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  5. Any tips on memorizing man an…


Any tips on memorizing man and girl in Polish?

And pronunciation

December 12, 2015



It's easy. 1. Learn Russian and find that "mężczyzna" is close to "мужчина" [mushina]. 2. Learn Ukrainian and find that "dziewczynka" is close to "дівчинка" [divchynka]. 3. Bingo!


I've actually found that the similarity between Russian and Polish on that word is messing me up all the time. I always try and write mużczina in Polish and межчизна in Russian.


Another way to memorize: mężczyzna = "mę" (sounds close to "man") + "ż" (first letter of "żona" = wife) + "czy zna" (does he know). When you try to write "mężczyzna", just think: does the man having a wife know what means to be a man?


Haha, I kinda like it!


Wow, that was really creative... 1 lingot for you!


Stubbornly repeating the Duolingo exercises, and having a guess each time, is slowly working for me.


Wiktionary gives IPA and human recordings:



If you familiarise yourself with phonology and spelling rules, you will see that both are completely phonetic, so concentrate on pronouncing them correctly and you'll find that you can spell them. I was quite amazed the first time I typed in mężczyzna correctly, as all Polish words look impossible, but they're really very regular.


Keep writing or typing it. Eventually you can type it no problem. Also listen to the word being said in the language


Type it or write it out by hand (the latter generally works better for me) 50 times, and you'll probably be saying it in your sleep for the rest of your life.


Hate to criticize, but that's not a very effective way of learning if you're writing things 50 times. It's better to just focus on a word for a minute, and create strong associates. I notice for example you struggle with мужчина, муж means husband, чи sounds like chi, на can sound like Napoleon, or maybe you know a Natalie. Then make a story up, like the husband in order to be a man has to share his energy with Napolean or Natalie. I understand that мужчина is not really spelt the way it's pronounced and you'll have to make additional associations. But as a psychology major, I can tell you the secret to learning anything is to associate it with things you already know, and make it funny, weird, violent, or even sexual. And when you get advanced, store that story in a city or place in your mind, specifically for Russian and have separate locations for different languages. Simple repetition works, but it's a very slow process and there are much more effective techniques.


That's a great idea. Sometimes a word or phrase will just refuse to stick and I just need to keep using it and trying to get it right, and get someone to correct it when it's wrong, but I'll try this as well. :-)


Mąż is husband. There's an association for you! Here is another: mężatka - married (to a man).


I speak a bit of Polish but never really learned to write it, so the spelling has been a real challenge! My tip for mężczyzna in particular is to remember that it has 3 z's (well 2 z's and one with a dot) and building it up around that.

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