Silesian (ślůnsko godka)

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Timpul
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Silesian (ślůnsko godka)

Postby Timpul » 2009-01-18, 23:12

The Silesian language (ślůnsko godka, pů naszymu) is a West Slavic language spoken mainly in the region of Silesia (Poland and Czech Republic), but also in Germany and USA. Some linguists consider it as a dialect of Polish. The total number of speakers is not known, but during the Poland’s National Census in 2002 about 60.000 declared Silesian as their native tongue. Why to learn Silesian? Well, there is a vast number of arguments. It’s much easier to understand Polish, Czech and even German with the basis of Silesian, not mentioning the pleasure you give to Silesians while speaking their language!

Is there anyone who is interested in learning Silesian? :) I can help with that.

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Re: Silesian (ślůnsko godka)

Postby Sean of the Dead » 2009-01-19, 16:59

So you speak it fluently? And do you have a sample text we can see?
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Re: Silesian (ślůnsko godka)

Postby Timpul » 2009-01-21, 18:41

Yep. Rather.

A sample text? Hmm, an excerpt from the Holy Bible ;) Unfortunately it wasn't translated officially (taken from here)

1. Nojsamprzůd stworzyli Půn Bůg ńebo a źymja.
2. A źymja bůła cołkym průzno i ćma bůła wyży głymboczyny, a dych Boży ńůs śe nad wodůma.
3. I pedźeli Půn Bůg: ńych bydźe śwjatło. I bůło śwjatło.
4. I widźeli Půn Bůg, iże śwjatło bůło dobre, i uoddźelyli śwjatło uod ćmy.
5. I zamjanowali śwjatło dńym, a ćma zamjanowali nockům. I nastała uodwjeczyrz i rano, dźyń pjyrszy.

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2 And the earth was waste and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

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Re: Silesian (ślůnsko godka)

Postby BezierCurve » 2009-01-21, 19:29

I love it. Reminds me of Gustlik from "Czterej Pancerni i Pies" and a friend who used to come to us every summer holiday. How do you type all the diacritics?
Brejkam wszystkie rule.

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Re: Silesian (ślůnsko godka)

Postby Mulder-21 » 2009-02-08, 1:37

Oh, yes, I've been utterly fascinated with language since I found some articles on the Wikipedia. :)

So, I'm gonna be following this thread.

Btw. I was reading about the Silesian orthography having a problem with the [u_^o] diphthong, since ło violates some orthographical convention (am not which one right now). But it just so happens that Slovak uses ô for that exact diphthong, so why can't Silesian too?
Gløgt er gestsins eyga. (Føroyskt orðafelli)
Wise is the stranger's eye. (Faroese saying)
L'occhio dell'ospite è acuto. (Proverbio faroico)
Hosťovo oko je múdre. (Faerské uslovie)

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Re: Silesian (ślůnsko godka)

Postby Timpul » 2009-02-09, 21:47

Btw. I was reading about the Silesian orthography having a problem with the [u_^o] diphthong, since ło violates some orthographical convention (am not which one right now). But it just so happens that Slovak uses ô for that exact diphthong, so why can't Silesian too?

Oh, well, the Wieczorek's Silesian alphabet uses ô to give the equivalent for [ɔ], which in some Silesian dialects can be read as [ɔw] or even [ɑw]. The same letter is used in some methods of writing in Silesian to represent the sound [o], written often as ů.

The Silesian ortography is now being formed, so there's no official way of writing in Silesian. The Silesian Wikipedia uses Steuer's Silesian alphabet. The IPA description ca be found here, but I'm going to prepare something special for non-Polish speakers (will post it here on Saturday ;)).

One thing more - I would like to know some opinions of non-Polish speakers - how strongly does Silesian resemble Polish for you? :)

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Re: Silesian (ślůnsko godka)

Postby pittmirg » 2009-02-10, 12:41

Timpul wrote:Yep. Rather.


Do you have any Silesians in your family? Because zachodniopomorskie isn't the place where the mentioned infamous 'lect is typically spoken.... Or did you just learn it because you liked it, and if so, what sources did you use?

Oh, well, the Wieczorek's Silesian alphabet uses ô to give the equivalent for [ɔ], which in some Silesian dialects can be read as [ɔw] or even [ɑw].


Like [vɑwda]?

