This text is an attempt to look at the processes taking place in the Polish language from the perspective of educated Poles from abroad and foreigners learning out language. The two groups, despite apparent differences, have something in common: they both experience the feeling of linguistic alienation when interacting with Poles in Poland. This feeling results from the fact that, contrary to Poles, they tend to use the standard variety of Polish. Their language is thus the same in theory but not exactly the same in practice.
The same – as its command let them participate without problems in majority of communication events. Not exactly the same as is significantly differs from the one used by Poles on the everyday basis. It is plain, devoid of innovations (neologisms, borrowings, etc.) which nowadays are present not only in unofficial but also in official utterances and statements of Polish users.
The text illustrates the issue of linguistic otherness/alienation with examples. It also strives at showing how this phenomenon might be counteracted both with respect to foreigners learning Polish and Poles from abroad.
The authors briefly present the history of two largest national minorities in the USSR: Poles and Germans. They outline their faith in tsarist Russia and in the Soviet Union.
Their common history and everyday life resulted in the development of certain shared characteristics in the languages used by Soviet national minorities, in particular in their lexis, which is the authors’ focus. The paper points to circa 30 lexical Russicisms occurring in local variants of Polish and German. Some of them, e.g. ambar and Ambar, bałanda and Balanda, mużyk and Muschik, were used even as early as in tsarist Russia, others occurred after the revolution, in the 1920s and 1930s. New borrowings, common to Polish and German, are mainly Sovietisms (e.g. basmacz and Basmatsch, komsorg and Komsorg, smyczka and Smitschka) and lexis, the frequency of which has significantly increased in the new sociopolitical conditions (e.g. batrak and Batrak, putiowka and Putjowka), including orientalisms taken over from Russian (e.g. kiszłak and Kischlak).
The paper presents mainly lexical units analogous to Soviet Polish and German, that is formal and semantic calques (see examples above) as well as derivational calques and semi-calques (e.g. Ger. Cheftum or Dorfsowjet), semantic calques (e.g. Pol. dziesiętnik) and derivatives formed based on a Russian root (e.g. Pol. batraczka and Ger. Batrakin).
The aim of these studies was to select a set of representative linguistic errors resulting from the influence of the primary language and the target language at some stage in the acquisition of a foreign/second language and the analysis of the command of Polish among Polish-speaking Bulgarians.
The application of Karl Popper’s principles allowed a comparison and visualisation of the results of the analysis of the material by clearly presenting the characteristics of quantitative mistakes in a readable form of a table and charts, a detailed classification of the material, and gave a clear picture of their performance characteristics.