English-Polish Translations

The Wrong Teacher of Polish Language

Dating a lovely Polish girl or a macho Polish boy must be quite an exhilarating experience for a foreigner, what with both genders of Poles exhibiting characteristics simply not found in people of other nations (Polish girls on average can cook very well, are caring and loyal, and, most importantly, are intelligent, graceful, pretty, and lovely while they're doing it. Polish guys can fix cars, are able to down vast amounts of alcohol without any negative effect, are also very intelligent, generally loyal, and, well, are manly-men kind of men). But such apparently idyllic partners are precisely the wrong teachers if one wants to learn the Polish language. Polish is by far the most difficult modern European language to master, and only a handful of people have become proficient enough at it that they can say to themselves: “I can speak Polish” and mean it.

Learn-Teach Polish

The most important reason why these people learned Polish is because they forsook most modern conveniences, holed themselves up in a small town somewhere in Poland, and took out a Hot-Dog selling job (or any other employment where conversations with different makes and sorts of people are a necessary occurrence). What they didn't do is rely on their otherwise perfect partner to teach them Polish vocabulary, grammar, or idioms because had they done it, they would have found that they are regressing in overall speech (which means English as well) rather than progressing in Polish.

Here is why: What happened when your mother or father tried to explain to you something about math, science, history, or anything else academic (given that she/he has at some time in the past done so)? There were two very likely results. The first was that you listened to their explanation until you found something you did not understand or were confused by, and then you protested verbally. The protests were answered in an authoritarian manner, which aggravated the confusion even more and polarized the whole interaction. From then on it was a short time until words which shouldn't have been said were flying like mosquitoes on a hot summer evening, even more anger was brewing, and an eventual parting which wasn't very pleasant ensued. The second likely result was that you began drowning out somewhere between the words “well, son/daughter, the reason for...” and “well, son/daughter, the reason for this equation having a negative sign...”. Faking interest was then what you concentrated on, and after some more minutes, on simply keeping awake.

As well, studying that and studying Polish is quite different since it might be actually quite interesting to learn about physics or chemistry, but to be truly and really interested in why this “u” is open or closed requires that someone have an inordinate amount of self control and can become feverishly excited by, for example, seconds ticking on a grandfather clock. Since most people are generally a little less excitable, it means they will lose patience quicker, will get angrier at Polish, be more bored with it, loathe it, etc. Perhaps I'm wrong, but it would be prudent, in my opinion, to separate the bringer of such torture as the Polish language from the person you really love and care for. It will save the relationship a lot of problems - if you get a real teacher you will be able to hate her/him with a passion, and yet come home to a loving girlfriend/boyfriend and forget all about the hate. Unless, of course, you like to imagine your girlfriend as a dominatrix, or drown out to your boyfriend's soothing and relaxing voice as he explains the difference between “kilka” and “pare”...