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Basic Polish: A Grammar and Workbook (Grammar Workbooks) 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
This book would be much better if it allowed the student to focus more on the grammar. Right from the beginning, it foists large numbers of Polish words on the student without defining them, which detracts from the learning of the grammar rules. A good grammar workbook should actually have very little vocabulary (or should provide a translation and gender for every new word right on the same page the first time it's mentioned), allowing the student to focus on the grammar rules and not definitions.Read more ›
The only complaint I have against this work is its errors. They aren't plentiful enough for me to recommend a substitute (nor is there one!), but be on the lookout for inconsistencies. One example may be found at the top of page 21, where we are told that the default plural ending is -i, or -y following the letters g and k. In fact, it is the opposite, with -i proceeding those two exceptions. There are a handful of others, so read with skepticism.
All of that said, this book was exactly what I wanted. I have been studying Russian for a number of years with only a little experience with Polish, and this book was better for me than any beginner's language textbook. I just wanted to quickly memorize the rules, and start experimenting with the language. As a person who is familiar with highly inflected languages (and Russian in particular which has very similar grammar), I really actually wanted all of the rules and not just the common case.
Its a great book, but if you are starting from nothing, it cannot be your only text. This is a much better book for the slightly more advanced Polish learner.
They are the perfect reference for the average beginner wanting to dissect grammatical concepts and look over well-summarized rules as they study and practice from more traditional introductory textbooks. It's not however the perfect traditional introductory textbook for the average beginner. For those wanting a traditional introductory Polish textbook, I've found the "Hurra!! Po Polsku" series to be quite palatable and paced slow enough.
"Basic Polish", alternatively, is absolutely perfect for those linguistic fiends who best understand their own language or foreign languages through grammar. This is definitely me. In order for me to start learning a language (unless I'm fully immersed and need no text at all) I must have a macro-perspective on important grammatical topics. Without this, I really struggle, getting lost in minutiae, unable to figure out where little pieces learned here and there fit into the larger scheme of things. But be aware if you're not accustomed to this type of approach to language study that this as your only study tool will be frustrating.
Other references that I've found quite fun and useful are various texts put out by Universitas, Krakow (the series is titled Jezyk Polski dla Cudzoziemcow). While their coursebooks are utterly useless, I enjoy their reference books which tackle carefully one grammatical topic per book. I've had to work hard to acquire a number of these from Polish book retailers, as they've told me that various books have gone out of print(?).
Anyway, if you can't get the Universitas books or don't even want to tackle topics so microscopically and prefer a nice wide-ranging overview in one single book, Dana Bielec's books are perfect!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have been teaching myself Polish for about two years now and I just picked up this book. I had been focusing on acquiring words and attempting to indirectly learn the grammatical... Read morePublished on July 8, 2013 by obscuritas88
I am very happy to have purchased this book. The exercises are very helpful and all of the information is clearly presented. Read morePublished on February 2, 2013 by G Godfrey
As a U.S. born Polak, I have always wanted to learn the language and did not want to spend the money on a product like Rosetta Stone so naturally books would be something to try. Read morePublished on December 28, 2012 by andrzej92
I used this book and a Polish-English dictionary to teach myself the language (I now teach Polish). I had no prior foreign language experience at the time, and this book's clear... Read morePublished on October 15, 2012 by grenache