Polish Around The World
Polish is spoken by around 55 million people across the world, principally in Poland but also as a second language in western parts of Belarus, Lithuania and the Ukraine, as well as northern parts of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Thanks to several periods of mass emigration from Poland, most notably after World War II, millions of Polish speakers can also be found in Australia, Brazil, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.
It is an official language of the European Union and is the second-most widely spoken Slavic language after Russian, and just ahead of Ukrainian. Poland is the most linguistically homogenous European country, with 97% of Poland’s citizens declare Polish as their first language. In history, Polish is known to be an important language, both diplomatically and academically in Central and Eastern Europe.
Interpreting: We are increasingly being called upon to provide interpreters for HR-related issues including appraisals, performance reviews, disciplinary procedures and more . We also regularly provide Polish interpreters to the NHS, the Department for Work and Pensions and elsewhere.
We cover translation, localisation, complex DTP, face-to-face simultaneous interpreting as well as telephone and video interpreting, transcription, voiceovers and non-spoken languages including BSL and Braille.
We manage a large pool of experienced, qualified linguists, enabling us to provide a top-quality service to clients, often within demanding timescales. All of our project management team are linguists with a real passion for language.
Our aim is that our clients recognise us as the best in the market, both in terms of quality, accuracy and value but also for our friendly, professional and customer-centric service.
All areas of the business were independently audited, with procedures assessed and compliance verified.
Selected highlights from the report are below:
Customer Satisfaction Rate: 97%
Fulfilment rate across all clients Interpreting : 93- 97 %
Fulfilment rate across all clients Translation: 97.83 %
On time delivery of translation projects: 98.89%
ISO:9001 certification means that commercial clients and public sector clients alike can rest assured that our quality management systems are best-in-class.
History of the Polish Language
Polish began to emerge as a distinct language around the 10th century, largely triggered by the establishment and development of the Polish state. With the adoption of Christianity, Poland also began to use the Latin alphabet, which is in use to this day, although with the addition of 9 further characters. This made it possible to write down the Polish language, which had until then existed only as a spoken language. Eminent Polish scholar Tomasz Kamusella notes that “Polish is the oldest non-ecclesiastical written Slavic language with a continuous tradition of literacy and official use that has lasted unbroken from the 16th century until the present day”. Polish was a lingua franca from 1500-1700 across Central and Eastern Europe due to the political, cultural, scientific and military influence of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
The geographical distribution of the Polish language was greatly affected by the territorial changes of Poland immediately after World War II. Poles settled in the ‘Recovered Territories’ in the west and north, which previously had been German-speaking. Some Poles remained in the territories to the east that had been annexed by the USSR, resulting in the present-day minority groups of Polish speakers in Lithuania, Belarus and the Ukraine.
There are between four and five standard main dialects recognised within the Polish language:
– Greater Polish, spoken in the west
– Lesser Polish, spoken in the south and southeast
– Masovian, spoken acrosss the central and eastern parts of the country
– Silesian, spoken in the southwest, also often considered a separate language
– Kashubian, spoken west of Gdansk, also often considered a separate language
Polish is a highly inflected language, with relatively free word order, although in common with other European languages the dominant arrangement is subject-verb-object. There are no articles, and subject pronouns are often dropped.
Polish has, over its long history, borrowed many words from other languages. Notable early influences came from Latin, Czech and Hungarian, whilst more recently French, German and Turkish have had a strong influence on the Polish language. Currently, English words are the most frequent imports to Polish.
The Latin language, which used to be the only official language of the Polish state, had a great influence on the development of the Polish language. Many Polish words are direct borrowings from Latin, which was known by most of the numerous szlachta until the mid-18th century, and also continued to be taught extensively in Polish schools until World War II.
What Goes Into High-Quality Polish Translation?
More About Interpreting
Waheeda is our Interpreting Manager and heads up an amazing team fulfilling thousands of bookings a month. She is currently studying for an MSc in Social & Community Development and has a wealth of experience working in the Public & Third Sector.
The Interpreting Process
Pavel moved to the UK from Poland almost 15 years ago. He has worked with Prestige for almost 10 years, and completes assignments for us in industries as varied as healthcare, law, banking and more. He holds a current DBS check and a basic security clearance for court interpreting.