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A short guide to Polish pronunciation: 4/14/2016 19:18:39


Death 
Level 59
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I'm bored, so might as well write this...

Note : I did not consult any specialistic sources beforehand. I just wrote down what I think. If something needs to be corrected, feel free to point out.

So, the Polish language has a slightly bigger alphabet than English. Some letters were added and some removed.

Let's analyze them all!

a - always pronounced "ah".
ą - special letter. Never uppercase, as no words start with it. The most similar sound would probably be the French "on".
b - not much to be said here. B is b. Can be read as "p", but it's a rare exception.
c - pronounced "tz", never "k" nor "ss".
ć - special letter. It's pretty hard to compare it with any English letter or syllab. Would be similar to the Japanese sound "chi".
d - pronounced "d". Like b, sometimes softened to "t". Exceptions, exceptions.
e - always "eh".
ę - special letter. Never uppercase. I think the closest thing to it would be "ein" pronounced in French. What can I say, English doesn't provide that much opportunities :P
f - "f", "ph".
g - "g" as in "game", not "George".
h - Always pronounced, not an useless letter like in French, Spanish & co. Just like the English version in terms of pronunciation.
i - "ee" in English.
j - "ii", a longer "ee". Similar to "y", not always in English, though. Like the Spanish "ll" (thanks for pointing out my mistake, Angry Koala.)
k - "k", obviously.
l - "l". Not much to say here, apart from the fact that it isn't softened like it often is in English. More similar to the French version in that matter.
ł - Special letter, read like "w" in English and French (not like the German one)
m - "m". Nothing more.
n - "n", like in the word "nice"
ń - special letter. similar to the Spanish "ñ" or the French "gn". The Portuguese "nh", if you prefer.
o - "oh".
ó - Not what you might expect. "oo" in English, "ou" in French.
p - "p", as usual in most languages.
q - does not exist, see "k"
r - A hard "r", unlike in English. Similar ways of pronouncing it : Spanish, Russian.
s - "ss", never "z"
ś - special letter. Kind of a softened "s". Similar to the Japanese "shi" (not the English one)
t - "t". Not that hard, is it?
u - "oo". Pronounced basically in the same way as "ó".
v - does not exist, see "w"
w - "v". Pronunciation taken from German for this letter. Sometimes softened to "f".
x - does not exist, see "ks"
y - now that's a letter particularly hard to explain for a non-native Slavic speaker. It's not really an "i", "ee", nor a derivative of those. Similarities : "ý" in Czech/Slovakian, "ы" in Russian (and all languages in the family). The closest you could get in English is the "y" in "myth" (according to Onoma94)
z - "zz" as in "Fizzer", sometimes pronounced "s".
ź - special letter. Again, very hard to explain. The clooosest thing (that's still far away) would be "zhi" (or "ji" in French). But then again, it's a softened "zh", not a "zh" in itself.
ż - special letter. "zh", or "j" in French. Sometimes pronounced "sh".

Combinations of letters altering pronunciation significantly :
rz - see "ż". Same pronunciation.
sz - "sh" (not exact). Onoma94 suggested the German "sch" as a closer sound than "sh".
ch - see "h". Same pronunciation.
cz - "tch" as in "Tchaikovsky" (not exact). Although, as Onoma94 pointed out, an even better comparison would be the German sound "tsch"
- "dg" as in "edge".
dz - again a hard one to explain. The closest would probably be trying to pronounce "thz" as a single syllab in English (with a vowel if needed, but not in between these two). Also has some similarities to "th" as in "the"
dzi - "thzee" is the closest you can get, I guess.
si - see "ś"
- see "dzi". Sometimes softened to "ć".
ci - see "ć"
zi - see "ź"
ni - see "ń"

Now try to pronounce this sentence :

"W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie"

Good luck in doing it correctly :p


Any feedback appreciated =)

Edited with credit to the people who gave me advice.

Edited 4/16/2016 21:16:20
A short guide to Polish pronunciation: 4/14/2016 19:26:36


Angry Frog
Level 7
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Well that was gay.
A short guide to Polish pronunciation: 4/14/2016 19:28:40


Zephyrum 
Level 60
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A = Szczs
B = Szczs
C = Szczs
D = Szczs
E = Szczs
F = Szczs
G = Szczs
H = Szczs
I = Szczs
J = Szczs
K = Szczs
L = Szczs
M = Szczs
N = Szczs
O = Szczs
P = Szczs
Q = Szczs
R = Szczs
S = SHIUKFGHSRZIGUKSRHJGIZKSRNGSR
T = Szczs
U = Szczs
V = Szczs
W = V = Szczs
X = Szczs
Y = Szczs
Z = Szczs

=)

Example: I like to eat bread
Szczs SzczsSzczsSzczsSzczs Szczs Szczs SzczsSzczsSzczsSzczsSzczs

Example: The City of Lviv
SzczsSzczsSzczs SzczsSzczsSzczsSzczs SzczsSzczs Lwów

Example: Stettin
Szczecin

Example: I am incestous
Szczs SzczsSzczs SzczsSzczsSzczsSzczsSHIUKFGHSRZIGUKSRHJGIZKSRNGSRSzczsSzczsSzczsSzczs

Example: Szczs
SzczsSzczsSzczsSzczsSzczs

Edited 4/14/2016 19:29:49
A short guide to Polish pronunciation: 4/14/2016 19:30:24


Paugers
Level 41
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Oops, I can't say that. What is this cancer?

Edited 4/14/2016 19:31:17
A short guide to Polish pronunciation: 4/14/2016 19:31:33


Okabe Rintarou ( AKA Hououin Kyouma)
Level 56
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gayer than the french
A short guide to Polish pronunciation: 4/14/2016 19:34:03


Onoma94
Level 59
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Russian letter ч
"ч" actually stands for "cz", which is in czech/slovak written as "č".

f - "f", "ph", rarely "w".
Never a "w" (but other way around it's common).

y - now that's a letter particularly hard to explain for a non-native Slavic speaker.

