The Info List - Polish Language

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POLISH (_język polski_, _polszczyzna_) is a West Slavic language spoken primarily in Poland
and is the native language of the Poles
. It belongs to the Lechitic subgroup of the West Slavic languages . Polish is the official language of Poland, but it is also used throughout the world by Polish minorities in other countries. It is one of the official languages of the European Union
European Union
. Its written standard is the Polish alphabet
Polish alphabet
, which has 9 additions to the letters of the basic Latin script (_ą_, _ć_, _ę_, _ł_, _ń_, _ó_, _ś_, _ź_, _ż_). Polish is closely related to Kashubian , Silesian , Upper Sorbian , Lower Sorbian , Czech and Slovak .

Although the Austrian , German and Russian administrations exerted much pressure on the Polish nation (during the 19th and early 20th centuries) following the Partitions of Poland
, which resulted in attempts to suppress the Polish language, a rich literature has regardless developed over the centuries and the language currently has the largest number of speakers of the West Slavic group. It is also the second most widely spoken Slavic language, after Russian and just ahead of Ukrainian .

In history, Polish is known to be an important language, both diplomatically and academically in Central and Eastern Europe . Today, Polish is spoken by over 38.5 million people as their first language in Poland
. It is also spoken as a second language in western parts of Belarus
and Ukraine
, west and central Lithuania
, as well as the northern parts of the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
and Slovakia
. Because of the emigration from Poland
during different time periods, most notably after World War II
World War II
, millions of Polish speakers can be found in countries such as Israel
, Australia
, Brazil
, Canada
, the United Kingdom , Ireland , and the United States
United States
. There are 55 million Polish language
Polish language
speakers around the world.


* 1 History * 2 Geographic distribution * 3 Dialects * 4 Phonology * 5 Orthography * 6 Grammar * 7 Borrowed words * 8 Loanwords from Polish * 9 See also * 10 References * 11 Further reading * 12 External links


Polish began to emerge as a distinct language around the 10th century, the process largely triggered by the establishment and development of the Polish state. Mieszko I , ruler of the Polans tribe from Greater Poland
region, united a few culturally and linguistically related tribes from the basins of the Vistula and Oder
before eventually accepting baptism in 966. With Christianity, Poland
also adopted the Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
, which made it possible to write down Polish, until then existing only as a spoken language. "It is worth mentioning," writes Tomasz Kamusella , "that Polish is the oldest, non-ecclesiastical, written Slavic language with a continuous tradition of literacy and official use, which has lasted unbroken from the 16th century to this day."

The precursor to modern Polish is the Old Polish language . Ultimately, Polish is thought to descend from the unattested Proto-Slavic language. Polish was a _lingua franca _ from 1500–1700 in Central and small portions of Eastern Europe , because of the political, cultural, scientific and military influence of the former Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth . "Day, ut ia pobrusa, a ti poziwai", highlited in red

The Book of Henryków (Polish: _Księga henrykowska_, Latin
: _Liber fundationis claustri Sancte Marie Virginis in Heinrichau_), contains the earliest known sentence written in the Polish language: _Day, ut ia pobrusa, a ti poziwai_ (pronounced originally as: _Daj, uć ja pobrusza, a ti pocziwaj,_ modern Polish: _Daj, niech ja pomielę, a ty odpoczywaj_ or _Pozwól, że ja będę mełł, a ty odpocznij_, English: _Come, let me grind, and you take a rest_), written around 1270.

The medieval recorder of this phrase, the Cistercian monk Peter of the Henryków monastery, noted that "Hoc est in polonico" ("This is in Polish").


is the most linguistically homogeneous European country; nearly 97% of Poland's citizens declare Polish as their first language . Elsewhere, Poles
constitute large minorities in Lithuania
, Belarus , and Ukraine
. Polish is the most widely used minority language in Lithuania's Vilnius County (26% of the population, according to the 2001 census results, with Vilnius
having been part of Poland
from 1922 until 1939) and is found elsewhere in southeastern Lithuania. In Ukraine
it is most common in western Lviv and Volyn Oblasts , while in West Belarus
it is used by the significant Polish minority, especially in the Brest and Grodno regions and in areas along the Lithuanian border. There are significant numbers of Polish speakers among Polish emigrants and their descendants in many other countries.

