Polish language

Polish (język polski [jɛ̃zɨk ˈpɔlskʲi] (listen), polszczyzna, or simply polski) is a West Slavic language of the Lechitic group.[9] It is spoken primarily in Poland and serves as the native language of the Poles. In addition to being an official language of Poland, it is also used by Polish minorities in other countries. There are over 50 million[2][1] Polish language speakers around the world and it is one of the official languages of the European Union.

Polish is written with the standard 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 Czech and Slovak. The language currently has the largest number of speakers of the West Slavic group and is also the second most widely spoken Slavic language.[10][11]

Historically, Polish was known to be lingua franca,[12][13] important 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 northern Czech Republic and Slovakia, Hungary, western parts of Belarus and Ukraine, and central-western Lithuania. Because of the emigration from Poland during different time periods, most notably after World War II, millions of Polish speakers can be found in countries such as Israel, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States and New Zealand.

Polish
polski
Pronunciation[ˈpɔlskʲi] (listen)
Native toPoland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, central-western Lithuania, bordering regions of western Ukraine and western Belarus (Kresy)
EthnicityPoles
Kashubs
Silesians
Native speakers
45 million[1]
L2 speakers: 5 million+[2]
Early forms
Latin (Polish alphabet)
Polish Braille
System Językowo-Migowy (SJM)
Official status
Official language in
 Poland
 European Union
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated byPolish Language Council
(of the Polish Academy of Sciences)
Language codes
ISO 639-1pl
ISO 639-2pol
ISO 639-3polinclusive code
Individual code:
szl – Silesian
Glottologpoli1260[8]
Linguasphere53-AAA-cc 53-AAA-b..-d
(varieties: 53-AAA-cca to 53-AAA-ccu)
Map of Polish language
  Majority of Polish speakers
  Minority of Polish speakers

History

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 the 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, which made it possible to write down Polish, until then existing only as a spoken language.[14]

Book of Henryków
The Book of Henryków is the earliest document to include a sentence written entirely in what can be interpreted as an Old Polish language - Day, ut ia pobrusa, a ti poziwai highlighted in red

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.[15]

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").[16][17][18]

Geographic distribution

Poland 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, Polish Americans number more than 11 million but most of them cannot speak Polish fluently. According to the 2000 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 (74,663).[19] 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.[20]

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.[21]

The geographical distribution of the 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. To the east of Poland, the most significant Polish minority lives in a long, narrow strip along either side of the Lithuania-Belarus border. 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.

Curzon line en
The "Recovered Territories" (in pink) were parts of Germany, including the Free City of Danzig (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).
Languages of CE Europe-3
Geographical distribution of the Polish language (green) and other Central and Eastern European languages and dialects. A large Polish-speaking diaspora remains in the countries located east of Poland that were once the Eastern Borderlands of the Second Polish Republic (1918-1939).
Język polski w Europie
Knowledge of the Polish language within Europe. The Polish diaspora heavily contributed to the spread of the Polish language in Western European countries (United Kingdom) and Scandinavia. However, it was the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth that made Polish lingua franca in Central and Eastern Europe as well as in the Baltic States.

Dialects

Modlitwy drukowane po polsku w r. 1475
The oldest printed text in Polish – Statuta synodalia Episcoporum Wratislaviensis printed in 1475 in Wrocław by Kasper Elyan.
Polish-alphabet
The Polish alphabet contains 32 letters. Q, V and X are not used in the Polish language.

The 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 (Eastern Borderlands) 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 Polish People's Republic.[22]

The inhabitants of different regions of Poland still speak "standard" Polish somewhat differently, although the differences between modern-day vernacular varieties appear relatively 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".[23]

Many linguistic sources about the Slavic languages describe Silesian as a dialect of Polish.[24][25] 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,[26] Agnieszka Pianka, Alfred F. Majewicz,[27] Tomasz Wicherkiewicz)[28] 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. it changes over time). Also, language organizations such as SIL International[29] and resources for the academic field of linguistics such as Ethnologue,[30] Linguist List[31] and others, for example the Ministry of Administration and Digitization[32] recognized the Silesian language. In July 2007, the Silesian language was recognized by an ISO, and was attributed an ISO code of szl.

