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The medieval recorder of this phrase, the Cistercian monk Peter of the Henryków monastery, noted that "Hoc est in polonico" ("This is in Polish").
Poles settled in the "Recovered Territories" in the west and north, which had previously been mostly German-speaking.
In history, Polish is known to be an important language, both diplomatically and academically in Central and Eastern Europe.
Today, Polish is spoken by over 38.5 million people as their first language in Poland.
With Christianity, Poland also adopted the Latin alphabet, which made it possible to write down Polish, until then existing only as a spoken language.
"It is worth mentioning," writes Tomasz Kamusella, "that Polish is the oldest, non-ecclesiastical, written Slavic language with a continuous tradition of literacy and official use, which has lasted unbroken from the 16th century to this day." The precursor to modern Polish is the Old Polish language.
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Elsewhere, Poles constitute large minorities in Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine.
Polish is the most widely used minority language in Lithuania's Vilnius County (26% of the population, according to the 2001 census results, with Vilnius having been part of Poland from 1922 until 1939) and is found elsewhere in southeastern Lithuania.
According to the 2011 census there are now over 500,000 people in England and Wales who consider Polish to be their "main" language.
In Canada, there is a significant Polish Canadian population: There are 242,885 speakers of Polish according to the 2006 census, with a particular concentration in Toronto (91,810 speakers) and Montreal.
Ultimately, Polish is thought to descend from the unattested Proto-Slavic language.