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Polish is the hardest language to learn

Polish – the hardest language to learn in the world

What is the hardest language to learn for English Speakers? Take a guess; it is not Chinese or Japanese. It is Polish. Polish has seven cases and Polish grammar has more exception than rules. German for example has four cases all which are logical, seem to have no pattern or rules; you have to learn the entire language. Asia languages usually do not have cases, or at least like that.

Look at Mr. Wise Old Owl get stumped the Polish language.

Polish – hardest language pronunciation

The Pronunciation is eons harder than Asia language as it usually has long tong twisting consonants. For example a Polish sentence might look like this:

  • W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie i Szczebrzeszyn z tego słynie.
  • Wyindywidualizowaliśmy się z rozentuzjazmowanego tłumu.

Further Polish people rarely hear foreign speak their language and with no accent or regional variation than pronunciation must be exact or they will have no idea what you are talking about.

So the next time you have heard someone has learned Polish have some respect. Polish is the hardest language to learn. But the truth is I doubt you will hear a native English Speaker, speak Polish beyond a few phrases. Can it be learned? Yes you can How to learn a language like I did. People do, it just takes humility.

Here is my argument that dispels the myth of Asian or other languages the most difficult

The Polish language has a Latin Alphabet, but the free ride stops there. Just how hard is Polish to speak? Well consider this, I have studied Polish most of my life, my parents speak Polish and I lived in Poland for about a decade and my wife is Polish, I have citizenship. Oh and some more, I have a passion for learning and even a nack, yet I would not say I speak the Polish language anything close to perfect. Here is how to a friend of mine learned the hardest language in the world. If I were to study French, Spanish or even Chinese I think I would gain a command of the spoken language that would surpass my ability in Polish perhaps in months. Norman Davies a lifelong champion of Poland has made a similar comments. It is not just the crazy grammar, or pronunciation, it is that the people who use it are so soft-spoken.

  • Many people will argue that other languages are more difficult based on some official textbook understanding of linguistics. Hogwash,  they ignore the most vital component in this ranking formula, that is the culture where it is spoken. For me it an unbelievable oversight. They perpetuate a paradigm of lies based on skewed weights and measures.

American English vs Polish – the way people speak determines how accessible a language is to being absorbed

Here is a concrete example. If you have ever heard some American coming from a club chances are you heard their rounded American English vocalized all the way from down the street, and that would be the girls, mind you. In contrast Slavic people, maybe because of their experience with communism like to stay in the shadows and conversations are almost in whispers. Or perhaps they are just more modest and there is not such a premium placed on self-assertion. It is very refreshing to be in a group and everyone is not trying to impress the other.

  • A linguistic group’s social conventions regarding openness, receptiveness and how people communicate with each other and foreigners, is the most important aspects of language learning. It is eons more important than grammar or the script they use.

Consider this metaphor, it is like comparing a group of friends inviting and welcoming vs an elitist closed club that has little conversation. This is only a metaphor or analogy to convey a point.  Where would you learn more? Similarly it is easy to go to the USA or converse with people in English as the English speaking culture is extroverted. That alone makes it a breeze to learn.

In contrast Slavic countries are good people but there is not a lot of boisterous openness. If you try to speak their language they will switch to English. It is just the culture or laugh and switch to English.

If you take a class in the language it is geared toward grammar rules and lessons. This is what they were taught in a post communist Eastern European classical education with a focus on form, than practicality.

It is the culture’s attitude, even is subconscious that determines if a language is child’s play or arduous. Polish are polite and kind but they are not even aware how introverted the culture is, which makes a formidable hurdle for your Broca’s and Wernicke’s area.

Again not that any of this is wrong or bad, it is just an obstacle that many people do not calculate when they are drawing up a list of the hardest languages in the world.

This is just one aspect of one single word in Polish, there were not enough interactions to place on the tree. Can you imagine how your brain would grow with an education in this language.

What about pronunciation?

When it comes to pronunciation, I remember when I first started to study Polish, my own family, who understood the context could not make out what I was saying. They were use to me still could not understand me. The Polish ear is not accustom to foreigners speaking their languages so they reject any sound that is not precisely native. This was not the case when I attempted to speak other languages like French, Spanish, Chinese with strangers. Basically when you try to communicate with a Pole and your pronunciation is off by an increment, you will be shut down. Therefore, pronunciation is interdependent on the cultural aspect of language.

