Polish Language Blog

Polski on the internet – guest post by Barb Posted by on Aug 7, 2009 in Uncategorized

A couple of posts ago I asked you about your Polish language adventures on the internet, remember?

And our fabulous guest blogger – Barbara from Canada prepared this piece about her experiences w polskiej sieci.

Polski on the internet – by Barbara from Canada

As most of you know, there are very few good sites dedicated to teaching or supporting the study of the Polish language and its culture (except this one, of course).

For the grammar purists in the room, Learn Polish with Sam and Biluś is a pretty good site. The authors are not native Poles (but are serious students) and present the material in an organized and detailed manner. One of the things I like about the site is that the authors often share useful charts and exhibits from their own studies. One of the drawbacks is that the site is not regularly updated. (Anna’s comment – not regularly updated – that’s a big, fat understatement – this year they’ve only posted 10 entries so far.)

Another site which I use extensively is www.polishforums.com. The grammar resources are pretty thin, so I use it mainly for general knowledge about Poland. The forum contains a lot of information, but “filters” are required. One of its obvious shortcomings is political correctness (poprawność polityczna). Be aware, some topics contain very raw emotions and comments.

Although it is easier to be introduced to Polish culture with the assistance of a native or an experienced ex-pat, there comes a point when you just want to venture out without the help of a guide. To be confused, puzzled and a little disoriented all on your own. To not have someone apply context to behaviours and intentions. Short of a trip abroad (which is coming later this month), I wanted to get a feel for the people directly. So, I started frequenting various Polish websites and forums.

In the on-line women’s magazine (magazyn dla kobiet) www.kafeteria.pl, I found short articles (artykuły) about daily life in Poland. Although the articles were sometimes interesting, I learned MUCH, MUCH more from the comments (komentarze). It didn’t take long before I wandered over to the “forums” section and that’s where things got REALLY interesting. What I mean to say is, I would read a certain topic and all its related posts, then I would sit back in my chair and mutter “really!?!”. I also learned a lot of words and expressions that couldn’t be found in dictionaries. 🙂

Probably the oddest site I frequent on a regular basis is a Polish website dedicated to the learning of English. Seems like a strange place to learn Polish, right? I help by correcting people’s writing, answering questions, basically assisting where I can. What do I get out of it? I have carved out a little niche for myself and made a few friends. I get to practice writing in Polish. I am also working up the nerve to post a sample of my speech, which I hope will be analyzed objectively. I don’t want to suffer the platitudes of overly-polite Poles that say “jak na cudzoziemkę, mówi Pani bardzo dobrze po polsku.” AAACK! I have been a rather difficult task master on the English forum and I’m honest in my feedback of others. In return, I hope to receive the same objective appraisal. A few Poles may hazard a couple of honest comments. Problem is, I’ve found that Poles are just too damn polite and wouldn’t want to risk hurting my feelings. 🙂

Anna’s comment: Poles polite? It’s because you’re a foreigner! You should see how we just love to trample the feelings of our fellow countrymen!

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  1. Kuba:

    Learn Polish with Sam and Bilus looks interesting will have to check it out.

  2. Chris:

    People usually compliment me on my Polish too until they find out that I have lived here for 7 years. Then they wonder why I don’t speak better 😉

  3. Tomek:

    I’ve been always wondering why would anyone want to learn polish? It’s extremely difficult due to complicated grammar rules and all the exceptions. It’s 4th on the list of the most difficult languages.
    I admire all people who learn polish 🙂