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Polish language

The Polish language (together with Upper and Lower Sorbian, and other Lekhitic languages) as well as Czech-Slovak, belongs to the West Slavic branch of Slavic languages. It has several dialects that correspond in the main to the old tribal divisions; the most significant of these (in terms of numbers of speakers) are Great Polish (spoken in the northwest), Little Polish (spoken in the southeast), Mazovian, and Silesian. Mazovian shares some features with Kashubian, whose remaining speakers (estimates vary from 100,000 to over 200,000) live west of Gdansk near the Baltic Sea.

Elsewhere, Polish has been influenced by contact with foreign languages. In Great Poland[?] and especially Silesia the inimitable regional patois contains a mixture of Polish and German elements. Since 1945, as the result of mass education and mass migrations, standard Polish has become far more homogeneous, although regional dialects persist. In the western and northern territories, resettled in large measure by Poles from the Soviet Union, the older generation came to speak a language characteristic of the former eastern provinces.

Small numbers of people also speak Belarusian, Ukrainian, and German as well as several varieties of Romany.

The Polish alphabet ... letters are variously decorated with accents and it can be represented with the ISO 8859-2 character set:

a, ą, b, c, ć, d, e, ę, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, ł, m, n, ń, o, , p, q, r, s, ś, t, u, v, w, x, y, z, ź, ż,
A, Ą, B, C, Ć, D, E, Ę, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, Ł, M, N, Ń, O, , P, Q, R, S, Ś, T, U, V, W, X, Z, Ź, Ż

The letters q, v and x are used only in foreign words.

Polish is often said to be one of the most difficult languages for non-native speakers to learn. It has a complex gender system with four genders: neuter, feminine and two masculine genders (animate and inanimate). There are 7 cases and 2 numbers.

Nouns, adjectives and verbs are declined, and noun declension is highly irregular. Every verb is either perfect or imperfect.

Verbs often come in pairs, one of them imperfect and the other perfect (usually imperfect verb with a prefix), but often there are many perfect verbs with different prefixes for single imperfect words.

Tenses are:

construction(for perfect verbs)(for imperfect verbs)example imperfectexample perfect
verb+suffixfuture simple tensepresent tenserobiciezrobicie
past participle+suffixpast perfect tensepast imperfect tenserobiliściezrobiliście
(this suffix can be moved)coście robilicoście zrobili

Movable suffix is usually attached to verb or to the most accented of sentence, like question preposition.

Sometimes alone suffix with prefix ze- appears.

So what have you done ? can be:

  • co zrobiliście
  • coście zrobili
  • co zeście zrobili

Past participle depends on number and gender, so 3rd person, singular past perfect tense can be:

  • zrobił
  • zrobiła
  • zrobiło

See also:

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