U.S. Library of Congress recognizes Silesian language

The Silesian language has been recognized by the U.S. Library of Congress as one of the world’s national languages. It’s a big step forward, say the language’s supporters. They also hope to enter Silesian language into the official list of regional languages, so as the Kashubian language. Official recognition of the language can have many benefits, such as grants for the promotion of Silesian speech, regional culture and education, including the publishing of books and magazines. Andrzej Roczniok, a representative of the Union of Citizens of Silesian Nationality in Poland, says the U.S. recognition is a significant achievement because the Library of Congress “informs the whole world of all books released in languages recognized by this library.” The U.S. library has printed materials in 470 languages, with more than 58 mln manuscripts and 30 mln catalogued books. Polish scientists still differ as to whether the Silesian language is indeed a separate language or just a regional dialect. Silesian has no written rules, and the grammar and vocabulary vary regionally. But that doesn’t deter Roczniok and other Silesian supporters. They point out that more than 170,000 Poles described their nationality as “Silesian” and that one-third of them use the Silesian language at home.

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