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Archive for the 'Tips & Techniques' Category

From Zero to Hero: How Long Will it Take to Learn Polish?

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Like many people who are about to embark on a new language learning journey, you may be asking yourself:
How long will it take to learn Polish?

The answer is: “It depends on the level you want to achieve!”

In this article, you’ll find out how long it takes to reach the different proficiency levels of Polish. You’ll also get exclusive tips on how to accelerate your progress and use PolishPod101 to your advantage every step of the way.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Polish Table of Contents
  1. Beginner Level
  2. Intermediate Level
  3. Advanced Level
  4. Final Thoughts

Beginner Level

A Woman with a Notebook

How long will it take to learn Polish if you hope to surpass the beginner level? And what skills are expected of you as a beginner (początkujący)? 

Here are some answers to your questions, and more! 

Pre-Intermediate Level: What Does it Mean?

To become a pre-intermediate student, you need to complete levels A1 and A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). 

At level A1, you’ll be able to have very simple conversations such as introducing yourself or talking about your likes and dislikes. By level A2, you’ve deepened your basic vocabulary knowledge. Upon completion of this level, you can go to shops and museums, ask for directions, tell the time, and talk about your family.

How Long Will it Take?

A Man Looking at His Watch

You need around 200 hours of study to get to level A2. How fast you get there depends on how much time you spend studying. Here are some tips on how to learn the Polish language faster: 

  1. Set up your social media in Polish. If you’re feeling brave, do it to your phone too!

  2. Listen to a lot of Polish music on YouTube and watch Polish-language movies on Netflix. This will allow you to hear a lot of the language and get used to how it sounds. Can you understand some of the words? That’s great!

  3. Last but not least, prepare your own flashcards with new vocabulary you’re learning.

How to Use PolishPod101 as a Beginner

Are you wondering how to learn basic Polish as you begin your studies? 

PolishPod101 can help you improve your Polish at any level. When you first start learning Polish, you’ll be studying simpler things such as saying hello and giving a self-introduction. 

Our lesson Saying Hello No Matter the Time of Day in Polish is a great example of what we have to offer our students. It will teach you the very important skill of greeting people at any time of day and with the required formality level. 

Apart from the dialogue, you also get a vocabulary list, lesson notes with additional tips, commentary on the cultural context (kontekst kulturowy), and even some additional vocabulary. You can read the lesson, listen to it, or do both at the same time using the transcript. 

Here are some similar lessons you may like: 

What’s more, PolishPod101 also has a specific pathway (ścieżka) for absolute beginners. Thanks to this functionality, you won’t get lost among the countless lessons the platform offers. 

Intermediate Level

Moving from the beginner level to the intermediate level is an accomplishment to be proud of! 

The intermediate level (poziom średniozaawansowany) is an exciting new adventure that comes with its own challenges. Keep in mind that your progress will slow down at this point. But this isn’t something to be worried about, as it’s a natural part of the process.

Intermediate Level: What Does it Mean?

A Graduate

You have reached the intermediate stage of your Polish learning once you attain level B1 or B2 of CEFR.

Level B1 allows you to have conversations on most everyday topics (codzienne tematy). You still lack vocabulary and struggle to express yourself concerning more complex issues. 

Such issues disappear at level B2, when you’re capable of having longer conversations on more difficult topics. You’re able to express your political views at this level, speak about the environment, and agree or disagree with others. 

How Long Will it Take Me?

Level B1 means an additional 200 hours on top of the time you already put in to reach A1 and A2. This means your overall language learning time by this point will be 400 hours

Level B2 will require another 150 hours of studying, for a total of 550 hours.

Would you like to know how to learn Polish faster? Here are some language learning hacks to accelerate your progress:

  1. Watch movies and listen to songs like you did as a beginner. At this level, you should be paying attention to vocabulary and grammar. Make notes as you listen and watch. Not sure where to find more Polish movies? Start here
  1. Find a friend to help you practice your language skills. A language partner can’t replace a study program, but it can definitely help with your progress. Not sure where to look for a partner? Try the Tandem app!
  1. Look for free grammar exercises online to internalize the structures you’re struggling to remember or understand. 

How to Use PolishPod101 as an Intermediate Student

A PolishPod101 Graphic

PolishPod101 has many resources for intermediate students. The lessons may cover some of the same topics that you’ve seen as a beginner, but the vocabulary is more advanced. Check out this lesson on choosing your meal at a Polish restaurant to see what we mean. 

In this lesson, you’ll pick up some basic vocabulary related to food so you can communicate in more complicated situations. In addition to the lesson recording, you have direct access to the dialogue, vocabulary, and a lesson transcript. 

Here are two other intermediate lessons:

If something isn’t clear, you can always comment with a question. A friendly Polish teacher will provide you with a useful answer so you can overcome learning hurdles more easily. 

Are you interested in a specific topic? Use our search option to find related lessons!

Advanced Level

The advanced level (poziom zaawansowany) is the Holy Grail of language learning. Did you know that some students never get there and remain at the intermediate level indefinitely? Don’t worry! There are steps you can take to avoid that fate.

Advanced Level: What Does it Mean?

Reaching an advanced level in Polish means that you can speak about pretty much any topic with confidence. This is level C1 of CEFR. At this level, you could study or work in Polish. 

There’s also level C2, which represents a higher proficiency than even the average native speaker has. At this level, you could give speeches and write essays in Polish. 

How Long Does it Take to Learn Polish Fluently?

The Winner of a Race

To get to the C1 level, you’ll need about 900 hours (900 godzin) of work. 

C2 is trickier to evaluate, as this level requires academic skills on top of general language fluency. It also means that you rarely make mistakes.  

To make the jump from the intermediate level to the advanced level, you need to focus on two things: fluency and accuracy. With that in mind, look over these tips on how to make further progress in learning Polish.

  1. Work with songs and movies by transcribing them. Pay attention to how native speakers talk. What expressions do they use? How do they use grammar? Make notes and learn!

  2. Read books in your target language. You can read for pleasure too, but to see improvement you need to work on really expanding your vocabulary and learning more expressions. Tip: Choose modern books rather than the classics to learn the language as it’s truly spoken today.  
  1. Participate in an internet forum about a topic you’re interested in. Get involved in a discussion and learn from native speakers how to use the language. 

How to Use PolishPod101 as an Advanced Student

While you work to achieve a higher level, you should complement your language learning with knowledge about the country. That’s why PolishPod101 offers many lessons for advanced students focused on improving your understanding of Poland. 

Have a look at this lesson about the famous Polish composer, Frederic Chopin. Lessons like this one are similar to what a native Polish speaker would listen to, should (s)he want to learn more about the composer (kompozytor). Along with the lesson, you get access to the dialogue, vocabulary, lesson notes, lesson transcript, and comments. 

Interested in advanced Polish lessons? Remember to check out other lessons from the advanced audio blog, such as: 

A Map of Poland

Are you on your way to approaching an advanced level and need a way to prove your proficiency? Remember that there are Polish exams you can take to do so. You can read all about them in our dedicated blog post

Final Thoughts

In this article, we answered the question: How long does it take to learn Polish fluently?

We’ve also provided you with details on how long it will take you to reach each level of proficiency, and how to learn Polish faster. You should have a better idea of how to best utilize PolishPod101 and other resources to meet your language learning goals! 

How many hours have you studied Polish already? Let us know in the comments section. 

PolishPod101 is a platform designed to help Polish learners at every level reach their goals. In addition to countless lessons on various topics, we provide additional vocabulary resources with pronunciation examples (such as our vocabulary lists and dictionary). If you feel like you need a teacher, we’ve got you covered with our Premium PLUS MyTeacher service!

Don’t just take our word for it. Start your free trial today to start learning the Polish language as soon as possible. Remember that you need roughly 900 hours to become fluent. The sooner you start, the better.

Powodzenia! (“Good luck!”)

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Polish

Essential Business Phrases in Polish

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Many people start learning Polish because they want to live and work in Poland. However, even if this is not your goal, knowing essential business phrases in Polish can help you impress your international clients and broaden your career horizons.

The Polish business phrases included in this article will help you nail a job interview in Polish, interact with coworkers, and find your feet in many other business situations. Let’s boost your business Polish skills together!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Business Words and Phrases in Polish Table of Contents
  1. Nailing a Job Interview
  2. Interacting with Coworkers
  3. Sounding Smart in Meetings
  4. Handling Business Phone Calls and Emails
  5. Going on a Business Trip
  6. Final Thoughts

1. Nailing a Job Interview

Job Interview

Are you preparing for a job interview in Poland or with a company that requires you to speak Polish? No problem! With these key business phrases in Polish, you’ll nail your job interview and impress your potential employer.

A- First Things First – Introductions

Introducing yourself is the most important part of your job interview, because first impressions last. You can win the hearts of your interviewers from the very beginning with a confident self-introduction. 

  • Nazywam się ___. (“My name is ___.”)

Here, you can simply state your name and surname. There are many other ways of introducing yourself in Polish, which you can read about in our article on Polish introductions.

Seeing that it’s a job interview, your interviewers would also like to hear about your education and work experience. Tell them about it with the following phrases. Note that for the first two phrases, the first one is for a male speaker and the second one is for a female speaker. 

  • Ukończyłem [faculty] na [name of the educational institution]. (“I’ve graduated from [faculty] at [name of the educational institution].”)
  • Ukończyłam [faculty] na [name of the educational institution]. (“I’ve graduated from [faculty] at [name of the educational institution].”)
  • Mam ___ lat/a doświadczenia. (“I have ___ years of experience.”) 

B- Talking About Your Strengths and Weaknesses

A Man with a Giant Behind Him

Your interviewers want to know you better, so, when prompted, tell them about your strengths and weaknesses. 

  • Moje największe zalety to ___. (“My biggest advantages are ___.”)
  • Umiem współpracować w zespole. (“I’m a good team player.”)
  • Jestem niezależny. (“I’m an independent worker.”) – male speaker
  • Jestem niezależna. (“I’m an independent worker.”) – female speaker
  • Moje największe osiągnięcie to ___. (“My biggest achievement is ___.”)
  • Moje największe wady to ___. (“My biggest disadvantages are ___.”)

Remember to be strategic when talking about your weaknesses. If you’re not sure how to do so, check out this article from Forbes on how to discuss your weaknesses during an interview.

C- Other Useful Phrases

There’s also a handful of other professional Polish phrases you can use throughout the interview. 

  • Chciałbym pracować dla Państwa firmy, ponieważ ___. (“I’d like to work for your company because ___.”) – male speaker
  • Chciałabym pracować dla Państwa firmy, ponieważ ___. (“I’d like to work for your company because ___.”) – female speaker
  • Przepraszam, czy może Pan/Pani powtórzyć pytanie? (“Excuse me, could you repeat the question Sir/Madam?”)
  • Dziękuję za zaproszenie na tę rozmowę. (“Thank you for inviting me for this interview.”)

If you still feel like you need more help for your Polish job interview, remember to check out our lesson “A Polish Job Interview” for even more tips. For general advice, The Guardian has a great article on how to shine during your interview.

2. Interacting with Coworkers

A Team in An Office

So, you’ve managed to land a job in a Polish company or a Polish speaking environment? Well done! We hope our interview tips helped you land your dream job.

Now it’s time for the real test: interacting with your coworkers. Don’t worry, though! With these key business phrases in Polish, you’ll be able to form connections with no problems at all. 

A- Introduce Yourself…Again

Introducing yourself to new coworkers is slightly different from doing so for a job interview. Here’s how to give a self-introduction in a neat and professional manner: 

  • Cześć! Jestem ___ i będę tu pracować jako ___! (“Hi! My name is ___ and I’m going to work here as ___.”)

