Wiktionary:About Polish

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Polish (język polski, polszczyzna) is the language of Poles, official language of the Republic of Poland and the most widely spoken West Slavic language. The following is a brief description of certain aspects of Polish grammar and how they influence current practices regarding Polish terms in Wiktionary.

Entry layout[edit]

Main article: Wiktionary:Entry layout explained

The basic structure of a Polish-language entry is thus:



* {{IPA|IPA pronunciation|lang=pl}} or {{pl-IPA-auto}}

===Part of speech===
headword line

# definition
# definition

====Conjugation (verbs) or Declension (nouns and adjectives)====
{{pl-decl-...}} or {{pl-conj-...}}

It does not deviate from the generic guidelines presented in WT:ELE. Category:Polish headword-line templates contains all headword templates for Polish, while Category:Polish inflection-table templates contains the declension and conjugation templates.


Polish words mostly derive from Old Polish (code: zlw-opl), in turn derived from Proto-Slavic (sla-pro), Proto-Balto-Slavic (ine-bsl-pro) and ultimately Proto-Indo-European (ine-pro). When referring to these languages in the Etymology section, use {{etyl|...|pl}}. This will render as the ancestor language name in the text and add the entry to the appropriate category. Note that mentions of terms in proto-languages must use the * character at the start of the word to indicate that they are reconstructed (and to correctly direct links to the Appendix namespace). Looking up a similar-sounding words in Russian or Czech may be helpful when writing the etymology section.

If you do not know or are unsure about the etymology, leave out the section or put {{rfe}} into it.

Example, for brać ‎(to take):

From {{etyl|sla-pro|pl}} {{term|*bьrati|lang=sla-pro}}, from {{etyl|ine-pro|pl}} {{term|*bʰer-|lang=ine-pro}}.


Main article: Appendix:Polish pronunciation
Wikipedia has an article on:


Polish spelling is largely phonetic; that is, most of the time there is a one-to-one correspondence between letters and phonemes. Spelling of loanwords will often adapt to match pronunciation (dżem) or vice versa (nazizm). There are some quite consistent rules for devoicing. Stress usually falls on the penultimate syllable, with some nouns having the third-from-last syllable stressed, most of them naming academic disciplines (matematyka, muzyka, uniwersytet, rzeczpospolita), although colloquial pronunciation sometimes puts stress on the penultimate syllable also.

Due to these features, transcribing Polish into IPA is largely an algorithmic task. The template {{pl-IPA-auto}} uses Module:pl-IPA to accomplish this. This module is somewhat experimental, but for usually performs well. Automatic transcription will be wrong for recent, not assimilated loanwords, proper names like Tarzan, the above mentioned words with atypical stress and words cognate with marznąć ‎(to freeze), in which the digraph "rz" is pronounced [rz] instead of [ʐ]. Manual transcription into IPA may still be marked up using {{IPA|...|lang=pl}} when necessary. The {{pl-IPA-auto}} template may also be substituted into the page if so desired.


Avoid leaving a link to a single English word in definitions; this may imply that all senses and connotations of the English word carry over to Polish, which is often not the case. The word pole may be defined as "field" when referring to an area of land, but the sense of "mathematical structure with addition and multiplication" is properly termed ciało. Definitions should at least include glosses in parentheses in most cases.

Polish admits a rich variety of inflected and related forms. These should use {{head|pl|partofspeech form}} in the headword line and an appropriate form-of template (like {{form of}}) in the definition. See below for details.

Parts of speech considerations[edit]


Polish nouns have grammatical gender and inflect for case and number. The lemma form is nominative singular, except for plurale tantum nouns (in which case it is nominative plural). The declension pattern depends on gender and whether the noun is personal, animate or inanimate. Both these categories also influence how a verb used with the noun is inflected. For this reason, some grammarians classify animacy as a gender and distinguish five: masculine-personal (męskoosobowy), masculine-animate (męskozwierzęcy or męskożywotny), masculine-inanimate (męskorzeczowy), neuter (nijaki) and feminine (żeński). Other classification schemes may distinguish four genders in singular and two in plural. Wiktionary recognises three genders: masculine, feminine and neuter; the various inflection templates take care of coinciding or diverging forms.

Due to synesis, pronunciation shifts and other reasons, declension of nouns can be rather non-straightforward, though in more than 95% of cases it can be derived from the lemma form and gender thorough a set of algorithmic rules. Category:Polish noun inflection-table templates contains all of the noun declension templates. Editors unfamiliar with the language should not add declension information.

There is a very simple test of idiomaticity for noun terms consisting of a noun word and an adjective word: when the adjective follows the noun, the phrase is very probably an idiom; when the opposite is the case, the meaning is sum-of-parts. For example, muzyka poważna means "classical music" while poważna muzyka is a sum-of-parts phrase meaning "real (serious) music".

Many nouns have diminutive and even hypocoristic forms, and some have augmentative forms; they are more-or-less interchangeable with the neutral forms, save for context. This applies even to personal names: Kubuś ‎(Jimmy) and Jakub ‎(James) will refer to the same person if context does not imply otherwise. Diminutive forms should use {{diminutive of|...|lang=pl}} in the definition.

