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Sorry I misunderstood the previous post I thought it disagreed with me about Polish. We do have spelling tests in Polish too, but only one way not both ways like in English.

We have tons of Latin, Greek, German, French, Italian, English loan words but we transcribe them consistently with the rest of the language: inżynier, wiktuały, donżon, jacht, komputer, opcja, pałac, skwer, hipermarket.

Kids don't need to know which language it came from, the pronunciation rules are the same.

You might say English is late-binding and Polish is early-binding language when it comes to phonetics - we decide how the word is pronounced and change the spelling when we adopt a word to out language, you do it each time you use the word :)

Ah - looking back up the thread, I can see it's not always clear which language was in focus. The mention of "spelling tests and spelling contests through secondary school" immediately made me think of the American tradition of "spelling bees", so I missed that you were referring to Polish... sorry!

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