Talk:Polish language

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Talk:Polish language/Archive 1

Official language[edit]

Link No. 3 tells us, that polish IS NOT an official minority language in germany.

Borrowings from Russia[edit]

"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" This is not very true because Polish has many phraseological calques borrowed from Russian that came to Standard Polish from Eastern dialects. I hope someone will clear this out some day in the future. Anyway "extremely rare" in this case sounds POV (talk) 00:22, 26 December 2013 (UTC)


"Examples of loanwords include German Grenze (border) from Polish granica" Lol, these is a borrowing from the protoslavic, not the Polish only (Russian, Serbian "granica", Czech hranice etc.) (talk) 23:32, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

|It certainly comes from a word shared by all Slavic languages but in German's case this loan was brought through the Polish language in particular. I think this is what was intended in the article. Correct me if this is wrong.| CormanoSanchez (talk) 18:21, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

How do you know it's from Poland exactly when Germans also have Sorbians? Polish language per se didn't exist when such borrowings were made. (talk) 00:22, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
The article doesn't have any references in either of the loanwords sections. "Grenze", or some form of that word, can be found in all Germanic languages. Seems like original research...-- (talk) 02:08, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

"granica" is not root word. Origin of "granica" is another common all slavic word - "grań", hran', gran'. "grań" means line of top peaks of the mountains - thus english mountain ridge, crest - usually a border, line of division. So "Grenze" common for all German languages is still loan from protoslavic and directly via Polish or northern Serbians from Lużyce (ger.Lausitz) . Added by Marek

- Ogórek doesn't come from Greek perhaps? They have similar name for that. - Is really Kiełbasa word comming from turkish? In Turkey kiełbasa is "sucuk" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:42, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Attention - vandalism[edit]

  • Someone deleted Polish language pages. I wonder who replaced the Polish language pages with such unintelligent comments. Only some brainless and ill-mannered people would do such things! Can someone reset the changes to the previous version of Polish Language page? --Thomaspca 00:26, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Cnyborg, thank you very much for fixing the Polish language article. --Thomaspca 00:31, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
  • I edited the introduction section of the page to make it sound more positive. I did not realized that I was not signed-in that is why there is no my signature next to the minor changes. I hope that everyone will like the positive introductory changes. --Thomaspca 00:34, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Czech and Russian influence[edit]

I've seen some anon user erase the mention of Czech and Russian influence on the Polish language several times in a row. It is not clear to me why did he (or she) do so.

There are zillions of Russian words in Polish and the Czech influence, although not that clear, is also visible.

really 'zillions' of Russian words? Such as? It seems to me that you are confounding Russian with Ukrainian and/or White- or Byelorussian (short: Ruthenian) words which were adopted during the Golden Age of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, of which Ruthenians were inhabitants. By contrast, the Czech lexical influence is much easier to find, for those who know about such things (most Czech words, such as 'kościół', church, or 'obywatel', citizen, are not at all perceived as foreign, no more than 'sister' or 'they' are perceived as foreign (Scandinavian, which they are) in English).
Such as "jebać" (to copulate) to name one. There are zillions...

"jebać" is not borrowed from russian, it's a common slavic root you ignorant —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:20, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

I'd like to correct you. "Jebać" indeed means "to copulate", but this is such a vulgar word (even more vulgar than English "to fuck").
sir, I don't know how much a 'zillion' is for you, but apart from a few four-letter words such as the above and a few russicisms inherited from the partitions era and used mainly for humorous purposes I should be rather hard put (and so should I, I reckon) to name, say, twenty quite normal Polish words borrowed from Russian. (talk) 08:35, 10 August 2009 (UTC) Wojciech Żełaniec
Similarities between Czech and Polish grammar are, by contrast, mostly due to the close relationship between the tongues, not to 'copying'. Wojciech Żełaniec, 25. April 2006.

The Polish grammar is an almost exact copy of the Czech grammar coined by Jan Hus (with the notable difference of past tense construction). Whole morphology, parts of speech, declension model, usage of present and future tenses are almost identical. There are also countless lexical connections, for instance most of Polish words related to religion come from Czech language (msza, kościół, wierni, opat, poganin) as well as some military terms (rycerz, pułk). Halibutt 02:49, Oct 11, 2004 (UTC)

The Czech syntax, though, is modelled mainly on German patterns and so quite differemt from the Polish (talk) 08:35, 10 August 2009 (UTC) Wojciech Żełaniec
I don't understand something here: are you claiming that Polish grammar was formulated by someone, who used as its model Czech grammar, which itself was created by a person called Jan Hus? Or is he an author of a grammar book you read? I cannot fathom how someone "made-up" Polish nor Czech grammar - I believe it was a natural development, as languages live, and not "thought-up" by someone. If I have understood you correctly or not, could you please clarify this for me: (talk) 00:36, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
"Whole morphology, parts of speech, declension model, usage of present and future tenses are almost identical." Because Polish and Czech are both West-Slavonic languauges, Polish and Czech are sister lang. not mother and sister as you suggest. Polish and Czech declension patterns differ in many point. eg. soft declensions in Czech compared with Polish ones are oft very "degenarated" (most vowels after soft consonnnt became 'i' in Czech). Yes, there are countless lexical connections, but in both direction. There are also words of polish origine in czech. They were borrowed in 19. century.
Of course, but the main bulk of Czech lexicalisms in Polish came in 9th to 15th centuries, and the number of borrowed words is indeed awesome. Also you are right that the grammar is similar because both languages are Western Slavic. However, there are several parts of grammar in Polish that were actually modelled on purpose after the grammar of our southern neighbours. So, all in all, Polish language was influenced by Czech language heavily. Halibutt 20:28, Nov 19, 2004 (UTC)

Halibutt, don't you mix the Czech influence on Polish with an influence of the Latin grammar system on both languages? 00:59, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

No, I don't. The Czech influence was far more prominent, especially that it was accepted in the already-historical times. On the contrary, the latin grammatical influence is not so obvious, especially that the Latin-based constructions are no longer used by Poles, contrary to Czech-based ones. And, apart of certain lexical borrowings that were accepted to Polish from Latin through Czech and German (Pol. ołtarz - Lat. altar), most of the Czech-borrowed words were either genuine Czech words or Czech barbarizations. In the latter case the link between Polish and the distant original is really not important. Halibutt 06:55, 14 October 2005 (UTC)
I didn't mean actual Latin constructs, but rather the model of the language description. You mention "declension model" and "parts of speech" above - but all this is expressed in terms imported from Latin grammar and might have influenced the language in the following manner: 1) we describe the language in terms imported from Latin grammar, 2) if something doesn't fit quite accurately, we instance it as "incorrect" and so we teach young people in schools, 3) educated people try to speak in the "correct" way, 4) uneducated - but ambitious - people follow the educated ones.
An easy example is the order of cases in the declesion: it is not Polish, nor Czech, and not even purely Latin - it is Greek. So even if the Polish and Czech languages have the same order of cases, this doesn't mean that one influenced the other - but rathery both were in this case influenced by some third language and esp. grammar system. Other similarities, e.g. that both languages actually feature the same set of declension cases, regardless of the order, comes from the fact that both are of the same indo-european and west-slavic origin. 02:12, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, Ukrainian also has 7 cases, I think the system with 7 cases is fairly common in Slavic languages (if you count Russian to have the vocative) -Iopq 19:22, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
Why do you claim that Polish or Czech HAD to be influenced by any third language? Polish language (and grammar) is elder than any contacts between Polish and Roman people, so it's an exageration to state the influence.
Polish (or rather indo-european) grammar system itself, yes. But my advice for you is to try to understand the text you want to comment before an attempt to comment it. It wasn't said here, that the grammar itself was influenced (or rather: significantly influenced) by Latin or Greek. The Polish language has (f.e.) 7 cases and it would have this number of them even if Latin or Greek never existed. But the formal description of the language is clearly influenced by the works of Roman and Greek grammarians: the classification of the cases, their names, and even the ORDER of them was established in 4th century BC in Greece, later propagated to Rome, and yet later, with Christianity, all over the Europe. So I disregard your following comment as being irrelevant. (talk) 02:31, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
My advice to you is to learn better English - no wonder someone is getting confused with your statements, I am a native speaker and find it difficult to follow. I don´t know what you do in life, i.e. whether you´re a scholar or no, but your statements on Czech and Polish are either outrageous or just need better clarification; for example, you claim Polish has case-based word order??? I am told by a colleague that Czech as some kind of word order with regards to the cases in the sentence but Polish doesn´t (this is not a random statement, I do speak Polish). In writing this I had no intention to be rude to you, so if you write back please don´t be rude to me.--Geordieant (talk) 00:36, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
The point here is not a "case-based word order", but the order of the cases in the formal description of the language. The formal description of the language is obviously influenced by Latin grammar (as the formal description of the Latin language), which in turn originates from the formal description of Greek language. This has nothing to do with an influence of the languages themselves (Greek and Latin) onto Polish. Short: you don't know what they're talking about, yet you're trying to comment. Just stop. - (talk) 05:58, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Polish grammar was only DESCRIBED using Latin or Czech tools, just in the same way we today describe Sanscrit. Does it mean that Sanscrit is influenced by English? :) ... BTW, have you studied the similarities between Polish and Sanscrit? In grammar and vocabulary, for example: Sanscrit veda, knowledge and Polish wiedza, knowlegde as well (after the process of palatization popular for Polish language during the ages, viedia, with [dʲ] becoming pronounced dz), budda, awaken and Polish bud root of the words budź awake!, budzić to awake, przebudzony awaken, budzik alarm-clock. Merewyn 20:02, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

