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Poland - Czech Republic

The border region at a glance

  • The geographical region situated within the territory of Poland and the Czech Republic is called Silesia. It is divided into two parts: Upper Silesia and Lower Silesia. We focus on the south border region, Upper Silesia and the so called Cieszyn Silesia, which is located partly in Poland and partly in the Czech Republic.
  • ~ 8 million inhabitants live in Silesia (~ 4,6 milion in Upper Silesia including ~ 800 000 inhabitants in Cieszyn Silesia (~450 000 on Czech side and 350 thousand on Polish side).
  • official languages: Polish, Czech.

Language situation

  • The official language on the Polish side of Silesia is Polish and on the Czech side, Czech. In Upper Silesia there is a Silesian dialect and subdialect - Cieszyn Silesian which is used on both sides of the border. Further languages used are, among others, languages of minorities such as German.
  • Neither of the neighbouring languages, Polish or Czech, has an official status of neighbouring language, i.e. that it is used in daily life or official communications. Furthermore, Czech, for example, is only rarely taught at school.
  • Most recently, language and cultural support for Ukrainian citizens, whose number increased rapidly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, led to many new language and cultural actions, courses, meetings. However, the similarities between Polish and Ukrainian enable mutual communication, although they can also discourage actually learning the languages, because communication is often possible without them.


List of stakeholders

List of stakeholders in education/research and economy/politics
Download the document


Examples of good practices

Slavik Network

Encourager le public provenant des pays slaves et d’autres pays européens à connaître les langues slaves


L’objectif principal du projet européen EUROPODIANS était de créer des cours de langues enseignées à distance.

Les ressemblances linguistiques allemandes et polonaises en ethnolecte silésien contemporain parlé
Ethnolecte silésien entre le polonais et l’allemand, entre les dialectes autochtones et le standard polonais

Contacts in this project

Barbara Morcinek-Abramczyk
Jolanta Tambor
Anna Gałęziowska-Krzystolik
Agnieszka Tambor