From the maker of Polish Up:

Revise 235 Polish words in an hour!

Would you like to…

  • add context and interaction to your Polish self-study sessions?
  • focus more on authentic real-life Polish language use?
  • add a sense of challenge to your language learning tasks?
  • enhance your attention span?
  • receive instant feedback?

FOR FREE ?!?

(and having fun at the same time!)

I first discovered computer adventure games in the late 1980s, and they soon became the ultimate tool that helped me make progress in English as a foreign language. I spent dozens if not HUNDREDS of hours immersed in the interactive stories produced by Sierra-On-Line or LucasArts (often with an English-Polish dictionary in my hand).

But did you know that there has also been a considerable number of Polish adventure games?

In fact, the 1990s is often referred to as the golden era of the genre in Poland!

Key benefits of using Polish-produced adventure games while learning the Polish language:

  • Interactive Learning Environment: engage with the language actively, explore different scenarios, interact with characters, and solve puzzles, all while using and encountering Polish vocabulary and grammar in context.
  • Contextual Learning: encounter Polish phrases and sentences that are relevant to the game’s storyline, tasks, and interactions; enhance your understanding and retention of Polish language concepts.
  • Motivation and Engagement: computer games are inherently engaging and can motivate you to persist in your language learning efforts; the desire to progress in the game can keep you engaged for extended periods, providing ample opportunities for language exposure and practice.
  • Repetition and Reinforcement: Through gameplay, learners encounter Polish words and phrases repeatedly, which reinforces learning through repetition. Repetition is a fundamental aspect of language acquisition, and games naturally facilitate this process as players encounter language elements multiple times during gameplay.
  • Natural Language Acquisition: Adventure games simulate real-life language use, allowing learners to acquire language skills in a natural and intuitive way. They can observe how language is used in various situations, such as conversations, problem-solving, and storytelling, which mirrors real-world language use.
  • Feedback and Progress Tracking: Many adventure games provide feedback on players’ actions and progress. This feedback can include hints, corrections, or rewards for successful language use. Additionally, players can track their progress within the game, which can be motivating and help learners gauge their language proficiency.
  • Cultural Immersion: Adventure games often incorporate elements of culture, history, and society, providing learners with insights into Polish culture while they learn the language. This cultural immersion can deepen learners’ understanding and appreciation of the language and its context.
  • Flexibility and Personalization: Games allow learners to progress at their own pace and tailor their learning experience to their preferences. Players can choose which parts of the game to focus on, revisit challenging areas, or skip ahead as needed, providing a flexible and personalized learning environment.

Overall, you get a dynamic and immersive approach that combines Polish language learning with entertainment, making the learning process more enjoyable, effective, and memorable.

But back in the day the games were never aligned to what I was learning using spaced-repetition systems (some of you may remember me as a fan of the SuperMemo platform).

If you watch my YouTube channel, you may also know by now that I am a radical supporter of meaningful learning:

I simply do NOT want my students to waste time on learning isolated items. Instead, every item you learn should be related and anchored to the existing knowledge using importance, significance and relatability.

And now, finally, I am happy to provide them with a source of contextualised and personalised Polish language practice even outside the classroom using a dedicated FREE flashcard set that can be imported into the Mochi Cards application (https://mochi.cards).

The designed virtual cards appear just like in the expert version of my flagship product (more information: Polish Up!). All words are attributed categories; for example, the word kruk (raven) shown below is an animal – note the hashtag #animal in the matching colour. Cards with nouns contain plural forms (both nominative and genitive ones, so you can easily talk about larger numbers/groups) and information about gender; for instance, in the card presented below, the blue heart indicates the masculine animate (but NOT personal!) grammatical gender.

You may also notice the reference to the more general word ptak (bird) – there are almost 50 such references in the set, so that you can comprehend the links between the different items found in the flashcard deck.

There is a dedicated template for every major part of speech in the flashcard set. Verbs, for example, are often presented as aspectual pairs, as in szukać/poszukać (to search), plus you will normally get the first- and second-person versions for both aspects.

Adjectives, on the other hand, are presented in all possible gendered forms; their comparative and superlative version are also provided. To understand the structure of my flashcards better, you may consider watching my somewhat spontaneous YouTube video demonstrating the first day with Polish Up – my largest flashcard-based product built according to the same principles.

Compared to my main product, in which I deliberately skipped the simplest ones, such as “i” or “a”, this time I did my best to take into account every single word from the game. It was an easier task when I only had to concentrate on 235 flashcards.

Simplicity: an hour-long quest

For this pilot experiment (my first Polish flashcard deck based on a computer game), I had to choose a game that would be simple enough but worthy of attention. I selected a game entitled “Wyprawa po kwiat paproci” (Quest for the Fern Flower) whose code was originally published in 1989 in a special edition of Bajtek – a Polish computer magazine.

