General course feedback
Please use this thread to share you general feedback and suggestions – anything that does not concern Tips or particular sentences, but the course in general.
This will help us improve the course and better plan its further development.
Overall the course is going great! However, there should be an individual section teaching each case (except Nominative of course). Luckily for me, I already speak German, so I know perfectly well how to use cases. However, had I not learned German prior to learning Polish, I would have been lost. Also, I could use a little bit of specified practice with the Vocative, Locative, and Instrumental cases, because German does not have them. Thank you for making the course!
I agree! The course is great so far for me, but I also speak Russian (with cases) and have grown up hearing Polish (though not speaking it). So I can fairly easily gather what cases are used for what and when in Polish, though I fear if someone didn't have background knowledge with cases, they might get lost.
I too agree with this and wanted to suggest having a unit about accusative and one about instrumental for example, early on. In my experience, it will greatly help the learner to be able to develop a "feeling" for the different case endings early on through repetition of easy sentences which need those cases. Kind of like the "noun = noun" unit, but larger, so as to remember it through repetition. You could, for example build a accusative unit block, starting with 1 unit with neuter nouns only (the ones with no ending in accusative) and then have 2 or 4 units in that block which only deal with the nouns that do have a special accusative ending. You could say it's a no-brainer that way, but in my experience, this greatly helps develop an intuition for the language and it also helps memorise the vocab already used. So imo it's a great way of learning. I notice this a lot that case practice is quite often falling under the table on duolingo it seems :(
Other than that thanks a lot to you guys for creating this course! It's really cool to be able to get a glimpse on the Polish language and the tables you provided are great! Thanks a lot for your hard work! Keep on going :)
I firmly believe that one of the most important improvements would be really expanding the Tips and Notes. I know that we probably shouldn't mention it, but many people do read every little detail. They always help, especially for such a complicated grammatical structure! Thanks.
I agree, I've assumed they're just not finished yet since the course is so new, but sometimes I'm really confused because suddenly a genitive pops up and it hasn't been mentioned anywhere, and similar stuff. It's very confusing when you think you've learned something (by trial and error) and then next time it gets marked wrong and you have no idea why. I would love to see an introduction to each case before you start getting sentences with it, I hope it's coming as they keep improving the (otherwise already very good) course :)
Correct solutions need to include the option of a female singular person speaking (ex. powinienem/powinnam).
I tested out of a good portion of the tree so I don't know if this is something you're intentionally leaving for later - but this is tripping me up in practice, since as a female my instinct is to use the female version of those type of verbs.
I've reported this but just want to point out in general.
Interestingly, it seems like the app is less tolerant of misspellings than the website. I can't say for sure if it's catching all of them, besides anything else it depends what lesson I'm on, but I know the app has given me a virtual rap across the knuckles for missing ó a couple of times. I should go back and check some of the lessons where there are lots of words with diacritics.
I just want it to tell me if I got them wrong; pointing them out as typos seems the most straightforward. That way, those who can't access the special characters don't get penalised, but everyone knows where the diacritics should be.
That must be frustrating not to have access to the keyboard. I know the popup keyboard is available on the iOS browser.
You should be able to install a Polish keyboard on an Android device, though, which would make your life easier? Though it's a pain switching back and forth, it's not very well designed, IMO, on Android.
I can't run Duolingo on my PC, and the special character keyboard doesn't show on my Android stock browser or Chrome. If we have no special character keyboard, we shouldn't lose points for missing diacritics (only happened once, so far, with "mówisz" in the 3rd "Common phrases" lesson, many other diacritical "errors" pass through). But I can't tell if the pop-up keyboard is working for everyone else on Android, on browsers and not the app. So I submittted bug reports, as this is possibly a general Duolingo problem. But definitely, I think we need to get marked wrong if we have the diacritics keyboard and still miss a special character. They are indeed different letters.
Hopefully they'll fix the diacritic error recognition feature soon. I thought it was part of the plan.
As for my keyboard problem, I found a workaround. Thanks for the tip; Actually, I'd already had multiple multi-language keyboards installed. However, the Swype one wouldn't pop up, the LG one's prediction bar wouldn't pop up and it had no Polish keys [it does, actually - see correction below], and the Multiling O had font too tiny for me since I've quit my glasses. So I figured out that the LG's handwriting recognition feature works great and the prediction bar even pops up with it for backup. (For if I want to use the Multiling O, which has individual Polish keys, I screenshot-magnified it and stuck the character map on the wall for feeling my way through.)
Switching between keyboards and languages is painless. A keyboard on my Android Duolingo page would be a lot easier to see via zooming, if they can manage it, but I will take whatever works for now.
[Edit: The LG buit-in keyboard does have individual Polish keys. You just have to long-press corresponding keys for the Polish special character counterpart to pop up.]
That's how it works for me on the app, but not on the webpage - though the last couple of days I've mostly used the app and on the site, because I've been busy and it's more convenient, so it might have changed. The app tells me when I have typos, the website doesn't, at the moment; it accepts slon without comment, which is not good for my spelling.
In the case of that particular word it doesn't matter, because I know it's supposed to be słoń and I generally type it correctly, but I worry about learning dodgy spellings when it's not even marking them as a typo :-/ Having it on the app is good, though!
True, you are right.
I have used both the app and the website (generally the website more often), and because I saw it on the app I assumed that it was the same on the website.
In my case, I have configured my computer keyboard to Polish for when I am studying (I don't like to use the virtual keyboard) and I am always trying to type it correctly so I also assumed that I was always typing correctly.
The funny thing is that it actually works in both ways. I mean, if you put a special character when it is not needed, not warning or mistake is triggered. I just tried with a random sentence in one of the first lessons, and it accepted "mlęko i chleb" as a correct translation for "milk and bread".