Polish workplaces differ in terms of formality, so remember to pay attention to how people address one another. Keep in mind the “better safe than sorry” rule. 

B- When You Need Help 

Here are some useful expressions for when you need some help in your new workplace or when you need to apologize for something.

  • Przepraszam, jestem tu nowy. Możesz mi powiedzieć, gdzie jest [place]? (“I’m new here. Could you tell me where to find [place]?”) – male speaker
  • Przepraszam, jestem tu nowa. Możesz mi powiedzieć, gdzie jest [place]? (“I’m new here. Could you tell me where to find [place]?”) – female speaker
  • Przepraszam, czy możesz mi z tym pomóc? (“Excuse me, can you help me with this?”)
  • Dzięki za pomoc! (“Thanks for helping me!”)

A more formal alternative to the phrase above would be: Dziękuje za pomoc!

  • Przepraszam za spóźnienie. (“I’m sorry for being late.”)
  • Przepraszam, nie rozumiem. (“I’m sorry, I don’t understand.”)

For more-specific phrases to use when asking for help in a difficult business situation, visit our lesson on this topic. 

C- Making Friends

It’s always easier to work in a place where you get along well with people, which is why you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of making friends. When doing business in Poland, an easy way to make someone look at you more kindly is to give them a compliment. For example, this is something you could say to someone whose hairstyle you like: 

  • Super fryzura! (“Cool haircut!”)

To learn Polish compliments for every occasion, go to our article on giving compliments in Polish. If you’re not convinced that giving compliments can be a successful technique for making friends, Express has some more insight for you

You can also initiate interactions with someone outside of work by asking:

  • Może wyskoczymy na kawę? (“Should we grab a coffee?”)
  • Chcesz zjeść razem lunch? (“Do you want to eat lunch together?”)
  • Wyskoczymy na piwo po pracy? (“How about a beer after work?”)
Business Phrases

3. Sounding Smart in Meetings

In order to stand out in a workplace, you need to sound smart. Check out the Polish business phrases below to learn how to do that. 

A- Taking Initiative and Expressing Opinions

Here are some handy expressions for when you want to share your thoughts on something that’s been said: 

  • Chciałbym zaprezentować wam mój nowy pomysł. (“I’d like to tell you about my new idea.”) – male speaker
  • Chciałabym zaprezentować wam mój nowy pomysł. (“I’d like to tell you about my new idea.”) – female speaker
  • Jeśli mogę dodać coś od siebie? (“Could I make a suggestion?”)

Need more? You can find more vocabulary for making a suggestion in Polish on our website.  

If you disagree with someone, you could also use one of these Polish business phrases to soften the blow of your criticism. 

  • Nie uważasz, że lepiej byłoby ___? (“Don’t you think that it would be better to ___?”)
  • Wiem, co masz na myśli, ale nie do końca się z Tobą zgadzam. (“I know what you mean, but I don’t fully agree with you.”)

When you agree with someone, simply say: 

  • Zgadzam się Tobą w pełni. (“I fully agree with you.”)

B- Reporting on Progress

When you’re given a specific task, you may be asked by your manager or coworkers to report on your progress. Here’s how you can do this: 

  • Wszystko idzie zgodnie z planem. (“Everything is going according to plan.”)
  • Na pewno skończę przed deadlinem. (“I’ll be finished before the deadline, for sure.”)
  • Powinienem mieć wszystko gotowe na [day of the week]. (“I should have everything ready on [day of the week].”) – male speaker
  • Powinnam mieć wszystko gotowe na [day of the week]. (“I should have everything ready on [day of the week].”) – female speaker

Sometimes, unforeseeable situations happen and you can’t complete a task as planned. Here’s how to let others know that you’ve encountered a problem or need more time:

  • Mamy problem. (“We have a problem.”)
  • Nie zdążę na czas. (“I won’t make it on time.”)
  • Potrzebuję więcej czasu. (“I need more time.”)

Are you feeling nervous about requesting a deadline extension at work? Indeed has some practical tricks and strategies!

4. Handling Business Phone Calls and Emails 

Answering phone calls and responding to emails are important skills in any business. In this section, we’ll provide you with some useful Polish for business phone calls and emails.

A- Answering Business Calls in Polish  

A Woman on the Phone in the Office

Here are some useful business Polish phrases that you can use during a business call.

  • Dzień dobry, mówi ___. W czym mogę pomóc? (“Hello, it’s ___ speaking. How may I help you?”)

Instead of dzień dobry, you can also say Halo? (“Hello?”) or Słucham? (literally: “I’m listening,” but translates to “Hello?”)

  • Niestety nie ma jej/go. Czy mogę coś przekazać? (“Unfortunately, she/he isn’t in. Can I take a message?”)

The phrase above is perfect for when someone is trying to reach your colleague who’s currently not in.

To say goodbye, simply repeat these words:

  • [Dziękuję,] do usłyszenia! (“[Thank you,] I’ll chat with you soon!”)

B- Sending Business Emails 

Depending on the required formality, there are various Polish business phrases you can use for work emails. It’s up to you to figure out what kind of relationship your company prefers. 

Below, you can find common ways to start a business email in Polish. We’ll list them from the least formal to the most formal: 

  • Cześć! (“Hi!”) 
  • Cześć + [name]! (“Hi + [name]!”)

These first two phrases are only acceptable if this is how you address that person in real life, too. 

  • Witam (“Hello”) 
  • Witam + [name] (“Hello + [name]”)
  • Dzień Dobry (“Good morning”)
  • Dzień Dobry + [name] (“Good morning + [name]”)
  • Szanowny Panie / Szanowna Pani (“Dear Sir” / “Dear Madam”)
  • Szanowny Panie / Szanowna Pani + [name] (“Dear Sir + [name]” / “Dear Madam + [name]”)

Note that all of the phrases above are followed by a comma. 

A business email should also be concluded professionally with one of the phrases below: 

  • Serdecznie pozdrawiam, (“Warm Regards,”)
  • Pozdrawiam, (“Regards,”)
  • Z poważaniem, (literally: “With respect,” but translated to “Yours Faithfully,”)

We hope these Polish business phrases will be useful in your correspondence! 

5. Going on a Business Trip

People in Suits Traveling

Going on a business trip in Poland for the first time can be very exciting. You’ll need a number of business phrases in Polish to get around, though!

A- Reservations

Some people are lucky enough to have someone who organizes booking for them. Others need to do this themselves. To book a hotel or purchase a ticket, you should say: 

Chciałbym/Chciałabym zarezerwować pokój… (“I’d like to book a room…”)

                                                            …dla jednej osoby (“for one person”)

                                                            …na dwa tygodnie (“for two weeks”)

                                                            …z wyżywieniem (“with food”)

Chciałbym/Chciałabym zarezerwować bilet… (“I’d like to buy a ticket…”)

                                                            …na jutro (“…for tomorrow”)

                                                            …w klasie biznesowej (“…in a business class”)

                                                            …tam i z powrotem (“…return”)

B- Greetings and Wrapping Up 

When meeting people at the airport or in a hotel lobby during a business trip, the phrase to use is: 

  • Przepraszam, czy to Pan/Pani [name]? (“Excuse me, are you [name]?”)

When you present your Polish company to clients, this lesson from PolishPod101 may come in handy. You should also let people know that there’s no need to rush to a decision by saying: 

  • Nie ma pośpiechu. (“There’s no rush.”)
  • Proszę spokojnie przemyśleć tę decyzję. (“Take your time to arrive at a decision.”)

Remember to remain polite during your business dealings on the trip. Thank your clients or business partners with Polish business phrases like these: 

  • Dziękuję za zaproszenie. (“Thank you for the invitation.”)
  • Dziękuję za spotkanie. (“Thank you for the meeting.”)
  • Dziękuję za uwagę. (“Thank you for your attention.”)

The last expression can be used after a presentation or speech. For more tips on delivering a Polish business presentation, check out our relevant lesson.

A Man Giving a Presentation at Work

6. Final Thoughts

We hope that this guide to the key business phrases in Polish has helped you understand how to communicate in your new work environment. You’ve learned many skills today: how to nail a job interview, how to interact with coworkers, and how to sound smart during a meeting in Poland. Let us know in the comments which business Polish phrases are the most useful in your situation. 

We’ve tried to include the best Polish business phrases in this article, but our website has much more to offer. Would you like to learn how to make small talk in Poland or ask for time off? Start your free trial with PolishPod101 today to fully benefit from all of our resources (not only the business Polish vocabulary!). You can learn Polish for every occasion with us! 

Happy learning, and good luck with your business endeavors.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Business Words and Phrases in Polish

Learn Polish: YouTube Channels to Improve Your Skills

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Studying a second language can be a rewarding experience, but we know that the learning process can be downright boring at times! 

Textbooks, audio lessons, and flashcards are all excellent methods for studying a language. But did you know that as you learn Polish, YouTube can be a great supplementary resource?

The only problem is that if you search for Polish YouTube channels, you’re going to find a wide variety of them, each one promising to help you learn Polish in no time. But not all of them are valuable, and no one YouTube channel can replace a structured course of study.

On PolishPod101.com, you can go through a tailor-made study path that will help you make fast progress by covering the most important topics. In addition to the countless lessons available on the platform, we also run a YouTube channel to give you even more opportunities to improve your Polish skills. 

The PolishPod101 YouTube channel offers you specific advice on topics that many learners struggle with. Because our hosts are native Polish speakers, watching our videos will give you even more exposure to how the language is spoken in real life. Simply put, it’s the perfect complement to our platform. 

We know that our resources are amazing, but if you want to speed up your progress even more, you can add additional channels to your learning curriculum. 

Before you start with our list of the top Polish YouTube channels for learners, remember to check out our Polish word list “Talking About YouTube.”

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Polish Table of Contents
  1. Polski z Anią
  2. Smerfy • Po Polsku
  3. Foreigners in Poland
  4. Chido-Fajny
  5. Audycje Radiowe
  6. Arlena Witt
  7. Mówiąc Inaczej
  8. Koreanka
  9. The PolishPod101 YouTube Channel
  10. Final Thoughts

1. Polski z Anią

A Teacher with a Whiteboard

Polski z Anią is one of the best YouTube channels for learning Polish. It’s run by Ania, an assistant professor at the Polonicum Centre of Polish Language and Culture for Foreigners. She explains Polish grammar in plain language that’s easy to understand, and her explanation of cases is spot-on. She has already helped many YouTube users.

Ania speaks Polish clearly and there are English subtitles for people who don’t speak Polish very well yet. There are two seasons available so far, with insightful explanations that cover many different levels while remaining relevant for learners at any level.


2. Smerfy • Po Polsku


A Comic/cartoon Related Image

Category: Cartoon
Level: Beginner – Intermediate

Children from all around the world adore the Smurfs. Like in many cartoons, the stories presented are easy to follow, which makes them a great tool for language learning. In the Polish version of this beloved cartoon, the Smurfs speak slowly and their elocution leaves nothing to be desired. 

There’s not much talking in most episodes and the focus is on the action. This means that learners can enjoy a lot of the story from the context, and then easily rewind to listen to particular phrases. The Smurfs also use everyday vocabulary, which is great for emerging Polish speakers. Are you ready to be a kid again? Smerfastycznie! (“Smurftastic!”)

By the way, did you know that children in Poland have their own special holiday? Click on the link to find out all you need to know about Children’s Day.


3. Foreigners in Poland


A Polish Flag in a Speech Bubble

Category: Language Learning
Level: Any

Unfortunately, this channel is no longer active. It has a small collection of videos with Polish vocabulary for everyday situations. You can learn Polish food vocabulary, expressions for ordering in a restaurant, how to ask for directions, and other useful things. 