Grammar seven cases and uncountable exceptions

Grammar in Polish is hard but what makes it harder is similar to the above, if your grammar is less than exact you get a wall. It is less so than with pronunciation, but think about how many foreigners speak English poorly and no one bats an eye.  Well in Poland you miss a case than you get a smirk. They are just not use to foreigners speaking Polish.

Again this is not a criticism of the culture at all, I love the people and country, it is just all the world does not interact like Americans do with linguistic, flexibility, extraversion and assimilation.

Lechitic languages  or Western Slavic languages are universally laborious because of the grammar, but have had many friends to learned it and it is worth the effort.  If you can speak on your brain is opened up to new experiences and you would be part of that inner circle, plus there are many beautiful girls in Eastern Europe to connect with, I am just being honest.

By Mark Biernat

I live in with family between two worlds, US and Europe where I create tools for language learning. If you found my site you probability share my passion to be a life long learner. Please explore my site and comment.

150 replies on “Polish is the hardest language to learn”

Yes, I totally agree. I’ve made national anthem learning an interest of mine and now I’m up to the Polish National Anthem (Dąbrowski’s Mazurka). I’ve learned anthems of the USSR, Imperial Russia, France, Israel, Greek, EU (in Latin) and even Chinese. I’ve been able to get through memorizing four lines in a day (at least), but I’m getting nowhere with Poland. The only line I can remember (or even correctly pronounce is: Marsz, marsz, Dabrowski. By far, this anthem, even compared to the Chinese and Russian transliterations is very difficult. I even have difficulty listening to the words as they sing in the anthem (maybe because it’s because the music is powerful), so I have to go find someone on the internet singing it acapella. I’ve found quite a few people, but as I read a line like “Z ziemi włoskiej do Polski,” I’m reading the first part, when they’re already to “do Polski.” This is going to be quite a challenge!

P.S. I googled “Polish is the hardest language to learn in the world” out of frustration and this page happened to agree so much with me!

Hi, I’m from Poland, so I’m native polish speaker. And I agree with you. Polish is very hard even for people from Poland, although they think they can speak correctly. There’s a lot of people in my contry, who makes awful grammatical mistakes like “poszłem” instead of “poszedłem”, using incorrect grammatical cases, and so on. Many of Poles also have a big problem with orhography. They use “ch” instead of “h”, changes “rz” with “ż”, or “u” with “ó”. Very common mistake is also writing “wogóle” and even “wogule” instead of “w ogóle” (at all) and “wziąść” instead of “wziąć” (take). Of course there are lots of people who can their language really good. Did you ever hear about professor Jan Miodek? 🙂

And there’s a mistake in this blog entry in first weird polish sentence:should be “W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie”. You forgot about “W” in the beginning 🙂

I agree. I’m Polish, but I’m nearly average- I think so. Grammar and Orthography was always my weaker side.
After all, I liked writing poetries.

Hi

I found this page intriguing and amusing. I was born in Poland and am therefor a native speaker, but I’ve always been interested with culture and language of other people and studied hard. Now, I know 6 different languages, of which I have to say I know Polish the least. It’s an amazing, beautiful language but so hard to master, no matter whether you have gotten it in your blood…

..no wonder Conrad wrote in English! 😀

It’s worth studying it though – Polish people (me included) are ridiculously proud of their versatile language and they appreciate more then any other culture I’ve encountered if a tourist or a foreigner tries to master at least a few simple phrases!

Hmmmm. . . . . . but in regards to the writing system, Japanese or Chinese would be harder. In Japanese you have to remember 2 syllabries each with about 109 syllables and about 1800-2000 kanji characters (4000 or more if you are in university) and in Chinese you have to remember 1000’s and 1000s of Chinese characters. Also japanese have alot of verb forms that don’t exist in english or polish and that also reflect japanese culture.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uchi-soto
Chinese ‘tones’ are alot harder and if you’ve studied Chinese you’d actually know.
oh and have you heard of Finnish? They have 15 noun cases.
you should read this too: language-learning-advisor.com/hardest-language-to-learn-survey.html

Good points made, however, what is more important to speak a language or to write a language? I think speaking. Also many people repeat the mantra, what about tones in Chinese etc; my rebuttal is that Polish pronunciation for a foreigner is much harder than tones in an Asian language. Polish is just about exceptions, further every single word changes based on tense, case, number, and gender. My reply to Hungarian cases is there may be more cases but they at more like prepositions rather than like Polish cases. That is why I still think Polish is the hardest language to learn.

