Language Fact File: Polish

Spoken in: Poland, with Polish speaking communities in Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania. 

Number of native speakers: 41 million. 

Learn some: Christmas is a big celebration in Poland. Wish your Polish friends a merry Christmas by saying ‘Wesołych Świąt!’ (Pronounced vees-oy-ih shvi-ou-t.)

Fast facts:

  • Polish has one of the longest histories among Slavic languages, with the first recorded sentence appearing around 1270. This was ‘Day, ut ia pobrusa, a ti poziwai’. It was spoken by a man to his wife, and is an expression of care and affection, meaning ‘Let me, I shall grind and you take a rest’. 
  • According to the 2021 census, Polish is the most commonly spoken immigrant language in the UK, with more than 600,000 speakers. 
  • This is not an easy language to learn, with consonant clusters, irregular pronunciation and unique letters. We all love a ridiculously long word, and Polish delivers, with Dziewięćsetdziewięćdziesięciodziewięcionarodowościowego! This translates as ‘of nine hundred and ninety-nine nationalities’ and we challenge you to say it after a mulled wine or two!

The Language Shop provides interpreting and translation support in Polish. Ask your account manager if you would like more information.