Kashubian is a member of the West Slavic group of Slavic languages with about 200,000 speakers and used as an everyday language by about 53,000 people. Most Kashubian speakers live in north central Poland in the region of Pomerania on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea between the Vistula and Oder rivers. There are also some Kashubian speakers in Canada.
Kashubian began to emerge as a distinct language during the 14th century. Until recently though, most Polish linguists considered the language a dialect of Polish.
The earliest known examples of printed Kashubian literature are thought to be Duchowne piesnie Dra Marcina Luthera i inszich naboznich męzow by Szymon Krofej published in 1586 and Mały Catechism Niemiecko Wándalski abo Slowięski by Michał Pontanus of 1643.
The written form of the language currently in use developed from the one suggested by Florian Ceynowa in his book Zarés do grammatikj kasebsko-slovjnskjé mòvé (An Outline of the Grammar of the Kashubian-Slovincian Language), which was published in Poznań in 1879.
There currently between 20 and 90 schools where children learn Kashubian. A number of books and magazines are published in Kashubian, and there are some radio and TV programs in the language..
Wszëtczi lëdze rodzą sã wòlny ë równy w swòji czëstnoce ë swòjich prawach. Mają òni dostóne rozëm ë sëmienié ë nôlégô jima pòstãpòwac wobec drëdzich w dëchù bracënotë.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another
in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Information about the language and alphabet provided by Grzegorz Jagodziński
Information about the Kashubian language
Online Kashubian dictionary
Links to online Kashubian resources (in Kashubian and German)
KANA - Kashubian Association of North America
Kashubian Family Research Center