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Languages

Jak się masz in the Polish language

Jak się masz the Polish phrase is the English equivalent  for how are you? is This is the first phrase most English speakers trying to learn Polish learn.   I think I learned this when I was a kid.  However I did not learn Polish until much latter.  I think most people dabble in Polish for years then buckle down and get serious at another point in time.

Different reactions to the question “Jak się masz” – can you read their faces? What are the girl’ your replies?

Phrases similar to Jak sie masz

All these phrases mean basically the same, an informal hello.  ‘ Co u ciebie’  means ‘what is up with you’.   ‘Jak tam’  is basically  ‘how are you there’.  ‘Jak leci’ is literally ‘how is it flying’,  or more generally, ‘what is going on’.

One of my favorites is,’ jak  leci stary byku’ – but warning, say this only to a guy and it is very informal. This means,’ how is it flying old bull’.

Note that when I wrote ‘Jak sie masz‘ in this  header I dropped the Polish character ę which is sounds like ‘elm’  I do this a lot when I write in Polish, I guess I am just lazy.  Everyone will understand you, but I know its not great, its like a spelling mistake in English.

Train going though the countryside in Poland

How to I say masz jak sie

Jak sie masz is pronounced ‘Yak she mash’ , basically.  Note in the above header I played with the word order.  Again I did this on purpose, to show you that Polish has a flexible word order.  Granted you might never here ‘sie masz jak’ but in Polish anything is possible as it is such a crazy language.

Masz is informal

Jak sie pani ma, might be the formal equivalent of jak sie masz. As ma is the third person of have.  In Polish you speak a formal language to people you do not know. It is almost like you are speaking about them, rather than to them even though they are right in front of you. Jak sie pani ma means ‘how oneself have one madam’  while jak sie masz means ‘how have you’, basically. In general this is a basic Polish phrase for greeting someone.

  • I like jak leci starry bik – hows it going old bull (do not say this to a girl).
  • Or
  • Jak leci – how is it flying.

If you have any questions about jak sie masz or disagree with any of the points above let me know.  I wanted to give you a phrase in Polish and tell you about it so you would learn more than how to say just ‘how are you’ in Polish.

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Languages

Rosetta Stone Polish

Rosetta stone Polish a personal experience

I think Rosetta stone is a good program for some and might even recommend it. But it did not work for me.
My experience with Rosetta stone Polish was as follows.  I bought it off their website a a few years ago.  I was really fired up about learning Polish.   In fact, I had the intention of visiting/moving to Poland so cost of was an issue.

For the first three weeks I worked really hard with Rosetta Stone. However, I became very confused. Why? When I asked my Polish friends they all said Rosetta Stone was a very ‘głupi’ (that means stupid in Polish) program.  I asked why and what was going on.

Polish cases not taught properly

They explained the program was written by English native speakers for the English language.   It gave no respect to Polish noun cases.  This is what the Polish language is all about.  Just like Russian or Ukrainian.  In the first lesson, there are three Polish cases with no explanation.  This is crazy. The result confusion.  I had to learn Polish grammar on my own and years latter Rosetta Stone made some sense, after I already learn to speak Polish.

Pictures in Rosetta Stone are unclear

Further, the pictures are unclear as to the meaning.  A lot of mental energy and pain goes into trying to figure out what the picture is about. This same energy could go into learning the word itself, rather than just what the picture is about.

Customer service turned to Stone

A few years ago I thought Rosetta Stone customer service was great. When I was purchasing the product, there was no push, the people answered all my questions honestly, they even admitted the weakness.  I was impressed and decided to try it.  When I called a few years latter just to see if the level of customer service was the same, it was another team.  The sales agent must have been on commission as he was pushy, uninformed, rude and really turned me off.  I asked him not about Polish but Russian this time, he said it teaches grammar well.  This is not true, not for Polish nor Russian or almost any other European language.

Is Rosetta bad?

Not at all.  I think the idea was great.  I love the idea and the effort they put into creating it.  However, for me personally it taught me little, it wasted my time (money was not a factor). Time is the most important thing, not the money.  It put me back six months, me messing around with their program and eventually coming to the realization I was not really learning anything.  I guess I did not want to believe it at first as their product looks so tempting. I think Rosetta is trying to improve in many ways but the core program has issues with the method.  I personally would not use it to learn any language but English. But its not all bad.  It looks nice, the hots are nice, they use native speakers.  So its not all bad, but Rosetta Stone Polish is just not for me personally.

