Polaron - Get Polish Citizenship / EU Passport now!Witamy, Guest  |  Members

The Unofficial Guide to POLAND
Unanswered  |  Archives

Poland Now and Then
Home / Life /answers: 221 - page 3 of 8

Do expats living in Poland speak Polish?

delphiandomine Threads: 54
Posts: 13,453
Joined: Nov 25, 2008
  ♂  :-( Nov 6, 2009, 03:24am  #

FUZZYWICKETS:
again, I'm American

Exactly. And thus you fail to understand the value of learning any foreign language.

Thankfully, Europeans are a bit more wise and realise the value in speaking other languages. Polish isn't a bad option for those wanting a good mental workout, and it's a sound base for other Slavic languages.

I find it funny that an American - who is from a country in which you won't get anywhere in some areas without Polish/Spanish/Italian, thinks that you need nothing but English.

FUZZYWICKETS Threads: 8
Posts: 2,321
Joined: Nov 3, 2009
  ♂   Nov 6, 2009, 11:52am  #

Exactly. And thus you fail to understand the value of learning any foreign language.

Thankfully, Europeans are a bit more wise and realise the value in speaking other languages.

this, if anything, proves my point.

do you know why Americans do not see the value in learning a foreign language? because it simply isn't a necessity. if you had an MBA and a nice paying job in a major city in America, would you then spend the next 3-5 years taking classes in the evening for ....oh, I don't know.......a Chemistry degree? no. of course not. why do people not do that? because it's a waste of time and money.

you said Europeans realise the value in speaking other languages. let's concentrate on the word "value", because value is exactly what we're talking about, in every sense of the word. Europeans learn foreign languages because it's a necessity to communicate with anybody else outside their country's borders, and secondly, and often times more importantly, because without English, they can't get a job. here in Poland, if you're a post grad, 25 years old, and you apply for basically any job, if you cannot speak English, don't even bother applying. this is literally "value". you want a good job? speak English. which, as a result, makes it beneficial for one to go to class at night to learn it, pay money, spend the time, so on and so forth. Europe MUST learn languages. not because they think "it's a good thing to know, people should speak other languages...." but because they simply have to.

I find it funny that an American - who is from a country in which you won't get anywhere in some areas without Polish/Spanish/Italian, thinks that you need nothing but English.

i would LOVE for you to fill me in on some examples of people in America getting nowhere because they can't speak Polish/Spanish/Italian. please enlighten me with all your vast experience on this particular matter.

mafketis Threads: 16
Posts: 1,881
Joined: Mar 31, 2008
  ♂   Edited by: mafketis  Nov 6, 2009, 12:29pm  #

The question of whether Polish is 'useful' or 'valuable' outside of Poland is irrelevant. If you're in Poland for an extended period of time and don't speak it, you're basically a loser and putting yourself at other people's mercy and willingness to communicate with you.

Personally, I found corporate expats (business people stationed in Poland by their companies) to be a dreary bunch when I rubbed elbows with them in the 90's. Their primary non-work activity in Poland is to create a separatist bubble and pretend they're not in Poland.

Other people, here on their own initiative and not supported by an inplace infrastructure and group of employees paid to make things easy for them, have to learn Polish well enough to function (just what level this is will differ on a case by case basis).

A slight exception is a certain kind of (usually, but not always, British) English teacher who regards Polish the way missionaries regard pagan idols and sacrificing virgins to volcanoe gods, as a backward practice that needs to be eliminated (to be fair, I've only met a few of these, but they absolutely do exist).

American monolingualism has a lot of causes and the idea that Americans don't have to learn foreign languages is probably a minor one. The two more important causes are the fact that as an immigrant culture without much shared history (relatively speaking) Americans aren't bound by the kinds of common experience that, for example, Italians are. A common language (American, not 'English') is one of the few cultural symbols that hold Americans together.

Secondly, the immigrant experience has caused that Americans often cannot distinguish between visitors and immigrants (or between non-Americans in their own countries and immigrants). Part of the immigrant experience is the idea of using any other language as little as possible and English as much as possible. Americans tend to unconsciously treat anyone they meet abroad as a newly arrived immigrant, still ignorant of our ways and in need of encouragement (or coercion) to speak English to better assimilate.

(Added: Another factor is that English speaking countries have _terrible_ English classes for their children. While English speakers have amazing dictionary making traditions, they have the worst grammar writing tradition of any European language. What was traditionally taught in schools as "English grammar" is nonsense. It's unworkable and unteachable and demonstrably false but if you try to update it, the traditionaists scream bloody murder. The result is an appalling ignorance of how _any_ human language works and university English majors who don't know the difference between an object phrase and an adverbial phrase (and the cycle continues).

