continue with current tree or wait for tree 2.0?
First, I wanted to thank all of the contributors to the Polish course and say I appreciate the work they've done.
I'm currently trying to make the decision of whether or not to give up on the current tree and wait for the new one (with more and better explanations). I'm currently 10th level, and am only on the Family skill. it takes a lot of repetition, and a lot of work i'm doing is just memorizing the sentences rather than learning the cases or gaining a true understanding of the grammar. It's not uncommon for a skill review to take 40 to 50 questions for me to complete. I am learning some vocabulary so there is some value in doing the course. There is value in not losing the words I have picked up, so I will do some occasional reviews and lessons as time allows. The Polish language is pretty.
Learning is a slow process, especially without good reference materials (i picked up a few book to use to learn but their explanations are far from ideal). I don't think Polish is impossible or inherently harder than any other language, but I haven't found the right resource for learning the language. I think an in-person class would be a perfect supplement to duo but I don't see anything in my area.
My Portuguese has progressed much faster in part because of classes available at the local community college.
I'm interested in hearing what other people struggling with the language plan to do now that we know about the direction of the course? It sounds like a great direction and plan, and I'm definitely interested in continuing my studies with the language.
Keep going. You're not going to un-learn anything by studying with the current version of the tree. When the new version is implemented, you can carry on from there.
I found that the Polish wikibook has some very useful pages, particularly the noun cases stuff in lesson 2. I constantly referred to those when I was working on the lessons. I also found Wiktionary very useful for declensions and conjugations.
The main tool that I found useful though, like you, was bloody minded determination and repetition :) I've moved on to a different language now (change of travel plans), but I'll be back to Polish at some point.
Thanks. I think repetition is very important-- it is something I am doing a lot. I have been working on the language daily since the week it was released on duo and still don't have a grasp of a lot of basic concepts.
I haven't found a textbook that explains things clearly for a beginner yet -- I have two Hurra! books (one for grammar and the A1 exercise book, plus a 'we learn polish' book that I had from a class from 10+ years ago). I haven't found anything that is as clear as similar textbooks for other languages (such as Spanish/French/Portuguese). I will check out the wikibook and wiktionary to see if that helps. Thanks for your suggestions and encouragement.
I think you should continue. The new tree won't be out until 2017, so I'm sure that you'll manage to finish the current one by the time the new one will be around :) Then you;ll can use the new one to practice what you've learnt and learn some new things :)
Thanks. I'm definitely interested in learning the language. My family has wedding licenses of my grandparents and great-grandparents that are in Polish, some primers and children books and other family materials that would be great to understand.
I think I simply need to find the right resources (books/websites/podcasts/etc) to supplement duolingo.
I will say for speaking with polish speakers helps the most. Also listening to music in polish or the radio can help too. I too wish I could take classes in polish. I know a school that teachers the language, but it's not in my city, plus I am studying to be a sign language interpreter. I would also duolingo really helped my polish improve a lot along with using apps such as fun easy learn and memrise. Good luck with learning polish
Yes just continue. The next tree will probably be an improvement, but the things you are struggling with right now will improve over time. I mainly use Memrise to, well, memorize the words and Duolingo more to 'understand' the sentences and languages. In the beginning I was struggling a lot with the cases; currently more with past tense, perfective and imperfective. By confronting yourself with the sentences you will get better for sure. Just look at my level in Polish (20); I didn't even finish the tree. There's a lot of repetition there. ;)
And try to find some Polish people to converse with as well. Sentences will likely be more complicated than kot pije mleko so you also think and learn more about the construction of sentences.
Sure, I will get better but I wanted to give up after a review that took 97 questions to finish. Is that a record? :-)
It all comes from not having a good idea of what cases to use at what times and not having good resources that teach them. I think I'm going to take a break from the duolingo course until I find some other resources that help... otherwise the course is not an effective use of my time.
Thanks for all of the encouragement... good luck with your studies.
[edited so that this post doesn't whine too much.. today's lesson was the most number of questions it ever took to finish a review].
I was in the same position a few months back too. My solution was to use the Duolingo exercises together with the Polish wikibook. Rather than trying to remember stuff I knew I didn't remember, I looked stuff up almost every time. I spent a long time without progressing further through the tree, but gradually it did start to click into place.