Alternatives to Rosetta Stone Polish

You can read about these LearnFast Polish flashcards here -> Flash cards

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Languages

Accent reduction

How to reduce or eliminate your accent in a foreign language

Why do I know something about accent reduction? I am an American language native speaker from Boston and live in Krakow, Poland. I have taught English for many years in Poland. I have also learned Polish. However, I still have an accent. In fact I have a horrible accent. I have little time to work on it, but also maybe I am a bit lazy.

If you want to get rid of your accent it will take patience.  There is nothing on the web you can read or course that will help you.  I have many books on the subject and years of experience, but it comes down to this, patience.

Are some people gifted and have an ear for languages? Maybe they are or maybe they are not.  You can think in such ways, just focus on your mission, I have seen people eliminate their accents.

There are two main ways to eliminate or reduce your accent in a foreign language.

Reduce your accent working with someone

Working with someone will help, as long as you focus just on accent not grammar, accent etc all at once.  I actually went to a speech therapist when I was young to correct pronunciation problems.  This took years.  But the result is I speak perfect TV English.  English with no regional accent, no New England accent. However, it is nothing special, to get better pronunciation you simply work with someone who will drill you, drill you on each letter and sound day in and day out.  You the learner must repeat words over and over and then sleep on it and do it again.  You need to train your brain to coordinate with your vocal cords and tongue.

Reduce your accent on your own

This is easy to do if you are patient.  The technique is simple:

  1. Listening to an mp3 of a native speaker, perhaps from an audio book and imitate this over and over again.
  2. Recoding your own voice and playing it back.
  3. Do it for an hour a day every day for accent reduction.

Some people compare their voice to a native speaker from Youtube for example or a song, this is even better.

Using music for accent reduction is fun and helps. When I sing I have less of an accent in Polish and the rhythm of the music helps me pronounce the words.

Programs that have voice recognition and comparison software do not work well for accent reduction.  They are more like toys or selling points.  I have tested these with native speakers and they often give poor results and with foreigners sometimes better results.

Accent reduction

The truth about accent reduction

There are not tricks or magic that will work on dialects reduction or accents reduction for you. The reality is if you want to reduce an accent you must listen to yourself and your brain will be able to tell you if your accent is good or not. The sit and repeat.  Repeat a native speaker recoding and check this by listening to your own accent. But the most important thing is do this everyday for an hour.  In about a year or two you will have reduced your foreign language accent. If you are a lazy person you will not make much progress with accent reduction.

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Languages

Language learning motivation

How do you learn a language? This question begs another question.  Why have some many people tried to learn a language and failed? To me, the answer is obvious.  I have learned and taught languages in Europe for years.  The answer is twofold.
•    The most important reason why people do not learn language is self perception.
•    The second reason is an efficient method.

 motivation and Self perception

People do not think they themselves have language ability. This is the idea that some people are gifted in languages and some are not. Further, there are those gifted that can just meet a language.
This is wrong.
I have taught 100s and 100s s of students in classes and one on one, for many years.  There sometimes is a difference in language ability but it is marginal at best, really in my view  there are no differences.  In the 1000s of students I have taught I have never, ever once met someone who just picked up a language. Not once.

motivation and two false heroes

Two people initially impressed me. I met this Scotsman who claimed he just picked up Polish because it was in the air. He told all the girls this as well as others.  Many were impressed. I checked the facts. Well I found out he studied Russian for 15 years and had a PhD in Slavic languages, further he lived in Poland for 5 years worked at a language school, taking classes off and on.  To me that is not picking up a language because he has a gift, that was 20 years of study.  I met a Polish girl who claimed she was gifted in languages because her English was quite good and better than those in her class.  I asked her when she started studying. She said she started private lessons at age 5. She was 25.  That is not a gift that is 20 years of study.

What older Polish truck drivers can teach you about languages

One group of students was older Polish truck drivers. They wanted to learn English and French to drive in the EU.  Jobs were better paid then in Poland. Most of these guys finished high school 20 years before.  They were not thinking so abstractly like, I can learn or I cannot learn.  They knew they had to learn to put bread on the tables for their families.  You know what. They were able to learn English.   If they can learn English you can learn the language of your choice. It’s all about motivation and the belief you can.  If you think you can you can.  If you think you cannot, you cannot.

