Is Polish difficult to learn for a British person?

Is Polish difficult to learn for a British person?
Freya Blyth decided to learn Polish. (Fot. Archiwum prywatne)
Learning foreign language is not only about different words, but also about another way to think about things. Polish is considered to be among the most difficult languages on earth. Is it really that hard to learn it, and what is the most difficult part for British person to understand Polish?

I managed to have a chat with Freya Blyth who has been learning Polish for more than 5 years now and who has fallen in love with Polish culture.

Freya, why did you start to learn polish?

Freya: I really loved Polish language the moment I heard it! I went to Poland for the first time when I was 16 and thought the country was so beautiful and everyone was so kind. Since then, I have also met so many Poles in England who are wonderful people.

I think the culture is hardworking and hospitable and I started to make friends with people from Warsaw, Krakow and Lodz. But i noticed that despite the large community here, English people made no effort to speak any Polish. It is such a rich language with so much poetry, I thought that was a shame. Also, I saw many Poles with excellent English language skills, but i wanted to speak to them in their mother tongue, even to say dzi瘯uj! I think when we speak to someone in their own language it speaks to their heart.

What was the most difficult part when you started?

- When I started I think the hardest thing was to try to get people to speak Polish with me! It's such a wonderful culture. I hope more people begin to share it with their friends. The pronunciation was also very hard as there are sounds that we simply don't have in the English language. The ‘cz’ was probably the most tricky for me, so even Czesc was a challenge!

Is it easier to talk, write or read in Polish for you?

- For me it is easiest to speak Polish! I love the surprised look on peoples faces when I notice their name is perhaps polish and then i speak to them in their own language; it's such a shock! Everyone just asks "Why did you learn?! How did you learn?!" I love it. It is very funny to me because often the next thing is "my husband still hasn't learned!"

What is the most difficult part to learn Polish for foreigners? (Fot. Archiwum prywatne)

How long did it take you when you finally started to pick up Polish words?

- The first phrase I wanted to learn was "it's nice to meet you" - "mi這 ci pozna". I was dating a Polish man at this time and was going to visit his Babcia in Wroclaw. She didn't speak much English and I really wanted to speak Polish and be polite to her. It took me probably a month before my friends said my accent was good!

After I had been and visited more, and spent time hearing Polish language all day it became easier to pronounce and pick up.

There is a big polish community in the UK, do you go to Polish events?

- I love going to Polish events mainly because I get to eat amazing Polish food! Bardzo smaczne! Placki Ziemniaczane, Kopytka and Kluski 奸御kie are my favorites! My friend Babcia even gave me a cooking lesson to learn how to make them, but the best are always Babcia's! The English potatoes don't work as well to cook with.

I also like to practice the language at events and meet people.

Freya shared her experience with Polish language. (Fot. Archwium prywatne)

Have you visited Poland?

- I have been all around the country and even had Polish language classes in Wroclaw. This was fantastic as it helped me to understand the language so much more. I think this was my favorite city because I enjoy the culture and beautiful river and city center, with my favorite cathedral island. There is so much to see and the city is always growing and developing.

I have also travelled around the countryside which are so very beautiful and seen Warsaw, Krakow, Gdansk, and Lodz. I think there is a unique feel to each place but the history and hospitality of the people is everywhere.

Are there any similarities you see in Polish-British culture? What are those?

I see many similarities between British and Polish culture because we are both people who are loyal to our families and strong in faith. I believe that we all benefit when we work with each other and learn from other cultures and experiences, and living with Polish people, visiting the country and having Polish friends is a great honor to me.
We share many values of honesty, kindness and education. I see much to be proud of in these two cultures, we both fight for what we believe in. So when we fight alongside each other we become better. When we look for what we share, not what divides us, we become stronger because of each other.

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