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Polish minority languages


delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
15 Dec 2015  #1


I've been listening to this Kashubian anthem today, and it's remarkably charming. But Kashubian seems completely unlike Polish - what's written doesn't seem to bear much similarity with speech.
Polson 5 | 1,771
15 Dec 2015  #2
You should try Silesian, or even weirder, Wymysörys (Wilamowicean).
Ziemowit 12 | 3,469
15 Dec 2015  #3
Wymysörys (Wilamowicean).

Wilamowicean is dying out (or has died out already). Several young people still collect the remains of the language. The World War II has left its sad mark on the language since the German occupants jumped on the occasion and made those locals sign the volksliste. Thus after the war the locals were not treated particularly well by the Polish and eventually decided not to pass on the language onto the younger generations to save them any potential trouble in the future. Of course, you cannot exclude that the language would have died out without the influence of the war as well, but the process could have been much slower.
Polson 5 | 1,771
15 Dec 2015  #4
Several young people still collect the remains of the language.

Fortunately, yes, and they're doing pretty well. I've been interested in this language for years. If I ever have the chance to visit Wilamowice, I will.

An example of Wilamowicean:


G (undercover)
15 Dec 2015  #5
You should try Silesian

Kashubian is a different language, which is similar to Polish about as much as Czech is. But Silesian (at least that what is relatively commonly spoken) is pretty much Polish + accent + few German words here and there.
Ziemowit 12 | 3,469
15 Dec 2015  #6
I've been interested in this language for years.

So what's your opinion on the origins of this language? The Flemish version of Dutch? The northern version of Dutch? The Frisian language? Does it have declensions just as Dutch used to have in the past and German does have to this very day?
OP delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
15 Dec 2015  #7
But Silesian (at least that what is relatively commonly spoken) is pretty much Polish + accent + few German words here and there.

Maybe on the Polish side of the border, yes - but I've spent quite a lot of time in what the Poles would call Zaolzie, and it's clear that it's a different language and not quite Czech or Polish.

I've been watching some documentary about Belarusian speakers in Poland, which is fascinating - does anyone know if they actually speak Belarusian, or is it something closer to Polish than real Belarusian?
Roger5 1 | 1,458
15 Dec 2015  #8
My in-laws are equally comfortable speaking standard Polish or the local dialectal form of Belarusian, which sounds like something in between the two to my inexpert ears. My wife speaks Belarusian when she talks to her friend who's a journalist on Radio Racja.
OP delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
21 Dec 2015  #9
My in-laws are equally comfortable speaking standard Polish or the local dialectal form of Belarusian.

Is their variant of Belarusian their mother tongue in so far as it being what was spoken at home when they were growing up?
Roger5 1 | 1,458
21 Dec 2015  #10
Yes, the parents spoke it at home and around town. The kids of course spoke standard Polish from their earliest days, but still use dialect when talking to old timers in the village. When I came on the scene the parents started speaking standard Polish exclusively when I was around, even though my Polish was even worse than it is now. Make of that what you will.
G (undercover)
21 Dec 2015  #11
Both Ukrainian and Belorussian have many dialects, the more to the west the more Polish like it sounds.
Ironside 48 | 9,704
21 Dec 2015  #12
Both Ukrainian and Belorussian have many dialects

Question is are their languages in their own right or just dialects of the Polish language.
Legal Eagle
21 Dec 2015  #13
Frequently, they are neither and both, a mixture in which the two (or sometimes even three) languages which blend together. It then becomes a point of academic contention when a language is its own separate language, and when it is just a dialect of a broader language. In the East, Polesian has some Polish influence, but it could never be considered a Polish dialect. Linguists classify it as its own language distinct from Ukrainian or Belorussian, just as Carpo-Rusyn is distinct from Ukrainian. However Belorussian and Ukrainian nationalists insist they are simply dialects of the Belorussian and Ukrainian languages respectively. Recognizing something as its own language, rather than a dialect of something else, results in ethnic separatism issues, etc.


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