Can I Learn Polish In One Year? – First Week

Language isn’t all that scary if you know where to begin.  That seems to be the basic premise of most language learning apps.  Just start from the beginning and breathe. I believe after reaching an intermediate level in two languages, I am ready to implement a strategy on a brand-new victim!

Of course, just breathe is easy to say for someone beginning an “easy” language with a lot of English cognates, like Spanish or Portuguese.  Go a bit wast of the former Iron Curtain, though, into Slavic family territory and the difficulty increases sharply. And don’t get me started on Mandarin.

I could have learned any language this upcoming year, but what’s the fun in that?  I left it up to the audience to decide over at the Facebook page. I chated a little.  They overwhelmingly said Finnish, but I ended up choosing the second most-picked: Polish.

That wondrous language with a lot of markings and rough sounds is the language of a beautiful yet persecuted people for so much of history.  The German Holocaust machine threw many Poles into concentration camps along with my ancestors, the Gypsys, so I feel some sorr of, albeit weak, connection with them.  

I have chosen a language that is both moderately difficult, but not as difficult as other languages just east.  After all, it still has the Latin alphabet, so how can it be that bad? Right? Yes, my first ten minutes listening to the language was uniquely frustrating as the dialogue sounded nonsensical, but, damn, if it isn’t a gorgeous language to hear.

For this, what I call a 1 Year Challenge, I guess, I am exclusively using the LingQ app to take me to fluency as they claim.  This is a language I have never studied, and, before three days ago, knew almost nothing about. This will be a fun ride!

First Three-Day Impressions:

-The audio on the dialogues was a little rough.  It sounded kinda old. Of course, this isn’t a complicated dialogue, but I must intently follow the manuscript to listen to it.

-I have learned “dobr-“.  It means good or well. I have yet to figure out why the endings keep changing.  I am going to find a grammar guide and cheat a little more to see what’s going on in the language.  Without looking at any grammar beforehand, I am guessing a case system with between 10 to 30 case endings.  I may be wrong, though. Definitely not Hungarian-level, though.

-Some similarities with Russian in vocab.  There are also a lot of cognates as well, thankfully, with English, just hiding below the surface!

Until next time, be sure to check out our magazine for more great content!


Me struggling with that pronunciation system.
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