Warsaw dialect

Warsaw Dialect


Warsaw dialect

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The Warsaw dialect (called Gwara warszawska in standard Polish, pronounced ) is a regional dialect of the Polish language spoken in Warsaw. The dialect evolved as late as 18th century, mainly from the Masovian dialect of the Polish language, under notable influence of several languages spoken in the city of Warsaw. After the destruction of Warsaw in the aftermath of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 the Warsaw dialect has been in decline. It is estimated that in modern times it is almost extinct as the native language and is preserved mostly in literary works.


The Warsaw dialect is composed mostly of the Polish language substratum, with notable (mostly lexical) influences from the Masovian dialect of Polish, as well as Russian, German, Yiddish and other languages.

The dialect was composed of a variety of different class dialects: the language of the suburbs differed from the language of the city centre and each professional group used its own version of the dialect, slightly different from the others. It is therefore difficult to state the exact classification.

Geographic distribution

The dialect was originally spoken in and around Warsaw, Poland. After 1944 it became dispersed as most of the inhabitants of Warsaw were either killed in the Warsaw Uprising or resettled in other parts of Poland. Currently it is almost completely extinct as a primary language and is mostly used by authors and artists for stylisation in literature, poetry and...
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