1. Nojsamprzůd stworzyli Půn Bůg ńebo a źymja.
2. A źymja bůła cołkym průzno i ćma bůła wyży głymboczyny, a dych Boży ńůs śe nad wodůma.
3. I pedźeli Půn Bůg: ńych bydźe śwjatło. I bůło śwjatło.
4. I widźeli Půn Bůg, iże śwjatło bůło dobre, i uoddźelyli śwjatło uod ćmy.
5. I zamjanowali śwjatło dńym, a ćma zamjanowali nockům. I nastała uodwjeczyrz i rano, dźyń pjyrszy.


Which orthography is this? The Steuer's?

I've looked through the whole translation - it's rather interesting how Půn Bůg takes plural verb forms. I'm just wondering if that literary Silesian is as awkward and archaic as literary Kashubian looks to most Kashubian speakers - that's what I've read at some Kashubian website at least.

The IPA description ca be found here, but I'm going to prepare something special for non-Polish speakers (will post it here on Saturday ;)).


That page suggests that the letter <e> can denote either /e/ or /ɛ/ - are they separate phonemes, and what is their distribution? I thought that /e/ had merged with /ɨ/ in Silesian. Which leaves a very unusual vocalic system by the way, because it's uncommon to have more back vowels than front ones.

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Re: Silesian (ślůnsko godka)

Postby Timpul » 2009-02-10, 13:12

Do you have any Silesians in your family? Because zachodniopomorskie isn't the place where the mentioned infamous 'lect is typically spoken.... Or did you just learn it because you liked it, and if so, what sources did you use?

Of course. I am from Silesian family, but now living far from Silesia (Zachodniopomorskie). :ohwell:
Like [vɑwda]?

Bad example, unfortunately. The word woda is pronounced ['vɔda] everywhere, as it is in Polish (meaning water).
To exemplify it, there are three variants of reading trôwa - ['trɔva] (the greatest part of Silesia), ['trɔwva] (Western Silesia) or ['trɑwva] (Prudnik county, Koźle county).
Which orthography is this? The Steuer's?

Yes. It's Steuer's orthography, central dialect of Silesian.
I've looked through the whole translation - it's rather interesting how Půn Bůg takes plural verb forms.

The phenomenon is called godańy za troje - the verb must be in 3rd person plural, while speaking to an elderly person or just to show our respect. It is quite normal to say e.g. Starka godali - The grandmother spoke - rather than Starka godała. Unfortunately, nowadays there is a trend to use the second form due to Polish influence.

The word Půn Bůg has a common form of Půnbůczek, which isn't a diminutive (but it looks as if it were).
I'm just wondering if that literary Silesian is as awkward and archaic as literary Kashubian looks to most Kashubian speakers - that's what I've read at some Kashubian website at least.

That's a normal thing, also because of Polish. People have started to think in Polish and translate literally into Silesian. That's why some grammatical structures are disappearing. :(
That page suggests that the letter <e> can denote either /e/ or /ɛ/ - are they separate phonemes, and what is their distribution? I thought that /e/ had merged with /ɨ/ in Silesian. Which leaves a very unusual vocalic system by the way, because it's uncommon to have more back vowels than front ones.

E is read as [e] before k and g, otherwise it is [ɛ]. It's important. Sometimes the word kery (which) is written kjery, which is rather incorrect because of the pronunciation (not sure yet, maybe in some smaller parts of Silesia it's a standard, but, of course, it' s a minor difference).

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Re: Silesian (ślůnsko godka)

Postby pittmirg » 2009-02-10, 15:23

Timpul wrote:
Like [vɑwda]?

Bad example, unfortunately. The word woda is pronounced ['vɔda] everywhere, as it is in Polish (meaning water).


Er, I misunderstood that it referred to each /ɔ/ and not just those from a former long /a:/.

Shouldn't Silesian spelling encompass those dialects with the diphthong, too? Some <â>, <å> or <á>...

That's a normal thing, also because of Polish. People have started to think in Polish and translate literally into Silesian. That's why some grammatical structures are disappearing. :(


Yeah, especially in cities they speak a weird mix of the Polish acrolect and Silesian basilect switching in mid-sentence, like my family from Tychy. Therefore my idea what "pure" Silesian sounds like may be quite warped.

However, sometimes the purists' archaizing trends go somewhat too far, e.g. translating stront as starnt into Kashubian where there has never been any *or since it's a non-Slavic loanword. There is also a tendency to choose the most dissimilar from Polish and not the most frequent word for a certain thing.

BTW, I've heard czos instead of czas in a song - another interesting example of hypercorrection.

That page suggests that the letter <e> can denote either /e/ or /ɛ/ - are they separate phonemes, and what is their distribution? I thought that /e/ had merged with /ɨ/ in Silesian. Which leaves a very unusual vocalic system by the way, because it's uncommon to have more back vowels than front ones.

