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Did you know this about the Polish language?
- It belongs to the Indo-European language family, a member of the Western branch of the Slavic languages. The Polish vernacular name is polski in Polish, referring to 'Polak' - Polish man and 'Polka' - Polish woman. The proper vernacular, which is common in most European languages to denote a Polish language or ethnic group, is based on the word poljane meaning 'plain people' or 'people of the plain'. The Polish name used in Hungarian is of Old Norse origin, derived from lędzianь- 'pusztalakó', from the root lędo, meaning 'loose land', which also functioned as a tribal name. The Hungarians probably encountered this word in pre-Conquest times, and its use later became common.
- It is spoken by 50 million people, 38 million of whom live in Poland and, according to some sources, almost 10 million in the United States. There are also significant numbers of Poles in Canada (Toronto) and Australia (Sydney, Melbourne), 800,000 in France (Paris), 500,000 in Belarus (Hrodna Oblast), 300,000 in Ukraine (Lviv), 250,000 in Lithuania (Vilnius) and 100,000 in Russia (Moscow, St Petersburg, Kaliningrad Oblast, Republic of Karelia). There is also a Polish-speaking minority in Hungary (Budapest, Tatabánya, Komárom).
- The Polish-speaking island of Istvánmajor near Miskolc, long considered Slovak, has a history going back hundreds of years, and the people who live there are the heirs of an old Polish dialect.
- Although it is related to Czech and Slovak, it is most closely related to the Sorb (mainly Lower Sorb) spoken in the area of the present-day Federal Republic of Germany (Bautzen /Budyšin/, Cottbus /Chóśebuz/, Lübbenau /Lubnjew/, Weisswasser /Běła Woda/), and to the Polab, Kashubian and the now extinct Slovene, once used along the Elbe.
- The Polish alphabet: a, ą, b, c, ch, cz, ć, d, dz, dź, dż, e, ę, f, g, h, i, j, k l, ł, m, n, ń, o, ó, p, q, r, rz, s, sz, ś, t, u, v, w, x, y, z, ź ż.
- Spelling difficulties. As in Hungarian spelling, which is full of difficulties such as the question of j or ly, Polish spellers also have difficulties. In Polish, rz was the sound that is still present in Czech, and is represented by ř. Pronouncing the sound is like pronouncing [r] and [zs] at the same time. However, the Polish rz now denotes the sound corresponding to the Hungarian zs, as does ż (which was originally pronounced [zs]).
- Polish-Hungarian friendship. There are many parallels in the history of the two peoples. There are traces of historical links in both languages - in the form of loanwords. There is only one Hungarian word that is undoubtedly of Polish origin: the name of the Polish currency, złoty [zwoti] 'gold', has become established in Hungarian as zlotyi.
- Polish-Hungarian reflection in the Gellért
- Find out more about the Polish language on Wikipedia.