So get information about typos on the exercises is getting a bit more complicated than I expected...
The course is very good so far. Only trouble I've had is sometimes in the listening, I miss part of a word - I replay several times but still can't hear it - it's usually at the start of words/phrases. Example, for "pije", I often just hear "je".
I had similar trouble when I first started Italian, then they changed something with the voice and it was fixed - probably just a little tweak somewhere.
Are there/will there be bonus skills? Or are they only available once out of beta?
That's a problem with the TTS, we'll try to disable audio for sentences where it is really bad, so the experience should improve over time.
We have some dope ideas for bonus skills, but they're not a priority for now. If anything, we'd rather work on more “general-purpose” skills first, but I wouldn't expect them in the nearest future. We want to polish (see what I did there?) the existing skills first.
Sorry team, I'm making notes as I go. I tried going back and flagging the sentences but I'm not getting the same sentences the second time round. Please don't get mad at me for posting corrections here :(
"Ty stoisz przed szkołą" - "You are standing in front the school" should not be accepted as an answer (it should be "you are standing in front of the school").
"Jestem obok ciebie" - You should accept "I am beside you".
"Ten bogaty mężczyzna wspiera biednych" - You should accept "this rich man is supporting the poor".
"Pies jest lekki, człowiek jest ciężki" - You should accept "a dog is light, a person is heavy".
"Twój syn jest wesołym chłopcem" - You should accept "your son is a merry boy", and not "your son is merry boy". I would also suggest accepting "happy" for "wesoły".
"Sprzedaję metalowe i plastikowe rzeczy" - You should accept "I sell metallic and plastic things". Both the provided answers ("I sell metal and plastic things" and "I am selling metal and plastic things") are wrong. The two answers provided would actually translate to "sprzedaję metal i plastikowe rzeczy".
"Młodzież nie śpi w nocy" - You should accept "young people do not sleep at night".
"Nie jestem wesoły, chociaż piję wino" - You should accept "I am not merry even though I drink wine". "Wesoły" was previously introduced as "merry" ("twój syn jest wesołym chłopcem", where "happy" was not accepted).
"Dziewczynki pracują szybko" - You should accept "girls work quickly".
"Jestem w kościele z moimi rodzicami" - You should accept "I am in church with my parents".
I know its stupid but he reminds me of Zbigniew Herbert. http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/report-from-the-besieged-city/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zbigniew_Herbert :)
Could you include more information on how to create plurals and whether plurals are also affected by case and how so, please? Thank you for the course! Also, will there be an immersion option for this course and is genitive case explained because I see it for some of the words but don't know what it is or when to use it?
I am close to the last checkpoint and so far I love the course. It's really well made. I appreciate that you have written simple sentences and yet avoided to add too many sentence fragments. Translating single words just isn't very interesting, but on the other hand sentences don't need to be long and complicated either. I think ideally, it should all be sentences, but as simple sentences as possible to teach the words.
The progression of the course works very well for me. Maybe I should mention I've already studied Polish earlier so I'm not a real beginner, but I feel it would probably have worked well if I had started from scratch too, the lessons are not overloaded. I'm a course creator myself (Swedish) and have taken a few courses here on Duo, and I think Polish for English is one of the best.
Questions in Polish - a general rule
I have noticed, that some of the questions in the course are formed without the particle "czy": "Weźmiesz kartkę i długopis?" , "Dałbyś mi swój samochód?" , "Chcesz o czymś porozmawiać?" , "Znacie studenta siedzącego w tym samochodzie?" , "Jesteś posłanką?" , "Dostałaś moje zaproszenie?" , "Macie dwanaście złotych?"
Is it an intentional measure? For learners of Polish, it may be difficult to differentiate question from statement only by phrasal accent. So perhaps it would be better to propose as the basic form, the questions witch "czy" at the beginning, with the other as an acceptable alternative.
Just started the Polish course after waiting eagerly for it to come out for what seems like forever :D There are a lot of Polish people living in my city and it would be a very useful language for me to learn. However, I'm already intimidated, just by looking at the first lesson! The consonant combinations and new letters to learn are quite scary; I've no idea how I'm going to keep them all in my head! It's quite a shock when you're used to French and Spanish :D
So I think it would be much easier for me to understand and learn if there was a lesson, or some grammar tips, on Polish spelling and how the different combinations of consonants sound; it would give me something to refer to instead of just being told "this word is pronounced this way, but this one is pronounced this way" etc. Thank you for all your hard work on the course though and I'm sure whatever you do with it will be great! :)
Polish pronunciation is quite straightforward, actually. The only problem, as you have noticed yourself, is getting your head around those nasty consonant-combinations. But once you know how consonants and vowels are pronounced in Polish, you'll be able to pronounce all words correctly because we pronounce all words just as we spell them, unlike in French or English, for example. There is a good overwiew over the pronunciation of Polish sounds right here https://www.duolingo.com/skill/pl/Phrases. The pronunciation is often a real turn-off for a lot of speakers, but after a bit of practice it will come very natural to you. The grammar is what will get you :D
Thank you very much for your helpful, kind reply! :)
I apologise; I didn't realise there was already a pronunciation guide :) I shall be studying it very closely! And I'm sure I'll regret saying this, but I'm hoping the grammar won't scare me too much; I actually enjoy learning grammar :D
Thank you once again!
Thanks for this too. I'm just starting and I'm very intimidated. I jumped on to that page and it is very useful but I think I found an error.
One line in the table is for the /a/ sound as in "tak" (a word I am very familiar with from sitting next to Polish people at work!) and the English equivalent is given as "cut". I'm 99% certain this should be "cat" instead.