This channel is appropriate for learners at any level, as the hosts mainly speak in English; when Polish is spoken, there are subtitles in both Polish and English.


4. Chido-Fajny


Polish Food

Category: A Foreigner Living in Poland
Level: Any

Chido-Fajny’s channel includes many videos to help learners with the Polish language, some of which cover more specific topics such as the differences between Spanish or Polish and specific language learning tools. You can find these videos on his playlists entitled “Learn Polish” and “Aprende Polaco.”

This Polish language YouTube channel is more than just another language learning resource. There are also many funny videos with foreigners trying to pronounce challenging Polish words, as well as videos about places in Poland and Polish traditions. Most videos are available in English, but there are also some recorded in Spanish. If you’re interested in Polish food in particular, remember to check out our lesson 10 Polish Foods.


5. Audycje Radiowe


Radio

Category: Polish History and Culture
Level: Intermediate – Advanced

If you’re looking to learn Polish on YouTube, but none of the other channels on this list seem challenging enough, such gems as Audycje Radiowe (“Radio Auditions”) will be invaluable to you. 

This channel features many great recordings from the Polish radio, and is great for language learners as they can play and stop the videos as needed (which one can’t do when an audition is being broadcast on the radio). 

Learners can not only work on their Polish skills, but also improve their understanding of Polish history and culture. The playlist “Sensacje XX wieku” is particularly good for language learning, as it has links to transcripts. Reading along with the material you’re listening to can greatly improve your comprehension, and it makes working with the recorded material much easier. 

Are you a history buff? You can learn even more about Polish history in our lesson Learn Your Polish History

6. Arlena Witt


A Person Writing English Sentences on the Blackboard

Category: Language Learning
Level: Intermediate – Advanced

Arlena Witt teaches Polish people English…but we still consider this one of the top channels for learning Polish on YouTube. Each video is recorded in Polish and has Polish subtitles, so intermediate level learners should be able to follow what she’s saying. She speaks relatively fast, but clearly. 

How can this channel help you learn Polish? By exposing you to the Polish language and giving you Polish equivalents of English terms. Additionally, she gives general language learning tips that are useful regardless of the language you’re trying to learn.


7. Mówiąc Inaczej


YouTube Button

Category: Language Learning
Level: Intermediate – Advanced

This is one of the most common YouTube channels to learn Polish, used by…Polish people! Even native speakers have things left to learn in their own language. Just think how many native English speakers don’t know the difference between “it’s” and “its”!

Paulina helps people improve their Polish when it comes to common problems in this language. The issues that native speakers encounter are common among language learners, too. In other words, there’s plenty for you to learn from this channel.

These are some of the more challenging Polish lessons YouTube has to offer, since they’re designed for native speakers. The channel is almost entirely in Polish and there are no subtitles. If you’re at the intermediate level and like challenges, it’s worth giving it a go.


8. Koreanka


A Woman Smiling with a Korean Flag in Her Hand

Category: A Foreigner Living in Poland
Level: Intermediate

Do you want to learn real Polish with YouTube, from a foreigner’s perspective? Koreanka (“Korean woman”) lives in Poland, her channel is recorded in Polish, and she often invites other foreigners as guests. She records videos about her life in Poland, everything Polish, and her Korean roots. There are subtitles for those who need them.

This isn’t your typical Polish language YouTube channel, but it can serve as great encouragement for you. What could be more inspirational than hearing a foreigner speak fluent Polish?


9. The PolishPod101 YouTube Channel


PolishPod101 Logo

Category: Language Learning
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Learn Polish with PolishPod101.com

YouTube offers countless opportunities for Polish learners, as you’ve seen. But there’s nothing better for truly learning a language than a well-structured course like the ones offered by PolishPod101. Our YouTube channel goes hand in hand with our website.

If you’re enjoying our audio content, you’re going to love the PolishPod101 YouTube channel. There, you’ll find even more useful tips on learning Polish and lots of handy vocabulary. What’s more? You can count on extended listening comprehension practice and informative videos about Polish culture. Check it out!


10. Final Thoughts

We hope that our guide to the top Polish YouTube channels for learners has been useful to you, and that you’ve found the best resources to take your Polish to the next level. Let us know in the comments which channel is your favorite! Or, tell us why the PolishPod101 YouTube channel is your favorite. 

Learning a language is an amazing journey that’s much easier with someone to help you. By joining a platform like PolishPod101, you get exactly that. Start your free trial today to enjoy hundreds of recordings from native speakers, vocabulary lists, and more. 

We hope to see you around!

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Is Polish Hard to Learn? Find Out Now!

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If you’re thinking about learning Polish but haven’t started yet, it’s probably because you have a few questions: Why should you learn Polish in the first place? Is Polish hard to learn, and if so, is it really worth it? 

Well, there are many reasons you may want to learn Polish: traveling to Poland, a Polish partner, a Polish heritage, personal development, and the list goes on. You surely have your own reason for wanting to learn the language. The most important thing is to not let other people scare you with their negativity and the myths they share about the Polish language.  

In this article, we’ll give you an in-depth review of what makes Polish hard to learn for some students, how to overcome those challenges, and what things about Polish are actually pretty easy. Let’s get started!

A Student Thinking Hard about Something

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Learning Polish Table of Contents
  1. Is Polish Hard to Learn?
  2. The Hardest and Easiest Aspects of Polish
  3. How to Start Learning Polish
  4. Things to Keep in Mind When Learning Polish
  5. Why is PolishPod101 Great for Learning Polish?
  6. Final Thoughts

1. Is Polish Hard to Learn?

The short answer to this question is “No!” But we don’t blame you for asking.

Many people, before they start learning a language, try to find out whether that language is hard to learn. There are also many myths about languages—such as Polish—being particularly hard to learn. These myths, however, often come from people who failed to put enough effort into learning that language. 

We can tell you that statements such as “Polish is so difficult” (Polski jest taki trudny!) are just excuses not to learn the language. 

Other people simply study hard and manage to successfully learn Polish, whether they live in Poland or not. Of course, like any language, Polish has certain concepts that are rather challenging. But rest assured, it has plenty of simpler concepts as well! 

2. The Hardest and Easiest Aspects of Polish 

How difficult is it to learn Polish, then? It’s as difficult to learn as any other language; if you put your heart in it and keep studying, fluency in Polish is definitely accessible!

Let’s have a look at the hardest aspects (najtrudniejsze zagadnienia) of learning Polish, and then the easiest ones (najłatwiejsze zagadnienia). 

A- The Hardest Aspects of Polish

There’s a number of concepts that Polish-learners find particularly hard to master (materiał wyjątkowo trudny do opanowania). In no particular order, here are the things that make Polish hard to learn: 

  • Pronunciation

Polish pronunciation can be quite challenging in the beginning. There are many Polish letters that are written similarly to each other but are pronounced differently: 

    dz in dzwon (“bell”)
    in dżdżownica (“earthworm”)
    in wig (“crane”)
    s in sosna (“pine”)
    ś in śnieg (“snow”)
    sz in szlak (“trail”)
    c in ciocia (“aunt”)
    ć in ćma (“moth”)
    cz in cześć (“hi”)

There are also letters that are spelled differently but are pronounced the same way: 

    ch in choinka (“Christmas tree”)
    h in herbata (“tea”)
    rz in rzeka (“river”)
    ż in żaba (“frog”)
    u in uroda (“beauty”)
    ó in próba (“attempt”)

Last but not least, we have the famous consonant clusters in words such as szczęście (“happiness”), czkawka (“hiccups”), or grzmot (“thunder”).

A Pronunciation Teacher

Even if Polish pronunciation is challenging, there are a few ways you can make the learning process easier. For example, both listening to Polish and repeating Polish words out loud are helpful in this regard. Check out our lesson Polish Pronunciation Made Easy for more tips. 

  • Noun Gender and Agreement

Polish nouns have grammatical gender. There are three genders in the singular (żeński – “feminine” / męski – “masculine” / nijaki – “neuter”) and two genders in the plural (męskoosobowy – “masculine personal” and niemęskoosobowy – “non-masculine personal”). 

    kobieta (“woman”) – rodzaj żeński (feminine) 
    facet (“guy”) – rodzaj męski (masculine) 
    okno (“window”) – rodzaj nijaki (neuter)

    kobiety (“women”) – rodzaj niemęskoosobowy (“non-masculine personal”)
    faceci (“guys”) – rodzaj męskoosobowy (“masculine personal”)

Other parts of speech, such as adjectives, also undergo agreement with nouns in terms of gender, number, and case: 

    Inteligentna kobieta (“a smart woman”) – rodzaj żeński (feminine), singular
    Przystojni faceci (“good-looking guys”) – rodzaj męskoosobowy (masculine), plural
  • Noun Cases and Agreement

Nouns are governed by more than just gender; they also have cases. Grammatical case refers to a noun having different forms depending on the context in which it’s used. There are seven cases in Polish:

  • To jest inteligentna kobieta. (“She’s a clever woman.” Or literally: “It’s a clever woman.”) 
    • the nominative case mianownik 
  • Nie znam tej inteligentnej kobiety. (“I don’t know this clever woman.”) 
    • the genitive case dopełniacz
  • Opowiem ci o tej inteligentnej kobiecie. (“I’ll tell you about this clever woman.”) 
    • the dative case celownik
  • Często widzę tę inteligentną kobietę. (“I often see this clever woman.”) 
    • the accusative case biernik 
  • Poszłam na spacer z tą inteligentną kobietą, o której ci mówiłam. (“I went for a walk with this clever woman I told you about.”) 
    • the instrumental case narzędnik 
  • Mówiłam ci o tej inteligentnej kobiecie w moim biurze. (“I told you about this clever woman from my office.”) 
    • the locative case miejscownik
  • Hej, inteligentna kobieto! (“Hey, clever woman!”)
    • the vocative case wołacz

B- The Easiest Aspects of Polish

Uff! We’re done with the hardest aspects of learning Polish. Now, we’ll go over the easier aspects of learning Polish! 

  • Tenses

So how easy is Polish to learn? Quite easy when you compare its tenses to those in English (which has as many as sixteen tenses!). Polish, on the other hand, has only three tenses: the past, the present, and the future. Have a look at the following examples: 

A Man Reading a Newspaper
    Czytam gazetę. (“I’m reading a newspaper.”)
    Czytam gazetę codziennie. (“I read a newspaper every day.”)
    Czytałem/Czytałam gazetę i słuchałem muzyki. (“I was reading a newspaper and listening to music.”)

The past tense in Polish has, respectively, masculine and feminine forms of verbs.

    Nie czytałem/czytałam tej powieści. (“I haven’t read this novel.”)
    Nie wiem czy będę im czytać dziś wieczorem. (“I don’t know whether I’ll read to them tonight.”)
  • Polish is a phonetic language

Do you remember when we said that Polish pronunciation can be challenging because of certain letters? Some sounds are indeed challenging, but Polish is a phonetic language which means that it’s read as it’s written. To see why this is so significant, just read the following English words to yourself: 

    ➢ bone – done – gone
    ➢ wall – wax – want
    ➢ loud – should – mould

Even though the bolded letter combinations are spelled the same way, they’re pronounced differently. 

Many people ask things like “How hard is Polish to learn for English-speakers?” And to me, it seems that it’s much easier than their native language at times! Let’s have a look at some words in Polish that contain the same letters: 

You can click on the words to go to recordings of their pronunciation. You see? The letters are read just like they’re written.

  • Lack of articles 

Articles are an important part of English. So you may be surprised to hear that when native Polish-speakers start learning English, they often forget to use them because their native language has no articles. Yes, you’ve heard us right: there are no articles in Polish. 

