Learning Polish with Duolingo

According to the experience of many people, learning Polish is not easy. Some say that Polish is one of the most difficult languages in the world.

It's tough to say, but I think there is a lot of truth in that.

Knowing how complicated the process of learning a language is (especially a difficult language) many people are wondering what the best method to use is. Every beginner is curious which method they should choose at the beginning of their learning process and which one they should use once they know the basics of the language. And then most often they start digging on the web and ... they come across Duolingo.

Immediately you'll notice the fact that it's free - hooray!!

Unfortunately that quickly turns out to be its biggest weakness. There are a lot of ads and shortcomings such as pronunciation errors or abstract sentences that the app makes you translate, for example "My friend introduced me to my husband" - does that make sense? Does my husband not know me?

Bizarre sentences on Duolingo have become a signature of this app. You can find many pages that make fun of and even collect nonsense sentences or phrases. Thus, sentences such as:

  • The electrician and the plumber are sisters.
  • Love is blind, but neighbors are not
  • My duck doesn't want to eat you.
  • The horse likes milk, 

Or one of my personal favorites:

Will translating such sentences help you learn vocabulary that is useful in everyday life?

Not likely.

The free version contains tiresome ads, whilst Duolingo Plus, which is paid eliminates the annoying ads, but in terms of content it is no different from the free version. You will still have to translate sentences that are not entirely logical and the vocabulary will often be impractical. The repetitive nature of the exercises in the app can also quickly bore you. 

Although Duolingo is undoubtedly very popular, in my opinion it is not the best option for people who want to learn Polish. So what is a reasonable alternative? 

One that gives you more options, such as teaching you the alphabet.

Polish has nine distinct characters in addition to the standard Latin letters (which you already know) that define its specific sounds. It is essential that you learn their pronunciation, as this will allow you to read and write freely. Your pronunciation will get better every day if you learn the meaning of the binary characters and spelling well. In other words, the key to good pronunciation of any Polish word is its spelling and learning the rules of correct pronunciation.

Being able to pronounce the letters and their combinations will allow you to pronounce any Polish word, even if you have never seen or heard it before. Due to the phonetic nature of the Polish alphabet, this is fairly easy for most students with proper practice.

If you get the basics right, you will feel confident and begin to enjoy the Polish language without mistakes or bad habits. The resources, techniques and areas of interest that you won't find on Duolingo, you will find in TalkPolish courses.

TalkPolish courses will help you develop a solid learning routine that will take you to fluency. Talkpolish.com is definitely a better place to learn Polish. We offer, among many other things:

  • All the fundamentals for a solid foundation of the Polish language: learning to read, write, and speak
  • A native speaker teaching you proper pronunciation
  • Daily practice with tons of exercises
  • Podcasts 
  • One-on-One lessons

The choice is yours, but remember that the foundation is the most important part of any building.


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