A Survey of Polish Literature and Culture

By Manfred Kridl; Olga Scherer-Virski | Go to book overview

GUIDE TO POLISH PRONOUNCIATION
PREPARED BY THE AUTHOR*In Polish the accent falls as a rule on the penultimate syllable except in some words of foreign origin [matemátyka, fizyka] and in certain composed words.
VOWELS
a as in father, arm: Asnyk, Anhelli.
o as in horse, lord: Opaliński, Orkan.
u as in true: Kubala, Ulana.
ó equals u: Gomółka -- Gomullka, Górnicki -- Gurnitske.
e as in met, end: Berent, Fredro, Zemsta.
i like e in eve, be: Kiliński -- Kelenske, Lipiński -- Lepenske.
y similar to English i in it or y in copy: Dygasiński, Irydion.
ą similar to French om, on in comte, mon in some positions [Oda do wąsów]; in others like Polish groups om, on: Dąbrowska -- Dombrofska, Trąba -- Tromba, Kołłtaj -- Kollontay.
ę similar to French im, in [impossible, interdit], but replaced in the same conditions as ą by the Polish groups em, en: Swiętochowski -- Svientohofske, Porębowicz -- Porembovetsch.

CONSONANTS
c like ts or tz: Bohomolec -- Bohomolets, Pac -- Pats.
d as in English except at the end of a word and before voiceless consonants: Norwid -- Norvit, Chodkiewicz -- Hotkievitsch.
g as in gallant, gun except at the end: Strug -- Struk, Ostroróg -- Ostroruk.
j like y in yard, yellow: Janicki -- Yanetske, Jadwiga -- Yadvega.
l soft 1 like the French le, la,
ł hard 1 [ll] like in will or pronounced like a labial u similar to the English w before vowels: Stanisław -- Stanesllaf or Staneswaf, Łaski -- LLaske or Waske.
w like the English or French v, except at the end: Bolesław -- Boleswaf and before voiceless consonants: Twardowski -- Tvardofske.
ć a soft c near to the English ch in much, but considerably softer; marked by an accent ['] or by an i before vowels: Rodoć, Cieszkowski [Ceshkofske]
cz nearest to German tsch [Nietzsche]: Czartoryski -- Tschartoryske, Karłowicz Karllovetsch.
____________________
*
This is very general and popular information dealing only with main problems of pronounciation, omitting many details.

-vii-

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