Finally, some people find language learning to be a valuable intellectual exercise worth doing for its own sake quite apart from questions of later payoff or exploitation, and others don't. I belong to the former category and fuzzywickets probably belongs to the latter.

FUZZYWICKETS Threads: 8
Posts: 2,321
Joined: Nov 3, 2009
  ♂   Nov 6, 2009, 02:41pm  #

food for thought:

http://www.vistawide.com/languages/us_languages2.htm

if you still think Polish is of any use in America, see "0.7%"

another thing worth noting: of this 0.7%, the majority of them speak English, often times better than they speak Polish, most certainly those that were raised in the USA.

Finally, some people find language learning to be a valuable intellectual exercise worth doing for its own sake quite apart from questions of later payoff or exploitation, and others don't. I belong to the former category and fuzzywickets probably belongs to the latter.

i most certainly "find language learning to be a valuable intellectual exercise", after all, I moved to Poland didn't I?.......I study Polish all the time. My points have been not whether or not I think language learning is good or bad, but specifically the usefulness of Polish outside Poland in general, along with it's usefulness in America. this is how the conversation got started.

scottie1113 Threads: 9
Posts: 955
Joined: Mar 13, 2007
  ♂   Nov 6, 2009, 08:14pm  #

After English, Spanish is the most useful language in the US. I never heard anyone speaking Italian or Polish.

I went to an American high school in Japan and learned enough Japanese to get around. I studied Italian for a year when I was at university but after such a long time my Italian is pretty rusty. I majored in French, and while I'm not at the proficiency level, my French is very good.

Polish easier than French? No way. Polish is by far the most difficult language I've ever tried to learn, but since I live here and plan to stay, I'm trying. Living in Poland and not learning Polish makes no sense.

Strangely enough, the non Polish speaking expats I know here are British and they're proud of it. I simply don't understand that attitude. This isn't a slam, just an observation.

Mazzi     Nov 9, 2009, 05:27pm  #

I was lazy at the beginning to start up with Polish but I finally found some good teacher in one of the schools polishlessons.com.pl and now am intermediate I guess. I think Polish is really not that difficult as some expats say but as with every language you have to study a bit.
What I find difficult is the grammer with all cases and conjugation...but I hope one day I will speak fluently:)
Cheers!
Mazzi

Deiseaj Threads: 1
Posts: 10
Joined: Oct 1, 2009
  ♀   Nov 11, 2009, 02:15pm  #

I'm learning!!!! Ive only been here since sept, and I can a few sentences. People find it hilarious when I speak polish, so I'm a little shy about speaking to adults, so I practice on the kids at school, and when they finish splitting their a$$e$ laughing at me, they correct my grammer. So I think the few sentences I can say are correct...... but its so frustrating that I cant even go into McDonalds and order food......
more embarassing was having to have someone go to the doctor with me and translate a conversation about urine.... how could any adult live here and not try to learn the language in that case??? lol
I love the sound of Polish too. is that wierd??

SzwedwPolsce Threads: 13
Posts: 1,881
Joined: Feb 21, 2009
  ♂   Nov 11, 2009, 04:16pm  #

scottie1113:
Strangely enough, the non Polish speaking expats I know here are British and they're proud of it. I simply don't understand that attitude. This isn't a slam, just an observation.

But this is not normal people. If you live in a country and don't even try to learn the language, of course people will laugh behind your back.

Honest George Threads: 1
Posts: 112
Joined: Nov 12, 2009
  ♂   Nov 12, 2009, 03:01pm  #

For Poland to go forward in the european and world markets, it must respect that English is, has been, and will be the most common recognized, used language world-wide. I believe the Polish government has addressed this by adding the English language into its curriculum. So lets face it, English is the no.1 international language in the world and it wont be long before all the Polish people are speaking English, as is the rest of the modern world. So I agree with Fuzzywickets, that the Polish language is of absolutely no use outside of Poland, as is German to Germany, French to France etc., But on the other hand, I would agree that it is civil and courteous when in a foreign country, to at least try and integrate with the locals. Good morning, thank-you, please, what a nice day, all go a long way in whichever country you are in.

Chipmunk Threads: 13
Posts: 62
Joined: Aug 15, 2009
  ♀   Nov 12, 2009, 03:40pm  #

I don't... not yet at least. I'm signing up for courses as soon as possible. I feel bad not even knowing how to say hello or thank you... and the rest would be so helpful!

