Polish is a West Slavic language spoken by more than 55 million people worldwide, about 38.5 million of whom speak Polish as a first language. Polish is the official language of Poland and an official language of the European Union. The Polish alphabet is based on the Latin alphabet but has an additional 9 letters. The Polish language dates back to the 10th century and despite numerous invasions and partitions of Poland over the centuries, the Polish people always preserved their identity and language.
Polish is considered by many to be a complex language, but students who are up for the challenge of learning Polish will greatly benefit by being better able to experience the rich culture and beauty of Poland and communicate with the warm and welcoming Polish people.
Free Resources to Learn Polish
Free Learning/Studying Apps
Duolingo – iTunes – Google Play – Duolingo has become a leader in the language learning world and for good reason. It’s fast, fun, well designed, suitable for all ages, and turns learning a foreign language into a challenging and pretty addictive game.
Tinycards – iTunes – Google Play – Tinycards is a free flashcards app, from the creators of Duolingo, which uses spaced repetition and nicely designed “decks” to help you learn anything, including foreign languages. Tinycards uses gamification, like Duolingo, which makes it fun and easy to use.
Memrise – iTunes – Google Play – Memrise is a really fast, fun and free language learning app/website that is sure to get you hooked. There is a visual flashcard component which also incorporates audio from a community of native speakers. Memrise uses spaced repetition and is really effective at drilling vocabulary and phrases into your memory.
Drops – Learn Polish – iTunes – Google Play – This simple but powerful app is entertaining, educational, and free. With a focus on visual learning and 5-minute lesson limits, this app is easy to integrate into your daily language learning regimen and is very effective.
Clozemaster – iTunes – Google Play – This popular app uses gamification and is a great addition to your language learning regimen, no matter what your level. It is very effective for vocabulary acquisition and billed as a great app to use after Duolingo.
Learn Polish by 50 Languages – iTunes – Google Play – This app is great for beginners (A1-A2) to increase practical vocabulary which is useful for managing everyday situations (at a store, restaurant, bank, doctor, etc). With the free version, you will have access to 30 complete lessons.
HelloTalk – iTunes – Google Play – HelloTalk is a global language learning social network that connects you with native speakers of other languages so that you can practice your speaking and listening skills with native speakers via text/audio messages and free audio and video calls. The free version allows you to choose one native language and one target language.
Internet Polyglot – iTunes – Google Play – This free app uses lessons, games, and pictures to teach foreign languages to beginners. Although Internet Polyglot is far from a standalone language learning tool, it is a useful supplement to help you to learn and retain vocabulary.
Beginner Polish – Google Play – This app is based on the “learn a word a day” concept and uses a simple and direct approach to teaching Polish to beginners.
Start From Zero Polish – Google Play – This app will boost your vocabulary skills by helping you learn thousands of the most commonly used Polish words and phrases. It also offers quiz and flashcard functionality to test your progress.
6000 Words – Learn Polish Language for Free – iTunes – Google Play – This app will teach you more than 6000 Polish words with images, phonetic transcriptions and pronunciations recorded by native speakers. The vocabulary words are organized into 15 themes with 140 subtopics.
Learn 10,000 Polish Words and Phrases – iTunes – Google Play – Although this app won’t help you learn grammar, it will teach you a ton of vocabulary. The Polish language lessons include 10,000 key words and phrases for all levels Beginner A1 (500 words), Elementary A2 (501-1250), Lower Intermediate B1 (1251-2250), Upper Intermediate B2 (2251-3500) and Advanced C1 (3501-5000).
Simply Learn Polish – iTunes – Google Play – This app will teach you over 300 common Polish words and phrases using images and high-quality audio recordings by a native speaker from Poland. Spaced repetition is used for better vocabulary retention. You can track your progress, take quizzes, and save words and phrases to a favorites list. The free version covers phrases and vocabulary for the following topics which are essential when visiting Poland: Numbers, Time and Date, Basic Conversation, Greetings, Getting Directions, Eating at Restaurants, Sightseeing, Shopping, Emergency, and Accommodations.
Learn Polish with WordPower – iTunes – Google Play – WordPower is another app that relies heavily on the “freemium” model, but the free version will teach you 100 of the most common Polish words and phrases.
Tiengos – Google Play – This app provides Polish articles on interesting topics and of varying difficulty levels, from easy to advanced. Many articles are accompanied by audio and the app also serves as a Polish translator.
