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Polish: Enough Indo-European Similarity to Make Picking up Words Easier?

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I’ve been so happy that I’ve reached a level of comprehension in the spoken and written Dutch language that I would have thought impossible two years ago when I only knew a tiny bit. I’ve come to the conclusion that this has less to do with some terrific linguistic aptitude on my part, but rather that words tend to *stick* since both are Germanic languages and due to having a common ancestral root, share many features in common such as logic in word formation, cadence, etc….

I’m able to communicate as well in French fluently having lived in Quebec 15 years and can get by, although sometimes haltingly, in Spanish. I wonder there though too, if those two languages, started in grade school and university respectively, came to me more easily at the time due to the many Latin and even French borrowings in the English language? (I’m in my early forties now.)

This summer when I’ll have some free time, I was thinking I might like to take a course to better my German at the Goethe Institut here in Montreal. However, I thought maybe it would be better for my mind to try a completely different language group. While I want to get out of my comfort zone so some extent, I’m thinking I might stick it out and not lose motivation if the language is within the Indo-European family of languages. Polish came to mind as I believe it’s the most spoken Slavic language that uses the Roman alphabet, and might be fun at some point to combine a trip to Germany with next door Poland.

I listened to some introductory videos on learning Polish on youtube and found that most of what I heard and read sounded quite alien (meaning bore little to no relation to the languages I do know) with a few exceptions. Example of exceptions: what sounded like “voda” was “water”, the word for furniture sounded vaguely like the French “meuble” but really very few.

I find there are commonalities between Romance and Germanic languages, despite being different branches of “Indo-European languages” (German/Dutch: nacht; English: night; French: nuit; Spanish: noche; Italian: notte; Dutch: vader; English: father; Spanish: padre).

My question is this: for those of you who have tried a Slavic language (could be Polish,Czech, etc…), while I’m sure vocabulary building is not as fast as with a Germanic/Romance language, were you able to make ties with Germanic/Latin-based languages that made the language learning somewhat easier? An Indo-European language commonality if you will. Or was it mostly like Chinese, basically starting from scratch?

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