Learning Polish – Mission Impossible?

The Polish language has a reputation, even among native speakers for being notoriously difficult to learn. This is in no small part due to its case system, which (retaining the Old Slavic system of cases) boasts a total of seven distinct cases for nouns, pronouns, and adjectives. Thought German was hard? Only four cases. Latin? Just six (well, OK seven if you count the rarely used locative).

In any case (no pun intended), it often comes as a surprise to Polish speakers, that anyone would want to learn their language, based on this reputation. So why do it? For me personally, there are three main reasons. Although I am a native German, not too far back in my generational line, I had family who lived in Poland. Also, as I now live in the United Kingdom, there are plenty of opportunities to speak Polish. In fact, Polish is the second most widely spoken language in Britain, obviously after English, but way ahead of either Scottish Gaelic or Welsh. The fact that the local Polish shops sell delicacies which are also popular with Germans is a definite benefit – and means that I find myself in a Polish-speaking environment on an almost weekly basis.
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But the main reason, in all honesty, is the upcoming Polyglot Gathering from 26th- 30th May in Teresin, Poland (just outside Warsaw). It is not the first such event which I have attended, and I always try to make the effort to learn the local language of whatever country I visit, especially if it is for a Polyglot event (i.e. a gathering of fellow language-lovers).

Back in 2016 (wow – is it really that long ago?), I took part in the Polyglot Conference in Thessaloniki, Greece I have to admit, I had previously tried – and largely failed – get to grips with the Greek language, but finally succeeded with the help of Mango Languages and an excellent tutor. I wrote about this previously in my blog titled “My big fat Greek adventure”.

So, when I heard that Mango Languages had recently updated and expanded their language learning resources, I was intrigued to see if I could repeat my Greek success story using the new and improved Mango.Actually, in the meantime, I also achieved brilliant results with Mango when learning Dutch and Italian for our family holidays.

Full disclosure: I have personally worked with Mango before, both as a German coach and co-writing some of the new reading and listening material for their German course. The guys at Mango Languages have also kindly provided me with free trial access for the purpose of this series of blogs about my Polish language journey.

So, if you’re interested in learning Polish, and maybe even considering coming to next years Polyglot Gathering, keep checking back on the blog for my updates on what I found worked, and what didn’t, and of course my honest review of the resources at https://mangolanguages.com/ – the good, the bad and the ugly … hopefully not so much of the latter 😉

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