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Beata: All About Polish Lesson 11 - Top 5 Tools for Learning Polish
Nick: Hi, everybody! Welcome back to PolishPod101.com. I'm Nick.
Beata: And I'm Beata. "Cześć."
Nick: Today, we have a great list of tools to help along with your Polish studies!
Beata: Yes, we do.
Nick: These are tools that, when put together, are going to do wonders for your Polish skills.
Beata: And some of them will save you a lot of time.
Nick: And what's even better is that some of them are free of charge and easily found on the Internet.
Beata: What could be better?!
Nick: Okay, so let's start with resource books.
Beata: There are many great resource books written especially for foreigners who want to study Polish. The publisher Universitas in particular offers a wide selection of great books, ranging from very basic picture dictionaries to more complex publications for near-native speakers.
Nick: By the way, you can find a link to the Universitas website, and also all of the links we will mention today, in the accompanying PDF! So make sure to check it out.
Beata: What's interesting about the books from Universitas is that they are marked on their covers with the appropriate learning level for which they are meant to be used.
Nick: For example, books marked by A1 and A2 are meant for beginners. Publications with levels B1 and B2 are addressed to intermediate students, and then books with C1 and C2 are meant for those approaching a native speaking level.
Beata: In our accompanying PDF, you can find a detailed description of all levels. This way you can figure out what your level of ability is within the Polish language.
Nick: Let's move on to the next tool, which are online dictionaries.
Beata: There are quite a few online dictionaries out there that will allow you to not only check a single word, but also look up entire phrases.
Nick: And what's amazing about it is that you can check many words with just one click of your mouse.
Beata: My favorite dictionary is Ling.pl. It offers a lot of entries, including more advanced idioms and expressions. The good thing about this online dictionary is that it's available in English, but also in French, Russian, German, Spanish, and naturally Polish. Nick, what about you? Do you have a favorite online dictionary?
Nick: In fact, I do have one. It's called Dict.pl. What I personally like about this dictionary is that every week there's a group of words that are thematically connected to current events or upcoming holidays. It's just a great way to build up your vocabulary.
Beata: I absolutely agree. You should put it in your bookmarks! You'll probably be using it often.
Nick: Next, we have...
Beata: Spelling checks. Unfortunately, besides installing on your computer a spelling check from Microsoft Office, there aren't really any programs that we could recommend.
Nick: I know that also the software OpenOffice.org offers such a tool. Even though this program only corrects your spelling, I still think it's a useful tool. If you look at all those diacritical signs that Polish has, you definitely need something for that. Another good thing about the OpenOffice.org software is that it's free of charge.
Beata: You definitely have to check it out.
Nick: What other tools would you recommend to our listeners that would help them improve their language?
Beata: Another good way of expanding your vocabulary and helping yourself with pronunciation is listening to songs and talk shows.
Nick: Some say that if you can understand a song in a foreign language, it means you've made quite a bit of progress.
Beata: That's for sure. Understanding songs is one of the most difficult tasks when it comes to mastering a new language. But think about all this satisfaction you can have once you're able to pick up single words, then a whole sentence, and finally the entire song.
Nick: I'm sure it's a great feeling. Would you be able to suggest some performers our listeners should look for?
Beata: Look for CDs from performers such as Grzegorz Turnau, Maryla Rodowicz, or Czerwone Gitary. If you could find compilations of Polish songs from these singers, it would be even better because you could get a taste of their individual music styles and levels of difficulty.
Nick: So if you're a beginner, what should you do?
Beata: Simply listen to a song with the lyrics in front of you and then try to look up all the words you don't understand.
Nick: And if you're more advanced?
Beata: I would say just listen to a song without any lyrics and see how much you can actually understand. Try to challenge yourself as much as possible before referring to the written lyrics.
Nick: I've been also listening to this website, radio.biz.pl, where you can play a wide variety of Polish radio stations. It's great because with one click, you can listen to the desired radio station and it's all free of charge. I like to listen to TOK FM, a version of Polish talk radio where you'll get a chance to hear some interesting interviews and news concerning current events. Any particular radio stations you would like to recommend?
Beata: Some of the most popular ones are RMF FM, Radio Zet, and two public channels, Jedynka and Dwójka.
Nick: So listening to songs and radio stations can definitely expand your vocabulary and help you with pronunciation.
Beata: Absolutely. You can also check out the Wikipedia dictionary website where you can listen to pronunciation of selected words. Besides the actual pronunciation, you can find information about declensions, conjugations, and syntax there.
Nick: And from what I know, some book dictionaries offer an accompanying CD with them that contains all the entries. Again, just click on a desired word and tune your ear to its pronunciation. How simple is that?
Beata: And practice Polish as much as you can. Whenever you have a chance to speak Polish or read something in Polish, go for it, because the more you practice, the sooner you'll see results.
Nick: All right, so we hope you will take advantage of these great tools and all they have to offer.
Beata: We've tried them and we know how good they are, so that's why we're passing them on to you!
Nick: Remember that the links for all of these sites and programs can be found in the accompanying PDF file.
Beata: Let us know what you think of them too!
Nick: If you have some other resources you would like to share, you can always stop by PolishPod101 and share them with the community!