NEW BRITAIN – The Polish Genealogical Society of Connecticut and the Northeast will be offering beginning-level Polish language classes starting, Monday, March 4.
The classes will meet in the conference room at 202 Broad St. on Mondays for 10 weeks from 6 to 7:15 p.m. The class is intended for adults with little or no prior knowledge of the language.
“The genealogical society has noticed that, when we have done our trips to Poland, many people have had to hire an interpreter to speak to their relatives,” said Jonathan Shea, president of the Polish Genealogical Society of Connecticut and the Northeast. “This course will allow people to obtain rudimentary communication skills and attempt to talk to people that they meet on the trip.”
Shea, who will lead the instruction, is a professional genealogist and archivist. In addition to Polish, he speaks Spanish, Russian, Italian, French, English, some German and some Irish.
“Anyone can learn a language, regardless of age,” he said. “The textbook I’m using was designed by the European Union Commission and it focuses on communication first and foremost.”
The Polish Genealogical Society of Connecticut and the Northeast’s last trip to Poland was held in 2014. At the time, Shea said, many people came along from throughout the U.S. and Canada. However, one does not need to travel to Poland to make use of Polish language skills.
“New Britain has one of the top five largest Polish populations in the country, with others being in New York, Chicago, Washington and New Jersey,” said Shea. “As part of our class, participants will go to a Polish restaurant of their choice and they will place an order from the menu entirely in Polish.”
The class will also include online resources, which Shea said will help to teach phonetic and grammatical elements. Shea said that the Polish Genealogical Society of Connecticut and the Northeast may offer intermediate-level Polish language classes in the fall.
Tuition is $150 per person.
To register, or for more information, email Diane Szepanski, coordinator for the Polish classes, at email@example.com.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.