Polish language

Native toPoland
Native speakers
L1: 40 million (2012)[1]
L2: 670,000 (2012)[1]
Total: 41 million[1]
Early forms
Sign Language System
Official status
Official language in
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated byPolish Language Council
(of the Polish Academy of Sciences)
Language codes
ISO 639-1pl
ISO 639-2pol
ISO 639-3pol
Linguasphere53-AAA-cc 53-AAA-b..-d
(varieties: 53-AAA-cca to 53-AAA-ccu)
  Majority of Polish speakers
  Polish used together alongside other languages
  Majority of Polish speakers outside of Poland
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Polish (endonym: język polski, [ˈjɛ̃zɨk ˈpɔlskʲi] , polszczyzna [pɔlˈʂt͡ʂɨzna] or simply polski, [ˈpɔlskʲi] ) is a West Slavic language of the Lechitic group within the Indo-European language family written in the Latin script.[13] It is primarily spoken in Poland and serves as the official language of the country, as well as the language of the Polish diaspora around the world. In 2023, there were over 40.6 million Polish native speakers.[14] It ranks as the sixth most-spoken among languages of the European Union.[15] Polish is subdivided into regional dialects and maintains strict T–V distinction pronouns, honorifics, and various forms of formalities when addressing individuals.[16]

The traditional 32-letter Polish alphabet has nine additions (ą, ć, ę, ł, ń, ó, ś, ź, ż) to the letters of the basic 26-letter Latin alphabet, while removing three (x, q, v). Those three letters are at times included in an extended 35-letter alphabet.[17] The traditional set comprises 23 consonants and 9 written vowels, including two nasal vowels (ę, ą) defined by a reversed diacritic hook called an ogonek.[18] Polish is a synthetic and fusional language which has seven grammatical cases.[19] It is one of very few languages in the world possessing continuous penultimate stress (with only a few exceptions) and the only in its group having an abundance of palatal consonants.[20] Contemporary Polish developed in the 1700s as the successor to the medieval Old Polish (10th–16th centuries) and Middle Polish (16th–18th centuries).[21]

Among the major languages, it is most closely related to Slovak[22] and Czech[23] but differs in terms of pronunciation and general grammar. Additionally, Polish was profoundly influenced by Latin and other Romance languages like Italian and French as well as Germanic languages (most notably German), which contributed to a large number of loanwords and similar grammatical structures.[24][25][26] Extensive usage of nonstandard dialects has also shaped the standard language; considerable colloquialisms and expressions were directly borrowed from German or Yiddish and subsequently adopted into the vernacular of Polish which is in everyday use.[27][28]

Historically, Polish was a lingua franca,[29][30] important both diplomatically and academically in Central and part of Eastern Europe. In addition to being the official language of Poland, Polish is also spoken as a second language in eastern Germany, northern Czech Republic and Slovakia, western parts of Belarus and Ukraine as well as in southeast Lithuania and Latvia. Because of the emigration from Poland during different time periods, most notably after World War II, millions of Polish speakers can also be found in countries such as Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Israel, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