I'm just a beginner, but found some of the videos on youtube helpful to explain the alphabet and pronunciation. There are some apps in the google app store if you search for Polish and some of them have voice pronunciation of the words. Also, there are some good websites with free audios of children's books read aloud for common fairytales that are easy to follow, as well as some well known American cartoons but in Polish. Google "Polish audio children's books, free" http://wolnelektury.pl/katalog/audiobooki/ http://www.pimsleurapproach.com/resources/polish/useful-links/teach-kids-polish/ http://bajkidladzieci.13tka.com/historyjki-obrazkowe.php?page=index ( Fun cartoons in Polish ) https://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+pronounce+Polish&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8
A weird thing - I was not notified that the language is available - I checked if it is myself. Also, Polish shown among the languages which are still hatching, at the very bottom of the page. The information on the screen reads that only 30 people are currently learning it. Also, we did not get the usual announcement on Facebook (that a new language is avaiable). Why, what is going on?
It's completely normal, I remember exactly the same thing happening with Russian.
You will probably get the email with a notification 2-3 weeks after the release, just as it was with Russian. Weird, I know.
It is similar with announcements on social media – you can probably expect them in 1-2 weeks. I guess the Duolingo staff just want to give us some time before a large influx of new learners :)
The thing with 30 people is also a known issue – the “Courses” page on Duolingo takes ages to refresh. It's Monday tomorrow, so who knows? Maybe it will finally show the right number. But not for long, as it will quickly become outdated again.
Hmh, interesting, thank you for the information. Maybe it is indeed a period of time that they believe you might want to use to improve the course here and there based on the limited user feedback or verify whether you are satisfied with what it looks like at this point, so that the "announced" beta is even better? Anyway, congratulations for the completion and thanks for all of the work, I cannot wait to recommend the course to my international friends! :)
Hello, First of all, I'd like to say thank you to all of the contributors who managed to create such a solid Polish to English course. I really appreciate your hard work! I'd also like to ask if there are going to be any bonus skills added anytime soon. I think it is a very good way to enrich a course. For example, I also learn German for English and there are bonus skills for Christmas or idioms, which I really find useful and interesting.
Yes and no. In some cases the TTS can be tweaked to be a little easier for beginners to understand. It's been mentioned on the Dutch course that there are some settings that can be applied to maybe improve things. So it's not just about the language. There are times where it sounds like the TTS is swallowing phonemes. Someone up above mentioned that sometimes «pije» sounds like «je».
In my experience, the listening exercises are drawn from the general sentences. They're not specific to the listening exercise. If a specific sentence has issues with the audio, report it.
I don't think saying generally 'the listening exercises are hard' is anything to do with the course specifically, it's feedback on the language.
Hi! First of all I would like to congratulate you all for such a necessary course. Polish is in my opinion a very necessary language nowadays as Poland gets better in technology and education, competing with the rest of the EU. This course is helping me a lot to improve my skills. Thank you very much.
Now, I want to contribute with some feedback. I've just reached the plurals lesson, but there is no information available of how to form plural. I think is very important to understand these suffixes which make the noun plural, in order to not confuse them as declensions. In other languages without declension, such as spanish, if we see a suffix in a noun, we can easily find the meaning as the only case that we have is the Nominative Case. But for me, as a spanish native speaker, if I see a suffix in a polish noun that I don't recognize only gives me confusion, as I know that a noun can be declined in 7 forms; both in singular and plural. Which only leaves me wondering what that suffix mean, and beyond that, why it is there.
I would recommend more information about the plural formation, as well as some specific lessons of each case to understand its use and formation, both in plural and singular forms. Just to avoid future confusion from people whose native language does not use declension, like me.
The information whether noun is in singular or in plural is in some way distributed between the verb and the noun. To understand the meaning requires to know what case one should expect. It is so because:
Often the singular in genitive case is the same as plural in nominative and accusative - a sample here.
In Polish, verbs generally require noun to be in given case. For example, a phrase with negation requires genitive - sample here; "mieć" (to have), "lubić" (to like) require accusative - a sample here, similar with "jeść" (to eat) and "pić" (to drink) - sample here. There are cases that a different case gives the phrase a different meaning - a sample here , other sample: "dostać" (to get) - with genitive means receiving a gift or other object, with accusative - getting some disease.
I do not think that it is possible lo learn by heart various endings for various cases, there are too many of them, and they are not unique - see here Gramatyka języka polskiego . It would be probably better to learn which verbs require which cases and learn those cases in simple words, used with there verbs.
I just arrived at the Plurals lesson as well, and was surprised that there was no information given on how to form them for the three cases already introduced. Was that info given in a previous lesson and I just can't locate it? It's so inconsistent with the previous lessons, which were very good at providing charts for the various endings.
Woda / wodę?
I just got to the food section and the word for water has changed spelling from wodę to woda. Are both acceptable spellings? Just curious!
Otherwise, great work! I've been struggling to get anywhere with Polish for months now -- I think I have learned more in two days than in the past three months!
Your post is a bit unclear, but what I can say for sure is that "this" should always translate as "to/ten/ta" and "that" as "tamto/ tamten/tamta". Otherwise it will just confuse people and make the course worse. WHen one steaches grammar, one should teach it properly. Variants and usage tips can always be added in the comments.
What I meant is the phrase "To jest jablko", "To jest dziewczynka" etc. it means that is, this is, and it is. depending on context. Just using "to" means "this", but in "To jest" it means the other things too. I guess I need to clarify more...
Maybe I'm just looking into things to much...
Here are explanations, that I have already put here-and-there in the comments to separate sentences:
The word *to* is a bit special - it is actually not one word, but these are 5 different words, that are written the same.
- One of the most important pronouns. Pronouns are very important in Polish. They very often replace that, what in English is wtitten this, it or even the: "To jest jablko" (This is an apple).
