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Polish Silesians?

4 Mar 2007 /  #1
Is anyone here Silesian? I have never heard a Silesian Pole speak, how much does it differ?
ArturSzastak 3 | 593  
4 Mar 2007 /  #2
Probably as much as a redneck to a city slicker. Just an accent. ( Or nothing at all, I grew up in the states, sadly :( )
7 Mar 2007 /  #3
Silesian if refered to people living near Katowice (Górny Śląsk / Upper Silesia) talks a dialect which is very diffrent from common polish language and to be honest not understandable to other Poles.

It is a mixture of polish and polonized german words spoken with (mostly) polish grammar. But there are so many those german words in this dialect that it is a mess to understand it.

There also comes a strange accent.
Tamara 9 | 202  
7 Mar 2007 /  #4
That's not completely true. There maybe some differences but not that anyone wouldn't understand. I think that it is much more difficult to understand a highlander. I have no trouble understanding my husband and his family who are from around Katowice but I can't understand people from Warsaw - no joke and no offense but they speak SO FAST!
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,161  
7 Mar 2007 /  #5
Silesian if refereed to people living near Katowice

True, but no so many people use that real dialect, looks like now most use normal Polish with just a few "Silesian" words added to that.

I have no trouble understanding my husband and his family who are from around Katowice

But are they native Silesians ?
Tamara 9 | 202  
7 Mar 2007 /  #6
Yes. Born & raised. Even older relatives are not difficult to understand.
Tom_Poland 1 | 17  
7 Mar 2007 /  #7
Oh believe me. I used to attend to high school with a few Silesians - they way of speaking was more or less similar to normal Polish (let's say they were understandable). However, most of their specific phrases had direct connection with German. All in all, it's relatively easy to understand them. That's all. Cheers!
Rakky 9 | 217  
23 May 2007 /  #8
My ancestry is Carpatho-Rusyn. My father's parents grew up in what is now south-eastern Poland, in the foothills of the Carpathians (in the villages of Wysowa and Wola Cieklinska). Many Carpatho-Rusyns were forcibly relocated from Lemkovyna to the area now knows as Silesia - this may be one factor in the difference in the dialects spoken there. Others were forcibly relocated to what is now western Ukraine. The Carpatho-Rusyns celebrate their heritage in Silesia each August with a "lemko vatra," which draws C-Rs from all over. The Carpatho-Rusyn Society sponsors an annual heritage tour that includes this vatra. There is another one in September just east of Wysowa.
jackgoesback - | 1  
3 Jan 2008 /  #9
it used to differ a lot. and it also used to be more similar to czech not to german.
in south of upper silesia it is still.
(silesia+morava in czech was one country for a while)
It also used to have it own gramma.
Now because being a part of Poland for so many years silesian is more like a dialect but there are a lot of people who finds themself Silesians not Poles.

I myslef "godom po szlonsku" and i'm very proud of being Silesian.
Regards to all poles in canada
Polson 5 | 1,770  
3 Jan 2008 /  #10
My mum comes from Silesia (Gliwice), my grandparents spoke some Silesian, but i know nothing about it...i tried to look for information on the internet, i think i found once an article on Wikipedia...

My mum told me that "tak" (yes) is "ja" like in German...i don't know much you see ;) But i'm curious, i'd like to know more...

Seanus 15 | 19,706  
3 Jan 2008 /  #11
They do have many different words but it depends which part of Silesia. Here in Gliwice, it's a lot weaker. Go to Ruda Sląska or Swietochłowice and u'll hear it thick. Bana = tram or train. The A often becomes O, e.g Masz becomes Mosz. In Opolskie, u can hear Mos as they don't pronounce sz. The same with chcesz and wiesz.
Tomek2 1 | 3  
13 Mar 2008 /  #12
Hello, I'm new to this forum, and I need some help. I've come across a few Silesian expressions that neither I nor my wife (who is Polish) understand. We would be very grateful for a translation of "te baliki ze szpindów" -- the whole phrase is "co by się te baliki ze szpindów stacili..." (possibly "stracili"). Dictionaries haven't been of much use.

Thanks for any help you can offer.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
13 Mar 2008 /  #13
So these balls would disappear from the szpindy? That would be my guess but it sounds strange
Polson 5 | 1,770  
13 Mar 2008 /  #14
Tomek, i'm not an expert, but that could be a mix of some German with Polish...
Szpindów...Spind...dunno if it means something in German though...

There are at least 2 different Silesian dialects (or languages), the first one, Upper Silesian, is a mix of Polish, Czech and German, but with a bigger proportion of Polish and Czech than German, and mostly spoken in the Katowice region (i'm not sure about that). The other one, Lower Silesian, used to be spoken in the Wrocław region (once again i'm not 100% sure), is more similar to German, but has almost disappeared since the German people who used to live there had to leave Poland after WW2.

Example of Upper Silesian :

Uojćec naš, keryś je w ńebjy,
bydź pośwjyncůne mjano Twojy.
Přidź krůlestwo Twojy.
Bydź wola Twoja, kjej we ńebje,
tak tyž na źymjy.
Chlyb naš každodźynny dej nům dźśoj.

