Styles of Communication, Vol 4, No 1 (2012)

English Naval Terms in Polish: A Retrospective View

Agnieszka Stępkowska


The way English words entered the Polish language was conditional on the situation in which Poland found itself as the result of partitions. When searching for the linguistic routes of English sea terms into Polish, we can observe the levels of assimilation of English words into Polish naval terminology combined with the influence of the languages of the partitioning powers, particularly German and Russian. In connection with the lasting legacy of the influence of foreign languages on Polish after the partitions, there appeared a necessity of settling controversies concerning the extent to which the Polish maritime lexicon should be influenced by other languages, including English. The article looks back on the circumstances in which the Polish naval terms were taking shape. The work of the Sea Terminology Commission, established after World War I, reflected the disputes between advocates and adversaries of the English language in the Polish maritime terminology. Thus, the article aims to bring out apparently the most interesting aspects of these discussions that were carried on in the relevant literature.


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