The headword template for Polish nouns is {{pl-noun}}. It takes one positional parameter, the gender (which may be also specified as |g=): either m-pr, m-an, m-in, f or n. The template also accepts diminutive and augmentative forms (|dim= and |aug=). Proper nouns have no separate headword template and for now should use {{head}} directly.

Declension tables should be put under the ==== Declension ==== header in the entry. When rendered, they will link to the inflected forms. It is a good idea to create the Polish entries for the inflected forms, especially if they already show up as bluelinks or when declension differs for different meanings (like with przypadek). The declined noun entries should use {{inflection of|...||case (nom, gen, dat, acc, ins, loc, voc)|number (s or p)|lang==pl}} templates in the definition, and {{head|pl|noun form}} as the headword.

Example, for dziadek:



# {{l|en|grandfather}}
# {{context|colloquial|lang=pl}} {{l|en|[[old]] [[man]]}}



Adjectives inflect for case, gender and number. The lemma form is, following mainstream conventions, masculine nominative singular, except for adjectives which are prevalently used in other genders, like ciężarna ‎(pregnant). Other forms should link to the lemma using {{inflection of}} templates. Translations of adjectives into Polish should list only the lemma form.

Inflection of adjectives is usually very regular; simply inserting {{pl-decl-adj-auto}} will cover most instances. A template for specifying manual declension is also available, under the name {{pl-decl-adj}}.

Some adjectives have retained their old dative and genitive forms (from back when they inflected like nouns), which are only used in set phrases, like po polsku ‎(in [the] Polish [language, manner, etc.]), z angielska ‎(from (influenced by) the English [people, mannerisms, etc.]). The {{pl-decl-adj-ki}} template accepts a second parameter for the old dative form. There is currently no place for old genitive form.

The headword template for adjectives is {{pl-adj}}. It accepts two or three parameters: the first is gender, and the latter two describe how to form comparative and superlative forms, by containing either the comparative form itself, the word bardziej, or a hyphen (-) if the adjective is incomparable.

Example, for wolny:



# {{l|en|slow}}
# {{l|en|free}}, {{l|en|libre}}



Like many other Slavic languages, verbs in Polish have aspect, either imperfective or perfective; there are also rare instances of habitual or frequentative verbs, gramatically behaving like imperfective (jadać, bywać, powiadać). A perfective verb can be usually formed from an imperfective by using a prefix, which is often z-.

Verbs inflect for mood, voice, tense, number, person, and, if in the past tense, gender. There are also verbs which can be used in both aspects (aresztować). There are three moods: indicative, conditional and imperative (the last sometimes having two forms), and three tenses: past, present and future (with some remnants of a pluperfect tense, like powinienem był ‎([I] ought have [done (something)])). Perfective verbs have no present tense. Many verbs also admit at most four types of participles, an impersonal past form and a verbal noun.

The headword template for verbs is {{pl-verb}}. It takes a name argument, |a= specifying the aspect (i for imperfective, p for perfective and if for frequentative/habitual) and either |perf= and |perf2= or |imperf= and |imperf2= for the complementary forms.

Category:Polish verb inflection-table templates contains all conjugation templates for Polish verbs. Unlike for nouns, some conjugation patterns are not covered by specific templates yet. The conjugated forms should use {{inflection of}} in their definitions and {{head|pl|verb form}} as the headword.

Example, for pisać;



# to {{l|en|write}}



Adverbs inflect only for degree of comparison. {{pl-adv}} should be used as the headword template for these. It accepts one or two parameters to describe the comparative and superlative form. The word bardziej can be used just like with {{pl-adj}}.

Example, for szybko:



# {{l|en|rapidly}}, {{l|en|quickly}}


Numerals are considered a distinct part of speech in Polish. Each numeral has cardinal, ordinal and collective forms. Ordinal numerals inflect for case just like adjectives and therefore their inflection table templates reside in Category:Polish adjective inflection-table templates. Cardinal numerals should use the templates in Category:Polish numeral inflection-table templates. Numerals have no distinct headword template and should simply use {{head|pl|numeral}}.


Adding translations into Polish is easy, and with WT:EDIT one often does not even need to worry about markup syntax (although some functionality required for Polish is missing). When manually adding translations, one should use the {{t}} template, like so: {{t|pl|term|gender[|gender]}}. When a translation needs attention, switch the template to {{t-check}} or {{t+check}} and preferably add a comment: {{attention|pl|is it idiomatic?}}.

For nouns, the gender parameter should be the grammatical gender of the noun, m (masculine), f (feminine) or n (neuter). The template will also accept gender combined with number (s for singular, p for plural) and animacy (pr, an or in). For example, m-an-p means masculine animate plural. Current convention is to only mark gender, and number if plural. If a word has the same spelling in different genders, like with sędzia ‎(judge; referee), the other gender should be put in a separate positional parameter ({{t|pl|sędzia|m|f}}). See Module:gender and number for details about gender marks.

For verbs, the "gender" should be pf (perfective aspect) or impf (imperfective). When translating verbs, it is recommended to add translations in both aspects and mark them appropriately. WT:EDIT does not yet support aspect marks.

Adjectives should be listed in lemma form (usually masculine nominative singular) without any gender marks.

See also[edit]