Say Something in Polish?

My purpose in learning Welsh was to get it out of the way to be able to learn a foreign language, but i felt I had to learn to speak Welsh first.
The plan always was to learn Spanish, because I had enjoyed my time in Honduras and wished I had been able to speak more with the locals and I liked the sound of the language.
Having finished my second bootcamp in Cymraeg, it is time to get serious about learning a foreign language.
However for some reason, I find myself tempted to learn Polish instead. Largely because I like the sound of the language more and it has some wonderful words. There is also an Eisteddfod that happens in Poland every year, bilingually in Polish and Cymraeg. So wouldn’t it be great to go there and have some basic Polish? Also that the Slavic languages are just that bit more different, which is tempting!
I know there is Say Something in Spanish, which would probably be the fastest way to learn a third language, but I am tempted and would be interested in people’s thoughts?

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I remember suggesting this a long, long time ago. In particular, I could see the Say Something In method working really well with a language with cases.

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My mum grew up bilingual Polish and English, but our generation didn’t learn Polish (Mum and her siblings only spoke it with their parents), so it’s a language I’d be very interested in learning, even a little! :slight_smile: I agree, SSi would be very helpful for learning noun cases and so on.

I’ve been delivering stuff into all sorts of places over the last few years and it’s inevitable that you’re going to meet Polish workers. I learned a few useful phrases but that only awakens a desire to have a conversation. More or less every time I’ve said “Thanks for your help”, I’ve been asked how I can say anything in Polish, but it’s curiosity and a natural desire to be polite on my part. And it’s fun to be able to surprise someone by saying “Happy New Year” (szczęśliwego Nowego Roku). I’ve found Google Translate quite useful for picking up the odd phrase because some languages include a spoken version of what you’re asking about.
Having said that, I tried that with some Chinese (Cantonese) and decided that when I said what I thought would be correct, the app told me I was WAY wide of the mark…and although I got closer, I was still struggling… Maybe I should try listening more…!

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Well, despite my ancestry, my own Polish doesn’t extend any further than “dzień dobry”, “do widzenia” and “dziękuję” (hello, goodbye and thank you), and counting to 10, so you’re probably doing better than I am! I haven’t had much contact with Polish speakers since coming to the UK, or else I might try to learn a few more words. But if we had SSi… :grinning:

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@Courtenay
Surely there’s a Sklep Polska near you? I love some of the Polish bread on sale and I’ve just heard there’s a Polish bread that is like Pumpernickel but even tastier, so that is next on my “To try” list. There’s only one shop I go to for phone screen protectors and last weekend he told me there was no charge because I came back again and greeted him and asked how he was in Polish (so I paid him more than the £2 it normally is!!). I keep looking for and responding to opportunities when they present. If I recognize a non-British accent I always ask where someone is originally from, although some people can be a bit reserved, mainly because they’ve been on the wrong end of a racist comment, which is a disgusting thing to have happen to you. But they soon cheer up after a thank you and a smile!
Except yesterday, when a fork-lift driver said “Bulgaria” so I said “Kussenem” (Hungarian!!) and he asked “What’s that?”, so I had to explain, I got the two mixed up and immediately remembered “Blagodaria”… I’m not actually an idiot, but just sometimes I do a good impersonation of one…

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No, not in this part of Kent! :unamused:

Thanks for the responses, I didn’t really get an answer, but there seems some interest in SSiP.
I’ve had a go at Duolingo Polish. I’ve just about got my head around the principles of the case system, it looks wonderful once you can get in embedded in your head and can recognise what’s going on. Looking at the comments in the exercises it looks like fellow learners are getting into muddles trying to use the case system perfectly. Whereas i am not worrying about it, but just being aware of it. I’m trying focus on getting the stem of the words and understanding what case is used, without the detail of correct spellings. A problem with this is sometimes I confuse myself: For example, jestem = I am and Jesc = to eat, seem to have the same stem, so when presented with different pronouns and cases, they conjugate, but I don’t know which ones are for which.
I suppose my question really is do I want a hard challenge, or an easier one to get to be able to speak a foreign language quicker?

