Mieszko's son, Boleslaw Chrobry (Boleslaw the Brave), was the first crowned Polish king.
His armies reached Prague and Kiev and exemplified the next one thousand years of Polish history.
The Mazurians and Silesians, in areas that before World War II were politically separated from Poland, spoke an archaic Polish with many words and expressions borrowed from German. Legend has it that while hunting the first king of the Poles encountered a huge white eagle making a strange cry and hovering over a nest of young. If the Poles had not defeated the Muslim Crimean Tatars and Turks during King Jan III Sobieski's raising of the Turkish siege of Vienna in 1683, Christianity would have been supplanted by Islam.
Starting in 1918 with the regaining of Polish independence, the leveling influences of school, the military, mass media, urbanization, and mass migration of population have reduced the differences between regional dialects so that spoken and written language is nearly standardized. Poland's flag consists of two equal-sized horizontal bars. Such white birds were not known in the land and the King took it as an omen. Poland's role as guardian of western European civilization against the Russians and later the Bolsheviks is commemorated by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the center of Warsaw.
Regional cultural differences, identification, and dialects are becoming increasingly less noticeable and less important. On the north Poland is bordered by the Baltic Sea, Russia, and Lithuania; on the east by Belarus and Ukraine; on the south by Slovakia and the Czech Republic; and on the west by Germany.
It is clear that they were living somewhere on the Eurasian continent and diverged from other Slavs.Due to Poland's history of shifting borders and the changes over time in the ethnic policies pursued by both foreign and Polish governments, it is difficult to establish the exact size of ethnic groups.Many individuals have the right to claim membership in several groups while others may not wish to have their ethnic affiliation recorded.Poland does not have any natural borders on the east or west.Polish wars and large scale changes in the borders, both ethnically and politically, have been to the east and west while the northern and southern borders have changed little over the past one thousand years. In 2000, the estimated population was about 39.4 million. Worldwide there are an additional 13 million Poles who live abroad.The Slovincian dialect of Kashubian could be considered a separate language.A similar linguistic separation can be made regarding the Górale, or "Highlanders," of Podhale.In this context, a Pole was a Catholic and a Catholic was a Pole.The bond was strengthened because individuals persecuted by the authorities could seek succor and solace from the Church.Otherwise, the new vocabulary is taken from German, Latin, Russian, and English.The spelling of diffused words is changed to reflect the Polish alphabet. Most Poles can identify people's places of origin by their speech.