. . maybe. . . . . .I don’t particularly thnk that one language is the ‘hardest to learn’ because the difficulty of learning another language is dependent on several factors such as how similar the language is to your own, cultural differences and so on. For example it might be easier for a person who speaks english as their first language to learn french but not an asian person because the syntax, grammar, and culture are completely different. Likewise a person who speaks a slavic or a Lethitic Language would probably find Polish easier to learn than a person who speaks a Germanic Language. Think about these factors before making such a bold statement. Even though a Polish person finds Polish difficult, you can say that about anybody elses language
Ps:
A lot of Asian languages don’t use tones. Tones are mainly found in Chinese. Japanese ( or the japonic Language Family) and Korean are ‘Language Isolates’ which means that they have no relationships with other languages in the world. ( On the other hand Polish is a slavic Language ) and Just as a side note even though every word in polish changes depending on gender, personhood, animacy, number, formalities and etc they don’t change depending on ‘politeness’. Eg lets take the verb iść which means to walk or go to say you are going is ‘(Ty) idziesz’ right? well in japanese it would be ‘iku’ which is plain, (Anata wa) ‘ikimasu’ which is polite, ‘irrashaimasu’ which is honourific, ‘ukagaimasu (or ukagau)’ which is humble and ‘mairimasu (or mairu)’ which is another polite form.

Hungarian, which has 35 cases as opposed to the 7 in Polish, is probably harder to learn. But if you want even more challenge try learning Tabassaran, a Caucasian language that has 48 cases.

Polish is not the hardest language in the world, it is not so hard, as here speaks about it. There are a lot of languages, which are MORE hard than Polish – Japanese, Basque, Icelandic, Hungarian, and many others. How about Kabardian (ergative Caucasian language)? Its pronunciation is really hard. For example, кIухъузыгъэкхъуазIу (tc’huhwuzeugheqwazuheu) or just лI (th-l’) – common words.

And sentences like “szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz” are just the tongue-twisters, not more.

I don´t agree , harder is slovak and czech because too have harder grammar then polish and everybody who learn slovak or czech talk that it is harder than polish or germans and romans languages

Yes, polish is hard language, but people who think is the hardest, should talk fast in hungarian 😉

oh please czech. Polish has 17 cases can by the way hungarian has about 14. Hungarian is hard but not as hard as polish. Try to speak polish very fast. Czech and slovak are deffinetly not hard. I would not even put them as hard they have 7 cases only and its an easy language to learn. My friends tell me that polish is harder than hungarian. I guess it is true. Im polish it is a complicated language to learn as is hungarian but im am possitivley sure that polish is harder.

Polish is pretty hard to learn, but I don’t think it’s the hardest language to learn. The pronunciation isn’t easy though. It took me two month to pronounce sz or cz.

Hello,
I found this page and have to tell you my opinion, I am sorry if I am interrupting!

I am 29 years old and have mastered to learn more than 30 languages… I am not fluent in all of them, only in seven, and the reason is that I wanted to focus on the languages that wouldn’t mix up too much =)
For example I learned French immediately after learned Spanish and this was so confusing that I stopped.
Right now I am fluent in English, Swahili, Hebrew, Japanese, Hungarian, Zulu and Icelandic.
I am certain this sounds weird, but I actually REALLY struggled with two languages: Basque (because I am biased in that case) and Polish.
I had some hard issues with those two, but Czech, Russian, Korean or even Japanese (which is surely considered by many people of the world as hardest language) were peanuts.
My father is Hungarian my mother is Japanese, that is why I learned early in my life how to deal with three languages at the same time, since I grew up in the US.

So for me, I agree Basque and Polish are very complex. Other languages follow a certain pattern, which I can understand and follow but those two…

@Anna, I am really impressed at your polyglot skills. And thank you for the comment, I have had others how study languages like you say Polish is unlike any other language in terms of being hard, but once you learn Polish other languages are easy.

