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The Polish Language Landscape
Population of Poland: 38,500,696 (July 2008 est.)
Internet country code: .pl
Internet users: 11 million (2006)
Polish is the official language of Poland. It is the West Slavic language having the greatest number of speakers. Polish is spoken in a uniform manner through most of Poland, and has a regular orthography. The language developed indigenously and retains many ancient Slavic features of pronunciation and grammar. Although the Polish language was suppressed by occupying powers during some historical periods, a rich literature has nonetheless developed over the centuries, and many works by Polish authors are available in translations in English and other languages.
Polish is the official language of Poland; it is spoken chiefly by the Poles, who make up most of the 38 million inhabitants of Poland (census 2002). There are also native speakers of Polish in western Belarus and Ukraine, as well as eastern Lithuania (in the area of Vilnius), southeastern Latvia (around Daugavpils), northern Romania (see: Polish minority in Romania), and the northeastern part of Czech Republic. Because of emigration from Poland in various periods, millions of Polish-speakers now live in countries such as Germany, France, Ireland, Australia, Mexico, Israel, Brazil, Iceland, the United Kingdom, United States, etc. The estimated number of Poles who live beyond the borders of Poland is 21 million. It is not clear, however, how many of them can actually speak Polish - the estimates range from 3.5 to 10 million.
Sources: CIA World Factbook and Wikipedia – Content available under GNU Free Documentation License Related Article: The Global Language Landscape – Languages in Use on the Internet
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