Learning Polish

I am leaning the Polish Language. Well, to be truthful, I’ve known just a few words of Polish since I was a little child. I grew up around Polish people, and they sometime spoke Polish. I knew what bread and butter and milk were, and when Grandpa was trying to listen to the radio and said “cicho!” I knew I’d better be quiet!

Many years ago, i took an adult Polish language course, but it did not go very far. I still have the book, though, though it may have belonged to my mother at one time, I am not sure. But from that course I sort of learned to “read” Polish in the sense that I learned the sounds that go with most of the letters.

That served me well at times. Many years ago, I helped teach my cousins a Polish hymn. I know that it brought a tear to my Grandma’s eye when we sang “Serdeczna Matko” at their 50th wedding anniversary Mass. And knowing the pronunciation served me well over the years as I learned to sing along with various Kolędy–Polish Christmas Carols.

Then, when I was preparing for my trip to Poland, I started using Rosetta Stone, and started to learn some Polish. I was able to use a few phrases and count and get a price in Polish, and that served me well on my trip.

But now I am on a mission, a mission to learn at least a little bit of Polish so that on my next trip–where I will not have a translator nor a group of other English-speaking people always at hand–I will be able to at least get by with a few simple phrases, and may be able to understand the gist of some simple conversation. But some day, I hope to be somewhat proficient in Polish. That will take practice, I’m sure. Of course, maybe living there for some time in the future will help too!

So, how am I learning Polish? What am I doing to work on my skills? Well, I am doing a number of things, and I’ll give you my secrets now:

  • First and foremost, I am using Rosetta Stone. I find it quite helpful and intuitive. At least I think it’s working. There are a lot of words I know from it. I don’t always understand the technical (grammatical) issues, but it has been very helpful
  • Bloggy Polish. This is a web site that started as a blog. There are short lessons that deal with various aspects of Polish in a conversational setting. I download these to my iPhone and listen to them when I walk and at they gym, and have burned them to a CD to listen to in the car. They are very helpful. And if you go to their web site, you can find some of the words there, too. Very helpful.
  • Polish Surival Phrases from survivalphrases.com. This is a really good web site. I have subscribed for the whole 60-set version. It basically teaches everyday phrases that may come in handy when in Poland. Each lesson also has a PDF file of the words to go along with it. I find it very helpful.
  • Mówimy po Polsku— This is the book I mentioned earlier. I have not spent a lot of time with it yet, but it appears to be very good and comprehensive. I need to delve into it more!
  • Online Books:
  • And I am sure there are many other fine references and web sites out there.

But, this is what I’ve found helpful so far. Also, I find that if I study a bit just before I go to bed, sometimes I continue to study Polish in my dreams! True! Good Luck!

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