Before you arrive: ways to learn Polish on your own

by Ewelina Nurczyk in: Living in Poland, 16 Nov 2015     0 Comments

Whether you are waiting for a job transfer to Warsaw or applying for a scholarship at our universities, knowing Polish can be more than helpful once you get here. The Polish language is seen as one of the hardest to learn, but fear not, here are our tips!

Good old books

The variety of the Internet resources is astonishing, but if you are a traditionalist, who wishes to learn Polish with a book in hand, there are a lot of them to choose from. Almost every European language has a student book dedicated for students of Polish and the number is still growing! Polski bez tajemnic was designed with German-speaking learners in mind, while Le Polonais en 4 Semaines is for the French. There are also numerous books with no specific target users, the most commonly used being probably Hurra!!! Po polsku or Polski krok po kroku. 

Learn online

If you still prefer using the web, try online courses. There is a wide range of websites offering Polish courses for foreigners who want to master this language. You can choose from those that are free of charge, as well as some paid ones. Duolingo is a good idea if you are willing to cut back on your expenses, whereas Rosetta Stone remains one of the most popular paid courses.

Podcasts are always a good idea

When you are comfortable with the basics, improve your comprehension.  You may not have easy access to the Polish television, but have a go with podcasts, which can be related to a variety of topics. Polskie Radio (Polish Radio) offers them on its official website. If you still need to brush up your basics, listen to some of the podcasts targetted at foreigners learning our language, such as PolishPod101.

Helpful Youtube

If you are looking for more laid-back listening materials, have a look at Youtube. You will find easily-accessible videos touching upon anything that may possibly interest you. The Polish-language section of Youtube is no different from the rest of the world – we also have gamers, beauty vloggers, sports fans, amateur chefs and many more. Get started with something you enjoy and explore it in Polish!

The written word

For those who prefer reading to listening, there is a whole new land to discover. Major Polish newspapers have their online editions (Gazeta Wyborcza, Rzeczpospolita), while bloggers, similarly to Youtubers, post basically about any topic that can be of interest to you. With your knowledge of the basics, a dictionary within arm's reach and some motivation, this should be a task worthy of your attention.

Follow the Chinese

Does Polish still seem too difficult to you? Maybe music will do the trick? Watch this viral video of Chinese students singing a golden oldie originally recorded by the band Czerwone Gitary. Bear in mind that these students from Beijing Foreign Studies University have been learning Polish for just a year, so even native speakers are impressed. Are you feeling competitive yet?  



Ewelina Nurczyk

Ewelina Nurczyk


Contact the author

Editor at A graduate of English studies and Polish language and literature at Warsaw University, specialising in teaching Polish to foreigners. 

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