Polish Pronunciation

     Netscape does a slightly better job showing the Polish fonts than Internet Explorer does. Some people don't see the fonts at all. (If that happens, go HERE.) I am showing little images of the special letters along with the symbol that is supposed to represent them)

The Polish language uses the same alphabet as English, but there are a few special letters. They have "accent" marks, but are considered as separate letters. Some of the consonants are pronounced differently depending upon where they are used. An example is the voiced-unvoiced consonants. "Parking" would be pronounced "Parkink"

The pronunciation of all the letters is as follows:

A = A as in father
= Nasal as the ON in the French BON
B = Same as English, except a final B is unvoiced (sounds like P)
C = as English TS (even when it begins a word)
= soft English CH sound
D = Same as English (final unvoiced D sounds like T)
E = as in pet
= Nasal, almost like EN in TEN, but, same as e in pet when it is the final letter of a word
F = same as English
G = Always a hard G as in get (final G is unvoiced as K)
H = Same as English
I = as the I in machine
J = as English Y as in yellow
K = as in English
L = as in English
= as English W
M = as in English
N = as in English
= as Spanish N/tilde as in English "NI" in onion
O = as the O in the English word FOR. NEVER pronounced "OH" as in Ohio
= as the oo in English FOOT, NOT as as the oo in English BOOT
P = as in English
Q = There is no Q in the Polish alphabet!
R = Roll your R's like Spanish or Scottish
S = as English soft SSSS, never as Z
= soft sh sound
T = as in English
U = same as O/acute, as the oo in English FOOT, NOT as as the oo in English BOOT
V = No V in the Polish alphabet!
W = as English V (final V is unvoiced as F)
X = No X! Only found in foreign words
Y = Always used as a vowel, sounds like the i in IT. NEVER as "eeeee", NOT even at the end of a word.
Z = as in English
= z with accute accent) soft zh like Zhivago
= (z with a dot over it) harder zh sound

Now we come to the combinations and dipthongs:

CH = Same as H in English
CZ = Hard CH sound as in CHURCH
DZ = as in English "reD Zone", but....
DZ followed by an I is pronounced as J in "Jeep", that's why "Dziekuje" is pronounced "JEN koo yeh"
RZ = Same hard zh as Z/dot (do not pronounce the R)(final RZ is unvoiced as SH)
SZ = Hard SH sound
SZCZ = combination of both as the SHCH in "Fresh cheese"


Back to Polish Page
Return to Main Page

Home
8/17/03