I would like to see some more details about the influence of Russian on Polish. I have not been able find any my self even though the influence of many other languages is much more clearly demonstrable. Do we have any good sources on this? Het (talk) 12:12, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Correct me, if I'm wrong, but almost almost all of curses polish take from russian, isn't it? Je.ać, K...a, Ch.j are common in russian, and Poles take it cause they sound cool. [LPet] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:51, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

Yes, you are teribly wrong. You have no knowledge of languages at all, and you should not make any statements on this subject.
--Jidu Boite (talk) 17:15, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

Retroflex or postalveolar?[edit]

In the Consonants section, the sounds represented by cz, sz, ż / rz and dż are described as retroflex ([tʂ], [ʂ], [ʐ] and [dʐ]), yet the table in the Orthography section lists them as postalveolar sounds ([ʧ], [ʃ], [ʒ] and [dʒ]). While I think the latter one is correct, it may also be possible that the Polish sounds are somewhere in between, so both versions are correct. This is still inconsistent, though. Any ideas? --Pipifax 21:52, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

Although the values of sz, ż/rz, cz and dż may be inbetween postalveolar and retroflex, thy are clearly more postalveolar (if you have ever heard true retroflex sounds made by native speakers of some Indian languages, you'll know wha I mean). Because of this I would strongly vote for listing them as postalveolar ([ʧ] [ʃ] [ʒ] [dʒ]). --Kubusj 10:35, 1 February 2006 (UTC)


The History section needs work. A list of words with German/French origin is pointless here. What about Old Church Slavonic? What about the origin, the first time it was written down? I will be renaming the section to "Outside Influence on Polish".


I get an impression that the Polish IPA table is still incomplete. Does IPA distinguish various versions of palatallized/non-pallatalized consonants? Also, what about the softened e (all-Slavic ye, as in siebie)? It seems to be different from i+e cluster, but is it identical to the Russian [ʲɛ]?. Any polonists here? Halibutt 07:02, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

- Halibutt, I'm no linguist, but I think palatalized are be different from non-palatalized, just look at sz and s or spanish n and n with tilda - if you substitute one with the other, it's a completely different word. I think the "ye" is a case for itself because it can have at least three uses: the most used I believe is as "j" as in "wiem", then as "i" proper as in "widmo" and then an auxilliary role as softening the preceding consonant as in "ciekawe" (also a frequent use, mind you that this could just as well be replaced with the accented "c" if not for the spelling rules in place). Any scientific approaches? :) -- Konrad Jaglak

siebie [śeb'e], there is no [j] in correct pronounciation, the same thing in wiem [w'em]. consonant+"i"+vowel is always pronounced as pallatalized consonant + vowel.

siano [ɕɑnɔ] vs. sinus [sʲinus] But the actual reason why I'm writing here is that I've noticed some inconsequence of the author: ł = [w] and [u] = (sometimes) [u̯], but this is one and the same sound! These are just two different conventions, write either the first or the latter, or both. and isn't the Polish 'a' pronounced as [ɑ] BTW, only vowels can be accented ;-)

[w] and [u] in polish are totally different sounds.
I think he (she?) is speaking about IPA symbols, not Polish letters. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:13, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

The term palatalized can mean various things, and perhaps this is one reason leading to misunderstandings.
In phonetics, a palatalized consonant is any consonant which has a secondary place of articulation at or near the hard palate; we may indicate these using [ʲ] following the basic symbol. (A purely palatal consonant is a consonant which has it's main place of articulation at or near the hard palate; these are, e.g., [c, ɟ, ç, ʝ]).
In, Slavic linguistics, however, a palatalized consonant (often called a soft consonant) is a consonant that has been affected in a certain way by front vowels in the course of language evolution. This latter definition is not straightforward as it relies on the specifications of this certain affect. As examples: PS kč was a palatalization (cf. 'four' in various IE languages: French quatre and Polish cztery); PS kc was also a palatalization (cf. PIE kail- and PS l- 'whole'); Polish and Russian kyki (which did not occur in Ukrainian) was also a palatization, as was Polish dzień. All these, however, are processes from various "epochs", and they often may have lost their true phonetic palatalization (as defined above), as is the case with Polish cz and c, which even suggestively of it's "hardness" take a following y, and not i, even in declension paradigms that follow the Slavic soft-stem (or palatalized-stem) pattern.
As languages evolve, they shift their phonology (sound system) around. The "all-Slavic ye" is not really "all-Slavic" anymore. The y (soft) part of this PS sound was incorporated in Polish into the preceding consonants (hence giving Polish so many consonants!), and the Polish vowel e today is bare, as can be seen in the word sen 'dream'.
Therefore, if we are describing the sound system of Polish as it is today in an accurate synchronic phonetic analysis, we must depart from historical palatization, although the latter is very interesting.
The orthography of any language is yet another ocean of historical accumulations. To be specific, the writing of 'i' between a consonant and a vowel is just a means of signalizing a certain palatization of the consonant (in most cases of words of Slavic origin), but this is only a convention of Polish orthography, unlike, e.g., the convention used by the Sorbian languages, which use diacritics as well as j to do the same job.--Jeziorko (talk) 16:09, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Mutual intelligibility with Russian[edit]

The part about mutual intelligibility with Russian shouldn't be here. Not that there isn't some truth in it: Russian is my mother tongue and during my visit to Poland a few years ago i learnt to not just understand Polish, but to actually speak it in less than two weeks, but it could be said about Polish and any other Slavic language. AFAIK, Polish and Slovak are much closer to each other. Anyway, this section is poorly written, non-scientific and non-encyclopedic, especially the Jabberwocky reference.--Amir E. Aharoni 21:33, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

- I second the russian/polish thing. However, it seems clear from various pages here that russian and polish are part of separate slavic language groups.Perhaps this has been edited since you last looked?

Even if this has been edited, I think it is clear to anyone trained in Slavic diachronic linguistics that barring certain phonological changes, the grammars of Polish and Russian (but not necessarily those two languages particularly, perhaps we should say "most Slavic languages" instead) are remarkably close. In my experience relative "fluency" can easily be attained through selective phonological moderation even if a speaker has no training in the B language. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:09, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

a rrWhat exactly is the significance of the Vocabulary section? It seems to be a rather arbitrary selection of mostly pronouns and nouns. Why bother? - dcljr (talk) 20:55, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

Polish roots in Esperanto[edit]

I've gathered a list of Polish & Russian roots in Esperanto (here), but I suspect that many of the affixes might be Polish as well. Would someone mind taking a look at the lists of affixes (two lists here) and point out any that appear to be Polish?