Tandem Language Exchange – iTunes – Google Play – This app matches you with language exchange partners from all over the world, providing the opportunity to practice those essential conversation skills that are necessary to take your language skills to the next level.
Free Polish Dictionary/Translation Apps
Google Translate – iTunes – Google Play – Google Translate offers online text translation between 103 languages by typing, offline translation for 59 languages, camera translation for 38 languages, image translation for 37 languages, conversation translation in 32 languages, and translation of handwritten characters in 93 languages. The app also has a phrasebook which allows you to save translated words and phrases for future reference in all languages.
iTranslate – iTunes – Google Play – iTranslate is a leading free translator and dictionary app that provides translations for text in over 100 languages. Other functionality includes transliteration, sharing, favorites, history, and audio in both male and female voices. Voice to voice translations and the use of offline mode is not available with the free version.
The Free Dictionary By Farlex – iTunes – Google Play – This dictionary and thesaurus app provides millions of precise definitions, drawn from the most trusted industry publications and sources, including idioms, slang, and etymology of words. The Free Dictionary works offline and offers additional functionality like voice search, sharing, games, word of the day, and more.
Reverso Polish Dictionary – iTunes – Google Play – This app serves as a dictionary and translator for millions of words and expressions, accompanied by contextual examples. Other features include a powerful linguistic search engine, natural pronunciation, phrasebook, flashcards and more.
Klays-Development Polish-English Translator – Google Play – This free app translates words and complete sentences instantly. It features a favorites list, history, voice input, and a user-friendly interface.
The Apps Castle Polish English Translator – Google Play – This Polish / English translation and dictionary app can be used offline and has built-in audio.
Learn Polish with PolishPod101.com – This is a fun and helpful set of videos to add to your regular Polish language learning regimen.
Travel Linguist Polish 101 Video Lessons – This series of 20 short videos covers basic introductory vocabulary.
Easy Polish – These YouTube videos are the work of a non-profit project which uses lighthearted street interviews as a method to teach languages. Each video has a topic and the host asks questions to native Polish speakers on the street based on the theme. Each video contains subtitles in both Polish and English. In addition to street interviews, this channel offers simple lessons for beginners.
Fun Kids Live Learn Polish Videos – YouTube – This videos and other Polish learning materials on this website were created with support from the Polish Cultural Institute of London. Although they are clearly aimed at children, beginner Polish students of all ages can benefit from these free resources.
Polish for English Speakers – YouTube – This set of 7 videos focuses on the Polish alphabet and pronunciation.
Polish For Beginners – YouTube – This YouTube channel features 17 lessons for beginners by an experienced Polish Teacher named Aneta.
Learn Polish With Me – YouTube – Enthusiastic Polish instructor Ewelina teaches 45 beginner lessons on this YouTube channel.
Polonus Polish for Foreigners – YouTube – This channel features lessons taught entirely in Polish so it is geared towards intermediate level students who have a foundation in the language. The videos do include Polish subtitles, which is helpful.
Fun Kids Live Beginner Polish Lessons – iTunes – The podcasts, videos and other Polish learning materials on this website were created with support from the Polish Cultural Institute of London. Although they are clearly aimed at children, beginner Polish students of all ages can benefit from these free resources.
Learn Polish with PolishPod101.com – iTunes – This is a fun and informative podcast to add to your regular Polish language learning regimen. Every lesson is free for a period of time; each new audio and video lesson (3-5 lessons are published per week) is free to access for 3 weeks before being locked into their library, which can be accessed only with paid membership.
One Minute Polish – iTunes – Yep, that’s right, each lesson includes just over a minute of language instruction, so it’s a breeze to fit this into your busy schedule! In this podcast, you will learn Polish from Ania who will teach you the basics. Although you won’t become fluent with the One Minute Polish program, it is the perfect way to boost your confidence and to help you make a good impression when communicating on a trip to a Poland.
Vocabulearn Polish – This free program on Spotify is divided into two parts, each of which is approximately three hours long and teaches about 2500 vocabulary words and useful phrases.
Polish SurvivalPhrases – iTunes – These fun and innovative audio lessons teach basic Polish and are accompanied by PDF guides.
