Kashubian is a member of the West Slavic group of Slavic languages with
about 200,000 speakers and used as an everyday language by about
53,000 people. Most Kashubian speakers live in north central Poland in
the region of Pomerania on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea between
the Vistula and Oder rivers. There are also some Kashubian speakers in Canada.
Kashubian began to emerge as a distinct language during the 14th century.
Until recently though, most Polish linguists considered the language a dialect
The earliest known examples of printed Kashubian literature are thought
to be Duchowne piesnie Dra Marcina Luthera i inszich naboznich
męzow by Szymon Krofej published in 1586 and Mały
Catechism Niemiecko Wándalski abo Slowięski by Michał
Pontanus of 1643.
The written form of the language currently in use developed from the one
suggested by Florian Ceynowa in his book Zarés do grammatikj
kasebsko-slovjnskjé mòvé (An Outline of the
Grammar of the Kashubian-Slovincian Language), which was published in
Poznań in 1879.
There currently between 20 and 90 schools where children learn Kashubian.
A number of books and magazines are published in Kashubian, and there are
some radio and TV programs in the language..
Kashubian alphabet (kaszëbsczé abecadło) and pronunciation
Sample text in Kashubian
Wszëtczi lëdze rodzą sã wòlny ë
równy w swòji czëstnoce ë swòjich prawach.
Mają òni dostóne rozëm ë sëmienié
ë nôlégô jima pòstãpòwac wobec
drëdzich w dëchù bracënotë.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another
in a spirit of brotherhood. (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Information about the language and alphabet provided by Grzegorz