In the United States
United States
, Polish Americans number more than 11 million but most of them cannot speak Polish fluently. According to the 2000 United States
United States
Census , 667,414 Americans of age five years and over reported Polish as the language spoken at home, which is about 1.4% of people who speak languages other than English , 0.25% of the US population, and 6% of the Polish-American population. The largest concentrations of Polish speakers reported in the census (over 50%) were found in three states: Illinois
(185,749), New York (111,740), and New Jersey
New Jersey
(74,663). Enough people in these areas speak Polish that PNC Financial Services (which has a large number of branches in all of these areas) offer services available in Polish at all of their cash machines in addition to English and Spanish .

According to the 2011 census there are now over 500,000 people in England
and Wales
who consider Polish to be their "main" language. In Canada
, there is a significant Polish Canadian population : There are 242,885 speakers of Polish according to the 2006 census, with a particular concentration in Toronto
(91,810 speakers) and Montreal

The geographical distribution of the Polish language
Polish language
was greatly affected by the territorial changes of Poland
immediately after World War II and Polish population transfers (1944–46) . Poles
settled in the " Recovered Territories " in the west and north, which had previously been mostly German -speaking. Some Poles
remained in the previously Polish-ruled territories in the east that were annexed by the USSR , resulting in the present-day Polish-speaking minorities in Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine, although many Poles
were expelled or emigrated from those areas to areas within Poland's new borders. Meanwhile, the flight and expulsion of Germans (1944–50) , as well as the expulsion of Ukrainians and Operation Vistula , the 1947 forced resettlement of Ukrainian minorities to the Recovered Territories in the west of the country, contributed to the country's linguistic homogeneity. Geographic language distribution maps of Poland
from pre-WWII to present The "Recovered Territories" (in pink) are those parts of Germany and the Free City of Gdańsk that became part of Poland
after World War II. Gray color, territories lost to the Soviet Union followed by mass Polish population transfers (1944–46) Geographical distribution of the Polish language
Polish language
and other Central and Eastern European languages and dialects.


Main article: Dialects of Polish The oldest printed text in Polish – Statuta synodalia Episcoporum Wratislaviensis printed in 1475 in Wrocław by Kasper Elyan. The Polish alphabet
Polish alphabet
contains 32 letters. Q, V and X are not used in the Polish language.

The Polish language
Polish language
became far more homogeneous in the second half of the 20th century, in part due to the mass migration of several million Polish citizens from the eastern to the western part of the country after the Soviet annexation of the Kresy in 1939, and the annexation of former German territory after World War II. This tendency toward a homogeneity also stems from the vertically integrated nature of the authoritarian Polish People\'s Republic .

The inhabitants of different regions of Poland
still speak "standard" Polish somewhat differently, although the differences between regional dialects appear slight. First-language speakers of Polish have no trouble understanding each other, and non-native speakers may have difficulty distinguishing regional variations.

Polish is normally described as consisting of four or five main dialects:

* Greater Polish , spoken in the west * Lesser Polish , spoken in the south and southeast * Masovian , spoken throughout the central and eastern parts of the country * Silesian , spoken in the southwest (also considered a separate language, see comment below)

Kashubian , spoken in Pomerania
west of Gdańsk on the Baltic Sea , is often considered a fifth dialect. It contains a number of features not found elsewhere in Poland, e.g. nine distinct oral vowels (vs. the five of standard Polish) and (in the northern dialects) phonemic word stress, an archaic feature preserved from Common Slavic times and not found anywhere else among the West Slavic languages . However, it "lacks most of the linguistic and social determinants of language-hood".

Many linguistic sources about the Slavic languages describe Silesian as a dialect of Polish. However, many Silesians consider themselves a separate ethnicity and have been advocating for the recognition of a Silesian language. According to the last official census in Poland
in 2011, over half a million people declared Silesian as their native language. Many sociolinguistic sources (e.g. by Tomasz Kamusella , Agnieszka Pianka, Alfred F. Majewicz, Tomasz Wicherkiewicz) assume that extralinguistic criteria decide whether something is a language or a dialect of the language: users of speech or/and political decisions, and this is dynamic (i.e. change over time). Also, language organizations like as SIL International and resources for the academic field of linguistics like as Ethnologue , Linguist List and other, for example Ministry of Administration and Digitization recognized Silesian language. In July 2007, the Silesian language was recognized by an ISO , was attributed an ISO code of szl.

