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Polish

Postby Egein on 2005-02-08, 13:56

Just how hard is polish?

I have had a sudden interest in polish since i learnt it was the hardest of the slavic languages (or so i was told).
I know it has more cases than icelandic, but they look slightly more regular.

How are verbs...what are irregular verbs in polish,like an exemple.

icelandic: springa - explode.
spring
springur
springum

sprakk
sprakkst
sprungum

hafa sprungid

Has it got consonant mutations?
And what is this verile noun thing?
takk
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Postby wsz on 2005-02-08, 15:01

Not sure if this is what you'd like to know but here are all forms of two verbs (the first - quite regular and the other - 'less regular'):

(present tense, but perfectives don't have a present tense meaning, and 'zrobić' means a future action)
- robić (imperfective) / zrobić (perfective) - to do

Singular:
1. (z)robię
2. (z)robisz
3. (z)robi

Plural:
1. (z)robimy
2. (z)robicie
3. (z)robią


- brać (imperfective) / wziąć (perfective) - to take

Singular:
1. biorę / wezmę
2. bierzesz / weźmiesz
3. bierze / weźmie

Plural:
1. bierzemy / weźmiemy
2. bierzecie / weźmiecie
3. biorą / wezmą

And what is this verile noun thing?

[wiki]Polish_genders[/wiki]

For example:
ludzie, mężczyźni itd. sta<b>li</b> - people, men etc stood (actually any of the English past tenses)
kobiety, zwierzęta, rośliny, przedmioty itd. sta<b>ły</b> - women, animals, plants, objects etc stood (like above)
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Postby Geist on 2005-02-09, 4:41

In my experience, Polish is quite hard (much more difficult than Russian, for me, except for pronunciation). I often tell people who ask me this question that Polish grammar makes Russian look easy, which makes German look easy, which makes Spanish look easy, which makes English look easy. :lol: Yes, it has many consonant mutations, though some are predictable. The nouns are classified according to person, number, and gender - for example, there are 2 3rd person plural nominative pronouns (oni and one), one for a group of masculine (living, I think) nouns, the other for other groups of nouns. I've just started learning myself, so I'll give you more info (if you want it) as I progress.

Oh, and I love verbs; when I study a language, I write verb conjugation sheets with just the bare minimum of information about the conjugation necessary. My Polish Present Indicative tense conjugation sheet (regular verbs only) is 6 pages long. :wink:
Das ganze Meer verändert sich, wenn ein Stein hineingeworfen wird.
- Blaise Pascal

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Postby arti on 2005-02-09, 10:51

I am curious what place would have Polish in "hardest to learn languages" list ;) I think that it would be quite high just because of 7 cases (actually 1 of them -vocative- is quite rare), and inflection of nouns, adjectives, pronouns, numerals and because of letters ą ć ę ł ń ó ś ż ź.
Really Russian grammar looks simplier than Polish one? (if so then you can't say the same about their letters :wink: )
But I don't want to get you scared ;)
I hope you are going to learn Polish 8)

Pozdrowienia (Regards) :)
Last edited by arti on 2005-02-10, 10:53, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Fenek on 2005-02-09, 18:50

I think Czech may be even harder than Polish.

As far as Polish verbs are concerned, you can find some information in this message of mine:
http://home.unilang.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=566&start=3

Some Polish cases are highly irregular (that is to say, you can't predict the ending, you have to learn it by heart for each word).

There's a lot of consonantal alternations (as in most Slavic languages).
I'd appreciate any corrections to my messages!
Vi sarò molto grato per ogni correzione!
Zelo vam bom hvaležen za popravke!
Aş fi recunoscător pentru orice corectare!
Bio bih vam veoma zahvalan na ispravkama!
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Postby Geist on 2005-02-09, 23:19

arti wrote:I am curious what place would have Polish in "hardest to learn languages" list ;) I think that it would be quite high just because of 7 cases (actually 1 of them -vocative- is quite rare), and inflection of nouns, adjectives, pronouns, numerals and because of letters ą ć ę ł ń ó ś ż ź.
Really Russian grammatic looks simplier than Polish one? (if so then you can't say the same about their letters :wink: )
But I don't want to get you scared ;)
I hope you are going to learn Polish 8)

Pozdrowienia (Regards) :)

Yes, for me (in my very limited experience) Polish grammar is harder than Russian (with which I have more experience). Verbs are a prime example - most Russian verbs end in either {ю, ешь, ет, ем, ете, ют} or {ю, ишь, ит, им, ите, ят} in the Present. There are some exceptions, but compare this to the slew of available Polish endings available (at least 9 related but unique patterns, with many variations). In the Past, Russian verbs almost always end in л, ла, ло, or ли; in Polish, they can regularly end in łem, łam, łeś, łaś, ł, ła, ło, liśmy, łyśmy, liście, łyście, li, or ły (again, related but unique). I'm sorry my comparisons are so verb-centric, but I think they illustrate the relative difficulty of the languages.

