Polish is the official language of Poland, and is most closely related to Czech and Slovak, which are also members of the West Slavic branch of the Indo-European language family. Polish is the second most widely spoken Slavic language, after Russian. Unlike Russian, Polish uses a latin script with diacritics. The Polish language came under threat during historical domination and as a result is an important symbol of identity for Polish people. There is a large body of important literature written in Polish, including poetry and epic tales. Polish contributions to literature are widely celebrated in the English-speaking world. Polish migration to Australia peaked in the post-war period between 1947 and 1954, and then again in the early 1980s, when more than 25,000 Poles arrived in Australia, many as refugees. As a result of the important link between language and identity for Polish speakers, community-run language classes were quickly established. Polish continues to be an important community language in Australia and in 2015 is offered in one university.

Number of people in Australia who speak this language at home: 50,696 (ABS Census Data, 2011)

Language Category: European Languages

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