Learning Polish and Gaining Confidence.
So, I've recently started learning Polish. Its an incredible language and is very interesting. i love speaking it out loud, when i am practicing or learning new phrases or words.
However, i have one problem; I don't want to speak it to polish people.
I am really shy when it comes to actually speaking the language or any other language for that matter.
I have a few work colleagues that are Polsku (I think thats how you say it) and one of them knows that i am learning polish, but i am still too scared to even say "Cześć, Jak się Masz?" Because i am scared that ill say it wrong.
Anyone have any tips or ways i could maybe start doing it or even building confidence?
I was like you when I was young (and foolish, :)). Now, that I'm much much older, I couldn't care less about making mistakes and you know what? I find that I learn more quickly by just talking away whenever I can. Most people don't care that you're making mistakes and are actually happy to help out. I bet some of your Polish collegues don't speak English as well as you do, right? You wouldn't laugh at their mistakes, would you? Apparently, the sooner you start talking with other people the sooner you are going to learn.
I find that to be true. I just finished listening to a French podcast where the gentleman gives an example of learning to ride a bike. You can spend time reading instructions on how to ride a bike or you can get on the bike and try learning that way. Which way is better? So, start talking to your colleagues asap. You will learn quicker!
Well said. Helen234962 It's true that many people will happy when they hear that you are learning their language. And I am sure they to help you with pronunciation and grammar. You also should not worry that someone will not understand you, because for most Polish people is not difficult to understand the non-grammar sentence.
I know from my own experience how hard it was for me to speak English at work. But after a few days, it became normal. In discussion when you do not understand all, always can ask for a sentence repeat ("Czy możesz powtórzyć?" [Can you repeat?] or "Czy możesz mówić trochę wolniej?" [Can you talk a bit slower?]). Additional Polish people understand that it's a very hard language for non-Slavic people (with especially difficult pronunciation, very different than English). So do not think what can go wrong, just do it :) And all will be well!
Ill definitely have a go at some point, however I'm not sure if my work colleagues are comfortable with it as they have made no attempt to say anything in polish to me yet. Maybe they don't think i am actually learning or am advanced enough yet? i appreciate your help, though. I do struggle a little with polish, in the sense that i find that words like piję and pije or My and Ty are confusing a little because it doesn't tell you about placement.
Look from another side: maybe they don't want to confuse you, because it can look that they try to examine you. In the beginning, you also shouldn't focus on the grammar details - only at the generic rules (Polish have a very big number of exceptions). For example, the ending -ę for the specific verbs usually refers to the first person (for example: "Ja piję" = "piję" [I am drinking] or [I drink] - by flection you don't need always to specify the person in the sentence. While the ending -e often correspond for the third person (he/she) in some verbs ("On/Ona pije" [He/She drinks] or [He/She is drinking]. Also, you can just use "Pije" if the subject results from the context). I know that is difficult for use in a real discussion but I think that is a better way to learn some language rules than study grammar book. If you have a Polish friend just ask him if he can help you with a simple conversation. Probably on this occasion, he will clarify to you some interesting aspects of language, which are hard to find in books or Internet articles. I think that is a good way to fast learn the language. Additional if you have any grammar/language questions you can ask me - I will try to respond to you.
Dziękuję! I really appreciate this. I would love to do that, i think one day i will but first i think ill probably try and learn some more, because i don't want to not be able to say something. This is some great advice though. :)
I have the same issue. I could barely bring myself to say 'Dziękuję' when thanking someone; I stuck with English for the most part.
From my (admittedly limited) experience the best way to do it is to simply decide "I can do this. I will do this." Worst case scenario, you make a mistake and embarrass yourself. Not a big deal, really, especially if interacting with people you know. Such people are likely to appreciate your effort, even if you do make a mistake, anyway.
id like to think so. Dziękuję! Ill try not to fret over any mistakes i make. :)
Hi Helen, polish people are aware that their language is quite difficult and are very happy if somebody tries it anyway. Powodzenia!
I don't know how your work environment/colleague-relations are structured, so it's difficult to suggest a strategy regarding your colleagues.
In general, as others suggested, don't overthink about potential embarrassment. Worst case scenario - if somebody seems impatient with your language-attempts, leave them to it and politely move on.
For example, I'm going to try out my fledgling Polish skills on the Polish staff/owner of a local shop, so first of all I'll wait until I call in and the shop isn't as mad-busy as usual.
I will certainly make mistakes, but that won't matter, because they will know that I am trying to learn their language - most people naturally enjoy teaching others, especially when it's just a friendly thing, in short and occasional bursts, with no tests or league tables at the end!
Best of luck, and enjoy :)
This is really inspiring to me, thank you for this. i hope it all goes well for you. Also, i understand what you mean, i really enjoy telling others or speaking to other about languages. Maybe ill start with a friend of mine who is polish?
Hi Helen - I have been learning Polish for the last few years, and took classes in Lublin over this past summer. I too am very shy to speak Polish - I don't want to make a mistake. But one thing all of my teachers have told me is to speak - yes, you'll make mistakes (Lord knows that I have!!).
In my experience (and as others have said above), Polish people are very forgiving and they do appreciate when you try to speak their language.
If you really want to speak the language, ask your friend or your work colleagues - try in small simple sentences first - that is the best way.
Hope that helps somewhat - Tony (I am still shy to speak, so don't expect that it will happen overnight - be gentle with yourself!)
i will try, dziękuję. I appreciate the fact that you understand how hard it can be and i do tend to be a little too hard on myself. Its true that polish people are very forgiving. They just seem to be really nice people! This is very inspiring. Powodzenia, with learning polish!
The more you wait to speak, the more you are afraid. Don't panic, everything is ok, it's normal to be shy in this case, everyone is shy to a certain level. Don't overthink and just say to them Dzien dobry, I'm pretty sure they will be happy to help you and talk a bit in Polish. Just try and even if you make mistakes (because nobody is perfect) you'll be glad of yourself and gain more self-confidence.
dzięki, i will! Also, that is very true. when i told my work colleague they weren't mean about it but they did seem surprised, so maybe once I've learnt a little bit more, ill try and have a conversation with them? I just don't want to embarrass myself. :'D
Practice with people you dont know first then if you do make a mistake you will probably never see them again anyway. you probably have a polish shop near you so go there and first just say hello/good morning or just say thanks when you leave. next time you visit try a few other simple statements too
This is a really good idea and yes i do actually there are two down my road, so ill go in there sometime and say hello. I red somewhere that Cześć isn't acceptable towards someone that you don't know because of its informality?
I wish I knew someone who is speaking German (the language I'm learning) to practice with. ;u; The one and only time I spoke to someone in German was as a joke because they asked me something in Japanese (which is a language I don't understand) and I replied to them in German (and they don't understand German)...... And they replied ''My cousin speaks German better than you'' ......THEIR COUSIN IS SWISS OR GERMAN OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT AND I'M A FRENCH CANADIAN HOW AM I SUPPOSE TO TOP THAT?! Anyways, never spoke German to anyone else ever since... But I'll keep trying to learn reading it! So.... Yeah, that was just to tell you that I understand how you feel and that same, I would like to know how to find someone to practice this language with and learn how to build a stronger self-confidence.
definitely, it is hard learning these things. if you like, if there are any languages we have in common, id be happy to practice with you :) and don't worry about what that person said, maybe just don't talk to them, they are potentially jealous that you speak german and maybe they don't?