Polish Language Blog

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Popular Polish language mistakes and how to fix them! Posted by on May 20, 2020 in Grammar, Phrases, Vocabulary

We all know that as a Slavic language, Polish is one of the most difficult languages for native English speakers to learn! So I’m very proud of all of you who are trying hard!

Polish language has always been on the top of the hardest languages to learn. Polish pronunciation (wymowa) can be particularly challenging. The sounds can be very subtly different from each other. A lot of words can sound almost identical, but mean something totally different. And case system can definitely drive you crazy! In Polish, there are the nominative (mianownik), genitive (dopełniacz), dative (celownik), accusative (biernik), instrumental (narzędnik), locative (miejscownik), and vocative (wołacz) cases for nouns, pronouns, and adjectives that also double when you add the plurals!

On the lighter note, unlike English, the words in Polish sound exactly how you spell them, so there are no surprises if you master the phonetic alphabet!

Here are few examples of the most common mistakes people make in Polish language (and don’t worry, a lot of native Polish speakers make them too!).

Image by Kasia Scontsas

Półtora kilo  – półtorej kilo (1.5 kilogram)

Włącza włancza (someone switches/turns something on)

Umiemumię (I know something/I can something)

W cudzysłowiew cudzysłowiu (in quotation marks)

W każdym razie –  w każdym bądź razie ( in any case)

W ogólewogóle (at all)

Wziąćwziąść (to take something)

Przekonującyprzekonywujący (convincing)

Na dworzena dworzu (outside)

Tę rzecztą rzecz (this thing)

Z rzędupod rząd (in a row: Powiedziałam to 2 razy “z rzędu” – I said it twice in a row)

Jest napisanepisze (it says)

Dwa tysiące dwudziestydwutysięczny dwudziesty (2020 year)

Przyjaciołomprzyjacielom (I told “my friends” something – Powiedziałam moim przyjaciołom o czymś)

Pojedynczypojedyńczy (singular, single)

Sprzedz przed (from before)

Tylnytylni (rear)

Wielką literąz wielkiej litery, dużą literą (with capital letter)

Z wyjątkiemza wyjątkiem (with exception)

Na razienarazie (for now, so long)

Z powrotemspowrotem (back: bedę zaraz z powrotem – I will be right back)

Naprzeciwkona przeciwko (opposite, vis-a-vis)

Liczba gatunkówilość gatunków (number of species)

 

Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay

Still, what is life without a challenge? As long as you know what you’re getting yourself into, by all means pursue a love of Polish. I know you guys can do it!

 

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About the Author: Kasia

My name is Kasia Scontsas. I grew near Lublin, Poland and moved to Warsaw to study International Business. I have passion for languages: any languages! Currently I live in New Hampshire. I enjoy skiing, kayaking, biking and paddle boarding. My husband speaks a little Polish, but our daughters are fluent in it! I wanted to make sure that they can communicate with their Polish relatives in our native language. Teaching them Polish since they were born was the best thing I could have given them! I have been writing about learning Polish language and culture for Transparent Language’s Polish Blog since 2010.


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