@David, Explain yourself. You leave a one line comment about the hardest language to learn but no backup. Icelandic is a Germanic language that uses noun declinations. So what. Many of the words are like English of course book – bok, house -hus, hair – har etc. Also the words tend to be short and easy pronunciation and more important easy on your working memory. Polish is a much harder language to learn for many reasons.

Well, I think this article is highly exaggerated. A phrase like: “W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie i Szczebrzeszyn z tego słynie. Wyindywidualizowaliśmy się z rozentuzjazmowanego tłumu.” is a famous tongue twister for the Poles! In fact, Polish pronounciation is very similar to Spanish, although I know that lots of Americans have a problem with that one too. The writing may look scary if you haven’t learned lesson 1. Letter aggregates like “sz”, “cz” have an exactly one pronunciation.

Grammar is definitely not on the easy side, especially for an English speaker who is used to having very little grammar. But on the other hand, it was difficult for me to grasp the idea of a perfect tense too! heheh

@Melvana What are you kidding? close to Spanish? comparing Polish with the perfect tense in English. Thanks for the comment but … no way Jose. Spanish is very easy. In English nothing changes, in Polish every word in every sentence changes in sometimes 36 different forms. Comparing English tenses with Polish grammar. Amazing – In the words of a Jagiellonian professor friend of mine, Polish is 100 times harder than English. While in English the perfect tense is what Europeans learn in School for exams (but do not need in real life) in reality the primary tense in English is the simple tense and the perfect tense is not that important, and Americans (78% of the English speaking world) do not really use it. While in Polish every grammar point is important or Polish people will have trouble understanding you.

Hi,

Have you ever heard about Lithuanian language? I have learn Polish just by listening in two months (not very good, but i can understand and aswer simple questions), and only because this language is so similar to Russian language.
I am lithuanian and my language is the oldest Indo-European language and
still exist. If you want to find KEY to all world language just learn Lithuanian (you will understand which language is the hardest language to learn 🙂 ) Sanskrit is very similar to Lithuanian language, when I read text in sanskrit, I feel like reading my grandma’s written book 🙂
I speak in English, German, French, Russian, Polish, Spanish, Norwegian, Latvian.

markbiernat said, “in Polish every word in every sentence changes in sometimes 36 different forms”,
well, in lithuanian language there are 147 different forms 🙂

Every comment on this page is an overly simplistic analysis of the language learning process. Such simplistic regard of the acquisition of foreign languages is what often leads people to believe that learning a language is hard. I disagree that Polish is harder than English. My native language is Hungarian, though I have spent the last four years in England. I of course learned Russian in my youth.

I spent three months in Cracow and, with the help of a dictionary, a polite friend and a grammar book, I had no trouble making myself understood. All it takes is a positive attitude and the desire to learn. The miraculous mind of man is more than capable, given a little wit and a lot of patience, to compensate via acquisition for that, which rote memorization can never achieve.

Learn the natural way- absorb. Simply counting declensional “forms” to quantify the supposed difficulty of a language is a simplistic approach, and will only lead one to despair. Languages such as Japanese or any of the indigenous American tongues would likely pose greater problems for learners of European origin, due to the sheer difference in the way thought is organized in these languages.

I disagree – I think that some languages are easier some harder to learn but you right :
Learn the natural way – absorb is the best. But when you want to know language (really know, not only communicate) you have to try different ways.

Mihaly said,

“Every comment on this page is an overly simplistic analysis of the language learning process. Such simplistic regard of the acquisition of foreign languages is what often leads people to believe that learning a language is hard. I disagree that Polish is harder than English. My native language is Hungarian, though I have spent the last four years in England. I of course learned Russian in my youth.

I spent three months in Cracow and, with the help of a dictionary, a polite friend and a grammar book, I had no trouble making myself understood. All it takes is a positive attitude and the desire to learn. The miraculous mind of man is more than capable, given a little wit and a lot of patience, to compensate via acquisition for that, which rote memorization can never achieve.

Learn the natural way- absorb. Simply counting declensional “forms” to quantify the supposed difficulty of a language is a simplistic approach, and will only lead one to despair. Languages such as Japanese or any of the indigenous American tongues would likely pose greater problems for learners of European origin, due to the sheer difference in the way thought is organized in these languages.”

