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  5. Finished Polish tree at last!


Finished Polish tree at last!

This was a lot of fun, and now I must go to one of the two Polish shops in my town and attempt to ask for something in Polish!

Reeeeally looking forward to additional tips and notes, because Polish is different enough from the other Slavic languages I know to be somewhat confusing in places, and certain things (past tense and conditional in particular) I don't feel like I really understood how they're formed, although I got to the point of being able to recognise them reliably.

Spelling is getting easier, or at least less hard ;-p but I'm kind of hoping there isn't a sudden boom in Czech, because I know I wouldn't be able to resist, and I think my brain needs a rest from West Slavic languages right now ;-p LOL.

Thanks team. Now to gild my neglected other trees and then return to Polish and hopefully by then there will be lots of handy tips and notes to fill in the gaps in my understanding :D

December 29, 2015



Congratulations! Now just wait, in less than a month I'm going to dominate Polish and GET FLUENT !!!


Dziękuje, and go for it!


Gratulacje! <3 Powodzenia w dalszej nauce języków i w robieniu zakupów po polsku :D


Dziękuję! I will report back how the shopping goes when I get down there... ;D


ok do mam nadzeje ze ja cie zobacze sory jak ja zle pisze ;]


Gratulacje i powodzenia na polski sklep :D I still need to get round to doing that :P


Dziękuje! Yes, that's my next trick - there are two in my town, so I have no excuse...



Next up: Slovak :)


Slovak is a lot like Polish, when I see the lyrics to song of the Slovak music I listen to, I can pretty much recognize a lot of the words because of their similarity with Polish.


I did fiddle with a little of the English from Czech tree, and even tested out of a couple of skills purely from Polish + guesswork, so I can easily believe that!


Thank you :D

Haha - one day. I think my brain needs to recover from Polish before I attempt another West Slavic language 8-o That said, I feel like the spelling in Slovak (and Czech?) will seem relatively sane to my poor brain, which has a minor meltdown every time I see a new word with one of those impenetrable consonant clusters...

(I really need to find my Croatian books. Say what you see and write what you hear sounds so good to me about now... ;))


Yes, no "szczetrzyczyńciami" type words in Czech or Slovak :)

Though they do have words like "mzda" (wage), "zmrzlina" (ice cream), and the famous "Strč prst skrz krk" (Stick a finger through the throat).

Slovak even has long syllabic consonants such as vŕba "willow" and stĺp "column", with long R and long L in the middle :)

But I think on the whole, such imposing clusters are less frequent.


There's a sibilant r in Croatian, too, so that's something that's relatively familiar to me. I actually find strč prst skrz krk a lot less intimidating than szczetrztcztńciami, which just makes my brain hurt to look at 8-o I know I could probably work out how that one goes, and if someone said it to me I could parrot it back just fine, but my initial reaction to things like that in writing is to run screaming from the room LOL.

I remember the one and only time I have been to Poland, one of the first things I learned was Cześć, and I could say it pretty well and surprised some of the Poles by not finding it a big deal... and then I asked someone to write it down for me so I would remember it when I got back home, and when I looked at it, I could no longer say it 8-o I had literally to relearn how to say it without my brain's WUT reaction getting in the way. And cześć is pretty straightforward, where Polish consonant clusters are concerned. Polish spelling just genuinely makes my brain hurt. I have got used to it in the last fortnight, but I've found it haaaard! Mind you, I can now fairly reliably type words like mężczyzna and dziewczynka which just made me laugh despairingly the first time I saw them, so... I guess it's sinking in... slowly... ;)

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When I was recently in Warsaw and I was buying some Music CDs at Empik, I froze up when trying to speak Polish, that's when I knew I still had a long way to go to learn Polish....Duolingo has already helped tremendously in that area. I wish it was around before my trip to Poland. ;)

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Congratulations! That was pretty fast. I hope you find many real life opportunities to take advantage of what you've learned. Talking to people in Polish shops is already quite awesome :)


Congratulations! I know what you mean about Czech, I just restarted Japanese (which I hadn't intended to do) because it was irresistible, and Czech would do the same thing to me. And there's no way I could handle all those languages at once. :-)


Dziękuję bardzo!

My brain feels fairly frazzled from Polish, I think it would just give in if I attempted Czech right now 8-o it would not be pretty.

I know just enough Japanese to know studying it on my own would probably make me cry ;-)


My current Japanese knowledge consists of the words for bunny and good afternoon. :-) I might find I recognise some of the basics, because I learned some years ago, but it's been so long that I don't know.


Heheheh. What's 'bunny'? I don't think I ever knew that. I think neko is cat - you're welcome ;-) I know, I'm so helpful.

I did an evening class in my last year of uni for about six months, and once upon a time I could talk about myself and my town, I might have edged towards A1, but I've forgotten almost everything, and the syllabaries have entirely disappeared from my brain.

Konnichiwa! Ohaiyo gozaimasu! Kombanwa! Watashi wa Sarah desu... and I know you answer the phone with 'moshi moshi'... Yeah, that's it. And I can't remember what that second phrase means - thank you? Or... something else entirely different? Oh, and hajimemashite. No, that's it. I don't even think the rest of it is 'in there somewhere', I think it's completely vanished. Machi might mean town? I'm really scraping the barrel here...


Usagi. :-) Well, I'm sure if Japanese ever makes it on here knowing the word for cat will be useful. :-)

I don't even remember what all I knew now. It was probably somewhere close to that.

