Polish translation jobs hold substantial promise because Polish, which is the official language of Poland, is spoken by a large number of people around the world. Of course the major concentration exists in Poland where it is used by 38 million people, 97% of which are native speakers. Speakers whose mother language is Polish can also be found living in Ukraine, Eastern Lithuania and Western Belarus.
Poland has had a history of emigration across different periods of its history; due to which one can find millions of Polish speaking people in countries as disparate as Australia, Ireland, Israel, Canada, Brazil, United States and the United Kingdom among others. According to rough estimates there are about 40 to 48 million native Polish speakers all over the world; this makes it the second most popularly used Slavic languages after Russian. Some unique aspects of Polish language are –
- Polish developed indigenously and has still retained ancient Slavic styles of grammar and pronunciation. The Polish vocabulary includes words from the languages of neighboring Slavic countries like Slovak, Ukrainian, Belarusian, and Czech.
- Over the many centuries of its history the Polish language went on to acquire a rich literature, much of which has been translated into a number of languages, including English.
- After the Soviet Union captured the eastern areas of Poland in 1939, there was a mass migration of millions of Poles towards the western parts of the country. This resulted in Polish becoming significantly homogenized in the following years. But one can still find people living across various parts of Poland, speaking Standard Polish in variance to each other. However the differences are not substantial, and native speakers of Polish can understand each other without any problems even if they come from distant parts of Poland.
- Broadly, the various Polish dialects can be divided into –
Great Polish – used in the western parts of Poland
Lesser Polish – used in the south and southeastern parts of Poland
Mazovian (Mazur) – used in the eastern and central parts of the country.
Silesian – used in the in the southwestern areas of Poland.
- When it comes to grammar, the Polish language has a simple system of vowels with two nasal and six oral vowels. The consonants are comparatively more complex. The Polish alphabet consists of a series of affricates and palatal consonants that came about from four Proto-Slavic palatalizations.
- The Polish alphabet has been taken from Latin, but unlike other Slavic languages which use Latin alphabet and follow Czech orthography, Polish developed an independent orthography. Furthermore Polish does not use the letters Q, V and X, while W and Y are pronounced in a different manner.