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Polish is an Indo-European language of the West Slavic language group, which has the greatest number of speakers. Polish has over 40 million speakers with most residing in Poland. It is also spoken as a second language in parts of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Belarus and the Ukraine. Unlike Russian, Polish uses the Latin alphabet with diacritics.

Poland has a population of over 38 million people making it the ninth largest country in Europe. Poland lost over six million citizens in World War II and emerged after the war as one of the socialist republics influenced by the USSR behind the Iron Curtain. Poland has been a member of the European Union since 2004, and is also a member of NATO and the OECD. Poland has traditionally been known as an agricultural and heavy industrial nation with shipbuilding, steel and the coal industries being prominent. Since joining the European Union, many Poles left their country to work in other EU countries. However, with a booming Polish economy, this exodus of workers is seemingly coming to an end with the number returning to Poland far outnumbering those who are leaving.

Commodities produced in Poland include, electronics, cars, buses, helicopters (PZL Świdnik), transport equipment, locomotives, planes (PZL Mielec), ships, military equipment, medicines, food, clothes, glass, pottery (Bolesławiec) and chemical products. Well-known Polish companies are LOT Polish Airlines, PKP, PKO, Polpharma, W. Kruk, Żubrówka Bison Grass Vodka and Zywiec. Famous Polish people include Marie Curie, Frédéric Chopin, Hilary Koprowski, Joseph Conrad, Nastassja Kinski, Roman Polanski, Steve Wozniak, Lech Wałęsa and Pope John Paul II (Karol Józef Wojtyla).

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