Learning Polish doesn’t have to be stressful. With a long list of great resources to recommend, we can point you in the right direction. Of course, we also have some cautionary advice—there are a few courses that aren’t worth your time.
Here, we’ll go over our top tier picks for learning Polish. We’ll also cover the second-tier options, a so-so third-tier selection, and a handful of courses you should definitely not waste your time on.
Ready to find out which courses you should try and which you should skip? Let’s get started with the best Polish courses for language learners.
Babbel, Italki, Polishpod101, Pimsleur
Duolingo, Memrise, FSI Polish Fast Course, Udemy, Lektorek
Glossika, Mango Languages, Mówić Po Polsku, Elementary Polish, Busuu, Goethe Verlag
Michel Thomas, Rosetta Stone, Mondly, Transparent Language
Tier 1 – the Best Choices for Learning Polish
These top-tier picks are stellar options for learning to speak Polish.
A robust resource for beginning Polish
Price: Personal plans begin at $12.95/month or $6.95/month for a whole year
Babbel takes an interactive approach for Polish, and you’ll notice some similarities to the game-y Duolingo. But the content is strong, and their strategies help everyone from beginners to intermediate language learners hone their abilities.
At the advanced level, however, you’ll probably want to invest in a higher-level resource to continue with Polish.
- There are a variety of exercises to practice what you’ve learned.
- Lessons build on each other.
- Grammar is explained clearly.
- Good, clear audio recordings.
- Advanced Polish speakers will need a supplement.
- There’s not much oral practice involved in comparison with other top picks.
See our full, in-depth review of Babbel here.
On-demand tutoring at any level
Price: Starts at $4/hour with an average of around $10/hour (ranges up to $50/hour)
For anyone who does well with a customized language learning experience, italki is a budget-friendly and convenient option. It’s a platform for students to connect with instructors (both teachers and tutors).
You pick your instructor and the rate you’re comfortable with, then schedule tutoring sessions that focus on the topics you need to work on. You can even find native speakers in any language to really hone your pronunciation—and get a cultural background.
- Lessons are flexible and easy to sign up for.
- You can take a trial lesson for a few bucks to check things out.
- Lots of extra tools to help language learners.
- The pricing is kind of weird, you have to convert to italki credits.
- Sometimes in-demand teachers get booked up.
See our full, in-depth review of italki here.
Podcast-style Polish practice
Price: Subscriptions start at $8 per month and range up to $47 per month
With the popularity of podcasts, it’s no wonder PolishPod101 totally works. It’s a podcast format with hundreds of audio and video lessons, and the focus is on jump-starting your speaking skills. It’s flexible and can go anywhere, too.
New content comes out all the time, too, so in addition to the hundreds of mini-lessons, you’re bound to get new stuff often.
- Dialogues focus on natural conversation.
- The Basic plan is very affordable.
- There are curated lists, smart flashcards, and a library of hundreds of mini-lessons.
- Not structured well enough to be the only resource you use.
- Aggressive marketing will fill up your email inbox.
See our full review of PolishPod101.
A proven method of learning Polish
Price: $119.95 for Level 1 (CD is $345.00)
Pimsleur is an excellent resource for learning a ton of different languages. It offers both male and female speakers and tons of audio content across all languages. With Polish, you’ll use their app to access your paid course.
The bad news is that you can’t get Polish as part of a Pimsleur subscription right now. Hopefully, that’ll happen soon.
- Audio-based learning is a perk.
- The focus is on developing your oral Polish skills.
- Polish isn’t available as part of the subscription.
- You might need a supplement for more written work.
See our full, in-depth review of Pimsleur here.
Tier 2 – Pretty Good Options for Studying Polish
Our second-tier choices are adequate for most Polish learners.
A decent starting point for learning Polish
A lot of Polish learners enjoy Duolingo for its interactive game-like exercises. It has a lot of vocabulary, and even absolute beginners will be able to build speaking skills. You can progress through the higher levels and earn badges, but you will probably top out at some point.
For those with higher-level Polish speaking skills, you’d need to move onto other resources. The lack of speaking practice and limited grammar instruction makes it hard to recommend as a standalone course.
- The fact that it’s free is a perk.
- You start out with essential language skills targeted at beginners.
- Your lessons get more difficult as you work your way through the content.
- It’s not an entirely comprehensive resource; you’ll hit a wall once you finish the beginner/intermediate resources.
- The voices are ‘robot’-like rather than based on native speakers.
Read the full review of Duolingo.
A straightforward start with Polish
Price: Free, Premium plans are $9/month
Memrise is another resource that’s great for beginners, and it also fills in some gaps that courses like Duolingo can’t. However, it shouldn’t be used in isolation either because there’s not a traditional path to build your skills.
Memrise does have a ton of free content, most of which are user-generated ‘decks’ that can help develop your vocab and grammar skills. These have been separated from their main courses and are now part of their Decks platform.
- User-generated content is free and always improving.
- You can target specific subjects and learn vocabulary to suit.