Russian letters are actually easier (to me) in theory, though the language isn't wholly phonetic (as I've heard Polish is), making them harder in reality. For example, the Polish letter ą has several different pronounciations depending on what follows it; Russian vowels (again, in theory) have only 1 or 2 pronounciations each.

I don't think your last comment was directed at me, but I'll respond to it anyway :P - yes, I do hope to learn Polish. My grandfather is a native speaker, and I love the language.
Das ganze Meer verändert sich, wenn ein Stein hineingeworfen wird.
- Blaise Pascal

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Re: Polish

Postby 0stsee on 2008-09-03, 14:46

I didn't know that Polish was harder than Russian. :|

Some of the things which make me think Russian is harder than Polish:
-the free stress.
-the rather irregular spelling.
-the stronger contrast between palatal and non-palatal consonants.
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Re: Polish

Postby Kuba on 2008-09-03, 19:26

0stsee wrote:-the stronger contrast between palatal and non-palatal consonants.

What do you mean by stronger contrast? In my ears, in Polish contrast between palatalised and unpalatalised consonants is bigger than in Russian, e.g. a palatalised [s] is [sj] in Russian and an alveopalatal voicless fricative in Polish. The place of articulation of a palatalised cononant is farther away from the the place of articulation of the unpalatalised counterpart, so the auditory difference should be greater, too...
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Re: Polish

Postby 0stsee on 2008-09-03, 20:28

Kuba wrote:
0stsee wrote:-the stronger contrast between palatal and non-palatal consonants.

What do you mean by stronger contrast? In my ears, in Polish contrast between palatalised and unpalatalised consonants is bigger than in Russian, e.g. a palatalised [s] is [sj] in Russian and an alveopalatal voicless fricative in Polish. The place of articulation of a palatalised cononant is farther away from the the place of articulation of the unpalatalised counterpart, so the auditory difference should be greater, too...

That's what I meant. In Polish the difference between the palatalized and the non-palatalized consonants is much more obvious, whereas in Russian it's hardly conceivable, making it harder for foreigners to distinguish them.
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Re: Polish

Postby pittmirg on 2008-09-04, 7:56

-the free stress.


Which is made even worse by the strong reduction of unstressed vowels in Russian, thus it is more difficult to write down a word from hearing. Personally, I prefer orthographies that mark stress explicitly like Spanish or Greek.

Polish is more "average European" than Russian in some areas, e.g. in Russian you usually say "Y is at X" in the meaning "X has Y", while Polish is similar to English in this respect. Polish has a normal verb musieć "must, have to" while Russian uses some impersonal verbs or specialized adjectives (должен; however, Polish powinien "should" is quite similar). Polish adjectives have a typical superlative form, which is very reduced in Russian. Russian uses a zero copula while Polish uses the verb być "to be" or the particle to.

OTOH, the areas where Russian is more analytic may be perceived as easier (for instance, in the past tense there's no person marking on verbs).
Russian also has less gender marking in the plural, but Polish has the virile and non-virile distinction (or masculine human and non-masculine-human) on nouns, verbs, pronouns and adjectives. Russian seems to distinguish animate and inanimate nouns in plural only in the accusative, but also among feminine nouns, while in Polish only masculine nouns are divided into virile and non-virile. Here Czech is even more complex, because it distinguishes masculine, feminine and neuter forms in the plural. Also, as someone's said already, in Polish the genitive endings of masculine nouns are somewhat hard to predict, but some fluidity is acceptable, particularly in the colloquial language.

Polish conjugation may seem more difficult, but it's partly due to the way it's usually described. In the Russian nomenclature some types of conjugation are lumped together while in Polish they're described as separate conjugations.

Polish appears to have more consonant and vowel alternations than Russian, for example in Russian you have Nom. рука, Dat. руке and in Polish ręka, ręce respectively. In Russian the alternation k : c has been levelled. Since in Polish the former soft /r/ became /s`/ or /z`/, there are alternations like trę : trze "I rub, [he/she] rubs"; in Russian just the palatalization or lack thereof changes. Polish also has apophony like lato : lecie (Russian: лето, лете).

Russian has two locative cases for some words, depending on the preceding preposition. OTOH, Russian doesn't have a vocative case.
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Re: Polish

Postby 0stsee on 2008-09-04, 11:24

Thanks a lot for the detailed explanations, Pittmirg!

I've always thought that Russian would be much more useful since it covers a huge area and is still spoken in former Soviet countries, but I have little relation to the language somehow.

I realized that I learn Polish best with Assimil.
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Re: Polish

Postby Black_opal on 2008-09-27, 13:34

Hi. I’m wanting to learn Polish, but it’s too hard to do online. I need to be able to hear how it’s pronounced and have someone correct me, instead of me reading it and „learning it wrongly!"

I have a Polish friend and I’d like to be able to talk to her in Polish (she does speak English, but it’d be nice to speak to her in her native tongue!)

