Can you get your tongue around the weird and wonderful consonant sounds in Polish? Watch this video I put together and see how you do too! Post a reply to the video with you saying “chrząszcz”!
Each group of languages I have studied has a special place in my heart. The Romance and Germanic languages were my focus earlier on in my studies – from French and Spanish at school to a stint in a German family. Nowadays it’s the Slavic languages that have had a huge impact on my life as an adult learner.
Yes, you’ve got it, I’m talking about languages like Polish, Czech and Russian!
But wait a minute…
Aren’t those Slavic languages meant to be way too hard to learn? No, not at all! You simply need to work at them. All those consonants become strangely familiar with time and practice.
You can learn Slavic languages too!
All you need is…
- Determination & clear goals (e.g. talking about the weather by the end of next week)
- A course book you like (spend some time looking over them)
- Regular study (even if it’s just revision of old chapters)
- Podcasts, YouTube videos (like Real Polish), films & music for the days you feel like relaxing with the language instead (ask a native or advanced learner for recommendations)
All set? So what do you get out of it?
The rewards of breaking into this exciting and challenging group of languages are numerous. You feel a great sense of achievement and you get the key to an entirely new world. You could also improve you career prospects and make new friends.
The Slavic languages cause a shift in your thought processes and give you a glimpse into all the other Slavic languages in the group too. You actually start understanding other languages in the group too…for FREE!!! The new shared vocabulary and grammatical features give you a unique insight into how these languages really work.
How do you know?
My first Slavic language was Czech. I studied it at Charles University in Prague and completed the Advanced Diploma in Czech Studies (required to then go on and study university courses in Czech). Well, that’s what it meant at the time. Nowadays I imagine it has a CEFR level attached to it!
But it didn’t stop there. Czech helped me dive into other languages in the group and start talking almost right away. From Czech I went on to study some Russian and then Macedonian (which is now my home language). From that base I could explore Bulgarian, Slovene, Serbian, Croatian and, most recently, Polish!
How did you learn Polish?
I used the “Polish in 4 Weeks” and “Polski bez problemu!” courses that I found in Poland. I also stayed in a flat with Poles to practice the language every day. After a month of studies and my background in other Slavic languages, this was the result:
There is no time like the present. You can also pick up Polish. Even if you are not in Poland, you could look at Polish courses by Teach Yourself, Colloquial or Assimil to get cracking with your Polish studies from home.
Finally and most importantly…
Get to grips with pronunciation and communicating. Find a native speaker in person or online on italki and start speaking Polish!*
Need some additional motivation?
If you want a personalised experience of how to learn another language from me, you can sign up for one of the Polyglot Workshops where I will answer your questions in person. If you can’t find a date or place convenient for you, no problem! Let me know and we’ll see what can be done to bring the Polyglot Workshops to you!
*Note: I used Polish as an example here. You could equally choose another Slavic language to learn, if you prefer.