What are some reasons to learn Lithuanian


 

by Christoph Gollub

About learning the Polish language

 
In recent years there has been a marked increase in interest in learning the Polish language.
 
There are many reasons for this: Poland is not only the largest eastern neighbor of the Federal Republic of Germany and the country is an increasingly popular travel destination for Germans, but also, in the course of the EU's eastward expansion, the economic relations between the two countries have grown significantly.
 
The reasons for the increased interest in Polish are also to be found in Germany itself: Currently around 360,000 people with Polish citizenship live in this country and a total of almost a million people who speak Polish as their mother tongue (and often have German citizenship). As a result of the European integration process, it can be assumed that these numbers will increase considerably in the coming years.
 
So it is often not just professional reasons to learn the foreign language or the desire to be able to make yourself understood while on vacation. Especially with mixed partnerships, of course, relatives want to be able to converse with the family from the other language area.
 
Now many people who have the desire to learn Polish are wondering whether they can do it at all, since Polish sounds very strange and complicated to our ears.
 
What often causes the greatest difficulties for newcomers to Polish at the beginning is the uncertainty about how Polish letters and letter combinations are pronounced. Especially when you see a Polish text for the first time, it often looks like an accumulation of consonants that do not seem to fit together or seem unpronounceable.
 
These problems arise because Polish uses different letter combinations to express certain sounds (such as szfor the sound we know sch).
 

Polish letter combinations and their pronunciation

In the following table we have therefore compiled the most common "stumbling blocks" for German native speakers for you:
 

Pronunciation of certain letter combinations

Combination of letters

Phonetic transcription (according to IPA)

Pronunciation - example from German

Example from Polish

ch

[x]

ch as in Dach

chleb - bread

cz

[tʃ]

ch as in Tschechien

czekolada - chocolate

dz

[dz]

Like voiced z, e.g. in English goods

działka - plot of land

[dʑ]

Like English j in Jeans

dźwig - crane

dż, drz

[dʒ]

dsch as in Dschungel

dżez - jazz

rz

[ʒ]

Soft, voiced sh as in Journalist

Once you become aware of the slightly different spelling, it will be much easier for you to pronounce new Polish words correctly right away. After all, most Polish letters are pronounced very similarly to German and will cause you few problems when learning the language.
 
I wish you every success in learning the Polish language
 
the editorial team of Sprachenlernen24!