Thanks, kwami 01:24, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Esperanto was made by a polish jew - Ludwik Zamenhof, naturally polish language must have an influence in esperanto [bob]

Actually, he was (Belo)Russian, not Polish, but what I was wondering was if anyone could take a look at that list of suffixes and see if any were recognizably Polish. — kwami (talk) 04:58, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
No, he was indeed Polish. Check his Wikipedia article: "Zamenhof was born on December 15 (December 3 OS), 1859 in the town of Białystok in the Russian Empire (now part of Poland). He considered his native language to be his father's Russian, but he also spoke his mother's Yiddish natively" so nothing about him being ethnic or otherwise Belarusian. Another website I say claims that his "Russian" may have been Belarusian, but that it was considered a dialect at the time. He however was still born in what is now Poland and was ethnically Jewish and not Belarusian. saɪm duʃan Talk|Contribs 14:16, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

Article size[edit]

The article "Polish Language" is 33 kilobytes long. This may be longer than is preferable; see article size. -- 11:22, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Retroflex Fricatives[edit]

On this page and on Polish phonology sz was given as a Voiceless postalveolar fricative and ż / rz as a Voiced postalveolar fricative, they are both retroflex fricatives, voiceless and voiced, respectivly. I've corrected the error. --BadSeed 18:35, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Might want to comment that they're laminal retroflex, like Mandarin, but unlike Hindi or Tamil. kwami 21:01, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Hmmm, I wouldn't quite know where to fit them in. The thing is that Voiceless retroflex fricative and Voiced retroflex fricative both have articles along the lines of other phones. Those two articles don't make a disinction between laminal and apical, but the Retroflex article does. My knowlegde of articulatory phonetics is not quite good enough to mess around with those articles. If you can that fact in a way which doesn't mess up the consistency of the two tables, that would be great. --BadSeed 21:35, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

I had missed out cz and , which imo are also retroflex. The digraph table also gives has pretty odd sounds under the heading Other phonetic values I cannot think of any instances where those pronounciations as used, although I'm not familiar with regional pronunciation. Unless someone provides evidence to the contraty I will remove them. --BadSeed 22:17, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

I don't think that these are true retroflex sounds, and conventionally they are transcribed as if they were postalveolar - which is imo more accurate than transribing them as "truely" retroflex... If you really would like to be accurate, you should use a narrow transcription marking them as laminal... --Kubusj 10:45, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

What's the IPA mark for laminal retroflexes? --BadSeed 10:41, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

The IPA mark for laminal consonates is a little square under the consonant - and I'm still not convinced... The voiceless postalveolar fricative example sounds for me rather palatal... --Kubusj 12:30, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Ok, but do you know how do I get it to appear on the browser. I know that sz is often transcribed as [ʃ], but this is plain wrong. I don't think the [ʃ] example sounds like [ç], but in any case if you go up to a Polish speaker as say [ʃ] instead of [ʂ] he will (unless he's very polite) correct you. --BadSeed 11:52, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

I hope that you mean "unless he is very impolite". Both sounds are really very different and so allowing a foreigner to make such fundamental mistakes without making him realize that he's wrong is very impolite IMHO. 22:33, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

I don't know how to handle it with a browser (maybe copy & paste)... And I am a Polish speaker, and have been seldomly corrected ;) --Kubusj 13:25, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, didn't mean to be presumptuous. I looked for the symbol in character map, for Lucida Sans Unicode fonts, but can't find it. The IPA chart is a graphic, so you can't exactly copy & paste. I'll add a note mentioning the laminal thing for now and if I manage to find the right IPA symbol I'll put it in. --BadSeed 15:03, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

IPA allows you to copy from the table closer to the bottom of the page. -Iopq 19:28, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree that laminal retroflex would be the best way to describe the sounds for cz, sz, rz, ż and dż in Polish. I've updated the IPA transcriptions with the laminal diactrics as per discussion here. Mind you, it starts to look a bit funky when the tails run into the diactric marks. Also, for the affricates represented with the tie-bar I wasn't sure which character to put the diactric under so I did, for example: [t͡ʂ̻] rather than [t̻͡ʂ] because in this case it more closely resembles the consonant [ʂ̻]. Although if convention states otherwise this should be fixed, any comment on this would be helpful. -- Het 07:05, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Hmmmm. The transcriptions look kind of blurry with the dactrics. Do we need this level of precision to be specified in the transcription or is it sufficient to keep it as mention in the text of the article? -- Het 07:16, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Ok, the laminal diactrics are gone. Partly for readability and partly because I could not actually find anyone using this IPA transcription. What I did find is that the retroflex transcription is often used for these Polish consonants. I have also added a note regarding a more accurate transcription for these sounds (and removed the odd suggestion these consonants are apical in Polish). -- Het 14:51, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

stress rules[edit]

The article states that Polish stress is penultimate, and that there are no diphthongs. Does that mean that a word like radio is stressed on the i? Are there many words where final -ia is stressed on the i? Or does the i just palatalize the preceding consonant without itself being pronounced as a vowel? kwami 20:38, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Nevermind, I've answered my own question. Looks like i+V always indicates palatalization. kwami 10:48, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
That's right. The word radio is a two-syllable one in Polish (RA-dio, not ra-DI-o). – Kpalion (talk) 00:54, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
Exactly, if you wanted a stressed "i" in radio you'd have to spell it radyjo or radijo. -- Konrad Jaglak
I cannot see where the article says there are no diphthongs in Polish. No matter what it says, there are diphthongs in Polish, for instance in the word "Europa" or "jutro" or many many others.
j in jutro is a consonant. -Iopq 19:32, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
'j' in 'jutro' a consonant? 'J' in any Polish word a consonant? I used to think 'j' is an 'i' [i] that is not syllable-forming, so no matter where it occurs, in front of, or after a syllable-forming vowel, it forms with that vowel a diphthong, a falling one ('aj') or an ascending one ('ja'), or a triphthong even, such as in 'jaje'. Correct me if I am wrong. If not being syllable-forming entails being a consonant, then 'j' in 'aj' is a consonant too, and 'aj' is no diphthong, either, which seems absurd to me. 18:53, 3 September 2006 (UTC) Wojciech Żełaniec
It's a consonant at the beginning of the syllable as in 'jutro', and phonologically it could be treated as a consonant elsewhere. But PHONETICALLY it is pronounced as non-syllabic i at the end of syllables. The DIFFERENCE between a consonant [j] and non-syllabic [i] is in pronunciation. How exactly it is pronounced in every single word I honestly don't know, but in 'jutro' it tends to be pronounced more like a consonant than a vowel. -Iopq 15:21, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
Is anyone of you native speaker? I think none... "J" is always pronounced as [j], never as [i], although sometimes it becomes quite similar for foreigners. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 16:33, 18 February 2007 (UTC).
I am a native speaker of Polish (and only of Polish). It seems to me, if my ears are to be trusted, that "j" is always non-syllabic "i", whether at the beginning, or at the end of a syllable. If it is "quite similar" to foreigners, as the former contributor maintains, it is exactly identical to at least one native, i. e. to me. Maybe the previous contributor lets himself be impressed by the spelling, a consonantal letter, J. I think "ju-" is a diphthong and so is "-uj" etc. in Polish. 17:11, 1 May 2007 (UTC) Wojciech Żełaniec
I would assume /raj/ is pronounced [rai̯] rather than [raj]. -iopq 10:09, 19 February 2007 (UTC) 22:37, 5 July 2006 (UTC) Wojciech Żełaniec


Cóżeście zrobili? (a form that could be derived from Cóż zrobiliście? which actually sounds archaic and is not used, except for eg. biblical usage) It is used, but rarely, in the case of this sentence, probably only when somebody is quite angry... ;)

* Co wy zrobiliście?

