Polish belongs to the Slavic group of the Indo-European language family and is the national language of Poland. Its origins can be traced back to the Middle Ages when the first Slavs arrived in Central Europe and the East Slavic languages group, which Polish belongs to, appeared. It is only when the Polish State was created in the 10th century, and the Latin alphabet was adopted, as a consequence of the adoption of Christianity, that the Polish language took shape. Polish, which used to be an oral language, then acquired its written form. However, the first Polish dictionary was published only in the 19th century.
Today, Polish includes four main dialects : Lesser Polish, spoken in the South of the country, Greater Polish spoken in the South West, Masovian in the North East and Silesian in the South East. Its grammar shares many similarities with the Latin grammar. The Polish language has three genders (masculine, feminine, neuter) and seven cases (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, vocative, instrumental and locative).
Polish is the second most widely spoken Slavic language after Russian, with more than 55 million speakers in 17 countries. For instance, you can find Polish-speaking communities in Hungary, Lithuania, Slovakia, Ukraine, but also in Germany, Australia and in the United Sates.
Classification by family:
Indo-European Languages > Balto-Slavic languages > Slavic languages > West Slavic languages > Polish