Kashubian language

Spoken in

  • Indo-European Slavic Westslawisch Lechisch Elbe and Ostseeslawisch Kashubian




The Kashubian ( Kashubian kaszëbsczi Jazek ) is a West Slavic language that is west and south of Gdansk to estimates of about 150,000 Kashubian understood in the area and used by approximately 50,000 active as everyday language. The Kashubian language is considered endangered.


The next is the Kashubian related to the extinct Slowinski; Kashubian and Slovincian form with the also extinct languages ​​Pomoranisch ( Ostseeslawisch ) and Polabian ( Elbslawisch, Drewanisch ) the group of elb - Baltic - Slavic languages ​​, which form the lechische subgroup of West Slavic together with the Polish:


  • Westslawisch Lechisch Elb- Baltic - Slavic Kashubian - Slovincian Kashubian
  • Slovincian †

Comparison with the Polish

With the Polish Kashubian has shared much of the Erbwortschatzes, later it has been influenced in grammar, word formation and vocabulary greatly from Polish. It differs from the Polish are substrate elements from the Old Prussian ( an extinct Baltic language ), a greater proportion of Low German and High German loanwords (about 5 %), vocal failures in unstressed syllables as well as other stress rules: In the south the Kashubian stressed on the first syllable, in the north, the emphasis is movable. Equally characteristic of the Kashubian that it has not undergone sound changes after Liquidametathese: So is the Russian gorod, the Polish Gród and the Serbian degree gard the resulting reconstructed ancient Slavic variant compared with that also corresponds to the Kashubian word for fortified settlement or city.

Linguistic history

Since the 15th century Kashubian is written - in Latin script and following the example of the Polish orthography. However, never could figure out constitute a unified written language that writers write to this day in their respective dialects. The most important Kashubian writer was in the 19th century Florian Ceynowa that has greatly reduced the hitherto typical of the written language Polish over-molding. After the First World War, most of the settlement area of the Kashubian fell to the newly formed Polish state, western parts fell to the German Reich and an eastern strip of the Free City of Danzig.

From the Polish perspective Kashubian was long regarded as a dialect of Polish. As arguments on the one hand, the linguistic proximity have been cited, but especially the fact that the Kashubian have historically always counted among the Slavs, especially in the national conflicts of the late 19th and early 20th century. Finally, also plays a role that Kashubian until today, more or less like a dialect works, ie it is limited to oral communication, and a few types of text; the language of public life is also in the Kashubian areas almost exclusively Polish.

Today the efforts of a group of Kashubian intellectuals are to expand the Kashubian to its own default language, no longer hindered but tolerated by the Polish government and to some extent also encouraged. Kashubian is taught in a few schools, there is a radio and television broadcasts on Kashubian. Since 2005, the High School can be stored in Kashubian some Polish schools. In many village churches the priests read the measuring times in the Kashubian language. For further development will be crucial to whether the common orthography, the agreement has been reached early nineties, really penetrated.

Kashubian municipalities was introduced as an official language in the following two:

  • Parchowo ( PARCHOWO )
  • Sierakowice ( Serakòjce )

Günter Grass describes in the novel The Tin Drum, as the mother and uncle of the protagonist Oskar use the Kashubian as a kind of a secret language.


A, A, A, B, C, D, E, É, Ë, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, Ł, M, N, Ń, O, Ò, Ó, Ô, P, R, S, T, U, Ù, W, Y, Z, Ż


  • À - as nasal ó
  • Ã - as a nasal
  • C - like German z
  • CZ - like ch
  • É - between ä and i
  • Ë - how short a, nowadays it is very much like ä, but also as a sound between ä and a
  • Ł - like the English w in " water"
  • Ń - like gn in " champagne "
  • Ò - as Lae
  • Ó - such as oh in " at risk ", but shorter
  • Ô - depending on the local tradition: y, o, ó
  • RZ - j as in "Journal"
  • SZ - like soft sch
  • Ù - as Lu
  • Y - as he in "drag", but shorter
  • Z - like s in "sun"
  • Ż - like soft j in the "Journal "