   * Coście zrobili? (a native speaker would not use a subject here)
   * Co wyście zrobili? (this example emphasizes the pronoun -- "wy"+ście)
   * Co żeście zrobili? (this example emphasizes the że- particle, but it is not correct in a written form)

These are just some of the possible variants. 'Co wy zrobiliście?' - is perfectly correct, though here the pronoun is emphasised, just like in 'Co wyście zrobili?' 'Co żeście zrobili?' in turn is incorrect not only in written Polish. It's incorrect in general, even though there people who don't realise this. I know that there are quite a few people speaking thus and that this encourages to claiming that it is incorrect, still the authority responsible for, among others, setting rules etc. for Polish is very decissive at this point, and considers such a usage incorrect. 'ż(e)' may be used either as a conjunction or as an emphasising particle. Therefore the correct version is 'Cóżeście zrobili?'.

  • "Past tense is "był" for all persons, although it does "conjugate" for gender and number like "on" (on był, ona była, ono było, my byliśmy)."

This is wrong. Somebody confused Polish with Russian. "Być" (to be) does conjugate by person (and gender and number) in the past tense, e.g. byłem=I was, byłeś=you were, byliśmy=we were etc.. Pro-dropping would not be possible if the verb did not inflect by person.

The past forms with the emphatic particle ż(e) are not technically wrong. They are simply irrelevant in formal speech, and hence are discouraged from being used at all. Cożeście zrobili? is a typical form in common speech. The particles ż(e) and ście, however, do not hold the stress since, by their very definition, they are particles. The words which they orthgraphically and phonetically attach to remain with the main stress.
With respects to the past tense, these are formed from the so-called ł-particples that inflect for noun class ("gender"), but not for person. To these we attach our personal particles that do indicate inflection for person, but, alternatively, we may be attached these to certain function words upstream in the sentence: Gdybyście mieli samochód, pojechalibyście do miasta.--Jeziorko (talk) 16:30, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Translation of a name[edit]

Gentlemen, I know that this irrelevant, but do any of you know of the Polish spelling for the English name Howard?--Anglius 03:49, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Hałard? On the other hand, I don't know much Polish, and I'm unsure of whether foreign names really get transcribed in that way? It's different with languages using the Cyrillic alphabet. 10:34, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
That's a cool attempt! A relevant question here what is the origin of the name "Howard". If it's a saint's name, or comes from latin, a Polish equivalent can probably be tracked down e.g. by searching through a calendar of saints' feast days. If not, then it would be just left as is: "Howard", and pronounced Hoh-vard (short o). I'm not familiar with it or an equivalent being used to name people of Polish descent. Deuar 12:54, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
There's no name in Poland even loosely resembling the Germanic Howard (I assume it's relative to other Germanic names like Hagard, Hermenegild, Helmut and so on). It indeed would've been spelt Hołard or even Chołard if it was polonised, but it's always left as-is as a foreign name (Poles, unlike Czechs and Slovaks, barely ever translate the names). I doubt you could call a child with that name in Poland though.
BTW, this dictionary mentions the etymology of either *Hugihard ("heart-brave" ) or *Hoh-weard ("high warden"). In such case we could create a similar Slavic name, but in fact these are very rarely used in modern times. In the earlier case it would've been something like Serbor or Syrbor (from *srd, heart and *-bor - fight). In the latter case it would be something like Strażywoj (from straż- guard, and woj - a warrior). Note that these are but my attempts as creating the names out of morphemes used commonly in ancient Slavic names. //Halibutt 11:33, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

I am here to answers your question. It turns out that there is no Polish equivalent of Howard. Too bad.

Guys, I'm a Pole and I've tryed to find out something about that name's translation. The result is disappointing - we don't have any translation of it. And for an instance we say 'Howard Phillips Lovecraft' as 'Hołard Filips Lowecraft".
But we have funny for us translation of 'Lawrence' = 'Wawrzyniec'. As you may know 'Warzywo' is 'Vegetable', and 'Wawrzyniec' seems like 'Vegetableman' ;)
Konikov 12:34, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
You know there is also a 'wawrzyn' == 'laurel'? (latin 'laurus', and the original name in latin is 'Laurentius' if I remember correctly). There was a time in history of polish language, when we tried to translate even names.
TumorMozgowicz 17:29, 2 December 2007 (UTC)


Kashubian as a language is not that closely related to Polish, surely? I know it is quite easy to understand for poles, but the Kashubians staunchly defend it as entirely separate from Polish. I don't thinkt hat is just pride.

I'm no expert but from experience, being a Polish speaker, I found Kashubian similarly understandable to Slovakian, and easier to understand than Czech or Russian. Possibly harder to understand than Slovakian but I'm not sure. All the other languages including Slovakian are clearly separate from Polish, so Kashubian must be as well, based on mutual intelligibility or lack thereof. They're all West Slavic and pretty closely related in absolute terms, though, having diverged something like 2000-1000 years ago. I'm guessing the difference between Kashubian and Polish is similar to Russian and Ukrainian. Deuar 19:26, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
Kashubian is a dialect of Polish, sometimes considered as a dialect of Pomeranian or as a separate language. 19:11, 5 May 2007 (UTC)Maks
What is dialect and what is language, exactly?--Jeziorko (talk) 14:11, 13 July 2008 (UTC)
Kashubian is similar to Polish but this dialect has many words that their origins are in German. Because Kaszuby was long time in Germany. Kashubian has also pomeranian words. When I'm listening conversation, I often can't understand. (talk) 18:17, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

"The Kashubian language, spoken in the Pomorze region west of Gdańsk on the Baltic sea, is closely related to Polish, and was once considered a dialect by some. However, the differences are significant enough to merit its classification as a separate language; for instance, it is not readily understandable to Polish speakers unless written."

Under no circumstances, Kashubian language is understandable to standard Polish speaker - no matter whether spoken or written. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:14, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Retroflex affricates[edit]

Is it possible for the plosive to be dental and the fricative retroflex in an affricate, as we have (tʂ), or should they both have the same place of articulation (ie ʈʂ or tʃ)? I tried sounding it out but can't tell on my own. Moszczynski 19:11, 6 July 2006 (UTC)


Hey, I made a recent picture of the polish speaking world Red colored country means official language Purple colored, historical, very significant, Polish speaking minority Circles (depending on size) shows that there is a sizable Polish language speakers, over 100,000 Squares, small, but significant, Polish language speakers, less then 100,000

Can u teach me how to put a pic on Wiki? The thing is saved on my Microsoft Paint

Chatnin--Chatnin 07:17, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Take a look at Wikipedia:Images and Wikipedia:Extended image syntax. Jacek Kendysz 13:07, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

United Kingdom in Polish...[edit]

Isn't United Kingdom, Wielka Britanii(sp?) in Polish?

Królestwo does mean Kingdom. Please respond.

