Polish and English:A Language Comparison By Andrea Derr
Data Analysis Journal Information about my subject: Name: Monika Gender: Female Born: Pabianice, Poland Age: 33 years old Occupation: Works as a receptionist at a local plastic surgeons office English Training: Learned British English in a classroom setting in Poland Enrolled in college in America when she was 19, relied on ESL classes to help her get through school. Her college professors were not helpful at all to her even though she barely spoke English. Speaks Polish to her family and friends from Poland, speak English in everyday situations
Data Analysis Journal: Errors Monika made errors in three main areas of the English Language: 1.) Verb Tense – Monika would often use the incorrect tense of a verb, and very often lacked subject-verb agreement. 2.) Article Usage – In most instances, Monika did not include the articles “the” and “a”, due to the fact that articles do not exist in Polish. 3.) Word Order – Monika often confuses the correct order of an English sentence, which is an error made due to thinking in Polish and translating to English in her head.
Data Analysis Journal : ErrorsVerb Tense Errors Article Usage Errors Word Form Errors- he go to store - we go to store - In Poland are lots of shops - I saw dog - and occurs in past and- we was doing that - when I got here in future the same problem- they was trying - I hope a little bit this summer- each night I did watch TV - some of teachers were helps- In polish I learn writing in cursive - we have three tenses only- when you get marry - my friends were taking - we have not many of them me to outdoor football - now only I have to paint- when she get bigger game ceiling- she decide it is fun to - still not 100% sure what - I was working on totallyburied Mom in the sand room make-over was it- I gone with him - now only I have to paint - she is getting it right or- Dad do that with me ceiling and put another what? coat on walls -it’s from the watching TV- she done that -she will go to movies with shows- we does not use those - he did enroll right away me- she did got very smart - she buried mom in sand me in college- I turn 20 when I arrived - she made me carry her around house
Data Analysis Journal: Errors Types of Errors Made and Frequency 0% Word Order 6% Article Usage 39% Verb Tense 55%
Data Analysis Journal : Errors To summarize:All of Monika’s errors that I noticed were dueto the extreme differences between the L1and the L2, and interference.
The Polish Language Polish is an Indo-European language, which belongs to the West Slavonic group Polish is made up of five different dialects Although Polish has many borrowings from other languages, such as English, French, German, Latin and Russian, it is difficult to see the signs of some of these languages within the complex and elaborate Polish text and speech Some key features of Polish that are noticeably different are the alphabet, aspects of grammar, word order, and gender.
Language Comparison: The Polish Alphabet The Polish alphabet is derived from the Latin alphabet It contains many letters that are not found in any other language and are very difficult to pronounce. Polish features six oral vowels as well as two nasal vowels Also, when some of these letters are combined, they make sounds that are very exclusive to the Polish language , d, e, ę, f, g, h, I, j, k, l, ł , o, ó , ż
Language Comparison: The Case System Due to the fact that Polish is a Slavic language, it uses a case system. According to Polish-Translations.com (2008)…“The case system means that nouns and adjectives are declined to provide the meaning that prepositions tend to provide in English. In English, whether its "on the table", "under the table", or "behind the table", the word "table" always remains the same. Not so in Polish. There are seven different cases and so seven different words for "table" depending on the relation of the object in question to the table. As if that didnt make things hard enough, you also have to decline the adjectives as well so there are seven ways of saying "wooden table". And to make things even more complicated youve got three different genders of nouns which all decline in different ways. Polish grammar is no walk in the park.”
Language Comparison: Article Usage Polish does not use definite articles found in English such as “a, an, the” These definite articles are a main part of the English language, and also a point of many errors for Monika in her everyday speech. In Polish, “one interprets a noun as definite or indefinite on the basis of context. Hence “dom” may be interpreted as “a house” or “the house” (Swan, n.d., p. 11)
Language Comparison:Gender In Polish, there are three different genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter Gender in this case is mainly used to form grammatical agreement. Also in Polish the ending of nouns tells its gender In order to have a proper Polish sentence, there must be agreement and cohesion with all of the words. However, in English, whether we say “the red house” or “the red car”, the word red does not change based on gender .
Language Comparison:Word Order Word order in Polish and English is not the same. Word order in Polish tends to reflect the increasing informational prominence of the elements in a sentence as one proceeds from left to right. Background information is typically placed in the first part of a sentence The orders in which we place and prioritize the parts of the sentence are quite different in the two languages.
Language Comparison The errors a native Polish speaker will make when learning English are due to: Confusion with pronunciation because of different alphabet Word order errors due to difference in rules Learning how to use articles, a new concept to them since articles are not used in Polish Gender is not important in English, but crucial in Polish Many more verb tenses in English, only 3 in Polish The errors that Monika makes in English are mainly due to interference between her L1 and L2.
Language Comparison: Instructional Implications Teacher must develop lessons that help the students to learn & practice new concepts, and then reinforce them. Lessons should also point out the distinct differences between the L1 and L2 in order to help the ELL make connections. Using role-play situations in the classroom would help the ELL to get a better grasp on how to use English in everyday situations. Use raw materials such as TV shows and movies in English. Monika learned a lot of her everyday English by watching “King of Queens” every night when she moved to the US.
References Is It Difficult For an English Native Speaker to Learn Polish?. (2008). Polish-Translations.com. Retrieved November 03, 2011, from http://www.polish-translations.com/PolishTranslation/polishenglish- nativespeaker.html The Polish Language. (2008). Polska Official Promotional Website of the Republic of Poland. Retrieved November 04, 2011, from http://en.poland.gov.pl/The,Polish,Language,317.Html Swan, O.E. (n.d.).Polish Grammar in a Nutshell. Retrieved November, 05, 2011, from http://polish.slavic.pitt.edu/firstyear/nutshell.pdf