Aug 162011

If the authors changed the title to a less optimistic (or possibly frustrating) one, like “Polish in 4 seasons”, it would be a more accurate forecast;) Other than that, it’s impossible to disagree with anything else they say about this publication, so I have included their own review as well – the story line is interesting (relationships, relationships…), grammar explanations are quite easy to follow (my husband’s opinion). It’s great that there is a CD available, so you can listen to all dialogues. There is also a continuation at an intermediate level.

Why do I think that it’s impossible to learn the basic of Polish, as presented in this one or any other book, in four weeks? Because most people would get tired or stuck after a couple of units. You might need a break to digest information, you might need to go back to the previous units, you might want to spend some time practising what you have already learned – and you can’t do all that in one month unless there’s some superhuman factor involved. One area of study might be easy to deal with, while another seems impossible to grasp, sometimes you might need to pick another book because you need more practice on a certain topic. Finally, there are dozens of ways in which a topic can be explained or presented, and if one author fails to get through to you, another one might do so successfully.

Also, a lot depends on whether you are a false beginner or an absolute novice. Assuming we’re dealing with the latter case, how would you feel about the first unit in the book?

SŁOWNICTWO – places of entertainment
GRAMATYKA – numbers 1-10 – the gender of nouns – demonstrative pronouns – Co to jest? Kto to jest? – Czy to jest…? – Ile kosztuje? – the conjunction ale – the adverb bardzo – może – expressions of supposition
ROZMAWIAMY – greetings and farewells – greetings – Co słychać? – numbers 1 – 10000000

Do you think you could learn all this in one day? Doesn’t the list of numbers seem a bit scary? And the number of other grammar items?

And here’s what the authors say (sorry, I couldn’t resist the temptation to delete the fragment about four weeks):

A basic course in Polish designed for beginners, which can also be
used for revising basic grammar and vocabulary. Its advantages
– the natural contemporary language of the dialogues,
– typical situations from everyday life,
– an interesting story,
– an easily accessible course in grammar.
It is possible for the learner to master the basics of Polish in four
weeks, by working their way through all the material contained in the
28 lessons.
Each lesson consists of:
– dialogues with English translations,
– new vocabulary,
– grammatical commentary,
– conversation language in its context,
– exercises.
The book includes short cultural notes which introduce the foreigner
to certain aspects of Polish traditions and customs.
The book is accompanied by a CD with training program and all the dialogues in MP3 format.

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  One Response to ““Polish in 4 weeks””

  1. I’m happy to find your site, which I found because I was looking for comments on “Polish in 4 Weeks.”
    I started studying Polish a while back, but haven’t progressed too far. What I have used so far: Michel Thomas Foundation and Advanced course (take the “advanced” with a grain of salt); Le polonais sans peine (Assimil); “Beginning Polish” by Alexander Schenker (Yale University): Pimsleur Units 1to 16. The MT course is helpful in teaching elementary grammar (it’s an audio course); the Assimil course is pretty good; Schenker’s course seems to be quite extensive (it’s much like the FSI courses; about 80 tapes);Pimsleur is very good for pronunciation. All of the Pimsleur products contain the same lessons. If you buy 10 or 16 unit lessons, those are the same lessons as the 30 lesson course. The shorter lesson courses are fairly cheap. There are sites that sell the lessons 5 at a time for about $22. If you want my opinion of Pimsleur, just ask. I just received the “the Polish in 4 Weeks” material. I would say that for at least the first 12+ lessons, I already know that material. However, It is so nice to hear it! The voices are really clear. I’m not going t o tell you about the things about Polish that puzzle me. Except, perhaps, that -in dictionaries I find many words that I know from other languages, mostly from French and Italian, which me wonder if these words are in active use. For example: (abajour= lampshade). There are not many local sources that I know of . My dental hygienist is from Krakwow, but I see her only every three months. Thank you very much for your site! Forgive my typos.

    Love, Bill A

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