NOTE: You can browse the entire magazine online at: https://archive.org/details/bajtektylkodlapoczatkujacych.

So far I have tried finishing the game with my students (A2 or B1 level) several times, and we have always finished the entire quest within 35-50 minutes. Considering that the game contains 235 different Polish words, playing the game was a worthy investment of time and attention.

Now, if you manage to study 27 words from the game daily, you should become more or less familiar with ALL of them within 9 days and, consequently, be able to finish the Quest for the Fern Flower successfully.

Integration with the textbook: an accidental discovery

While building and editing the flashcard deck containing all words found in the above-mentioned text adventure game, I compared the set of words with the content of my “flagship” product: Polish Up! I discovered that 70.2% of the words (165  out of 235 items) from the game could be found in the textbooks comprising the popular Hurra!!! Po polsku series (Parts 1 and 2). In fact, a person who has mastered all words from the A1 level alone (the first coursebook in the series), might be able to recognise 55% of the words.

Each time I develop a tool for the learners of Polish as a foreign language, I aim for a solution that could truly MAKE A DIFFERENCE

And yes, I agree that computer adventure games may not be everybody, but considering how much they have to offer, they are certainly worthy of consideration, especially if you want to add context, meaningful interaction and instant feedback to your Polish language learning experience.

Wait! But what's the catch?

Well, there is actually NO catch! Just like in the case of my earlier free product, the key is to spread the word and allow as many Polish learners as possible to try my solutions.

You’d simply be helping me with my mission:

TO HELP AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE LEARN THE BASICS OF POLISH.

Surely you will want me to sign up for a newsletter?

Would you like to? That’s very nice of you, and I DO have a mailing list, but signing up is purely OPTIONAL.
It will, however, provide with daily tips and access to my 500 Polish Words in 20 Days challenge.

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If you wish, you can also follow me on my social media, too:

However, with my free and pilot projects I always put my marketing books and sales objectives aside.

This is supposed to be a FREE solution without ANY strings attached!

No subscriptions. No fees. No marketing e-mails. 100% LEARNING POLISH!

Let's not waste time!

The steps are relatively simple, and remember: if you run into any problems, you can always:

Install Mochi and the flashcard deck based on the game

The installation steps are the same as in the “full” version of Polish Up!

You can download Mochi Flashcards at: https://mochi.cards

The Quest for the Fern Flower (Wyprawa po kwiat paproci) flashcard deck can be downloaded here (as a ZIP file): https://polish.academy/special-offers/wyprawa-po-kwiat-paproci/kwiat_paproci.zip

I’m showing the installation process in the following video. It’s based on my flashship product called Polish Up!, but the steps are essentially the same (just the name of the ZIP file and the MOCHI file are different).

Download an Atari 8-bit emulator and system ROMs

I predominantly use Microsoft Windows, and Altirra is my Atari computer emulator of choice. However, there are solutions available for most computer systems. For example, my daughter plays Atari games on her simple (single-board) Raspberry Pi computer using Atari800 emulator for the Linux system.

Artirra emulator page: https://www.virtualdub.org/altirra.html

You will also need a set of Atari system ROMs for the emulator to work properly. I usually create a “rom” subfolder inside Altirra’s directory and unpack the downloaded system roms there.

Artirra emulator page: http://atari.vjetnam.cz/index.php?frame=roms

You can see the download and installation process in this video (starting from 7:13).

Configure the emulator and start the game!

Pay attention to the part of the video in which I am adjusting the emulator’s settings.

Oh, and last but not least, do NOT forget to unpack the ATR file with the game in the process (kwiat.atr). It is in the same ZIP archive you have downloaded at stage 1 above.

What if I want to master ALL words at levels A1, A2 and B1?

Just click the following button and you’ll be taken to the Polish Up! (my flagship product) page.

About me

My story

A professional English- and Polish-language tutor, a keen computer programmer and a lover of everything “retro”, an adventurer and nature enthusiast, as well as a former translator and ghost-writer… Oh, and a lover of music, which, in Plato’s words, “gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything”.

As an undergraduate student at a foreign-language teacher training college, I felt underwhelmed with the amount of theoretical linguistic knowledge; moreover, I noticed that both teachers and learners had never been groups with “priority” access to technological innovations.

While working with theoretical linguists, I noticed the proverbial “other side of the coin”. Multiple scholars typically had to concentrate on the procedures and ensure that their experiments yielded valid and reliable results. Their interest in practical educational solutions was either limited or non-existing.

While designing solutions that help you learn the Polish language faster and more efficiently, my goal is to identify theoretical findings that can be transformed into READY-MADE SOLUTIONS, and I intend to keep them simple, stripped of their scholarly elements. And if my ideas can bring learners together and introduce a sense of fun in the learning process, then my mission is complete.

Students so far (approx.)

Nations

Record time to complete the A1+A2+B1 levels with a student (months)

Teaching experience (years)