Polish is a Slavic language spoken primarily in Poland and the native language of the Poles.
It belongs to the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages. Polish is the official language of Poland, but it is also used throughout the world by Polish minorities in other countries. Its written standard is the Polish alphabet, which has 9 additions to the letters of the basic Latin script (ą, ć, ę, ł, ń, ó, ś, ź, ż).
Although the Austrian, German and Russian administrations exerted much pressure on the Polish nation (during the 19th and early 20th centuries) following the Partitions of Poland, which resulted in attempts to suppress the Polish language, a rich literature has regardless developed over the centuries and the language currently has the largest number of speakers of the West Slavic group.
Polish is the second most widely spoken Slavic language, after Russian and just ahead of Ukrainian, which comes third.