Oscar E. Swan

Professor, Advisor for Polish Studies minor

PhD, University of California-Berkeley

Office: 1228 Cathedral of Learning

Swan's Polish language Web site and online dictionary are cutting-edge, and his language textbooks and bicycle guides are his claim to fame.


Distinguished Service Award, American Council for Polish Culture, 2016.

Polonian of the Year Award, Pittsburgh Polish Cultural Council, 2014.

Thesaurus Poloniae Award. Senior fellow at the Center of International Culture, Kraków, summer 2010. First American selected in ten years of the award’s existence.

Polonicum Award from University of Warsaw for most outstanding contribution to the promulgation of Polish language, literature, and culture outside Poland. University of Warsaw, November 2007.

Best work in Slavic Linguistics, 2004 for A Grammar of Contemporary Polish. Awarded by American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages.

Amicus Poloniae award by Poland magazine and the People’s Republic of Poland for Intermediate Polish and life’s work, 1986.

Courses Taught

Polish -- all levels

The Polish Short Story

Polish Literature and Culture

Old Church Slavic

Structure of Russian

Russian Morphology

Polish Through Film

Polish over the World Wide Web

Modern Polish Literature

The "Dekalog" by Krzysztof Kieslowski.

Topics in Slavic Linguistics

Historical Russian Grammar


BOOKS since 2004:

"Miraculously We Survived the Holocaust: the Warsaw Ghetto Memoirs of Leokadia Schmidt." LC call number DS135.P63 S36513 1970z v. 1-2, translated and with introduction and notes by Oscar E. Swan. Preface by Władysław Bartoszewski. US Holocaust Memorial Museum. 2018.

Customs and Culture in Poland under the Last Saxon King, from Opis obyczajów za panowania Augusta III by Jędrzej Kitowicz, 1728-1804. Translated and with a preface and running commentary by Oscar E. Swan. Central European University Press, EDP spring 2018.

Kaleidoscope of Poland. Pittsburgh: Univ. of Pittsburgh Press, 2015.

A Reader in Contemporary Polish, London: Routledge Publishers, 2014.

Concise Dictionary of Old Russian by Horace G. Lunt, Liberally edited and updated by Oscar E. Swan. Bloomington: Slavica. EDP 2012.

Russian Sounds and Inflections. Columbus, Ohio: Bloomington, Indiana: Slavica, 2011.

Polish Verbs & Essentials of Grammar. McGraw-Hill Publishers, September 2008.

Old Church Slavic 1: Inflectional Morphology. Oakland, CA: Berkeley Slavic Specialties, July, 2008.

Old Church Slavic 2: Reader. Oakland, CA: Berkeley Slavic Specialties, 2008.

Old Church Slavic 3: Glossary. Oakland, CA: Berkeley Slavic Specialties, 2008.

Holy Week by Jerzy Andrzejewski. A translation from the Polish, Ohio University Press, 2006.

Tales of My Wife. A Polish glossed reader. Bloomington, Indiana: Slavica Publishers, 2006.

Grammar of Contemporary Polish. Columbus, Ohio: Slavica, 2002. Awarded best work in Slavic Linguistics by AATSEEL, 2004.

A Student’s Online Polish-English, English-Polish Dictionary at http://polish.slavic.pitt.edu/~swan/beta


"Sketching the Russian Tense-Aspect System” The Slavic and East European Journal 64/4, winter 2018, 825-843.

“Jędrzej Kitowicz and his Description of Eighteenth-Century Polish Culture: an Introduction and Three Excerpts” The Polish Review, 62/2, 2017, 24-53.

“Why it May Not Be Important Whether Aspectual Prefixes are Empty or Not.” review article on Janda et al. Why Russian Aspectual Prefixes are not Empty: Prefixes as Verb Classifiers. Forthcoming, Russian Language Journal. 2015.

“Aspect and the Russian Verbal Base.” Forthcoming, Russian Language Journal, 2015.

“Polish ‘Partner Nouns’,” Slavic and East European Journal. 59/3. 2015.

“Oboje ‘both-collective’: Normative Grammar, the Polish National Corpus, Google, and Contemporary Standard Polish.” Polish Review. 60/3. 2015.

"Polish Gender, Subgender, and Quasi-Gender." Journal of Slavic Linguistics 23.1, 2015.

How Important is Explanation? A Response." Slavic and East European Journal. 58.2, 307-321, 2014.

"Sarah Palin byl duzy blad: Anne Applebaum and the in situ Learning of Polish" Slavic and East European Journal vol. 58.1, 2014.

"The Polish Duel and its Last Apologia: Wladyslaw Boziewicz's Polski kodeks onorowy (The Polish Code of Honor),"The Polish Review 48/1, 2013.

"Why budu?" Russian Linguistics, bol.36, No. 3, 2012.

"Symbolic Play in K. Kieslowski's DekalogIII" The Polish Review, vol LV, No. 4, 2010: 403-441.

“Andrzej Wajda’s Film Holy Week: What is its Problem?” The Polish Review, vol L, no. 3, 2005, 343-353.

Research Interests

Polish and Russian linguistics

Polish Cinema

Slavic Linguistics and Lexicography

Old Church Slavic

Russian Linguistics

Computer-­‐Aided Instruction