Hello! I went to Poland earlier this year and totally fell in love, so would be very interested in Say Something in Polish… I think the thing is that SSiW has totally spoiled me for all other ways of learning languages, because it’s just a million times better than anything else out there! Every time I go on holiday I get incredibly frustrated that there isn’t a Say Something in Croatian, Say Something in Portuguese etc! I search the web for something similar and there is never anything as good!

For Polish, I signed up for a month’s subscription to PolishPod101. I was a bit concerned about it initially as it’s a bit spammy, and I still get loads of emails from them (partly my fault because I haven’t unsubscribed…). They have a broadly similar approach to SSI but nowhere near as systematic - there are lots of individual lessons, they don’t build on each other, and there isn’t enough repetition to ingrain the learning so you need to listen to each lesson loads (or at least I did - I found Polish far harder to pick up than Welsh!) It doesn’t combine the words into building blocks of sentences the way that works so well with SSi. But it was the most useful source I found for learning Polish, and I managed to learn the essential phrases. After the initial steep learning curve I found myself really loving Polish and wanting to learn more. I think it’s a beautiful language.

What would be really wonderful would be mini SSi courses for tourists in loads of different languages - it would (I assume!) be less intense to set up than a full on course, and could be a great introduction to people to the method. I would happily pay for a short course in say Croatian (can you tell I’m planning a trip to Croatia next?!) which would teach me the essential phrases like please, thank you, hello, good bye etc.

Anyway, I just thought you might want to check out PolishPod101 in case it’s any use to you, and to add my support to the idea of SSiPolish!

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You are very kind, it’s a horrible looking homepage, my head hurts without any Polish! Yet if it’s the same underlying methodology it might be worth looking into, so thanks for the information. Do they use actual speakers or a computerised voice? …I’m wondering how many languages I can learn before the SSiBorg can produce SSiEverything, which would be fantastic https://www.polishpod101.com

It’s a beautiful language: ciasteczka są smaczne - The biscuits are tasty, which just puts English to shame

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It’s not, because the SSi Method is proprietary - but it may have some elements in common… :slight_smile:

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In February I was tasked to spend some time in the Gdansk area, helping an organisation achieve certification later in the year; meaning that I would be visiting the region fairly regularly throughout the year.
That said, I began jotting down some basic Polish words and phrases that I thought would come in handy; I even setup a free Wordpress© blog (9-day Polish?) prior to my 1st visit. I combined this with an online trawl of free online Polish tutorials…all with the aim of making a good first impression.
It worked and I received favourable ‘pronunciation’ comments.
Imagine my disappointment when, the week following my visit, I was pulled from the team…my services were required in Norway instead.
I hope that a solution can be found and that a SSI (or similar) Polish/Polski can be devised. Dream it, think it, work it.

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I’ve just noticed this thread. Yes that sounds a great idea.

Also just my opinion, but as well as Welsh (obviously) and Spanish, Polish is one of the languages that I personally hear most in the UK, so could be practiced with friends without the need for travel.

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I know this is a bit of an old thread, but I thought I’d add my 2-cents to this discussion as someone who’s been learning Polish myself. I doubt we’ll see ‘Say Something In Polish’ any time soon to be honest, if ever, because Aran and his team have enough on their plate right now trying to get other SSI languages released, and as far as I know, Polish isn’t their priority.

However, don’t despair! There are some excellent Polish courses on the market, and in my experience I don’t think Polish is anywhere near as difficult as people make it out to be. In fact, most of the grammatical structure is quite straightforward - there are fewer tenses than English, no genders of nouns to remember (since you can work out the gender by the ending of the word), and the writing system is phonetic so once learned it’s a breeze. It’s true Polish has the 7 cases, but they’re simply a pattern, and once you understand it and have enough practice and exposure, it will become second nature.

Anyway, for anyone who is serious about learning Polish, I will now recommend some excellent courses that I’ve used.

