Polish language

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Polish (Polska) is a Slavic language spoken by over 70 million people, mainly in Poland and by communities of Poles worldwide (mostly in the United States, Germany, Brazil, Israel and Canada). It is a West Slavic language, most closely related to Czech and Slovak. It is an official language of the European Union].

Polish has several letters and diacritics not present in English. The tables below give an introductory guide to pronunciation and transcription:[1]

Contents

Alphabet

  • Aa = English 'ah'
  • Ąą = English 'on'
  • Bb = English 'b'
  • Cc = English 't'+'s'
  • Ćć = English 'ch' soft
  • Dd = English 'd'
  • Ee = English 'e'
  • Ęę = English 'en'
  • Ff = English 'f'
  • Gg = English 'g' hard
  • Hh = English 'h'
  • Ii = English 'i'
  • Jj = English 'y'
  • Kk = English 'k'
  • Ll = English 'l'
  • Łł = English 'w'
  • Mm = English 'm'
  • Nn = English 'n'
  • Ńń = English 'n'
  • Oo = English 'oh'
  • Óó = English 'ou'
  • Pp = English 'p'
  • Rr = English 'r' rolled
  • Ss = English 's'
  • Śś = English 'sh' soft
  • Tt = English 't'
  • Uu = English 'oo'
  • Ww = English 'v'
  • Yy = English 'eh'
  • Zz = English 'z'
  • Źź = English 'zh' soft
  • Żż = English 'zh' harder

Consonant Sounds

  • l~ - same as w in woman
  • Z~ - same as s in street
  • ch - same as h in happy
  • cz - same as ch in church
  • dz - same as d followed by z
  • dz~ - same as d followed by z~
  • rz - same as s in treasure
  • sz - same as sh in share

Polish Diacritics

How Polish diacritics (accented) letters are typically represented in type:

Use of the tilde " ~ " is the accepted practice for typing Polish diacritic letters when a suitable keyboard is not present.

Type | Accent | located | Pronounced "sound"

  • A~ a~ | below | nasal,| pronounced "on" (or as "om" when following a B or P, Da~browski = Dombrowski)
  • C~ c~ above| |pronounced roughly "ch"
  • E~ e~ below| nasal,| generally pronounced "en" (or "em" when following a B or P, [De~bin~ski = Dembin~ski])
  • L~ l~ angled | slash | pronounced much like English W
  • N~ n~ above | |kind of like "ni" in "onion"
  • O~ o~ above | |sounding much like "oo" in "book".
  • S~ s~ above | |kind of like "sh" in "sheep"
  • Z~ z~ above | |a soft, hissing "zh" sound
  • Z* z* dot |above|a chunkier "zh" sound


References

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