  1. ^ a b c Polish at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022) Closed access icon
  2. ^ Gwara Śląska – świadectwo kultury, narzędzie komunikacji. Jolanta Tambor (eds.); Aldona Skudrzykowa. Katowice: „Śląsk". 2002. ISBN 83-7164-314-4. OCLC 830518005.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  3. ^ „Słownik gwar Śląskich". Opole, Bogusław Wyderka (eds.)
  4. ^ „Dialekt śląski" author: Feliks Pluta, publication: Wczoraj, Dzisiaj, Jutro. – 1996, no 1/4, pp 5–19
  5. ^ „Fenomen śląskiej gwary" author: Jan Miodek publication: Śląsk. – 1996, no 5, pp 52
  6. ^ a b c d European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
  7. ^ "Polish made official language in Brazilian town founded by Poles". Archived from the original on 31 January 2023. Retrieved 31 January 2023.
  8. ^ "Nyelvi sokszínűség az EU-ban – hivatalos regionális és kisebbségi nyelvek a tagállamokban" (in Hungarian). 16 March 2016. Archived from the original on 9 August 2018. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  9. ^ Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (Treaty 157). Council of Europe. 1 February 1995. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  10. ^ "MINELRES – Minority related national legislation – Lithuania". www.minelres.lv. Archived from the original on 18 September 2018. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  11. ^ "Reservations and Declarations for Treaty No.148 – European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages". Council of Europe. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  12. ^ "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. Archived from the original on 14 February 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  13. ^ "Lekhitic languages". Encyclopædia Britannica. 8 January 2015. Archived from the original on 20 April 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  14. ^ "What are the top 200 most spoken languages?". Ethnologue. 2023. Archived from the original on 18 June 2023. Retrieved 25 August 2023.
  15. ^ Keating, Dave. "Despite Brexit, English Remains The EU's Most Spoken Language By Far". Forbes. Archived from the original on 7 June 2023. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  16. ^ Wierzbicka, Anna; Winter, Werner (2020). Cross-Cultural Pragmatics. De Gruyter. p. 57. ISBN 9783112329764. Archived from the original on 17 May 2023. Retrieved 21 March 2023.
  17. ^ "Q, V, X – Poradnia językowa PWN". sjp.pwn.pl. Archived from the original on 31 July 2020. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  18. ^ Kappenberg, Bernard; Schlobinski, Peter (2015). Setting Signs for Europe; Why Diacritics Matter for European Integration. Columbia University Press. p. 44. ISBN 9783838267036. Archived from the original on 17 May 2023. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  19. ^ Foland-Kugler, Magdalena (2006). W gaju słów, czyli, Polszczyzna znana i nieznana (in Polish). Ex Libris. p. 29. ISBN 9788389913876. Archived from the original on 17 May 2023. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  20. ^ "WALS Online – Chapter Fixed Stress Locations". wals.info. Archived from the original on 7 December 2015.
  21. ^ Długosz-Kurczabowa, Krystyna; Dubisz, Stanisław (2006). Gramatyka historyczna języka polskiego (in Polish). Warszawa (Warsaw): wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego. pp. 56, 57. ISBN 83-235-0118-1.
  22. ^ Stroińska, Magda; Andrews, Ernest (2018). "The Polish Language Act: Legislating a Complicated Linguistic-Political Landscape". In Andrews, Ernest (ed.). Language planning in the post-communist era: the struggles for language control in the new order in Eastern Europe, Eurasia and China. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 243. ISBN 978-3-319-70926-0. OCLC 1022080518. Archived from the original on 26 August 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  23. ^ Swan, Oscar E. (2002). A grammar of contemporary Polish. Bloomington, Ind.: Slavica. p. 5. ISBN 0-89357-296-9. OCLC 50064627.
  24. ^ "Język polski". Towarzystwo Miłośników Języka Polskiego. 27 July 2000. Archived from the original on 27 September 2023. Retrieved 27 August 2020 – via Google Books.
  25. ^ Mańczak-Wohlfeld, Elżbieta (27 July 1995). Tendencje rozwojowe współczesnych zapożyczeń angielskich w języku polskim. Universitas. ISBN 978-83-7052-347-3. Archived from the original on 27 September 2023. Retrieved 27 August 2020 – via Google Books.
  26. ^ "Rok ... pod względem oświaty, przemysłu i wypadków czasowych". Nakł. N. Kamieńskiego i Spólki. 27 July 1844 – via Google Books.
  27. ^ Brzezina, Maria (1986). Polszczyzna Żydów (in Polish). Warszawa (Warsaw): Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe. pp. 31, 46. ISBN 83-01-06611-3.
  28. ^ Prokop-Janiec, Eugenia (2013). Pogranicze Polsko-żydowskie (PDF) (in Polish). Kraków: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego. p. 20. ISBN 978-83-233-3507-8. Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 January 2021. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  29. ^ Marácz, László; Rosello, Mireille, eds. (1 January 2012). Multilingual Europe, Multilingual Europeans. BRILL. p. 25. ISBN 978-94-012-0803-1. Retrieved 28 November 2018 – via Google Books.
  30. ^ Koyama, Satoshi (2007). "Chapter 8: The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth as a Political Space: Its Unity and Complexity" (PDF). In Hayashi, Tadayuki; Fukuda, Hiroshi (eds.). Regions in Central and Eastern Europe: Past and Present. Slavic Research Center, Hokkaido University. pp. 137–153. ISBN 978-4-938637-43-9. Archived from the original on 25 February 2020. Retrieved 23 May 2019.

Cite error: There are <ref group=lower-alpha> tags or {{efn}} templates on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist|group=lower-alpha}} template or {{notelist}} template (see the help page).