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.
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.