Polish will be easier for you because you are Hungarian and also know Russian. This thread is talking about native English speakers. I Think polish would be one of th emost difficult languages to learn for an english speaker because of the weird sounds of ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ? and d?. Try to saying “?d?b?o” (Blade of grass) or Pch?a (Flea). Those words are hard to say. A “P” sound followed by a “H” sound followed by a “W” sound is hard as hell to pronounce.

and also don’t forgot the sound of the polish “R”. Pretty much every polish word has a rolled “R”

markbiernat said
“@Melvana What are you kidding? close to Spanish? comparing Polish with the perfect tense in English. Thanks for the comment but … no way Jose. Spanish is very easy. In English nothing changes, in Polish every word in every sentence changes in sometimes 36 different forms. Comparing English tenses with Polish grammar. Amazing – In the words of a Jagiellonian professor friend of mine, Polish is 100 times harder than English. While in English the perfect tense is what Europeans learn in School for exams (but do not need in real life) in reality the primary tense in English is the simple tense and the perfect tense is not that important, and Americans (78% of the English speaking world) do not really use it. While in Polish every grammar point is important or Polish people will have trouble understanding you.”

Hi everyone. I think this is a reasonably correct comparison since both are flexive languages, obviating their respective complexity. On the other hand, as Markbiernat simplifies so categorically, if we are reducing everything to just 3 tenses and 2 or 3 cases (if any), where is that hard language? This is no new, it’s been already said above on japanese and chinese, and other languages: the more content, the more complexity, more particles, cases, tenses… I just can speak spanish and english (some bulgarian), but try to speak rich and expressive spanish with many of its tenses and estructures. Moreover, also said before, the challenge and atraction on learning a language (as a hobby) lies on the gain of mastery on/of it. (¿?) Personally, I like bulgarian and hungarian pretty much.
Interesting blog
see you

Lithuanian language is more harder than polish..

Grazvyda, Why do you say that Lithuanian i a harder language to learn than Polish?

^___^ im polish and half japanese
polski i japonski

“w” is pronounced “v” if anyone wants to know

Hi all
I respect you all for your intelligence and ability to learn and compare complex languages such as Polish, etc.
However, does it really matter what language is the hardest???

okay tell you what u can never bill a langauge as “HARDEST TO LEARN”. I’ll tell you what language is hard to learn- extinct ones which no ones knows how to speak. Those are the hardest.

I mean, with all other languages, I’m Polish but born in Australia i learnt polish first. so for me -obviously- slavic langauges aren’t much of a big deal. Then having learnt english after and going to school studying french it’s easy.

The more languages you learn, the easier it is to learn another one. because i know polish and russian, i can see links in Latvian, for example. Knowing english, i can understand bit of german, and knowing French, i can understand bit of Italian too.

Now i’m studying Indonesian at university, and THAT is harder ONLY because it’s an asian language, (thnakfully sum words r like dutch 😛 ).

So which language is the hardest? those which no longer exist and no one knows how to speak. pOssibly maybe that’s Olmec.

well, i agree with nieszkaa. i think it really doesn’t matter which language is the hardest, as every language has its difficulties. it just depends on the level you want to achieve. i just began to learn polish and i think it is quite logical and phonetically definitely easier than czech. my native tongue is german and i can only judge the languages i study or have studied. so, i would say that irish is definitely the hardest for me and i doubt that i ever get fluent. but i would never say it ís THE hardest language around. if you want to say so, you have to know at least the basic structures in each and every language on this planet. so, have you ever studied navajo? a kaukasian language? an ergative language like basque? georgian? i haven’t, but i know they all are grammatically more complex than polish and so are many more. so what? i’m trying to learn ojibwe and although it’s absolutely alien and strange to me, i really like it and that makes it certainly easier than a language which hurts my ears.
so, what makes a language difficult? many cases? complex verbal paradigms? strange phonemes? huh? it’s really funny that people always talk about cases to judge if a language is difficult. i’ve done quite a few languages and cases have never been a problem. they are among the first things you learn in any inflectional language (the 15 cases in finnish are just a joke, actually it is a really simple system). i think the main problem in learning foreign languages is pronounciation and accent. and here, polish isn’t that tough.

