If so, join us. Some members of the WR forums are starting to learn Polish. This textbook (available online for free) will be used. Drill exercises and a grammar reference are available on the same website. FAQ: Q: Why should I learn Polish? A: Click. Let me add that Polish is one of the most important languages of the European Union and one of its fastest-growing markets, and that the entrepreneurial spirit of the Polish people is hard to beat. Moreover, the turbulent history of Poland is a key to an understanding of Central and Eastern European societies. Q: If I learn some Polish, will I be able to communicate in other Slavic languages as well? A: Well... Czech, Slovak and possibly Ukrainian speakers will probably understand you but you will not understand them unless they start speaking in words instead of in sentences. However, the grammars of Slavic languages are similar and the languages have a large common base of useful words, which you will be able to recognize not only in countries neighboring Poland. Check out our threads on similarities and mutual intelligibility between Slavic languages. Q: Will I have to register or commit myself to any schedule? A: No. No online classes will be organized. You will self-study at your own pace, and if you don’t like it, you can simply stop. Q: What are the benefits of learning Polish this way? A: Beginners using the same book will probably have similar doubts, problems, and questions. The Slavic forum will be a platform where you can consolidate what you have learned. Our helpful natives will assist you, and other learners will ask questions that may not have occurred to you. Group pressure will contribute more effectively to solid progress than will independent learning. And what a group! Our members tend to be language enthusiasts. Q: What if I already speak some Polish and do not want to wait until the others catch up with me? A: The project will be a useful refresher for you. As a WR member, you know how much you can learn by helping others. Q: I am a native speaker of another Slavic language. Should I embark on learning a language I already understand a bit? A: Absolutely! You can learn a lot effortlessly, just by skimming the book, reading the threads, and paying attention to false friends. Q: I have got many other commitments, and I am not sure I would be able to keep up with the others. Would it make sense to start anyway? A: Definitely. Threads opened by participating members will not disappear. They will ideally serve to help our future members, too. Q: Are there any particular forum rules I should respect? A: No, just the "normal" rules that you are familiar with. But I would appreciate it if you could re-read the copyright rule (number 16). Do not quote more than you may, and always acknowledge the source. If you refer to the book, give the page number so that our forer@s can identify your problem easily. Q: OK, I am convinced. What should I do next? A: Download the first chapter of the book, look up the audio files in our resources sticky, bookmark a dictionary of your choice and this webpage. There is no official start date for the "project". I expect first threads to start coming by the end of this week. Q: What else do I need? A: Patience and persistence. The beginnings will be hard because you will struggle with pronunciation, and the grammar is pretty complex as well. ***NEW*** Q: Almost all exercises are accompanied by audio files. How can I use the interactive features of the book? A: Click. The first time you click on the audio link (the first icon in the area I marked red), a prompt will ask you to authorize the file type either just for the current session or forever. I recommend the latter option. Then you will be able to listen to an audio file (the usual control panel appears, see the area in blue). To do this, you have to have the QuickTime player on your computer. It is available here for free. I tested all of the above in IE and Firefox. However, the exact sequence of the steps may be different for your particular settings. Unfortunately, I was not able to reach any remarkable result by clicking on the other two icons, video and drill exercises. If you are experiencing any difficulties with audio or if you know how to use the video and drills part, please post in this thread. Enjoy!