Some more characteristic but less widespread regional dialects include:

* The distinctive dialect of the Gorals (_Góralski_) occurs in the mountainous area bordering the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
and Slovakia
. The Gorals ("Highlanders") take great pride in their culture and the dialect. It exhibits some cultural influences from the Vlach shepherds who migrated from Wallachia (southern Romania) in the 14th–17th centuries. Some urban Poles
find this very distinct dialect difficult to understand. * The Poznanski dialect, spoken in Poznań and to some extent in the whole region of the former Prussian annexation (excluding Upper Silesia
), with characteristic high tone melody and notable influence of the German language. * In the northern and western (formerly German) regions where Poles from the territories annexed by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
resettled after World War II, the older generation speaks a dialect of Polish characteristic of the Kresy that includes a longer pronunciation of vowels. * Poles
living in Lithuania
(particularly in the Vilnius
region), in Belarus
(particularly the northwest), and in the northeast of Poland continue to speak the Eastern Borderlands dialect, which sounds "slushed" (in Polish described as _zaciąganie z ruska_, "speaking with a Russian drawl") and is easily distinguishable. * Some city dwellers, especially the less affluent population, had their own distinctive dialects - for example, the Warsaw dialect , still spoken by some of the population of Praga on the eastern bank of the Vistula . ( Praga remained the only part of Warsaw
where the population survived World War II
World War II
relatively intact.) However, these city dialects are now mostly extinct due to assimilation with standard Polish. * Many Poles
living in emigrant communities (for example, in the USA), whose families left Poland
just after World War II, retain a number of minor features of Polish vocabulary as spoken in the first half of the 20th century that now sound archaic, however, to contemporary visitors from Poland.


Main article: Polish phonology

Polish has six oral vowels (all monophthongs ) and two nasal vowels . The oral vowels are /i / (spelled _i_), /ɨ/ (spelled _y_), /ɛ / (spelled _e_), /a / (spelled _a_), /ɔ / (spelled _o_) and /u / (spelled _u_ or _ó _). The nasal vowels are /ɛ̃ / (spelled _ę _) and /ɔ̃ / (spelled _ą _).

The Polish consonant system shows more complexity: its characteristic features include the series of affricate and palatal consonants that resulted from four Proto-Slavic palatalizations and two further palatalizations that took place in Polish and Belarusian . The full set of consonants, together with their most common spellings, can be presented as follows (although other phonological analyses exist):

* stops /p / (_p_), /b / (_b_), /t/ (_t_), /d/ (_d_), /k / (_k_), /ɡ / (_g_), and the palatalized forms /kʲ/ (_ki_) and /ɡʲ/ (_gi_) * fricatives /f / (_f_), /v / (_w_), /s/ (_s_), /z/ (_z_), /ʂ / (_sz_), /ʐ / (_ż , rz_), the alveolo-palatals /ɕ / (_ś , si_) and /ʑ / (_ź , zi_), and /x / (_ch, h_) and /xʲ/ (_chi, hi_) * affricates /ts/ (_c_), /dz/ (_dz_), /tʂ/ (_cz_), /dʐ/ (_dż_), /tɕ/ (_ć , ci_), /dʑ/ (_dź, dzi_) (these are written here without ties for browser display compatibility, although Polish does distinguish between affricates as in _czy_, and stop–fricative clusters as in _trzy_) * nasals /m / (_m_), /n/ (_n_), /ɲ/ (_ń, ni_) * approximants /l / (_l_), /j / (_j_), /w / (_ł_) * trill /r / (_r_)

Neutralization occurs between voiced –voiceless consonant pairs in certain environments: at the end of words (where devoicing occurs), and in certain consonant clusters (where assimilation occurs). For details, see _Voicing and devoicing _ in the article on Polish phonology.

Most Polish words are paroxytones (that is, the stress falls on the second-to-last syllable of a polysyllabic word), although there are exceptions.


Main articles: Polish orthography and Polish Braille

The Polish alphabet
Polish alphabet
derives from the Latin script , but includes certain additional letters formed using diacritics . The Polish alphabet was one of three major forms of Latin-based orthography developed for Slavic languages, the others being Czech orthography and Croatian orthography , the latter being a 19th-century invention trying to make a compromise between the first two. Kashubian uses a Polish-based system, Slovak uses a Czech-based system, and Slovene follows the Croatian one; the Sorbian languages blend the Polish and the Czech ones.