Musically gifted people and Language learning motivation

Some people are gifted in music, usually musicians, they just have an ear for it.
Ok I will tell you about two friends of mine. Both equally talented musicians. They are married. Mark and Marta. Marta is a gifted musician, but can barely form an English sentence. Her husband Mark is equally gifted in music but is fluent in English. They are both non native speakers of English. The only difference is Mark studies English and Marta does only from time to time.  Both are musicians with a natural ear for music, but again neither one can meet languages because it’s in the air. One studies and learns the other does not study and does not learn. Learning a language is about studying.

How to learn a language and Language learning motivation

To learn a language set you expectations low.  In one year you can speak a language to a reasonable degree if you study hard, but no one just picks up a language.  Even little children are only saying a few words after 2 years of immersion in a language.
What is my point.  You have the gift to learn languages, even if you are dyslexic or, cannot spell, bad with languages or really think you are .  You do not.
Language is something different then say a talent for basketball or physics.
How? Language is something ever human was built to do. It is part of our brain hardware.  Physics and basketball is not.  Even those who struggle with bellow average IQ or intelligence speak languages. Our brains were not built for basketball, but all of us can speak a language.
A friend of mine had an IQ measured in high school at 89. Yes  his IQ was 89. However, he was fluent in 5 languages and spoke another 5 language at a good level.  He also had language and speech problems. He spoke slow and people called him names growing up. He was my personal friend.  And he did speak 10 languages.  He just loved languages.   If he could do this , you can learn one language.

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Languages

Worlds best cities

City guide and language section for the world.   
City name Language Highlights
CzestochowaPolishMiraculous shine to the Madonna
GdanskPolishSeaside paradise and birthplace of solidarity
Baltic coastPolishAmber capital of the world
Nowa HutaPolishCommunists tried to build a city that rivaled Krakow, they failed, now part of Krakow
PodgorzePolishAustrians tried to build a city that rivaled Krakow, they failed now part of Krakow
KrakowPolishThe ancient royal city of Europe. The largest and oldest market in Europe. Magical city where fairy tales come true.
LublinPolishAncient eastern Polish city with beautiful old streets.
PoznanPolishBeautiful city where Polish is spoken with a musical accent
WarsawPolishPolish capital city full of excitement, shopping, and monuments to the brave rising ’44.
WroctawPolishBaroque center in Silesia, close to Germany and Czech Republic
LodzPolishFamous film and Polish cultural center
ZakopanePolishPolish “Alps”, but less commercial and more charm.
ZamoscPolish400 year old, “off the beaten path” Polish cultural center, featured as a “Unesco world heritage city”.
TorunPolishTorun is the birthplace of Copernicus, Hanseatic-Gothic center
MalborkPolishCastle home of the Teutonic knights, 1475 the Poles defeated the Germans and captured the castle.
BiskupinPolish1300 BC Bronze age city. Amazing for those interested in pre-history.
SandomierzPolishYou would think your in Italy but this is the center of Poland.
MazuryPolishBeautiful Polish lake district
LondonEnglishSecond largest city next to Moscow with great royal buildings
DublinEnglishCapital city of the Irish.
EdinburghEnglishCapital city of Scotland
ManchesterEnglishHome of the famed Manchester United football team.
BostonEnglish400 old city in America, founded in1639
PhiladelphiaEnglishBirthplace of America
ParisFrenchSpared from destruction in ’44, has a romantic gothic feel
BrusselsFrenchCross roads between Romantic Germanic languages
MontrealFrenchSecond largest French speaking city in the world. A cultureal Mecca for North America
QuebecFrenchOld world charm in Canada
OrleansFrenchHome of Joan of Arc
Ruhr areaGermanIndustrial center of Germany
FrankfurtGermanFinancial capital of Europe during the cold war.
ZurichGermanCapital of the peaceful nation of Switzerland
MunichGermanInternational Bavarian city with 10% foreign population.
ViennaGermanViolins, angel trumpets and devil trombones fill the air in this musical city, home of the Habsburgs
BerlinGermanVery unusual underground night life.
MilanItalianFashion capital of Europe
RomeItalianThe center of the world for 1000 years
NaplesItalianFrom Amalfi to Pompeii to the bay of Naples, on of the most stunning cities. Red Coral capital of the world.
SicilyItalianSicily was inhabited by the Latins, Moors, Normans, Greeks and more. Each culture left its impact on this exotic and unsual island.
MadridSpanishThe nexus from which Spanish culture and language spread from.
BarcelonaSpanishBeautiful Spanish coastal city.
ValenciaSpanishThe Valencian or siglo de oro (Golden Age) of Spain leaves its marks on this beautiful Spanish city.
Buenos AriesSpanishHome of the tango and 1920’s fashion center in the Americas
LvivUkrainianThe last city in Europe, center of Europe geographically, Western Ukraine.
KievUkrainianAncient fairy-tale city. Famous 1000 year old cave monasteries. Ancient jewel of the East.
MoscowMoscowRussia
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Languages

