2 Reasons Why Polish Is Difficult (And 3 Why It’s Not)

If you have tried learning the Polish language, you have probably realized that it is not an easy task. Its consonants feel harsh on an English speaker’s tongue and choosing the right word endings can give you headaches.

But worry not! It may take you some more time to learn Polish than Spanish, for example. But this doesn’t mean it is impossible. With the help of an expert native tutor, learning Polish can even be a pleasant experience.

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Still, if you are considering studying this language, you should be aware of what you are going to encounter, both good and bad!

Why the Polish Language Seems Hard

 

Declensions

The Polish language has a total of 14 cases: the genitive, dative, accusative, nominative, locative, instrumental, and vocative for adjectives, nouns, and pronouns, which doubles if you take plurals into account. Sometimes, some cases may take the same endings, like the locative and the vocative. But this varies depending on the word.

Meanwhile, in English, there are only two cases: one for plurals and another one for the singular. Having to learn all these cases is certainly not a piece of cake, but they can definitely be mastered with guided practice.

Pronunciation

The Polish language is known for having lots of consonants together, which makes it very hard for native English speakers to pronounce some words. If you take the word Szczęście (happiness), the sounds “sh” and “ch” are pronounced one after the other. You’ll need to practice a lot if you want to master this!

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Once you start learning the language, you’ll notice that the sounds that are usually the most difficult are “sz,” “ś,” “ź,” and “dż.” But if you are feeling discouraged, don’t worry! Even native speakers have to practice these sounds repeatedly when they are learning the language.

Why Learning the Polish Language Is Actually Not that Hard

 

Simple Grammar

Sure, cases are hard. But that’s about it when it comes to difficult grammar. The Polish language makes up for that in many ways, like having only three tenses. The Poles only use the past, present, and future. So, whether you want to say “I played,” “I had played”’ or “I was playing,” in Polish, you need only use “Grałam.”

Also, there are no articles in Polish, which makes it much easier than other European languages, like Spanish or German. In this way, you will be able to build sentences without having to stop to think about which article to use.

Accurate Spelling

In English, one spelling can correspond to many different pronunciations. For instance, why does the “gh” in “laugh” sound different to the one in “hiccough?”

This is not something you’ll have to worry about when studying the Polish language. Most words sound exactly the way they are written, with very few exceptions. So, you’ll be able to start reading the language in a very short time.

Easy-to-Remember Word Stress

It’s true that many aspects of Polish pronunciation are difficult, but there are also some that, on the contrary, are very simple. Such is the case of word stress.

In English, words like “import” and “perfect” can mean something different depending on which syllable they are stressed. Fortunately for you, the Polish language does not do this. They stress every word on the penultimate syllable, making this one less thing to think about when speaking.

As you can see, Polish is much easier than it first appears. The difficult parts of the language are the ones that you are going to notice first, but as you improve and dig deeper, you’ll notice that the Polish language is actually much friendlier to learn.

And if you have a native-speaking teacher guiding you, it becomes even easier. If you’d like to have lessons with a professional native speaker, explore our Polish courses! They are tailored to your needs and requirements and can fit any schedule. You can take them virtually or face-to-face in any place of your choosing and at a time that is most convenient for you.