  • Kot siedzi i czeka. (“A/the cat is sitting and waiting.”)
  • Pies szczeka. (“A/the dog is barking.”)
  • Krowa muczy. (“A/the cow is mooing.”)

How hard is Polish to learn for English-speakers if they don’t have to learn certain grammar concepts, but forget them? It seems like a sweet deal to us. 😉

3. How to Start Learning Polish

Learning a language is a much easier process if it’s well-structured. As such, there are a few things you should focus on at the beginning of your language journey to make the entire process that much smoother.

A- Learn Pronunciation and Reading Rules

Polish pronunciation is a major reason that new learners tend to find the language difficult. That said, Polish pronunciation only seems challenging. When you put proper effort into learning it, you’re going to see that it’s really not that difficult. 

Start by focusing only on how to pronounce individual sounds, then clusters of consonants, then whole words, and then the last stage, which is sentences. You can learn Polish pronunciation rules on our Polish pronunciation page

While you practice your pronunciation, it’s important that you don’t forget to work on your reading skills. Reading rules in Polish are predictable, so learning to read is an easy way to see progress more quickly. Once you know how to read, it’ll also be easier to pronounce words and sentences in Polish.     

B- Learn Basic Vocabulary

A Child with Flashcards

You’d be surprised how much easier Polish communication is once you master the basic vocabulary. Expressing yourself will make you feel more comfortable with the language. You’ll also have a great foundation to build upon as you advance to intermediate and advanced levels. 

To learn what’s considered to be a “basic vocabulary,” check out the European Union (Unia Europejska) resource about what’s expected from lower levels according to the CEFR global scale. You can also opt to let PolishPod101 guide you through this process with our curated pathways for each level.

C- Work on Your Listening Comprehension Skills 

Learning vocabulary allows you to not only express yourself, but also to understand what’s being said to you. 

Listening to a new language can be an extremely fun activity. When you start understanding what’s being said, you’ll find it very rewarding! 

Listening to Polish is particularly important if you want to really understand things like cases and gender agreement. Instead of sitting and studying grammar rules for hours and hours, you can spend this time more productively by listening to the language and training yourself to understand what sounds right and what doesn’t. 

You can work on your listening comprehension skills by watching Polish movies (polskie filmy), listening to recordings (nagrania), and exploring the PolishPod101 lesson library. 

4. Things to Keep in Mind When Learning Polish

Instead of asking yourself “Is Polish hard to learn?” keep the following things in mind: 

1. You Should Practice Every Day

You don’t need to spend hours a day learning Polish. In fact, if you overcommit early on, you’re likely to experience burnout. Instead, focus on spending a bit of time with Polish every single day. Set a goal for yourself. Can you do ten minutes of Polish seven times a week? I’m sure you can. 

2. Don’t Listen to People Trying to Discourage You

Many people, when they hear about your plan to learn Polish, will ask you if it’s worth it. They’re just trying to put you in a negative frame of mind; they want you to focus only on the negative or difficult aspects of the language, and not on the easier aspects.

Any language is difficult to learn if you take the wrong approach. Remember that learning Polish will be as easy for you as you make it for yourself. 

3. Surround Yourself with the Language

People Surrounding a Round Table that Looks Like a Globe

Surround yourself with Polish as much as you can. There are Polish series and movies on platforms such as Netflix and Showmax that you can opt to watch in lieu of your regular English-language shows. In addition, you can find Polish music that you like or sneak some Polish in by changing the language of your phone and/or social media to Polish.

4. Find a Language Partner or Tutor

A language can’t be learned in a vacuum. Find someone with whom you can practice what you’re learning. You can find a language partner, but an even better option is to find a qualified language teacher or a tutor. You can upgrade your PolishPod101 account to get one-on-one access to a personal teacher. 

5. Why is PolishPod101 Great for Learning Polish?

PolishPod101 knows exactly how difficult learning Polish can be, and we provide resources specifically for people who speak English as their native language. We offer a number of functionalities that will make your language-learning experience much easier, such as: 

1. Lesson Recordings with Native Speakers

PolishPod101 has a massive library of lessons recorded by native speakers to help you learn Polish. By listening to Polish that you could hear on the street, you’ll be prepared for the real-life experience.  

2. Unique Learning Modes

As a premium member, you can benefit from many unique learning modes. You could access in-depth lesson notes, exclusive custom word lists, interactive lessons and quizzes, voice recording tools, a Polish audio library, and much more. 

3. Vocabulary Learning

PolishPod101 allows you to learn vocabulary through many different lessons, the word bank functionality, a Word of the Day email, a vocabulary slideshow, and a list of Polish core words and phrases. That’s a great opportunity to acquire all the useful vocabulary you need to get started. 

4. Blog Articles

To learn more about the Polish language and culture, you can access our blog. You’ll find useful, real-life Polish expressions there, and so much more. 

5. Learning On-the-Go

Electronics

With PolishPod101, you can easily learn on-the-go on your devices. Download your InnovativeLanguage101 app for Android, iPhone, iPad, or Kindle Fire, and save time learning when you’d otherwise be idle. 

6. Final Thoughts

I hope we’ve answered the question “Is Polish difficult to learn?” and have shown you that with the right attitude and tools, it’s not so hard at all. Like in any other language, there are easier and harder aspects to the language to consider.

By now, you should also know that learning with a well-designed tool is very helpful. An easy way to learn Polish is with PolishPod101, which offers our students an organized system to master the Polish language with little trouble. Don’t take our word for it, though. Start your account today and enjoy the platform for seven days. It’s on us!

Before you go, we’re curious: Is Polish a hard language for you so far? Which things do you struggle with the most? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll do our best to help you out!

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The 10+ Most Common Polish Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

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It’s natural for a beginner to make mistakes in a new language. But fortunately, there are ways in which you can minimize them. To help you do exactly that, in this article, we’re going to discuss the ten plus most common Polish mistakes. 

By understanding what kind of mistakes other students make, you can prevent yourself from falling into those same linguistic traps. For your convenience, we’ve put the most common Polish mistakes by English-speakers into groups. 

Let’s get started.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Polish Table of Contents
  1. Pronunciation and Spelling Mistakes
  2. Vocabulary Mistakes
  3. Polish Grammar Mistakes
  4. Level of Formality
  5. Other Polish Mistakes
  6. The Biggest Mistake
  7. Final Thoughts

1. Pronunciation and Spelling Mistakes 

The most common Polish mistakes that learners of different language backgrounds tend to make have to do with pronunciation and spelling.

A Man with Letters Coming Out of His Mouth

A- Similar Spelling, Different Pronunciation

Certain consonants in Polish are particularly difficult for language-learners due to the fact that they’re written similarly to each other. Some students also feel that their pronunciation is relatively similar. The following letters and sounds are a source of common pronunciation and spelling mistakes for Polish-learners: 

  • s, ś, and sz
  • c, ć, and cz
  • dz, , and

Pay particular attention to how words with these letters are written when you’re reading something out loud. When writing down vocabulary, you need to be very careful as well, especially when you’re making notes of what you hear. In this case, check a given word in a dictionary to make sure you’re learning the correct form of it. Last but not least, listen to how native speakers pronounce words with these letters to train your ear. 

B. Different Spelling, Same Pronunciation

The good news here is that people learning Polish as a foreign language are not the only ones with this problem. It’s quite common for native speakers to make this spelling mistake in Polish, too! This is because the letters in question are pronounced the same way, but spelled differently. However, a mistake that hits foreigners particularly hard is trying to pronounce double letter sounds as if they were separate letters.

Here’s another source of common Polish pronunciation mistakes: 

  • ch and h
  • rz and ż
  • u and ó

A good way to fight this problem is to learn vocabulary words along with their spelling and pronunciation. Reading plenty of articles and books can also minimize your chances of making these common pronunciation mistakes for Polish-learners. 


2. Vocabulary Mistakes

A Child Studying with Flashcards

There are many vocabulary items that are confusing for learners because certain ideas don’t exist in their native language. In the following sections, we’ll outline frequent errors in Polish that foreign learners tend to make. 

A- Verbs of Motion

Polish verbs of motion are definitely among the top Polish-English mistakes. Have a look at the following verbs: 

chodzić vs. iść

Both verbs can mean “to go” in English, which certainly doesn’t make your task any easier. However, what you should remember is the context in which we use them. Iść is used for activities that happen in a given moment, while chodzić is used for repetitive actions.

  • Idę do pracy. (“I’m going to work.”) 
  • Chodzę do pracy pięć razy w tygodniu. (“I go to work five times a week.”)

Because chodzić refers to something that’s done frequently, it’s often accompanied by a plural form of the noun when talking about habits. Compare: 

  • Idziesz na spacer? (“Are you going for a walk [now]?”)
  • Chodzisz na spacery? (“Is it your habit to take walks?”)

You’d also use chodzić to speak about “walking” as a general activity and iść to refer to “walking” in a given moment. For example: 

  • On nie może chodzić. (“He can’t walk.”)
  • Czemu tak wolno idziesz? (“Why are you walking so slowly?”)

jeździć vs. jechać

Jeździć and jechać have a similar relationship as the previous pair of verbs. Both mean to go somewhere with a mode of transport. Jeździć is used for repetitive situations, and jechać for a description of something that’s happening in a given moment:

  • Co roku jeździm nad morze. (“Every year, we go to the seaside.”)
  • Dzisiaj jedziemy nad morze. (“Today, we’re going to the seaside.”)

How often do you go to the seaside? Learn how to talk about it with our lesson on how to express frequency.

A Seaside Resort

Both verbs can also mean “to drive”:

  • Ile lat jeździsz tym samochodem? (“How long have you been driving this car?”)
  • Jadę samochodem, nie mogę rozmawiać. (“I’m driving, I can’t talk.”)

B- Imperfective and Perfective Verbs

Polish verbs have an aspect and are divided into perfective aspect and imperfective aspect verbs. 

Perfective verbs focus on completion of an action, so they’re associated with the past and the future. Imperfective verbs, on the other hand, focus on the fact that the action is being performed. 

The difference isn’t obvious to many foreigners, which makes it a common source of Polish grammar mistakes. Have a look at the following pairs with examples to see the difference:

kupować (imperfective) vs. kupić (perfective) – “to buy”

  • Kupowałam pierogi, kiedy zadzwoniła mi komórka. (“I was buying pierogi, when my phone rang.”) 
  • Kupiłam pierogi. (“I’ve bought pierogi.”)

Go to our lesson “10 Polish Foods” to learn what else you can eat in Poland. 

śpiewać (imperfective) vs. zaśpiewać (perfective) – “to sing”

  • Śpiewam w chórze. (“I sing in a choir.”)
  • Zaśpiewam ci piosenkę. (“I will sing a song for you.”)

jeść (imperfective) vs. zjeść (perfective) – “to eat”

  • Jem obiad. (“I’m eating lunch.”)
  • Zjesz obiad? (“Will you eat lunch?”)

C- Talking About Age

A Birthday Cake with a Question Mark-shaped Candle

In Polish, you should use the verb “to have” (mieć) to speak about your age. This is different from English, where you use the verb “to be,” making this one of the most common mistakes in Polish made by English-speakers. Compare: 

  • Mam 32 lata. (“I’m 32 years old.”)
  • Ile masz lat? (“How old are you?”)

Are you still not sure how to talk about your age? Go to our “Polish in three minutes lesson about this topic.