Jelleh 30 20:41, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

Great Britain - Wielka Brytania
United Kingdom (of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) - Zjednoczone Królestwo (Wielkiej Brytanii i Irlandii Północnej)
Jacek Kendysz 20:45, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

When reffering to UK, we ussually say Wielka Brytania, for example in news etc. Even though the correct translations is "Zjednoczone królewstwo" nobody uses it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:26, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

Polish language question[edit]

Hello, I hope someone may be able to provide me Polish language assistance. In the Bagpipes article, it is described that some European surnames such as Piper (English), Gaitero (Spanish), Gajdar (Czech), Dudás (Hungarian), Tsambounieris (Greek), Gaidarski (Bulgarian), etc. may signify that an ancestor played the bagpipes. I've just learned that a Polish and Ukrainian name for bagpipes is koza. Thus, I wonder whether Kozar, Kozak, or some other Polish surnames may have a similar meaning. Is there an equivalent surname in Polish that is the equivalent to the English "Piper" in that it originally meant "bagpiper" (or "player of the koza")? Thank you, Badagnani 08:09, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Well, I'm not particularly knowledgeable linguistically, but here's what I can tell: Kozak is the polish name for Cossacks, so people with this name are much more likely to have an association with them in their ancestry than bagpipes; Kozar may be a somewhat better candidate, but again you've got to watch out because koza is primarily the Polish word for goat, which might be the likely root of that name instead. Incidentally, however, I happen to know a Polish person with the surname Gajda which is fairly unusual - to the point that I've wondered where it comes from. Comparing to the Czech and Bulgarian forms, it's likely from the bagpipes. Also, Dudy is the word for bagpipes among the Gorale in the southern Polish highlands, and the surnames Duda or Dudek may be related. There's a caveat again, at least for Dudek, because it's the name of a distinctive bird, the Hoopoe. Anyone know something more? Deuar 11:26, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Interesting -- because the Gothic root "gait" or "gaita" also means "goat" -- and there are so many pipes in Spain and the Slavic lands called "gaita." So it seems an analogous situation. Badagnani 21:09, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

The Polish word for bagpipe is 'kobza' not 'koza' (which actually means goat". --A-lbi 02:46, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

So is there a Polish surname that would be the equivalent of English "Piper," Asturian "Gaiteru," or Slavic "Gajdar"? Badagnani 02:49, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Tell me. Why do you need to know that?

I don't know any famous Polish surname related to 'kobza'.

However I have to rectify my last post. According to polish Wikipedia, and my dictionary 'kobza' is only informal word for 'bagpipe'. Indeed 'kobza' is stringed instrument used by Cossacks. The correct name for the instrument is 'dudy' as was mentioned before.

I think that surname most related with 'dudy' could be 'Dudziak. See Urszula Dudziak, the famous polish singer.

Maybe 'Dudek' also originate from 'dudy' (see 'Jerzy Dudek' polish footbal player). However 'dudek' is also a sort of bird.

--A-lbi 18:45, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Thank you very much for this. I had asked because of my question above (under "Polish language question"). I work at the article Bagpipes and we know about surnames that refer to bagpipe-playing in other languages, and I had wondered if "Kozar" was one. But "Dudziak" and "Dudek" sound like good possibilities. Badagnani 20:33, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

In polish Bagpipes is "Dudy". "Kobza" is alike a "Dudy" but is an instrument from Tatry(Mountains in south Polland).

No no no! As someone already wrote above, Polish name for "Bagpipes" is DUDY, name for similar Polish instrument is KOZA (but you can't call Scottish or Asturian pipes "koza"). KOBZA is common mistake, but actually it's Ukrainian string instrument (you can check in wikipedia ;) - mistake comes probably from similarity of words "koza" and "kobza". Similar instruments in Poland are also called Gajda and Koziol (Polish for "male goat", "Koza" is goat female or goat in general). It's very interesting to learn about ethymology of "gaita" - very logical also, when I think about it, since bagpipes "bag" was usually made of goat's skin. Koziol (instrument) can still have quite a lot of hair (fur) and wooden goat's head as a decoration. As for the name, Polish for piper is "dudziarz" (I heaven't heard about such surname, though), so "Dudziak" seems very likely, "Kozar" is also possible (and Kozak surely comes from Cossack) - but that's all just guessing, not real linguistic knowledge
  1. There is not a sound g in czech language but h instead so the czech surname might be Hajdar.
  2. A man playing the bagpipes is "dudziarz" or "koziarz". Kozar is rather ukrainian or jugoslavian name. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:33, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
Neither Gajdar nor Hajdar is a native Czech surname. You might presumably find some Gajdars of foreign origin. — Emil J. 15:20, 23 March 2009 (UTC)


When Polish imports words with an 'x', is the 'x' changed to 'ks'? Thanks for your time.Cameron Nedland 14:49, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Definately. Deuar 17:48, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Cool thanks.Cameron Nedland 20:41, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Is 'x' ever brought in as 'gz' or something like that?Cameron Nedland 14:26, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
No such case comes to mind, but there might possibly be some exceptions − you can never tell with that. Have you got any particular case in mind? Anyone else know something about this? Deuar 17:04, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
'Exact', 'example', 'exhaust', etc.Cameron Nedland 01:50, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I see what you're getting at. Now we're on the right track. All the examples above have home-grown versions, but continuing in this vein I can see that it depends on the particular word. Some use 'ks', e.g. experimenteksperyment, but some DO use 'gz'. e.g. examegzamin. Deuar 18:36, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
Thank you very much.Cameron Nedland 20:49, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
Seems like 'x' transforms into 'gz' when it's located between two vowels (because then it sounds like Polish "gz")
But it is used just for words of foreign origin, not surnames! My original (Polish) surname has "x" in it and there is no change in declination — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:17, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

There is also yet another aspect of importing new words into Polish. In case of names the original form is always preserved only in nominative case. In other cases an 'x' is replaced with 'ks'. For example: Linux to system operacyjny o wolnym kodzie. /Linux is an open source operating system./ But, Mowimy o Linuksie. /We are talking about Linux./ This rule is applicable to all foreign words ending with 'x'. See: (some short discussion in polish). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pptaszek (talkcontribs) 12:10, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

prohibition of the language in the 19th century[edit]

I was reading about how the language was banned in Congress Poland by the Russian tsar in the 19th century, so was there a major hit to the language, or did it just carry on fine? John Riemann Soong 19:45, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Not sure - I don't have the impression that it took a major blow, since Polish culture and literature seemed to carry on fairly well in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Although, this might have been carried by the German- and Austrian- occupied parts of Poland. That statement about the banning in Congress Poland could use some elaboration too (like e.g. did the official ban last from 1880s until 1915 or was it removed at some stage?). Anyone know more details? Deuar 14:50, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
Not sure as well, but in general Polish culture seem to be doing very well (or even- much better) when it's banned. To some extent of course, but we are good at opposing ;)

Sorry I from poland and population of poles around the word is about 58 to 60 milion. Adrian Witkowski Poland gdansk . It thanks for comment

Otto von Bismark said- "Give Poles their own country, and they will kill each other"
funny, but he said it in polish;) Cebi Poland, Słupsk

Ala ma kota[edit]

Just checking, but is anyone considering the alternative Polish usage of this phrase, or is this just an in-joke?

Or is the phraseology I am surreptitiously referring to so archaic that I sound completely insane?

Clapaucius 08:22, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

not a joke [bob]

Article states that hańba is borrowed from czech language, but in fact is ukrainian word.

Article: "However, only the first three examples sound natural in Polish, and others should be used for special emphasis only, if at all."

Starting a sentence off with a verb is very popular in Polish, especially if you're elaborating, so... Ma on, mają oni etc. are used quite frequently, and the emphasis isn't particularly special, especially when you consider the fact that OVS ("Kota ma Ala") is *really* rare... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:44, 22 September 2007 (UTC) (talk) 08:39, 18 May 2008 (UTC) qoute: "

   * Ala ma kota - Alicia has a cat
   * Ala kota ma - Alicia does have (own) a cat (and has not borrowed it)
   * Kota ma Ala - The/a cat is owned by Alicia
   * Ma Ala kota - Alicia really does have a cat
   * Kota Ala ma - It is just the cat that Alicia really has
   * Ma kota Ala - The relationship of Alicia to the cat is one of ownership (and not temporary possession)

However, only the first three examples sound natural in Polish, and others should be used for special emphasis only, if at all."

"Ala kota ma" does not sound natural in Polish. "Ma Ala kota" would sound natural if there were a question mark ("Ma Ala kota?")

