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Roots of the Polish Language

From a historical point of view, Polish is an Indo-European language that belongs to the West Slavonic group. The first Slavonic tribes settled in most of Central and Eastern Europe, occupying the lands between Elba to the west, the Balkans to the south and the Volga river to the east. From hereon, the tribes started constantly building their own identity, forming the three main groups of Slavonic, based on geographical delimitations.

Truth be told, neither of the three Slavonic groups has evolved to a state where it is completely different from the others. The three have a shared cultural subset and most importantly a lingual one. Polish is no exception and even though a Serbian for example, might not fully understand what a Polish speaker is saying without proper study of the Polish language beforehand, it is a lot easier for them to learn the language. If we were to make a comparison, Polish probably resembles Czech and Slovak the most and inhabitants of these countries can easily understand each other without too much trouble. Subsequently, if you learn Polish, you will be able to understand and learn Czech, Slovak as well as most of the other Slavonic languages a lot easier, becoming a polyglot of the Slavonic world.

What are your options for learning Polish?

Same as with most other languages, the Internet is a good place to start searching if you want to take up the task of learning Polish by yourself. Free Polish lessons online can easily be found and used, some being more useful than others. It will be your call to decide which ones of these courses you take upon as well as whether or not you complement them with a practical exercise book or a “Learn Polish” course. This combination usually does the trick for language starters, so you might as well try it out.

One way of doing things is to start by improving your vocabulary through constant text reading. Even if you don’t understand all the words and phrases yet, take up some Polish texts from the Internet or from local books and start parsing them. Whenever you hit yourself to a word that you don’t understand, look it up in a dictionary (make sure it’s used with its intended sense though!) and memorize that word.

Once you manage to improve vocabulary a bit and can handle yourself through the Polish language, you can start up on learning grammar rules and structure, which are relatively easy to understand from the point of view of most Western languages. Don’t neglect your vocabulary increase during this period though. Either keep up reading new texts in order to memorize words, or play some vocabulary games to help you do so. Regardless of which method you choose, what counts is that at the end of the day, you are a few words richer.

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