An outstanding Polish resource!

So, here is a Christmas present that I just got around to examining:


Seriously, this is easily one of the best language books that I have ever encountered - and I don’t say that lightly. I see from Amazon there is a whole series of them from beginner through upper intermediate. They have downloadable audio files online. I think it’s available in PDF too - so it could presumably be imported into LingQ

What makes it so special, in my estimation?

Well, It seems to have been written, frankly, by a mad genius! Superficially it’s not that groundbreaking, it’s a parallel format with Polish one side, English the other. The stories and dialogues cover a range of scenarios and introduce lots of useful and pretty advanced vocabulary.

But if anyone is expecting the usual language book routine (you know, buying bus tickets, asking the way to the bank - forget it!) The stuff in here is infused with dark and wacky humour. It is, maybe, a bit ‘near the knuckle’ for some? (e.g. there might be spot of police brutality towards teenage hooligans, con artists being let go, because they threaten to tell the police about the porn they saw under your bed…that kind of thing…!)

But if school textbooks were like this, it’d be a game changer - this is Krashen on drugs, man!

If anyone out there is interested in learning Polish, you need to know about these.

1 Like

Oh, I bought the Russian version a long time ago (pre-Lingq):

Mmmmmmmmmm. I don’t remember being that impressed but my recollection is vague, I may re-visit it

Wow, I didn’t realise it was available across different languages - I was beginning to think Polish was unique in having a bunch of interesting resources :slight_smile: I mean we also have (which I’m sure many folks have already heard of - that is another very good resource, in my humble opinion.)

I really wish that I would have had access to these kinds of online resources when I was 15 or 20 years younger!

Yeah, they actually l have a whole ton of languages: Audiolego, Language Practice Publishing - homepage , I see…

I just looked at the Amazon preview to the Russian version. It’s odd because the content looks as if it may be slightly different from the Polish version that I have here - even though they are supposed to be the same book! Weird.

Just had a look at their website Yes, they seem to be the best in the business. Bilingual parallel texts for Beginners and Pre-Intermediates. Each story has a new vocab word list, then the story with bilingual facing columns, then a review of phrases learnt. Audio files downloadable for free from their website.
In addition to Polish they also do Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, French, Finnish, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish. All for speakers of English though I saw some for speakers of German.
They don’t seem to have a brand-name. I went into Amazon and searched on lppbooks and got just 2 results. In the end I searched on “Bilingual Speakers of English” and that yielded 1827 results and a lot of their stuff came up.

The author is one Wiktor Kopernikus. Searching on his name shows him only doing the Polish books, so maybe the stories in the other languages are not so wacky. Still seems a good series though.

if school textbooks were like this

Here is a story from the maddest textbook I’ve ever read – ‘A Russian Course’, by Alexander Lipson, Slavica Publishers, 1977:

“West Blinsk lies near the Great Blinsk Swamp. East Blinsk lies not near a swamp, but near the sea – near the Great Sea of Blinsk. What do the inhabitant of West Blinks do on the beach? Do they build factories? Do they build tourist bases? No. They don’t build anything on the beach. All day they lie on the beach and watch television. What decadence! And the inhabitants of East Blinsk? All day they sit by the sea. On concrete-mixers. They build hydroelectric power stations. What happiness!
The inhabitants of East Blinsk look upon the decadence of West Blinks with disgust. The inhabitants of West Blinsk look upon the happiness of East Blinsk without great enthusiasm.
What is decadence? Decadence is to lie on the beach by the Great Blinsk Swamp and watch television. In tuxedos. What is happiness? Happiness is to sit by the Great Blinsk Sea and build hydroelectric power stations.”

It’s a fantastic book, full of things like “By the Sea of Blinsk, he cries from grief, but in the London morgue he is simply in ecstasy”, or “What is life? What are people? People are ants, and life is an anthill. In what does life end? Life ends in zero.”

Highly recommended.

Thank you so much for sharing about this book because I was wanting to buy one from this series.
I was also looking at 100 Daily Polish Stories from Real Polish. But, the price of 499 PLN (about $143) scared me. I also saw that there is a subscription plan for 50 PLN per month. However, I would only be able to have 10 stories per month at the beginning if I chose the subscription. I know Steve used this course while he did Polish, but I do not know if he did the subscription program. Thoughts? Suggestions?

If price is an issue, I would go with these books. I think I can also remember Steve speaking highly about Real Polish, but don’t know exactly what he did with it. In general, I think he tries to get onto authentic content - history, literature, etc - as quickly as he can? (But then, he was coming to Polish after already learning Russian for a number of years - which would have given him a big advantage.)

Sounds like it was written by Borat! :slight_smile:

by some of his distant relatives kidnapped by gypsies in the childhood, for sure