Polish (with a sprinkling of French)

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Polish Paralysis
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Re: Polish (the lazy way)

Postby Polish Paralysis » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:27 am

eido wrote:But I systematically broke down my own thoughts into processes and patterns, comparing English to Spanish and vice versa, until I was translating from either into either. I used the guidance from my teachers to scaffold my self-study and exploration, but most of the grunt work after learning the conjugations and being presented with verbs lists was mine.


I like the idea of translating your thoughts. But my question is, should it be a forceful process? Should I not simply be able to slowly translate more and more of my thoughts based off the things I've listened to or should I go about deliberately looking up words constantly. My fear would be the fact that I would wind up with sentences that are not grammatically correct. If google translate was always 100% accurate in the translations it renders, things would be different. I also feel like a considerable effort would be involved. Oh and thank you by the way.
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eido
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Re: Polish (the lazy way)

Postby eido » Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:23 pm

It was a process I didn’t pay conscious attention to as I was a teenager, so I can’t give too much advice on that.

What I do remember is I took words I learned and forced them to be meaningful. But often I didn’t have enough to sound like me, and I wanted to sound coherent and intelligent, so I was always looking up conversational connectors and words to enrich my expression, even if they seem basic to others. We take for granted the range of ideas we can express in our native language.

I’d write a paragraph in English and see how much I could translate to Spanish using a dictionary, and then I’d fill in the blanks and get corrected on it, asking questions along the way. Language learning can’t be done without asking clarifying questions.

So I’d say yes, it’s somewhat of a forceful process, because the higher the level you want to attain, the more you’re going to have to seek out appropriate vocabulary. My version of comprehensible input was using my own logic to explain grammar, and using various logical structures and levels therein to scaffold my knowledge, like a big web.

It’s only a matter of how much effort you want to put into it, and what works for you. The “MIA” method might be worth trying if you’re looking for a simpler, no-effort way to acquisition.
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StringerBell
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Re: Polish (the lazy way)

Postby StringerBell » Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:40 pm

Polish Paralysis wrote:I like the idea of translating your thoughts. But my question is, should it be a forceful process? Should I not simply be able to slowly translate more and more of my thoughts based off the things I've listened to or should I go about deliberately looking up words constantly. My fear would be the fact that I would wind up with sentences that are not grammatically correct.


When I first started with Italian, I was pretty much always asking "How do you say..." I'd ask about very simple things that I found myself wanting to say, and once I knew how to say it in Italian correctly, I'd go out of my way to say it a lot until I could say it automatically without thinking. Even now, when I want to say something that I've never said before and I'm not quite sure how to say it, I'll ask my spouse how to say it and then try to write it down (if possible) so that I can remind myself later on, or I'll try to keep repeating it in my head.

I know that you don't want to have a conversation with your financee at this point, but she could still be a good resource; if you find yourself wanting to say something in Polish but you don't know how, ask her how she'd say it, and then do whatever works for you to remember it (repeat it in your head, use it during an iTalkie lesson, write it down, etc...) Another way to use your financee would be if you came across some construction or verb in Polish but you're not quite sure how to use it yourself; you could ask her for some example sentences using it (even better if those examples are things you might actually want to say yourself at some point).

I think translation is good for forcing your brain to try to think about how you'd express an idea in your target language, but a lot of time the translation will either have mistakes or just not sound right. I hate translation, but I think it's actually really useful, because when I get something wrong and I take the time to compare what I wrote to how it should be, it sometimes helps me to remember how to say it right in the future. So, I think translation can be a really good activity if you have a way to check that what you've come up with sounds ok. I'm curious to hear if other people see this differently.
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Polish Paralysis
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Re: Polish (the lazy way)

Postby Polish Paralysis » Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:42 pm

StringerBell wrote:I know that you don't want to have a conversation with your financee at this point, but she could still be a good resource; if you find yourself wanting to say something in Polish but you don't know how, ask her how she'd say it, and then do whatever works for you to remember it (repeat it in your head, use it during an iTalkie lesson, write it down, etc...) Another way to use your financee would be if you came across some construction or verb in Polish but you're not quite sure how to use it yourself; you could ask her for some example sentences using it (even better if those examples are things you might actually want to say yourself at some point).


I might not "make use of" my fiancee for conversation practice per se but I do certainly ask her a lot of questions in a day related to how to say various things. I've never been one for concerning myself with grammar explanations so I generally simply ask her how to say certain sentences or phrases that I feel like I would struggle to say in Polish.

StringerBell wrote:I think translation is good for forcing your brain to try to think about how you'd express an idea in your target language, but a lot of time the translation will either have mistakes or just not sound right. I hate translation, but I think it's actually really useful, because when I get something wrong and I take the time to compare what I wrote to how it should be, it sometimes helps me to remember how to say it right in the future. So, I think translation can be a really good activity if you have a way to check that what you've come up with sounds ok. I'm curious to hear if other people see this differently.


