Just relax and enjoy the ride.

I just noticed/remembered/panicked over my rather ambitious goals for Polish, and starting to realise that they are likely to be unachievable for me over this time scale.

After a brief panic, I decided not to stress over this to much and just enjoy the ride. I’ll get there eventually. I’ve got a dog to walk, work to do and so on and so forth. I’m enjoying learning the language. I’m in no hurry. In reality, I’m unlikely to speak it much outside of Skype and my Polish class but who knows?

So what about conversational Italian?

I’m certainly improving much faster so I think the B1 level is definitely reachable by the end of the year. I can string sentences together and bit by bit they are making more sense. I’m finding it easier than Polish by an order of magnitude. Maybe this will change given time. Once again, who knows?

I’m pretty sure that I’m a more efficient programmer than language learner. But then I’ve put my 10,000 hours into that particular activity.

Incidentally, this is why all the content on SL is professionally produced.





Learning Polish. Week 10 or thereabouts

I’ve been learning Polish for more or less ten weeks and it’s time for an update as to my progress or lack thereof.

Finally, I am making some slight progress. I can almost make a sentence. Yep, it has taken me this long, but I’m starting to say things like ‘mam dużego psa’ (I have a big dog) or ‘mam czarnego kota’ (I have a black cat).

This is surprisingly difficult in Polish. In Spanish, a non-inflected language, it is simple.  ‘I have a black cat’ is ‘tengo un gato negro. There is no messing around with endings or worrying about cases. ‘Gato’ and ‘negro’ are used as found in the dictionary.

Polish is inflected, so to say ‘I have a black cat’, you have to remember that both ‘black’ and ‘cat’ are in the accusative case, and then construct the sentence accordingly.

‘Cat’ in the dictionary is ‘Kot’. As ‘kot’ is in the accusative and is masculine, you add an ‘a’.

‘Black’ in the dictionary is ‘carny’.  ‘Kot’ is accusative and masculine, and  ‘carny’ must agree with ‘kot’  and becomes ‘czarnego’.

This is different for plurals, female nouns and so on.

So finally, I’m starting to have an idea of how the language is built, or how to construct ‘small’ sentences.



Polish grammar made easy. Genitive. Singular. Nouns

Last night I went to my Polish evening class, which is tends to be light on grammar and big on talking, but last night we discussed the genitive case for singular Polish nouns.

I haven’t found many easy Polish grammar resources on the internet, and the ones I have come across have been too complicated , so here is what I learnt.

It is the genitive singular (nouns) made easy.

Polish has three genders, masculine, feminine and neuter. The genitive is different depending on the gender of the noun being used. Now, this is difficult to learn and remember so  for each gender you learn a sample sentence illustrating how it is formed.

Negation, in Polish, requires the genitive, and so each of these sample sentences will need the genitive. There are three genders, three nouns and three example sentences.

Let us start with the feminine. Kawa is the word for coffee. It is feminine.  The genitive of kawa is kawy.

Ja nie lubię kawy.  ‘I don’t like coffee’.

And now the neuter. Mleko ‘milk’ is a neuter word. The genitive of mleko is mleka.

Ja nie lubię mleka.

And now the masculine. Brat ‘brother’ is masculine.

Ja nie lubię brata.

So, feminine nouns change the ‘a‘ to ‘y‘, masculine nouns ending in a consonant  add an ‘a‘ and neuter nouns change the ‘o‘ to ‘a‘.

This is a good start (apparently) with one caveat. Masculine nouns ending in a consonant (e.g. brat) will either add an ‘a‘ or … ‘u‘. This wasn’t mentioned in our class, and I can only assume that we were being protected by our teacher from overload, and that more information will be forthcoming next week. I’ll keep you posted.

Unfortunately, you have to learn the correct ending as it is not possible to guess predict in advance which it will be. E.g. The genitive of the noun adres is adresu.

And some are completely irregular.

Nevertheless this is a good start.

‘ve added this mainly so that when I loose the sheet of paper I scrawled my notes on I still have somewhere to refer back to. As do you, dear reader who is learning Polish 😉