@Eve: lithuanian is not the oldest IE-language still exist. it’s got exactly the same age as english or russian or hindi or all the other ones. it’s just the latest recorded…

@Mia: “[…] languages such as Polish, etc. However, does it really matter what language is the hardest???”
i totally agree

This article is just wrong. There was a study done by the defense language institute in the US and Polish is a level 3 language along with many others. Level 4 languages include; Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. If Polish was unusually difficult for you to learn compared to any of these languages, then you are unlike most American native English speakers who learn a second language at the language defense institute.

Furthermore, arguing that the grammar is difficult because of case is very short sighted. What about the endless particles that exist in Korean. Most English native speakers do not even know what a “particle” is.
Pronounciation is also highly debatable. Polish pronunciation is not easy, but see if you can get a Korean to understand you when you say, “떡.”
Polish might be the “hardest” in your opinion, but I have found so study that backs you up…here’s on backing me up… dliflc.edu

Gregory – Objectivity is the essence of intelligence. Do not just quote someone else article. This is not the way to think. Give your own detailed analysis. Make a reasonable argument based on personal experience. I have a lot of experience with these languages. Polish is the hardest language to learn

ok….
here is my “objective” analysis…..
I know Polish about as well as i know Korean. I have lived in Korea for over three years, whereas i have studied Polish only with my wife (who is Polish). We agree that Korean is more difficult than Polish to learn. She is a native speaker, and I have learned Polish from a solely English native speaker perspective. There is your “objective” cough – subjective – perspective. The Language Defense Institute agrees with me…. How about you offer some “objective” view. — I have a lot of experience with these languages…Polish is NOT the hardest to learn.

by the way, give me a more “objective” perspective than the Defense Language Institute. Shall we redefine “objective?” Does “objective” now mean a “personal” experience that trumps a scientific research analysis?

@Greg, First, I have read your comments and they are good. Thanks for the comments sorry if I am very strong about my feelings on this.
Objective, Asian languages do not have cases generally. Alot do not even have grammar per say, its very easy. The sounds are short and clear even though they have tones. Very different from Polish. I base this on personal experience and feedback from others. I will set up a Organization and call it “the scientific university for scientific objective research or language science. Does that means it is better than people conveying their experience with learning to me? Not always. To establish a fact it tasks time, and looking at it from many different angels. Polish is very hard no matter what way you look at it. If you personally were to learn Polish and Korean, I think you would learn Korean faster. And Polish people when you try to speak Polish would give you strange looks, like – what is this guy trying to say.

I live in Korea, and I was married in Poland. I am very familiar with “strange looks.” My response to that in short is — Koreans are much thicker about understanding foreigners speaking their language than Poles — Poles understand me better and give me fewer strange looks.

As far as case is concerned, Korean has case. In fact in my opinion they have uber-case. The “Particles” i referred to earlier are annoyingly numerous and blur the line of the function of prepositions and case. Please do not tell anyone that Korean has “no grammar per se” you will embarrass yourself if the person knows anything about Korean. It is simply an absurd suggestion, it is like claiming that a language has no nouns, it’s simply impossible. While case is complicated in Polish, language difficulty does not end there, and Korean case exists.

Particles can change a word so drastically that the words they are attached to become nearly unidentifiable. The grammar in Korean has such a different approach that it is difficult to conceptualize. For example, things like “despite” or tag questions become verb conjugations. Expressing concepts like, “really! that is surprising!” can concisely be communicated by adding a particle to a verb or a noun depending on the concept.

Furthermore, the Korean formality matrix is two dimensional whereas Polish like most European languages is linear. The honorific speech in Korean changes nouns and verbs. To complicate things there are different rules for formal and informal. Korean has a way to speak honorifically, yet informally, that is whack!

I have studied Polish and Korean, and I was able to learn Polish much faster than Korean despite living in Korea.

Also, the language institute has been teaching languages over a long period of time, and they do look at language from many different angles when assessing the difficulty level.

I agree with you that Polish is a difficult language, but to say that it’s the hardest language to learn is in itself a subjective statement–some people will find it more difficult/easier than others. In my case, for example, Korean seems to be harder to learn than Polish.

