4. Kashubian dialect

It is also considered as different language. It differs the most and is most archaic. There is kaszubienie and unique vowel “shwa”. Kashubian dialects have some features known in Polabian language that are absent in Polish language, and is influenced by Low-German and Prussian languages. It is a regional language.

To see the difference, here is “Pater Noster” prayer in Polish, and in Kashubian.

Polish (there are three prayers in this link, “Ojcze Nasz” is first): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIHPxdCO-ao
Ojcze nasz, któryś jest w niebie
Święć się imię Twoje
Przyjdź królestwo Twoje
Bądź wola Twoja, jako w niebie tak i na ziemi.
Chleba naszego powszedniego daj nam dzisiaj
I odpuść nam nasze winy
Jako i my odpuszczamy naszym winowajcom.
I nie wódź nas na pokuszenie,
Ale nas zbaw ode złego.

Kashubian: http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File%3AOjcze_nasz_po_kaszebsku.ogg
Òjcze nasz, jaczi jes w niebie,
niech sã swiãcy Twòje miono,
niech przińdze Twòje królestwò,
niech mdze Twòja wòlô
jakno w niebie tak téż na zemi.
Chleba najégò pòwszednégò dôj nóm dzysô
i òdpùscë nóm naje winë,
jak i më òdpùszcziwómë naszim winowajcóm.
A nie dopùscë na nas pòkùszeniô,
ale nas zbawi òde złégò.

Kashubian dialect/language differs from Polish and may be not understandable for non-Kashubian person.

5. Silesian dialects

Sometimes is also considered as different language, however has not the status of regional language and is less… different from general Polish language than Kashubian. It is more understandable (in comparison to Kashubian, as Silesian is also quite different). Silesian is archaic in case of word formation, vocabulary and syntax. There is partly mazurzenie and jabłonkowanie, and is influenced by Czech language, German language, and Lusatian languages.

It is also divided on three parts (three kinds of Silesian spoken on different areas):
– Upper Silesia,
– Lower Silesia,
– Cieszyn Silesia.

As an example of Silesian, here is a song “Ondraszek” by Zespół Pieśni i Tańca “Śląsk”. It’s a bit quiet though.


6. New mixed dialects

These are the group of dialects used in areas of “Ziemie Odzyskane” – Recovered Territories. These are lands recovered from Germans: Western Poland and Prussia. This is a mix of cants used by people who were resettled from Kresy Wschodnie to Recovered Territories. As it is a group of dialects, there are no specific features. These are created by people resettled from:

– North Kresy (Lithuania, Belarus) and South Kresy (Ukraine);
– Mazovia, Greater Poland and Lesser Poland;
– Remains of Polish cants used in these lands despite of the domination of the German language.

Polish speaking appeared on:

– Western Pomerania, substituting the West-Pomeranian cant of Low-German language;
– Lower Silesia, substituting the Silesian dialect of German language;
– Eastern Prussia, substituting Lower-Prussian dialect of Low-German language.

7. Mixed dialects

These are also a group of dialect and cants present near the borders. These have no specific features as well, as it depends on the area. For example, people from the lands near the border with Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine speaks differently than people living on the border with Slovakia (Górale, the Highlanders).

These dialects, despite of Silesian and Kashubian, are very similiar and people can understand each other without any problems. It is even hard to recognize. Personally, when I was told that I speak differently, I had never thought about it and never seen the difference. Also my colleague who visited Kraków was told, that he doesn’t live in Kraków, as he speaks different. However, the main differences and specific features are only “used” by older people, as young people are speaking “normal Polish” nowadays. Only Silesians, Kashubians and Highlanders are speaking their… native way, due to which we may guess where are they from.

If there is some mistakes, I’ll be glad to see corrections ;)


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