E is read as [e] before k and g, otherwise it is [ɛ]. It's important. Sometimes the word kery (which) is written kjery, which is rather incorrect because of the pronunciation (not sure yet, maybe in some smaller parts of Silesia it's a standard, but, of course, it' s a minor difference).


You mean after /k g/? So it looks like Silesian dialects underwent a change kɛ > kʲɛ > ke.

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Re: Silesian (ślůnsko godka)

Postby Timpul » 2009-02-10, 16:53

You mean after /k g/? So it looks like Silesian dialects underwent a change kɛ > kʲɛ > ke.

Of course ;) ke and ge is read as /ke/ and /ge/ and not /kɛ/ or /gɛ/. Sorry for that! :blush:

BTW, I've heard czos instead of czas in a song - another interesting example of hypercorrection.

Do not listen to Silesian songs, especially those all "hajmat disko". It's just Polish with changing a->o, e->y and some basic Silesian words. Watch this - a great example of this pathetic procedure. That's why lots of Poles consider Silesian as a dialect of Polish... This is an example of real Silesian song ;) I mean the language.

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Re: Silesian (ślůnsko godka)

Postby Timpul » 2009-02-10, 21:06

Shouldn't Silesian spelling encompass those dialects with the diphthong, too? Some <â>, <å> or <á>...

The Wieczorek's spelling uses ô as a pandialectal letter, in Steuer's orthography we have o, ou and au for those three diphtongs. Be patient, I''l soon post all reading and writing rules ;)

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Re: Silesian (ślůnsko godka)

Postby Mulder-21 » 2009-02-11, 18:05

Timpul wrote:One thing more - I would like to know some opinions of non-Polish speakers - how strongly does Silesian resemble Polish for you? :)


Well, I speak Slovak, but not Polish, but I'll answer anyway.

Yes, it does look like Polish, however the myriad ř's and ů's can throw you off a bit. However, the accents on the C in words ending with -ći is a dead give away.
Gløgt er gestsins eyga. (Føroyskt orðafelli)
Wise is the stranger's eye. (Faroese saying)
L'occhio dell'ospite è acuto. (Proverbio faroico)
Hosťovo oko je múdre. (Faerské uslovie)

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Re: Silesian (ślůnsko godka)

Postby Timpul » 2009-02-11, 18:19

Yes, it does look like Polish, however the myriad ř's and ů's can throw you off a bit. However, the accents on the C in words ending with -ći is a dead give away.

The letter ř is used only in one of the amateurish trials of codification, used until recently in szl.wiki. Steuer and Wieczorek use rz instead.

This -ći : give an example of a word, please :)

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Re: Silesian (ślůnsko godka)

Postby Mulder-21 » 2009-02-11, 23:34

Tyn artikel ńy bůł jeszcze sprawdzůny we poprawnośći zapisowańo Steuerowům uortografijům a gramatycznyj. Jeli zdo Ći śe, co je to fest do porzůndku narychtowany artikel, symńij ta szablůna.


OK, those things that cought my attention as not being Polish I've put in italics. Of course, there are a lot of ů's here too, but I've not taken them into account here.
Gløgt er gestsins eyga. (Føroyskt orðafelli)
Wise is the stranger's eye. (Faroese saying)
L'occhio dell'ospite è acuto. (Proverbio faroico)
Hosťovo oko je múdre. (Faerské uslovie)

Fluent: Faroese, Danish, English, German
Almost fluent: Norwegian, Swedish
Basic: Slovak (studying), Spanish
Have studied: Hebrew, Russian
Interests: Ukrainian, Romanian, Italian, Albanian, Armenian, Ossetic, Hungarian, Estonian, Baltic languages

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Re: Silesian (ślůnsko godka)

Postby Timpul » 2009-02-12, 17:28

Tyn artikel ńy bůł jeszcze sprawdzůny we poprawnośći zapisowańo Steuerowům uortografijům a gramatycznyj. Jeli zdo Ći śe, co je to fest do porzůndku narychtowany artikel, symńij ta szablůna.

In Polish it would be:
Ten artykuł nie był jeszcze sprawdzony co do poprawności zapisu ortografią Steuera i gramatycznej. Jeżeli wydaje Ci się, że jest to poprawnie przygotowany artykuł, zdejmij ten szablon.

The actual Silesian (German!) word for "a template" is "muster", so instead of "symńij ta szablůna" we would say "symńij tyn muster". Anyway, a polonism is acceptable here.

