Polish: the world’s most loved – and Scotland’s first “other” – language

The French translators’ organisation (the Société française des traducteurs, or SFT) recently asked me to write an article about the Scots language, the inspiration being Scotland’s independence referendum on 18 September 2014. The article – beautifully translated by Géraldine Chantegrel – will be published in the December 2014 issue of Traduire, the SFT journal. See below for details of how to buy this issue, subscribe or read back issues.

During my research for the article, I discovered from the Scottish Census (2011) results that Polish (along with Urdu and Punjabi) is one of the top 3 languages – other than English, Scots or Gaelic – used at home by people living in Scotland. 54,186 people, over 10% of Scotland’s population of 5,118,223, have Polish as their household language.

Polish: the world’s most loved language

Polish is also the world’s most loved language, according to the Language World Cup 2014 organised by the bab.la language portal. English (which came first in 2013) was in second place this year, with Italian in third.

While I don’t for one second doubt the lovableness of the Polish language, I wonder if the two results are related. Could Polish’s World Cup victory be a reflection of the national pride (and homesickness, surely) felt by the many Polish people who have left their country since it joined the European Union back in 2004? Could this be a case of absence making Polish hearts grow ever fonder of their language?

What do you think, readers? What’s your favourite language, and why? Comments from Polish readers particularly welcome!

How to buy Traduire

To buy the December 2014 or other issues of Traduire, you need to create an account (but you don’t need to be a member of the SFT to do so). Each issue costs €25; an annual subscription (2 issues per year) costs €30 for SFT members and €40 for non-members. Past issues of Traduire (with 2-year embargo – so this year’s issues won’t be available until 2016) are free to read on the revues.org portal.

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by Marian Dougan

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