Friday, 22 April 2016

Baltic i Jego Kra

It is Polski Piątek, so I will give Poles and Polish fans an update. This week I went to the second class of the term and started reading another children's book. This one is called Baltic, pies który płynął na krze ("Baltic the dog who sailed on an ice floe"). It begins with New Year's Eve fireworks and the poor neglected dog running in terror through the streets, which is a satisfactorily heart-jerking beginning.

I was highly fed up before class yesterday, possibly because I hadn't eaten enough. If you are a morning person like me, it is necessary to get adequate sleep and to eat enough before evening language class. A cup of coffee an hour before class is also a good idea. I have also decided that it is a bad idea to spend the WHOLE day reading Polish before going to Polish class. It's just too exhausting. I think it may be like studying last minute for an exam. It's a much better idea to study every day EXCEPT the day of the exam. In the case of Polish class, there's probably nothing wrong with a little light review an hour ahead of time.

I was also fed up because after four and a half years I still cannot speak Polish on cue although this is not completelz true, as I spent fifteen minutes or so yesterday chatting with a classmate about jeans, mobile phones and hipster cafés. (The topic was moda, i.e. fashion.) Naturally the best thing to do now would be to rush away to Poland and do an intensive course, but there is no money in the jam jar  as yet for such an intellectual extravagance.

You may be wondering why I haven't continued with the Polish translations of Harry Potter, and it is because I wasn't absorbing enough from just reading through the books. They are relatively long, and I wasn't looking up the words, and if you don't look up the words, you don't learn.  Also, this is terrible to say, but I didn't like the voice of the actor who reads the books. Finally, Harry's stupidity in the matter of Tom Riddle made me very cross. I find reading children's books much more satisfactory, even though I probably look very odd in the train. They are short enough that I don't feel impatient writing down all the words I don't remember, looking them up and then writing down the English in coloured pens. I have a colour code to help me remember. A zaspa, for example, is a snowdrift and feminine. A miska is a bowl.  A podwiórko can be a backyard and is neuter. Masculine dźwiek is sound.

When I am feeling a bit smarter and more hopeful, I will come up with a new Five Year Plan. As the Communists always had Five Year Plans, Polish friends thought I was joking about my five year plan. However, I did not know the Communists actually had five year plans, being woefully ignorant about the history of Poland when I started on my linguistic journey. 

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