Learning Polish – Day 4

Today was mostly a review of the stuff I have learned in lessons 2 and 3 over the past few days, however one notable exception is that I learned how to count from 1 to 10 today. I already knew how to count from 1 to 5, Carin and her cousins in Poland taught me that on the 4th of July in New York City when they were visiting and we went for the fireworks. They tried to teach me 6-10 as well at the time, but it was too difficult for me back then, which makes the fact that I’ve learned it now all the more enjoyable.

So without further adieu:

1 – jeden
2 – dwa
3 – trzy
4 – cztery
5 – pięć
6 – sześć
7 – siedem
8 – ociem
9 – dziewięć
10 – dziesięć

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Learning Polish – Day 3

Another day another expedition into the rocket science that is the Polish language. It really is very difficult and frustrating, not only learning a new alphabet and new words, but also new sounds and new ways of using your mouth and vocal chords to make those sounds. Today was about half a review of what I learned yesterday, and half new stuff. Carin brought over a little notepad and as I was going through the Rosetta Stone lesson she was jotting down notes in it. Upon completing the lesson she handed me the notepad and said “here, study this.” The notepad consists of a few pages of vocabulary containing all the words I have learned so far with some additional ones she has taught me over time, as well as colors and some verbs. She said she will be testing me at some point in the near future, I’m guessing over the weekend; but to get an early start I’m going to write out of some them here to conclude this post.

dziewcynka – girl
ryba – fish
ptak – bird
czerwony – red
niebieski – blue
siwe – gray
Ten samolot jest czarny – This airplane is black

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Learning Polish – Day 2

Today was my second venture into the Polish language; Lesson 2 of my Rosetta Stone software package. A little more challenging than yesterday but not too much worse as it logically incorporated many of the terms learned in Lesson 1. For example words like kobieta (woman) and samolot (airplane) which were learned on day 1 were reintroduced with a few verbs, such as biegnie (run) and skacze (jump). So an example of something a 2 year old Polish child could say, kobieta biegnie, translates to something along the lines of “the woman is running.”

I can understand how it may seem so trivial to some, however it truly is a humbling experience to attempt to learn another language. I also think that English speakers are at a disadvantage when it comes to learning another language, because English is unlike another other language currently spoken. Whereas Spanish is related to French and Italian, and Polish is related to Russian, English in my experience is truly unique, and that isn’t necessarily a good thing.

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Learning Polish – Day 1

Saturday I took the first step in accomplishing one of my new year’s resolutions. Carin and I stopped by the Willowbrook Mall and made an appearance at the Rosetta Stone booth. I purchased the Level 1 Polish CD set for $200 (came with a free headset and a 6-month guarantee). Today I took my first long and hard glimpse into it and I must confess to being pretty overwhelmed.

Learning Polish seemed like a novel idea over the holidays when I was surrounded by future-family who spoke 90% Polish, but now that I have actually begun to attempt it I have been greatly humbled. I like to think I can pick up new things pretty quickly, especially computer-related tasks such as computer languages, but this is a completely different beast altogether. Prelimenary ventures into the Polish language have left me confused and irritated. However, I will not give up. Learning Polish is important to me for a number of reasons, the most important being that it is the first language for over half of Carin’s family, including herself, and without it there are family members with whom I cannot communicate at all. Thus, it is imperative that I learn it and I will not give up until I do. Luckily I have Carin to help me, and she has been great as always.

I will try to track my progress regularly on this blog so that you all can follow it too if interested. If not, no biggie, just don’t be alarmed one day when you all of a sudden see a post written in Polish! :P

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Fedora Core 6 Installation

Part one of my computer work at home is nearly complete. Last week I made the decision to remove Windows Vista from my laptop. I have the full retail version from Microsoft’s Technet, not a beta, but it just simply is not working out. But before I can get rid if it , I have gigabytes of data to backup. Thus my laptop’s weekend was constricted to backing up data (yes I just referenced my laptop in the 3rd person). However, playing around with my laptop got up my interest in playing around with my home desktop computer.

Currently my home PC is a Pentium III 800mhz, with 256 MB of RAM. I know, I know, horrible by today’s standards. However, this was a hand-me-down system from a friend and when I got it the system didn’t even turn on. I had to pop in some memory, a hard drive, and a PCI wireless ethernet device.. For simplicity I installed Windows XP at the time.

Now, working on my laptop got me interested in an old hobby: Linux. Again I originally installed Windows XP for simplicity, because I highly doubted that any flavor of Linux would support my PCI ethernet card out of the box.

I chose Fedora Core 6, a long-time favorite of mine. Many people swear over their children by Ubuntu but personally I’ve always had the best experiences with Fedora. The installation went pretty seamless. There was only one hiccup, where the installer said that the xcdroast package was missing or corrupt but after a few keystrokes of hitting the “retry” button it started working again; a slight issue reading the installation cd most likely. The total process took about an hour and a half I’d guesstimate, which is long for a Linux install, but also remember my horrible PC specs (I also chose to install a bunch of extras, such as French and Polish language support).

When the system was finished doing its thing I booted into Linux and was very delighted with the UI and simplicity of Fedora. It certainly has come a very long way from when I used to use RedHat 7.1. Unfortunately I was right and my PCI ethernet device did not work out of the box, so currently I have no internet access under Linux. After some brief research last night it appears as though I will be able to get it to work as long as I have pciutils and ndiswrapper installed, at which point I should be able to load the windows driver and get it to work.

Once this is setup my computer work will be halfway complete, although I must say this is definitely the more difficult part, as the laptop work consists of inserting a restoration cd and copying and pasting data. I will keep you updated with my progress on getting the wireless to work, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to venture into Linux.

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