Most people think Polish language is hard and probably impossible to learn it properly, thus feeling quite discouraged by it. However, I believe that nothing is impossible (quoting Nicolás Massú, a famous Chilean tennis player), so here are some essential lifehacks that will make your Polish learning easier, and why not… motivate your dupa (sorry, but I think this deserves it!) to learn Polish.
- Stress rules in Polish are a piece of cake. Most of the times, the stress in words falls in the second to last syllable. Of course, there are exceptions, such as words of Greek origin and the conjugated verbs of the first and second plural persons in past tense, but most of the times, you can nail a perfect pronunciation by following this rule. Stress is never random in Polish.
- Understand other Slavic languages easily: I once watched a documentary on Polish TV where the host went to Croatia. He had a Croatian guest and they talked to each other in simplified versions of their own language! How cool was that? Sure, in Spanish, I have the same feeling when speaking with a native Italian or Portuguese speaker (though, more with Italians, I must say!), but with Polish… you can understand some Russian, Czech, Slovak, Ukrainian, Serbian, Croatian, Bulgarian, among others. However, like any language from the same family, there are false friends. My personal favourite? Never tell a Czech person to look for something in the kitchen “szukaj w kuchni” because all you’d get is weird stares, a laugh and probably that person would end up having sex in the kitchen.
- Fewer verbal tenses to learn: I speak Spanish, a language with a verb tense and mood for almost every situation. I still remember in primary school learning about the pluscuamperfecto not knowing what it really meant and when to use it and not. Well, Polish has much fewer verbal tenses and moods to worry about. Mind you, Polish has two aspects: perfective and nonperfective! One is used when you did an action and you finished doing it completely while the other… sometimes yes, sometimes not.
- Are you scared of the infamous Szcz? There is an easy solution for that which works with any English speaker! Try saying Fresh Cheese as fast as you can, and focus on the Sh-Ch… did you do it? Well, you nailed Szcz perfectly! Now, try saying Szczecin.And my personal favourite…..
- Do you ever wish to tell off someone you don’t know well or is in allegedly higher hierarchy than you? Well, in Polish, it is totally normal and okay to do so and you can use it with formal language, so you can be mean and not disrepectful at the same time. The Polish pronouns for formal you in singular is Pan / Pani (Sir / Madam), so Pan jest idiotą? Yes, you Sir are an idiot ;). This thing reminded me of a scene from a classical Polish movie (in which the main phrase happens to be also the brand name of one of my favourite Polish shops):
Though there is also this classical video of a woman telling an old lady off because of her political views:
I hope you have enjoyed my lifehacks! Feel free to comment 😀