When learning a new language, you learn a few things:
- How to pull out your hair
- How to bury your head in the sand
- How to become mute
- How to increase headaches
- How to increase tears
Yes, my friends, learning a new language, especially when you are no longer a child, is a humbling experience.
Most people go into learning a language with confidence, after all, we are all relatively intelligent human beings. Capable. Motivated.
There is not a lot that we are unable to do. Or is there?
And then there is the new language.
It gets you in the gut each and every time.
Polish is the Rocky of the language world. Just when you think you are “knocking” it down with one swift learning moment followed by another, it hops back up and bears a right hook across your jaw. You’re down, yet again!
Yes, my friends. Learning Polish is that brutal.
Which brings us to today’s question: Is Duolingo the right fit for you?
I have completed Duolingo in Polish for foreigners. It goes to Level 12, and it was a grueling road to get there. For me. A mom of three that lives daily in Poland. But I persevered and made it to the end, making sure that I did not just score enough to pass. Oh no! I made sure that I scored perfection on each category before moving on to the next.
This made me realize two very important things:
- Polish is hard
- Polish is hard even with Duolingo
Would I recommend Duolingo as your method for learning Polish? I would say that depends on your current understanding of the Polish language. If you have zero to very little understand of the Polish language, Duolingo may not be the appropriate starting place for you, as there are not appropriate explanations for words, conjugations, or endings of any sort. Plus the Polish cases. Oh those cases (shakes head slowly and sadly).
This, therefore, is what I would rather recommend: If you are looking to learn Polish from the beginning, yet you do not have any classes offered near you, I would rather suggest starting with the costly but efficient Rosetta Stone or Pimsleur. Both programs offer Polish for beginners and are quite renowned with languages.
If you have a base of Polish, however, and are not really wanting to spend money at the moment on learning a language, then I highly recommend stretching your brain to FULL capacity with the Polish language through the program of Duolingo. You will feel like a rubber band ready to snap, but, hey! When has a little humiliation and brain drain ever REALLY killed someone, right? (smile, wink, and actually cry)
In any and every case, there are plenty of studies out there in the world that encourage language learning as a way to preserve your mental health. Which, seems like an oxymoron to me: losing your mind studying Polish to preserve your overall mental faculties. Who am I to analyze this reasoning?
After all, I’m no psychologist.
Just a mom. Living in a foreign country. Telling you to go for it!
Learn Polish. Even if Duolingo is your only route to get your there!
You’ll need it!