Thanks. That looks like a good site. I hope the authors continue to expand and work on it!
In your place, having such a long review I would probably become frustrated and start to think less and less. Of course you need to know when you use a certain case and then how it alters the word. I think, it is okay when you make the mistake, if you then analyze and discover why it is a mistake, and why the given answer is correct.
And yes, the current tree doesn't really help you in understanding this. I am not going to say that this is the most effective way or something, but for me it helped to write down all of the case endings for each gender when a new case is introduced. I did not learn it by heart at all, but I can more easily see where the endings come from. I am only confused by the locative sometimes.
Also, my native language (Dutch) does not really contain cases, but you can still quite easily relate them to subjects, objects, 'possessive'; the functions in a sentence.
Good luck! :)
Thanks for the suggestion. I think writing down suffixes for different cases and genders is a great idea. I have been looking for a book or website with tables like the ones you mention. It sounds like a good idea to make the tables you mention. I haven't found one that makes it very clear. The first few skills on duo have great explanations...
I have had problems finding resources that explain why an answer is a mistake or is correct. If I had that, learning Polish would still be work (learning any language takes a lot of work, even one that is considered 'easy') but it would be more manageable and productive.
I'm looking forward to the new tree in hope that the contributors expand the hints and notes.
This thread is 6 month old now and I hope, you still learn polish :-) I am in the same situation and I decided to finish and the actual tree as fast as I can. As I reached about the half of the tree, I began to redo the first lessons (like Assimil method) and I was impressed, how easy they now are - so I've really learned some polish :-) Now, I only rarely use the slower audio version and often I do not need to look at the written text to understand, what the computer voice says. That is an improvement to the time, as I began to work with duolingo polish tree. And till now I only learned with duolingo.
And yes, the grammar is really hard and due to the lack of information in the tree, it is hard to figure out, why this or that is correct or not. There is a possibility, if you learn online with a browser: There are useful discussions at most questions, where others ask questions about this problems, mostly the same as I have and if not, you can ask by yourself, but I mostly do not see them, because I learn nearly 100 % with the iOS app, where I don't have access to these discussions.
Soon I will start to learn polish with textbooks, dictionaries, real texts, books and so on. I think, this would be more easy then, because I already learned many vocabs and some grammar points. Sadly there is less material for Germans to learn Polish, so I have to look for textbooks in English.
Yes, I am also looking forward to the new tree and also hope, that they will expand the hints and notes, expecially for the grammar issues.
Thanks for your comments and sorry for my slow response.
I have been reviewing lessons in Polish and practicing by reading some bilingiual english-polish children's books.-- like Czy jestem mała, kolory, etc. I have a young child and the books serve several purposes. Plus it is fun.
I have even started one or two new lessons. I remembered a lot of words even after I took a break from the language.. that is promising to me, in that I think I have gained some knowledge from Duolingo.. Working a bit on Greek helps me realize that Polish is not so impossible after all..
One reason I want to learn polish is so I can read some family documents like marriage certificates-- it can be useful to learn more words even without perfect grammar.`
It is surprising that there are not materials to learn Polish from German, given the proximity of the countries.
I appreciate your response, and hope you find lots of opportunities to practice and learn Polish.
Thank you for your answer. In the meantime I finished the tree and worked through it the third time. I used also the "Assimil way" ;-) to work through the tree and keep it gold all the time.
Luckily I have found some useful textbooks in German for learning polish, which I described here:
From now on, I will use Duolingo less often and try to read, hear and speak Polish in the real world more and more.
Btw. I got a polish reading book for children, every polish child seems to know it: "Elementarz" I can read and mostly understand it, but there is also new vocabulary and special idioms which are still hard to understand correctly. One of the difficulties learning a foreign language is getting the "Sprachgefühl", knowing the correct idioms and their meanings.
But I am on my way and reached much more than I initially thought.
Now it is a bit difficult to find reading material, which is interesting but not too difficult. I had a very good series for Japanese called "Level graded Japanese Language Reading Library", which was very interesting, funny and motivating. But sadly this concept does not exist for every language.
So I wish you all the best for your studies and have with Polish! :-)
Complement it with other resources. Try to use a dictionary to communicate online. My background has made this very easy to pick up the grammar and other things so I don't really know what else to say.