Here is a little introduction (wprowadżnie) I prepared (Yes it is basically the same as the Dutch and Finnish introductions!):

Cześć! Jak się masz?

Mam na imię Holly. Jestem z Anglii. Mam dwadzieścia trzy lat.
Mam brata, Billy ego i siostrę, Hannah. Billy ma osiemnaście lat, i Hannah mam dwadzieścia sześć lat.

Lubię oglądać filmy, muzykę słuchać i oglądać telewizję. Lubię muzykę rockowa!

Mój chłopak ma ne imię Mick. Mick ma dwadzieścia sześć lat.

Miłego dnia zycze! (I'm unsure of that last bit as she told me she doesn't have Polish letter on her laptop)

* * * *

Hello! How are you?

My name is Holly, I'm English and I'm twenty three years old.
I have a brother, Billy and a sister, Hannah. Billy is eighteen years old and Hannah is twenty six years old.

I like watching films, listening music and watching TV. I like rock music!

My boyfriend's name is Mick. Mick is twenty six years old.

Have a nice day!
My candle burns at both ends,
It shall not last the night.
But oh, my friends and ah, my foes,
It gives a lovely light!

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Re: Polish

Postby BezierCurve on 2008-09-29, 14:40

Welcome, Black_Opal! :)

You can always come here when in doubt about Polish language.

Cześć! Jak się masz?

Mam na imię Holly. Jestem z Anglii. Mam dwadzieścia trzy lata.
Mam brata, Billy'ego i siostrę, Hannah. Billy ma osiemnaście lat, a Hannah mam dwadzieścia sześć lat.

Lubię oglądać filmy, słuchać muzyki i oglądać telewizję. Lubię muzykę rockową!

Mój chłopak ma na imię Mick. Mick ma dwadzieścia sześć lat.

Miłego dnia życzę! (a better word order: Życzę miłego dnia!)


That was very good 8-) It was also very brave of you to write the numbers in full. As for the mistakes

the form of "lat/lata" follows a simple rule:

- always look at the last digit of the number of years
- choose from:
1: lat (21 lat, 11 lat, 171 lat. Exception: one year = 1 rok)
2 - 4: lata (4 lata, 23 lata, 752 lata)
5-0: lat again (35 lat, 79 lat, 30 lat)

The verb "słuchać" implies here the genitive (muzyki), despite what you can hear sometimes in colloquial speech (often put in accusative - muzykę).

The typos are only few - as you've mentioned yourself they're mostly the Polish diacritics.

Good luck!

PS. Unfortunately, I don't use Skype and such, but you can always PM me or post things here. Also, feel free to correct my mistakes :)
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Re: Polish

Postby Qrczak on 2008-09-29, 17:34

BezierCurve wrote:- always look at the last digit of the number of years
- choose from:
1: lat (21 lat, 11 lat, 171 lat. Exception: one year = 1 rok)
2 - 4: lata (4 lata, 23 lata, 752 lata)
5-0: lat again (35 lat, 79 lat, 30 lat)

Not that simple: numbers ending with 12, 13, 14 take lat.
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Re: Polish

Postby BezierCurve on 2008-09-29, 19:04

Not that simple: numbers ending with 12, 13, 14 take lat.


Of course they do. :dimwit: Thanks Qrczak.
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Re: Polish

Postby doctorcolossus on 2009-12-26, 17:01

I'm sorry to raise this old thread, but I have a question about the last two posts for Qrczak or BezierCurve:
Not that simple: numbers ending with 12, 13, 14 take lat.

Why is this? I don't think I've read it in any of my grammars. Now I'm confused again. So what are the rules? Lat is the nominative plural form, right?

1 + nominative singular;
2/3/4 + nominative plural;
... but 11/12/13/14 + genitive plural?
... and 21/42/63/84 + nominative plural again?
... and 26/47/68/89 + genitive plural of course, right?

What about compound numbers with 13, 14, and 15, such as 114? Also with the nominative plural?

Thanks for any help!
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Re: Polish

Postby Qrczak on 2009-12-26, 17:51

Nominative singular (rok): 1
Nominative plural (lata): last digit is 2, 3, or 4, but last two digits are not 12, 13, nor 14
Genitive plural (lat): otherwise

See also http://www.gnu.org/software/hello/manua ... forms.html

1: jeden rok
2: dwa lata
5: pięć lat
10: dziesięć lat
12: dwanaście lat
15: piętnaście lat
20: dwadzieścia lat
21: dwadzieścia jeden lat
22: dwadzieścia dwa lata
25: dwadzieścia pięć lat
100: sto lat
101: sto jeden lat
102: sto dwa lata
105: sto pięć lat
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Re: Polish

Postby doctorcolossus on 2009-12-26, 18:52

Very clear, thanks a lot! And interesting link. [-: Coincidentally, I'm also a programmer.
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