Some additional characteristic but less widespread regional dialects include:

  1. The distinctive dialect of the Gorals (Góralski) occurs in the mountainous area bordering the 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.[33]
  2. The Poznanski dialect, spoken in Poznań and to some extent in the whole region of the former Prussian Partition (excluding Upper Silesia), with noticeable German influences.
  3. In the northern and western (formerly German) regions where Poles from the territories annexed by the 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.
  4. 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 Ruthenian drawl") and is easily distinguishable.
  5. 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 relatively intact.) However, these city dialects are now mostly extinct due to assimilation with standard Polish.
  6. 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 to contemporary visitors from Poland.

Phonology

Spoken Polish in a neutral informative tone

Vowels and consonants

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):

Polish vowel chart (with allophones)
Polish oral vowels depicted on a vowel chart. Main allophones (in black) are in broad transcription, whereas positional allophones (in red and green) are in narrow transcription. Allophones with red dots appear in palatal contexts. The central vowel [ɜ] is an unstressed allophone of /ɛ, ɔ, a/ in certain contexts

Neutralization occurs between voicedvoiceless 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.

Consonant distribution

Polish permits complex consonant clusters, which historically often arose from the disappearance of yers. Polish can have word-initial and word-medial clusters of up to four consonants, whereas word-final clusters can have up to five consonants.[34] Examples of such clusters can be found in words such as bezwzględny [bɛzˈvzɡlɛndnɨ] ('absolute' or 'heartless', 'ruthless'), źdźbło [ˈʑd͡ʑbwɔ] ('blade of grass'), wstrząs [ˈfstʂɔw̃s] ('shock'), and krnąbrność [ˈkrnɔmbrnɔɕt͡ɕ] ('disobedience'). A popular Polish tongue-twister (from a verse by Jan Brzechwa) is W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie [fʂt͡ʂɛbʐɛˈʂɨɲɛ ˈxʂɔw̃ʂt͡ʂ ˈbʐmi fˈtʂt͡ɕiɲɛ] ('In Szczebrzeszyn a beetle buzzes in the reed').

Unlike languages such as Czech, Polish does not have syllabic consonants – the nucleus of a syllable is always a vowel.[35]

The consonant /j/ is restricted to positions adjacent to a vowel. It also cannot precede i or y.

Prosody

The predominant stress pattern in Polish is penultimate stress – in a word of more than one syllable, the next-to-last syllable is stressed. Alternating preceding syllables carry secondary stress, e.g. in a four-syllable word, where the primary stress is on the third syllable, there will be secondary stress on the first.[36]

Each vowel represents one syllable, although the letter i normally does not represent a vowel when it precedes another vowel (it represents /j/, palatalization of the preceding consonant, or both depending on analysis). Also the letters u and i sometimes represent only semivowels when they follow another vowel, as in autor /ˈawtɔr/ ('author'), mostly in loanwords (so not in native nauka /naˈu.ka/ 'science, the act of learning', for example, nor in nativized Mateusz /maˈte.uʂ/ 'Matthew').

Styl urzedowy - Polish sign
A formal-tone informative sign in Polish, with a composition of vowels and consonants and a mixture of long, medium and short syllables

Some loanwords, particularly from the classical languages, have the stress on the antepenultimate (third-from-last) syllable. For example, fizyka (/ˈfizɨka/) ('physics') is stressed on the first syllable. This may lead to a rare phenomenon of minimal pairs differing only in stress placement, for example muzyka /ˈmuzɨka/ 'music' vs. muzyka /muˈzɨka/ - genitive singular of muzyk 'musician'. When additional syllables are added to such words through inflection or suffixation, the stress normally becomes regular. For example, uniwersytet (/uɲiˈvɛrsɨtɛt/, 'university') has irregular stress on the third (or antepenultimate) syllable, but the genitive uniwersytetu (/uɲivɛrsɨˈtɛtu/) and derived adjective uniwersytecki (/uɲivɛrsɨˈtɛt͡skʲi/) have regular stress on the penultimate syllables. Over time, loanwords become nativized to have penultimate stress.[37]