Steveramsfan Threads: 2
Posts: 392
Joined: Nov 22, 2009
  ♂   Nov 22, 2009, 06:44pm  #

Maybe if Americans learnt new languages and looked into other cultures around the world we would have less wars. If you Americans cant be bothered to learn foreign languages then stay inside your own borders, disband your navy and leave the world in peace.

I am learning Polish as I want to live in Poland. I dont want to be an EX Pat, I want to try and get Polish Nationality. I'm ashamed to be English now, UK has gone down the drain in the last 15 years.

scottie1113 Threads: 9
Posts: 955
Joined: Mar 13, 2007
  ♂   Nov 22, 2009, 07:28pm  #

I completely missed the point of this post. What are you talking about?

McCoy Threads: 35
Posts: 1,539
Joined: Jul 3, 2008
  ♂   Nov 22, 2009, 07:32pm  #

Steveramsfan:
I'm ashamed to be English now, UK has gone down the drain in the last 15 years.

whats wrong with the uk man?

Steveramsfan Threads: 2
Posts: 392
Joined: Nov 22, 2009
  ♂   Nov 22, 2009, 07:36pm  #

McCoy:
whats wrong with the uk man?

You would have had to live there a while to understand :)


scottie1113:
I completely missed the point of this post. What are you talking about?

Sorry, it was in reply to the American rant earlier in the thread. I forgot to mention that bit

derek trotter Threads: 12
Posts: 247
Joined: Apr 10, 2009
  ♂   Nov 22, 2009, 07:36pm  #

scottie1113
do expats living in Poland speak Polish ?

do they speak Spanish when the live in Spain?
answer is no, only few of them, most just knows a couple of phrases like una birra per favore
just like they do in Poland, only 'piwo prosze' or 'ladna dupa'

time means Threads: 5
Posts: 1,806
Joined: Apr 21, 2008
  ♂   Edited by: time means  Nov 22, 2009, 07:37pm  #

Steveramsfan:
If you Americans cant be bothered to learn foreign languages then stay inside your own borders, disband your navy and leave the world in peace.

Lmao what a fcucking idiot!


Steveramsfan:
as I want to live in Poland

How will the UK cope without you.

Steveramsfan:
I dont want to be an EX Pat

Classic lol

jonni Threads: 23
Posts: 3,475
Joined: Nov 27, 2007
  ♂   Edited by: jonni  Nov 22, 2009, 07:44pm  #

time means:
Lmao what a fcucking idiot!

Amen!

I know some Americans who speak foreign languages rather well.

I also think they shouldn't be criticised that much in that respect. Their country has snow-capped mountains, green forests, desert and beaches. So they don't have the same impetus to travel - they've got such a huge and varied country to discover at home.

Seanus Threads: 19
Posts: 27,014
Joined: Dec 25, 2007
  ♂   Nov 22, 2009, 07:49pm  #

That's a fair point, jonni. Plus, learn another language, 2 maybe, and people will still have a hack at you for not trying a host of others. I still remember French reasonably from 4 years of schooling, albeit finished 14 years ago. Japanese and Polish too to a higher level. Naturally, my Polish is the strongest but that's, firstly, because of priority and, secondly, because of placement. You could also say that there is nothing like the emphasis placed on languages like there is in the Benelux countries and Scandinavia. If you are not part of that culture then it is that bit harder.

I hate the question, 'how many languages do you speak?'.

time means Threads: 5
Posts: 1,806
Joined: Apr 21, 2008
  ♂   Edited by: time means  Nov 22, 2009, 07:50pm  #

jonni:
got such a huge and varied country to discover at home.

Very true.

Probably the guys first "real" girlfriend and he sees the world though red and white glasses now. He will probably convert to church of rome next and put a "ski" at the end of his name.

Steveramsfans"ski"

SzwedwPolsce Threads: 13
Posts: 1,881
Joined: Feb 21, 2009
  ♂   Edited by: SzwedwPolsce  Nov 22, 2009, 07:53pm  #

There is one important aspect we haven't mentioned.

It's not only easier to live in Poland if you know Polish. It's also much more fun if you actually understand what people around you say (are able to read signs, understand something of what they say on the TV or radio etc.).

I enjoy living in Poland much more now when I can have some conversations and understand something about what happens around me. If you live in a country only knowing a few words of the language you miss so much things.