- It’s easy to use and intuitive.
- The decks don’t build on one another, so there are gaps.
- You’ll need another resource for more advanced Polish development.
See our full, in-depth review of Memrise here.
FSI Polish Fast Course
A free, utilitarian Polish course
FSI is a dated yet helpful resource that is completely free and therefore gets pushed up this list. It involves a 450+ page PDF student text plus audio files. Of course, it was published in 1992, which means the content is very dated.
Still, FSI gives you a strong introduction to Polish, and you can’t argue with the time-tested textbook approach. That said, it could be a little boring.
- Totally free and accessible.
- You get both audio and text-based components.
- It’s easy to take with you, even if you decide to print the giant PDF book.
- The resources are very old.
- It might be tough to read the PDF, which is a scanned student text.
Plenty of options for every level
Price: Prices vary, but when sales happen, most courses drop to $10 each
Udemy is a helpful resource for many different topics of study, so there is a long list of Polish courses on the platform, too. Courses range from one to over seven hours and are available with a range of instructors. Each class has a money-back guarantee, but you also receive lifetime access to whichever courses you buy.
The video format helps hone your listening and speaking skills, but many instructors offer written supplements, too.
- The courses vary, so you can focus on a specific subject or vocabulary category.
- You get lifetime access to repeat or continue the course whenever you want.
- Udemy gives money-back guarantees, so if you have any issues, they’ll handle them.
- Some courses are pretty steeply priced—but frequent sales help with that.
- Every instructor is different, so it can be challenging to find someone who’s the right fit for your learning style.
Textbook-based study for free
Lektorek offers First Year Polish broken down into sections: introduction, sounds and spelling, 12 lessons, grammar, and computer drills. The PDF resources are very detailed and textbook-like—there are 700+ pages.
You can also download drills to practice further. Other helpful tools include a Polish-English dictionary, Polish reference grammar, a Polish songbook, and short stories. There’s even an English-Polish phrase guide you can use as an e-book or print out.
- Tons of text-based resources that are high-quality.
- Everything is downloadable in digital format, or you can print (and the format is readable).
- The cultural elements—the songbook, short stories and phrase guide—help immerse you.
- A bit outdated—it was last updated in 2002.
- There’s no audio element—at all—so you’ll need a supplement for that (like an italki tutor).
Tier 3 – Just Okay Courses for Learning Polish
These third-tier options have a few perks, but also a few drawbacks.
Steep pricing for a solid resource
Price: $30/month, $299.88/year
If you’re studying more than just Polish, Glossika might be a perfect fit for you. There are a ton of languages, and a single subscription grants you access to all of them. For each language, you’ll find audio drills and comprehension practice.
The price is what lands this resource in our third-tier section, but if you’re studying Polish plus other languages, it might be worth the investment.
- There’s a ton of audio content.
- You get access to Polish plus all the other languages.
- The drills are repetitive, which helps develop your speaking and listening skills.
- It’s expensive when compared to most other Polish courses.
- Sometimes users find errors in the courses.
- The repetition can get boring—so you’ll need to stay motivated.
See our full, in-depth review of Glossika here.
Decent instruction for beginners
Price: $7.99/mo for one language, $17.99/mo for all languages
Although not spectacular, Mango Languages is a solid resource for beginning Polish speakers. It has an interactive format with built-in rewards, which is helpful for beginners, especially.
It’s quite affordable and a pretty good course. The good news is that many libraries offer it for free, so if you can get access, it might be a workable alternative to Duolingo. Especially if you’re studying more than just Polish, you might like Mango Languages.
- You might be able to get it for free.
- You can study multiple languages (currently 70+).
- It’s interactive and engaging, with rewards and stats trackers.
- It can get boring since it’s repetitive (but that’s also a plus for learning multiple languages).
- The translation function isn’t as valuable as you might expect.
See our full, in-depth review of Mango Languages here.
Mówić po Polsku
A pronunciation-focused tool
Mówić po Polsku involves a guide for the alphabet and basic pronunciation rules, a section on vocabulary and expressions, a Polish grammar area, and videos and podcasts.
While there’s a lot of material, there’s not much organization involved. You won’t necessarily work through lessons in order—you’ll have to jump around to find the grammar and pronunciation help you need. The audio files help hone your pronunciation, though.
- Audio files can help with pronunciation skills.
- It’s completely free.
- No organized hierarchy for working through the lessons.
- A single person created/manages the site, so there are some errors.
A free mini-textbook course
Elementary Polish comes from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is a free resource that’s a bit dated. But it’s quite detailed and offers a lot of value across the few sections (there are only 14 lessons).
You’ll find everything from basic sentence types and gender agreement to dative case and imperative verbs—so if you’re motivated, there’s plenty to work with.
- In-depth study in textbook format.
- High-quality text-based content.
- It’s completely free and easy to use.
- The website is clunky and outdated.
- There’s no audio component.
- The lessons are fairly limited to beginners/intermediate Polish speakers.