Another class of exceptions is verbs with the conditional endings -by, -bym, -byśmy, etc. These endings are not counted in determining the position of the stress; for example, zrobiłbym ('I would do') is stressed on the first syllable, and zrobilibyśmy ('we would do') on the second. According to prescriptive authorities, the same applies to the first and second person plural past tense endings -śmy, -ście, although this rule is often ignored in colloquial speech (so zrobiliśmy 'we did' should be prescriptively stressed on the second syllable, although in practice it is commonly stressed on the third as zrobiliśmy).[38] These irregular stress patterns are explained by the fact that these endings are detachable clitics rather than true verbal inflections: for example, instead of kogo zobaczyliście? ('whom did you see?') it is possible to say kogoście zobaczyli? – here kogo retains its usual stress (first syllable) in spite of the attachment of the clitic. Reanalysis of the endings as inflections when attached to verbs causes the different colloquial stress patterns. These stress patterns are however nowadays sanctioned as part of the colloquial norm of standard Polish.[39]

Some common word combinations are stressed as if they were a single word. This applies in particular to many combinations of preposition plus a personal pronoun, such as do niej ('to her'), na nas ('on us'), przeze mnie ('because of me'), all stressed on the bolded syllable.

Orthography

The 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 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.

Wyjscia wujek 1599
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 // Ó ó /u/
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 /ɘ/
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 //
cz // dzi //
dz /dz̪/ (/ts/) gi /ɡʲ/
// (//) (c)hi //
// (//) ki //
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/, //, // 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)
// ć ci c
// dzi dz
/ɕ/ ś si s
/ʑ/ ź zi z
/ɲ/ ń ni n

Similar principles apply to //, /ɡʲ/, // 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.

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; the rule of thumb is that generic descriptive adjective normally precedes (e.g. piękny kwiat, “beautiful flower”) while categorising adjective often follows the noun (e.g. węgiel kamienny, “black coal”). 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. Zero and cardinal numbers higher than five (except for those ending with the digit 2, 3 or 4 but not ending with 12, 13 or 14) 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").

Borrowed words

Poland was once a multi-ethnic nation with many minorities that contributed to the Polish language.
1. Top left: cauliflower (Polish kalafior from Italian cavolfiore).
2. Top right: rope (sznur from German schnur).
3. Bottom left: shark (rekin from French requin).
4. Bottom right: teacher (belfer from Yiddish (Jewish) בעלפֿער)

Chou-fleur 02
Cordage en chanvre
Carcharhinus melanopterus Luc Viatour
Teacher-writing-on-blackboard564

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.[40]

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) 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). 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 during wars with the armies of Genghis Khan and his descendants, e.g. dzida (spear) and szereg (a line or row).[40]

Words from Czech, an important influence during the 10th and 14th–15th centuries include sejm, hańba and brama.[40]

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.[41] 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).[41]

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).[42]

Pink Birkin bag
Common handbag in Polish is called a torba, a word directly derived from the Turkish language. Turkish loanwords are common as Poland bordered the Ottoman Empire for centuries

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 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 schnursznur (cord). As a result of being neighbours with Germany, Polish has many German expressions which have become literally translated (calques). The regional dialects of Upper Silesia and Masuria (Modern Polish 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),[43] 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 the "paradise for the Jews",[44][45] 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), manele (slang for oddments), myszygene (slang for lunatic), pinda (slang for girl, pejoratively), plajta (slang for bankruptcy), rejwach (noise), szmal (slang for money), and trefny (dodgy).[46]

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.[47]

Thieves' slang includes such words as kimać (to sleep) or majcher (knife) of Greek origin, considered then unknown to the outside world.[48]

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. 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).

Loanwords from Polish

Fishing - The Noun Project
There are numerous words in both Polish and Yiddish (Jewish) languages which are near-identical due to the large Jewish minority that once inhabited Poland. An example includes a fishing rod, ווענטקע (ventke), borrowed directly from Polish wędka

The Polish language has influenced others. Particular influences appear in other Slavic languages and in German — due to their proximity and shared borders.[49] Examples of loanwords include German Grenze (border),[50] 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, Slovak and Ruthenian word for "mop" or "rag" became part of Yiddish.