Greg as in your other comments – you do not read. Or at least you do not read English. I did not say Korean has no cases – I said ‘generally Asian languages do not have cases’. If you can not read English I do not trust your ideas about languages.

Gee I hope you do not teach English. You would look kind of foolish if you can not read English.

Further what you call a case in Korean is nothing like Polish. Polish has the most complex case system – also Hungarian and Finnish.

I would have to hear your Polish. I think to say I have studied Polish – I believe you can speak some words and get by and converse but I would image that you are not super.

Further My friend teaches Asian languages in NYC and has written books on Asian languages. He said – Its very easy – His students are speaking the Asian language of their choice in about 25 hours to some level. – Minus the writing. _ While Polish he could not learn.

Greg your joking again right? Unlike most European languages, Korean does not conjugate verbs using agreement with the subject, and nouns have no gender.

Greg – Korean almost has no grammar! Your joking – You can not say that with no verbs that conjurgate – no gender etc and that Korean case your referred to is very debatable if you compare it to a the Polish case system. Korean has little grammar. But I appreciate your comments – we just see things differently.
Polish is the hardest language to learn.

Dear very arrogant man,

I believe your attempt to simplify the complexity of Korean is ethnocentric, and to some level offensive.
You can chant “Korean has almost no grammar” all you want, you are wrong.
You can accuse me of joking because Polish assigned gender to nouns, but you needn’t lecture me about Polish grammar. Ja mowie Po Polsku, Moja Zona jest Polska, my prawie zawsze Po Polski w domu mowiemy!
You can insist that somehow Polish is surely the hardest language, but in fact you are simply expressing your opinion that is not backed by research. Polish might be the hardest language for…Chinese people to learn, I have no data on that, but it most certainly is not for English speakers.
Saying Korean has no grammar is not only false and arrogant, but it is IMPOSSIBLE for a language not to have grammar. I do not know where you got your false information about Korean grammar, but I will waste a few moments to explain a few of the complexities.

YOU do not understand! Korean conjugates verbs and they must agree with the subject depending if the subject is;
1) someone you want to honor and be formal to as well.
2) someone you want to honor but can be informal with.
3) someone you do not need to honor but you want to be formal with
4) someone you do not need to honor and do not want to be formal with

Those are examples where Korean conjugates to agree with the subject. Korean takes verb conjugation further by offering different conjugations for questions, statements, propositions and orders. In all of these cases the previously mentioned four different relationships to the subject need to be taken into consideration. Furthermore, there are numerous other situations where you conjugate verbs for different meanings altogether, such as “Hey, you speak Korean well, and that is surprising to me.” So in Korean you can concisely conjugate meaning into the verb ‘speak,’ the sentence can loosely be thought of like “You(nun) Korean language(rul) well speak(nea-yo)” or you could tweak the meaning and have it mean “I just realized you can speak Korean well,but did not notice that at first” by conjugating it, again loosely, as “You(nun) Korean language(rul) well speak(get-ku-nyo).” The list of these bizarre verb conjugation goes on and on.
There are also aspects of grammar in Korean that do not exist in Polish, such as count words. For example, people = “sa-ram” and 3 = sam, but you can’t say sam saram if you want to say 3 people, you must say “sam pun.” They have another counting system as well, so you often say “set” instead of “sam” in which case you would say, “set myeong.”
In Korean, your mother’s brother is your “way-sam-chun” but your father’s brother is your “kun-abeoji.” That complication does not end there; Koreans have thought of words for relationships I never dreamed of even existing.

I could dazzle you with more ways that Korean complexity makes gender (WHICH IN POLISH YOU NEED ONLY LOOK AT THE ENDING) and case (which overlaps itself multiply –> Kopnelem duze krzeslo. Duze krzeslo jest ladne. LOOK AT THAT! Duze krzeslo does not change, despite it being in different cases)–look like child’s play, or you can take my word for it….and my wife’s, who is a native Polish speaker…and the United States Defense Language Insiitute’s, whose job it is to teach language in the most efficient way possible. Or you can acknowledge that perhaps your ability to master Korean (do you speak Korean, by the way?) was unique and make sure you state that Polish’s rank as “the hardest language” was awarded by you, and you alone.

Oops, I missed your snide comment,

You said,
“Greg, as in your other comments – you do not read. Or at least you do not read English. I did not say Korean has no cases – I said ‘generally Asian languages do not have cases’. If you can not read English I do not trust your ideas about languages.

