Wiktionary:About Polish

link={{{imglink}}} This is a Wiktionary policy, guideline or common practices page. This is a draft proposal. It is unofficial, and it is unknown whether it is widely accepted by Wiktionary editors.
Policies – Entries: CFI - EL - NORM - NPOV - QUOTE - REDIR - DELETE. Languages: LT - AXX. Others: BLOCK - BOTS - VOTES.
English Wikipedia has an article on:

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. It is preceded by Old Polish, see About Old Polish. Old Polish ends in the year 1500.

Entry layoutEdit

Main article: Wiktionary:Entry layout explained

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



* {{IPA|pl|IPA pronunciation}} or {{pl-pronunciation}} or {{pl-IPA}}

===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 {{inh|pl|...|term}}. This will render as the ancestor language name plus the source word and add the entry to appropriate categories. 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 {{inh|pl|sla-pro|*bьrati}}, from {{inh|pl|ine-pro|*bʰer-}}.

Other terms derive from affixes, and you may use any of those, including {{prefix}}, {{suffix}}, {{affix}} (for compounds).

Polish compounds mostly use the interfix -o-, for example długotrwały:

From {{af|pl|długi|-o-|trwały}}.

A few use the interfixes -i- and -y-, for example drapichrust and obieżykraj.

From {{af|pl|drapać|-i-|chrust}}.
From {{af|pl|obiegać|-y-|kraj}}.

Nouns mostly derive from verbs or adjectives, for example

ręczyć derives from {{suffix|pl|ręka|yć}}, and in turn that gives us {{prefix|pl|wy|ręczyć}}, which then finally gives us {{deverbal|pl|wyręka}}, which is not wy+ręka.

Polish is rich with derivational suffixes and prefixes, which you may find here[[1]].

Other terms are either borrowings or derivatives from other languages, mostly European but not exclusively.

There are many other various etymologies, which you may read about here[[2]].

If you are unsure of a word's etymology, you may tag it with {{rfe|pl}}.


Main article: Appendix:Polish pronunciation
English 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-pronunciation}}, or for short {{pl-p}}, uses Module:pl-IPA to accomplish this. 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|pl|...}} when necessary. The {{pl-IPA}} template may also be used if so desired.

Prefixed words in which a consonant cluster appears after the prefix will need to be respelled with the proper syllable breaks, for example {{pl-p|dłu.go'trwa.ły}}, otherwise you will get improper syllable breaks.

You may check if audio exists here, by typing the word into search and selecting "audio". A word's audio should match its header exactly, capitalization and all (spaces will often be marked with _). If a page is missing audio, you may tag it with {{rfap|pl}}.


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. It is best to provide any appropriate labels, an English translation, followed by a gloss.

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 considerationsEdit


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). 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) (m-pr), masculine-animate (męskozwierzęcy or męskożywotny) (m-an), masculine-inanimate (męskorzeczowy) (m-in), neuter (nijaki) (n), feminine (żeński) (f), and non-virile (nv) (for plurale tantum nouns). When providing the declension of a plurale tantum noun, you will have to provide a "singular lemma", for example {{pl-decl-noun-m-in|lemma=okular|tantum=p}} for okulary, {{pl-decl-noun-n|lemma=chemikalium|tantum=p}} for chemikalia, and {{pl-decl-noun-f|lemma=annata|tantum=p}} for annaty. 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.

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|pl|...}} in the definition, and augmentatives in turn {{augmentative of|pl|...}}.

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, n, or nv. 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|pl|...||case (nom, gen, dat, acc, ins, loc, voc)|number (s or p)}} templates in the definition, and {{head|pl|noun form}} as the headword. Proper nouns use {{pl-proper noun|m-pr}}

Example, for dziadek:



# [[grandfather]]
# {{lb|pl|colloquial}} [[old]] [[man]]


A few nouns are adjective-like, and their declension usually cannot be automated, for example ambasadorowa.


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.]). To add the old dative to the template, use |olddat=1 in {{pl-decl-adj-auto}}. There is currently no place for the 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:

Declension is now 100% automated with {{pl-decl-adj-auto}}.



# [[slow]]
# [[free]], [[libre]]


The gender parameter is little used.


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

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 (hospitalizować). 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.

It is important to mark whether a verb is transitive or intransitive in the label, and if it has a past participle in the declension table.

Example, for pisać;



#  (transitive) to [[write]]


Example, for hospitalizować;



# (transitive) to [[hospitalize]]



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:



# [[rapidly]], [[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}}.

Prepositions, Particles, Interjections, Conjunctions, Pronouns, Idioms, and PhrasesEdit

These parts of speech simply use {{head}}.


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.


Polish uses the following letters:

(Latin-script letters) A a, Ą ą, B b, C c, Ć ć, D d, E e, Ę ę, F f, G g, H h, I i, J j, K k, L l, Ł ł, M m, N n, Ń ń, O o, Ó ó, P p (Q q), R r, S s, Ś ś, T t, U u (V v), W w (X x), Y y, Z z, Ź ź, Ż ż


The largest consideration is that of Silesian and Kashubian, which are considered separate languages on Wiktionary. Other dialects are indicated in {{label}} and various dialects can be found here.

