Polish

Language History

Polish is an Indo-European language deriving from the West Slavonic group. It came about in the 10th century and by 966, Poland’s adoption of Christianity introduced the Latin alphabet. Diacritics were added to certain letters to represent sounds that the western Latin alphabet did not have. These included ę and ć and ż.

Translations of Latin prayers and sermons were the first written Polish texts and it wasn’t until around 1440 when the language was officially standardised by Jakub Parkoszowic of Zurawic. Polish was then being used in legal documents and books and by the early 19th century, the first Polish dictionary was introduced. A variety of mixed dialects emerged during the occupation of Poland in WWI, and Modern Polish gained significance during WWII when the people tried to maintain separation from invaders.

There are over 50 million Polish speakers around the world. According to Wikipedia, 45 million are native, while the other 5 million use Polish as a second language.

Where is Polish Spoken?

Polish is the official language of Poland however, it is also spoken in other countries around the world including Germany, Lithuania, Israel, Russia, Czechia, Ukraine, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania.




Polish language_map_inner page

FACT

Did you know that after Russian, Polish is the second most commonly spoken Slavic language in the world?

Did you Know?

The Polish alphabet has 32 letters, 23 consonants, and 9 vowels. 9 letters of the alphabet are unique to this language and they are ą, ć, ę, ł, ń ó, ś, ż, ż.

Q, V, and X are not included as they are not Polish and are generally used for foreign words only.

“Polish is one of the hardest and most complicated languages to learn. You have to remember pronunciation, phonetics and the gender system.”

4 Easy Phrases in Polish!

PolishEnglish
Dzień dobryGood morning / Good afternoon
DziękujęThank you!
Jak się masz?How are you?
Na zdrowie!Cheers! / Bless you!

Population vs. Internet Penetration

Poland Population:

38,028,278

Internet Users:

29,757,099

Penetration:

78.2%

As of 2019. Source:
www.internetworldstats.com

FACT!

Polish has been influenced by and has borrowed words from various languages including English, Turkish, Italian, French and Czech.

False Friends in Polish and English

PolishTranslationWrong Meaning
EwentualniepossiblyEventually
AktualnycurrentActually
SympatycznyfriendlySympathetic
LunatyksleepwalkerSympathetic

Polish Translation Tips

• Remember! Polish noun endings depend on gender (masculine, feminine or neuter), case (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, instrumental, locative, vocative) and number (singular or plural).

• Verbs change according to who is doing the action. Any verb that is not in the present tense is split into both perfective and imperfective and by gender.

• Masculine words end predominantly in a consonant, feminine words end in “a”, and neuter words end in “o” or “e”.

• Polish mainly uses a free-word order but the most common order is subject-verb-object.

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