Polish cases

Noun Case endings in Polish

Końcówki w poszczególnych

Polish noun cases endings are not as hard as they look. We have create a table to display the noun case declinations. Not every single ending is included as this would confuse you and few Polish native speakers know all the endings and exceptions for Polish cases. However, if you want to practice noun case endings I recommend my www.polishgrammar.com site. These are exercises in noun case ending in Polish..

Polish Nominative case- noun endings

Singular: Liczba pojedyńcza:

Masculine: Ø; -a dom(Ø); mężczyzna

Feminine: -a książka; kobieta

Neuter: -o drzewo; dziecko

Plural: Liczba mnoga:

Masculine: -y; -i domy; mężczyźni

Feminine: -y; -e; -i książki; kobiety

Neuter: -a; -i drzewa; dzieci

Polish Accusative case- noun endings

Singular: Liczba pojedyńcza:

Masculine: Ø; -ę; -a dom(Ø); mężczyznę

Feminine:-ę książkę; kobietę

Neuter: -o drzewo; dziecko

Plural: Liczba mnoga:

Masculine: -y; Ø; -ów domy; mężczyzn(Ø)

Feminine: -y; -e; -i książki; kobiety

Neuter: -a; -i drzewa; dzieci

Polish Instrumental case- noun endings

Singular: Liczba pojedyńcza:

Masculine: -em; -ą domem; mężczyzną

Feminine: -ą książką; kobietą

Neuter: -em drzewem dzieckiem

Plural: Liczba mnoga: Masculine: -ami domami mężczyznami

Feminine: książkami; kobietami

Neuter: -ami; -mi drzewami; dziećmi

Polish Locative case- nouns’ endings

Singular: Liczba pojedyńcza:

Masculine: -u; -ie domu; mężczyźnie

Feminine: -e; -y książce; kobiecie

Neuter: -ie; -u drzewie; dziecku

Plural case: Liczba mnoga:

Masculine: -ach domach mężczyznach

Feminine: -ach książkach; kobietach

Neuter: -ach drzewach; dzieciach

Polish Dative case- noun endings

Singular: Liczba pojedyńcza:

Masculine: -owi; -ie; -u ; mężczyźnie

Feminine: -e; -ie; -y książce; kobiecie

Neuter: -u drzewu; dziecku

Plural: Liczba mnoga:

Masculine: -om domom; mężczyznom

Feminine: -om książkom; kobietom

Neuter: -om drzewom; dzieciom

Polish Genitive case- noun endings

Singular: Liczba pojedyńcza:

Masculine: -u; -y; -a domu; mężczyzny

Feminine: -i; -y książki; kobiety

Neuter: -a drzewa; dzieckan

Plural: Liczba mnoga:

Masculine: ów; Ø domów; mężczyzn(Ø)

Feminine: Ø książek(Ø); kobiet(Ø)

Neuter: Ø; -i drzew(Ø); dzieci

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Languages

Polish Alphabet

The Polish alphabet comes from the Latin alphabet and it is basically the same. The main difference is the extra letters. The good news is once you learn the Polish alphabet spelling and proconciation in Polish should not be a problem as the language is 100% phonitic as are the other Slavic languages. Therefore the Polish aphabet is your key to pronuciation and spelling.

Polish Alphabet – polski alfabet

A Ą B C Ć D E Ę F G H I J K L Ł M N Ń O Ó P R S Ś T U W Y Ź Ż Z

a ą b c ć d e ę f g h i j k l ł m n ń o ó p r s ś t u w y ź ż z

Polish Alphabet contains 32 letters. Specific for polish language are letters: ą, ć, ę, ł, ń, ó, ś, ź, ż.
Old polish alphabet contained 42 letters and 7 “double-marks” dwuznaków, which are still existing in polish.

