Learning the language may be a great help in developing a social life in Poland. The official language of Poland is Polish and 98% of the population speak it. The other 2% speak one of the minority languages – German, Ukrainian, or Belarusian. Polish originated in the areas of present-day Poland from several local Western Slavic dialects and shares some vocabulary with Slovak, Ukrainian, Belarusian and Czech languages.
Is it really worth learning Polish if you can get by just fine with English? Definitely. Being able to speak the language of your host country helps you adapt to the new surroundings and makes your relocation experience all the more enriching. If that does not seem convincing enough, there are several other reasons for mastering the Polish language.
- Getting around the country might be a little tricky if you rely only on English. The language barrier is rarely an issue in bigger cities or major tourist destinations, but if you decide to drive out of town, some knowledge of Polish might come in handy.
- Connecting with the local people becomes much easier and more enjoyable. Even if your Polish friends speak perfect English, it is fair to say that certain nuances of language are always lost in translation.
- Gain access to countless works of culture: Polish literature, film, music, or theatre. Are you a poetry enthusiast? Then you will take delight in reading the original works of Wisława Szymborska or Czesław Miłosz, Polish Nobel Prize winning poets.
- Increases your competitiveness in the job market. Polish may not be the most in-demand language to learn but if you want to break into a new career path, an additional foreign language will certainly open up quite a few opportunities.
- New perspective. Did you know that the Sami have hundreds of words for snow? Or that some cultures lack words for numbers? It is known that our languages shape the way we perceive the world – and learning one means opening your mind to new worldviews. If you want to understand Poland better, learn a little bit of Polish!
- Turns into a hero in the eyes of native speakers. Polish people are very proud of their language and tend to emphasise how difficult it is. Whether you agree with that statement or not, it is guaranteed you will be praised every time you produce a comprehensible sentence. Also, what better way to impress your friends back home than by learning some Polish tongue-twisters?