All above mentioned examples sound natural for me. For example: "ma chłop gadane" ("ma Ala kota"), "ma gadane chłop" ("ma kota Ala"), "Piwo? Piwo Tadziu pije" ("Kota Ala ma"). :)
It's sounds naturally to me. ie. 1. "Ala nie ma psa, nie ma papugi, nie ma kota... Nie, zaraz Ala kota ma..." ("Alicia has no dog, has no parrot, has no cat... No, wait, Alicia does have a cat..."). 2. "-Ala nie ma kota! -Nieprawda, ma! -Nie ma! -Ma! -Nie ma! -Ma Ala kota!" ("-Alicia doesn't have a cat! -That's not true, she has one! -She doesn't! -She does! -She doesn't! -Alicia does have a cat!") --Barry Kent (talk) 23:12, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
Cool. ;)--Jeziorko (talk) 01:58, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
"Ala kota ma", "kota Ala ma", "Kota ma Ala", "Ma kota Ala" - absurd!!! "Ala ma kota" or "Ma Ala kota?" (better say "Czy Ala ma kota?"). Stop creating new language! It's like "Alice cat has" or "has cat Alice".. nonsens. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:10, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

Ala ma kota seems to be the only one that sounds naturally, all the others sound like spoken by master Yoda. (Alice cat has, cat good is XD) (talk) 18:09, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

The number of speakers[edit]

The number of 50 million native speakers is not plausible, as there are some 37 million native speakers in Poland and the academic estimates for the number of Polish native speakers abroad range from 3.5 million to 10 million. The anonymous user supports his edits with links to tourist agencies or political speeches, which in my opinion are not reliable sources of information. Boraczek 08:59, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Was looking at Russian demoscope site that predicts that the number of Polish speakers will decline significantly to 31.4 million in 2050 a rate of -18%. In Russia the rate of population decline is -22%, in Ukraine -28% in Bulgaria -38%. Not good for the Slvic world. Bandurist (talk) 21:48, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Th reference used next to that number of 50 million links to ethnologue where the number of 39,990,670 is used. This number is much more realistic. So I will change to that. Nicob1984 (talk) 18:36, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

Irrelevant history[edit]

The history section needs a serious trim. Most of it is just a history of Poland, which is repeated (in better structured form and with more detail) at Poland. Some of it is relevant (since the history of languages is inextricably bound together with the history of peoples) but please remember that this article is about the language, and as such we should concentrate on what parts of the history are documented (verifiably) as having influenced the language. Hairy Dude 19:11, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Conflict of Numbers[edit]

According to the Polish Wiki, Polish has 44 million speakers and is ranked number 25 in world languages. According to the English Wiki, it has 43 million speakers and is ranked number 29. --MosheA 21:15, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Polish Wiki gives three sources. [1] tells about 44 millions, [2] about 40 and [3] about 48 millions. Awodwanrazc (talk) 15:33, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Fun facts about Polish language[edit]

Hmm.. Of course it's true that sometimes (rarely) people are rhyming (using "częstochowskie rymy") when speaking, but is it reall so unique and so characteristic to deserve it's own place in the article, which is long enough without it ? Szopen 07:19, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Origins of 'Szereg'[edit]

Article: "There are also few words borrowed form Mongolian language, those are dzida (spear) or szereg (a line, column). Those words were brought to Polish language during wars with Genghis Khan's armies."

The word 'szereg' is actually of Hungarian origin and was introduced into the Polish language during Stefan Batory's rule. It is still present in modern Hungarian (spelled 'sereg') and means, according to, 'cohort', 'crowd' or 'troop', reflecting it's usage in Polish as a largely military term. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:55, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

In fact, I have no idea where this "Mongolian" stuff comes from, and there's no reference to back it up. As for 'szereg' (row) various etymological dictionaries (Boryś, Słownik Etymologiczny J. Polskiego for example) confirm the notion that the Hungarian 'sereg' is the source. As for 'dzida' (spear), Bańkowski's Słownik Etymologiczny J. Polskiego derives this from via Ukrainian from Osman Turkish 'cida' (pike). I suggest that the whole "Mongolian" paragraph be axed altogether. 15:14, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Words borrowed from German[edit]

Native Polish speaker here. What does mean "chzelea (Chezlava, "Chris")" and "kazhiki (Kashik, "ken")"? Most probably these are just spelling errors. I would love to correct them (some other words need a correction too), but I do not know what English "Chris" or "ken" mean (they are not in my dictionary either). TumorMozgowicz 17:49, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree. They were uncited and doubtful, so I removed them. Knepflerle (talk) 18:29, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Minor issue: "punkt" is said to derive from German "punkt" (naturally enough), and "punktualny" is said to derive from "pünktlich", which seems less likely. For one thing, in other German borrowings into Polish, "ü" becomes "y" (e.g. on this page, "Meisterstück" > "majstersztyk"). Also, there's no source for the sequence 'ua' in the German. A source from the English 'punctual' or (more likely) the French equivalent (which I guess is similar?) would seem more correct. Ataltane (talk) 04:01, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Polish in Russia???[edit]

Whoever thought of such nonsense? I edited it out. --SergeiXXX (talk) 17:38, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

They are many Poles in Russia that still live there as a result of ethnic cleansing campaigns performed from Catherine in Imperial Russia to Stalin in Bolshevist Russia. Last census gave 73.001 Poles in Russia. Polish organisations help to teach Polish and provide education for children. There are a couple of Polish majority villages in Siberia even today IIRC.

--Molobo (talk) 21:43, 15 May 2008 (UTC)


[1] Near Irkutsk, the village of Vershina still exists, which was founded by Poles in the year 1910. Residents of the village, almost all of whom are Polish and Roman Catholic Christians, rebuilt and rededicated in 1992 the small church that had been built in 1912 and destroyed during the Soviet era. [2] In the historical sense, Siberia does not evoke positive connotations, particularly in Poland. Koperski has included the town of Vershina along the rally's route-500 Polish families, descendants of Polish exiles to Siberia, live in the town. "Making the first preparations for the rally, we provided some help to those people who live in horrible poverty," said Koterski. "It is unbelievable that they still speak Polish and cultivate Polish traditions. We really felt like home there." --Molobo (talk) 22:04, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Geographical distribution[edit]

We currently have three runaway lists of countries in which Polish is spoken within the first 10% of the article (one in the infobox, one in "statistics" and one in "geographic distribution"). These lists are repetitive, unsourced, have no clearly defined criteria for inclusion, and are hard to maintain with numerous unsourced inclusions and deletions. The current runaway list in the geographic distribution is equally pointless - there is no point listing every country in the world where there are two Poles (or one Pole talking to themselves!), and what is a "significant number"? My proposal:

  1. infobox contains only countries where Polish has official standing, as at German language. All instances have sources
  2. geographic distribution section mentions all countries with more than a certain number of speakers, or the ten countries with the most speakers. Source.
  3. information from statistics section incorporated into geographic distribution section, make the latter a subsection of the former.
  4. put a hidden comment in the page text asking editors to propose changes to the lists here first.

Thoughts? Knepflerle (talk) 00:22, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Watching edits recently, this is still an issue - some other editors' thoughts would be nice Knepflerle (talk) 10:04, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
No thoughts at all? If not I'll just put into action what I propose above. Knepflerle (talk) 12:38, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

How is it flying?[edit]

I mind translating from "Jak leci" to "how is it flying", cause you can also translate that to "jak TO leci" and that it means sthng like "how is that written/sung/played/etc". By the way, german "wie geht's" (jak leci) is exactly means "how is it going", but in polish "jak idzie" (how is it going) means "is your job done" ;D oh, I love Europeans;) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:34, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Five Grammatical Genders in Polish[edit]