There is a substantial number of Polish words which officially became part of Yiddish, once the main language of European Jews. These include basic items, objects or terms such as a bread bun (Polish bułka, Yiddish בולקע bulke), a fishing rod (wędka, ווענטקע ventke), an oak (dąb, דעמב demb), a meadow (łąka, לאָנקע lonke), a moustache (wąsy, וואָנצעס vontses) and a bladder (pęcherz, פּענכער penkher).[51]

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) and German Gurke, English gherkin from ogórek (cucumber). The word pierogi (Polish dumplings) has spread internationally, as well as pączki (Polish donuts)[52] and kiełbasa (sausage, 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 of America, pierogis, thus making it a "double plural". A similar situation happened with 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.[53] However, it can be argued that the word is actually derived from the Old French term Pruce, meaning literally Prussia.[54]

See also

References

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  2. ^ a b Encyklopedia języka polskiego, pod red. S Urbańczyka i M. Kucały, Ossolineum, wyd. 3, Warszawa 1999, ISBN 83-04-02994-4, s. 156.
  3. ^ a b c European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
  4. ^ "Nyelvi sokszínűség az EU-ban – hivatalos regionális és kisebbségi nyelvek a tagállamokban". Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  5. ^ "Full list". Treaty Office. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  6. ^ "MINELRES - Minority related national legislation - Lithuania". www.minelres.lv. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  7. ^ "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.
  8. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Polish". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  9. ^ "Lekhitic languages | Encyclopædia Britannica". Britannica.com. 2015-01-08. Retrieved 2015-03-31.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "Statistical Summaries". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2011-09-16.
  12. ^ ""Multilingual Europe, Multilingual Europeans"". BRILL. 1 January 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2018 – via Google Books.
  13. ^ http://src-h.slav.hokudai.ac.jp/coe21/publish/no15_ses/08_koyama.pdf
  14. ^ "Polish Language History and Facts | Today Translations London, UK". Todaytranslations.com. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2015-03-31.
  15. ^ Barbour, Stephen; Carmichael, Cathie (2000-12-14). Language and Nationalism in Europe. OUP Oxford. ISBN 9780191584077.
  16. ^ Digital version Book of Henryków in latin
  17. ^ Barbara i Adam Podgórscy: Słownik gwar śląskich. Katowice: Wydawnictwo KOS, 2008, ISBN 978-83-60528-54-9
  18. ^ Bogdan Walczak: Zarys dziejów języka polskiego. Wrocław: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego, 1999, ISBN 83-229-1867-4
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  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 16, 2013. Retrieved September 21, 2008.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ Krasnodębski, Zdzisław (20 November 2005). "Naród niedokończony". Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  23. ^ The Slavic Languages, CUP
  24. ^ Roland Sussex and Paul Cubberley (2006). The Slavic Languages. Cambridge University Press. P. 530.
  25. ^ Robert A. Rothstein (1994). "Polish". The Slavonic Languages, edited by Bernard Comrie and Greville G. Corbett. Routledge. Pp. 754–756.
  26. ^ "Silesia and Central European Nationalisms", 2007. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press ISBN 978-1-55753-371-5
  27. ^ ["Języki świata i ich klasyfikowanie"] (en: "Languages of the world and their classification"), Polish Scientific Publishers, Warszawa 1989
  28. ^ "Ekspertyza naukowa dr Tomasza Wicherkiewicza", Language Policy and the Laboratory for Research on Minority, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, 2008
  29. ^ "ISO documentation of Silesian language". SIL International. Archived from the original on October 3, 2012. Retrieved 2015-03-31.
  30. ^ (in English) "List of languages with ISO codes". Ethnologue. SIL International. Retrieved 2015-03-31.
  31. ^ [1] Archived June 2, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ "Internetowy System Aktów Prawnych". Isap.sejm.gov.pl. Retrieved 2015-03-31.
  33. ^ Magosic, Paul Robert (2005). "The Rusyn Question". Retrieved 2008-01-30.
  34. ^ "Polish". UCLA Phonetics Lab data. UCLA Phonetics Laboratory, University of California, Los Angeles. Archived from the original on 20 September 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  35. ^ Rubach, Jerzy (28 November 1996). "Nonsyllabic Analysis of Voice Assimilation in Polish". Linguistic Inquiry. 27 (1): 69–110. JSTOR 4178926.
  36. ^ Gussmann (2007:8), deferring to Rubach & Booij (1985) for further discussion.
  37. ^ Gussmann (2007), p. 9.
  38. ^ Phonetics and Phonology of lexical stress in Polish verbs, Dominika Oliver, Martine Grice, Institute of Phonetics, Saarland University, Germany
  39. ^ Andrzej Markowski. "Norma wzorcowa". Konferencje i dyskusje naukowe. Rada Języka Polskiego. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  40. ^ a b c Glossa, SJO. "Zapożyczenia w języku polskim". e-polish.eu. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  41. ^ a b "Czy Bona Sforza naprawdę sprowadziła do Polski kapustę i kalafior?". Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  42. ^ "Historia Żyrardowa". www.visit.zyrardow.pl. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  43. ^ "kielbasa. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000". Bartleby.com. Archived from the original on 2008-06-30. Retrieved 2009-05-06.
  44. ^ Haumann, Heiko (2002-01-01). A History of East European Jews. Central European University Press. ISBN 9789639241268.
  45. ^ "A Virtual Visit to the Museum of the History of Polish Jews". Culture.pl. Retrieved 2018-09-26.
  46. ^ Martinovic, Katarzyna. "Wpływ języków żydowskich na język polski". Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  47. ^ User, Super. "Historia zapożyczeń". polskiwdwunastce.edu.pl. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  48. ^ Rak, Maciej. "Kilka uwag o socjolekcie przestępczym polszczyzny przedwojennego Lwowa, "Socjolingwistyka" XXX, 2016". Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  49. ^ Dziubalska-Kołaczyk, Katarzyna; Walczak, Bogdan (28 November 2018). "Polish". Revue belge de philologie et d'histoire. 88 (3): 817–840. doi:10.3406/rbph.2010.7805. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  50. ^ https://realpoland.eu/polish-language/
  51. ^ "How Much Polish Is There in Yiddish (and How Much Yiddish Is There in Polish)?". Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  52. ^ "What Are Paczki and Why Is Everyone Freaking Out About Them?". Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  53. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Etymonline.com. Retrieved 2015-03-31.
  54. ^ "spruce - Origin and meaning of spruce by Online Etymology Dictionary". www.etymonline.com. Retrieved 28 November 2018.

