Henryk Sienkiewicz, whose memorial in Kielce is pictured, wrote the famous novel “Quo Vadis”, and many of you might be asking the same question: “where are you going” with this? There are, after all, many existing courses on how to learn the Polish language, whether beginner courses, intermediate or advanced. Well, this is certainly not one of them. This is a series of articles intended to be of use whether a person intends to learn to speak, read and write Polish fluently, or simply dip into some curiosities about the language. When finished and if finally published as a collection, it might be a companion volume to any of the existing course books or grammars, or it may become a coffee table (read “toilet”) book to dip into and, with each dip, learn a thing or two to add depth and background (or “tło”, as they say) to what the you know about Polish.
This series takes a patchwork approach and covers all manner of questions around Polish spelling, loanwords into or out of Polish or how some words in Polish can be “false friends”. Also examples of Polish sayings and proverbs, sometimes outlines of the people or events behind common street names. We will find out why Poles say certain strange things while speaking English – usually they are things that make perfect sense in Polish. It will help to give more understanding to those living in Poland to explain things which are going on or note some things to look out for. To those not living in Poland, maybe it will encourage some of you to come for a visit.
Most of all, I hope that these articles will make for interesting reading.
The books “About Chinese” by Richard Newnham and “Beyond the Imaginable – 240 Ways of Looking at Czech” by Dr Karen von Kunes are both inspirations for this series. I note that there are some very interesting books about the Polish experience, and this cannot help but overlap with the themes here, but the focus is primarily philological, rather than culture divorced from language.
Each article should be something like five hundred words, give or take two hundred, therefore not too demanding for a read in a brief break. There’s no real plan of how many of these there will be and in due course the order of the articles might be changed and different from the order in which they appear here on Huliganov.tv.
Enjoy. Przyjemnej lektury!