Polish does have five grammatical genders (noun classes) based on grammatical agreement, taking into account all seven cases and both numbers: masculine-personal, masculine-animate-non-personal, masculine-inanimate, neuter, and feminine. There are many overlaps when it comes to grammatical agreement, but consider the following:
I. Widzę jednego dobrego nauczyciela. Widzę i innych dobrych nauczycieli. (dobrego ~ -ych)
II. Widzę jednego dobrego psa. Widzę i inne dobre psy. (dobrego ~ -e)
III. Widzę jeden* dobry dom. Widzę i inne dobre domy. (dobry ~ -e)
IV. Widzę jedno dobre drzewo. Widzę i inne dobre drzewa. (dobre ~ -e)
V. Widzę jedną dobrą dziewczynę. Widzę i inne dobre dziewczyny. (dobrą ~ -e)
All the above nouns (nauczyciel, pies, dom, drzewo, and dziewczyna) are of different grammatical genders (noun classes) because there exists at least one instance of a case and number that distinguishes one from another.--Jeziorko (talk) 02:28, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

if "there exists at least one instance of a case and number that distinguishes one from another" is the criterium, there exist in Polish far more than five genders. For instance: pani (Nom.) panią (Acc.), "lady", as distinct from koza (Nom.) kozę (Acc.), "she-goat". So let's have a 'ladylike-feminine" gender, and "non-ladylike-feminine" gender... . In a similar vein, how many past tenses are there in English? "go"--"went", "chide"--"chid", "strike"--"struck", "swim"--"swam", "put"--"put", "creep"--"crept", "take"--"took", "sell"---"sold" ... at least 8 then, and then also "smile"--"smiled". Clearly, this proliferation of grammatical categories has to stop somewhere... (talk) 10:44, 14 December 2008 (UTC) Wojciech Żełaniec

This wondrous proliferation of grammatical genders comes from the fact that one no longer believes (in Anglo-Saxon countries, at least) that the Nominative singular is the basic form of a noun. For the nominative singular, there are three genders in Polish, and everything else is a variation thereof. Genders of verbs, in the past tense, are a different matter, the school-lore at Polish schools used to be that there are 3 genders in the singular and 2 genders (masculine-personal, and non-masculine-personal) in the plural. I would avoid departing from such school-wisdom and multiplying genders no end. (talk) 12:05, 14 December 2008 (UTC) Wojciech Żełaniec

The correct pronoun selection only works for personal pronouns on, ona, ono..., where accusative singular jego/go works for all masculine nouns. Other pronouns, however, will distinguish (as mentioned in the article) animacy here; e.g., którego versus który.--Jeziorko (talk) 02:39, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Polish is difficult!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:56, 25 October 2008 (UTC)


This topic may be discussed later in the article but it does not belong in the intro. That would imply they are a major, defining characteristic of the language but in truth the number of loanwords is comparable to most other languages (except English where there is indeed an abnormal number of loanwords).Kasnie (talk) 16:53, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

I disagree. There are indeed more borrowings in English or Russian than in Polish, but it's not as much about the number (still, a quarter of some Polish dictionaries' contents are borrowings), as about what they say about the language. Borrowings are discussed at length in the article precisely because they are important. Presently, the intro says only "The language developed indigenously and retains many ancient Slavic features of pronunciation and grammar" and as such creates a misleading conception that Polish has been isolated from foreign influences, while in fact - as the section "Borrowings" correctly states - Polish contains loanwords from all sorts of languages, and they serve as a reminder of intercultural relations that Poland had in the past. If the intro states that the language retained many ancient features - which is half of the truth - it should also say something about the loanwords. The way it is now, the intro is misleading. Adding half a sentence won't do any harm. Dawidbernard (talk) 18:38, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

While I agree that sentence is somewhat misleading, I don't feel that adding the mention of loanwords is really the solution because it too creates a misleading impression, that loanwords are a more significant part of Polish than in most languages. Perhaps it would be best to simply remove that entire sentence?Kasnie (talk) 19:12, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

|Loanwords show the history of a language especially well. In the case of Polish, these loans show how the language has grown and refined to become one of the major European languages. Loans are very important for any language and are just as integral to Polish as they are to English, German, Japanese etc.

Yes, Polish, as a Slavic language, retains many ancient satem features of Proto-Indo-European (it can be said that the Balto-Slavic languages were the last pure remnant of the proto-Indo European peoples), but like Dawidbernard said, only mentioning that fact seems to suggest that the language was isolated, which quite contrary it has expanded and grown in sophistication and influence over history.

Remember, loans really aren't given because of politics. There is nothing wrong with loanwords. If you look at say, German and French, those languages resisted loanwords due to their governments, and still they continue to be influenced by other languages (read: English).

Yes, the core vocabulary of Polish is Slavic, but in conclusion, the number of loans is a fact of the language's vitality and growth.| CormanoSanchez (talk) 17:54, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

Why "żeście" is incorrect[edit]

(The mentioned correctness could be subject to an argument. It is clearly not an "official language" form, no apparent reason I can see for deeming its written form as incorrect, though.)

The "apparent" (and obvious) reason to condemn that as incorrect is that there is no reason to put the "że" particle there. The form "że-ście" is based on wrong analysis of expressions like "cóżeście" (= "cóż" + e + verb ending) as "co" + "żeście" (the difference between "co" = "what", and "cóż" = "what on earth" is less or more like between Latin "quid" and "quidnam"). The result of such analysis is then casted onto sentences, which are not questions, resulting in such expressions as "wy żeście zrobili" (instead of "wyście zrobili" or simply "zrobiliście"), which is even worse. Mamurra (talk) 18:59, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

  • I've been living in Krakow almost since I've been born and I don't agree. It is not based from "cóżeście", but instead it is the same particle "ż(e)" that is in word "chodźże" or "toż" etc. "Że" is an emphatic particle, maybe regional nowadays, but it's been in literature for a long time. About the analytic etymology: I would say that it is just the other way around. "Cóż" is a contraction of "co" and "że". The only problem with that particle is that it is no longer used in Warsaw. For me there is a difference between "wy żeście zrobili" and "wyście zrobili", just like there is difference between "Ja zrobiłem to" and "Ja to zrobiłem". And there are three different expressions: "cóżeście", which is archaic so I don't really get all the little nuances, "co żeście" and "cóż żeście", latter two being quite normal in southern part of Poland. In Highland and Silesian dialect (or maybe rather language), this is even more common. My conclusion - it is correct in some dialects, even if they lack official recognition. So if you say that this is incorrect than aren't all regional traits incorrect? When I say "żeście" in Kraków it is totally correct, although it might not sound formal enough in some situations. And I do use it entirely intentionally and knowingly, so it cannot be dubbed error or mistake, can it? Cosmi (talk) 03:06, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
  • I took the liberty and NPOVed the forementioned topic in the article. In addition I remove the following passage:

The examples below show how the subject could be included in such sentences, where possible:

  • Co wy zrobiliście?
  • Coście zrobili? (a native speaker would not use a subject here)
  • Co wyście zrobili? (this example emphasizes the pronoun -- "wy"+ście)
  • Co żeście zrobili? (this example emphasizes the że- particle, but it is not correct in a written form) (The mentioned correctness could be subject to an argument. It is clearly not an "official language" form, no apparent reason I can see for deeming its written form as incorrect, though.)

