I know from experience it’s hard to manage in a bilingual home, especially if only one of you speaks Polish. What with work and school, it’s sometimes easier to just cope in English and hope the bit of Polish conversation you do manage, seeps in at the edges of life. I keep reminding myself that this is an uphill struggle which will never see me reaching perfection. Yet, it will be worth it in many years time when maybe I get a ‘thank you’.
Surely, one of the great things about Europe is how many of its citizens speak not just one language, but two, or three or even more. A friend of mine spoke Polish at home, Lithuanian in the playground and Russian at school. So surely we can manage just one other? Besides, speaking ‘Ponglish’ (is that the term?) can be such fun, and all those words we thought were just made up have made it into modern Polish language like eventy, klipsy and adidasy.
I was thrilled to see that recently, the Polish Cultural Institute has launched a Learn Polish kids’ site with podcasts and videos. It has videos on meeting and greeting, animals, the body and even deals with “cz” words through a little Minecraft journey. The clips feature children speaking English and Polish and it’s done in a really simple, accessible way. Try it. I think it’d work for most grown-ups too.