English word "myth" does have the polish "y" I think.

"sz" and "cz" I prefer comparing to german "sch" and "tsch". English "sh" and "ch" are somewhere between "ś" and sz", and "ć" and "cz".
A short guide to Polish pronunciation: 4/14/2016 19:37:39


Belgian Gentleman
Level 55
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Polish poetry is so abstrused with such alphabet

Edited 4/14/2016 19:43:39
A short guide to Polish pronunciation: 4/14/2016 19:38:55


Onoma94
Level 59
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Yeah, not like french using 4 letters to write one sound and every time some different ones!

Edited 4/14/2016 19:39:25
A short guide to Polish pronunciation: 4/14/2016 19:44:58


OxTheAutist 
Level 58
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Yeah. For fuck's sake, French.

"l'eaux" = O
A short guide to Polish pronunciation: 4/14/2016 19:47:48


Angry Koala
Level 57
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eh F*ck you French haters!!!! ggrrrhbbllllllrrrhh!
A short guide to Polish pronunciation: 4/14/2016 19:47:56


GeneralPE
Level 56
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Why would I care about Polish? It is useful only in one nation, which will be speaking Russia soon enough anyway
A short guide to Polish pronunciation: 4/14/2016 19:50:35


Belgian Gentleman
Level 55
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How do you mean Poland still exists?
A short guide to Polish pronunciation: 4/14/2016 19:50:56


Angry Koala
Level 57
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some corrections:

"j - "ii", a longer "ee". Similar to "y", not always in English, but in languages like Spanish. "

in Spanish the J (or Jota) is pronounced like a harsh R in French (quite what you could encounter in Arabic), it is not a "ii".
A short guide to Polish pronunciation: 4/14/2016 19:55:18


Angry Koala
Level 57
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easiest language of the World: French.

O: O (easy one)
Au: O (why not)
Eau: O (wtf??)
Eaux: O (what really??)
Ô: O (this is driving me crazy!!)

But guys this was only one sound, what about the rest??

E, Eu, Eux, Oe, Oeu, Oeux: E!!!!
Ein, In, Ein, Ain: the same!!!

Learn French now!
A short guide to Polish pronunciation: 4/14/2016 19:57:35


Death 
Level 59
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Okay, thanks for feedback. As I said, I was doing that intuitively, without consulting any specialistic sources whatsoever. Also, I'm pretty sleepy today, so obviously made a few mistakes.

Edited 4/16/2016 21:01:25
A short guide to Polish pronunciation: 4/14/2016 19:58:57


GeneralPE
Level 56
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Ein, In, Ein, Ain: the same!!!

Is Ein really pronounced the same as Ein? Mind = blown
A short guide to Polish pronunciation: 4/14/2016 20:08:18


Angry Koala
Level 57
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yeah! told you this is crazy, ein : ein! (i actually meant Un which is slightly pronounced different but for foreigners it is the same so i will do it again, Ein, In, Un, Ain: the same).
A short guide to Polish pronunciation: 4/14/2016 20:34:00


Жұқтыру
Level 55
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Hello in Polish: cześć (literally means something like "pride" in English). Short guide to Russian Cyrillicism:

Эх, чужак, общий съём цен шляп (юфть) – вдрызг!
Ah, foreigner, the income from selling hats (in leather) has crashed!
Flawless Russian pangram (each letter happens only once). I'll try to do something of a flawed English transliteration.

Maybe I will do something on Kazakh later.
A short guide to Polish pronunciation: 4/14/2016 20:39:47


Onoma94
Level 59
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which will be speaking Russia soon enough anyway

Fairly sure you are mistaking Poland with Ukraine or Belarus. But I forgive you, since you are American.
A short guide to Polish pronunciation: 4/14/2016 20:43:34


Angry Koala
Level 57
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Americans will be speaking Spanish soon enough anyway.
A short guide to Polish pronunciation: 4/15/2016 09:35:11


Nogals
Level 58
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This is awesome, hopefully more lessons will come.
A short guide to Polish pronunciation: 4/16/2016 21:01:00


Death 
Level 59
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Gah, if you want grammar.... that would take a lot of time xD

Also, updated the OP.

Hello in Polish: cześć (literally means something like "pride" in English)


The French "salut" immediately comes to my mind. Basically the same.

Edited 4/16/2016 21:02:36
A short guide to Polish pronunciation: 4/16/2016 21:09:49


Жұқтыру
Level 55
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Y'know, as you're a Polish speaker...

why is Łódź said like "Wooch"? Should be Woodzh, according to what I know of Polish and what you've written.

So much easier when Poland was Russian, less confusing names.

Warszawa -> Varshava (Warsaw)
Łódź -> Lodz
Białystok -> Belostok

Edited 4/16/2016 21:16:38
A short guide to Polish pronunciation: 4/16/2016 21:15:34


Death 
Level 59
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You are a Polish speaker? Learning something new every day...

It's because consonants at the end of words are often softened. Should put that one up too.

w->f ("zlew", sink, reads like "zlehph")
b->p ("chleb", bread, reads like "hlehp")
dź->ć (the Łódź case)

and such.
A short guide to Polish pronunciation: 4/16/2016 21:20:57


Жұқтыру
Level 55
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You are a Polish speaker?


Oh, far from it, but I've been to Białystok a few times.
A short guide to Polish pronunciation: 4/16/2016 21:59:36


Death 
Level 59
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Sorry, misread your first sentence ^^

But at least you get the hang of it. More or less.
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