- A particle, that replaces verb "być" (to be) in complex predicate: "Warszawa to stolica Polski" (Warsaw is the capital of Poland) , "Ania to dobra uczennica" (Ania is a good student) , "Czas to pieniądz" (Time is money); This particle may also replace a construction "to jest" (this is, it is): "To ja" (This is me), "Kto to?" (who is this?), "To prawda" (This is true), "To tu" (It is here), "To za daleko" (It is too far away). Attention: "To to jabłko, o którym mówimy" (This is the apple that we are talking about) - here are 2x "to": case 1 and case 2, side by side!
- A connective that joins two sentences, of which the second is the consequence of the first: "Zdejmij koszulę, to ci przyszyję guzik" (Take off the shirt, then I'll sew the button), "Przyjechał wcześnie, to dużo załatwił" (He came early, so he arranged a lot). It may also connect sentences in a dialogue: "Kupiłem chleb. -- To dobrze." (I bought a bread. - Good.); "Przestępczość wzrasta. -- To źle" (The crime rate is rising. - Too bad"); "Pewnie on ukradł konia! -- To, to, to, to!" (It was probably him to steal the horse! -- Yes, yes, yes, yes!); Attention: "Źle wyglądasz. Are you sick? -- To nie to. Mój kot dziś zdechł." (You look bad. Are you sick? -- No, it's not that. My cat died today." - here are 2x "to": case 3 and case 1. The phrase "To nie to" or "Nie, to nie to" is a very popular expression serving as an intruduction to explanation of negative answer.
- A particle serving for greater expression: "Kto to przyszedł?" (Who came!?); "A to się wszyscy zdziwią!" (Oh, everybody will be surprised!)
- A particle serving in a sentence as a sort of interlude, for example to separate the known (or an obvious information) from something new, or to put more stress on that: "W zeszłym roku o tej porze, to lało" (Last year in this season, it was heavily raining); "Tę książkę, to pamiętaj mi oddać" (That book, well, remember to give it back to me).
This may be also interesting to read: "to"
Hi Guys, Just wanted to say a big thank you for getting this up and running. I visited Poland for the first time over Christmas to meet my girlfriend's family. Thanks to a few day's effort on this (Wish it was available sooner!), I was able to show that I had made some effort to learn the language.
In terms of feedback, I am finding spelling Polish words very difficult even if I can recall the pronunciation. Perhaps make some form of Alphabet lesson available in the first few levels (I did find some notes for this which has helped)? In this regard the mobile app is great as you can choose words. Perhaps also remove the capitalisation of word options in the mobile - this is a give-away.
Yeah, quite many people have pointed this out. I agree that this should be fixed in most sentences, but honestly, it is hard to draw a line in some cases. Alright, “Man and woman” seems acceptable, but should we accept “Man likes apple”? Seems like a no to me, but you could always find some context – maybe it's about the Apple company? ;)
Shold not the line be drawn where it exists? It is a language course, not a translation course. Using your "Man and woman" As example: "Man and woman" - all men and women in humanity. "A man and a woman" - two individuals. "The/this/that man..." - specific about whom we are talking. Distinct differences, do they not excist in polish? There is a sentence "Nie jestem w gimnazjum, jestem w liceum.". Which I presume should be interpreted as the speaker is attending one specific level of education. However the accepted translation is "I am not in a junior high school, I am in a high school" which indicates that the speaker is located in a building used for this certain level of education... and also a level of elevation since it should probably be highschool. ;-) It's just an A, but it's very important where you use it even if it doesn't exist.
There are repetitive questions from learners about the conjugation of verbs. I think that every verb should include a table with conjugation (as it is in f.ex. course of Franch) and information to which group of conjugation it belongs. F.ex. like that:
- ja - piję
- ty - pijesz
- on/ona/ono - pije
- my - pijemy
- wy - pijecie
- oni/one/oni - piją
I am not sure, but perhaps some forms of the same verb in perfective mood should also be included in explanation:
- wypić (+ liquid name in Accusative case) : to drink all of vailable part of liquid (a glass, an ocean).
- wypić (+ liquid name in Genitive case) : to drink all desired part of liquid (like a sip or two).
- upić (+ liquid name in Genitive case) : to drink some part of a liquid (like a sip or two from a full glass).
- napić się : (reflexive verb) to drink enough to be content with.
- napić się (+ liquid name in Genitive case) : (reflexive verb) to drink some (similar meaning as wypić)
- zapić (+ optionally liquid name in Instrumantal case) : to drink after having something eaten ; to drown (sorrows in alcohol);
- zapić się : (reflexive verb) to get completely drunk; to die by getting completely drunk.
Also explanations of nouns, numerals and adjectives should include tables of declination.
Please consider that without the explanation of verb conjugation it just creates confusion. I also would like to have explanations for the noun cases, I don't know if you explain them in further lessons, but for the first 5 lesson there are lots of confusion as there are three different spelling for "man"
That would mean a lot of clutter, we want to use the Tips & Notes to give a good overview of the concept and introduce some rules of a thumb.
You could always use external resources -http://polishconjugation.com/ and http://www.tastingpoland.com/language/verb/verb_infinitives.html seem rather helpful.
OK, I see. Then perhaps it would be possible to create threads on the discussion board - maybe in the "Sentences" section ? - explaining declinations and conjugations, and you would be consequently adding in TipsNotes section the links to these threads. That would be better than adding these explanations to threads concerning separate sentences - as people do now.
The advantage of this solution would be, that anybody can help creating these descriptions. But there may be some grave disadvantages, maybe you could think it over.
On second thought - I wonder whether it really makes any sense. That would require an immense amount of work to provide detailed desctiption of all the conjugations and declinations. A work, that is alrady done elsewhere. Maybe it would be worth to do for the first 10-20 words that appear in the course, but for the rest - provide only links to specific positions dictionnaries - like for pić: http://sjp.pwn.pl/szukaj/pi%C4%87.html ; https://pl.wiktionary.org/wiki/pi%C4%87 or to one of the above mentionned pages.
