Finished the Polish course yesterday in 40 days
Naprawdę wspaniały kurs.
Dziękuję wam bardzo.
Teraz robię "Hurra!!! Po Polsku 2"
"Well done, can you have conversation in Polish now?"
Not really. The course won't take you to a particularly high level. I didn't start from (as memarkyb put it above) "absolute zero" either. The placement test gave me 33 skills to start with (although when I realised I was missing a lot of vocabulary, I went back and redid them all anyway). My wife, whom I've been with for about 13 years, is Polish; I've been slowly (very slowly) picking it up over that time.
I don't want to discourage you, but the case system is a large barrier to actually conversing in Polish. For example, you may recall that the noun (in the nominative case) for "table" is "stół", but it's quite rare for a noun to appear in its nominative form. Usually, you'll want to say something like "pod stołem" (under the table) or "na stole" (on the table). So first, you have to recall the preposition (as you would in any language) but then you need to recall a) which case is governed by the preposition, and then b) form the appropriate case ending for the noun. It's not easy. But therein lies the challenge!
I agree. The complexity -- and worse, the extreme irregularity -- of the case system are the real headaches in Polish. It is almost a waste of time to even try to learn grammar rules.
Polish really has to be learned by the "lexical method," i.e., learning whole phrases as "chunks:" and then practicing putting the chunks together.
I would recommend this to any beginner to Polish. Don't just learn the word "stół." Memorize the most common phrases the word is used in. Under the table, on the table, beside the table, to the table, etc.
Because unless you're an autistic savant, you won't be able to figure out the proper case ending on the fly. :)
"My wife, whom I've been with for about 13 years, is Polish"
Okay, now there's some hope for my self-esteem! ;D Thanks for clarifying, even though by itself of course it says little in the way of preparatory training or knowledge beforehand and I've well understood you're basically still new to Polish. And please don't get me wrong, it's just that 40 days is really impressive, especially since we're same level, so I'd assume we did about the same amount of repetition. Wow! I'm not sure if I'll get it done in 80, though the odds are strictly in favor with (sadly!) only 2 lessons to go. ;) And no, I didn't start from absolute zero either, but.. almost. Plus, working with Duolingo needed some accustoming, I'm not too well acquainted with apps in the browser and don't even use Facebook.
"The course won't take you to a particularly high level."
Correct, and kind of self-evident, I mean the whole point of Duolingo is to get people "up and running". To get there, and from there on, is what this is all about.
"I don't want to discourage you, but the case system is a large barrier to actually conversing in Polish."
That's so true, it almost hurts. It's even difficult with all conceivable time at hand, yet the bare notion of doing this "online" still seems all but a nightmare. The cases are not the only hard thing about Polish, at least not for me, nor are they only hard in a conversational situation, but it's something I honestly just haven't got my head around.
Congratulations, kudos and all the best.
Ha ha. I will probably be the village idiot, telling everyone that the cat is wet and that I like apples. ;-) (Polish) people speak so fast, I assume I will only understand people who deliver news. I am in any case always much better at passive understanding rather than communicating. Leider. Unfortunately.