It’s no secret that Polish is a very hard language. It often is on top 10 lists of hardest languages in the world. Even though Polish has the “basic letters” for foreigners it can be just as hard to understand as Chinese. It also has some of the hardest grammar rules in the world. “But how hard can it be?” I thought, “I have already learned on of the hardest languages Icelandic”…
Well before coming we got sent exercises online we should have finished the first 4 chapters, I did one… So when I came here I could talk little to no Polish. I went to lessons with the other students, we started almost right away. The teacher couldn’t speak English which made it hard the first weeks. For the first three months I felt like I hadn’t learnt anything. Soon after I started to understand really basic conversations. I do most of my learning in school as I don’t understand what the teachers are talking about. It’s a good way of spending the time in school and you can get help from classmates.
But what makes Polish so hard? There are many reasons why so many have problem with learning this language. You have to learn many new letters, Ą, Ę Ł, Ś, and many more. Many of those letters make ridiculous sounds, that makes it a problem for many to pronounce. I personally can do it quite easily but there are exceptions, example “szczęście” (lucky) this I can’t pronounce. What I find hardest is the length of the words and sculpture of the words. There can be no syllables for 6 letters or so many that you can’t say the word (powyłamywanymi). This makes it so hard for me to remember the words. I have to go over every word over 20 times just so I can remember it, I have dyslexia so I spend a lot of time just rewriting words again and again.
The grammar is really hard. There are 7 cases and the word changes most every time, sometimes it’s so hard to see that it is the same word. Verbs change after who you say it to. Then there is past, present and future, verbs change a lot when you have already done the thing or are going to. And this is just the basic! There are also many exceptions in the rules. There are some good things like you can’t use “the” in the language which makes it a lot easier. The best part about it is that Poles don’t really care. Most all Poles don’t know the rules and speak the more complicated ones wrong and no one cares. So they are not judging if you don’t go after the rules.
It’s really great to see the progress, and you can really feel it with every week. When you can have a normal conversation with a stranger without him knowing you aren’t polish is a fantastic achievement. Also in Polish they have really creative and satisfying bad words… But the best way to learn the language is to just speak. I asked my parents to stop talking to me in English and I took big improvements really fast. To learn a new language is a challenging thing to do and a great experience for what the future holds in hands.
Júlíus Waage z Islandii (program roczny na Polsce 2017/18)