D- Knowledge Verbs in Polish

There are three different verbs that refer to knowledge in Polish: umieć, wiedzieć, and znać. As luck would have it, they all translate to the English verb “to know,” and therefore, they’re among the most typical Polish mistakes made by foreigners.

umieć 

We use this verb to talk about skills, such as:

  • umieć liczyć (“to know how to count”)
  • umieć śpiewać (“to know how to sing”)
  • umieć czytać (“to know how to read”)

wiedzieć

We use this verb to talk about knowledge in more specific situations:

  • Nie wiem, co masz na myśli. (“I don’t know what you mean.”)
  • Nie wiem, czy to prawda. (“I don’t know whether it’s true.”)
  • Nie wiem, ile ma lat. (“I don’t know how old he is.”)

znać 

We use this verb to talk about people we know, languages we speak, and when a noun follows the verb directly:

  • Nie znam jej męża. (“I don’t know her husband.”)
  • Nie znam angielskiego. (“I don’t know/speak English.”)
  • Nie znam prawdy. (“I don’t know the truth.”)

3. Polish Grammar Mistakes

A Grammar-related Table

Many of the top Polish-English mistakes have to do with grammar elements that are confusing for English-speakers. Following is a list of Polish mistakes you should always try to avoid! 

A- Expressing “Going to” in Polish

Some English-speakers try to express the idea of “going to” with verbs of movement. The confusion has to do with the fact that you can say:

  • Idziemy na basen. (“We’re going to a swimming pool.”)

What’s important to remember is that the meaning of this sentence has to do with the verb iść (“to go”).

  • Planujemy pójść na basen. (“We’re going to go to a swimming pool.”)

To refer to planned actions and express “going to” for future events, you should use other verbs, such as planować (“to plan”) as in the example above. 

B- Gender Agreement

Lack of gender agreement is among the most common Polish grammar mistakes. In English, nouns do not have gender, so the mere concept is alien to English-speakers. In Polish, though, each noun has gender and it always has to be in agreement with the adjective used to describe it:

  • mądra kobieta (noun, feminine) – “a smart woman”
  • mądry człowiek (noun, masculine) – “a smart human being”
  • mądre dziecko (noun, neuter) – “a smart child”

The agreement also takes place with other parts of speech that are modified, such as pronouns: 

  • taka mądra kobieta (noun, feminine) – “such a smart woman”
  • taki mądry człowiek (noun, masculine) – “such a smart human being”
  • takie mądre dziecko (noun, neuter) – “such a smart child”

The gender agreement is also affected by number. Compare singular and plural: 

  • mądra kobieta (singular) / mądre kobiety (plural)
  • mądry człowiek (singular) / mądrzy ludzie (plural)
  • mądre dziecko (singular) / mądre dzieci (plural)

To learn more about the topic of gender, familiarize yourself with our lesson “The Secret to Understanding Polish Noun Gender.”

C- Case Agreement

The Polish language has seven different cases, and Polish noun cases are a source of many common Polish grammar mistakes. Students who struggle with this particular grammar concept the least are speakers of other Slavic languages.

A Kitten
  • Ala ma kota. (“Ala has a cat.”)

The proper noun “Ala” is in the nominative case here. If you decide to add an adjective or pronoun to modify a noun, you’ll have to use the nominative case for it. Case agreement is done in conjunction with gender agreement:

  • To sympatyczna dziewczyna [feminine noun]. (“She’s a nice girl.”)

Would you like to learn more Polish adjectives? Check out our lesson about high-frequency adjectives

The same process takes place for pronouns: 

  • Moja mama [feminine noun] ma dwa psy. (“My mother has two cats.”)

This is true for all cases, and it’s something you should always keep in mind when forming sentences in Polish. A good way to practice is to create simple sentences to make sure you understand when to use which case. This process is much more effective under the eye of a teacher. You can gain access to one through a Premium PolishPod101 membership. 

This sums up the most common Polish grammar mistakes. Now, it’s time to move on and discuss another common mistake in Polish, namely, the level of formality. 

4. Level of Formality

One of many important mistakes in Polish to avoid are related to the level of formality. In English, you’re used to using “you” with almost everyone. But Polish recognizes two types of “you,” the formal one and the informal one.

The informal version, ty, is used among friends, family members, and people of the same age. It requires the second person singular form of the verb: 

  • Jak się masz? (“How are you?”)

The formal version—pan for a man or pani for a woman—uses the third person singular. We use it with people who we don’t know, unless they’re children or teenagers. We can also use it if the context seems to call for it. Here are two examples: 

  • Jak się pani ma? (“How are you, Ma’am?”)
  • Jak się pan ma? (“How are you, Sir?”)

To be on the safe side, use formal Polish. Being too formal is certainly better than being overly familiar.

5. Other Polish Mistakes

Other common Polish mistakes have to do with question formation and negation. 

A- Forming Questions

A Speech Bubble with a Question Mark in It

It’s easy to make a mistake in Polish when forming questions. This is because, in the spoken language, questions are simply indicated by the change of intonation. Many other questions, even in writing, get the same word: czy. In English, on the other hand, the question word differs depending on the tense:

  • Czy masz ochotę na kawę? (“Would you like a coffee?”)
  • Czy Marcin kupił jajka? (“Did Marcin buy eggs?”)
  • Czy mam rację? (“Am I right?”)

Of course, Polish has words for “who” (kto), “what” (co), and so on. Want to learn more? See our lesson on the 10 questions you should know

B- Negation

Polish allows double negation, leading to many Polish-English mistakes because it seems particularly unnatural to English-speakers. Have a look at the following examples: 

  • Nikogo nie widzę. (“I don’t see anyone.”) – Literal translation: “I don’t see no one.”
  • Nigdy tego nie zrobię. (“I’ll never do it.”) – Literal translation: “I’ll never not do it.”
  • Marek niczego nie czyta. (“Marek doesn’t read anything.”) – Literal translation: “Marek doesn’t read nothing.”

6. The Biggest Mistake

The biggest mistake in Polish is…not practicing the language. Perfection is something many of us aspire to, but it’s impossible to achieve. You should simply try your best and keep practicing. To make a mistake in Polish isn’t a sign of weakness, but simply an indication that you’re learning. Using the language is the only way to get better at it!

7. Final Thoughts

Today, we’ve discussed the most common Polish language mistakes. Thanks to this article, you’ll be able to avoid the top Polish-English mistakes!

Before you go, remember to let us know in the comments section which of these common mistakes in learning Polish bother you the most! 

Don’t stop your learning journey here. Continue improving your Polish skills with PolishPod101. We have countless resources for you to learn with, and all of our audio and video lessons featuring native speakers will help you avoid common pronunciation mistakes in particular. Get your lifetime account today!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Polish

Conversation Starters: Top 10 Polish Questions with Answers

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When you start your language-learning journey with Polish, managing to have a conversation with a native speaker is one of the most rewarding experiences. This is why it’s important to work on your conversational skills early on. 

What’s the best way to do this? By learning the top ten Polish questions with answers, of course!

Once you learn these, you’ll be prepared for whatever may appear in a simple conversation in Poland. Read on and learn how to ask a question in Polish (and answer it yourself)!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Polish Table of Contents
  1. What’s your name?
  2. Where are you from?
  3. Do you speak Polish?
  4. How are you?
  5. Where do you live?
  6. What did you say?
  7. How old are you?
  8. “What is it?” and “Who is it?”
  9. Are you hungry/thirsty?
  10. How much is it?
  11. Final Thoughts

1. What’s your name?

First Encounter

The Polish word for “question” is pytanie

The first and most important pytanie for conversations is “What’s your name?” In Polish, the way one asks this question depends on the level of formality. The rule of thumb is to use the formal version unless the person you’re speaking with is your age, your family member, or anyone else in an informal context. 

Formal Questions and Answers 

There’s a number of Polish questions you can ask to learn someone’s name. To just ask about their first name, you can say:

  • Jak ma pani na imię? (“What’s your name, Ma’am?”)
  • Jak ma pan na imię? (“What’s your name, Sir?”)

The answer would be:

  • Mam na imię [name]. (“My name is [name].”)

You could also begin by giving your name, and then ask for theirs:

  • Mam na imię [name], a pan/pani? (“My name is [name], and yours, Sir/Ma’am?”)

When you want to ask a question in Polish about someone’s name and surname in a formal context, you can say: 

  • Jak się pani nazywa? (“What’s your name [and surname], Ma’am?”)
  • Jak się pan nazywa? (“What’s your name [and surname], Sir?”)

There’s also another way of asking the same question. It’s slightly old-fashioned, but some people in Poland still use it, particularly in places that have to do with public administration: 

  • [Jaka jest] pani godność? (“[What’s] your name and surname, Ma’am?”)
  • [Jaka jest] pańska godność? (“[What’s] your name and surname, Sir?”)

Both types of questions would be answered with: 

  • Nazywam się [name and surname]. (“My name [and surname] is {name and surname}.”)

If appropriate, you can also add a follow-up question, as follows:

  • Nazywam się [name], a pan/pani? (“My name and surname is [name and surname], and yours, Sir/Ma’am?”)

Informal Questions and Answers

Polish language questions in the informal context are similar to those in the formal context. With certain exceptions, the main difference is that formal questions use the conjugated form of the third person singular, while informal questions use the second person singular. Compare: 

Formal

  • Jak ma pani na imię? (“What’s your name, Ma’am?”)
  • Jak ma pan na imię? (“What’s your name, Sir?”)

Informal

  • Jak masz na imię? (“What’s your name?”)

You can answer this question with or without the follow-up question a ty? (“and you?”). Here are examples of how it would look to use the follow-up: 

  • Mam na imię [name], a ty? (“My name is [name], and yours?”)
  • Jestem [name], a ty? (“I’m [name], and you?”)

When asking informally about someone’s name and surname, you’d ask and answer:

  • Jak się nazywasz? (“What’s your name and surname?”)
  • Nazywam się [name and surname]. (“My name and surname is [name and surname].”)

Of course, there’s more to introductions than just giving your name. These lessons may come in handy:


2. Where are you from?

Another very useful Polish question is “Where are you from?” Here are Polish questions and answers for talking about nationality.

Formal Questions and Answers 

Below you can find the most popular way of asking this question in a formal context: 

  • Skąd pani pochodzi? (“Where do you come from, Ma’am?”)
  • Skąd pan pochodzi? (“Where do you come from, Sir?”)

The answer to this question is: 

  • Pochodzę z Poland. (“I come from Poland.)

As always, you can also add a follow-up question: A pan/pani? (“And you, Ma’am/Sir?”).

Here’s a dialogue showcasing a different way to ask and answer the question:

  • Jakiej jest pani narodowości? (“What’s your nationality, Ma’am?”)
  • Jakiej jest pan narodowości? (“What’s your nationality, Sir?”)
  • Jestem [nationality]. (“I’m [nationality].”)

Informal Questions and Answers

When asking this question in informal contexts, there’s one more possible way to answer. We’ll group each question and answer pair here for ease of reference:

  • Skąd pochodzisz? (“Where do you come from?”)
  • Pochodzę z Poland. (“I come from Poland.”)
  • Skąd jesteś? (“Where are you from?”)
  • Jestem z Poland. (“I’m from Poland.”)
  • Jakiej jesteś narodowości? (“What’s your nationality?”)
  • Jestem [nationality]. (“I’m [nationality], and you?”)

If you’re still unsure how to talk about your home country, go to our lesson “Where are you from?” and deepen your knowledge. 

3. Do you speak Polish?

Introducing Yourself

Asking about someone’s language skills is a good conversation starter. Here are some Polish questions that will help you do that. 