This is neither necessary nor encyclopaedic. Firstly, it doesn't prove anything, and even if it could, it is not consistent. Moreover, you could say "Wy co zrobiliście?" or something even more wicked, depending on a context. So it's pretty arbitrary, unless we want to list all possibilities (that means all permutations in such a simple sentence!). Cosmi (talk) 03:30, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

"Żeście" (or in singular form "żem") may be correct or incorrect:

  • "My żeśmy tam poszli" - incorrect
  • "Powiedział żeśmy tam poszli" - correct
  • "Ja żem tam poszedł" - incorrect
  • "Powiedział żem tam poszedł" - correct

Unfortunatelly incorrect forms are very popular, but still they are incorrect. Sometimes incorect forms are easier to pronounce then correct. (e.g. incorrect "Z mamą żem nie rozmawiał" vs. formally correct ""Z mamąm nie rozmawiał") Milek80 (talk) 05:04, 7 July 2009 (UTC)


Why should "wy żeście zrobili?" be incorrect? Why should not "że" be inserted between the pronoun and the verb? ("śćie" = "jesteście")? (talk) 14:57, 31 January 2009 (UTC) Wojciech Żełaniec


Silesian is official consider as a dialect, look the encyclopedia Britannica. @Ivan Štambuk: Why you changed it back without any reason? I gave a source!-- (talk) 15:20, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Britannica is not actually. LUCPOL (talk) 15:49, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
Of course it is up-to-date. Why you think it isn't? -- (talk) 17:27, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
Other encyclopaedias cannot be used as sources for Wikipedia per policy. Plus, we cannot treat one source as the bearer of the Truth, per WP:NPOV policy we must give appropriate account to all of the relevant viewpoints (except those held by the irrelevant minority). For example, according to 99% of the Bulgarian linguists and the Bulgarian Academy, Macedonian is officially a dialect of Bulgarian, whilst for the rest of the word (except, maybe, for the Greeks), it's a language of its own, with separate literatures, history, standardological process... Do you see the similarity wrt Silesian language/dialect : Polish language? --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 18:50, 31 January 2009 (UTC)


No discussion of case? kwami (talk) 22:03, 24 February 2009 (UTC)


I think it's uralic. See in Hungarian langage. Many words is same to Polish. And i see that Polish is similar to Hungarian language more than Russian and Serbian language-- (talk) 09:03, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Uh, it's transparently Slavic--and nothing like Hungarian. kwami (talk) 16:30, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Ough, apart from some words borrowed from Hungarian to Polish and from Polish to Hungarian and using the digraph sz (which marks different sounds in Polish and Hungarian), these languages do not have nothing in common. Slovak is the closest related language, followed by Czech and rest of West Slavic languages. Remigiu (talk) 16:22, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

And another thing is:Why Hungarian is Uralic? I compared with Finnish, Estonian and it's NOT THE SAME!

And Polish is not the same as Bengali. So? You might want to read the articles. kwami (talk) 15:12, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
If they were the same, they wouldn't be considered different languages. And it's rather impossible to compare three languages without the profundial knowledge on their history, which, I assume, the one who asked, doesn't have. Remigiu (talk) 19:42, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Simply Polish (like Czech, Russian) have their origins in Slavonic, which Hungarian, Finnish, Estonian, (and some people say Basque too) does not. They all have their origins in language of the Urals; the Magyar split (4th Century?) and moved west. Differences with Estonian/Finnish and similarities with Slavonic languages are due to proximity (or distance, depending on the language), and cultural exchanges.
This is exactly the same as comparing English and French. Shared history (and therefore some similarities in language), but different origins.Hrcolyer (talk) 15:38, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Lipka Tatars[edit]

No mention is made of Polish being written in other scripts, such as the Arabic alphabet (by the Lipka Tatars). Obviously shouldn't be in the top, but it should be mentioned surely? Hrcolyer (talk) 15:42, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

German words for administration[edit]

I've noticed manyPolish words used in administration are German based (ratusz, gminy etc). Is it fair to suggest that this is due less to just having been neighbours for a Millenium (as stated in the text)and more to significant areas of Poland being under German speaking administrations (Germany and Austria) during 19th century? ( (talk) 08:03, 22 October 2009 (UTC))

you are not correct. The words mentioned by you appeared in Polish because of two elements: German migration to Polish cities and towns in middleages and the fact, that the towns were created under the Laws of Magdeburg (being general framework for establishing such entity) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:23, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Q, V, X[edit]

The Polish language is x, q, and v but very rarely.

Q - ku V - fau X - iks —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:58, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

East German? This is why Wikipedia is a lackluster resource. Somone changed the word "Polish" to "East German":

East German (język polski, polszczyzna) is a West Slavic language[4] and the official language of East Germany. Its written standard is the East German alphabet which corresponds basically to the Latin alphabet with a few additions. East German-speakers use the language in a uniform manner throughout most of East Germany.

Despite the pressure of non-East German administrations in East Germany, who have often attempted to suppress the East German language, a rich literature has developed over the centuries and the language is currently the largest in terms of speakers of the West Slavic group. It is also the third most widely spoken Slavic language, after Russian and Ukrainian.[5][6] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:51, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

I do not know essentially any Polish words with qvx. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:52, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Y instead of J[edit]

Can someone please elaborate on when and why there was a transition in the Polish language in the use of the letter "Y" to denounce the "ya" sound instead of the letter "J"

I noticed this when I was reading some historical books and most predominantly it jumped out at me when I saw the name "Zamoyski".

Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:13, 12 September 2010 (UTC) It was done after 1918, while standarizing written Polish (people from different partitions were using different rules or simply has problems using written language). I think the exact year of passing that act was 1919 or 1918. That was as well the time, when "yj" was replaced by "i" — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:27, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

IPA Error under Orthography[edit]

"Error using {{IPAsym}}: IPA symbol "li" not found in list". Needs attention from someone who knows IPA. Lestermandersson (talk) 20:20, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

The error was introduced with this editWbm1058 (talk) 01:49, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
The error caused the article to populate Category:International Phonetic Alphabet pages needing attention. – Wbm1058 (talk) 01:54, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

Number of oral vowels[edit]

On the one hand, in the section "Dialects", we read: "[Kashubian] contains a number of features not found elsewhere in Poland, e.g. nine distinct oral vowels (vs. the five of standard Polish) . . ."

On the other hand, in the "Phonology" section, we read: "Polish has six oral vowels (all monophthongs) . . ."

Which is correct? Does Polish have five oral vowels, or six? (talk) 03:44, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

Six oral vowels : a,e,i,o,u,y(ɨ) And seven letters which are oral vowels (ó=u) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:29, 2 December 2015 (UTC)

Borrowings from English[edit]

"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)."

Except that most of those words were borrowed from French during the time of the Normans. So can they really be considered as words borrowed from English? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:40, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Correct, most of those words are common Latin-besed internationalisms, and appeared before the WW2 due to French cultural influence at that time. Except for "komputer" and "luknąć", they are by no means English loan words Wicki (talk) 18:31, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

History section[edit]

The originality of Polish culture is tied to its language and to its Slavonic roots. Linguistic studies indicate that 5000 to 4000 years ago early Balto-Slavic languages were part of the Aryan or the Eastern Indo-European languages. Over 3500 years ago, the languages of the Balto-Slavs separated from the Aryan languages; some 3000 years ago, the Baltic and Slavic languages separated from each other; and for the next 1500 years, the Slavic languages evolved parallel to the Greek, Latin, Celtic, Germanic, and other languages. The evolution of the Polish language occurred during the following 1500 years.

While this is correct in its broad outlines (datings are always difficult), it's strangely and confusingly worded in part. First, it would be preferrable to use BC and AD datings (for example "in the 3rd millennium BC"), not relative datings (even though the dates are so rough that this won't become a serious problem for several centuries, hehe). Second, the use of the term "Aryan" here appears to be ambiguous, first referring to an eastern group of Indo-European (the "satem" group, apparently) and then specifically to Indo-Iranian, which is the only strictly correct meaning, but the reader cannot be expected to know even this, so it should be explained. Finally, some phrasings are simply unclear, vague, awkward or describe truisms not specific to Polish. As the problem lies with the source, and the source is not really wrong, just badly worded, I hesitate to edit the section as it could appear that the source is misrepresented if I brought it in line with current thinking. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 18:24, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

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How can there be millions of Polish speakers overseas when Polish has a population of 38.5 million and the following sentence claims there are 40 million in total? -- (talk) 00:56, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

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Ducal Prussia[edit]

In the article it is written: "believed to have come from Polish Ducal Prussia". Shouldn it be from Royal Prussia?

xRiffRaffx (talk) 10:05, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ World Almanac and Book of Facts, World Almanac Books, Mahwah, 1999
  2. ^ Hanna Dalewska-Greń, Języki słowiańskie, PWN, Warszawa 2002, ISBN 83-01-12391-5, s. 584
  3. ^ Encyklopedia języka polskiego, pod red. S Urbańczyka i M. Kucały, Ossolineum, wyd. 3, Warszawa 1999, ISBN 83-04-02994-4, s. 156