Middle PolishEdit

If a term or definition existed between 1500-1750, it should be tagged with the label {{lb|pl|Middle Polish}}. If a word existed only during that time, only attested declined forms should be listed using {{pl-mid-decl-noun}}, and no pronunciation should be given.

Middle Polish is considered a LDL variant of Polish, and as such only one quote is sufficient.


Finding first attestations and definition dates is usually done with the aid of historic dictionaries as well as corpora.


  • The oldest attestations are found in in S. Urbańczyk's Old Polish dictionary, often shortened to SSp (Słownik Staropolski). This dictionary covers any attestations before 1500. To find the dates one should check the quotations as well as the bibliography for dates. Its template can be found here: {{R:zlw-opl:SSP1953}}
  • The next earliest attestations are usually found on Słownik Słownik Polszczyzny XVI Wieku (A Dictionary of 16th Century Polish), often shortened to SXVI. Quotes can be found when opening the definition box, and the bibliography can be found under Kanon tekstów. Its template can be found here: {{R:pl:SXVI}}
  • After that Elektroniczny Słownik Języka Polskiego XVII i XVIII Wieku (Electronic Dictionary of the Polish Language of the XVII and XVIII Century]), often shortened to SXVII. Dates and quotes can be found in the definition section (znaczenia). One should also check the corpus for any other potential quotes in their corpus by clicking the button "Więcej cytatów w Korpusie Barokowym" on the entry's page. Its template can be found here: {{R:pl:SXVII}}.
  • One of the most used resources is Polona. The website is often slow or down. To look for a word, enter it in the search bar and click "search content (przeszukaj treść)" in the top center and hit enter. Then one should hit the drop down menu on the top right with "Accuracy (trafność)" and change it to "The oldest (najstarsze)". Then a selection of examples are presented - one should click on "show more (pokaż więcej)" at the bottom right of the listed material, whereupon a link is generated in the same box on the bottom left with a page number. Clicking this will take the user to the page where the quotation is found. Next, one can turn on a text layer on the page by clicking on a button with the symbol abc, whereupon one can search for the given term and either confirm or deny the accuracy of the scan, which one ought to do as the website has many scannos. One can also check the veracity of the bibliographic information provided by checking the front of the book, as sometimes an incorrect year is given. Then one can quote a given work using usually either {{cite-book}} or {{cite-journal}}.
  • Google books is another corpus to check. To find the earliest citation, one should check snippet views and progressively set the year back until only one example remains, whereupon the user can cite the work with the same templates for Polona. It is recommended one turns on the gadget QuietQuentin in their preferences.
  • Narodowy Fotokorpus Języka Polskiego (National Photocorpus of the Polish language) often has a graph of a word's usage in the 20th century, frequently with earlier attestations than Polona or Google Books. It is often provided alongside other first attestations as graphs are present (or being developed) for words, which can be of interest for the reader. Its template can be found here: {{R:pl:NFJP}}.
  • Lastly, Narodowy Korpus Języka Polskiego (National Polish Language Corpus) contains the first attestations for many neologisms. There is a tutorial on the website in Polish. To use the chronology tool one should click on "WYSZUKIWARKA KORPUSOWA PELCRA" on the right hand side of the main page, click "opcje" (options), click the drop menu next to "podkorpus" (subcorpus) and change it from "Zrównoważony" (balanced) to "cały" (whole). Then one should enter the word with two asterisks on the right (as this tells to search engine to search for declined forms), and click "czas" (time), upon which a graph is generated.

Other sourcesEdit

{{R:pl:Bańkowski}} Bańkowski's dictionary often provides dating, however this should be used as a last resort as there is no bibliographic information. {{R:pl:SJP1807}}, {{R:pl:SJP1861}}, {{R:pl:SJP1900}}, {{R:pl:SJPD}} are often themselves contain the first attestation, either by being a listed word or in one of the quotes provided by the dictionary. As usual, one should check their bibliographic information for quote dates.

Definition datingEdit

Checking the definitions in {{R:zlw-opl:SSP1953}}, {{R:pl:SXVI}}, {{R:pl:SXVII}}, {{R:pl:SJP1807}}, {{R:pl:SJP1861}}, {{R:pl:SJP1900}}, {{R:pl:SJPD}} are good ways to provide rough estimates of when certain words acquired or lost certain definitions, the first three covering early centuries and the last three providing roughly 50 intervals between definitions. Be sure to check the dates of quotes. An example of this method can be found on akcent.


The current best source of collocations is Narodowy Korpus Języka Polskiego (National Polish Language Corpus). There is a tutorial on the website in Polish. One should click "WYSZUKIWARKA KORPUSOWA PELCRA" on the right hand side of the main page, click "Kolokator" (collocator) towards the top right, then click "zaawansowane" (advanced), then click the drop down menu for "podkorpus" (podcorpus) and change it from "Zrównoważony" to "---" (this is the full corpus). Then one should enter the word with two asterisks on the right and click "szukaj" (search). One can control how many words to the left or right it searches by using "kontekst z lewej/prawej" (left/right context) as well as parts of speech. One should check the veracity provided quotes (a link is generated in the number).

See alsoEdit