Picture this scenario: You were transferred to Krakow by your company a month ago. All of the basics such as finding an apartment, hiring a car, registering your children in the local English school, even finding a gym were taken care of for you by your company before you arrived.Since everything is sorted and all of your work communications are in English and you’re only here for a year, why would you ever need to spend the time or money to learn Polish? Now picture another scenario: You’re in your apartment, making breakfast when suddenly the power goes out.
Your powers of deduction have led you to conclude that you need to replace a fuse. No problem, right? It’s a small plastic part that costs $1 and you can replace yourself – if you knew where to get one. Meanwhile, the landlord’s on holiday, none of your English co-workers have a clue where an electronics shop is, and you don’t know the Polish word for fuse or electronics shop, so Google is no help. What to do?
Now imagine you’re in the same situation, but possess a level of basic Polish. You can call your Polish friend you met watching footie at the local bar. He’ll tell you that there’s a shop down the street. You walk to the shop, tell the shopkeeper you need a “bezpiecznik”, pay a few złoty and you merrily go on with your life, problem solved. What’s the difference in these two situations? Survival Polish.
There are two ways to learn a language. The first involves a substantial investment of time and money in order to master all of the grammatical intricacies and a vast lexicon. This is great if you plan to gain employment as a translator in that language, or have decided to make a new country your permanent home. It’s also what most people think of when they hear the words “language course”.
There is a second way, though. It involves a practical approach, with a focus on usage rather than grammar, and everyday situations and nonverbal aspects rather than academic language. This involves a cultural component as well, as in most social situations, basic knowledge of etiquette and pop culture is far more valuable than proper verb conjugation.
In the case of learning the Polish language, this second way is called “Survival Polish”. Unlike traditional language courses, Survival Polish requires neither a substantial investment of time or money – in fact, the course is just 30 hours. However, by the end of those 30 hours you will not only be competent enough to handle the previously mentioned scenario, you’ll also be prepared for a wide range of situations, from shopping to asking directions to taking care of formalities at the City Council to various social situations. Best of all, the course can be tailored specifically to your needs, and the schedule is determined by your availability.
When beginning the Survival Polish course, you’ll work with staff from the Accent School of Polish to determine the focus of the course. In addition to the basic teaching component, the cultural component of the course includes videos, workshops on everything from Polish cuisine to music to phonetics, a seminar on Polish habits and etiquette, task-based goals such as ordering pizza or going to the post office, a focus on clear communication and pronunciation, and even a tour of Krakow – all of this without cracking open a single grammar book! And as additional encouragement, you’ll receive daily email updates with three new Polish words, their pronunciation and meaning throughout the course.
Whether you’re in Krakow for a few months or a few years, on business or as a student, learning the survival basics of the language can make the difference between being helpless, and not only surviving, but thriving in your new home.Fot. Copyright Tatiana Morozova Dreamstime.com