W Szkole! 

To school! For the next two weeks I’ll be incorporating 15 hours of intensive Polish language lessons into our trip with Po Polsku – Polish for Professionals

My regular instructor’ name is Mateusz. He’s 26 years old, originally from South Poland and is currently studying Polish philology (the study of the history of Polish language.)  

Pierwszy (First), when learning Polish from an English speaking background, one must unlearn a lot of the English phonetic tendencies. For myself I found the most effective way of doing this is to establish a strong understanding of the Polish alphabet and pronunciation of word clusters.
For instance “w” in polish is pronounced with a “v” sound. Eg. Violet = Wiolet. 
That is one of the easier transitions to understand.

   However, if you wish to proceed with learning the Polish language, you’ll begin to learn that sz, dz, and rz sound a lot like j in “raj” and that there’s a difference between z, ż, and ź. Even though to my anglicized ear… They pretty much all sound the same. Let’s not even get into cz, c and cy! 
All is not lost and like learning how to tune an instrument it will come over time. Luckily for me having a background in intonations from Cantonese and playing guitar it’s a little bit easier for me. A little. Trochę. 

We began with a recap of what Wioletta covered with me in the first one hour lesson last Friday. Piątek. I think Mateusz was surprised by my ability pronounce and retain the Polish language, even though to me I sometimes feel like I sound like I’m butchering a cat. Kot. 

By the end of the lesson, even though to my Polish family it didn’t seem like I learned a lot, I feel as though I have a much better understanding of concepts and articulation. Ultimately my goal is to eventually become fluent and have full comprehension,  versus simply just regurgitating phrases and participating in basic conversation. 

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