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RJP announces major spelling changes. “You will have to learn many things again”

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The Polish Language Council announces changes to spelling rules. Soon we will write the names of city and village inhabitants with a capital letter, as well as words such as “aleja” or “boulevard”. “This is probably the biggest spelling reform in post-war times. We will have to learn many things from scratch,” commented the Institute of Polish Language of the University of Warsaw on social media.

The Polish Language Council at the Presidium of the Polish Academy of Sciences decided to introduce a number of changes to the spelling rules after several meetings – the last one took place on January 22, 2024. “The Council decided that the introduction of these changes, concerning only the so-called conventional spelling rules, will bring benefits in the form of simplifying and standardizing the recording of individual groups of words and combinations, eliminating exceptions, as well as eliminating provisions the application of which is problematic for various reasons, e.g. from the writer's too detailed analysis of the meaning of the text,” said a statement on the RJP website.

“This will contribute to reducing the number of linguistic errors and – perhaps – will enable writers to focus on aspects other than spelling of the text's correctness. The Council points out that most of the changes introduced were proposed many years ago, but for various reasons it was not possible before give them binding force,” we read further in the message. The changes adopted by the RJP will enter into force on January 1, 2026. “This deadline is set aside to allow all people and institutions to adapt to them,” PAN explained in a message posted on social media on Wednesday.

“This is probably the biggest spelling reform in post-war times. We will have to learn many things again,” commented the Institute of Polish Language of the University of Warsaw in an entry published on Facebook on Wednesday.

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Spelling rules – what will change?

Until now, we wrote the names of inhabitants of cities and their districts, housing estates and villages with lowercase letters. From the beginning of 2026, writing with a capital letter will be considered correct, e.g. “Warszawianin”, “Nowohucianin”, “Łęczyczanin”, “Chochołowianin”. In addition, alternative spellings (in lower or upper case letters) will be allowed for names that the Polish Language Dictionary defines as “humorous”, i.e.: “kitajec” or “Kitajec”, “jugol” or “Jugol”, “żabojad” or “Żabojad”, “szkop” or “szkop”, “makaroniarz” or “makaroniarz” – lists RJP.

Soon we will be writing in capital letters not only the names of companies and brands of industrial products, but also individual items of these products (“a Ford car” and “a red Ford was parked under the window”). A capital letter will also appear in each part: comet names (e.g. “Halley's Comet”, currently: “Halley's Comet”), multi-word geographical and place names whose second part is a noun in the nominative case (“Sea of ​​Marmara”, “Gobi Desert”, “Hel Peninsula”, “Uznam Island”.

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Parks, restaurants, prizes. How the spelling will change

From January 2026, the capitalization of the words “aleja”, “gate”, “boulevard”, “estate”, “square”, “park”, “mound”, “church”, “monastery” will also be introduced. “palace”, “villa”, “castle”, “bridge”, “pier”, “monument”, “cemetery”, e.g. “Aleja Róż”, “Warsaw Gate”, “Savior Square”, “Kościuszko Park”, “Wanda's Mound”, “St. Mary's Church”, “Staszic Palace”, “Książ Castle”, “Poniatowski Bridge”, “Monument to the Victims of the Ghetto”, “Rakowicki Cemetery”. RJP notes that the word “street” will be spelled in lower case.

We will also write in capital letters all elements (except prepositions and conjunctions) in multi-word names of service and catering establishments, e.g. “Karczma Słupska”, “Kawiarnia Literacka”, “Apteka pod Orłem”, “Teatr Wielki” and all elements in the names of orders, medals, decorations, awards and honorary titles, e.g. “Jan Karski and Pola Nireńska Award”, “Nobel Prize”, “Pulitzer Prize”, “Master of Polish Speech”, “Honorary Citizen of the City of Krakow”.

Adjectives derived from first names (less often from surnames) and ending with ” will be able to be written in lowercase or uppercase letters.owy”, “-in(-yn)”, “-ów”, having an archaic character, e.g. “Jackowe's children” or “Jackowe's children”; “poezja miłoszowa” or “poezja Miłoszowa”; “zosina lalka” or “Zosina “lalka”; “jacków dom” or “Jacków dom”. We will also write in lowercase letters adjectives formed from personal names ending in “-owski”, e.g.“Shakespearean drama”“Sigismund's era”Chopin concert.

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Separate and combined spelling – new rules

The new rules introduce separate spelling of particles “-by”, “-by”, “-by”, “-by”, “-bycie” with conjunctions, e.g. “I'm wondering if I should go to the mountains” and exception-free combined spelling “no” with conjugated participles. This means abolishing the exception allowing for “consciously separated spelling” – emphasizes RJP. According to the new rules, the spelling of the part “half-” will be correct in the expressions: “half-fun”, “half-learning”, “half-joking”, “half-seriously”, “half-sleeping”, “half-watching”.

In addition, there is the introduction of a uniform joint spelling of the particles “supposedly-“, “quasi-” with words written in lowercase letters, e.g. “nibyartysta”, “nibygotyk”, “nibyliść”, “quasiprogresowy”, “quasiromantically”, while maintaining the spelling with a hyphen before words written with a capital letter, e.g. supposedly Polish, quasi-England.

The full list of spelling rule changes that will come into force in 2026 can be found at Polish Language Council.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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