Facts You Should Know About The Polish Language
The Polish language and the Polish culture are both very diverse and interesting. There are many people who are learning Polish all over the world for various reasons, such as their love for the Polish culture. However, learning such an old and interesting language can sometimes be disheartening and frustrating. Read on to discover interesting facts about the Polish language. Hopefully, you will feel encouraged in your pursuit of knowledge.
The History of the Polish Language
The Polish language belongs to the Slavic language family and originates from Old Polish. Modern-day Polish surfaced sometime in the tenth century when the state of Poland first began with the reign of Duke Mieszko I. The duke converted to Christianity, and the Polish nation was born. Polish closely relates to other Slavic languages such as Russian, Ukrainian, Czech, Serbian, and Belorussian.
Old Polish was a verbal language only until the introduction of the Latin alphabet. The Romans and Christianity brought their written alphabet with them, and from there the Polish population quickly adapted the letters. Here, they were able to write down the stories of the Polish culture, such as “Kaytek the Wizard.” The Polish language has grown and adapted since then, sometimes borrowing words from other languages. Then, it has become the language that we know and love today.
The Popularity of the Polish Language
Polish is not a language that most people would think is a very popular one. However, there is a sheer amount of people around the world that speak the language. There are more than 55 million Polish speakers around the world! It is the official language of Poland, and therefore, Poland has the largest number of Polish speakers. There are also large numbers of Polish-speaking people in Belarus, Ukraine, and Lithuania. Polish is the second-most popular Slavic language in the world, with Russian the first.
Outside Europe, there are large communities of people who speak Polish in the United States and Canada. In fact, festivals celebrating the Polish language and the Polish culture abound in major cities in both countries. Go check out a nearby Polish festival to fall even deeper in love with the Polish language and the Polish culture. Polish is also a popular language in the United Kingdom. Also, it might surprise you to learn that Polish is the third most popular language in the United Kingdom, besides English and Welsh.
Polish Words used in other Languages
As we mentioned above, Polish is spoken all over the world, but the question is: Are some Polish words spoken in other languages? And the answer to that would be most definitely! It is a great credit to the Polish culture that most of the Polish words that are used in other languages are cuisine words. If you have ever been to a local Polish festival, it is easy to see why this is the case.
Some Polish words that are frequently used in English is “kielbasa,” the Polish translation of the word “sausage.” If you were to call someone a “schlub” in America, you are technically using the Polish translation of the word “manger,”. Though, it is frequently used as slang for someone who is clumsy or unattractive. One more example is the word “spruce” as in a spruce tree. The Polish translation of this word literally means “from Prussia,” which might explain where exactly this type of tree came from.
Polish Words that are Completely Unique
Interestingly enough, even though there has been a fair amount of words that have interchanged between the English and Polish languages, there are still some Polish words that are completely and totally unique to the Polish language and the Polish culture. One example of this is the Polish word “kombinowac,” which is a particularly hard word to translate. Typically, it is the Polish translation of “to cheat” or “to scheme,” but in Polish culture, there is no negative feeling that goes with the word. Some say that you will have to immerse yourself in the Polish culture and the Polish people’s lifestyle to fully understand the meaning of this word.
Another example of a word that is a completely Polish word is “trudno.” This word is a literal Polish translation of the English words “hard” or “difficult.” However, just like “kombinowac,” it is rarely used in the way that it is translated. Typically, this is the Polish word that is used more in the way that Americans will say “life will go on!” If you are learning Polish, you might be confused the first time that you hear this word in a conversation. This is just another example of the need to immerse yourself in the Polish culture to truly understand the Polish language.
The Polish Language has Some Long Words
Some of the Polish words might surprise you with how incredibly long and hard to say they are! Take for example “Dziewięćsetdziewięćdziesięciodziewięcionarodowościowego.” (That was a mouthful just to type out!). This word is the Polish translation of “nine-hundred and ninety-nine nationalities.” The word may never come up in conversation, but now you know it, just in case!
Another example of a ridiculously hard Polish word to get out is “Bezwzględny.” Though you have probably seen a longer word in your life, it’s very hard to listen and try to mimic what you hear. You might sound like you are trying to spit out a particularly hard tongue twister. This word is the Polish translation of the word “ruthless,” and it describes how it feels in your mouth.
The Polish language and the Polish culture are interesting and beautiful to behold. It is a fairly popular language that may have more speakers around the world than you might originally think. It can be hard to speak and even harder to understand, especially if you have not immersed yourself in the Polish culture. One thing is for certain: the Polish language is definitely one with a lot of character!
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