  • Czy mówi pani/pan po Polish? (“Do you speak Polish, Sir/Ma’am?”) [formal]
  • Czy mówisz po Polish? (“Do you speak Polish, Sir/Ma’am?”) [informal]
  • Tak, mówię po Polish. (“Yes, I speak Polish.”)
  • Nie, nie mówię po Polish. (“No, I don’t speak Polish.”)
  • Czy zna pani/pan Polish? (“Do you speak Polish, Sir/Ma’am?”)
  • Czy znasz Polish? (“Do you speak Polish?”)
  • Tak, znam Polish. (“Yes, I know Polish.”)
  • Nie, nie znam Polish. (“No, I don’t know Polish.”)

How would you ask “Do you speak English?” in Polish? Click on the link and check your comprehension of this topic.

4. How are you?

Asking people how they’re doing is something we do in English a lot. It’s also one of the basic questions in Polish, but it’s not used in every interaction like it is in English. When asking these kinds of questions to Polish people, expect for them to share more than just “Fine, thanks.”

Formal Questions and Answers

  • Jak się pani/pan ma? (“How are you, Ma’am/Sir?”)

The answer in this case would be: 

  • Dziękuję, dobrze. (“Well, thank you.”)
  • Mam się dobrze, dziękuję. (“I’m well, thank you.”)

Informal Questions and Answers

There are many more basic Polish questions about someone’s well-being for informal contexts: 

  • Jak się masz? (“How are you?”)
  • Co dobrego? (“What’s good?”)
  • Co u Ciebie? (“How are you doing?”)
  • Co tam? (“What’s up?”)
  • Co słychać? (“How’s it going?”)

There’s also a number of answers that can be given, depending on how much you want to share with the person you’re talking to: 

  • Dobrze, dzięki. (“Good, thanks.”)
  • Spoko, dzięki. (“Cool, thanks.”)
  • Jakoś leci. (“It’s going.”)
  • Nie narzekam. (“I can’t complain.”)
  • A, daj spokój. (“Agh, give me a break.”)

The last answer often begins a list of complaints or bad things that have recently happened to that person. 

5. Where do you live?

Other common conversation questions in Polish are those for asking where someone lives.

A Person about to Write an Address on an Envelope

Formal Questions and Answers

Formal questions in Polish about one’s address are usually asked in official situations, such as in a bank, at a post office, or at a police station: 

  • Gdzie pan/pani mieszka? (“Where do you live, Sir/Ma’am?”) 
  • Jaki jest pański/pani adres zamieszkania? (“What’s your address, Sir/Ma’am?”)
  • Mieszkam w [city]. (“I live in [city].”)
  • Mój adres to ulica [street name] [street number]. (“My address is [street number] [street name].”)

Informal Questions and Answers

There are two ways you can ask this in informal contexts:

  • Gdzie mieszkasz? (“Where do you live?”)
  • Jaki jest twój adres? (“What’s your address?”)

You can expect these answers:

  • Mieszkam na ulicy [street name] [street number]. (“I live on [street number] [street name].”)
  • Mój adres to ulica [street name] [street number]. (“My address is [street number] [street name].”)

Did you know that “Where do you live?” is one of the top 25 Polish questions? Check out our lesson to learn even more. 

6. What did you say?

Knowing how to ask for clarification is very handy for beginners who may not always understand what’s being said. 

Formal Questions and Answers

Here are the formal questions in Polish:

  • Przepraszam, co pan/pani powiedziała? (“What did you say, Sir/Ma’am?”)
  • Czy może pan/pani powtórzyć? (“Can you repeat, please, Sir/Ma’am?”)
  • Przepraszam, nie dosłyszałem, czy może pan/pani powtórzyć? (“I’m sorry, I didn’t hear what you said, can you repeat, please, Sir/Ma’am?”) [if the speaker is a man]
  • Przepraszam, nie dosłyszałam, czy może pan/pani powtórzyć? (“I’m sorry, I didn’t hear what you said, can you repeat, please, Sir/Ma’am?”) [if the speaker is a woman]

Here’s a number of possible answers to these questions: 

  • Oczywiście. (“Certainly.”)
  • Już powtarzam. (“I’m repeating now.”)

Informal Questions and Answers

  • Co powiedziałeś/powiedziałaś? (“What did you say?”) [asked to a man and a woman, respectively]

Be careful! This question, depending on the tone, may be considered aggressive.

  • Co? (“What?”)

The question above is a very common, though not extremely polite, thing to say, making it one of the most important Polish question words. 

  • Sorry, nie dosłyszałem, możesz powtórzyć? (“I’m sorry, I didn’t hear what you said, can you repeat, please?”) [said by a man]
  • Sorry, nie dosłyszałam, możesz powtórzyć? (“I’m sorry, I didn’t hear what you said, can you repeat, please?”) [said by a woman]
  • Weź, powtórz. (“Come again.”)

Here are two possible answers:

  • Jasne. (“Sure”)
  • Zaczekaj chwilę. (“Hold on a second.”)

7. How old are you?

During an initial chat, you may want to ask about your interlocutor’s age. 

Formal Questions and Answers

In the formal context, questions about age are often asked during doctor’s appointments, for other health-related services, and in official situations. 

  • Ile ma pan/pani lat? (“How old are you, Sir/Ma’am?”)
  • W jakim jest pan/pani wieku? (“What’s your age, Sir/Ma’am?”) 
  • Mam 30 lat. (“I’m 30 years old.”)
  • Mam 22 lata. (“I’m 22 years old.”)

You can see there’s a difference between the word for “years” in the examples above. To better understand how that word would change with different numbers, check out our lesson “Talking About Your Age.”

Additionally, a man could be asked: 

  • Kiedy się pan urodził? (“When were you born, Sir?”)
  • Jaka jest pańska data urodzenia? (“What’s your birth date?”)

And answer:

  • Urodziłem się [day] [month] [year]. (“I was born on [day] [month] [year].”)

The same dialogue with a woman would look like this:

  • Kiedy pani się urodziła? (“When were you born, Ma’am?”)

  • Jaka jest pani data urodzenia? (“What’s your birth date?”)
  • Urodziłam się [day] [month] [year]. (“I was born on [day] [month] [year].”)

Informal Questions and Answers

When having a friendly chat, you’ll probably be more interested in learning someone’s age than getting their actual birthdate. So, the informal question would be as follows:

  • Ile masz lat? (“How old are you?”)
  • W jakim jesteś wieku? (“What’s your age?”)
  • Mam [number] lat/lata. (“I’m [number] years old.”)

A related and often-asked informal question is: 

  • Kiedy masz urodziny? (“When’s your birthday?”)
  • 20 lipca. (“On the 20th of July.”)

8. “What is it?” and “Who is it?”

The two most important “wh-” questions in Polish are “What is it?” and “Who is it?”

A Person Scratching Their Head, Visibly Pondering on Something

Formal and Informal Polish Questions with Answers

The most commonly used “wh-” questions in Polish, these can come in handy when you’re confused (which happens often in a foreign country):

  • Przepraszam, czy wie pan/pani co to jest? (“Excuse me, do you know what it is, Sir/Ma’am?”)
  • Przepraszam, czy wie pan/pani kto to jest? (“Excuse me, do you know who it is, Sir/Ma’am?”)
  • Wiesz co to jest? (“Do you know what it is?”) [informal]
  • Wiesz kto to jest? (“Do you know who it is?”) [informal]
  • Co/kto to jest? (“What/who is it?”) [informal]

The answer would be a simple: 

To jest + [noun in the nominative case mianownik or the person’s name]. (“This is [noun or a name].”)

Would you like to learn more about Polish sentence patterns? Read our article about it! You can also read a list of other question pronouns (Polish question words) on WikiBooks.

9. Are you hungry/thirsty?

I’m sure you would agree that communicating your basic needs and asking about the needs of others are among the most common questions and answers in Polish, and any other language.

Formal Questions and Answers

Here are some ways of asking these questions in Polish formally, and answering them likewise: 

  • Chciałby pan coś zjeść? (“Would you like to eat something, Sir?”)
  • Chciałaby pani coś zjeść? (“Would you like to eat something, Ma’am?”)
  • Dziękuję, nie jestem głodny/głodna. (“Thank you, I’m not hungry.”) [answered by a man and a woman, respectively]
  • Dziękuję, niedawno jadłem/jadłam. (“Thank you, I’ve just eaten.”) [answered by a man and a woman, respectively]
  • Jest pan głodny? (“Are you hungry, Sir?”)
  • Jest pani głodna? (“Are you hungry, Ma’am?”)
  • Nie, nie jestem głodny/głodna, dziękuję. (“No, I’m not hungry.”) [answered by a man and a woman, respectively]
  • Tak, chętnie bym coś przekąsił/przekąsiła. (“Yes, I’d like to have a snack.”) [answered by a man and a woman, respectively]

As you may already know, Poland is known for great food. If you’re not quite familiar with the Polish cuisine yet, check out this complete guide

  • Chce się panu/pani pić? (“Would you like to drink something, Sir/Ma’am?”)
  • Jest pan spragniony? (“Are you thirsty, Sir?”)
  • Jest pani spragniona? (“Are you thirsty, Ma’am?”)
  • Nie, dziękuję, proszę się nie kłopotać. (“No, thank you, please don’t go to any trouble.”)
  • Tak, chętnie napiłbym/napiłabym się wody. (“Yes, I’d like some water, please.”) [answered by a man and a woman, respectively]

Informal Questions and Answers

Here’s how to have a similar dialogue informally:

  • Chcesz coś zjeść? (“Do you want to eat something?”)
  • Jesteś głodny/głodna? (“Are you hungry?”)
  • Dzięki, nie jestem głodny/głodna. (“Thanks, I’m not hungry.”) [answered by a man and a woman, respectively]
  • Nie, nie jestem głodny/głodna. (“No, I’m not hungry.”) [answered by a man and a woman, respectively]
  • Chce ci się pić? (“Would you like to drink something?”)
  • Nie, dzięki. (“No, thanks.”)
  • Chętnie! (“Sure!”)
  • Jasne! (“Okay!”)

The last three answers could also be used to answer the questions about eating. 

10. How much is it?

A Price Tag

Some of the most common questions and answers in Polish that every beginner should learn are those for asking the price. This question is most likely to be asked in a formal context. 

Formal Questions and Answers

  • Przepraszam, ile to kosztuje? (“Excuse me, how much does it cost?”)
  • Przepraszam, po ile te jabłka? (“Excuse me, how much for these apples?”)

Would you like to practice how to ask “How much does it cost?” in Polish and learn more Polish question words? Go to our lesson “Asking how much something costs.”

  • To kosztuje [number] złotych/złote. (“It costs [number] PLN.”)
  • [Number] złotych/złote. (“[Number] PLN.”)

Are you still a bit shaky on the Polish numbers? These lessons may help you:


11. Final Thoughts

Today you’ve learned common questions and answers in Polish. These are the top Polish questions you need to know for conversations with Polish people. Which question do you think you’ll use the most? Let us know in the comments section! 

If you’re set on truly learning Polish and knowing more than just how to ask questions in Polish, you should get an account with PolishPod101! You’ll be able to use hundreds and hundreds of Polish audio and video lessons, get access to unique materials and tools, and get your daily dose of Polish delivered straight to your inbox with 365 mini-lessons. 

Check it all out with a free trial!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Polish

Is There a Polish Test for Beginners?

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Polish language exams may not be as popular and well-known as the English ones. This doesn’t mean, however, that Polish-learners have no way to prove their language proficiency. 

So what exams are available for people learning Polish? Is there a Polish test for beginners? If so, how does one prepare for the Polish A1 exam? 

