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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Polish... even more difficult than you thought!
I am enjoying this package, which comprises 3 CDs and a 46 page booklet with clear markers for the relevant sections of the CDs, but I'm still stuck on CD1.

Why? Well the biggest stumbling block for me on this so far is that there is no phonetic guide. For example; Dziekuje (sorry, the accented 'e's don't reproduce properly) - the Polish word for 'Thank You',...
Published on 17 July 2008 by b4-its-2-l8

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not very easy to learn Polish.
I come across a lot of Polish people in my job and thought it might be nice to be able to speak a few words to them in their own language. I'm really struggling with this product though and have to agree that the lack of any phonetic pronunciation guide lets this Audio Course down. A lot of people are visual learners and listening to a CD without a booklet where the...
Published on 18 Sep 2008 by Binka


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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Polish... even more difficult than you thought!, 17 July 2008
By 
b4-its-2-l8 (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I am enjoying this package, which comprises 3 CDs and a 46 page booklet with clear markers for the relevant sections of the CDs, but I'm still stuck on CD1.

Why? Well the biggest stumbling block for me on this so far is that there is no phonetic guide. For example; Dziekuje (sorry, the accented 'e's don't reproduce properly) - the Polish word for 'Thank You', is pronounced (as we would write) Jing-koo-ya... now how on earth is anyone supposed to guess that without the inclusion of a phonetic guide?

Of course, its pronunciation is on the CD, but sometimes you just want to flick through the pages of the booklet without having to listen as well. For me, this is a fairly big down side, but so far the only one.

And, as the proof of any pudding is in the eating, I've managed to raise a few acknowledging smiles from Polish customers as they've passed through, so these CDs can't be too bad.

Each of the 12 Units follows much the same format (but with a few revision sections included):

The basics
Key phrases
Listening and speaking
Dialogue 1
Dialogue 2

But with minor corrections, compared to what Amazon lists, below are the actual Unit headings:

Unit 1: Hello, good morning
Unit 2: Excuse me
Unit 3: Where is...?
Unit 4: Over there
Unit 5: I'd like something to drink
Unit 6: Have you got any...?
Unit 7: Can you help me?
Unit 8: I want...
Unit 9: Have you got a room?
Unit 10: It hurts
Unit 11: I want to make an appointment
Unit 12: What's it like?
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth trying, 17 Oct 2008
By 
G. Brack - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Collins Easy Learning Polish set comes with three CDs and a booklet. The recordings are linked by icons to the booklet, so you know exactly where you are and you can stop and start (or repeat) without fear of getting lost.

I found the recordings clear and the vocabulary useful. I remember when I learned languages at school having to translate lines like "That is not my goat" purely because they illustrated a point of grammar. I never found reason to tell a Russian that he had mistaken the ownership of a passing quadruped. That is not a problem here, because I could find myself needing most of the lines. There are also handy tips in the margins, and more developed paragraphs explaining the grammar at intervals.

I would not claim that you could read a newspaper or listen to a radio documentary after completing the course, but you could make yourself understood in a restaurant, read a sign or follow directions, which is surely the point of this level of course.

Well presented, and cheap at the price.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern, fresh course with a sensible and effective approach!, 3 July 2008
By 
R. WEST-SOLEY "Rich West-Soley" (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
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There are a few recent audio-only courses on the market in a variety of languages now, and it was interested to see Collins add its own brand to the mix. At first glance, this course seems to be targetting the same audience as the similarly presented Teach Yourself Polish Conversation - also a three CD course - and the Collins version compares very favourably to this.

First and foremost, the tutors / narrators are likeable and friendly - essential if you'll be spending a fair amount of time listening to them! Their style is also fairly informal, contrasting nicely with the rather dry approach of other courses.

The language is broken down into very manageable chunks. Additionally, the first CD gives sound advice about breaking your own learning down into short sessions of 'optimal learning time', which amounts to around 8-10 minutes. The course material is arranged in similarly sized sections, helping you to manage your learning efficiently and not become overwhelmed.

It's an excellently paced course, but there is a lot of material included - three full-length CDs - which means that a learner taking all the advice about studying manageably will amass a huge amount of language by the end of the course. Proununciation is handled very nicely too, with clear enunciation from the narrators, and a syllable breakdown for some more difficult words. For those wanting to sneak a peek at the written word, the accompanying booklet is well laid-out and doubles as a handy phrase finder.

Each unit is structured along the familiar lines of introduction, examples / dialogue, practice (with a useful low 'beep' when the learner is supposed to speak!) and round-up at the end of the section. Self-assessment is encouraged, using techniques like counting the number of words you remember from a unit on your fingers - and only moving on if you remember all of them confidently. Elements like this give a nice interactive and personalised flavour to the course. A very nice touch is a brief recap after each unit, along with encouraging chat: "Now you know your first five words in Polish!" and so on, typical of the enthusiastic style of the script. It can border on the cheesy at times ("Is that enough information for today? Give your brain a rest!" but on the whole it's a really amenable style.

