Learning Polish is pretty much the same as learning any other foreign language and the rules of how to do it effectively will also be the same. Of course, there are many different methods and approaches to learning foreign languages. Some people prefer reading or listening, others dive into grammar books or use mobile applications.
It will be very difficult to cover all these different approaches in one article so I will just share a few ideas 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 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 Polish podcasts or audio books and listen as much as you can.
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 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 on during films and other programs.
So, if I could give you any tips 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 make 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.
Second tip 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 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 a 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 a special software or app that uses spaced repetition system. My favourite program is called Anki. It is available on many different platforms (PC, Mac, Unix, mobile phones) and allows you to create flashcard 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, last tip, it is not for everyone but it is very effective and will speed up learning process. If you can try to visit Poland and do an intensive Polish language course there! Poland is 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, check Polish Skype lessons 🙂 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.
How to learn Polish quickly
- Try a few different approaches, methods and resources and find ones that are effective and fun. Focus on those.
- Words are 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 will help you studying Polish language. Please let me know in the comments below if you have any questions or want to share other useful tips.