So I have started learning Polish recently and I am really finding it hard! Im finding it really difficult to read and to pronounce the words properly. I found Spanish and Portuguese quite straight forward and I think that my pronounciation was fairly good from the start.
I thought Slavic languages would be easier for an Englishman compared to Asian languages but I am not so sure now. Russian has always interested me also but I think I am going to be stuck on Polish for some time.
Whats everyones experience and opinions on Slavic languages? easy or hard? grammar, pronunciation or anything else
I do not have any experience with Polish, but I learn Slovak for quite some time now.
And I can tell you the 6 cases with 3 genders (split up in 4-5 different versions each) with the aspect of the verb-forms are much more complicated than the pronounciation. Actually I thought pronounciation was hard in the beginning, but the trick is, not to open your mouth that much. It´s just like murmering sort of. You`ll get used to this very soon.
But in fact, I have a very different problem with Slovak: I can´t find a proper book to learn with. (only one that costs 80€!!!) So I struggle finding good material, even though I know that I may consult youtube, podcasts or blogs, I feel like this does not help a lot... Any suggestions?
If you think that Polish is hard, try to learn Estonian - 14 cases and everything (it's not even an Indoeuropean language, as well as Finnish and Hungarian) :) Actually, my native language is Russian and I've recently started to learn Polish. I was really surprised to read that you want to learn them both! I know, some people did that, but in my opinion, as an English native speaker, you'll have to reach a pretty good level in one of them (like B2) before even tackling the other, otherwise it surely will be really confusing. And B2 in Slavic languages usually takes a lot of time...
Steve, as you already speak English and Spanish, Polish has like 5-6 new sounds for you. I guess you may need some training to learn them properly, but when you know all of them Polish pronunciation is as regular and easy as Spanish. If you tell us what's hardest for you maybe someone would be able to help you.
Phil, most of Indoeuropean languages have more complicated grammar than English and Spanish do :P
Many consonant combinations like rz is just writing the same sound in a different way (replacement for ż) .
Then there's the very minor differences in sounds that you should just give up on lol. People will understand what you say in 99% of the cases even if your č and ć sound exactly the same (they are sounds in Serbian, I think it's ć and cz in Polish).
Don't even compare Swedish (easy language that is extremely closely related to English) to Polish. I can read 65% of Swedish while having zero experience with it. When I decided to see what Polish was all about I saw "dziewczyna" and I said "Good night everybody, no Polish for me". But it's actually not as evil as I thought at first. The easier grammar makes up for it. Even cases are not all that hard. I think the hardest about Serbian is the conditional. Budes budemo budem ah for crying out loud. When to use them? Only Vuk knows. I think it's the same with Polish, maybe harder with the extra freedom in how to use it. Freedom in language is bad lol.
Andrzej - Im starting to find it a bit easier now but i think this is due to working hard rather than the language being easy. I find a lot of the grouping of consonants like sz, cz, rz etc i just pronounce as 'sh' or 'shz' which I am sure isnt totally right but I keep referring back to the Pronunciation section in my book. I am starting to enjoy it more now.
Tanya - Why do you want to learn Estonian? I have a fascination for Latin America (hence learning Spanish and Portuguese) and Slavic languages so I would love to learn Russian, Ukranian, Lithuanian and Czech but right now Polish is relevant to me which is why I chose it first. So what makes Estonian relevant for you?
Nordic languages have recently started to interest me and as i am going to Sweden in October I thought I would pick up some basic phrases and I find Swedish pronunciation quite natural. Easier than Polish. Its just a shame that most Scandinavian people are fluent in English.