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Why Learn Polish?
As an English speaker in America, it's incredibly easy to avoid ever having to communicate in another language. However, those of us who do take up the challenge will hold a certain advantage when it comes to our ability to communicate and connect with people. There are few skills in life that can help you to develop both personally and professionally quite as well as a second language. From the increased social confidence it provides, to making friends in other countries, to accessing a broader network of professional contacts, to the personal sense of achievement and growth, a second language will open new doors in your life.
Many people choose to learn Polish to connect to their roots, to travel or live in central Europe, or to take advantage of one of Europe's most promising emerging economies. The central European nation may not be as close as Spanish-speaking Latin America, but the benefit of learning another language is not affected by geography like it used to be.
The Global Village
National boundaries are no longer the obstacles to communication that they once were. Cheap long distance flights and the ubiquity of the internet have finally transformed the world into the "global village" predicted in the last century. Technology has made it possible for two individuals anywhere in the world to connect in a multitude of ways. At the same time, the emerging economies and new global superpowers are enthusiastically promoting a more international outlook. Large multinational corporations can choose their locations and markets from around the globe, while small, independent businesses are harnessing the power of the worldwide web to connect with – and sell to – an increasingly global customer base. Together, these factors make the non-English-speaking world more relevant than ever.
Imagine how you could take advantage of these opportunities with a second language. Once you have learned to speak Polish, you can employ your new skill to manage customer care, close important deals, or take up an exciting new position within a company. Poland is a major industrial center, with one of the strongest emerging markets for manufacturing and export in the entire Eurozone. It is also the biggest research and development hub in central Europe, with dozens of multinational tech companies now conducting R&D in the country. The Polish economy holds a favorable position: formerly a part of the Soviet Union, it is now central to the European Union. This new paradigm has allowed Poland to remain competitive while offering an ever-improving standard of living.
This is not to say that you need to relocate to Poland in order to benefit from knowing the language. Professionals who can speak Polish have the inside track on one of the fastest-growing economies in the entire Eurozone. Owners of small and medium enterprises are discovering that central and eastern Europe accounts for a growing share of sales; high-quality customer care, spoken in a familiar tongue, may make the difference when it comes to securing a deal.
Personal Choices, Personal Growth
There has never been a better time to begin learning Polish. The vibrancy of Polish life reflects a nation emerging from its own past. Because the language is a close relative of Czech and Slovak, it is spoken widely throughout Western Russia and the Ukraine – making it a useful lingua franca throughout eastern Europe.
Poland is also becoming a popular tourist destination because of its gorgeous medieval and Renaissance cities, pristine forests and white sand beaches, and low prices compared to the rest of Europe.
Closer to home, over 11 million Americans claim Polish ancestry, but only 3% of the Polish-American community speak Polish today. There is an increasing interest among the other 97% to reconnect to their Polish roots, especially in urban areas like Chicago, New York and Detroit where the Polish-American population is large and cultural ties to Poland are still strong.
Learn Polish with Babbel
Babbel is the most intuitive, affordable and effective language learning method available online. Lessons help you listen, speak, read and write Polish with content that is relevant and useful. Babbel adapts to your pace and learning style, listens to you speak and helps correct your pronunciation, and saves all your progress to the cloud. Whether you access your Polish courses from your computer, tablet or smartphone you can pick up wherever you left off and continue to review everything you've learned – even after your subscription ends. As a member of the Babbel community, you can also connect with other learners and native speakers so you can always find someone to practice you Polish with – no matter where in the world you may be.