Just to clarify the various 'drinking' verbs in Polish: 'Wypić' does not necessarily mean to drink all available liquid; you could 'wypić' two sips of water. 'Napić' is a reflective verb, so is followed by a 'się', i.e. ''napić się'. It does not always mean 'to drink enough to be content with'. To be honest, I would be struggling to find a difference in meaning between 'wypić' and 'napić się'; in most cases the two are perfectly interchangeable, but require a different case of a noun (e.g. 'wypić wodę' but 'napić się wody'). 'Zapić' does never mean 'to drown'. If followed by a 'się' (as in 'zapić się') it means to get completely drunk. I have to say I am full of admiration for anyone who undertakes to learn Polish as a foreign language, it's not an easy task.
In some of the sentences there are two correct versions, here is a reference. But unfortunately, Polish course here accepts only the 1rst version, "majority support".
"Some collectives, like "number" and "majority," can be singular or plural depending on the article used: The number of guests is smaller this year. A number of guests are from Germany.
A majority of voters support Jones. The majority of voters supports Jones."
Loving the course very much! However, I have had a problem: In some of the vocabulary sections (such as "colors" or "family") I have a very difficult time remembering all of the new vocab that I am given each lesson. I finished the "family" unit in about 20 minutes, but since then I only remember about two words out of the whole unit. I feel it would be better to break up some of the vocabulary units into more lessons, so that I, and other learners, can practice and get a feel for each word instead of learning them all at one time very quickly. Thanks!
I was wondering if it would be possible to force in any way the use of the singular or plural form of the second person (you).
I keep catching myself being lazy and tending to use the singular form of the verbs every time I have to translate something from English to Polish.
I haven't made it to the past tense yet, but from my previous knowledge I think I remember that the conjugation of the verb also depends on the gender, so it would be useful to force somehow to conjugate the verb depending on the gender as well (if that has been solved, strike this part of the comment ;)
Apart of this, I love this course. I was studying some Polish in the past and this is really helping me to improve in some aspects I was always struggling with. Thanks for the great job!
I'm so far really enjoying the course! It's so far been very helpful for getting some of the basics down.
One weakness I'm noticing that I have is translating English phrases to Polish. I would love to isolate and practice that particular skill more, but I don't have the option to. If not that, then I definitely think including more English to Polish translations in lessons and practice would be very helpful.
I agree with this. The Polish to English translation is nice because it helps us understand Polish, but the other way around would help us practice more and remember words more easily. I often have to do skills several times (which probably isn't a bad thing) in order to remember them.
Sometimes the hover hint for a noun in a sentence includes the gender/number/case, but often it doesn't. Was this intentional? Or should I report it when I see it? I think it's really helpful, and would love to see it everywhere. Either way, it can't be said enough: thanks for the great course!
Hello, and thanks for the hard work :) It's awesome to finally be able to learn Polish! As a beginner, I couldn't help but start the course as soon as it got released, but I know you're still working on the Tips & Notes. Since I'm a beginner and I don't want to miss anything, here's my question : Is there any way to know whenever new Tips & Notes get released, or do we have to check every skill?
Forgive me if this has already been covered! As a native English speaker, the case system of Polish is flooring me. I can barely get to the end of a practice. Maybe more focus (a lesson) on each case would help.
Maybe I'm not far enough into the tree but I kinda feel I have no idea which case does what or how to conjugate anything accordingly.
Been studying Polish for a month now, passed a few checkpoints, got most stuff nailed so far, and generally impressed with Duolingo. Painfully aware that I'm still at a very basic level but enjoying the process.
A few notes of feedback at this point: 1) The tips and notes were interesting reading but alas, they stopped after I passed the first checkpoint. This is a pity since I really liked reading them. I'm not sure if this is also the case for other language courses, but I think it would be a great place to convey not only grammar, but also cultural tidbits of general interest. 2) I like how the browser app requires you to type on the keyboard but the iOS app allows you to drag in words most of the time to save frustration. One minor thing about the latter, though: Often, the first word of the sentence gives itself away by virtue of having its first letter capitalized. I try to overlook this "hint" but it can be kind of hard. IMHO it would work better if none of the words were capitalized (except for other reasons, such a being a proper noun, or whatever would trigger capitalization in the Polish language).
Again, thanks for the great course so far.
A lot of what the comments are saying here. Personally, I'm just taking this course to brush up on Polish as it was my first language and I stopped speaking it when my grandparents stopped living with us around age 6 or so - so thank god I have a vague understanding of the noun cases or else this course would be a total waste.
I think for Polish there should be one section per case....or gradually introduce a new case every so and so lessons the same way other courses do with verb tenses. It's a little extra work of course, but very necessary. And although you say it'd be cluttered, I really really think at the very least there should be tables in the lesson notes of verb tenses or the noun case that might be used in that lesson. If Polish weren't imbedded in my somewhere I feel I'd give up here and feel totally defeated since cases (which make zero sense to an English speaker) come out of nowhere with zero explanation it seems.
Also haven't gotten too far in and am mostly voicing what I'm hearing from my roommate - who's taking the course to try to talk to me a little more and asking for help left and right as I'm slowly inching my way through the course.....but I hope along the line there a bonus skill on Christmas or Religion or History (meh, maybe some is covered in food because of salt? ;) )- despite not being Catholic it'd be fun to work in explanations and sentences about Wigilia or The Pope.
I love this course a lot !
It really fits with my learning, the 'buildup' is pretty nice (the order in which new cases, verbs, times, ... are introduced). And that it really forced you to get the grammar right.
