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Are Silesians people German/Germanic?



Crow 138 | 5,835    
9 Apr 2015  #31

Are Silesians people German/Germanic?

That is wrong question. If Silesians feel for themselves to be Germanic, we can only conclude how are they Germanized.


JollyRomek 7 | 481    
9 Apr 2015  #32

Yes Crow. I guess Angela Merkel, the EU and NATO Germanized them. Regardless of the fact that in the referendums held in a lot of cities and towns across Silesia in 1920 / 1921 the majority of people voted to remain as part of Greater Germany.
Crow 138 | 5,835    
10 Apr 2015  #33

Germanization is powerful tool of Drang Nach Osten
JollyRomek 7 | 481    
10 Apr 2015  #34

The referendums had nothing to do with "Drang nach Osten" because at the time, these cities and towns were already part of Germany. The referendum asked the question whether or not they would like to remain as part of Germany. No "Drang nach Osten" or "Anschluss" involved.
Ziemowit 8 | 2,593    
10 Apr 2015  #35

Crow = That is wrong question. If Silesians feel for themselves to be Germanic, we can only conclude how they are Germanized.

The germanization of Slavic people in Silesia was a complex historical process. The Polish shauvinistic view is that the germanization of Silesians of Slavic origin was nearly always a forced one, while the German chauvinistic view is that it was nearly always "volontary", which means it was achieved in the natural process of assimilating a minority into the majority. The truth is that it was both.

I remember buying at the Central Station in Warsaw the "Schlesiche Nachrichten" newspaper back in the 1990s. The entire paper was in German, but a small space on the front page was entitled something like "Let's talk in our mother (Heimat) tongue now". While my German was far too weak to follow any of the articles in German, I could comprehend that article in the supposedly Silesian language with no difficulty whatsoever (some proof that Sileasian is not really a language separate from Polish). This bizzare story illustrates how complicated the Silesian identity may be: the German minority of Silesia publishing a paper in German, but revealing their true mother tongue to be fully comprehensible to a Pollish person born in Mazovia with no earlier affiliation to Silesia (except perhaps for two aunts in Wrocław/Breslau who moved there in the 1960s).
JollyRomek 7 | 481    
10 Apr 2015  #36

(some proof that Sileasian is not really a language separate from Polish).

It is a separate language however similar to Polish it may be. And it is not only spoken in the Polish part of Silesia but also in the Czech part.

In the 2011 Polish census, about 500000 people declared Silesian as their native language.

"Schlesiche Nachrichten"

There are quite a few German language newspapers in Silesia. Here is a link to a list of the main publications:
press-guide.com/poland.htm
Ziemowit 8 | 2,593    
10 Apr 2015  #37

Why do you say "it is"? The question is disputed with, for example, Norman Davies, the British historian whose book on Breslau I found really good, saying it is, but with renown linguist Jan Miodek, he himself a true Oberschlesier, having perfect command of Polish, German and (Upper) Silesian (presently living in Wrocław, Lower Silesia, however) definitely saying that it is not.

The Upper Silesia autonomy activists say that it is, but anyone in sensible judgment knows that such an opinion is more politically than linguistically motivated. I can understand very well that they feel their identity is Silesian in opposition to being Polish, but let's not confound identity with language.

The town dialects of Silesian incorporate many German words that make it incomprehensible for a typical Polish person from outside of Silesia, but if you listen to samples of rural Silesian dialects from the Oppeln area, for example, a Polish person like me has the same degree of difficulty in understanding them as in the understanding of the rural dialects of Mazovia (I did this exercise with both dialects and neither you nor Norman Davies are going to convince me to the idea that Silesian, linguistically speaking, is a language separate from Polish).
JollyRomek 7 | 481    
10 Apr 2015  #38

Why do you say "it is"?

Because Silesian has been officially classed as a "regional language" in Poland. That makes it a language, not just an accent or dialect.

opinion

It is an opinion shared by the Polish government. Otherwise they wouldn't have granted Silesian the status of regional language.
Crow 138 | 5,835    
10 Apr 2015  #39

In any case, all who were germanized may be re-Slavicized. Wherever is hope, liberty would come
Ziemowit 8 | 2,593    
10 Apr 2015  #40

Silesian has been officially classed as a "regional language" in Poland.

