Top positive review
55 people found this helpful
Polish - a complicated language reasonably well explained
on 25 March 2003
I've been learning Polish in an evening class for 2 years now and we've use this book as our class text book all the way through (and still haven't finished it). I started it on my own before I joined the class and found I could keep up with the explanations on my own until about chapter 6, but after that without regular practive from a class, I couldn't keep enough of what had happened before in my head to keep up with the exercises.
Also, the grammar got increasingly complex, and I'm say this from the perspective of someone with a German degree which means that I already understood a lot of the grammar to start with. However, that's not the book's fault - even German grammar is a doddle in comparison to Polish grammar - and at least at the start of the book, the explanations are comprehensive and reasonably easy to understand (I'm not so sure about the end of the book, where it tackles more difficult topics, but then I'm not sure that these topics can be comprehensively explained in less than 20,000 words).
Don't be put off though. The book does it explain it all well, and it's a good extra resource if you are taking a class and/or using other books. It's just not ideal as a single teach-yourself book. But then, I'm not convinced it's humanly possible to teach-yourself Polish from one book though, although a person with steely determination might be able to learn Polish largely based on the book - but be warned, it's going to be an uphill struggle and take longer than you expect from the size of the book. Basically, if you finish (and understand) everything in the book, you'll be fully equipped to converse in mainly correct Polish, but in order to fit all the necessary information in, it tends only to tell you stuff once, rather than offering the sort of practice you need to retain the information.