The Polish language is beautiful, but it is also one of the most difficult languages of the world. Next, to Finnish and Estonian, it is the most difficult to learn the language of Europe. If you want to study Polish, you need to apply a dose of patience. Moreover, apart from many linguistic traps related to the multiple usages of specific common words, the pronunciation may bring you immense frustration.
Saying with other words, Admiral Ackbar from Star Wars would say: IT’S A TRAP!
1. Our alphabet isn’t as easy as you hope.
Apart from the commonly known letters, Polish decided to make it more complicated. Searching for the right pronunciation in Polish, you must remember the sounds like ą, ę, ó, dź, dż, ż, ź, ł, ń. They sound completely different than a,e, o, dz, z, l, n. Believe me – they will cause you many problems!
Let’s explain it using as an example the numeral ”dwa” (two). In English and Spanish, we will use one form (two/dos), Croatian prefers seven forms: dva, dvije, dvoje, dvojica, dvojice, dvojici, dvojicu. If you think that Croatian must be the difficult language, what will you say knowing that in Polish are seventeen forms of ”two”? To say about this numeral, you can use forms: dwa, dwie, dwoje, dwóch (or dwu), dwaj, dwiema, dwom (or dwóm), dwoma, dwojga, dwojgu, dwojgiem, dwójka, dwójki, dwójkę, dwójką, dwójce, dwójko.
3. The difference in names of specific things
For example, in Pomerania, if you want to say that you are going out, you will say ”Idę na dwór”, while in Kraków you use ”Idę na pole”. In fact, to speak fluent in every part of Poland, you should learn the local languages. The way of communicating in Silesia or Warsaw have some significant differences. However, if you will try to speak the basic Polish, you will be understood by everyone. It might not be that easy if you will try to understand people speaking the local dialects.
4. The grammar full of traps
Polish made their grammar so complicated that even the native speakers make dozens of mistakes on a daily basis! The number of possible constructions, weird to every non-native speaker, makes dizzy even the native speakers. If you want to study Polish, find a good teacher or well-written workbook to learn the basis of the grammar. Otherwise, you will be completely lost shortly.
Forget about it. If you want to use slang, learn a few phrases characteristic of the group of people you enjoy the most. Before you start to use more complex constructions, become fluent in basic Polish. Otherwise, nobody will understand you.
6. Searching for the right place on the map
Sometimes when you learn the geographic names, you can feel really dizzy! First of all, Polish like to repeat the same names in different parts of the country, so you need to be really skillful with the map of Poland to don’t go to the place you didn’t expect to see. Moreover, there are many places, where you will find towns or villages named in a way that will bring you a headache. For example, the village called the Little Pond usually lies next to the Big Pond, but among them is located the town called Pond. If you want to visit Poland, have a good map or GPS.
7. Polish make things complicated
If you are unlucky, you will meet a person who will pinpoint every single message you make. Sometimes the differences between two phrases are tiny, nearly unnoticeable to the foreigner. However, I used to explain to my foreign friends that if Polish can make something more complicated, they will. Our language is the primary example.
8. It takes time…
If you are not very talented in studying languages, you will need 3-4 years to become fluent in Polish. Don’t think that you will be able to speak Polish well as fast as in the case of English or Spanish learners. Sadly, the ”success stories” about the people who started to be fluent in Polish after 3-6 months are very rare.
At the end of this article, I have good news for every individual who initially speaks the Slavic language. You are the fastest learners because The Polish language is the easiest for you. Less fortunate are for example Americans, British, Germans or Spanish. Anyway, good luck everybody!