Further reading

External links

Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań

Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (Polish: Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu, Polish abbreviation UAM) is one of the major Polish universities, located in the city of Poznań, Greater Poland, in the west of the country. It traces its origins to 1611 and officially opened on May 7, 1919. Since 1955, it has carried the name of the Polish Romantic poet Adam Mickiewicz. The university has been frequently listed as a top three university in the country.In 2018, the Academic Ranking of World Universities placed the university within the 701-800 band globally.

List of Polish-language poets

List of poets who have written much of their poetry in the Polish language. See also Discussion Page for additional poets not listed here.

There have been four Polish Nobel Prize laureates in literature: Henryk Sienkiewicz, Władysław Reymont, Czesław Miłosz, Wisława Szymborska. The last two have been poets.

List of Polish desserts

This is a list of Polish desserts. Polish cuisine is a style of cooking and food preparation originating in or widely popular in Poland. Polish cuisine has evolved over the centuries to become very eclectic due to Poland's history. Polish cuisine shares many similarities with other Central European cuisines, especially German, Austrian and Hungarian cuisines, as well as Jewish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Russian, French and Italian culinary traditions.

National Bank of Poland

Narodowy Bank Polski (National Bank of Poland, NBP) is the central bank of Poland. It controls the issuing of Poland's currency, the złoty. The Bank is headquartered in Warsaw, and has branches in 16 major Polish towns. The NBP represents Poland in the European System of Central Banks, an EU organization.