It is an opinion shared by the Polish government.

Have you checked your sources well?

... all who were germanized may be re-Slavicized

Crow, what kind of slavicization do you have in mind: voluntary or imposed by force?
JollyRomek 7 | 481    
10 Apr 2015  #41

Have you checked your sources well?

I just did and you are right. It was not recognized as a regional language yet. But the notion for it was put forward.

However, it does not change the fact that over 500000 people have declared Silesian as their native language. Just because you and other Poles want to make them believe that it is only a dialect, does not change the fact that for those people it is a language.
Harry 79 | 13,413    
10 Apr 2015  #42

Because Silesian has been officially classed as a "regional language" in Poland. That makes it a language, not just an accent or dialect.

Have you seen the Regulation of the Minister of Administration and Digitalisation of 14 February 2012 on the state register of geographical names? On page six one finds the following text:

język nazwy dodatkowej [additional language names]
białoruski - bel;
...
słowacki - slk;
śląski - szl;
tatarski - tat;

isap.sejm.gov.pl/DetailsServlet?id=WDU20120000309

In any case, all who were germanized may be re-Slavicized.

Is 're-Slavicized' code for ethnically cleansed, as happened to the Germans who used to live in the 'Recovered Territories', or code for raped and murdered, as happened to Croats, Bosnians and Kosovans unfortunate enough to live in areas which certain people considered to belong to Slavs?
Ziemowit 8 | 2,593    
10 Apr 2015  #43

However, it does not change the fact that over 500000 people have declared Silesian as their native language. Just because you and other Poles want to make them believe that it is only a dialect, does not change the fact that for those people it is a language.

Well, it is me, that's true. But, as an argument you put forward "the Polish government" as having recognized Silesian as a regional language as an argument. When shown to be wrong, you resort to "it doesn't change the fact that 500 000 declared Silesian as their native language". And indeed, the term as such may have been used in the questionnaire, but it doesn't mean at all that Silesian has the status of a language, be it even a regional language.

At the same time you completely ignore the opinion of someone who is a native Oberschlesier, is a professor of linguistics and commands three languages: Polish, German and Silesian (I myself use the term Silesian language for simplicication purposes). What is more to it, professor Jan Miodek is not politically motivated nor is he part of the PF tribal wars. And I did not say that for many Silesians it ishouldn't be a "language" (but not for all of them, I assure you!). I don't object to them calling it as such, so don't imply to me:

Just because you and other Poles want to make them believe that it is only a dialect

. Let them believe what they want to believe.

Sorry, Romek, but this is the way how you develop your arguments in the discussion. It is jolly amusing, but you seem to me just another clone of Harry who was, for example, ready to quarrell to the last drop of blood that "Murzyn" is a racist word in Polish, while in his profile he is giving the following answer to the question: Speaks [Polish]? - "No, not really. My passive Polish is far better than my active Polish" [before that he was answering this question by the simple "No"].
JollyRomek 7 | 481    
10 Apr 2015  #44

Sorry, Romek, but this is the way how you develop your arguments in the discussion. It is jolly amusing,

How else would I argue? I have admitted to have been wrong. Then I proceeded to say that regardless of the fact that the government may not have recognized it as a regional language yet, the 500000 people who said that their native language is Silesian, see Silesian as a language.

I am not sure what your problem with this is. If you prefer to see it as a dialect, that's fine for me but the 500000 people would disagree with you.

What is more to it, professor Jan Miodek is not politically motivated nor is he part of the PF tribal wars.

Neither is a friend of mine from Zabrze, yet he says that his native language is Silesian. He too is not politically motivated at all.
Harry 79 | 13,413    
10 Apr 2015  #45

I am not sure what your problem with this is.

A lot of it goes back to the whole 'Recovered Territories' thing. The argument is that the people in those regions speaking dialects of Polish shows that the territory had always been Polish and wasn't just Polish as a result of ethnic cleansing.
TheOther 5 | 3,063    
10 Apr 2015  #46

'Recovered Territories' thing.

