Kashubian Language in Canada

By: David Shulist

The Kashubian language was introduced to Canada in 1858 when Kashubs from Kashubia Europe immigrated to the Renfrew County in Ontario. Kashubia in Europe, their home and native land at the time was under Prussian German rule. They first settled on the Opeongo Colonization Road and later built the communities of Wilno, Barry’s Bay and Round Lake Centre. The Kashubs came to Canada for free land which was offered by the government at the time. This was before the Country of Canada was born.

The word “Kashub” defines the people, they are a Slavic people from a Slavic tribe called the Kashubs. The Kashubs are Slavic and they are European. The word “Kashubian” defines their national identity and their native language. The Kashub people speak Kashubian as their native language. The word “Kashubia” is the name of their native land or sometimes referred as their fatherland. In their native language, the word Kashub is “Kaszëbi” and the word Kashubian is “Kaszëbsczi” and the word Kashubia is “Kaszëbë”.

The Kashubian language is in the West Slavic Language Family along with the Czech, Slovak, Polish and Sorbian languages. The Kashubian language is still spoken in Canada’s First Kashubian communities around the villages of Wilno, Barry’s Bay and Round Lake Centre. The language is still spoken by fourth and fifth generation Kashubian Canadians. Here is a sample of some of the Kashubian language spoken in Canada’s Kashubian communities.

Kashubian language

Examples provided by David Shulist

If you are interested in learning more about the Kashubian language in Canada, please feel free to contact David Shulist at johnnykashub@kashub.com

The opinions expressed in posts published on the blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Canadian Language Museum.