Learning a new language is difficult, learning a language from a new language family – that’s a real challenge. The words don’t mean anything to you, everything sounds unfamiliar, and you are totally overwhelmed? Don’t worry, it’s natural in the beginning. But if you’ve just begun learning Polish and this is your first Slavic language, there’s a little trick you can use to slowly start speaking – internationalisms!
What are these? Internationalisms are words that occur in several languages with the same or similar meaning. And – good news – with similar pronunciation and orthography. Let’s see if you can spot them in this Polish text:
Lubię ten supermarket. Kupuję tam jogurt, majonez, kakao i czekoladę.
Did you get it? Something about a shop, right? And some food items? Yes!
How about this one:
Obiekt jest interesujący. To moja subiektywna opinia.
Wow, reading about abstract concepts in Polish, isn’t that cool?
Don’t worry about the rest of the words just yet, you will learn grammar during your Polish language course. At this time, you can try to speak Polish in daily life situations using internationalisms. And believe me, they will help you in many situations.
You can use them to ask for directions:
You can tell others what you need:
You can list your interests:
fotografia, film, muzyka, matematyka…
You can also surprise Polish speakers with some truly surreal (or truly accurate) word combinations:
Motto: intuicja, ambicja, prokrastynacja.
Polish language has been borrowing words from many different languages over the centuries, so just listen and read attentively – you will discover familiar vocabulary in many situations. Also, if you are taking a Polish course, check if your school includes internationalisms in its program so you learn in a progressive way.
Or check out our Polish courses for foreigners at Spoko Polish. We provide Polish online courses, prepare students for the Polish B1 exam and make sure you learn Polish in a friendly atmosphere – this is the easiest way to learn Polish after all.
Written by Irka