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I know there are some good resources on this website for studying Polish but do you have any tips or ideas how to learn quickly?
What should I focus on during first few weeks? Are there any good applications for mobile phones I can use?1 answer
Thanks for your question. Actually a few people have asked me recently How to learn Polish but learning Polish is pretty much the same as learning any other foreign language. The rules of how to do it effectively will also be the same. Below you fill find some ideas about it. This is actually a part of a blog post I wrote on this subject in the past but I thought it is a good idea to put it here.
It will be very difficult to cover all these different approaches so I will just share a few ideas on how to learn Polish quicker. These helped me to learn foreign languages and I hope you will find them useful when studying Polish.
I think that the main task as a language learner is to discover what works best for you. If you succeed, you will save a lot of time to avoid many frustrations. We are all slightly different and achieve different results depending on the method used. We also have got certain preferences and like doing some things more than the others.
So, if somebody likes using Duolingo or other language apps and see a good progress, they should continue to do so. If somebody loves reading, it makes sense to focus on understanding easy Polish texts and gradually move to more advanced books. The same with podcasts and audio books, if you like listening, try to find good podcast or audio books and listen as much as you can.
You will also find some good resources on our website. Please head to our blog and check Polish language section.
The additional benefit of this approach is that you learn effortlessly. Of course, some work is always required but you really 'consume' Polish culture, have a good time and learn accidentally.
At the moment I am learning French and because I like watching TV and reading books I try to do it as much as I can in French. I actually bought a French satellite receiver for that purpose. I try to watch one hour of French TV every day and I noticed that after only two weeks I seem to understand more and more. I am pretty sure that after a year I will have a good grasp of the language and know what is going on during films and other programs.
So, if I could give you any tips on how to learn Polish quickly, try many different approaches, methods and resources and choose the ones that work well and the ones that you like. They are not always the same but it makes sense to study the way we like and enjoy. Even if it doesn't bring the best results there is a good chance that we will persevere and actually learn the language. And vice versa, if you focus on methods you do not like, there is a chance that at some time you will stop.
The second tip on how to study Polish or any other foreign language. If you think about it for a second, language is built with words 🙂 The words are the foundation of any language, they are as if the bricks of the building. To speak Polish well you need to know by heart thousands of words, without them you will be ... out of words 😀 So one of your main tasks when studying Polish should remembering words quickly.
I know, it is very difficult. I mentioned I am studying French at the moment and I struggle big time. But every day I dedicate some time to remember a few words and I can see some progress. Once I know the word well it is much easier to understand it in conversation. So use your preferred method but also dedicate some time every day (10 minutes or more) to remember the words. You can write new words in a notepad and try to remember them daily (new words + repetitions of old ones) or use special software or app that uses a spaced repetition system. My favourite program is called Anki. It is available on many different platforms (PC, Mac, mobile phones) and allows you to create flashcards with words and sounds and remember them. I will try to write about Anki more soon and even create decks with Polish words but there is a lot of information available on the web how to use it.
OK, the last tip, it is not for everyone but it is very effective and will speed up the learning process. If you can try to visit Poland and do an intensive Polish language course there! Poland is a relatively inexpensive country and such courses should also be relatively affordable. The advantage of this method is that you will study Polish every day for a few hours and also that you will live in Poland for a week or two and have many opportunities to use the language. I think that such a course can be challenging but it will almost certainly bring good results.
But as I mentioned it is not for everyone and there are might be many reasons it is not for you. If it is the case, try to find an online tutor and speak Polish with a native speaker over the internet, via Skype for instance. There are a few websites that will help you find a good tutor (check iTalki, Mixxer and Conversation Exchange). You can even hire me! You can contact me here 🙂 A good tutor will motivate you to study, provide good resources and teach you accordingly to the language level you are at.
That is all, these are the best tips I can give you now and they helped me a lot when I studied foreign languages. Let's try to sum them all up.
Try a few different approaches, methods and resources and find ones that are effective and fun. Focus on those. But to not go crazy by constantly changing methods. To learn you need to repeat! Check a few resources and stick to one material you like the most for at least a few weeks (preferably a few months).
Words are the foundation of the language, try to learn many Polish words. You can write them in a notepad or create flashcards in software like Anki.
If you can, go to Poland for a few weeks and attend an intensive Polish language course (4 hours a day or more). While in Poland, speak to as many people as you can. Also buy textbooks, books, videos and other Polish language resources to help you later. Repeat once or twice, the results will great 🙂 If you for some reason visit Poland, try Skype lessons and speak to Polish native speakers.
I hope you have found it useful and that these tips gave you an answer how to learn Polish quickly. Please let me know if I can help you in any way.