June 5, 2011 | Polish

More Fun with Polish Declensions

I chase down mutating adjectives.

The book Polish Verbs & Essentials of Grammar by Oscar E. Swan begins with this: “The Polish language belongs to the Slavic group of Indo-European languages. It is most closely allied with Slovak and Czech, with many features in common with Ukrainian.”

I have no experience with those three languages, but I am definitely finding at least some similarities with Russian, which has six cases (versus seven in Polish) and, like Polish, piles of declensions.

Not to belabor this point, but I continue to be stunned by the challenge of the declensions for foreign-language learners.

Dobry (Good), with Declensions

Dobry (Good), with Declensions

I was complaining about nouns last time, but just as in Russian, the adjectives change form, too. (True for German as well, but there just aren’t as many cases.)

At left, for example, are the many different forms of dobry, or “good,” in Polish. 


Besides reading my Oscar E. Swan grammar book, which I like so far but which contains no grammar exercises (I need to go shopping), I have been doing Pimsleur lessons, which are the audio-only, highly portable lessons to which I have been seriously addicted for nearly two years.

In addition, today I set up and started Rosetta Stone for Polish. 

Rosetta Stone: Cute, Right?

Rosetta Stone: Cute, Right?

I actually liked it quite a lot. 

This is, I am realizing, the first time I have used Rosetta Stone to study a language that is based on the Roman alphabet.

Rosetta Stone Hindi and Japanese were far more challenging; having a reasonably familiar writing system makes things easier for sure.

Sometimes easier is more fun, because there is less frustration. But crazy hard has its advantages, too.

Comments (4)

mimi • Posted on Tue, June 14, 2011 - 11:35 am EST

I love hearing someone say that Polish is easy. TEEHEE

Ellen Jovin • Posted on Tue, June 14, 2011 - 11:47 am EST

Laughing. Hmm, I don’t quite mean to say THAT. But at least Polish is phonetic, and has a reasonable number of letters in the alphabet, and most of them are familiar!

Luba • Posted on Tue, June 14, 2011 - 10:28 pm EST

Do Polish pronouns have cases? Because Russian pronouns do. So, it complicate things even more.

Ellen Jovin • Posted on Tue, June 14, 2011 - 11:37 pm EST

Yes, there are cases for pronouns. “Ja” (which is “I” in Polish) becomes “mnie” (genitive), “mi” or “mnie” for dative, “mnie” for accusative, etc. (Not that I actually know these forms by heart; I am consulting my Polish grammar book as I write this!)

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