I also really like the 'Tips and notes' on the first couple of lessons. I see it has been a while since these have been made (6 months or so?), is there any progress on these for the other lessons? I'm using external sources now, so it's not as important for me, but I think it would be a really great addition to the course.
I've been getting too few english -> polish translation exercices, I feel. I can't count the number of times I've been asked what "Mężczyźni są dobrzy." means. I know what it means! I'm answering that question reflexively at this point! The trouble is that I know that if prompted, I'd have no clue how to actually spell "mężczyźni", and I definitely don't remember the word for "skirt", or what ending to use for personal pronouns in different genders/cases. I think there needs to be a much higher rate of english -> polish exercises.
That's how Duolingo works, un/fortunately – I could say the exact same thing about German course for example. ;) There is nothing that course contributors can do about it; generally, what kind of exercises and how frequently you see, is decided automatically by an algorithm and it seems that the data from A/B experiments proved that translating from the language you learn has better retention rates…
Good news is, you can always take the reverse course, which for the same reasons, will force you to almost only translate from English to Polish. ;)
Are you using the app or web browser?
When using the web browser I don't get much English -> polish when learning the lesson for the first time, but when reviewing I get plenty (50% of the questions or so). Also the hard ones. It's actually pretty hard because you need to now the correct word, which case to use and how the case looks.
On the app I don't get much English -> polish, and when I get it, it is almost always the exercise where you choose the words from a group of word which makes it a lot easier. That's why I mostly use the web browser
I have tested, that for some phrases, Maja speaks much cleaner, if there is added a dash or a semicolon. Please - try how is pronounced for example "Ten klient będzie kupować ubezpieczenie" and "Ten klient - będzie kupować ubezpieczenie", "Ten klient; będzie kupować ubezpieczenie".
Can you modify the input text that is transmitted to Maja, so that it contains some additional, unnecessary but helpful punctuation ?
Unfortunately, no. I have noticed it too, she always pronounces “kot” and “chleb” wrong at the end of the sentence, but in other contexts they usually sound alright. We're gradually disabling the TTS for weirdly sounding sentences, this is all we can do at the moment.
I am very, very happy that Polish is now available on Duolingo. Sadly, out of curiosity, I changed my language to Spanish so that I could try out the Catalan from Spanish course. Now, I am unable to get back to English and the Polish course. Does anyone know how to change one's home language? It does not appear to be working for me.
Clicking on this link should sort you out: https://www.duolingo.com/course/pl/en/Learn-Polish-Online
Not until the course comes out of Beta, which only happens when the course has stopped receiving a certain number of error reports per day.
Edit - Apparently Duo has changed their policy. Polish and Russian just appeared in the iOS app today (15-Dec-2015). Very cool.
I've studied Polish before but the entrance test put me at level 1! No problem as there have been a few new words and help revision. I've tried to work through it faster with the "test out" feature but I've had to do every test twice so far. The first time through, it doesn't acknowledge it.
So far, the course is excellent overall! One thin that I think could be improved are the Tips and Notes. For example, in the Negation skill, there is no explanation that you have to use the genitive case (it took a lot of outside research for me to figure that out). Great job and thank you for giving thousands of people the chance to learn such a great language!
The course is excellent! Thank you! My only complaint (or perhaps it's not a complaint) is I would find it more useful to learn the formal you sooner. For someone (like me) who needs to immediately start using the language the formal you is vital and it takes a long time to reach it.
The course is nice so far. I just have one little remark, not sure if this is the right thread for it though. For each section I'm trying to keep the bars full, however, for the section "Household" it is not possible for me to reach full bars, no matter how much I repeat it. It isn't really a big deal, but as this is still a beta version I thought it may be useful to report it.
That sounds like a bug that would need to be reported in the troubleshooting forum. I've found that redoing all the individual lessons within a skill is usually enough to gild it, but if you do that and it still refuses to go gold, then you probably have a bug on the technical side - and I don't think the Polish team are able to do anything about that.
On the plus side, if you feel that you know the stuff better than Duolingo thinks you do, you can always just ignore that one coloured skill. (I know sometimes it can be really annoying, I have OCD and skills that won't gild would drive me nuts ;-p)
Great job. This is a ground-breaking course. Expanding on other comments, there is a pitfall. The strength of Duolingo is immersing yourself and learning the language but Polish has a very complicated grammar. Nouns and adjectives have different endings based on rules for gender, soft/had/g/k roots, and animate and inanimate objects. If you try to learn this grammar by individual excamples, it could be a long process. Potential solutions are using a dictionary and grammar book. Tips and notes in the course for quickly organizing the grammar would also help.
Where the words are listed that we will learn in each unit, nouns are written in cases that we haven't studied yet. I think it would be more helpful if they were in the nominative case. Sometimes the words that are listed don't come at all in the lesson.
Thank you for the course! Enjoying brushing up my rusty Polish skills!
I would like to suggest that you add 'jak' to the question vocab. I think this should be in there because without it the very useful phrase 'Jak się masz?' is impossible to know. So it would be nice if you either add 'jak' to the question vocab or 'Jak się masz?' as a whole to the phrases vocab. Otherwise I think this course is great so far if you have someone to talk to regularly!
The display of accented characters is funny. They are slightly bigger and bolder than the unaccented both in upper case and lower case. This is particularly noticable with "ż" and "ź". Perhaps they are using a different font? I don't mind this actually since it makes it more obvious to me that there is a character I am not used to when I am reading the text.
Well done getting them to appear at all though. I'm familiar with how difficult things can get in software once you try to work with characters outside the most basic accented ones used in the romance languages.
ps. I have to go to Poland for work in a couple of weeks and the ability to pick up some basics using Duolingo is great. Thanks a lot for the work to make this course available, I really appreciate it.
