Cultural: the Polish language!
If you hear someone talking about one of those languages that has a lot of consonants, there is a good chance they are talking about Polish!
Poland has more consonants and vowels than English does. In fact, there are 9 vowels and 23 consonants. That doesn’t count consonant clusters.
Wikipedia has a whole listing - if you care to look at it. Here
The first complicated word I learned was “szczesliwa” - and it means “happy”. Since this website doesn’t let me put in the special characters, I will need to paste it in as a photo…
I had to practice that one a while just to be able to say it.
The killer for me was the words that mean happier and happiest. Here they are - they really did take a bit of practice to say them.
I don’t want to make this a long lesson on the Polish language, because it would be boring to you.
This language is a difficult one to get right. But as someone has said, “Any language is difficult if you don’t know it!” Certainly there are harder ones for a native English speaker to learn, and there are easier ones as well.
I had some private tutoring when we first got here - but I was pregnant and then had her - with child #4 and had 3 young ones at home. Tutoring was expensive to us - at the time. I had lessons once a week in my home - for about an hour and a half each time. When I had them. It felt like my tutor was often on vacation - or going somewhere as there are many free days! I was definitely the kind of person who wanted to conquer this language and was willing to do whatever it took! I thrived with a textbook - just talking - not so much.
But I eventually got through my book, mostly.
I am not as good as I wish I were in Polish, but this year I’m working harder at it - trying to read the Polish Bible out loud! That is much harder and harder on the tongue than reading it silently to yourself! It’s been good for me so far! Those names - they are hard enough in English - but making myself read them in Polish… Let’s just say that I’m glad I’m doing it in the privacy of my home!
I’ll end this short lesson with the Polish birthday song. What it really says is “100 years, 100 years, may you live 100 years!” The words in red say, “Everything the best on the occasion of your birthday”.
In order to learn a language, you really have to get over pride issues. It’s humbling, it’s scary, and sometimes very embarrassing! There are times when you open your mouth and nothing comes out. There are literally “no words!”
I don’t really want to think back about all the stupid things I’ve said/done. Just take my word for it. You really have to be willing to look like you are uneducated - even when you know you are!
If this whole thing is interesting to you, there is a nice website about Polish for foreigners here.
And that’s enough about that! Have a great day wherever you are reading this!
Be sure to check out what my sis has for you in the store!