It is a modern course in the sense that it stresses a communicative approach, with a decent emphasis on body language and the other tehcniques of communicating without necessary having an exhaustive Polish vocabulary! As such it doesn't overwhelm the beginner to language learning, and actually makes you realise you can communicate effectively without being a genius in grammatical nuances. What gives the course a particular strength is the wealth of language learning tips it passes on to the listener - it's not just about learning a language, but also learning how to learn a language. Collins' course ticks all the boxes!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not very easy to learn Polish., 18 Sep 2008
By 
Binka - See all my reviews
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I come across a lot of Polish people in my job and thought it might be nice to be able to speak a few words to them in their own language. I'm really struggling with this product though and have to agree that the lack of any phonetic pronunciation guide lets this Audio Course down. A lot of people are visual learners and listening to a CD without a booklet where the words are written down phoneticaly is hard. I struggle to follow the booklet provided as the proper spellings can be so different to how I hear the word.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 9 July 2008
By 
Andrew Kerr (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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I've been to the beautiful country of Poland four times to date, however I've always seemed to struggle with the rather difficult language, as so far I have only managed to learn several words and maybe a phrase or two. I'll be returning there in September and while I have no need to become completely fluent, I still wanted to learn enough to get by.

I'm glad to say that this Easy Learning Audio Course is teaching me everything I could ever ask for in a way that's simple and effective. The CD's are working brilliant for me as I've learned more in the last two weeks (but more to the point remembered) than the whole time I was in Poland itself.

Sure it is a hard language to learn, but this package makes it all the easier, and it is very pleasurable to be able to learn another language. I can't wait until September, when I can try out all the words and phrases, I've learned and will continue to learn over the following weeks. Over all a brilliant package that I'm very pleased with. If you want to learn some Polish then this is the way to do it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not an easy language - but an easy way to learn!, 9 July 2008
By 
Big Bertha (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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Having Polish relatives, I thought this language course might be fun to do and I can really impress them next time I see them.

Having already reviewed the Spanish version (same publisher) I have to reiterate this is a great way to learn the basics of a language. It's aimed at the traveller and using it you should be able to understand the basic phrases and respond well enough to be understood the added advantage to it being an audio course is that your pronunciation should be OK too (hard to pick up from a phrase book - especially with Polish!).

There are twelve different units. Each unit is divided into two easy to follow parts. In the first part you hear the key words and phrases, you listen to and repeat them, then you hear them being used in short conversations or phrases and it's amazing how quickly you pick them up. There are tips on how to remember them and as well as the narrator saying the phrases they are also repeated by another female and a male, hearing the same phrase said by different voices really helps. You can play each track/unit as many times as you like until you feel ready to move on. The second part of each unit consists of longer conversations containing the keywords and phrases you have learned. These conversations are played, then gone through again line by line with explanations to aid understanding and tips to help your pronunciation.

Have to say I'm finding the Polish a lot more difficult than the Spanish - but with perseverance (and relying heavily on the repeat track function on my car cd player), I'll get there!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the bunch?, 7 Oct 2008
So far I have found this course to be great value for money: it is not going to bring me very far in conversational Polish, but it succeeds in offering a *good start*. The narrators speak clearly, and take time to break up some of the more difficult pronunciations into manageable sections. The course is clearly geared to help the tourist find her way when arriving in Poland, but if like me you are just trying to learn the language for interest and a challenge, you could do a lot worse than this value priced offering. For what it is: 9/10
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy Learning Polish (Collins Easy Learning Audio Course), 27 Feb 2009
By 
Sive Haughey "S. & E" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is a concise, useful introduction to the Polish language, covering the topics of basic conversation, shopping, eating out, finding the way, money, booking into hotels etc.
It comes with a set of CDs which are very helpful in getting used to the pronunciation. The course is very straightforward, easy to follow, with clear instructions and an interesting and sometimes huhorous commentary.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Probably good as a pronunciation guide, but very limited, 12 Oct 2008
By 
Julie Cutler - See all my reviews
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This self proclaims itself as being different from other courses because you get the likely reply. Frankly every language course I've ever tried gives you a dialogue.

The language is barked out rapidly and I feel a bit dizzy if I just listen- you tend to get lost quick.

However, from the limited phrases given:
you could...find a hotel.. visit the Palace of Culture. Get drunk on red or white wine or the vodka you bought as a souvenir. Struggling down the stairs in the morning (lifts seem to be in short supply) it's a good job all you can manage is toast, cereal and juice because that's all that's on offer according to this phrasebook. If you've gone a bit too far and have to declare you're ill to every man and woman you can find, you can make an appointment with the doctor (although you won't be able to understand what he prescribes you).

Stripped bare of social comments, it can be difficult and frustrating to find your way in a different country. This course doesn't really help that much. It might get you going, but you'll be mystified about how to read any signs!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for someone who just wants to "get by" as a tourist, 2 July 2008
By 
Alan Pavelin (Chislehurst, UK) - See all my reviews
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As a lover of Polish movies who has several Polish friends and whose grandfather came from Lodz, I am ashamed to know only about 3 words of the language. This guide, comprising 3 CDs and a booklet, is aimed at the tourist who wants to get by on holiday there; it contains no grammar whatsoever, so there is virtually nothing about the (to me) highly complex system of spellings and word order/endings. Having worked through much of the first CD, I found it hard going, but that is probably because I am more used to the conventional way of language-learning at school, with accusative cases, past pluperfect tenses, etc. This guide is probably ideal for someone who just wants to get by (rather than to read some of the great literature on which many Polish movies are based!) and who is able readily to recognise the sounds of words and sentences of what is a very different, and difficult, language.
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