Oświęcim

Oświęcim (Polish: [ɔɕˈfʲɛɲt͡ɕim] (listen); German: Auschwitz; Yiddish: אָשפּיצין‎, translit. Oshpitzin) is a town in the Lesser Poland (Polish: Małopolska) province of southern Poland, situated 50 kilometres (31 mi) west of Kraków, near the confluence of the Vistula (Wisła) and Soła rivers. The town is commonly known for being the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp (the camp is also known as KL or KZ Auschwitz Birkenau) during World War II when Poland was under the control of Nazi Germany.

PKN Orlen

PKN Orlen (Polish: Polski Koncern Naftowy Orlen) (WSE: PKN) is a major Polish oil refiner and petrol retailer. The company is a significant European publicly traded firm with major operations in Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, and the Baltic States. Orlen is a major sponsor of the Williams Racing Formula One team, Polish volleyball, both the national teams and the women's national tournament.

Pentecostal Church in Poland

The Pentecostal Church in Poland (Polish: Kościół Zielonoświątkowy w Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej) is a Pentecostal Christian denomination in Poland. With 24,000 adherents and 240 congregations, it is the second largest Protestant church in Poland after the Evangelical-Augsburg Church. It is the largest Pentecostal denomination in Poland and a part of the World Assemblies of God Fellowship.The Kosciol Zielonoswiatkowy (a Pentecostal denomination) emerged from the United Evangelical Church of Poland, which consisted of five Protestant denominations during communism. It has three Bible schools with extension programs training about 150 students and facilitates several ministries. Assemblies of God workers labor alongside this Pentecostal Church and report that about 300 ministers now serve approximately 20,000 members and adherents in 191 churches and outstations. In addition, there is a church planting school that is currently starting 12 new churches in southwest Poland.

The Pentecostal Church in Poland is a member of Pentecostal European Fellowship and Biblical Society in Poland. Headquartered in the city of Warsaw, the Church publishes a magazine titled Chrześcijanin.

Polish Braille

Polish Braille (alfabet Braille'a) is a braille alphabet for writing the Polish language. It is based on international braille conventions, with the following extensions:

That is, for letters of the first and second decade of the braille script (a, c, e, l, n, s), a diacritic is written as dot 6, and any dot 3 is removed (or, equivalently, is moved to position 6)—that is, the base letter is moved to the fourth decade. For letters of the third decade (u, y, z), which already have a dot 6, the derivation is a mirror image. Ó is derived from u, which is how it is pronounced (also, the mirror image of o is already taken). Several of these conventions are used in Lithuanian Braille.

Polish Football Association

The Polish Football Association (Polish: Polski Związek Piłki Nożnej; PZPN) is the governing body of association football in Poland. It organizes the Polish football leagues (without the Ekstraklasa), the Polish Cup and the Polish national football team. It is based in the Polish capital of Warsaw.

Polish Wikipedia

The Polish Wikipedia (Polish: Polskojęzyczna Wikipedia) is the Polish-language edition of Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia. Founded on September 26, 2001, it now has around 1,325,000 articles, making it the 10th-largest Wikipedia edition overall. It is also the second-largest edition in a Slavic language, after the Russian Wikipedia.

Polsat

Polsat is one of Poland's biggest television channels, founded on 5 December 1992 and owned by Zygmunt Solorz-Żak. It was the most watched television channel in Poland in 2016 with a market share of 11.45%.

Polsat belongs to the Polsat Group (WSE: CPS), which also owns other channels.

Potato pancake

Potato pancakes, latkas, deruny or boxties are shallow-fried pancakes of grated or ground potato, matza meal or flour and a binding ingredient such as egg or applesauce, often flavored with grated garlic or onion and seasoning. They may be topped with a variety of condiments, ranging from the savory (such as sour cream or cottage cheese), to the sweet (such as apple sauce or sugar), or they may be served plain. The dish is sometimes made from mashed potatoes to make pancake-shaped croquettes. Some variations may be made with sweet potatoes.

Royal Prussia

Royal Prussia (Polish: Prusy Królewskie; German: Königlich-Preußen or Preußen Königlichen Anteils, Kashubian: Królewsczé Prësë) or Polish Prussia (Polish: Prusy Polskie; German: Polnisch-Preußen) was a region of the Kingdom of Poland from 1466 to 1772.