Example of Lower Silesian :

In German, but with examples ;)
Bratwurst Boy 12 | 12,310  
14 Mar 2008 /  #15
The "Schlesisch" differed from other german dialects greatly.

As my grandparents settled down in Berlin they had a totally different speech than their neighbours, not to mention other dishes and some other customs too brought with them from Silesia...being called "the Polaks" for years till they integrated.

It now died out naturally...
TripTic 3 | 95  
14 Mar 2008 /  #16
In Lower Silesia (Dolny Śląsk) people speaking plain polish without any specific accent.
shopgirl 6 | 928  
14 Mar 2008 /  #17
being called "the Polaks" for years

Germans being teased and called "Polaks"?
That's something I wouldn't have imagined!
Oh well...... :)

It's always hard to be the one who is different, no matter who you are!
Lukasz K - | 103  
15 Mar 2008 /  #18
In Poland when you think about the dialects you must always think about the history and the former borders of Poland (those before WWII or even earlier).

Nowdays most of the people speak just "plain poish" becouse of the hudge poulation movements after the war.

We are jealous to hear that in GB you can tell somemodys birthplace when you hear him speaking.

Some dialects are still spoken in eastern and southern countryside Poland but they are not very different from main language - they just consist of some more archaic words an some don't have sz,cz sounds but just s,c.

In north-eastern Poland (near Bialystok) they also have different (more melodic) accent nad few eastern-slavic sounds and words (near Bialystok you will also find willages of Belarussians which just speak their language not any dialect).

Highlanders have their own dialect but it is also more about accent than differen words. It can be hard to understand for a while but when ou get used to accent it seems not so different from lowland rural dialects.

Different vocabulary can be found in the areas that were lying on Polish-German border (where it was more or less from XIV century to WWII) so in Upper Silesia Kaszuby (near Gdansk) and till 70's in Warmia and Mazury.

In Upper Silesia this dialect consisting of Polish, Geman and Czech words is still widely spoken but only between silesians (when hy speak to other the switch to normal Polish not putting there any of Silesian words - so it is more like speaking two different languages). About 170 000 people claim there that heir nationality is "Silesian".

In Kaszuby you can find other dialect (language) that consists some german words (but rather as a result of influence) becouse originally Kaszubian is a relict of ancient western-slavic language of Pomeranians (tribes that were living in X century from Hamburg to Gdansk) so it is related to Polish as Czech or Slovak.

Other dialect were spoken in Warma and Mazury. It was very similar to Maziowia rural dialects becouse it was spoken by Mazowians who setteled from XV century in Eastern Prussia. They become Protestants and gathered some German vocabulary. Unfortunately in 70's they all emigrated to Western Germany (due to the law that said that all people born before WWII in Germany and their families can emigrate to Western Germany - of course all wanted to take this chance to leave the Eastern Block ant today ony deserted willanges in the forests remind of them).

In Western Poland (in Wroclaw or Szczecin) people speak plain polish becouse their families came there from all over the Poland (most of them from east that we had to give Russians) and they learned to comunicate in oficial language. Some older people can have there some eastern accent.

In west Pomerania nad in northern Mazury you can also find a lot of Ukrainians or Carpatho-Rusyn people which were foced in late 40's to leave south-eastern Poland and settle in vilages abandoned by Germans. Today some come back to their moutains but not all.

So in Poland nothing is as it seems to be. German-infuenced dialects are found far from German border and near to it you will find rather easter-slavic dialects...

Tomek2 1 | 3  
27 Mar 2008 /  #19
Thanks for the comments on my inquiry, particularly those of Polson and Lukasz K, both very interesting. I guess it will take some luck to find an older Silesian who recalls the particular words in question (baliki ze szpindów). The phrase apparently baffles speakers of Polish.
Polson 5 | 1,770  
28 Mar 2008 /  #20
You're welcome Tomek ;)

Btw, i've just checked the German word "Spind" (probably related to your "szpindów") and it says "closet", "cupboard"...don't know if it helps, but i wanted to say it ;) Good luck.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
29 Mar 2008 /  #21
Silesians are so unique and identifiable when they speak. Very funny to hear sometimes
osiol 55 | 3,922  
29 Mar 2008 /  #22
"tak" (yes) is "ja" like in German

Seanus 15 | 19,706  
29 Mar 2008 /  #23
They often use this, trust me
isthatu 3 | 1,164  
29 Mar 2008 /  #24
hhmmm,interesting thread,answered a lot of those "silly little questions you never get round to asking" sort of thing.. Thanks all:)

I can't understand people from Warsaw - no joke and no offense but they speak SO FAST!

lol,I found exactly the same on my first visit after previously spending time down south ...I got by in Krakow/Gliwice etc then spent a week in Warsaw going " huh?"

Also,I did chuckle a couple of years ago when I played a tape of some Gorale singers and some Polish lads from Maz' were adamant that it wasnt Polish..

We are jealous to hear that in GB you can tell somemodys birthplace when you hear him speaking

Again,answered a question,so ,you dont really have strong regional accents as such....shame.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
14 Dec 2008 /  #25
I felt that this one should be revived. Silesian language and culture is rich.

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