Your goals and approaches in learning Polish
Firstly I'd like to thank the Polish-English Duolingo team who have put together a fantastic course! Secondly, I'd like to hear what your goals in learning Polish are, and your methods to achieve those goals.
For instance, I started learning Polish on my own in mid-November and my goal is to finish A1 by Easter time. I don't need Polish for work or study so it is simply a hobby. As I already speak Russian, I have found polish grammar (although more complicated) to be quite similar, and so it is mainly vocabulary and the sound of the language that I'm concentrating on. I'm using Krok po kroku as my textbook and Memrise for revising vocabulary. Although I need to start watching Polish films, I do at least sometimes listen to Polskie Radio.
For New Years I was in Poland and found that I was able to communicate on a very basic level: asking what ticket to buy for the metro, ordering food in bar mleczny, buying a SIM card etc. Compared to Germany, it was interesting that once I spoke in (very broken) Polish, people only spoke in Polish back. Here in Berlin I've a Polish tandem who I bore every week or two reading excerpts from the textbook :p
So what are your goals for Polish and what combination of resources are you utilizing to achieve them?
I grew up speaking Polish and English in my house so I don't really have any goals for Polish. I want to tell you that I'm extremely impressed that in such a short amount of time you're already being able to use your Polish in conversations. Especially since Polish is a very hard language and I make a lot of mistakes as a native.
I wish you well in your language learning!
At the moment, my goal is at some point to go down into one of the Polish shops in my town and be able to talk a little Polish with the people there.
It's my experience that Poles are really happy that anyone learns any of their language! The only downside is that if you can manage a decent accent, they tend to assume you must be fluent, and just being modest about your capability... which can be interesting.
I relied heavily on my knowledge of Russian to get me through several patches of the Polish tree which didn't yet have grammar notes, so my current plan is to go back through it at a slower rate and hopefully fill in some of the gaps now there are some tips and notes to help untangle things.
So far the only resource I've really used has been the course here.
Before Xmas I ordered some Pierogi at my local shop but the lady replied in German :p Hopefully you'll have more luck! Without the aforementioned book or my knowledge of Russian, I would be completely lost grammar wise. Looking forward to reading the full grammar notes also.
Nice that you are learning Polish and interesting to read about your goals! I just use Duolingo and I am not far, so I could not recommend much. However I could recommend getting some magazines, so you can have some texts to practice with. I just bought a few German magazines (der Spiegel) for a few euros. They have interesting articles, so it's not just interesting from a language-learners perspective. You could of course also read text online, but I like to be able to sometimes not have to read off a monitor.
About my goals: I would like to understand the Polish language just a bit and learn some basic words and phrases. I come from the Netherlands and we have a lot of Polish people who come here for work, and I think it would be nice to be able to speak with them in their language a bit. Also I could go there on holidays as it is quite close, and also then it's fun and useful to be able to talk with people. So my end goal is somewhere in the A1 region, but well you never know perhaps I may become fluent (though that is very unlikely, as it is not high on my list and honestly Polish scares me a bit, it's so different from my language, which does not have to be a problem, as I find (for example) swahili quite easy, but also Polish looks quite complicated (;.
My goal for Polish is to be able to speak with fluidity with my grandparents and mother for whom Polish is their first language. I would like to be able to make all my verbal and written communications with them in Polish. Whether or not my grammar is perfect or my accent is perfect does not matter; I simply want to communicate in my family language. My given name is also Polish, and when I introduce myself, the inevitable "where are you from?" comes up, and I want to be able to speak the language of "where I'm from". :)
I can understand most of my family's conversations without a problem, but when I try to talk to someone from Poland, my active vocabulary is very limited. When I was a child, my mom would speak Polish, and I'd respond in English.
So, I'm doing this Duolingo course, I'm communicating with my mother and grandparents almost exclusively in Polish (and forcing myself to text/email in Polish as well), and listening, for fun, to the Misja Kraków podcast (Mission Kraków) which is a free Polish-learning/teaching podcast that takes the form of five-minute adventure stories. If you want something fun to listen to, the Misja Kraków is rather engaging. They also have versions available in German and French.
Beyond Duolingo, using Polish as a primary language for communication with family, and the podcast, I'm not using any other resources. I tend to listen to Polish music and read poetry and religious texts in Polish (comparing with English/Russian/Spanish translations to help), and that's about it. I do speak Russian and studied it formally, so most of the Polish grammar I could have struggled with I have already experienced in Russian, and most vocabulary I am unfamiliar with is similar enough, which I'm guessing you've also experienced as a fellow Russian speaker.
My goal is to be able to execute complete, if simple, conversations in Polish. A highly necessary goal when the area I live in has a high concentration of native Polish speakers and as a result, many of the local bakeries and delis that I prefer to visit are run by Polish families whose older relatives don't really like communicating in English.
I've literally only just begun with my journey into Polish so right now, I'm only using Duolingo as a resource. But once my grasp is a bit better, I'll probably try to work up the confidence to attempt simple interactions with the native speakers around me along with whatever other resources I can find.
Best of luck, you'll be surprise how far a few simple words can go with regard to communication :)