A decent app with a few flaws
Price: $9.99/month for Premium and $13.99/month for Premium Plus
Busuu has a cool interface and learning platform, but the lessons are lacking. Our favorite part is the language exchange forum, where you can get your speech or writing corrected (or offer the same for other students).
The problem is that there isn’t a lot of guidance when it comes to grammar explanations making it difficult to get the practice you need to understand more difficult concepts. It’s not necessarily expensive, but there do exist better resources out there at similar price point.
- The language exchange component is worth signing up for a free account.
- It’s nice that there are some written exercises/creative prompts.
- Other apps offer a similar experience, but with more depth.
- There aren’t enough explanations of grammar or pronunciation.
See our full, in-depth review of Busuu here.
Short and snappy lessons for speech practice
Short lessons make up the bulk of Goethe Verlag, but you’ll need a strong background in pronunciation and basic grammar before you begin. The lessons are mostly a review of concepts, complete with audio clips to reinforce oral and listening skills.
A bunch of audio clips help with pronunciation and honing your verbal Polish skills. So, this could be a worthwhile resource if you have a textbook or other supplement for learning the basics. You can buy Goethe Verlag’s textbook, but that defeats the purpose of a free course.
- All the audio is done by native speakers.
- 100 lessons are free.
- You can study at your own pace/jump around throughout the lessons.
- No grammar or explanations on basic Polish conventions.
- Audio-focused without much written info—the ‘textbook’ is sold separately.
- Not very interactive—you’ll need to keep motivated.
Avoid These – Polish Courses We Suggest You Skip
We honestly don’t think these resources are worth your time or money.
Audio-focused with limits
Price: Ranges from $11.99 for Start Polish to $100 for Foundation Polish
Michel Thomas courses use the same format for every language. In them, an instructor works with two students, administering lessons and correcting their responses. You listen along and practice out loud, pausing as necessary. In the French course, though, we didn’t like Michel’s condescending teaching style.
While we’ve only tried a course taught by Michel Thomas himself, we can assume that Polish would be a bit better since he’s not the instructor. Instead, Jolanta Joanna Watson, a Poland native and Polish Philology professor, teaches all three course options.
- Audio-focused for building your speaking skills.
- Intuitive teaching style/format.
- A Native speaker and professor teaches the course.
- There’s no advanced option.
- The lessons are audio-only, so no written supplements or tools.
- You don’t receive guidance or correction, so working with a tutor through italki or another platform will be necessary to progress.
Read our full review of Michel Thomas.
A tired format that doesn’t earn results
Price: $36 for 3 months, $179 for 12 months or $199 one time for a lifetime subscription.
If the price doesn’t immediately turn you off Rosetta Stone, the repetitive format might. It uses a picture-sorting teaching method that is pretty boring. There are few explanations of what you’re supposed to be doing or learning, and each lesson features picture matching and sorting.
As you work through the course, you’ll find a bit more variety in terms of fill-in-the-blank exercises (but still using the same tired pictures). The speech recognition tool seems promising, but we’re not sure it’s worth the high cost for that alone.
- The speech recognition tool is a helpful feature.
- Lessons start at absolute beginner.
- It’s exceptionally costly, and you only get one language with a subscription.
- There aren’t any explanations for a lot of activities.
- The format/style is bland and gets repetitive, fast.
See our full, in-depth review of Rosetta Stone here.
Doesn’t stand out over similar courses
Price: $9.99/month to $47.99/year for one language
We’re not impressed with Mondly’s execution of their language course. Although it’s clear they had good intentions—the idea is good—the final result is lacking. The format is repetitive and dull, and the lesson progression just doesn’t make sense.
You can find a ton of vocabulary to study, but at this price point, we’ve found much better resources to recommend for learning Polish.
- A range of vocabulary is offered.
- Quizzes and challenges can help spice things up.
- The lessons don’t progress in a way that makes sense.
- You’ll probably get bored as the lessons repeat in the same way.
- It could use some more explanations for a lot of the exercises.
See our full, in-depth review of Mondly here.
Basic instruction that’s not cheap
Price: $24.95/month or $149.99/year for one language. $49.99/month or $249.95/year for all languages.
Transparent Language offers a huge range of languages, but we honestly can’t recommend them. When it comes to learning Polish, you’re going to need more than memorization and instruction that barely scratches the surface.
We do like the recording tool—where you can insert your response into the lesson—but that’s about the only perk we can come up with, especially given the high price point.
- The recording tool is a unique feature that can be helpful for pronunciation.
- The range of languages is impressive.
- It’s repetitive and not very engaging.
- The price point is way too high for what’s offered.
- We don’t like the emphasis on memorization—we prefer instruction.
See our full, in-depth review of Transparent Language here.
Final Thoughts on Polish Language Courses
Our top picks for learning Polish are some of the best all-around resources you can find. Of course, not every online course is going to be the perfect fit for every student—especially if you’re hoping to become fully fluent. But we’re confident our top-tier choices will help you get a great start in Polish.
Do you have any recommendations for us? Share in the comments.
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