Assimil. Polish in 100 lessons

I’ve been learning Polish since the start of this year, and frankly my progress has not been stellar.

The book I was vaguely using was called ‘krok po kroko’ , and I was using it for reasons which are now unclear to me. The astute reader will notice I’m using the past tense here. I’ve put it aside for the indefinite future.

I’m finding Polish is complicated and krok po kroku,  while no doubt having various strengths has in my mind one large weakness which is that everything is written in Polish.

This might be helpful in an immersive environment, but here in the UK has left me floundering in terms of speaking.

I’ve decided to change my approach and  so I have bought the Assimil Polish course. I’ve never used one of their courses before but have heard of them by reputation.

This particular course consists of 100 short lessons. You do one a day, and at the end of 100 days you have reached an intermediate level in the language. Each lesson is (up until day four ) based around a specific scenario, and has text in Polish and French. (I had to buy the French version as  Assimil is a French company and many of their courses only exist in French). There are explanations of how to use the course all over the internet. All slightly different!

I’m on lesson 4 and plan to do one a day for the next 96 days, at which point I’ll review the course thoroughly.

My initial impressions are positive but with some caveats:

I have a basic knowledge of the structure of Polish. Lacking this, the explanations given on each page would not make much sense.

The Assimil course is marketed as being for absolute beginners. Again, without any prior knowledge of Polish (or another slavonic language) the approach used might be confusing.

Each lesson is supposed to take around 30 minutes. I’m not so sure that this is sufficient time.

I’m only on day four and these points may be unfair but my hunch is that some sort of prior  knowledge is required (or certainly useful) before embarking on said course.

And back to Surface Language

Learning through short  bilingual texts (which is  essentially the strategy used by Assimil and other language products) is definitely a good way of improving languages. Assimil, Rosetta Stone and the old FSI courses etc all do the same thing. There are differences in presentation and style but generally you over-learn a relatively small amount of information.

I’m in the process of adding a similar learning mechanism to Surface languages. I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, but because of the difficulty of obtaining content have decided that (to keep it manageable) :-

1. My bilingual sentences will not be based around specific situations.

2. They will not  cover greetings, nor formal/informal use of language.

3. They will only use the singular of the present tense.

4. The texts will be designed for absolute beginners.



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6 Responses to Assimil. Polish in 100 lessons

  1. Ante says:


    I am interested in learning polish but i can’t see anywhere the version for ASSIMIL polish in english. For me the translation english – polish or german – polish is both alright but i can’t find it. by your text i get the impression that you have the ASSIMIL book for leaning polish in english so could you please let me know from where did you get it.

    • moonface says:


      I used the French version as I don’t think the an Assimil English version exists.

      You could try starting with the Polish sentences on surface languages, which are (in my opinion) better for a beginner than Assimil:)


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  4. Younes says:

    According to the date on which this post has been published I believe youve been using an old version of Assimil Polish method which has been publish in 1985. There has been a newer release in 2003 I guess and then in 2016 but the approach is the same and the translation is still in French, so I dont believe there is an English version by the date of this comment.
    I tried to learn some languages in the past through different methods but Assimil was the one that suited me the best, I dont really like the old fashioned approaches to learn a language starting with the alphabets, numers, greetings ect.. with Assimil its rather a casual conversation from everyday life so once you complete a lesson I suppose you already speak some of the language and can put it into some good use.

    Ive never been able to take if further than ten lessons as I get to lose interest and give up but decided to start again with Assimil Polish hopefully Ill take it way further.

    • moonface says:

      I’ve just checked and my version is 2003 (it is the French version that I am using).

      Have fun with your Polish. I was going to say “good luck” but having fun when you want to learn a language is matters more. As long as you enjoy it, you will continue.

      Assimil is good, and as long as you learn something every day, bit by bit you will improve.


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