I would love it if we could have the alphabet with each language somewhere. I teach phonics and I think its a great way to learn to read and spell but I can't find all the sounds for Polish. I did it for the German and it made it a lot easier (although there were a lot less new sounds in German).
I can't quite pick up on the sound that letters like ł and digraphs like dz make.
Try this grammar pdf, it has an extensive section about polish letter sounds
You can embed a link in your comments by including the http:// at the start: http://seelrc.org:8080/grammar/pdf/compgrammar_polish.pdf
Thank you very much for the course. It might have included some other features like the check pronounciation (e.g. as it is in German), so you have always areas to improve ;-) But you've still done a lot of work for us to learn Polish! Thanks.
I have a question about the general duration of the course because I passed more than a half of topics, but I'm still on level 8 with only 18% of fluency. How many levels are there? Or how many XP I should earn approximately to complete the course (if I don't use tests or checkpoints)? What is the equivalent of 100% of the course (I mean A 1.1, B 2.1 etc or some other metrics like Pre-Intermediate, Intermediate etc.)?
I'm making good progress with the polish course and I think it is great in general. Thanks!
However, one thing that I find very annoying is that in a lesson description, the list of new words has them in a declinated form. Often it is nice to just look through the lesson overview to remember the words. If they are declinated, often in a form most different (instrumental), this is hardly possible. Furthermore, sometimes they are declinated in a form that is not even covered in the lesson.
I would highly recommend that all nouns and adjectives etc. are in the basic form. Not necessarily for verbs since the infinitive is often harder to remember than, for example, third person singular.
Thanks for the Pol-Eng course! It's great.
The only issue I see is calculation of the percentage of knowledge. I am almost finishing the course. During a month I earned 3200 XP and only 5 topics left to learn. And I have only 25% of the knowledge! It's converted into an elementary level if you want to post it to LI...
I was doing German course the same time with 1-2 lessons a day (680 XP) and I have the same 24% here.
Are there any tips how to increase the percentage in Polish?
I dropped off after a few lessons (sometime after plurals) because there were no more grammar explanations. I would love to have a few tables I can refer to, both conjugation and declination. I learned some latin and French ages ago and recall having found those tables for verbs and nouns extremely helpful.
Not sure if this relates specifically to the course, or Duolingo in general, but: does anybody else occasionally do a new skill/lesson through the web site, and only have to do about 7 questions to finish? In the app, it always gives about 15-20, even if some are repeats. Usually the web lessons are the same, but sometimes just 7. In the earlier lessons, I just chalked it up to more limited vocab/concepts (which in retrospect was an absurd thought anyway). But I'm about 2/3 down the tree now, and it just happened again, in Abstract Objects 10/10.
After getting through the Past Perfect lesson, that particular lesson seems to want to stay at 4/5 strength, despite practicing 7 times in a row. It's probably because there are so many sections to that lesson, and I certainly need to practice those verbs, it seems to be excessive. Perhaps that lesson should be divided into a part I and part II to reduce the pain a bit.
I have peeked some, though its gotten a lot less as I have memorized almost all of the phrases for this topic. I don't think that I have peeked notably more for these than other topics. I've done the review ten times in a row now. I'm still a little iffy on the connecting vowels, but those usually get accepted.
EDIT: Now at 17 reviews. I'm not using hover for anything, and I am guessing the sentences for the listening comprehension based on memory rather than using the repeat buttons to hear them again an be sure I have the right sentence.
EDIT2: Just did a new lesson, then two more reviews, with no hovers at all. I think I have a bug... Hopefully it will be back to normal tomorrow. 200 XPs for the day is way too many.
EDIT3: I found a similar problem reported for Dutch and sucessfully cleared this hurdle — the solution was to redo the individual lessons (in my case part 1/10). After redoing, the skill turned gold again.
Just a personal observation. . . . . and it particularly applies to Polish. I have been learning Polish for a while and have been to Poland for extended stays. As a language it has an incredibly complex grammar (I was competant in German and French as a child) and I have found it impossible to remember the grammar rules in practical situations, that's not been much of a problem. I've sort of learnt it by repition, and I usually (I am told) get the grammar right intuitively.
I don't think learning the 'grammar rules' of Polish helps much in learning the language. It's sort of learning by steps in dancing and learning to improvise in dance. Some dances, and languages can be resolved to simple rules, Polish is not in that group, you have to 'improvise' the grammar, just make and instinctive guess about what is going to work.
Different people do seem to learn different languages in different ways and for different purposes. If you are living in Poland and want to converse about day to day topics, picking up the grammar simply by using the phrases you hear around you. If, however, you are more likely to use your Polish reading the news, articles, or poetry, as I am, then a systematic understanding of the grammar is absolutely necessary. Polish does have a more involved noun system than French or German (and a simpler verb system), but it's quite similar to Russian, Ukrainian, and even Latin, so learning it may make other languages easier. If you want really impossible grammar, try the Irish or Turkish programs.
Hi, Basically I'm thick, never did all the parts of English at school and don't understand what they are or what they are called. (negation, possession, adjective, pronoun, conjunct and so on, just copied all of those from this site) Is there a way to skip these bits? I've got to Present1 and have had enough. I only want the words. I understand that they relate to different things like who it belongs to and so on. When I go to Poland to see the family i want to understand them, I only want the words, a larger vocabulary. i can mostly understand by knowing the beginning of the word. Kupic, its about buying things, that's enough to start with. They don't care if I use the wrong gender or ending. they are very forgiving, they do correct me when I am wrong, but that is OK. Please is there a way to skip these bits? Also 'cookies' never seen them or bought them in Poland yet most of the beginning was all about cookies. Please substitute other words in other than cookies! Or is there an audio file that has all the words on it so I can play it in the van as I drive along? Thanks
If you're uninterested in learning the grammar, then maybe the place to start is with a decent phrase book, or maybe a bunch of phrases on Memrise - I'm sure there must be courses in basic Polish phrases and words.