The diacritics used in the Polish alphabet
Polish alphabet
are the _kreska_ (graphically similar to the acute accent ) in the letters _ć, ń, ó, ś, ź_ and through the letter in _ł_; the _kropka_ (superior dot) in the letter _ż_, and the _ogonek _ ("little tail") in the letters _ą, ę_. The letters _q, v, x_ are often not considered part of the Polish alphabet; they are used only in foreign words and names.

Polish orthography is largely phonemic —there is a consistent correspondence between letters (or digraphs and trigraphs ) and phonemes (for exceptions see below). The letters of the alphabet and their normal phonemic values are listed in the following table. Book of Henryków . The Jakub Wujek Bible in Polish, 1599 print

Upper case Lower case Phonemic value(s) Upper case Lower case Phonemic value(s)

A A /a / M M /m /

Ą ą /ɔ̃ /, /ɔn/ , /ɔm/ N N /n/

B B /b / (/p /) Ń ń /ɲ/

C C /ts/ O O /ɔ /

Ć ć /tɕ/ Ó ó /u /

D D /d/ (/t/ ) P P /p /

E E /ɛ / R R /r /

Ę ę /ɛ̃ /, /ɛn/ , /ɛm/ , /ɛ / S S /s/

F F /f / Ś ś /ɕ /

G G /ɡ / (/k /) T T /t/

H H /ɣ / (/x /) U U /u /

I I /i /, /j / W W /v / (/f /)

J J /j / Y Y /ɨ /

K K /k / Z Z /z/ (/s/ )

L L /l / Ź ź /ʑ / (/ɕ /)

Ł ł /w /, /ɫ/ Ż ż /ʐ / (/ʂ /)

The following digraphs and trigraphs are used:

DIGRAPH PHONEMIC VALUE(S) Digraph/trigraph (before a vowel) PHONEMIC VALUE(S)

CH /x / CI /tɕ/

CZ /tʂ/ DZI /dʑ/

DZ /dz/ (/ts/ ) GI /ɡʲ/

Dź /dʑ/ (/tɕ/ ) (C)HI /xʲ/

Dż /dʐ/ (/tʂ/ ) KI /kʲ/

RZ /ʐ / (/ʂ /) NI /ɲ/

SZ /ʂ / SI /ɕ /

ZI /ʑ /

Voiced consonant letters frequently come to represent voiceless sounds (as shown in the tables); this occurs at the end of words and in certain clusters, due to the neutralization mentioned in the _Phonology _ section above. Occasionally also voiceless consonant letters can represent voiced sounds in clusters.

The spelling rule for the palatal sounds /ɕ /, /ʑ /, /tɕ/ , /dʑ/ and /ɲ/ is as follows: before the vowel _i_ the plain letters _s, z, c, dz, n_ are used; before other vowels the combinations _si, zi, ci, dzi, ni_ are used; when not followed by a vowel the diacritic forms _ś, ź, ć, dź, ń_ are used. For example, the _s_ in _siwy_ ("grey-haired"), the _si_ in _siarka_ ("sulphur") and the _ś_ in _święty_ ("holy") all represent the sound /ɕ /. The exceptions to the above rule are certain loanwords from Latin, Italian, French, Russian or English—where _s_ before _i_ is pronounced as _s_, e.g. _sinus_, _sinologia_, _do re mi fa sol la si do_, _Saint-Simon i saint-simoniści_, _Sierioża_, _Siergiej_, _Singapur_, _singiel_. In other loanwords the vowel _i_ is changed to _y_, e.g. _Syria_, _Sybir_, _synchronizacja_, _Syrakuzy_.

The following table shows the correspondence between the sounds and spelling:

digraphs and trigraphs are used:

PHONEMIC VALUE Single letter/Digraph (in pausa or before a consonant) Digraph/Trigraph (before a vowel) Single letter/Digraph (before the vowel _i_)

/tɕ/ ć CI C

/dʑ/ Dź DZI DZ

/ɕ / ś SI S

/ʑ / ź ZI Z

/ɲ/ ń NI N

Similar principles apply to /kʲ/ , /ɡʲ/ , /xʲ/ and /lʲ/ , except that these can only occur before vowels, so the spellings are _k, g, (c)h, l_ before _i_, and _ki, gi, (c)hi, li_ otherwise. Most Polish speakers, however, do not consider palatalisation of _k, g, (c)h_ or _l_ as creating new sounds.