Good old commie propaganda. And I thought there were no Polish communists... :)
JollyRomek 7 | 481    
10 Apr 2015  #47

those regions speaking dialects

Yes, I agree. It is a nice and comfortable way of "forgetting" how these regions actually became Polish. Just a pity that the people of Silesia see it differently. Specially those 500000 who stated that the "dialect", as some Poles call it, is actually their native language.

But at the end of the day, there is no argument whether or not this is a language or a dialect. A dialect does not differ from the language when it is put in writing. It remains the same. For example Austrian German and proper German or "High German". I sometimes do wonder if Austrians speak a different language when they talk. I need to listen closely. In writing, it is exactly the same. Here we can talk about a dialect.

Silesian however differs to Polish in writing too. As Ziemowit has said he was able to make out what the article he read in 1990 was about, but that is only because it is similar and the context of the article was understandable. But, similar does not equal the same. Here we can not talk about a dialect.

I do speak Dutch but at the time when I did not speak Dutch, let's say 15 years ago, I was still able to understand and read Dutch and get the context. The Dutch would have chased me out of their country if I would have said that Dutch is only a German dialect because I can understand and read it.
Ziemowit 8 | 2,593    
10 Apr 2015  #48

I am not sure what your problem with this is. If you prefer to see it as a dialect, that's fine for me but the 500000 people would disagree with you.

You imply again that I have a problem fwith it while I have not. Didn't I say to you in the preceding post:

I don't object to them calling it as such. Let them believe what they want to believe.

So where is the problem for me? On the contrary, it seems to be a problem for you since you said:

Just because you and other Poles want to make them believe that it is only a dialect...

Just because ..! No, some Poles may indeed want to make them believe this, but definitely not many other Poles including myself and that native Oberschlesier who is professor and expert in linguistics and whom you have been ignoring all the time.

You put forward the stance of the Polish government which was not what you said, but even if it was, I don't think it would have mattered that much. "Regional language" may as well be some kind of bureacratic category which might match or not the real facts. If you read the Wiki page (unfortunately that part is in Polish only), you would know what the linguistic arguments for Silesian being the dialect of Polish are and why it cannot be considered as a dialect of Czech despite some evident Czech influences. "Regional language" may be just an administrative category, though I think it is accurate for the Kashubian language which is also a language of minority. So, as you can see, I look at it purely from the linguistic point of view rather than from the perspective of people for whom the status of "regional language" would have strengthen their claims for autonomy. Albeit I myself am very much for the regional autonomy of Upper Silesia (however surprising it may sound to you as a position of a "pure-blood Pole" as Harry pathetically calls me sometimes), I try not to confound language and autonomy, neither do I think that their dialect is likely to achieve that status of language very soon. One of the major obstacles is that there is no single dialect of Silesian, dialects in particular areas differ much from one another and there is no codyfied alphabet for it. The minority must first work hard on the literacy form of their dialect to bring upon it some characteristics of the language before crying loud that Silesian is a language.
JollyRomek 7 | 481    
10 Apr 2015  #49

who is professor and expert in linguistics

Well, your professor, "expert in linguistics" seem to have forgotten about the fact the Silesian differs to Polish in writing. Therefore, it simply can not be just a dialect. If it was the same in writing, I would actually consider his points. As it differs in writing, and hence can not be just a dialect, I have to conclude that he is either a very bad "expert" or his opinion is somehow politically motivated.
Harry 79 | 13,413    
10 Apr 2015  #50

Of course he could also be trying to justify historical events.

a "pure-blood Pole" as Harry pathetically calls me sometimes

No, that was your description of yourself. I find it highly amusing myself.
Crow 138 | 5,835    
10 Apr 2015  #51

Ziemowit - Crow, what kind of slavicization do you have in mind: voluntary or imposed by force?

no, for sure not by force. Our kind suffered already too much, just for being Slavic. We have to hug our people and help them, we must show them understanding, we must tell them that we need them, we need to share our resources between us, we have to return to nature, we must found way. There must be some way of love
Vox - | 177    
10 Apr 2015  #52

It is a separate language however similar to Polish it may be.

How would know that not being a Pole yourself? You have been told by a Polish native speaker that he can understand Silesian without difficulty. It means Silesian is in fact a dialect of the Polish language. You may feel otherwise but I'm afraid that your feelings do no cut ice with us here after you proved to be a very callus person.

