I have family who came from Poland, so I want to be able to speak to them in their native language 6 months ago
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How I did it: I’m declaring this goal done. I don’t think I can speak
Polish well, but better than 8 months ago. The lessons brought me to a
point and gave me a good basic vocabulary. After hearing Amania’s family talk for a week, I could generally pick up on the gist of the conversation but not the specifics. I managed to make my first joke in Polish. (While showing a photo of a Lenin statue I said in Polish “Lenin but not John Lennon”) I got to the point of being okay at basic exchanges in stores and restaurants (except for confusing waiters with drink orders), but if they quickly said the amount I owed, I was lost. The Pimsleur course did teach me a rather formal version of Polish. Amania often joked that I sounded like a member of the diplomatic corps. But being really immersed in the
language helped me a lot.
Read how I did it… 16 months ago
Amania is helping me to get a bit more daring with my Polish skills. She is letting me order food and other things for us and occasionally rescuing me.
This is the first beer I ordered in Polish on my own!
16 months ago
It has been an interesting first couple of days speaking Polish. Amania and her family seem to understand me. I am picking up perhaps every 10th word unless it is a phrase I know well. The thought running through my mind most of the time is “I know that word…but what the heck is it?” And occasionally I take great satisfaction when my hosts seem shocked that I know how to say something. It was interesting when I asked in Polish where the bathroom was located and was met ith a string of Polish words that sounded totally unfamiliar. Luckily, the speaker’s hand gesture saved me for having to say I did not understand. From where I started and for what I can do, I would give Pimsleur two thumbs up. Still, I am happy to have Amania for those difficult situations. 16 months ago
and trying to learn Polish is not as efficient as I thought. I lose count of my reps when listening to the language lessons on my IPOD. I can listen to music with no problem, but it doesn’t work as well listening to the language lessons. I will have to go back to listening to my language lessons during my work commute and listen to the news in the morning and evening at home. I really want to make some headway in both Polish and Spanish. 16 months ago
I’ve now completed Pimsleur’s Polish I audio course twice (in part because there is no Polish II). The second time was much easier and I learned new things as well as realized that I had forgotten some things by the time I went through an entire cycle. I should have enough time to go through the lessons one more time before the trip.
It is strange. I feel like I know greetings, pleasantries and travel phrases. So my language skills in any setting will be rather hit or miss. I think my skills will make me sound rather random, but sense that my friend and her family will be very understanding. 18 months ago
Today I finished Lesson 30 of Pimsleur’s Polish Language class. It is supposed to be 30 lessons in 30 days but it took me about four month.
I did not follow the directions to move on to the next language each day but instead, repeated lessons until I felt a sense of mastery. On average, most lessons took three repetitions to really learn. I seldom did lessons on weekends or holidays.
There are still three months before my trip. I plan to restart my lesson in a week. It has been so long since we did certain sections, that I’ve already forgotten some things. 20 months ago
almost every day. I still have a long way to go learning to sight read words. I have to learn the phonics of the language. I am still enjoying this goal. 21 months ago
It can be a challenge to keep language lessons fresh. I’ve been using the Pimsleur recordings in my car on the way to work and that is going well. Today, was an off day and not having any place to drive, I was a bit down about doing my lesson. If I do it at my desk, I tend to get bored and fall asleep.
So I decided this would be my classroom today, our local nature trails. I put on my headset and hiked for about 45 minutes while doing lesson 20. I wonder if anyone heard the man walking through the woods saying ”Come in; pleased to meet you” and “How many children do you have?” in Polish? 22 months ago
I’m up to lesson 16.
This morning I managed to say, “Excuse me, I understand Polish, but your speech is too expensive.”
I can only hope that my hosts have a good sense of humor. 22 months ago
I have to work on the basic phonics of the language, but I am doing a little better than I thought. I can pick out words from my co workers conversations, and it helps listening to them speak Polish and compare the sounds to what I am hearing on the lessons. I am going to have to get help with the basic phonics, but I think my boss would love to be the teacher on days we are not busy at work. 23 months ago