Pronunciation of Polish letters

A – sounds like “a” in the word “Amish”
C – sounds like “ts” in the word “Tsar”
E – sounds like “e” in the name “Elisabeth”
G – sounds like “g” in the word “fog”
H – sounds like “h” in the word “hello”
I – sounds like “ea” in the word “jeans”
J – long “i” sounds like “e” in word “bye”
K – sounds like “c” in the word “colour”
O – sounds like “a” in the word “tall”
U – sounds like “oo” in thw word “pool”
W – sounds like “v” in the word “love”
Y – sounds like “y” in the word “itty bitty”

Ą – nasal A, sounds like french “bon bon” or “ow” in the word “own”
Ć – sounds like Chinese “chi”
Ę – sounds like “el” in the word “elm”
Ł – sounds like “w” in the word “wedding”
Ń – sounds like the word “knee”
Ó – sounds like polish “u” (pool), it matters only in written polish
Ś – sounds like “shee” in the word “sheets”
Ź – sounds like “ge” in the word “genie”
Ż – sounds like “g” in the word “mirage”

Polish alphabet – Other letters are pronounced in similar way in both languages

Dwuznaki (double-marks) in polish: CH CZ DŹ DŻ DZ RZ SZ sound like one letter, with the exception of DŹ DŻ DZ which are read in usual way.

CH – sounds like a polish “h” and the differend it matters only in written polish;
CZ – sounds like “ch” in the word “chocolate”
RZ – sounds like polish “ż” and the differend it matters only in written polish
SZ – sounds like “sh” in the word “gosh”

Dwuznaki in use – examples:
chleb (bread) , dach (roof)
czas (time), paczka (package)
śledź (herring, tent-peg), chodź (come)
dżem (jam), odżywka (nutrient)
dzwonek (ring), dzbanek (jug)
dziecko (child), godzina (hour) in some “i” folowing “dz” makes it softer and makes it sound like “dź”.
rzeka (river), korzeń (root)
szafa (wardrobe, closet), kosz (basket)

Letters: Q, V, X don’t belong to polish alphabet, yet they’re use in foreign words or loanwords

Pronounciation of polish words is usually very difficult for foreners in the beginning. Besides the spoken polish it may be pretty hard to learn speling rules
in written polish language called “ortografia”. Some letters as you can see above sounds the same but we can’t use them alternatively and we have to follow
a proper rule. This letters are:

“CH” = “H” in spoken polish sounds the same but we have to know which use in written polish
“Ó” = “U”
“RZ” = “Ż”

Examples of words using the Polish alphabet:

CH : Chyba (probably), chętnie (with pleasure), chociaż (though), chwila (moment), chrzan (horseradish)
H : Huta (foundry), hałas (noise), hak (hook), huragan (hurricane), huśtawka (swing)

Ó : Ogórek (cucumber), łódka (boat), kłódka (padlock), łóżko (bed), ogród (garden), lodówka (refrigerator)
U : Buzia (face), usta (lips), ludzie (people), smutek (sadness),budzik (alrm clock), okulary(glasses)

RZ : Morze (sea), rzadko (rarely), rzeczywiście (actually), trzeba (it is necessary), twarz (face)
Ż : Może (maybe), plaża (beach), już (already), książka (book), bliżej (closer), koleżanka (girlfriend), mąż (husband)

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Languages

Romantic Krakow – what to do in Cracow on a date

Where to go on a date in Krakow

It is no scecret that Krakow is a romantic gothic city. It is a city that dates back actually about 50,000 years if you include pre-Slavic history. However, the golden age was in the Middle Ages. The time of castles and knights and damsels. Therefore, if you have any romantic notions or ideals, it is an excellent place for a date.

I actually meet my wife in Krakow and we were married here in a small church at the base of Wawel Castle. So if you want to know where to take a date in Krakow, I know a place or two.

If you are traveling with your boyfriend, husband, girlfriend or wife, Krakow is the place. Krakow’s wandering streets were almost designed for romantic walks, flowing like paths through the city rather than traditional linear grids.

Here are some romantic ideas to explore in magical Krakow.

Take a date in to a real castle. In Krakow on Wawel hill is an ancient castle. You could spend the whole day there seeing the  Royal apartments and the cathedral. Stand on the top and you will see most of the valley.

You can explore the dragon’s cave or sit in outdoor cafe’s. There is even an ancient energy plexus, that is connected to the second Chakra.

The Castle was the center of power for hundreds of years in Europe and the Polish sphere of influence extended from Russia to Western Europe. It was where the Polish kings were crowned and married. Today on any Saturday you will see beautiful Polish lady friends taking pictures there. I took my lady friend there on our wedding day.