  • Michel Thomas Method Polish (get both the Foundation and Advanced courses - the latter of which has now been rebranded as Intermediate). MT method breaks the language down into its component parts and effortlessly teaches you the structure and core of the language, all the main tenses etc asking you to form sentences out loud a bit like ‘SSI’ courses but with more explanations in English. From there you can then take it as far as you want with further study. The MT Polish course was unfortunately not created by Michel Thomas himself, so it’s not quite as good as the ones he personally taught, however it’s still a very effective method that will work if you are willing to stick with it. The advanced course teaches the 7 case systems in a way that makes them far easier to understand than traditional grammar books. MT method courses are quite pricy to buy new, so shop around, or you could buy them second hand very cheap on ebay or abebooks. You can also buy it a lot cheaper on iTunes or Audible than from the Michel Thomas website. By the end of MT Polish you will be able to form your own sentences and express a wide range of thoughts in Polish.

  • Pimsleur Polish. The idea of Pimsleur is that it’s all audio, where sort of like ‘SSI’, you’re prompted with a word, phrase or sentence in English then you have to produce it in the target language, and is split into 30 minute lessons (which they call ‘units’). It teaches you the structure, useful phrases and vocabulary without consciously teaching you the grammar rules. It also has spaced repetition whereby content you’ve learned in previous lessons comes up again so you are reminded of it. Caution - it’s a bit pricy and unfortunately Pimsleur Polish only contains 30 units, so you’re not going to get to a very high level with it to be honest. I found it a worthwhile course for consolidating basic grammar and learning some vocabulary, but the Michel Thomas Method course was far better and way more detailed.

  • Linkword Polish. For those not in the know, Linkword is a language learning method where you learn a lot of words in a short space of time using mnemonic hooks to help you remember them, as well as grammar. The course teaches you around 300- 400 words, split into different categories such as animals, family, food, clothing, work, verbs, adjectives, holidays, days of the week, months of the year, etc, all of which you will find easy to recall with the memory hooks given in the lessons. The course also teaches you a good foundation in Polish grammar, also made easy to remember via memory hooks, and you’re drilled on sentences too so you can use what you learn in context. It won’t make you fluent, but it’s a good starting point of core everyday vocabulary. I recommend doing Linkword Polish as an addition to Michel Thomas Polish. Find out more at www.linkwordlanguages.com

  • Earworms Polish. Like to learn languages via music? Then try Earworms. Essentially it’s split into 10 tracks, each of which drill words and phrases into your memory while playing music to get your brain into ‘alpha state’. Their method also utilises the lexical approach, whereby it breaks the language into chunks that can be chopped and changed to form your own sentences (sort of like ‘SSI’ courses do, but in their own way - they do not drill you on sentences the way ‘SSI’ does). It only costs about £10 or less, and is enjoyable and relaxing to listen to. The courses come with a pdf booklet summary of everything you learn in the songs too, which is great for quick revision and practicing your reading skills too. I personally see Earworms as more of a supplementary method than a stand alone method, but it’s still been very useful to me, especially as it can be listened to anywhere. Find out more, and listen to some free demos at www.earwormslearning.com

  • Polish For Dummies. Anyone who has read any books in the ‘For Dummies’ series knows that they’re a great way to learn about any subject without unnecessary jargon or complexity, and their Polish book is no exception. I see this book as more of a reference book than a stand alone course, but it really does explain and summarise all Polish grammar in the simplest possible way so that even a dummy could understand it. There are numerous chapters with dialogues on using Polish in different situations, and an audio cd is included too.

  • Real Polish. This is a collection of short stories at various levels of difficulty in Polish that contains text and audio so that you can learn vocab, consolidate grammatical structures as well as improve your reading and listening comprehension skills. The stories are taught in different persons and tenses so you can see how these work in context of simple stories. I highly recommend this once you’ve gone through the resources I suggested above. Find out more at realpolish.pl

  • Lingq Polish Mini Stories. Lingq is a site that has a ton of content in many languages to help you learn languages via comprehensible input. I recommend their Polish mini stories (text as well as audio) as well as their Polish grammar guide, and from there on you can delve into as much Polish content as you like to keep improving your Polish. Find out more at www.lingq.com

  • Easy Polish. This is a free series on Youtube (just go there and type in the name and it will come up). You may have seen Easy Welsh, where the team go out and about and have conversations with real people in the street, about various subjects. Well Easy Polish is just like that, except for Polish. I cannot recommend it enough as you will learn Polish as it’s spoken naturally by real natives.

If you don’t reach fluency after going through all that lot, then there really is no hope for you :slight_smile: Luckily I have faith in you lot!

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