05 października 2010

Borsuk na Pradze

Borsuk na Pradze. A Badger in Praga. 'Praga,' very roughly speaking, is how Varsovians refer to the half of Warsaw on the Eastern bank of the Wisła: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Praga. I guess that makes me the badger. It's just a funny word in both languages, isn't it?

Here I am, now over one year in Warsaw and still ever so slowly progressing in my quest to achieve some nominal ability in the Polish language. Fighting for every inch. . .

My quest to learn Polish began some time in 2009. My first word was 'statek' (ship). Here I am, one year and two Polish courses later and I still feel like I have only the most basic, infantile ability in Polish. Everyone tells me that learning Polish is hard. I don't know how much harder it really is to learn than other languages, but it does seem to be rather harder than Spanish. I have some rudimentary Spanish that seems to have come to me quite easily. Polish is different. It just FEELS different. It's like a totally different language . . . Maybe I should have chosen Chinese.

Recently I've enlisted the help of a private teacher. She's dragging me, willing or not, through polish cases, all seven. Mianownik, Dopełniacz . . . kto? co? czego? gdzie? huh? Nie rozumiem (I don't understand). We're both enthusiastic about it - she to teach and me to learn. Sometimes I think I know what's going on and other times it just sounds like she's . . . speaking some other language. And fast! We're getting there. I think. It's fun. I'm determined to not give up. I know I'm on a steep learning curve and there are great breakthroughs ahead.

In line with my recent effort to boost my language ability, I decided today that I would blog about the experience. I'm almost a total beginner. I took the 'A0' (total beginner) course at IKO on Kopernika here in Warsaw back in January 2010. It was great fun and I really did learn a lot. I got halfway through the 'A1' course at the same school when I got bogged down and started missing classes . . . Now I'm getting back on track. Here, I intend to document my experience of learning Polish. As much as possible, I'm going to try to blog in English and in Polish when I can. I hope to post in detail about what I'm learning, what I understand, and what I don't. I'll try to relate how I study and elicit advice about good ways to overcome problems and expand my vocabulary and grammatical prowess. I'll try unapologetically to write something in Polish. I'll post links to resources that I find interesting or useful. Hopefully, eventually I'll be able to write and say something meaningful 'po polsku.' I see this blog as an opportunity to focus my efforts, to write a bit about my Polish experience, and to share what I can with those attempting similar challenges. Join me!

In my next post I'll write something in Polish to establish the starting point. It won't be perfect! I have to start somewhere.

Życzcie mi powodzenia. (Wish me luck.)

6 komentarzy:

  1. Sandy J. Murray06.10.2010, 03:48

    Well, good luck then!

    I don't get the part about the badger though.

    Maybe you have to be there!


  2. There's not much to get. Don't think about it too much. A badger is just a funny animal. Isn't it?

  3. Hi I enjoyed ready your blog - I'm in a similar position having moved to Warsaw recently and I learnt Polish for about 6 months back in the UK, not only do I seem to speak less Polish here, but the more I learn the more I realise how little I know! Keep up the good work and I will contine to read of your progress.



  4. Thanks for the comments Paddy. You're right - the more I know the less I seem to know . . . strange. Thanks for the encouragement and for the link. I have already added it to my links at right but will make sure to read it myself!


  5. Matt Hamilton20.11.2010, 14:12

    Hey Kolin,

    This blog is fantastic! I'm getting inspired to learn something new and difficult. Hmmmm.

    Anyways, I'll keep following, and I'll see you in December!



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