There'll you high, according to Google Translate. For some reason, I don't think that's what it really does mean. But I have no idea what it should be. :-) And amazingly, machi does mean town. :-)


Okay, I'm genuinely impressed with myself that I got town right punches air

Ahhh I should've guessed usagi, LOL. D'OH!

I looked it up, apparently it means good morning, though I spelled it pretty badly ;)

I just remembered another word; sensei, meaning teacher. My teacher was Ogawa Sensei :)


tora is a tiger!

(So is Torra a Tigger? :D)


I'm impressed too! How did you remember so much more Japanese than I did? :-)

I seem to remember something that sounded something like muskari, but I'm sure I misspelled it, and I have no clue what it means. :-)


@mizinamo Lol! I actually should have know tora. I looked it up once because the Japanese signal to attack Pearl Harbour was "Tora! Tora! Tora!", and I wanted to know what it meant.


I remember weird bits and pieces. I also had a Japanese speaking friend who I was pretty close to at that time, and he used to randomly sprinkle bits of Japanese into conversation at the drop of a hat, which can't have hurt!

(I remember very peculiar things sometimes. For example, I've never forgotten ошейник, dog collar in Russian, despite having literally never had the opportunity to use it, and on the other hand it's only with recent practice that I've consistently remembered the word for remember, although I have never forgotten the word for forget. My brain is a very weird place!)

I had no idea what tora meant, though if Torra isn't Tigger in Japanese, they are missing a trick there.


Sounds like we have similar brains. :-) Why do I remember that Dutch for ostrich is struisvogel? I'm not even sure when or why I learned it. :-)


Why wouldn't you remember that? That's an awesome word :D heheheheheh


One of the best words I've ever seen. :-)


Gratuluję! I'm glad to hear you've enjoyed learning Polish and I hope you'll have even more fun using this knowledge :)


Dziękuję bardzo! It's made my head hurt ;-o but I had fun :D



Polish is my native language. Do you want to practice your Polish with me on skype or something else? In exchange I will practice my English with you :)


Cześć! I may take you up on that in the new year. Right now I'm in recovery from Christmas, but it would be cool to use it even a little!


Ok. Let me know when you will have time.


I live in a very small town, so I don't think they will be as busy as they might be some places. That said, if I can just ask for what I want/say please and thank you etc in passable Polish, it'll definitely be a start!


Wow, that was fast! See, that's what I was talking about XD

I am 1 unit away from finishing my Catalan tree, and I took a shortcut in almost every lesson (because it's extremely similar to Spanish), but you somehow managed to beat me on Polish! hahaha xD

I'm hoping to finish Polish and Russian next year :)

Congratulations "they call me floot" ;)


Too much free time and a stubborn streak probably helped, too, in my case ;)

Dziękuję! I do love Slavic languages... much as my brain needs a bit of a rest, part of me still can't wait for another to come out on Duolingo, it's such a fun and convenient way to get the basics :D



About moving on to Czech right after Polish: You got that right! It would be too hard to remember which little peculiarities of grammar go with which language. That's why I'm staying away from any other Slavic language until my Russian is rock solid. It will prob. be a long wait! But Rus. is v. cool, as you know, and I can wait.

So, do you plan to step up to reading Polish literature anytime soon?


Russian is a really good starting point with Slavic languages, IMO. I mean, I may be biased...

I was fairly nervous when I started the Ukrainian tree, because my Russian was sooooo out of practice, and I didn't want to lose what I had by studying a language that was so closely related. Fortunately, it turned out I remembered more than I thought, it ended up feeling like pretty good prep for the Russian tree. It also made me feel like I was not, after all, a total dunce, because the Turkish tree was really kicking my backside, big time, and I was wondering if I'd forgotten how to learn a language.

I definitely think it's best to get a really firm grounding in one before moving on to the next, though the upside is that the firm grounding in Russian is an exceptionally good leg up to starting another, even one that's less closely related like Polish. So it's worth it from the POV of Russian being cool 3 and it's also worth it from the POV of, once you have Russian under your belt, you will find a lot of familiarity when you move on to other Slavic languages, even if you'll have plenty of WUT moments to go with. (Personal favourite: Russian овощи vegetables, Ukrainian овочі vegetables, Croatian povrće vegetables, Polish owoce... fruit. shakes fist)

I think I'm a way off tackling actual literature, and I reeeeeally want to go through certain parts of the tree with some grammar notes to clarify some things, but I may have a stroll through Polish Wikipedia sometime soon. I have to tend to my other trees, too, some of which are looking a little sad...

Edit to add: I reeeeeally hope we will eventually see courses between the Slavic languages; Ukrainian for Russian speakers, Polish for Czech speakers, etc. Duolingo is such a great tool for cracking the basics, and as well as the obvious benefits for natives of those languages, I feel like learning Polish through Russian would in some ways actually (maybe weirdly) feel more natural, and also would be really, really great for cementing the similarities and differences.

I'm really looking forward to French for Russian speakers - I think doing it via Russian might just be the kick up the backside I need to do some work on my horribly lapsed French - but oh, it would be so great to have other Slavic languages from Russian.


Do you know False Friends of the Slavist?

A big ole collection of false friends between Slavic languages, sorted by language pairs, along with fun little maps showing which words mean what in various countries.

(According to the map for descendants of *(o)vokti, by the way, voće is "fruit" in Croatian, like Polish's owoce -- and Ukrainian овочі supposedly means both!)


Ooh, I'll have a look! Thanks :D


Dobra robota, gratuluję!


Congratulations! And don't worry about Czech. I'm fluent in Polish and now I can read Czech and Slovak texts!

Goodluck on your learning


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