Seanus Threads: 19
Posts: 27,014
Joined: Dec 25, 2007
  ♂   Nov 22, 2009, 07:57pm  #

Again, a very valid point. It was Goethe (I think) who said that a man is as human as many times as the number of languages he speaks. Some say it was a Slovakian proverb. Whatever! Knowing the language can make you feel like more of an insider, allowing you to further cement ties in different ways. It makes bar talks much easier too :)

Cardno85 Threads: 39
Posts: 1,018
Joined: Jul 11, 2008
  ♂   Nov 22, 2009, 08:01pm  #

Seanus:
Knowing the language can make you feel like more of an insider, allowing you to further cement ties in different ways. It makes bar talks much easier too :)

To be fair it can make you feel more part of a group. It means you don't feel left out, or feel that you are forcing other people into talking a language they don't feel comfortable. Most of all though, the more Polish I learn, the easier my life becomes. Everything from meeting new people to various contracts...right to everyday life just gets easier the more of the language you know. I am still only gradually learning, but it's a little every day and so life gets easier every day.

In answer to the thread topic, I don't speak Polish, but I am keen to learn and hope to one day.

Steveramsfan Threads: 2
Posts: 392
Joined: Nov 22, 2009
  ♂   Edited by: Steveramsfan  Nov 22, 2009, 08:08pm  #

I know some Americans speak foreign languages, I have been there. I just wish they would stop starting wars that the stupid UK politicians keep tagging along on. The whole world does not want to live like Americans or the West.

I did not directly attack or insult any person, my post was aimed at the American Government not the average man in the street.

When I said "Ex Pats" I was referring to the ones who keep their English Identity while living in a foreign country. I will take my gf's surname when we get married and fully assimilate into Polish society when I retire.

You decided to insult ME. I will willingly accept an apology if you decide to give one.

If you knew something about me you would not have made those comments. I liked Poland before I met my girlfriend, I met her through trying to learn Polish as I want to move there.

time means Threads: 5
Posts: 1,806
Joined: Apr 21, 2008
  ♂   Nov 22, 2009, 08:15pm  #

Steveramsfan:
I will take my gf's surname when we get married and fully assimilate into Polish society when I retire.

Lmao man your fcuking priceless, stick around on the forum mate i need a good laugh every now and again :-)

jonni Threads: 23
Posts: 3,475
Joined: Nov 27, 2007
  ♂   Nov 22, 2009, 08:22pm  #

Some of us are very assimilated but still haven't lost our British identity. I almost never speak English in my home/personal life - most people around me either don't speak it at all or don't speak it with me, here in Poland, it would be hard to isolate oneself into an expat bubble.

But there's nothing wrong with holding on to your own identity and cherishing it. The British have never expected the Poles who've settled there to change their names, not eat Polish food, not observe Polish customs - why should the British who've settled in Poland behave differently?

Steveramsfan Threads: 2
Posts: 392
Joined: Nov 22, 2009
  ♂   Edited by: Steveramsfan  Nov 22, 2009, 08:22pm  #

time means:
Lmao man your fcuking priceless, stick around on the forum mate i need a good laugh every now and again :-)

You are not the most intelligent person I have ever spoken to.

jonni:
But there's nothing wrong with holding on to your own identity and cherishing it. The British have never expected the Poles who've settled there to change their names, not eat Polish food, not observe Polish customs - why should the British who've settled in Poland behave differently?

You missed my point. I want to forget that I was born British. I don't like the country I was born in any more.

I am happy that you have assimilated, I was not attacking any one.

time means Threads: 5
Posts: 1,806
Joined: Apr 21, 2008
  ♂   Edited by: time means  Nov 22, 2009, 08:29pm  #

Steveramsfan:
I want to forget that I was born British.

Like i said, priceless :-) have you considered a career on the stage :-))))

Steveramsfan:
You are not the most intelligent person I have ever spoken to.

I take it i'm off the christmas card list this year then?

jonni Threads: 23
Posts: 3,475
Joined: Nov 27, 2007
  ♂   Nov 22, 2009, 08:33pm  #

Steveramsfan:
I don't like the country I was born in any more.

Why not? You can't change the past.

Steveramsfan Threads: 2
Posts: 392
Joined: Nov 22, 2009
  ♂   Edited by: Steveramsfan  Nov 22, 2009, 08:37pm  #

time means

I'm trying to understand what is so funny.

I hate my country!

Why is this funny?

You should be discussing the fact that its best to learn the language for where you will be living. I digressed slightly with the comment about the Americans but I commented on the subject of the thread too.

Now, If you have finished attacking my character, we can let the thread continue on subject.

jonni:
Why not? You can't change the past.

It would take a while to explain so you understood.

I can try to forget the fact.

Seanus Threads: 19
Posts: 27,014
Joined: Dec 25, 2007
  ♂   Nov 22, 2009, 08:40pm  #

Ok, back to the thread. Some do and some don't :)



Home / Life / Unanswered [this forum]

Do expats living in Poland speak Polish?

  To post as guest, enter a temporary and unique username (without password) or login and post as a member.