Patience, grasshopper. You’ll find the answers to all of these questions—and much more—in this article.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Study Strategies in Polish Table of Contents
  1. General Information About the Polish Language Test
  2. What’s Inside the Test?
  3. Preparation for the Polish Exam
  4. Final Thoughts

1. General Information About the Polish Language Test

The British have FCE, CAE, and CPE. The French have DELF and DALF. The Polish, unfortunately, don’t use an acronym for the Polish language test. You’ll need to remember a slightly longer name: egzamin certyfikatowy z języka polskiego jako obcego (“certificate examination in Polish as a foreign language”). 

A- Test Levels

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) recognizes six levels of language fluency. The Polish exam for adults is currently available only at higher levels: B1 (intermediate), B2 (upper-intermediate), and C1 (advanced). This means that there’s no official Polish test for beginners yet.

Don’t despair! There may not be a Polish A1 exam for you to take at the moment, but the first Polish A2 exam is planned for the end of 2020. See the official website for a full list of exam sessions in 2020. 

The most popular of the general Polish language proficiency tests is the B1 Polish language exam, and there’s a good reason for this. Passing the B1 Polish exam is a requirement to: 

  • Obtain Polish citizenship (obywatelstwo polskie)
  • Get a Polish permanent residence permit (zezwolenie na pobyt stały
  • Study in Poland (studium w Polsce

However, you may want to get a higher-level certificate to improve your CV, increase your chances of getting hired in Poland, or simply for personal satisfaction. 

A Man with a T-shirt Based on the Polish Flag Hidden Under His Shirt

B- Test Structure

The Polish language certification exam consists of two parts: a written section and an oral one. They usually take place on two different days, but you can ask to take both on the same day. This would be useful, for instance, if you live far away from the exam center.

The written part is divided into four sections: 

  • Listening
  • Text comprehension
  • Grammar
  • Writing 

The length of the written exam is around 190 minutes. The oral exam is no longer than 15 minutes. 

To pass the exam, you need to obtain at least a fifty percent score on each component. If you need some motivation to learn enough Polish for the test, go to our lesson on the top five reasons to study Polish!

C- How and Where to Take the Test

Students Writing an Exam

There are numerous centers where the Polish language exam can be taken, after you register and pay the exam fee. You can find more information about the exam centers here

2. What’s Inside the Test?

In the following sections, we’ll outline what you can expect to see in each section of this Polish exam for foreigners. This will allow you to better prepare for the test, and study appropriately! 

A- The Polish Listening Exam

The listening comprehension (rozumienie ze słuchu) component is taken with the written part of the exam. After 25 minutes, the test sheets are collected and you have a short break. 

What to Expect

This part of the exam is aimed at checking your listening comprehension skills. You’ll listen to a number of recordings and follow the instructions to answer the questions. Usually, you’ll hear each recording twice, but occasionally, only one listening is allowed.

The instructions will clearly state what you’re supposed to do in a given task. You can expect a variety of different exercises here, such as multiple-choice, true-or-false, and filling in the blanks. You may also be asked to provide your answer in writing. 

Useful Tips:

  • Prepare for this part of the exam by listening to various materials and taking notes. 
  • During the exam, read the answers before the recording begins, if possible. 
  • Remember to answer the questions or mark your answers in the way specified in the instructions. 

Are you looking for some exercises to practice your listening skills? PolishPod101.com has a series of listening comprehension exercises just for beginners. The first installment of this series is “At the Jewelry Store.”

B- The Polish Reading Exam

The reading comprehension (rozumienie tekstów pisanych) section is the second part of the exam. This time, you’ll have 45 minutes to complete the tasks. The exam sheets are collected after this duration of time.

What to Expect

A Man Reading a Book

The purpose of the reading component of the Polish certificate exam is to test your general and specific understanding of the written language. You can expect the following types of exercises: multiple-choice, true-or-false, and written answers. 

Useful Tips:

  • Don’t rush through the texts. Some questions may be tricky. 
  • If you have any time left, reread the text and check your answers again.
  • Don’t panic. You don’t need to understand every word to understand the text. 

You can start practicing the skills necessary to pass this part of the exam with the first lesson in our reading comprehension series: “Buying a Train Ticket.”

C- The Grammar Portion of the Test

The grammar—or more specifically, the grammatical correctness (poprawność gramatyczna)—portion of the test lasts for 45 minutes. After this time, the worksheets will be collected.

What to Expect?

Polish grammar (gramatyka języka polskiego) is feared by many students. You shouldn’t be too scared of this part of the exam, though. When you study hard, correct forms will come naturally to you. 

The types of questions you can expect are: multiple-choice, filling in the blanks, paraphrasing, formation of words, and proper verb forms. 

Useful Tips:

  • When preparing for the exam, study verb conjugations carefully.
  • Be particularly careful with subject-verb agreement as well as with adjectives and possessive pronouns.
  • When you don’t know the answer, let your linguistic instinct lead you. You know more than you think you do!

Our Painless Polish Grammar page will certainly help you with the grammar component of the Polish language exam. 

D- The Polish Writing Exam

Expressing oneself through writing (wypowiedź pisemna) is the last (and longest) part of the written exam. You have 75 minutes to complete it.

Someone Writing in a Notebook

What to Expect

You’ll have to complete certain tasks aimed at checking your writing skills in Polish. The topics are general and examiners aren’t interested in checking your knowledge. They just assess your Polish writing skills.

Usually, there are three different sets to choose from. Each set contains two tasks that you’ll have to complete in a given amount of time. When the worksheets are taken away, you’re done for the day!

Useful Tips:

  • Keep the word limit in mind. It’s there for a reason, and you may lose points or even be disqualified if you ignore it. 
  • Choose the set of tasks you feel best prepared for.
  • Remember to reread what you’ve written and correct any mistakes you find. 

What’s the easiest way to start writing and improve on your own? Click on the link to find out. 

E- The Polish Speaking Exam

The Polish oral exam (egzamin ustny) is the shortest part of the exam, at only 15 minutes long. As previously mentioned, it’s usually taken on a different day than the written exam. 

What to Expect

The test consists of three different tasks. The first two are monologues and the third one is a discussion with a member of the jury. There are different sets available, but you choose them at random without looking at them. Once you have your set, you’ll have approximately 5 minutes to prepare.

Before you start the actual exam, you’ll have a short, general conversation with a jury. After that, you can present what you’ve prepared in any order you choose. The jury is allowed to ask you questions. 

Useful Tips:

  • If you’re stressed, speak slower. You’ll make fewer mistakes. 
  • Don’t panic if you forget a word. Simply describe what you mean. 
  • Try to use synonyms and different grammatical structures.

Before you register for the Polish as a second language exam, remember to learn the one hack for speaking real-life Polish

3. Preparation for the Polish Exam

A Blank Certificate of Achievement

You already know where to find specific information about the test, such as Polish B1 exam dates and locations. You’ve also read about the exam structure and know more about what to expect. Last but not least, we’re going to give you some recommendations on how to prepare for this exam.

Do Mock Tests

The best way to prepare for an exam is by taking mock tests. Doing so will give you practical knowledge about the test. 

When you know what to expect, and are thus unlikely to be surprised, it’s much easier to manage stress. You can find some sample tests on the official website of the certificate

Listen to More-Experienced Students

Try to get advice on the test from people who’ve already passed it. If you don’t have access to anyone like this, simply look for testimonials and articles online. 

Work on Your Vocabulary

The more words you know, the less probable it is that you’ll get stuck. You’ll find useful vocabulary in Polish series, movies, and books, as well as in our vocabulary lists

Speak, Listen, and Read

There are countless possibilities to speak, listen, and read Polish. Find a language partner online or in real life, listen to Polish podcasts, or read newspapers. 

Get a Tutor

You can improve your fluency with a language partner, but speaking and writing are difficult skills to master without proper help from a professional. 

Kill two birds with one stone by getting an account with PolishPod101.com. With our Premium PLUS option, you’ll not only get access to countless learning materials, but also to our MyTeacher program with one-on-one tutoring.

Language Skills

4. Final Thoughts

There’s no Polish test for beginners, but with a bit of work you can definitely manage to get a higher certificate in the Polish language. Remember to start preparing way in advance and don’t forget to register. If you’re prepared, you’re unlikely to fail. However, in the unlikely event that you do, you may find some consolation in this article.

The Polish A1 exam may not be available yet, but who knows what the future holds? If you don’t want to wait, get your free lifetime account with PolishPod101.com today. This way, you can work on your Polish vocabulary and other Polish skills to ace a higher level of the official Polish proficiency test. 

Is there anything you still want to know about Polish language proficiency tests? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll do our best to help you out!

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Polish Keyboard: How to Install and Type in Polish

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You asked, so we provided—easy-to-follow instructions on how to set up your electronic devices to write in Polish! We’ll also give you a few excellent tips on how to use this keyboard, as well as some online and app alternatives if you prefer not to set up a Polish keyboard.

Log in to Download Your Free Polish Alphabet Worksheet Table of Contents
  1. Why it’s Important to Learn to Type in Polish
  2. Setting up Your Computer and Mobile Devices for Polish
  3. How to Activate an Onscreen Keyboard on Your Computer
  4. How to Change the Language Settings to Polish on Your Computer
  5. Activating the Polish Keyboard on Your Mobile Phone and Tablet
  6. Polish Keyboard Typing Tips
  7. How to Practice Typing Polish

1. Why it’s Important to Learn to Type in Polish

A keyboard

Learning a new language is made so much easier when you’re able to read and write/type it. This way, you will:

  • Get the most out of any dictionary and Polish language apps on your devices
  • Expand your ability to find Polish websites and use the various search engines
  • Be able to communicate much better online with your Polish teachers and friends, and look super cool in the process! 

2. Setting up Your Computer and Mobile Devices for Polish

A phone charging on a dock

It takes only a few steps to set up any of your devices to read and type in Polish. It’s super-easy on your mobile phone and tablet, and a simple process on your computer.

On your computer, you’ll first activate the onscreen keyboard to work with. You’ll only be using your mouse or touchpad/pointer for this keyboard. Then, you’ll need to change the language setting to Polish, so all text will appear in Polish. You could also opt to use online keyboards instead. Read on for the links!

On your mobile devices, it’s even easier—you only have to change the keyboard. We also provide a few alternatives in the form of online keyboards and downloadable apps.

3. How to Activate an Onscreen Keyboard on Your Computer

1- Mac

1. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard.

2. Check the option “Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in Menu Bar.”

3. You’ll see a new icon on the right side of the main bar; click on it and select “Show Keyboard Viewer.”

A screenshot of the keyboard viewer screen

2- Windows

1. Go to Start > Settings > Easy Access > Keyboard.

2. Turn on the option for “Onscreen Keyboard.”

3- Online Keyboards

If you don’t want to activate your computer’s onscreen keyboard, you also have the option to use online keyboards. Here are some good options:

4- Add-ons of Extensions for Browsers

Instead of an online keyboard, you could also choose to download a Google extension to your browser for a language input tool. The Google Input Tools extension allows users to use input tools in Chrome web pages, for example.

4. How to Change the Language Settings to Polish on Your Computer

Man looking at his computer

Now that you’re all set to work with an onscreen keyboard on your computer, it’s time to download the Polish language pack for your operating system of choice:

  • Windows 8 (and higher)
  • Windows 7
  • Mac (OS X and higher)

1- Windows 8 (and higher)

  1. Go to “Settings” > “Change PC Settings” > “Time & Language” > “Region & Language.”
  2. Click on “Add a Language” and select “Polish.” This will add it to your list of languages. It will appear as Polski with the note “language pack available.”
  3. Click on “Polski” > “Options” > “Download.” It’ll take a few minutes to download and install the language pack.
  4. As a keyboard layout, you’ll only need the one marked as “Polish – Polski.” You can ignore other keyboard layouts.