Walk with your girlfriend along Planty – the park around the old town is another romantic walk. Remember Krakow was a walled medieval city and in the walls and underground caverns and tunnels are more magic than any Harry Potter book.  Although most of the city walls were taken down over the centuries there are still traces left. The walk around the city is actually a beautiful circular park, these walls and countless historic sites are part of the walk called the “royal way”.

Find a nice Polish girl in a cafe. If you are hip and cool, I am not, Kazimierz is the place to hang out if you want to escape the tourist scene.  The Polish Jewish quarter was once an island but not part of the city as the river Vistula has changed course.

Polish Jewish population lived here for hundreds of year and developed an interesting culture. The traces of this culture can be seen everywhere and give the area a bohemian feel.

The cafes in the old center of Krakow are frequented by the German and UK tourists. The pubs in Kazimierz are where the young Polish hipsters and Krakowians go. It is the Tribeca of Krakow, artsy and trendy. The focal point is the club which is a club with no lights, only candles.

Enchant a girl along the river. Another activity I do is, stroll along the river Wisla (pronounced Veeh- in Polish transliteration).

This is a walk for all four seasons and as many times (maybe over 100 times), I do it and it still enchants me.  In Europe you see couples, in the USA I do not see many. For example, most of the people walking the Vistula are couples arm in arm. I do not see that in the USA.

Along the walkway are numerous views floating coffee shops and even a beach as well as flowers, trees and benches, and magnificent bridges the newest being only for walking, it is the one I use everyday to go shopping.

However, the best spot to hang out is to simply sitting along the river’s grassy slopes reading a book and watching the sun go down, some even drinking wine.

The Wisla river spins and weaves through the romantic city of Krakow, separating it from the ancient fishing town and now of Podgorze.

The river Wisla actually flowed directly though the middle of Cracow in the last century; however,  clever Polish engineers shifted the course and flow of the Vistula to save the old town from potential flooding which happens every ten years. Next to Hala Targowa there is a bridge which crossed the river’s old flow.

Nature is always romantic as it is instinct. Las Wolski is the large green area in Krakow. In this forest you can find wild animals and even boars as well as a Zoo and historical monuments.  There are endless paths to saunter along.

Deep in the forest the Kamedulków monetary are some holy shines and peaceful chapels.  However, girls can visit only a few days a year.

In a room  if you whisper something on the other side of the room someone will hear you because of the dynamics of the way it was built. It has whispering walls which will take the expecting by surprise.

Real love comes from God and spirit. A place to go on Sunday for Church for acceptance and unconditional love is the Dominican church-Although not romantic in the Cosmo or friendship in the city meaning of romantic, it is in the Medieval sense. It is a church that dates back to the 12th century.

It is an example of gothic architecture which is maintained and shines. It is a monastery from another time and place. The church has magnificent architecture and gothic spirals. If you want a look around be aware that during mass times it is standing room only and out the door on a Sunday, go during an off hour.

The Monks and priests in this community are legendary in Cracow for their wisdom and kindness as well as making you laugh.

If you want to know how to find a date in Krakow just ask

Let me know if you are coming to Krakow and I can recommend the insiders tour and things to see. Just leave a comment and I can give you ideas as I live in Malopolska.

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Languages

Rosetta Stone language software review – Does it work?

Rosetta Stone | A personal experience –  Rosetta Stone what you need to know

My name is Mark Biernat and I learn and teach languages in Europe. I am creating LearnFast mp3 and LearnFast software programs for learning languages. The reason I created this page is I get many the people who ask me about purchasing a commercial language program because I write them myself. Most people have heard of RS and are tempted to try it. At first, I said ‘sure try Rosetta Stone’. It is expensive, but if you want, try it. However, it did not work for me and people I know who tried Rosetta Stone. All that I write about Rosetta Stone is based on my own personal experience and my opinion. Further, since I am writing language learning material so I am partial towards my program. However, that does not mean what I write about Rosetta Stone is not valid. If anything it gives me a good perspective. I am not currently in competition with Rosetta Stone. Rosetta Stone has like 31 languages, I am focusing on Slavic languages. In fact, I do not have anything even for sale yet. Further, my first product will be learning a language with music and mp3, very different from the Rosetta Stone. What I write about Rosetta Stone is all for your information, and take it for what it is worth.

Rosetta Stone did not work for me because although the idea sounds great as does Rosetta Stone’s marketing, however, the content and the design of their lessons are horrible if you are trying to learn a language. I know people who bought Rosetta Stone, spent a lot of money and more important time and it did not work. It caused them to be frustrated. I would rather be honest and tell my story, so others do not waste so much time on something they will not be happy with. However, ultimately you can spend the money and try Rosetta Stone for yourself. I would be curious to hear your feedback.