It would be read:

[tɨn ar'tikɛl ɲɨ bow 'jɛʂtʂɛ sprav'ʣonɨ vɛ pɔprav'nɔɕʨi zapisɔ'vaɲɔ ʂtɔjɛ'rɔvom wɔrtɔgra'fijom a grama'tɨtʂnɨj | 'jɛli zdɔ ʨi ɕɛ ʦɔ jɛ tɔ fɛst dɔ pɔ'r̝ondku narɨxtɔ'vanɨ ar'tikɛl 'sɨmɲij tɨn 'mustɛr]

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Re: Silesian (ślůnsko godka)

Postby Timpul » 2009-02-13, 11:28

LESSON 1

The alphabet and pronunciation

In this course you will be taught rather the central dialect of Silesian (some info about others will be also given). We will use the Steuer's Silesian alphabet, as it is easier to learn by non-Polish speakers.
Let's get it started - here's the Steuer's Silesian alphabet with IPA-sign above:

a b c ć d e f g h i j k l ł m n ń o p r s ś t u ů w y z ź ż
a b ʦ ʨ d ɛ f g x i j k l w m n ɲ ɔ p r s ɕ t u o v ɨ z ʑ ʐ

In Silesian there are also some digprahs, not considered as separate letters:
au ch cz dz dź dż ou rz sz uo uů
ɑw x tʂ͡ ʣ ʥ dʐ͡ ɔw r̝ ʂ wɔ wo

Notes:
* The sound [ɔ] form central dialect in some places can be read as [ɔw] (Western Silesia) or [ɑw] (Prudnik county, Koźle county). I will mark o's which can be changed like that by adding a circumflex above it (ô). This sign isn't usally used in writing; the word trôwa (grass) has therefore three variants of speaking and writing:
- trowa (Central dialect, read ['trɔva])
- trouwa (Western dialects, read ['trɔwva])
- trauwa (Prudnik dialects, read ['trɑwva])
As you see, the digraphs au and ou are only for non-central dialects.
* The letter e is read [e] after k and g; otherwise it's [ɛ].
* The diphtong uo is read [ɔ] in Southern Silesia and also can be written o, e.g. central uokno (window, read ['wɔknɔ]) is uokno or okno on the south (both read ['ɔknɔ]).
* The digraph rz can be read [r̝], [ʐ] or [rʐ].
* In loanwords and in some native Silesian words the sound [w] is written u, not ł, eg. auto (a car, not ałto, read ['awtɔ]), dźoucha (a girl, not dźołcha, although this spelling is common; notice the diphtong ou is used here by all Silesian speakers).
* If you have problems differing [ʂ] from [ɕ], [ʐ] from [ʑ] and [tʂ͡] from [ʨ], you can read it as you would read sh, s (in pleasure) and ch in English ([ʃ], [ʒ], [ʧ]) - it's common in Czech Silesia.
* Stress in Silesian is usually on the penultimate sillable, eg. uoźymdźeśůnt (eighty, read [wɔʑɨm'ʥɛɕont]). An exception will be marked by an accute accent.

That's all basic rules of reading in Silesian. If you have any doubts or questions, feel free to ask! :)

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Re: Silesian (ślůnsko godka)

Postby Sean of the Dead » 2009-02-13, 20:14

Can you tell me how regular SIlesian is? If it's much like Polish, I bet it's really irregular. :P
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Re: Silesian (ślůnsko godka)

Postby Timpul » 2009-02-14, 15:47

Can you tell me how regular SIlesian is? If it's much like Polish, I bet it's really irregular. :P

A bit less, especially in making plural and conjugation. Anyway, the level of irregularity is quite similar. :|

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Re: Silesian (ślůnsko godka)

Postby Timpul » 2009-02-14, 16:20

http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/434/m6274016iy1.jpg
Something for ya - the Silesian cover page of Gazeta Wyborcza, one of the most popular newspapers in Poland (authentic!) :)

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Re: Silesian (ślůnsko godka)

Postby Mulder-21 » 2009-02-17, 0:12

Neither dz nor ch are considered letters in their own right in Silesian? Interesting.
Gløgt er gestsins eyga. (Føroyskt orðafelli)
Wise is the stranger's eye. (Faroese saying)
L'occhio dell'ospite è acuto. (Proverbio faroico)
Hosťovo oko je múdre. (Faerské uslovie)

Fluent: Faroese, Danish, English, German
Almost fluent: Norwegian, Swedish
Basic: Slovak (studying), Spanish
Have studied: Hebrew, Russian
Interests: Ukrainian, Romanian, Italian, Albanian, Armenian, Ossetic, Hungarian, Estonian, Baltic languages


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