Except in the cases mentioned above, the letter _i_ if followed by another vowel in the same word usually represents /j /, yet a palatalisation of the previous consonant is always assumed.

The letters _ą_ and _ę_, when followed by plosives and affricates, represent an oral vowel followed by a nasal consonant, rather than a nasal vowel. For example, _ą_ in _dąb_ ("oak") is pronounced /ɔm/ , and _ę_ in _tęcza_ ("rainbow") is pronounced /ɛn/ (the nasal assimilates to the following consonant). When followed by _l_ or _ł_ (for example _przyjęli_, _przyjęły_), _ę_ is pronounced as just _e_. When _ę_ is at the end of the word it is often pronounced as just /ɛ/ .

Note that, depending on the word, the phoneme /x / can be spelt _h_ or _ch_, the phoneme /ʐ / can be spelt _ż_ or _rz_, and /u / can be spelt _u_ or _ó_. In several cases it determines the meaning, for example: _może_ ("maybe") and _morze_ ("sea").

In occasional words, letters that normally form a digraph are pronounced separately. For example, _rz_ represents /rz/ , not /ʐ /, in words like _zamarzać_ ("freeze") and in the name _ Tarzan

Notice that doubled letters represent separate occurrences of the sound in question; for example _Anna_ is pronounced /anːa/ in Polish (the double _n_ is often pronounced as a lengthened single _n_).

There are certain clusters where a written consonant would not be pronounced. For example, the _ł_ in the words _mógł_ ("could") and _jabłko_ ("apple") might be omitted in ordinary speech, leading to the pronunciations _muk_ and _japko_ or _jabko_.


Main article: Polish grammar

Polish is a highly inflected language , with relatively free word order , although the dominant arrangement is subject–verb–object (SVO). There are no articles , and subject pronouns are often dropped .

Nouns belong to one of three genders : masculine, feminine and neuter. A distinction is also made between animate and inanimate masculine nouns in the singular , and between masculine personal and non-masculine-personal nouns in the plural . There are seven cases : nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, instrumental, locative and vocative.

Adjectives agree with nouns in terms of gender, case and number. Attributive adjectives most commonly precede the noun, although in certain cases, especially in fixed phrases (like _język polski_, "Polish (language)"), the noun may come first. Most short adjectives and their derived adverbs form comparatives and superlatives by inflection (the superlative is formed by prefixing _naj-_ to the comparative).

Verbs are of imperfective or perfective aspect , often occurring in pairs. Imperfective verbs have a present tense, past tense, compound future tense (except for _być_ "to be", which has a simple future _będę_ etc., this in turn being used to form the compound future of other verbs), subjunctive/conditional (formed with the detachable particle _by_), imperatives, an infinitive, present participle, present gerund and past participle. Perfective verbs have a simple future tense (formed like the present tense of imperfective verbs), past tense, subjunctive/conditional, imperatives, infinitive, present gerund and past participle. Conjugated verb forms agree with their subject in terms of person, number, and (in the case of past tense and subjunctive/conditional forms) gender.

Passive -type constructions can be made using the auxiliary _być_ or _zostać_ ("become") with the passive participle. There is also an impersonal construction where the active verb is used (in third person singular) with no subject, but with the reflexive pronoun _się_ present to indicate a general, unspecified subject (as in _pije się wódkę_ "vodka is drunk"—note that _wódka_ appears in the accusative). A similar sentence type in the past tense uses the passive participle with the ending _-o_, as in _widziano ludzi_ ("people were seen"). As in other Slavic languages, there are also subjectless sentences formed using such words as _można_ ("it is possible") together with an infinitive.

Yes-no questions (both direct and indirect) are formed by placing the word _czy_ at the start. Negation uses the word _nie_, before the verb or other item being negated; _nie_ is still added before the verb even if the sentence also contains other negatives such as _nigdy_ ("never") or _nic_ ("nothing"), effectively creating a double negative.

Cardinal numbers have a complex system of inflection and agreement. Numbers higher than five (except for those ending with the digit 2, 3 or 4) govern the genitive case rather than the nominative or accusative. Special
forms of numbers (collective numerals) are used with certain classes of noun, which include _dziecko_ ("child") and exclusively plural nouns such as _drzwi_ ("door").