Mission Krakow / Misja Kraków by Deutsche Welle – iTunes – This beginner Polish course is part of the larger Mission Europe series brought you by German broadcaster Deutsche Welle. It is an A1 level course (absolute beginner) but could certainly be useful even for more advanced students as a fun source of review. There are 26, five minute long lessons which center around a mystery that you have to solve while on a video game-like adventure.
Learn Polish by Complete Language Lessons – Spotify – 9 free Polish lessons on Spotify.
Teach Yourself Polish – Spotify – Learn Polish words with this beginner level Audiobook.
Polish Audio Course for Beginners – This free audio course on Spotify offers 110 lessons spread over 2 volumes which teach basic vocabulary for beginners.
- Polish for Beginners Volume 2 on Spotify – 56 Polish vocabulary lessons.
- Polish for Beginners Volume 3 on Spotify – 54 Polish vocabulary lessons.
Colloquial Polish: The Complete Course for Beginners – This collection of audio files, each a few minutes in length, provides concise and clear Polish language instruction for beginners. These free audio lessons were made to accompany the Colloquial Polish: The Complete Course for Beginners textbook, which is aimed at teaching Polish to beginners in a practical way to prepare them to effectively communicate with confidence in everyday situations.
Foreign Service Institute (FSI) Polish Fast Course – The FSI Polish Fast Course was created as an intensive and challenging course that would yield the best language learning results in the shortest period of time. FAST courses aim to help you handle new situations and train you to apply the limited amount of language knowledge you have to the very practical situations you are likely to encounter in Poland and to do so confidently. The FSI Polish Fast Course includes 14 audio files in MP3 format with a running time of 3 hours and 4 minutes, as well as an e-textbook in PDF format with 463 pages.
Defense Language Institute (DLI) Polish FLAMRIC Course – This course is intended to be a Polish language refresher course, and requires basic Polish language skills as a prerequisite. It is accompanied by 11 e-textbooks in PDF format with a total of 1699 pages, and 22 audio files in MP3 format with a combined running time of 7 hours and 33 minutes. This Polish language course is part of the language learning program developed by the U.S. Department of Defense as a means of training employees for foreign assignments. As a result, a good portion of the material focuses on military-related content, however, on the whole, there is a lot of value for all.
Defense Language Institute (DLI) Polish Refresher Course – This course is designed for students who have already completed intensive Polish language studies and focuses on listening comprehension. It is accompanied by 2 e-textbooks in PDF format with a total of 988 pages, and 20 audio files in MP3 format with a combined running time of 10 hours and 8 minutes.
Defense Language Institute (DLI) Polish Proficiency Improvement Course – The Polish Proficiency Improvement Course (PIC) was designed for students who need to improve their current Polish language level. It is accompanied by 7 e-textbooks in PDF format with a total of 2395 pages, and 18 audio files in MP3 format with a combined running time of 7 hours and 22 minutes.
Elementary Polish I – II Course – This online course, created by Professor Frank Gladney of the University of Chicago, is for beginners and covers grammar and vocabulary with exercises.
Polish Grammar Tutorial – This informative blog provides information about Poland and Polish culture and most importantly offers a Polish Language mini-course consists of 10 lessons with drills.
LanguageGuide.org – Explore the world of Polish by learning an abundance of vocabulary in a sound integrated, animated guide. After learning the vocabulary you can take part in games to test your comprehension.
Babadum – A free language learning website that features fun flashcard games to help you brush up on your vocabulary.
Polish Learning Web Portal – This website was created by Jagiellonian University with funding from the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The interface is nicely designed and the content is comprehensive. Students can learn about Poland with the in-depth country profile and take the beginner Polish Course which includes 16 lessons accompanied by images, audio, and exercises. The Polish Language Bank provides extensive information on grammar and language structure and is a great learning aid.
Oneness Polish – This interactive site features 10 Polish lessons, plus vocabulary and grammar tutorials, a dictionary, games and more. This short video introduction explains the site layout and provides guidance on how to use the program. The Oneness Online Language Training Courses is a free program, funded by the EU, which aims to promote Estonian, Finish, Lithuanian, Polish and Portuguese languages and cultures.
BBC Languages: Polish – The BBC Polish Language website is a treasure trove of wonderful resources and information. It is high-quality, comprehensive and provides a lot of intelligently presented and produced materials. The BBC features a Common Words and Phrases Tutorial, Alphabet Tutorial, Soap Opera themed Polish Lessons, a profile of Poland and some interesting facts about the Polish Language. All BBC language learning pages were “archived” a few years back due to cost-cutting measures, which means they are no longer adding new information or updating the pages. However, you should have no problem accessing the existing information.