I think translation is an essential part of learning a language as an adult. I think that anyone who doesn't take advantage of translation is effectively giving up the advantage that we as adult learners have over children. We already have a whole series of abstract notions that we are capable of expressing in our L1. Why not simply translate those and use those. Vladimir Skulteky has an interesting method whereby he listens to content and simultaneously translates what he hears into his native language. I, being new to the language learning game, am not in a position to say whether this translation process helps or hinders language learning.
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Polish Paralysis
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Re: Polish (the lazy way)

Postby Polish Paralysis » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:12 pm

I wanted to discuss a few difficulties of the Polish language and what I am doing to to overcome them. Having previously learnt Mandarin Chinese to what I would consider to be a B2 level in speaking, I didn't think Polish would not present that many challenges. I couldn't have been more wrong. The first issue I encountered was:

Cases

Cases were the bane of my existence when I first started learning Polish. I simply could not understand how people could remember the endings of so many words. In my mind it was the equivalent to needing 5x the vocabulary required to learn another language. I have slowly discovered that this is not quite the case and the patterns start to become more natural over time.

Three elements that have benefitted my understanding of the case system have been:

1. A good general idea
I understand the more difficult to remember cases by using a sentence.
I give something to you
Because English is a SVO language the above sentence can therefore be rendered as:
(subject) (verb) (object) to (indirect object)
Now all you simply have to realise that each of these takes a different case and always be aware of the role that a word takes in a sentence to know what case it is in.

There are a few additional elements such as when you negate a statement the object changes case. But these are minor issues once you have the general idea in mind.

Another thing to bear in mind is that certain prepositions appear in relation to certain cases. Just learn a few good example sentences to make these stick and they shouldn't should present too many difficulties.

2. Listening while paying attention to patterns.
The specific patterns I pay attention to are those listed above.

3. Making mistakes
Speaking practice is far better than learning grammar tables when it comes to figuring out the grammar system of a language, as far as I am concerned. Every time I make a mistake, I look up the correct form. In a way, I do use grammar books (more like simple websites) but only to correct mistakes that I make. It is far easier to remember one grammar rule at a time in relation to a particular mistake you made than to remember a series of grammar rules that have little personal significance to you.

Having used this as a basis, cases are far less scary to me now and I would dare say I am starting to become comfortable with them. I am however always open to new ideas on how to deal with the challenging aspects of the Polish language.

I will discuss a few more challenges in posts to come.
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Polish Paralysis
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Re: Polish Paralysis (no longer being lazy)

Postby Polish Paralysis » Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:35 pm

I've recently been thinking about incorporating a bit of variety into my language learning routine. I was just reminiscing the times when I used to learn Mandarin, trying to decode which parts of my language workout made me more successful with Chinese than I currently am with Polish. Then it dawned on me:
Contructions
I used to primarily use Chinese Pod (along with a very well created sentence anki deck) when learning Mandarin. Chinese Pod constantly introduced me to new constructions. Every lesson, I learnt a new grammatical construction. This made the task creating sentences on my own much simpler. More recently, in a bid to make my life as easy as possible, I have been staying away from thick grammar tomes. But what if there was a grammar book out there that I could simply strip for all its useful constructions and then discard. I think I might have found the perfect book for just that; one I have known about for a long time but which has always somewhat intimidated me. Beginning Polish by Alexander Schenker, a FSI-style book made by a layman. For the next few weeks, I plan to take the time to go through it and hopefully come out without having to start every sentence with "to jest.." or "myśle że..".
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cjareck
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Re: Polish Paralysis (no longer being lazy)

Postby cjareck » Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:40 pm

Polish Paralysis wrote: "myśle że..".

myślę, że ...
Comma is important:
Image
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Polish Paralysis
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Re: Polish Paralysis (no longer being lazy)

Postby Polish Paralysis » Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:44 pm

cjareck wrote:
Polish Paralysis wrote: "myśle że..".

myślę, że ...
Comma is important:
Image


Haha true, true! Thanks
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Brun Ugle
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Re: Polish (no longer being lazy)

Postby Brun Ugle » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:07 pm

Did you find the audio for Beginning Polish? I was checking to see if it was available before getting the books, but none of the links I found work. It’s supposedly hosted by Yale, but I couldn’t find it.
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Polish Paralysis
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Posts: 44
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Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=10586
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Re: Polish (no longer being lazy)

Postby Polish Paralysis » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:15 pm

Brun Ugle wrote:Did you find the audio for Beginning Polish? I was checking to see if it was available before getting the books, but none of the links I found work. It’s supposedly hosted by Yale, but I couldn’t find it.


https://yalebooks.yale.edu/beginning-po ... -resources works for me. Buckle up and get ready for some good old fashioned drills. By the way, I'm planning on using the more difficult to find volume 2 that has the drills in it as opposed to the grammar explanations, but using volumes 1 and 2 should make for a good combination.
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