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The primary focus of Cambridge Polish Studies is undergraduate education. We introduce students in the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages to the literature, history and culture of Poland with a strong emphasis on language learning as the foundation of cultural understanding.

Paper SL13: Introduction to the Language, Literature and Culture of Poland

Poland is the largest country in the eastern part of the European Union and a rising economic power, while Polish is now the second most widely spoken language in England. Paper SL13 introduces students to the language, literature and culture of a resurgent country that has often been battered by the storms of European history.

The paper pays close attention to the hybridized and multi-ethnic nature of Poland’s past, pointing to the interlocking cultural narratives of a broader region laced with shifting borders. There is a strong focus on often painful international relations – especially with Russia – and on comparative perspectives that place Poland in a much larger, pan-European context.

Students taking the course are eligible to win a summer language grant powered by Talkman Language Solutions. The grant will cover an intensive language course at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, as well as flights, accommodation and board.

Open Polish Language Classes

The Department of Slavonic Studies offers free beginner and intermediate language classes open to all members of the university.

The aims of the open classes in Polish include:

  • Acquiring a command of the essentials of Polish grammar in order to equip learners with fundamental reading skills
  • Developing listening, speaking and writing skills in basic communicative situations
  • Building an active vocabulary for basic communicative situations

A departmental certificate will be awarded on successful completion of the course. Those interested in attending these classes are advised to contact the Department of Slavonic Studies in advance.

 

Cambridge students talk about the course in Polish language, literature and culture (Paper SL13):

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In the twentieth century, Poland became the laboratory for two violent totalitarian experiments, suffering massive destruction and harsh oppression from both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. The unhealed wounds of this painful history are still strikingly present in both public debate and politics in Poland today. In this talk, Dr Stanley Bill, Cambridge's Lecturer in Polish Studies, examines different perspectives on historical ‘truth’ and the politics of history.

Talkman Prize for Literary Translation: Cambridge student in Poland

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