_ Knowledge of the Polish language
Polish language
within Europe

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Polish has, over the centuries, borrowed a number of words from other languages. When borrowing, pronunciation was adapted to Polish phonemes and spelling was altered to match Polish orthography. In addition, word endings are liberally applied to almost any word to produce verbs, nouns, adjectives, as well as adding the appropriate endings for cases of nouns, adjectives, diminutives , double-diminutives, augmentatives , etc.

Depending on the historical period, borrowing has proceeded from various languages. Notable influences have been Latin
(9th–18th centuries), Czech (10th and 14th–15th centuries), Italian (15th–16th centuries), French (18th–19th centuries), German (13–15th and 18th–20th centuries), Hungarian (14th–16th centuries) and Turkish (17th century). Currently, English words are the most common imports to Polish.

The Latin
language, for a very long time the only official language of the Polish state, has had a great influence on Polish. Many Polish words (_rzeczpospolita_ from _res publica_, _zdanie_ for both "opinion" and "sentence", from _sententia_) were direct borrowings from Latin. Latin
was known to a larger or smaller degree by most of the numerous szlachta in the 16th to 18th centuries (and it continued to be extensively taught at secondary schools until World War II
World War II
). Apart from dozens of loanwords, its influence can also be seen in a number of verbatim Latin
phrases in Polish literature (especially from the 19th century and earlier).

During the 12th and 13th centuries, Mongolian words were brought to the Polish language
Polish language
during wars with the armies of Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
and his descendants, e.g. _dzida_ (spear) and _szereg_ (a line or row).

Words from Czech , an important influence during the 10th and 14th–15th centuries include _sejm _, _hańba_ and _brama_.

In 1518, the Polish king Sigismund I the Old married Bona Sforza , the niece of the Holy Roman emperor Maximilian, who introduced Italian cuisine to Poland, especially vegetables. Hence, words from Italian include _pomidor_ from "pomodoro" (tomato), _kalafior_ from "cavolfiore" (cauliflower), and _pomarańcza_, a portmanteau from Italian "pomo" (pome ) plus "arancio" (orange). A later word of Italian origin is _autostrada_ (from Italian "autostrada", highway).

In the 18th century, with the rising prominence of France in Europe, French supplanted Latin
as an important source of words. Some French borrowings also date from the Napoleonic era, when the Poles
were enthusiastic supporters of Napoleon
. Examples include _ekran_ (from French "écran", screen), _abażur_ ("abat-jour", lamp shade), _rekin_ ("requin", shark), _meble_ ("meuble", furniture), _bagaż_ ("bagage", luggage), _walizka_ ("valise", suitcase), _fotel_ ("fauteuil", armchair), _plaża_ ("plage", beach) and _koszmar_ ("cauchemar", nightmare). Some place names have also been adapted from French, such as the Warsaw
borough of Żoliborz ("joli bord" = beautiful riverside), as well as the town of Żyrardów (from the name Girard , with the Polish suffix -ów attached to refer to the founder of the town).

Many words were borrowed from the German language from the sizable German population in Polish cities during medieval times. German words found in the Polish language
Polish language
are often connected with trade, the building industry, civic rights and city life. Some words were assimilated verbatim, for example _handel_ (trade) and _dach_ (roof); others are pronounced the same, but differ in writing _schnur_—_sznur_ (cord). As a result of being neighbours with Germany, Polish has many German expressions which have become literally translated (calques ). Interestingly, the regional dialects of Upper Silesia and Masuria
(Modern Polish East Prussia
East Prussia
) have noticeably more German loanwords than other dialects.

The contacts with Ottoman Turkey in the 17th century brought many new words, some of them still in use, such as: _jar_ ("yar" deep valley), _szaszłyk_ ("şişlik" shish kebab), _filiżanka_ ("fincan" cup), _arbuz_ ("karpuz" watermelon), _dywan_ ("divan" carpet), etc.

