Back to Assimil

Hi y’all.

I’ve been metaphorically speaking umming and aaring about whether or not to carry on learning Polish. I’m finding it extremely difficult. I learn a Polish word. I forget it. I read inspiring stories about language learning. Enthused I try again. I crash and burn. And so on.

I was going to quit, but then I read somewhere that 3% of the UK now speak Polish. Three percent! That is a lot of people. That is so many people that I want to know more about the language.

And so I am continuing. I am NOT going to find a conversation exchange. My level is so low that it seems pointless.

My strategy (such as it is) is to alternate between the Polish stories from Learn Real Polish and Assimil Polish. (BTW I’m recommending Polish stories not because I am affiliated in any way, but because I think they are good).

Assimil. Hmmm. I would not recommend Assimil Polish  as a first course unless you either already know the basics of Polish grammar or another slavic language.

I found that the lessons moved too quickly and I struggled to understand and make sense of the grammatical structures. I like to understand why a sentence is put together so I can make my own.

For example, I found a simple sentence like Są ciastka i dobre wino ‘there are cakes and good wine’  (taken from Assimil lesson 12)  confusing. I now know that ciastko ‘cake’ is a neuter noun and in the accusative plural becomes ciastka ‘cakes’. I know that wino ‘wine’ is a neuter noun and in the accusative singular dobry ‘good’ becomes dobre  to agree with wino and so on. I understand the syntax.

I’m now on Assimil lesson 15 and the second time around it makes a lot more sense.

I will let you know how it goes l8r.

Ciao 4 now,


A Polish Dilemma

I have a dilemma.

It is pretty much halfway through the year and I’ve now been learning Polish for a year and a half. My level is very low although I more or less understand how the language works and how to construct a basic sentence.

I know the basics, I can order food, introduce myself, exchange a few pleasantries, but I can’t have an interesting conversation. My language level is way, way, way to low.

I’m not bothered by my level as I haven’t spent much time with the language, and I know what I need to do to improve.

The steps I know I need to take would be :

1. Spend the next week ensuring I know the basic verbs and revise basic vocabulary.

2. Find a conversation partner/teacher and spend several hours a week talking.

I know what I need to do to improve. I also know that although Polish is difficult, it is not impossible.  In fact the more Polish I have learned, the more interesting I have found it and the more it makes sense.

For the record I think that you probably need triple the time to learn Polish as opposed to a language like Italian.

The problem is that I have no need to speak Polish, no trips to Poland planned (or likely) and am not surrounded by Polish speakers. In other words although I  like the language, I lack the impetus I require to make decent progress.

Conversely with Italian, I’ve made friends (on the internet) and talk regularly. My level is improving constantly.

And so I don’t know whether it is worth continuing in the same vein (i.e. learning bit by bit) , because while I know the steps I need to take to actually be able to speak the language, I’m unlikely to take them. I don’t have unlimited spare time.

I really can’t decide what to do. I don’t want to stop learning Polish, but at the same time am starting to feel frustrated by my lack of progress. And yet, I don’t have time to commit to another evening (or two) chatting (or trying to) in Polish (as well as Italian and Spanish).

And yet that is exactly what I need to do.




Polyglot People

Polyglot People is now working. There are no obvious problems. Naturally this doesn’t mean that there are no problems, rather that none have surfaced in my (somewhat cursory) testing.

So, if you like the content of Surface Languages but don’t like the layout, you might enjoy Polyglot People.

My attention span is quite low as is my boredom threshold,  attention to detail  and ability to focus on the same thing for any length of time (according to the Boss – who knows these things).

But we have to work with what we have got, and it appears that this is an aspect of my personality that I can’t change.

A result of said personality trait is that  I am always pleased to finish (even if only temporarily) a project , website or app and move onto the next BIG thing.

Temporarily as I will fix any issues that surface with Polyglot People and add new languages as and when I add them to Surface Languages. Doubtless I will improve the site further at some indeterminate point in the future.

Now back to the day job …



Polyglot People arises like a Phoenix from the ashes

Well, that says it all really.

I decided to resurrect Polyglot People. It is a language site using the same content as Surface Languages but in a different format. And very splooshy it is too.

I need to finish testing, but that is for another day. Probably tomorrow unless it is sunny – which is extremely unlikely.

Anyway, check it out if you so desire, and if you find any really, really bad bugs you can always tell me. But, in a nice sort of way. Not in the rather bad mannered way that is so common with internet folk nowadays. I know.  Not you. You are not really like that. But some people are. Honestly, some of the things I’ve read recently. Made me blush and all.

And now, because it (briefly) isn’t raining, I’m going to remove some weeds from the garden along with Perfect Hound.

Living the dream 😉