See Also: Slavic Languages

About Polish, Kashubian and Silesian

Polish is a West Slavic language closely related to Czech and Slovak and more distantly to Russian and other Slavic languges. It is first attested in the Middle Ages.

Polish Language Links

Kashubian and Silesian

These are languages closely related to Polish but using their own alphabet. Kashubian is found in north central Poland in the region known as Pomerania. Silesian is found in a region crossing both Poland and the Czech Republic.
Note: These languages are sometimes considered to be dialects of Polish, but each does use a unique spelling system with letters not used in Polish writing.

Kashubian Links

Silesian Links

Note: Multiple spelling systems have been proposed for Silesian.

Recommended Fonts

Latin-2 (Central European) Encoding

Although Polish uses the Western alphabet, it includes accented letters (e.g. ł,ą,ć) which may not be found in all fonts.
Note: The term Central European is sometimes used to refer to the languages which use accented letters not common in Western European languages.

Common Fonts

Many common fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial, Helvetica, Comic Sans, Calibri, Cambria, Palatinto and many more do include these characters.

Third Party Fonts

Below are some additional third party Unicode fonts which include Central European characters.

  • SIL Fonts – The SIL has created multiple fonts with IPA characters including:
    • Andika – Designed for new readers. It could be suitable for some students with reading disorders.
    • Doulos SIL – Includes Greek, Cyrillic
    • Charis SIL – Font family and includes Greek, Cyrillic
    • Gentium – From SIL. Very readable
  • Quivira – Modelled on Garamond and includes ancient language, basic Cyrillic/Armenian/Georgian and math/astronomical symbols.

Note: Many fonts designed to include phonetic characters or Greek and Western letters include Central European characters. Additional Central European or Extended Latin fonts may be available online, but users should be sure they are properly encoded fonts before installing them.

Typing Polish


Activate Polish Keyboard

Microsoft provides keyboard utilities for Central European languages which allow you to type Central European Characters.
Note: Neither the Windows International
Keyboard or ALT code repertoire includes Central European characters.

  1. See detailed keyboard activation instructions for different versions of the Windows operating system.
  2. To see where the different characters are, go to the Microsoft Keyboard Layouts Page.

Other Options

You can also input characters from the Character Map. This can be useful if you only need to insert characters into only a few words.

Kashubian and Silesian

Third-party keyboards for Kashubian and Silesian exist, but have not been tested.


Extended Keyboard Codes

You can activate the Extended Keyboard to input Central European characters. This extends the range of available accented letters.

Extended Accent Codes, X = any letter
Ogonek/Polish Cedille ą,Ą Option+M, X
Acute ć,Ć Option+E, X
Superscript Dot ż,Ż Option+W, X
Barred L ł, Ł Option+L, X

Example 1: To input the lower case c-acute ć hold down the Option key, then the E key. Release both keys then type lowercase c.
Example 2: To input the capital c-acute Ć, hold down the Option key, then the E key. Release all three keys then type capital C.

Kashubian and Silesian

In addition to the letters found in Polish, Kashubian and Silesian may include the following accented letters.

Additional Kashubian (K) and Silesian (S) Codes
Tilde (K) ã,Ã Option+N, X
Grave (K) ù,Ù Option+`, X
Umlaut (K) ë,Ë Option+U, X
Hat/Circumflex (K) ô,Ô Option+6, X
U-Ring (K) ů,Ů Option+K, X
Hacheck (S) ř,Ř Option+V, X
Macron (S) ō,Ō Option+A, X
Breve (S) ŏ,Ŏ Option+V, X

Note: Silesian has multiple spelling systems in use, so not all characters will be found in all texts.

Polish Mac Keyboard Utilities

Apple also has keyboard utilities for most Central European languages. See instructions for activating a Macintosh keyboard for more details.

Kashubian and Silesian

Third-party keyboards for Kashubian and Silesian exist, but have not been tested.

Web Development and Language Codes

This section presents information specific to Polish and related languages. For general information about developing non-English Web sites, see the Encoding Tutorial or the Web Layout sections.

Test Sites

If you have your browser configured correctly, the Web sites below should display
the correct characters.
Note: If a site displays gibberish, see the Browser Setup page for debugging information.

Historical Encodings

Unicode (utf-8) is the preferred encoding for Web sites. However, the following historic encodings may still be encountered.

  • win-1250 (aka "Windows Encoding")
  • iso-8859-2 (aka "Latin-2")

Language Tags

Language Tags allow browsers and other software to process Polish text more efficiently. The following lists codes for Polish and minority languages closely related to Polish.

  • pl (Polish)
  • csb (Kashubian/Pomeranian)
  • szl (Silesian)


Inserting Unicode Character Codes for HTML

The Entity Codes

Use these codes to input accented letters in HTML. For instance, if you want to type język you would type język.

Be sure the appropriate Encodings and Language Tags are used.

NOTE: Because these are Unicode characters, the formatting may not exactly match that of the surrounding text depending on the browser.

Polish Vowels
Vwl Entity Code
Capital A Ogonek
("Polish cedilla")
ą ą
Lower A Ogonek
Capital E Ogonek
ę ę
Lower E Ogonek
Ó Ó (211)
Capital O Acute
ó ó (243)
Lower O Acute
Polish Consonants
Cns Entity Code
Capital C Acute
ć ć
Lower C Acute
Capital L-Barred
ł ł
Lower L Barred
Capital N Acute
ń ń
Lower N Acute
Capital S Acute
ś ś
S Acute
Capital Z Acute
ź ź
Z Acute
Capital Z Dot
ż ż
Lower Z Dot
Kashubian Vowels
Vwl Entity Code
à Ã
Capital A Tilde
ã ã
Lower A Ogonek
Capital E Acute
é é
Lower E Acute
Capital E umlaut
ë ë
Lower E umlut
Capital O Grave
ò ò
Lower O Grave
Capital O Circumflex
ô ô
Lower O circumflex
Capital U Grave
ù ò
Lower u Grave
Silesian Vowels
Vwl Entity Code
Capital O Grave
õ õ
Lower O Grave
Capital Long O
ō ō
Lower long O
Capital O Breve
&#335 ŏ
Lower O Brebe
Hachek Consonants
Vwl Entity Code
Č Č 
Capital C hachek
č č
C hachek
Ř Ř 
Capital R hachek
ř ř
Š Š 
Capital S hachek
š š
Capital Z hachek
ž ž
Lower Z-hachek

European Quote Marks

Many modern texts use American style quotes, but if you wish to include European style quote marks, here are the codes. Note that these codes may not work in older browsers.

Entity Codes for Quotation Marks
Sym HTMl Entity Code
« « (left angle)
» » (right angle)
‹ (left single angle)
› (right single angle)
„(bottom quote)
‚(single bottom quote)
“(left curly quote)
‘(left single curly quote)
”(right curly quote)
’(right single curly quote)
– (en dash)
— (em dash)

Polish Language Links

Kashubian Links

Silesian Links

Central European Computing


Linux is used in the region so a search for specific issues may be useful.

Top of Page