Gee, I hope you do not teach English. You would look kind of foolish if you can not read English.”

Ahem….
First of all, I never said that you said that Korean has no case, I simply pointed out that it exists since you seem to base Polish’s complexity solely on case.
You said,
“Objective, Asian languages do not have cases generally. Alot do not even have grammar per say, its very easy,” in response to my comment in which I challenged your position largely on experience in Korean. So, I might have concluded that you were referring to Korean. I would be correct according to your last post where you said,

“Greg – Korean almost has no grammar!”

I would advise you not be too arrogant about my English by the way. I have tried to be civil and not patronize you, I hate to be pretentious, and I hate snobs. However, it gave me a vomit-like taste in my mouth when I noticed your profound attempt at wit at mocking me when it was not so much my inability in English, as it was your inability to argue on topic since I had referred to Korean in the post to which you were responding.

Oh, and seriously dude, I would be careful about mocking people’s English, not only is it just rude, but you make more than your share of mistakes when writing. You should pay extra attention to English WHEN YOU ARE MOCKING SOMEONE ELSE’S!
Oh, and it is “cannot,” not “can not,” and that is just ONE of the many mistakes you make, but I won’t bore you with those…

@Greg
“You can accuse me of joking because Polish assigned gender to nouns, but you needn’t lecture me about Polish grammar. Ja mowie Po Polsku, Moja Zona jest Polska, my prawie zawsze Po Polski w domu mowiemy!”

That’s not right. It should be:
“Ja mówię po polsku, moja żona jest polką, my prawie zawsze mówimy w domu po polsku!”

Oh, and not:
“Kopnelem duze krzeslo. Duze krzeslo jest ladne.”
but
“Kopnąłem duże krzesło. Duże krzesło jest ładne.”

WOW! I was served! Polish uses lines and dots?!?! Weird! How astute of you to notice that! I suppose my knowledge of Polish is that of a very basic level, and I should hesitate to comment on grammar….OR I did not want to waste the damn time cutting and pasting the symbols.

Ja wiem ze Polski alfabet uzywa kilka innych literek, ale ja mam angielska klawiature…nie chcialem tracic czasu. Chodzi mi o to, ze mam nie zle pojecie polskiej gramatyki.

Hmm, believe it or not, in 3 months I managed to learn Polish at the level enabling me to understand about 90% of it, writing it at about 60% and speaking it at about 40% (mostly because I learned it on my own reading a polish grammar on the bus while going to work in the morning). What does it say?

Just to mention here that before that I’ve studied russian (extremely easy for me as a bulgarian), german (damn exceptions, cases and word merging!) and english (still learning after 17 years exposure…).

Now, what I think is really hard, is *mastering* the foreign language, those last 5-10% is the determining factor. But as others will argue these last 5% represent the differences in the alphabet, vocabulary, language structure, similarity of concepts (cases, tenses, articles, gender, polite forms, etc) and most importantly culture.

One last comment, no one has mentioned the articles in languages. Have you tried mastering one of those language while not having the concept of articles in your native tongue? I’ve never met a western slavic person (who learned the foreign language being already an adult) not making mistakes in english (or bulgarian) when using articles. Their mind just doesn’t process the concept. Same with me regarding cases 🙂

Pozdravi!

Actually, Polish was quite easy to learn. And like the above person, Greg, I can speak and understand both to an intermediate degree. It all depends on whether you can move past the structures of your mother tongue and put your mind into a different language mode.

Polish can be difficult with the cases, but only when there are those European exceptions, where some cases just happen to go with a certain preposition even though literally it would not make sense. Also, when the subject is located at the last word of a sentence. However, it is not as difficult as very ancient languages such as Korean, Japanese, even Arabic.

In Korean, to say “Even though I couldn’t go, I went anyways”, would literally translate to: (I couldn’t go even though, anyways went).

In Polish that would be: (Choc nie mogłem przeiść, wyjechałem) or something like that. Sentence structure is very similar.

Difficulty is different depending on who the learner is.

Psh, can you please translate something for me?
how do you say ” i am strong” in polish?
thanks!

or anyone who can speak polish for that matter!
thanks.
🙂

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