From the founding of the Kingdom of Poland
in 1025 through the early years of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth created in 1569, Poland was the most tolerant country of Jews in Europe. Known as paradisus Iudaeorum ( Latin
for "paradise for the Jews"), it became a shelter for persecuted and expelled European Jewish communities and the home to the world's largest Jewish community of the time. As a result, many Polish words come from Yiddish , spoken by the large Polish Jewish population that existed until the Holocaust . Borrowed Yiddish words include _bachor_ (an unruly boy or child), _bajzel_ (slang for mess), _belfer_ (slang for teacher), _ciuchy_ (slang for clothing), _cymes_ (slang for very tasty food), _geszeft_ (slang for business), _kitel_ (slang for apron), _machlojka_ (slang for scam), _mamona_ (money), _menele_ (slang for oddments and also for homeless people), _myszygine_ (slang for lunatic), _pinda_ (slang for girl, pejoratively), _plajta_ (slang for bankruptcy), _rejwach_ (noise), _szmal_ (slang for money), and _trefny_ (dodgy).

The mountain dialects of the Górale in southern Poland, have quite a number of words borrowed from Hungarian (e.g. _baca_, _gazda_, _juhas_, _hejnał_) and Romanian as a result of historical contacts with Hungarian-dominated Slovakia
and Wallachian herders who travelled north along the Carpathians .

Thieves\' slang includes such words as _kimać_ (to sleep) or _majcher_ (knife) of Greek origin, considered then unknown to the outside world.

Direct borrowings from Russian are extremely rare, in spite of long periods of dependence on Tsarist Russia and the Soviet Union, and are limited to a few internationalisms , such as _sputnik _ and _pierestrojka _. Russian personal names are transcribed into Polish likewise; thus Tchaikovsky
's name is spelled _Piotr Iljicz Czajkowski_.

Recent loanwords come primarily from the English language , mainly those that have Latin
or Greek roots, for example _komputer_ (computer), _korupcja_ (from 'corruption', but sense restricted to 'bribery'), etc. Slang sometimes borrows and alters common English words, e.g. _luknąć_ (to look). Concatenation of parts of words (e.g. _auto-moto_), which is not native to Polish but common in English, for example, is also sometimes used. When borrowing English words, Polish often changes their spelling. For example, Latin
suffix '-tio' corresponds to _-cja_. To make the word plural, _-cja_ becomes _-cje_. Examples of this include _inauguracja_ (inauguration), _dewastacja_ (devastation), _recepcja_ (reception), _konurbacja_ (conurbation) and _konotacje_ (connotations). Also, the digraph _qu_ becomes _kw_ (_kwadrant_ = quadrant; _kworum_ = quorum).


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The Polish language
Polish language
has influenced others. Particular influences appear in other Slavic languages and in German — due to their proximity and shared borders. Examples of loanwords include German _Grenze_ (border), Dutch and Afrikaans _grens_ from Polish _granica_; German _Peitzker_ from Polish _piskorz_ (weatherfish); German _Zobel_, French _zibeline_, Swedish _sabel_, and English _sable_ from Polish _soból_; and _ogonek _ ("little tail") — the word describing a diacritic hook-sign added below some letters in various alphabets. "Szmata," a Polish-Ruthenian word for "mop" or "rag" became part of Yiddish .

Quite a few culinary loanwords exist in German and in other languages, some of which describe distinctive features of Polish cuisine. These include German and English _Quark_ from _twaróg_ (a kind of fresh cheese; see: quark (dairy product) ) and German _Gurke_, English _gherkin_ from _ogórek_ (cucumber). The word _pierogi _ (Polish dumplings) has spread internationally, as well as _pączki _ (Polish donuts) and kiełbasa (sausage) (see e.g. _kolbaso_ in Esperanto ). As far as _pierogi_ concerned, the original Polish word is already in plural (sing. _pieróg_, plural _pierogi_; stem _pierog-_, plural ending _-i_; NB. _o_ becomes _ó_ in a closed syllable, like here in singular), yet it is commonly used with the English plural ending _-s_ in Canada
and United States
United States
of America, _pierogis_, thus making it a "double plural". (A similar situation happened in the opposite direction to the Polish loanword from English _czipsy_ ("potato chips")—from English _chips_ being already plural in the original (_chip_ + _-s_), yet it has obtained the Polish plural ending _-y_.)

The word _spruce _ entered the English language from the Polish name of Prusy (a historical region, today part of Poland
). It became _spruce_ because in Polish, _z Prus_, sounded like "spruce" in English (transl. "from Prussia
") and was a generic term for commodities brought to England
by Hanseatic merchants and because the tree was believed to have come from Polish Ducal Prussia.


