Not without a reason, Polish has recently been hailed one of the most difficult languages in the world, but remember that learning a foreign language is also an individual matter. That is why the Scandinavians cry while learning Polish cases, on the other hand the Russians, despite the different alphabet, assimilate them easily.
The Polish language belongs to the group of West Slavic languages, which includes such well-known languages as Czech and Slovak, and is also a part of the Indo-European language family. About 46 million people worldwide speak Polish. The conclusion is that the Slavs could learn Polish faster, because they can easily accept the concept of cases, in contrast to the English people, who hardly have such a grammatical category at all.
The Polish language was created around the 10th century and the oldest Polish sentence was written in 1270. In almost a thousand years it has transformed a lot – the declination has been simplified, the category of animated nouns appeared, some endings became characteristic for some nouns and there are only 7 cases left; tenses such as aorist and imperfect disappeared, leaving three tenses – past, present and future.
Despite these and many other changes in the Polish language over the last millennium, every Pole could hypothetically easily communicate with the Poles who lived in the times of Prince Mieszko I, because many forms from the Old Polish language still exist. I’ve always been told, that you should say, tę książkę instead of tą książkę (English – this book), even though there is no other pronoun or adjective that corresponds to such a declination. We say: jaką książkę?, tamtą książkę, ładną książkę (English – which book?, that book, lovely book), so why cannot we say: tą książkę?! …but the professors keep saying that if something was invented 300 years ago, it is the way it should be.
Poles are not geese, they have their own language (Mikołaj Rej, 1505-1569, first Polish-writing poet) and they have something to be proud of – 32 letters, including the mysterious: ą, ę, ć, ł, ń, ó, ś, ż, ź and 45 phonemes, such as: dz, dż, dź, sz, cz and of course the rest of the hissing and humming sounds, which for sure will become a nightmare to many students and not only foreigners. Apart from spelling rules, which even for me seem to be some black magic, I constantly have the feeling that I should finally learn it all by heart.
Recently I heard that an average Pole speaks fluent Polish only reaching the age of 16. This is of course complete nonsense, however I still remember how in the fourth grade of my primary school half of the pupils still couldn’t read! Speaking of… at the end comes something to encourage you to speak Polish. Do you know how to read it properly? Great! If not, don’t be shy and hit me with one in your language! 🙂 Leave the comments below.
Chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie w Szczebrzeszynie,
Czcza szczypawka czka w Szczecinie,
Chrząszcza szczudłem przechrzcił wąż,
Strząsa skrzydła z dżdżu,
A trzmiel w puszczy,
tuż przy Pszczynie,
Straszny wszczyna szum…