Rosetta based the initial program for all languages on an English language structure. This makes it someone clunky when trying to deal with the complexities of other grammar structures.

Learning a language is blood, sweat and tears no matter what approach you take. If you buy Rosetta Stone or if you take classes, I think to learn a language you have to try a lot of things and find what works for you. But with Rosetta Stone, there will be more blood, sweat, and tears than there has to be.

Rosetta Stone did not work for me because:

  • Rosetta Stone’s lesson vocabulary is not useful. Rosetta Stone has, “boys jump” for example instead of “how are you?”.
  • Rosetta Stone pictures are unclear. You spend too much time guessing the meaning of the image than learning the word.
  • Rosetta Stone has no grammar explained. I am not big on grammar, but adults need some understanding of what is going on, why nouns or verbs are changing. You can buy other programs or books but you need the explanation parallel to the lesson material you are learning. Not Rosetta Stone’s lesson in one direction and a grammar book covering other material. Why spend all that money on Rosetta is you are going to have to buy other things.
  • Rosetta Stone’s translations are in PDF. Any translations Rosetta Stone has is in are in a large separate PDF file, so when you scroll through it takes forever to find what you are looking for.
  • Rosetta Stone is more about guessing than learning. Many people can go directly to Rosetta Stone level 3 in Spanish for example, and guess what picture is correct but that does not mean they can speak the language. I tried this for Chinese, I know no Chinese and at a high level, I was guessing the picture. So a correct answer is more dependent on your ability to test or guess than your ability to learn the language.
  • Rosetta Stone has this voice analysis software, that is only for sales. For me, it never worked and I am techy. It is a joke. My friend who is a native speaker in Polish scored badly for the Polish language and I scored good, and I am not a native speaker. It is just a sales point for Rosetta Stone, but it is not real.
  • Rosetta Stone is a very boring program. Nothing going on except the same old same old pictures. Most people get really tired of doing a few lessons and give up. I was bored out of my mind.
  • Pictures are cheesy. The Pcordialos look like they are from the 1990s, almost comical.
  • No ability to put the Rosetta Stone program to an mp3. Therefore, you are chained to your computer, and if you are like me, you want the option at least to have it on mp3 so you can take it with you to the park or other places with easy, not spend more time on your computer.
  • Rosetta Stone installs only on a disk not directly on your computer, so the disk will spin around when you use it and for me, it is mildly irritating. There are many more reasons, but I was frustrated after trying to learn Polish with Rosetta Stone. It was more a waste of time than money.
  • Rosetta Stone is a cookie cutter. Rosetta Stone is manufactured by a large company with every language structured the same. A cookie cutter approach. To fit all languages into one framework as Rosetta Stone does is beyond me. The cookie cutter approach fits well into Rosetta Stone’s marketing model, however, it does not work if you want to learn a language. For example, Polish is very different from English and English is different from Chinese, but for Rosetta, it is all basically the same. I learn and teach languages. I tried Rosetta Stone Polish and it was ridiculous. In the first lesson three noun cases with no explanation. I think with the Rosetta Stone approach you will get confused and frustrated when you try to learn your target language. But try it if that is what you want to do.
  • Rosetta Stone is a marketing company. Rosetta Stone has good ideas and the creator of Rosetta Stone was innovative, but Rosetta Stone’s forte at this juncture is marketing. It is a marketing company with bright shiny yellow web pages and a big sales budget. On the other hand, LearnFast took years of personal work and creativity on my part to create.
  • Rosetta Stone did not work for me. I have never known someone that Rosetta Stone has worked for.

An alternative to Rosetta Stone

My program is the best alternative to Rosetta Stone. In fact, there is no comparison if you want to learn a language. My program has taken five years of my life to create. I am an American that teaches and learns languages in Krakow, Poland. I used my own creativity and brain to think of a way to help you learn languages. Further, I live in a flat in Krakow (Podgorze), Poland and have had the help of amazing creative talent here in Poland to make something really unique and special. I am not a marketing company. I simply have a love for languages and created something to help others. I can not touch Rosetta in terms of their marketing machine, however, they can not touch my product in terms of effectiveness and my personal creativity. I am using the beta of my program (actually the alpha) to learn Russian.

Rosetta Stone cost

The cost of Rosetta Stone is very high, their idea people like to pay( believe it or not). If you pay a lot, then people will value it more. But there is no correlation between the price and its effectiveness.