Surely any dialect can be used to promote some political agenda, as it seems to be the case here.
JollyRomek 7 | 481    
10 Apr 2015  #53

There must be some way of love

You mean the way Mother Russia is showing her love to her children in Ukraine at the moment? Or how Mother Serbia went on a killing spree in Kosovo, Bosnia and Croatia to -

tell them that we need them

?

I think the Silesian people are well able to decide for themselves what they need and want without the "motherly love" of your "slavic kind".
Harry 79 | 13,413    
10 Apr 2015  #54

Surely any dialect can be used to promote some political agenda, as it seems to be the case here.

Yes, in this case the claim that Silesian is a dialect of Polish is being (and has been) used to promote the idea that Silesia has always been Polish territory. A similar line was used with Kashubian after WWII to try to justify Poland occupying Pomerania ('Look: the people there speak a dialect of Polish, which proves the area should never have been part of Germany and should always have been part of Poland!'). But in reality Kashubians were (and are) Kashubian, just as Silesians were (and are) Silesian: neither group are German and neither group are Polish.
JollyRomek 7 | 481    
10 Apr 2015  #55

You have been told by a Polish native speaker that he can understand Silesian without difficulty. It means Silesian is in fact a dialect of the Polish language.

Does it?

So, is Dutch in fact a dialect of German, just because Germans can understand it?

I would pay you to stand on the main square of Amsterdam, handing out leaflets telling the Dutch that their language is just a German dialect because Germans can understand it. If you let me film and publish it.

How would know that not being a Pole yourself?

Because I am quite involved in the topic of Silesia and Pomerania. It is quite an interesting topic for me.
Harry 79 | 13,413    
10 Apr 2015  #56

I could comprehend that article in the supposedly Silesian language with no difficulty whatsoever (some proof that Sileasian is not really a language separate from Polish)

Have you tried telling Afrikaners that they speak a dialect of Dutch because a Dutch person can comprehend an article written in Afrikaans? I imagine that they may well disagree with you if you were foolish enough to do that. So why do you claim that Silesian is a dialect of Polish just because you can comprehend an article written in Silesian?
Vox - | 177    
10 Apr 2015  #57

Yes, in this case the claim that Silesian is a dialect of Polish is being (and has been) used to promote the idea that Silesia has always been Polish territory

It a novel to me. I have been sure that Silesian wanted to became a part of Poland by picking up guns and fighting against their German overlords.

A similar line was used with Kashubian after WWII to try to justify Poland occupying Pomerania ('Look: the people there speak a dialect of Polish, which proves the area should never have been part of Germany and should always have been part of Poland!').

Hmm.. occupying Pomerania? Isn't Pomeranian a part of Poland's territory? Don't you mean incorporation. Who was justifying to whom such territorial acquisition? Stalin to Roosevelt or Roosevelt to Stalin? What it has to do with dialects anyways?
JollyRomek 7 | 481    
10 Apr 2015  #58

I have been sure that Silesian wanted to became a part of Poland by picking up guns and fighting against their German overlords.

You may want to look at the 1920 / 21 referendums held in cities / towns across Silesia. Voting "yes" to remain as part of Germany is far away from from "fighting against German overlords".
Vox - | 177    
10 Apr 2015  #59

Does it?

So, is Dutch in fact a dialect of German, just because Germans can understand it?

Yes it does. There are no universally accepted criteria for distinguishing languages from dialects. However specific language varieties are often called dialects rather than languages. Different circumstances and different geographical areas caused the dialects to develop differently from a shared base language.

Logical fallacy.

You may want to look at the 1920 / 21 referendums held in cities / towns across Silesia. Voting "yes" to remain as part of Germany is far away from from "fighting against German overlords".

I was sure Silesians had been fighting against their Germans overlords in 1920/21 to became Poles.
Harry 79 | 13,413    
10 Apr 2015  #60

I have been sure that Silesian wanted to became a part of Poland by picking up guns and fighting against their German overlords.

The reality of history suggests a rather different course of events.

What it has to do with dialects anyways?

The claim that certain languages are just dialects of Polish is used to support the assertion that the areas where those languages are spoken have always been Polish land (which it why, so the claim goes, the people there speak forms of Polish) and so should be part of Poland. Again, the reality of history is rather different.




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