Learn Polish Feel Good – This blog provides beginner to intermediate level Polish tutorials covering grammar and vocabulary with exercises to test your progress.
Learn101 – This website features free beginner lessons to guide you through learning Polish, step by step, starting with the Alphabet, moving on to grammar, vocabulary, and phrases, and finally offering simple quizzes to test your progress. These lessons are a basic introduction to the language and have images, text and audio.
Polish Verbs Conjugation Tables – This site provides very useful grammar references. Students can access 474 fully conjugated Polish verbs in all tenses and forms, in organized and easy to use tables. Additionally, a second table of 22 000 Conjugated Polish Verbs is provided, which allows students to find verbs even when they don’t know the infinitive form.
CoolJugator – CoolJugator is a verb conjugator website that makes conjugation easy and straightforward.
Ilanguages – This site is designed to teach Polish with free vocabulary, phrases, grammar, and flashcards while focusing on highly used words and phrases necessary for everyday living.
Polish Stories by BookBox – Cartoons have always been a wonderful asset to language learning, particularity for children. These animated children’s stories are great because the viewer can read along with the narration, which is shown on-screen as “Same Language Subtitles (SLS).” Each word is highlighted in time with the audio, which helps with comprehension and retention.
Omniglot – This site specializes in providing information about languages and their alphabets and writing systems.
First Polish Words by Oxford University Press – The Oxford First Words book series is a language learning tool for children. This First Words book features over 400 words in Polish and the interactive online interface allows you to click on the pictures to hear the audio in Polish along with the Polish translations. Though this book is intended for children, the fact is that it is a very effective tool for adults to build vocabulary as well.
Digital Dialects – This website makes learning vocabulary fun with interactive games.
Goethe Verlag – This website offers 100 Polish lessons for beginners, each with words, phrases and corresponding audio files.
Loecsen – Loecson offers a free mini-course consisting of fun lessons that provide a basic introduction to Polish with the help of text, audio, simple illustrations, and quizzes to test your progress. You will learn high-frequency vocabulary words and commonly used phrases relating to 17 themes which are relevant to everyday life.
Verbix – Online Polish verb conjugator.
Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Polish Tutorial – This Language Survival Kit Module for Polish contains basic vocabulary with audio. Both the audio files and the PDF text can be downloaded.
Surface Languages – This website helps you to learn words, phrases, and expressions in many different languages using audio, flashcards, language learning games and mini-courses.
Slavic Network Polish Language Tutorials – This website is the result of the collaborative work of several top European Universities with funding from the European Commission. The goal of this Slavic language learning portal is to promote the learning of Polish, Czech, Slovakian, Slovenian and Bulgarian and teach about the various Slavic cultures.
Virtual Polish Keyboard – Type in Polish using this web interface.
Lang-8 – This free network is a nice tool to support your language learning. Native speakers are available to make corrections to your text and provide feedback. In return, you provide help to others.
HiNative – iTunes – Google Play – HiNative is an app brought to you by the creators of Lang-8 that allows you to ask questions to native speakers from around the world using your smartphone. HiNative was created to be used alongside Lang-8 and is different from Lang-8 in that it focuses on a Q&A type of learning while Lang-8 is a journal writing experience.
RhinoSpike – RhinoSpike is an interesting website that connects language learners from all over the world allowing them to exchange audio files to help improve pronunciation skills. It allows you to submit text that you would like to hear read aloud by a native speaker, and in turn, you receive the audio file. In exchange, and to speed up the process you can, in turn, provide audio files in your native language for other learners.
MyLanguageExchange.com – This online language learning community connects you with other learners so that you can practice speaking in your second language with a native speaker and vice-versa.
Italki – A community of over 2 million language learners that facilitates free language practice with native speakers. You simply exchange time teaching your native language for time learning a foreign language, making it mutually beneficial and free.
Deutsche Welle – German broadcasting company DW provides news in Polish.
Google News – Read the world news in Polish with Google News.
SBS Radio Polish Program – iTunes – SBS is an Australian broadcasting company that targets non-native English speakers and creates programming in many languages. This podcast allows you to listen to interviews, features and community stories from the SBS Radio Polish program, including Australian and world news.