Is Rosetta Stone bad?

Rosetta stone is not bad, however, I have used their products personally, spent a lot of money and time using Rosetta Stone, and it did not get me anywhere, except frustrated. I could guess the pictures during Rosetta stone lessons, but It did not help me speak the language. Rosetta Stone looks good and has excellent marketing, but it did not work for me. Rosetta has a very good idea, but it does not work, at least for me, nor anyone I know who bought their product. However, the idea is interesting.  I would recommend it if you have a lot of money, it is on par with a gadget. The company is respected and nothing wrong with it, yet I just do not have the money to be spending on such things. It is a cost-benefit analysis as well as a practical one.

Categories
Languages

Language Brain

  • All thoughts have a basis in the physical brain (although I believe in a soul).
  • To change the physical brain you have to stimulate it with the external senses.
  • Stimulate the brain’s via correct sensory input and you will learn.

So if the mind is governed by the physical brain and all other physical processes of the body, all we have to do is identify what is the most
way to stimulate the brain via the optimal sensory input to develop language skills, correct? Yes. It is that simple. There is always an optimal way in everything in life.

What does language involve?
It involves Memory, memory recall, working memory, the ability to imagine and construct ideas, to create metaphors and think in abstractions. 

Numerous areas of the brain are used. Broca’s area is
the base but virtually every area of the higher cortical regions are used.
Some languages use more than others depending on the construct of the language. For example, the Chinese spoken by a native speaker uses a much broader area of the brain than English spoken by an English speaker.
So how can you train your brain and all these areas of your
brain to think in a new language? The good new is if you have learned
to speak once you can do it again in another language, even
fluently. If have never learned a language after the age of 8 you never
will. Early on you did most of the work to learn a second language when
you learned your first. The imaginative, abstract, metaphorical
components of language are in place. You have to now learn the
vocabulary and basic grammatical structures. For example, knowing only a few words in Polish, I was able to write a simple poem in
Polish. Here is the English translation.

I am waiting
I am waiting
Every night I see you in my dreams
When I awake you are gone
I am waiting

My point is you already know 99% of what you need to know to learn a
foreign language. I was able to think abstractly and imagine and to construct the poem with the thinking skills I learned as a child, just use new vocabulary.
You also know how to think in abstractions,
put ideas together. What is left?.  Really just the vocabulary and grammar.
The grammar will come when you listen to the language if you learn the words. You are 99.9% of the way there then right? Yes.
What physical part of the brain is the most important for learning a second language? I would nominate the sea horse shaped area called the
hippocampus. This is a component of the limbic area or midbrain involved in memory formation and recall.

So again what is the best way to learn a language?
What is the best way to learn a language is to learn the words.
How? Memory. Memory and memory recall. What is the best way to memorizes? Exercises . You can use memory tricks such as association or visualization found in any memory book; these are great, but without testing and retesting you will not make great progress. Since the brain responds to sensory input. The only practical way to stimulate the brain is through sensory receptors such as eyes and ears.
Its the way we are built. As much as science progresses our brain still receives information through our
eyes and ears etc.,  life after all is a sensory experience.


When the top universities and hospital retrain areas of the brain after tragic stoke or damage, how do they do it? Not through tricks or gimmicks, but through exercise. With new confidence iny universities are using basic exercises, training and retraining and getting great results. Rehabilitation does not include repeating tapes
or reading long dialogues or memory tricks. To build and rebuild ECPs
and new neuro path ways, neuro science uses focus concentrated
exercise.

With no tricks at all, testing and retesting will build your natural memory and working memory which are critical components for IQ and higher cogitative function. With exercise, your brain will respond faster than your body does to weight lifting or aerobics.
It will naturally secrete nerve growth factors or NGF. When your brain receives external stimulation from the , such as the ears,
a neurons creates a electro-chemical connection or a pathway. This stimulation changes the physical brain. If you had an electron microscope that could somehow observe this in the
, you would actually see your brain growth on a micro level,
with each new byte of information it stores. However, your brain is
if it wants to keep this pathway in use. brain tries
if it will ever use this byte of information again.


The neuro connections are like a small path through the woods that will be quickly overgrown. However, with repeated use, it will become a well paved bike trail, then a road, then a superhighway.

In conclusion, the brain responds and learns through repeated mental
challenges, if they are fun all the better, if you have a passion
this is the best. “All great things in life are achieved with
passion.” – Hegel