book to make you fluent in Polish; you just want to know some words, phrases and sentence constructions so that you can communicate basic information in Polish
Last edited by DaveBee on Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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DaveBee
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Re: Conversational Polish in 1 year?

Postby DaveBee » Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:17 am

drp9341 wrote:Here's what I've been doing:
Assimil Le Polonais sans Peine (about 4 lessons a week, then putting the sentences into Anki)
Watching random "learn Polish! videos" on Youtube and taking notes and putting them into anki.
messaging and talking to my polish friends in my "caveman" Polish and having them correct me.
using duolingo when I'm bored to practice some vocabulary.
The author of Polish for Dummies echoes your Anki strategy, of learning whole sentences.:
In the case of the Polish language, learning isolated words is not a good idea, as you might not know how to put them together. Therefore, especially at the beginning, you should always focus on memorising full phrases as this is the best way to learn Polish. And you will soon notice that the more Polish phrases you already know the easier it becomes for you to take in more and more and in no time you will realise it’s actually not that difficult.

Russian seems to be a popular choice among learners here. I would expect their strategies for Russian would transfer to Polish too.
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FR films: 46 / 100, FR books: 20 / 100

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АмериканскийДурак
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Re: Conversational Polish in 1 year?

Postby АмериканскийДурак » Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:01 am

I haven't learned any Polish, but if it's anything like Russian (another Slavic language), than it is certainly attainable, if you are in the country, more difficult if you are not, but still probably possible.

The main thing is, do not get hung up on the grammar. Grammar in slavic languages takes a lot of time. Learn enough to be able to express yourself, but don't worry about speaking correctly per se. Learn enough grammar so that people can understand you at first.

Find people to communicate with regularly and make sure that they correct you. When I started speaking Russian, I sucked, but I made friends and I texted them. When I met with them in person, I didn't understand much, but after google translating individual words for literally every message they sent me, I learned all of their usual words and within a month I was be able to converse. Did I speak well? Absolutely not, was it difficult, yes. But, in time it worked.

If you want to practice conversational polish, you need to do start conversing in polish as soon as you can even a little bit, even if it's terrible. Try Italki etc.

Like I said, I have no experience in Polish, but unlike for French for example, I doubt you need to speak Polish well at all for native speakers to be willing to converse with you. It's pleasant enough for people from smaller less desired countries to have someone interested enough to learn their language. It say's you're from NYC. They'll all think that's cool.
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Daniel N.
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Re: Conversational Polish in 1 year?

Postby Daniel N. » Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:21 am

drp9341 wrote:Hello everyone!

I want to be able to speak Polish well enough to converse comfortably, (around a B2 level I guess) within the next year. I don't care, (right now) about the finer points of the language, my main focus is being to able to converse and socialize with Polish.

Due to work I am now going to be spending time in Poland surrounded by Polish speakers my age, (all of whom speak English to varying degrees,) but as you could probably assume since I am a member of this forum, I don't wan't to let this perfect opportunity to learn a new language pass me by.

I have no experience with Slavic language at all.

As with any Slavic language (they are all quite similar anyway) you should really focus on verbs. There are many verbs, and you'll need them. Verb forms tend to be very simple (it takes a week or two to learn them, at most) but verbs tend to be long, there are many verbs showing various shades of meaning etc. and all of them will sound unfamiliar to you.

But you will need to learn some grammar as well, otherwise you won't be able to understand others. You need to learn at least basic uses of cases and forms of personal pronouns (I, me, etc.)

BTW Polish is definitely one of harder Slavic languages, due to its phonology (and weird spelling, from my point of view). However, it has many speakers, so you'll find learning materials easier than for some smaller language. Also, listen to songs to get accustomed to sounds and the way words are stressed. It can be done in a year, but it takes some effort.
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Check Easy Croatian (useful for Bosnian and Serbian as well)


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