How Hard Is the Polish Language?


I decided to write a post about my native language, Polish. It is the second most used Slavonic language after Russian. It is mainly spoken in Poland and among Polish emigrants all over the world. It is not popular to learn by foreigners. For example there are 8,354 registered Polish native speakers on Lang-8 and only 1,444 learners of Polish.

Some time ago I wrote a post about the hardest languages in the world. Polish was mentioned as one of them in some articles and rankings I have found. The main reason given was that there are seven cases in Polish and that there are more exceptions than rules. Here is an example of the same sentence written in English and in Polish.

“I hope it will force them to finally give up.”
“Mam nadzieję, że to ich zmusi, żeby się w końcu poddali.“

There is the only one word in English which changed from it’s basic form: “them” is a form of “they”. How does it look in Polish? Here are the basic forms of Polish words in the sentence:

Mieć – nadzieja – że – to – oni – zmuszać – żeby – koniec – poddać się.

Six words changed their basic forms and there are two special words “że” and “żeby” which don’t have equivalents in the English sentence. Let’s take the first word in the Polish sentence, the verb “mieć” (“to have” in English). There are different forms of this word depending on the tense and the person: mam, masz, ma, mamy, macie, mają, miałem, miałeś, miał, mieliśmy, mieliście, mieli… Only the first letter “m” doesn’t change. There are similar problems with any adjectives and nouns and there is no such situation in English with any word at all, and remember there are more exceptions than rules in Polish.

One significant thing is easier in Polish than in English. That is the pronunciation of written words. In most cases you can read letter after letter to pronounce words correctly in Polish, but on the whole Polish is much harder than English, I think.

  1. cchung90 said:

    Thanks, I had heard that Polish was one of the hardest foreign languages to learn, and I appreciate your giving us a glimpse of why…

  2. Anonymous said:

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  3. You will find a lot of information about the english language on This site contains lots of listening activities and video content in this site. It also have a grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary section for learning your english language. This site has free English lessons for beginners.

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