What do you struggle with the most while learning Polish?
Cześć! Some of you might have seen my posts here before. I'm a Polish language teacher passionate about languages and teaching. :) I run a website about Polish, where you may find some grammar tips and free self-study materials (www.polishwithpatrycja.co.uk). I wondered, what are the most difficult aspects of Polish grammar? What do you struggle with the most?
Cześć! Thank you for the comment. True, for anyone who knows any Slavic language Polish grammar doesn't seem so difficult but when it comes to vocabulary there are a lots of words that sound similar but have a completaly diffrent meaning. I have taught a Serbian student once and all those 'false friends' caused a lot of loughter during our lessons. :) To work on your spelling I recommend reading articles or simple books in Polish. Pozdrawiam!
I am bulgarian and the grammar is by far the hardest thing for me - very different than ours... and also it can take a few minutes to find the exact meaning of a word I stumble upon by using the wikisłownik and this translating site https://pl.bab.la/slownik/polski-angielski/ Also I don't really find the similar words easier to remember cuz when I have to use them I often think about the bulgarian word and I am not sure if it is the same (or a bit polished) in polish. It is like having to know a single word twice. But atleast it helps with words that I never studied I can kinda guess their meaning.
I don't understand Polish sentence structure at all sometimes. Some sentences can be in the exact same order as English, then others just throw a word in some random spot in the sentence :/
Polish belongs to the group of inflected languages, which means that words change their formsdepend on their function in a sentence. In Polish word order doesn't determinate the meaning the way it does in English, the cases does. Once you master them, understanding sentenses will become easier. :) Although the order doeasn't play an important role some structures are more common than the other. Reading and listeing to native speakers will help you with that. Good luck! :)
Grammar is my biggest struggle. I am a swede and used to a different grammar than the polish one.
Another aspect I have found pretty tough is the ch- and sz-sounds and the way cyllables are put together. Take the word "Cześć" as an example. In swedish it is very rare to put so many sz-sounds in the same word, and especially next to each other.
Sounds like 'sz' or 'sz' are the nightmares of most of Polish learners! But don't feel discouraged, I'm sure you will find your way to work them out. :) What about the Ł sound? Do you find it difficult to pronounce? Some of my Swedish students struggle with it a lot!
My biggest struggle is with the vocabulary. I am a native speaker of Portuguese. Our vocabulary comes mostly from Latin, as it is with Spanish – another language that I'm able to speak. I have also learned English – an obvious affirmation, as we are here discussing in this language :) But a Slavic language vocabulary is very different from what I have learned so far. It's a whole new world for me and it takes a lot of effort to learn things properly.
Also, the Polish and the Portuguese grammars are very, very different. Portuguese makes almost no case distinction, all you have to do is to put the words in the right place. We decline nouns based on number and... that's all. Same for adjectives, but they also decline for two genders. In Polish, by contrast, there are seven cases, all nouns take very distinct declinations which may not be intuitive as they might seem at a first glance. This is overwhelmingly harder for me with adjectives, as they may change also for five genders – considering mos, mzw and mrz as different genders.
Sometimes I switch noun genders because of my native language. For example, the word for Life is Vida in Portuguese, a feminine noun. In Polish, it is Życie, neuter. But nevertheless, I keep thinking about life as it was feminine in Polish. This makes all the difference when declining nouns. One mistake is enough to make the entire phrase look foolish.
I make the same mistake in Romanian if I rush! I automatically assign to a word the gender from Polish and use wrong adjectives. I guess it's just a matter of practicing :) I can sand you some exercises if you like. And don't worry, most Polish people are so surprised and impressed by foreigners speaking Polish that they don't pay much attension to this kind of little mistakes! :D Pozdrawiam!
I think not enough idiomatic drilling. Grammar is tough but if you give me authentic dialogue or examples of common phrases and expressions, I will work out the grammar eventually. I need to loop phrases in context repeatedly to be successful.
True, in some common daily situations like shopping, traveling etc knowing phrases is more useful than understanding grammar structure. That's a very useful comment! Dziękuję :)
Cześć, I find the different forms of the words, differing from the possessor, like lubie, lubimy. Vocab is easy for me though. I'm a native English speaker but I grow up in a bilingual household with Romanian dominating. That's why I have some introduction to Slavic languages. Nevertheless I fell in love with Polish.
And I have fallen in love with Romanian! :) I like those little similarities between Romanian and other Slavic languages, that's very interesting. I find the verb conjugation (forms lubię, lubimy) more difficult in Romanian than in Polish. What exactly do you struggle with? Are the verb endings confusing for you?
Lingots given for your hard work. I have just had a look at your website and will use it!! I started Polish 48 days ago and on level 15 and finding it ok so far. As a Brit, pronunciation is tricky at times. However, with plenty of practice it is getting easier. I have quite a bit of difficulty rolling the letter "r", so rather than sound like a Brit, I use a more guttural "r" as is found in German, which I have done to degree level but such a long time ago now and use Duolingo to brush up my skills there. xx