2- Windows 7

1. Go to Start > Control Panel > Clock, Language, and Region.

2. On the “Region and Language” option, click on “Change Keyboards or Other Input Methods.”

3. On the “Keyboards and Languages” tab, click on “Change Keyboards” > “Add” > “Polish.”

4. Expand the option of “Polish” and then expand the option “Keyboard.” Select the keyboard layout marked as “Polish.” You can ignore other keyboard layouts. Click “OK” and then “Apply.”

3- Mac (OS X and higher)

If you can’t see the language listed, please make sure to select the right option from System Preferences > Language and Region

1. From the Apple Menu (top left corner of the screen) go to System Preferences > Keyboard.

2. Click the Input Sources tab and a list of available keyboards and input methods will appear.

3. Click on the plus button, select “Polish,” and add the “Polish” keyboard.

Adding a system language

5. Activating the Polish Keyboard on Your Mobile Phone and Tablet

Texting and searching in Polish will greatly help you master the language! Adding a Polish keyboard on your mobile phone and/or tablet is super-easy.

You could also opt to download an app instead of adding a keyboard. Read on for our suggestions.

Below are the instructions for both iOS and Android mobile phones and tablets.

1- iOS

1. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard.

2. Tap “Keyboards” and then “Add New Keyboard.”

3. Select “Polish” from the list.

4. When typing, you can switch between languages by tapping and holding on the icon to reveal the keyboard language menu.

2- Android

1. Go to Settings > General Management > Language and Input > On-screen Keyboard (or “Virtual Keyboard” on some devices) > Samsung Keyboard.

2. Tap “Language and Types” or “ + Select Input Languages” depending on the device and then “MANAGE INPUT LANGUAGES” if available.

3. Select “Polski” from the list.

4. When typing, you can switch between languages by swiping the space bar.

3- Applications for Mobile Phones

If you don’t want to add a keyboard on your mobile phone or tablet, these are a few good apps to consider:

6. Polish Keyboard Typing Tips

Typing in Polish can be very challenging at first! Therefore, we added here a few useful tips to make it easier to use your Polish keyboard.

A man typing on a computer

1- Computer

  • You can type accents by pressing and holding “Crtl,” then pressing the basic letter (for example: “Crtl” + “a” to type ą).
  • Another option is pressing ~ (tilde symbol) and then the basic letter (for example a for ą).

2- Mobile Phones

  • When using a Polish keyboard, press and hold the core letter (for example: a) to get access to its Polish version (in this case: ą).

7. How to Practice Typing Polish

As you probably know by now, learning Polish is all about practice, practice, and more practice! Strengthen your Polish typing skills by writing comments on any of our lesson pages, and our teacher will answer. If you’re a PolishPod101 Premium PLUS member, you can directly text our teacher via the My Teacher app—use your Polish keyboard to do this!

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Should You Study Polish at Home or Abroad?

Should You Study Polish at Home or Abroad?

There are countless reasons someone might take the leap and decide to study the Polish language. There are students who study Polish because they are genuinely fascinated by the culture. Other learners might want to reconnect with their family history. Still, others might be motivated by the needs and benefits of the workplace.

Whatever their reason for learning the language, there is often one common goal on the bucket list of Polish learners: travel to Poland!

Who isn’t enamored with the notion of traveling abroad and experiencing another culture in the context of a new language? Seriously, this is the thing language learning dreams are made of. Unfortunately, many students see travel to Poland as the end all be all of language learning methods. While you won’t ever hear me say that traveling to Poland is bad for your Polish, it is important to recognize that visiting a foreign country is not the one-way ticket to fluency many people think it is (especially if you’re new to the language).

In this post, we weigh the pros and cons of learning Polish at home and abroad.

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Unexpected obstacles to learning Polish in Poland

Obstacle

There’s a common obstacle native English speakers face while traveling abroad. Many people you meet in Poland (particularly the ones in large cities), will want to speak English to you once they realize you’re a foreigner. There are several reasons for this.

The first is out of practicality. As much as you would like to order your meal, bus ticket, or hotel reservation in Polish; the locals in the tourist industry are likely to resort to English. This is because they have a job to do and they don’t necessarily want to take the time or exercise the patience to figure out what you’re trying to tell them in Polish. English has become a common lingua franca in the tourism industry, and if you’re a foreigner prepare to hear a lot of it.

Another reason for all the English speaking is that locals will often jump at the chance to practice their English. Almost all language learners dream of making friends in a foreign language, but once you get abroad the reality is often a bit different. Locals will be just as excited to practice their English as you will be to practice your Polish. If their English is stronger than your Polish then unless they’re very conscious and patient, English will likely dominate the conversation.

There’s also what I like to call “The expat effect”. The longer you stay in Poland, the more you’ll realize just how hard it is to speak and practice Polish there. By sheer force of human nature, you will likely find yourself gravitating toward and hanging out with people who speak English very well. Often times the pull of comfort and human connection is stronger than the desire to learn a language. Thus you gradually start spending more and more of your time with strong English speakers and your Polish practice goes down the drain.

It’s not all bad abroad

Polish Flag

It’s not all bad if you’re a beginner to the Polish language and you find yourself in Poland. You’re liable to hear Polish on the streets wherever you go. While the people around you might not actually be talking to you, all that spoken Polish will allow you to see firsthand how the language is used on a daily basis.

This will help you hear words and phrases in the context of a conversation, which can be a powerful asset to language learning.

Unexpected advantages of learning Polish at home

Study at Home

One of my favorite reasons for learning a language at home is that it’s a lot easier to keep a regular schedule for your Polish studies. Traveling is an awesome experience, but there’s not usually a lot of downtimes. If it’s your first time in Warsaw or Krakow, you’re going to want to spend most of your time out and about savoring all the sights and experiences you can (and rightly so!). When at home things are more evenly paced and normal. It’s this consistency that allows you to practice Polish on a regular basis and constantly push your limits in the language.

If you study at home you also have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the language gradually. Study and experience have shown that immersion is by far the best method of learning a foreign language. However, going from zero to sixty as a beginner is a recipe for frustration. At home, you can tiptoe your way through the language at your own pace. You can start by subscribing to a Polish learning program, then work your way up to Polish media and music!

A plane ticket to Warsaw isn’t the only way to practice your Polish with real-life native speakers. If you happen to live in or around a big city, there’s a good chance there are some Polish speakers in your area. Try finding a nearby language exchange or meetup group. If there’s no native Polish speaker there, you’re still liable to find someone else learning the language. Depending on where you live there may even be a local Polish community. Keep an eye out for Polish specialty shops, as they’re a great sign that there are native speakers around.

If you can’t find Polish speakers locally than take your search to the web. There are a plethora of free online language exchanges you can use to find Polish natives who are looking to improve their English. There’s also a plethora of Polish language media too. You need only to hop onto Youtube or use the Polish language version of Google to unlock an entire digital world of spoken Polish.

Conclusion

If you’re learning Polish, traveling to Poland would be an awesome experience for sure. Just don’t expect a trip to solve all of your language learning difficulties. If learning Polish back at home is tough, doing the same in Poland will be just as hard if not harder.

If you’re a beginner studying back at home is one of the best settings for learning a new language. There’s a lot of surprising benefits most learners don’t even think about. This is good news because it means that anyone can effectively learn Polish!

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Secret Revealed: The Best Way to Learn a Language on Your Own

Learning A Language on Your Own

Can You Really Learn Polish Alone?

Learning a language on your own or without traditional classroom instruction may seem quite daunting at first. What if you run into questions? How do you stay motivated and on track to achieving goals?

Don’t worry, not only is it possible to learn Polish or any language without traditional classroom instruction: PolishPod101 has created the world’s most advanced and extensive online language learning system. Not only is PolishPod101 specifically designed to help you with learning a language on your own, it’s actually faster, more convenient, and less expensive than traditional classroom options!

Let’s look at some of the benefits of learning Polish or any language alone.

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Also, don’t forget to download your free cheat sheet – How to Improve Your Language Skills too!

3 Reasons to Learn a Language Alone

Learning Alone

1. Learn at Your Own Pace and On Your Schedule

In today’s fast-paced world, there just isn’t time for traditional classroom instruction. Between getting to class and studying on some professor or teacher’s schedule, traditional classroom learning is simply impossible to fit in. But when you learn Polish alone, you can study in bed if you like and whenever suits your schedule best, making it far easier to actually reach your goal of learning and mastering the language.

2. Learning a Language on Your Own Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Speaking in front of a class, pop quizzes, and tests are just a few of the stressors you will encounter when you learn a language in a traditional classroom setting. Specifically, these are external stressors that often derail most people’s dream of learning a new language. But when you learn Polish alone, there are no external stressors. Without the external stress and anxiety, it becomes much easier and more exciting to study Polish and reach your very own goals—all on your own!

3. Learning Polish Alone Helps Improve Cognitive Function and Overall Success

Learning a language on your own is indeed more challenging in some ways than being taught in a traditional classroom setting. In fact, while classroom instruction requires more rote memorization and following instructions, studying a language on your own requires more problem-solving and higher cognitive function to self-teach lessons and hit goals. So while it’s more challenging and requires higher levels of cognition, teaching yourself a language pays dividends throughout life by better preparing you for social/work opportunities that arise.

How to Learn a Language on Your Own with PolishPod101

Learning with PolishPod101

1. Access to the World’s Largest Collection of Polish Audio & Video Lessons

The best way to learn a language on your own is to study from native speaking instructors. Ideally, you want audio and/or video lessons that teach vocabulary, grammar, and provide actual Polish conversations and dialogue to help you with pronunciation. PolishPod101 has hundreds of hours of HD audio and video lessons created by real Polish instructors and every lesson is presented by professional Polish actors for perfect pronunciation. Plus, all lessons can be accessed 24/7 via any mobile device with Internet access. And, if you download the PDF versions of each lesson, you can even study without Internet access once the lesson is stored on your device!

2. “Learning Paths” with Polish Courses Based Upon Your Exact Needs & Goals

Although PolishPod101 has more than thousands of video and audio lessons, you need not review each and every one to learn the language. In fact, PolishPod101 has developed a feature called “Learning Paths”. You simply tell us your goals and we will identify the best courses and study plan to help you reach them in the shortest time possible. So even though you are technically learning a language on your own, our team is always here to help and make sure you reach your goals FAST!

3. Advanced Learning Tools Reduce Learning Time and Boost Retention

When you have the right tools and Polish learning resources, it’s actually easy to teach yourself a language! In the past 10+ years, PolishPod101 has developed, tested, and refined more than 20 advanced learning tools to boost retention and reduce learning time, including:

  • Spaced Repetition Flashcards
  • Line-by-Line Dialogue Breakdown
  • Review Quizzes
  • Voice Recording Tools to Help Perfect Pronunciation
  • Teacher Feedback and Comments for Each Lesson
  • Polish Dictionary with Pronunciation
  • Free PDF Cheat Sheets
  • And Much More!

Armed with our growing collection of advanced learning tools, it’s truly a breeze to learn Polish alone and reach your goals!

Conclusion

Learning a language on your own is not only possible, it’s actually easier and more beneficial for you than traditional classroom instruction. In fact, when you learn Polish on your own you can study at your own pace, eliminate stress, and actually increase cognitive function.

PolishPod101 is the world’s most advanced online language learning system and a great resource to help you teach yourself a new language. With the world’s largest collection of HD audio and video lessons, more than 20 advanced learning tools, and customized “Learning Paths”, PolishPod101 makes learning a new language easier, more convenient, and less expensive than traditional classroom instruction.

And the best part is: With PolishPod101, you can study in bed, your car, or wherever you have a few spare minutes of time. Create your Free Lifetime Account now and get a FREE ebook to help “kickstart” your dream of learning a language on your own below!

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