A writing system is a symbolic system used to represent elements or statements expressible in language.-General properties:Writing systems are distinguished from other possible symbolic communication systems in that the reader must usually understand something of the associated spoken language to...
of the Polish language
Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...
, the basis for the Polish system of orthography
Polish orthography is the system of writing the Polish language. The language is written using the Polish alphabet, which derives from the Latin alphabet, but includes some additional letters with diacritics...
. It is based on the Latin alphabet
The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most recognized alphabet used in the world today. It evolved from a western variety of the Greek alphabet called the Cumaean alphabet, which was adopted and modified by the Etruscans who ruled early Rome...
, but includes certain letters with diacritic
A diacritic is a glyph added to a letter, or basic glyph. The term derives from the Greek διακριτικός . Diacritic is both an adjective and a noun, whereas diacritical is only an adjective. Some diacritical marks, such as the acute and grave are often called accents...
s: the line or kreska, which is graphically similar to an acute accent
The acute accent is a diacritic used in many modern written languages with alphabets based on the Latin, Cyrillic, and Greek scripts.-Apex:An early precursor of the acute accent was the apex, used in Latin inscriptions to mark long vowels.-Greek:...
(ć, ń, ó, ś, ź); the overdot
When used as a diacritic mark, the term dot is usually reserved for the Interpunct , or to the glyphs 'combining dot above' and 'combining dot below'...
or kropka (ż); the tail or ogonek
The ogonek is a diacritic hook placed under the lower right corner of a vowel in the Latin alphabet used in several European and Native American languages.-Use:...
(ą, ę); and the stroke
A bar or stroke is a modification consisting of a line drawn through a grapheme. It may be used as a diacritic to derive new letters from old ones, or simply as an addition to make a grapheme more distinct from others....
(ł). The letters q, v and x, which are used only in foreign words, are frequently not considered part of the Polish alphabet,
The Polish alphabet, or variations of it, is also used for writing Kashubian
Kashubian or Cassubian is one of the Lechitic languages, a subgroup of the Slavic languages....
, Silesian, and to a certain extent for the Sorbian languages
The Sorbian languages are classified under the Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages. They are the native languages of the Sorbs, a Slavic minority in the Lusatia region of eastern Germany. Historically the language has also been known as Wendish or Lusatian. Their collective ISO 639-2 code...
When Q, V and X are excluded, there are 32 letters in the Polish alphabet: 9 vowel
In phonetics, a vowel is a sound in spoken language, such as English ah! or oh! , pronounced with an open vocal tract so that there is no build-up of air pressure at any point above the glottis. This contrasts with consonants, such as English sh! , where there is a constriction or closure at some...
s and 23 consonant
In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are , pronounced with the lips; , pronounced with the front of the tongue; , pronounced with the back of the tongue; , pronounced in the throat; and ,...
The following table lists the letters of the alphabet, their Polish names (see also Names of letters below), the Polish phonemes
The phonological system of the Polish language is similar in many ways to those of other Slavic languages, although there are some characteristic features found in only a few other languages of the family, such as contrasting retroflex and palatal fricatives and affricates, and nasal vowels...
which they usually represent, rough English (or other) equivalents to the sounds of those phonemes, and other possible pronunciations.