Any actual language course is, sooner or later, going to focus on sentence construction, because most people want to actually learn the language, not just scrape by, and Duolingo is aimed at giving you a decent grammatical basis to actually use the language, not just parrot phrases. If you don't want to use the language that way, then I'd think you'd be just as well sitting learning from a phrase book or dictionary... I'm not convinced Duolingo is the language course you're looking for, basically :-/ To do what you suggest (skipping grammar, just learning vocabulary, not being concerned with using cases and the correct verb endings etc) would make the course useless for what it's designed for/for people who are using it to learn sentence construction. It just isn't how Duolingo is designed.
Like James said, it sounds like you need flash cards (and maybe a good phrase book) so as to learn set sentences or words. What you're requesting is not how Duolingo works.
Regarding grammar terminology - I got to the age of nineteen with the sum total of my grammar know how being "adjectives are describing words, nouns are naming words and verbs are doing words", then went to uni and learned Russian to a high degree of fluency. Not knowing the technical terms doesn't mean you can't learn the language. I'm still fuzzy on some of the terminology, doesn't mean I can't use it.
Well, if that is thick, I think a lot of us are pretty thick. I wonder whether Duolingo is the program you want, though, since this is clearly aimed at sentence construction, and grammar is going to be a big part of that. If you really just want to build up a knowledge of Polish words without any context for them, you might want to look for a good flashcard program. I'm not a Polish language guy, so I can't recommend a specific one, but a Google search turns up a bunch of them. Never worry about being thick and not talking about a language the way other people do. Learn in whatever way works for you.
Hi, thanks for all the replies. was not expecting that much of a response, but it has given me some ideas. to look for flash cards. I have tried ANKI but could not seem to get it to work. I shall look into other flash cards and the Michael Thomas thing. did not fancy RS it seemed too complex with all the tutors and skype and so on... thanks again :)
Well I can't do grammar for different reasons. Unfortunately, Polish is different from most Western European languages because its organised differently. You have to learn how to connect the words up - pronoun's conjunctions etc.
There is no way round it.
You might find some benefit from the Michel Thomas method which explains the structure without doing detailed grammar. If you get the Michel Thomas CD's its is VERY GOOD for listening in the van - its how I got the basics.
And the course on Duolingo is written for Americans - so 'cookies' instead of biscuits.
I am about half way through the course. The main thing I have noticed as I progress through the course is the course topic is not what I was expecting nor wanting to learn. Currently I am almost finished the "People" course and it mainly entails learning about weak and strong "soldiers", along with sentences like "His wife is his victim", and enemies of enemies, etc etc. If I were to travel to Poland, these are not conversations I would most likely encounter. Shouldn't this course be more focused in the direction of being a tourist in Poland and the conversations they would encounter?
Do you realize that the Duo algorithm throws in older challenges at random to remind you what you already studied? We are trying first to align the vocabulary with the CEFR guidelines beginner levels A1 - A2, but many of our words and expressions are at B1 level. What kind of conversations are you missing? Please provide some specific examples.
I found the course immensely helpful, but lately I've been getting far fewer exercises that require translation from English to Polish. I know there have been a lot of posts about this elsewhere, but for my perspective I've learned by far the most from those sorts of exercise and overall I'm now finding the course less useful. I've finished the reverse tree as well and even the web version is less challenging than its been in the past. I'm very disappointed at this development.
Thanks for the suggestions. I have tried higher crown levels (I completed both the English-to-Polish and reverse tree [Polish-to-English] many times over). At this point doing the reverse tree at higher crown levels does seem like the best option for me.
Regarding Clozermaster, I've used that as well, but sentence completion on this platform seems far easier than having to translate an entire sentence (which was more common in Duolingo in the past).
I'm a heritage speaker (I learned to speak Polish at home after my family immigrated to the States, but was too young to learn proper Polish grammar in school), so making grammatical errors, and seeing where I make those errors, is by far the best way for me to learn to speak the language properly.
I've checked your duome.eu and you're at 100% in all your lessons! It seems to me, you've outgrown the usefulness of Duolingo (and others that you've tried). You're at a point where you need to read Polish books, magazines (plenty of them on the internet), watch Polish movies, etc. If you really want to move up to the next level, you need to invest some money on a private tutor directly from Pl. (eg. through Skype), or someone in your home town who recently came from Pl, preferably a teacher. I agree with you, there comes a point where doing Duolingo is a waste of time. Personally, I've left Pl when I was a child, I've done what you did ie. both trees on Duo. When I saw that it was a waste of time, i've stopped. My interest is in sports, so I read Polish articles on: https://eurosport.tvn24.pl/, https://www.przegladsportowy.pl/, https://www.sport.pl/. I watch some YouTubers from Pl. I stream soccer games from Pl, etc.
Hope it helps. gl
I've been considering a taking a course (I'm actually in Poland at the moment), and I do watch Polish films, Youtube Videos (np. Polski z Anią, 7 metrów pod żiemią, food emperor, etc [last one is not safe for work, but hillarious]) read books in Polish, etc. I still find the Duolingo translation exercises useful, but, yes, a tutor is probably what I need. Maybe once the coronavirus lock-down is in the rear-view mirror I'll get on that. Thanks for the advice and good luck with your Polish learning!
@MartinPiot. Thank you! My Polish is good enough for my purposes. Presently, I'm working on Spanish.
I was going to suggest that you visit Poland, but you're already there. Great! So, by far the best way to learn Polish is to get yourself a Polish girlfriend! :) But, it might cost you more than a tutor, hehe.