Polskie Radio – This Polish radio broadcasting company is owned by the state and publicly funded.
Gazeta – This is an online Polish news portal.
Gazeta Wyborcza – This is a liberal-leaning Polish newspaper.
Radio Tok FM – This is a Polish radio station.
BBC Polish – This is the Polish language service of the BBC which was discontinued in 2005 but still hosts a ton of content.
PAP – The Polish Press Agency is the national news broadcasting company of Poland.
Translatica – This is the online version of the popular PWN (Polish Scientific Publishers) print Polish dictionary.
Słownik Języka Polskiego – This website consists of 3 dictionaries contains: online version of Dictionary of Polish Language PWN (Edition 2005, 100 000 entries), The Great Orographic Dictionary PWN (Edition 2017, 140 000 entries) and Dictionary of Polish Language by prof. Doroszewski (Edition 1969, containing roughly 125 000 entries). Additionally, users will find a Corpus of Polish Language, an Encyclopedia, the complete set of Polish Grammar rules, and extensive explanations in the Language Advisory (Poradnia Językowa).
WSJP (Wielki Słownik Języka Polskiego) – This online dictionary contains 15 000 entries with both word definitions, collocations, and inflection tables. This is not for beginners as it is entirely in Polish with no English definitions.
SGJP Grammatical Dictionary of Polish – This online dictionary lists all the grammatical forms (conjugation, declension, etc.) of over 333,000 Polish words. It features a Polish and English interface, but features very few actual word definitions.
Synonim – This online thesaurus provides 600,000 synonyms for 150,000 Polish words.
The National Corpus of Polish – The Narodowy Korpus Języka Polskiego allows users to use an English or Polish interface to search for words.
WordReference – There is no need for a Polish-English dictionary if you have WordReference. Featuring good translations of words and solid definitions, this site also has helpful forums where Polish speakers from around the world contribute to explaining subtle nuances or more obscure words.
Forvo – This crowd-sourced site is a great tool to help with pronunciation as it allows you to listen to words and phrases spoken by native speakers.
Dict.cc – A go-to Polish dictionary and translation website which also offers crowd-sourced recordings by native speakers.
Bab.La – This “language portal” boasts 44 dictionaries for 28 languages, as well as a wealth of other language learning resources, such as helpful articles, games and quizzes, verb conjugations and phrase books.
Tatoeba – Tatoeba is a large, crowdsourced database of sentences and translations. This free resource allows you to search for a word and get results showing that word in sentences with translations.
Talkify – This free, multilingual website is a very interesting and valuable resource that allows you to listen to text in foreign languages. Simply insert a URL into the search field on Talkify and it will automatically detect the language and read the text of that website aloud in a natural sounding voice.
Cambridge Online Dictionary – Here you can access the online version of the popular Cambridge Dictionary.
Lektorek – This online dictionary references Oscar Swan’s dictionary and grammar references created at The University of Pittsburgh.
Polish Dictionary – Much more than a dictionary, this website also features a ton of educational articles about Poland, Polish language and culture.
Lingro – Free online dictionary
Diki Dictionary – Free online dictionary.
Polish Grammar in a Nutshell by Oscar E. Swan – Professor Oscar Swan of the University of Pittsburgh created this grammar reference which provides “information on Polish sounds and grammar which should be mastered by the intermediate-level student of the language. The accompanying lessons can be accessed here.
A Concise Polish Grammar by Ron F. Feldstein – This Reference Grammar was created by the SEELRC (Slavic and East European Language Resource Center of Duke University and UNC Chapel Hill).
Practical Handbook of the Polish Language by Joseph Frances Baluta – Containing the alphabet, pronunciation, fluency exercises, rules of grammar, various conversations, and comprehensive vocabulary of words in daily use.
Transparent Language – Free online language level testing is offered by this language learning software company.
Cactus Language – This UK based language study abroad organization offers free online language level testing.
Language Trainers – This language training company offers free online language level testing.
Goethe Verlag – Free tests in 25 languages and 600 language combinations. You will find 200 Polish vocabulary tests and 20 Polish crossword puzzles.
What Are Your Favorite Free Polish Language Learning Resources?
We have done a lot of research to bring you the best, free resources that the internet has to offer and we want to make sure our list is always comprehensive. Please share your favorites in the comments below.