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How did Polish get the word "hero", and how far did "couch" travel to reach us? You may be stunned by the origin of some words that are currently in widespread use. Introducing the sixth episode of "A Lightning-fast History of Polish," in which we discover the secrets of our language.

In this episode we present how the Sarmatian culture and political events fostered oriental borrowings in Polish. We will also see the impact of Jesuit education on the Polish nobility (macaronism and Latin, rhetoric, ornamentation). Let's also note the influence of Polish on other languages.

Written by Izabela Winiarska-Górska and Jarosław Górski, animated by Studio Zakład, and narrated by Wojciech Malajkat.

How did Italian cuisine influence the Polish language during the Renaissance? Who brought to Polish tables (and our language), such vegetables as lettuce, spinach, asparagus, and cauliflower? In the fifth episode of "A Lightning-fast History of Polish" discover, among others, important Renaissance influences that were brought to us from south of the Alps, and new words borrowed from Czech and Hungarian.


Written by Izabela Winiarska-Górska and Jarosław Górski, animated by Studio Zakład, and narrated by Wojciech Malajkat.

What was the first sentence written entirely in Polish? What names did our ancestors have in the Middle Ages before the spread of Christianity? Wojciech Malajkat, in the role of the teacher, reveals all these answers in the fourth episode of our series.


Episode 4 - The Oldest Historical Treasures of Literature


In the episode of "A Lightning-fast History of Polish" we show examples of the oldest Polish literary texts. Here are fictionalized presentations of the oldest writings: "The Bull of Gniezno" and "The Book of Henryków."


Written by Izabela Winiarska-Górska and Jarosław Górski, animated by Studio Zakład, and narrated by Wojciech Malajkat.

Where did Polish get words associated with the city, housing, law, commerce and warfare? The answers can be found in the third episode of "A Lightning-fast History of Polish," which takes us back to the Middle Ages in Poland.


 Episode 3 - The Development of the Polish language in the Middle Ages
In this episode we show how the advancement of civilization (urban development, crafts, administration, law, farming, everyday culture, etc.) shaped the Polish language.

 

Written by Izabela Winiarska-Górska and Jarosław Górski, animated by Studio Zakład, and narrated by Wojciech Malajkat.

In the second episode of "A Lightning-fast History of Polish" we show examples of the oldest Polish literary texts. Here are fictionalized presentations of the oldest writings: "The Bull of Gniezno" and "The Book of Henryków."


Written by Izabela Winiarska-Górska and Jarosław Górski, animated by Studio Zakład, and narrated by Wojciech Malajkat.

In the first episode of "A Lightning-fast History of  Polish" we show the origin of Polish from the so-called Proto-Slavic language, which also marks the first mention of the Slavic peoples in historiography. We discuss how traces of early Slavic life are still evident in place names, and tell how the Polish language is related to other Slavic languages.

 

Written by Izabela Winiarska-Górska and Jarosław Górski, animated by Studio Zakład, and narrated by Wojciech Malajkat.


In the coming weeks we will release more episodes, so everyone will be able to take a trip back in time to trace the intricate and fascinating history of the Polish language.

The Polish Language: I Speak It, Love It, and Respect It is the next release from the Gene of Freedom program that has been teaching about modern civic patriotism and engaging young Poles in local and countrywide actions since 2011. This year we want to show young people that one of the determinants of modern patriotism is knowing the Polish language and caring about the culture of it.

The most important element of the campaign was creating an animated history of the Polish language called A Lightning-fast History of  Polish.  We will illustrate the history of our language in an unconventional and innovative way. The authors of the script and graphics worked on the sequential animations for three months. “Because the discipline presented in the film is so extensive, we did not want to create a systematic lecture.  More importantly, we wanted to communicate as many examples and interesting facts that may intrigue young people and encourage them to conduct independent study,” said Jaroslaw Gorski, co-author of the screenplay. Actor Wojciech Malajkat provided the voice for the film, and the Studio Zaklad created the film’s graphics.

A Lightning-fast History of  Polish is widely available on the internet and is the first source of its kind to provide information about the history of the Polish language. Additionally, the campaign organized a contest aimed at junior high school students for the most interesting educational school campaign related to the Polish language and our Independence Day. The winning class will go on a two-day trip to Warsaw. “We were inspired by the results of last year's Gene of Freedom community project, Independent 95. We noticed how big the need is to carry out similar campaigns, especially those that target children and adolescents. We would like to encourage students again to join our campaign and carry out interesting initiatives for our Independence Day. This time the theme of the campaign is the Polish language. We are sure that the students will perfectly manage the task and once again surprise us with a creative and clever approach to the subject,” says Anna Marczak, pioneer of the campaign at the Lech Walesa Istitute.

All campaign materials, including the animation, contest rules, and materials for students on how to conduct a public awareness campaign, can be found on the Gene of Freedom website.

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