Royal Prussia was established after the Second Peace of Thorn (1466), from territory in western Prussia ceded by the State of the Teutonic Order and incorporated into the Kingdom of Poland. The region became part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1569, and its autonomy and political status were re-organized several times during its existence. Royal Prussia was dissolved in 1772 when it was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia in the First Partition of Poland, and the majority of its territory was formed into the province of West Prussia.

SS-Truppenübungsplatz Heidelager

SS-Truppenübungsplatz Heidelager was a World War II SS military complex and Nazi concentration camp in Pustków and Pustków Osiedle, Poland. The Nazi facility was built to train collaborationist military units, including the Ukrainian 14th Waffen SS Division "Galician", and units from Estonia. This training included killing operations inside the concentration camps – most notably at the nearby Pustków and Szebnie camps – and Jewish ghettos in the vicinity of the 'Heidelager'. The military area was situated in the triangle of the Wisła and San rivers, dominated by large forest areas. The centre of the Heidelager was at Blizna, the location of the secret Nazi V-2 missile launch site, which was built and staffed by prisoners from the concentration camp at Pustków.

Silesian language

Silesian or Upper Silesian (Silesian: ślōnskŏ gŏdka / ślůnsko godka [ˈɕlonskɔ ˈɡɔtka]; Czech: slezština; Polish: gwara śląska, język śląski, etnolekt śląski; German: Wasserpolnisch) is a West Slavic lect of the Lechitic group, spoken in Upper Silesia and partly in Czech Silesia. Its vocabulary has been significantly influenced by Central German due to the existence of numerous Silesian German speakers in the area prior to World War II and after.There is no consensus on the linguistic classification of Silesian. Some sources regard it as one of the four major dialects of Polish, while others classify it as a separate language, distinct from Polish.

Telewizja Polska

Telewizja Polska S.A. (TVP S.A., or Polish Television) is a public broadcasting corporation, the only public TV broadcaster in the territory of the Republic of Poland. It is the largest Polish television network, with 13 national and 16 regional channels. About a third of TVP's income comes from a broadcast receiver licence, while the rest is covered by commercials and sponsorships.

Valley of Death (Bydgoszcz)

Valley of Death (Polish: Dolina Śmierci) in Fordon, Bydgoszcz, northern Poland, is a site of Nazi German mass murder committed at the beginning of World War II; and a mass grave of 1,200 – 1,400 Poles and Jews murdered in October and November 1939 by the local German Selbstschutz and the Gestapo. The murders were a part of Intelligenzaktion in Pomerania, a Nazi action aimed at the elimination of the Polish intelligentsia in Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia, which included the former Pomeranian Voivodeship ("Polish Corridor"). It was part of a larger genocidal action that took place in all German occupied Poland, code-named Operation Tannenberg.

Śląsk Wrocław

Wrocławski Klub Sportowy Śląsk Wrocław Spółka Akcyjna, commonly known as WKS Śląsk Wrocław, Śląsk Wrocław (Polish pronunciation: [ˈɕlɔ̃sk ˈvrɔt͡swaf]) or simply Śląsk, is a Polish football club based in Wrocław that plays in Ekstraklasa, the highest level of the Polish football league system. The club was founded in 1947 and has competed under many names since then; adopting the name Śląsk Wrocław ten years after their foundation. In 1977, Śląsk Wrocław won the Polish league championship for the first time. The club has also won the Polish Cup twice, the Polish SuperCup twice and the Ekstraklasa Cup once. The club's home is Stadion Miejski, a 42,771 capacity stadium in Wrocław which was one of the host venues during UEFA Euro 2012. Club previously played at Olympic Stadium and Stadion Oporowska.

Śląsk Wrocław is ranked 9th in the Ekstraklasa all-time table. They drew an average home league attendance of 9,447 in the 2016–17 season.

Żubroń

Żubroń (; Polish: Żubroń [ˈʐubrɔɲ]) is a hybrid of domestic cattle and wisent. The wisent (żubr in Polish) is the European bison; hence, the żubroń is analogous to the American beefalo. The name żubroń was officially chosen from hundreds of proposals sent to the Polish weekly magazine Przekrój during a contest organised in 1969.

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Sign languages
History
West Slavic
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