* Adam Mickiewicz Institute * _ Holy Cross Sermons _ * University of Łódź School of Polish for Foreigners * Slavic languages * West Slavic languages * West Slavs * Slavs
* Slavic vocabulary * _A Translation Guide to 19th-Century Polish-Language Civil-Registration Documents _ * BABEL Speech Corpus


* ^ "Världens 100 största språk 2010" (The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2010), in _ Nationalencyklopedin _ * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

* ^ * ^ Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities * ^ Minority related national legislation of Lithuania * ^ "Law of Ukraine
"On Principles of State Language Policy" (Current version — Revision from 01.02.2014)". _Document 5029-17, Article 7: Regional or minority languages Ukraine, Paragraph 2_. Zakon2.rada.gov.ua. 1 February 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2014. * ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Polish". _ Glottolog 2.7 _. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. * ^ "Lekhitic languages Encyclopædia Britannica". Britannica.com. 2015-01-08. Retrieved 2015-03-31. * ^ United States
United States
(2007-07-10). "The importance of Polish as a language today — Learn English your way". Cactus Language Training. Archived from the original on September 7, 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-16.

* ^ "Statistical Summaries". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2011-09-16. * ^ "Polish Language History and Facts Today Translations London, UK". Todaytranslations.com. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2015-03-31. * ^ Kamusella, Tomasz (2008). _The Politics of Language and Nationalism in Modern Central Europe_. Basingstoke and New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 138. ISBN 978-0-230-55070-4 . * ^ Digital version _Book of Henryków_ in latin * ^ Barbara i Adam Podgórscy: Słownik gwar śląskich. Katowice: Wydawnictwo KOS, 2008, ISBN 978-83-60528-54-9 * ^ Bogdan Walczak: Zarys dziejów języka polskiego. Wrocław: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego, 1999, ISBN 83-229-1867-4 * ^ "Table 8. Detailed List of Languages Spoken at Home for the Population 5 Years and Over : By State" (PDF). Census.gov. Retrieved 2015-03-31. * ^ (PDF) https://www.pnc.com/webapp/unsec/Requester?resource=/wps/wcm/connect/831f05004e5c6ce68c1f8ffc6d630ad7/Diversity_FactSheet_0209.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=831f05004e5c6ce68c1f8ffc6d630ad7. Retrieved August 21, 2013. Missing or empty title= (help ) * ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 16, 2013. Retrieved September 21, 2008. * ^ _The Slavic Languages_, CUP * ^ Roland Sussex and Paul Cubberley (2006). _The Slavic Languages_. Cambridge University Press. P. 530. * ^ Robert A. Rothstein (1994). "Polish". _The Slavonic Languages_, edited by Bernard Comrie and Greville G. Corbett. Routledge. Pp. 754–756. * ^ " Silesia
and Central European Nationalisms", 2007. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press ISBN 978-1-55753-371-5 * ^ (en: "Languages of the world and their classification"), Polish Scientific Publishers , Warszawa 1989 * ^ "Ekspertyza naukowa dr Tomasza Wicherkiewicza", Language Policy and the Laboratory for Research on Minority, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, 2008 * ^ "ISO documentation of Silesian language". SIL International . Archived from the original on October 3, 2012. Retrieved 2015-03-31. * ^ (in English) "List of languages with ISO codes". _ Ethnologue _. SIL International . Retrieved 2015-03-31. * ^ Archived June 2, 2013, at the Wayback Machine . * ^ "Internetowy System Aktów Prawnych". Isap.sejm.gov.pl. Retrieved 2015-03-31. * ^ Magosic, Paul Robert (2005). "The Rusyn Question". Retrieved 2008-01-30. * ^ "kielbasa. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000". Bartleby.com. Retrieved 2009-05-06. * ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Etymonline.com. Retrieved 2015-03-31.


* Bisko, Wacław (1966). _Mówimy po polsku. A beginner\'s course of Polish_ ( DTBook ). translated and adapted by Stanisław Kryński. Warsaw: Wiedza Powszechna (pl). * Sadowska, Iwona (2012). _Polish: A Comprehensive Grammar_. Oxford ; New York : Routledge . ISBN 978-0-415-47541-9 . * Swan, Oscar E. (2002). _A Grammar of Contemporary Polish_. Bloomington, IN: Slavica. ISBN 0-89357-296-9 .


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