‘Ponglish’ is a new hybrid language developed by Poles that are trying to speak English without having the knowledge of grammatical structures. A similar combination of English and French forms ‘Franglais’, Spanish and English develops into ‘Spanglish’, and Swedish and English combined forms ‘Swenglist’. This can result in comical sentences such as:

– Zwierzę Ci się – I will animal to you (to confide in someone);

– Wierzę Ci – I tower you (I believe you);

– Pierwsze koty za płoty – First cats behind fences

(The first pancake is always spoiled);

– Z góry dziękuję – Thanks from the mountain (Thanks in advance).

But is it a ‘real’ language at all?

In fact Ponglish (as well as Franglais, Spaglish, Swenglist etc.) can be classified as pidgin languages. The term ‘pidgin’ comes from the Chinese pronunciation of the English word ‘business’. A pidgin is nobody’s mother tongue; it is a simplified form of speech that has developed as a means of communication between two (or more) speakers without any common language. Usually pidgin languages are a blend of vocabulary that comes from one language and the grammatical structures of another. Such a language is limited in range and it often exists for one speech event. Many pidgins have been formed because of trade, colonialism, slavery etc. (for example when slaves from different tribes were trying to communicate among themselves while working together on plantations), but it seems that they are not relicts of the past – they can spontaneously develop in a modern cosmopolitan world.

What is even more interesting, while a pidgin language is not fully developed, it can become a creole language (which is a ‘complete’ language), when it is learned by the children of the next generation. So maybe, just maybe, we live in an era of the birth of new languages. Isn’t it exciting?


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