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Polish language: pronounciation


In Polish, one pronounces every letter (apart from the combinations ch, cz, sz, dź, dż and rz) separately.


a as in hat
e as in met
i as in meet
o as in pot
u as in whose
ó as in pool
y as in dim

There are also two nasal vowels in the Polish language: ą and ę. 
ą is pronounced as "on", like the French nasal o. 
if the ą is followed by a "b" or "p", it is pronounced as "om"

ę is pronounced as "en", like the French nasal e. 
As with ą, the ę is pronounced as "em" before "b" or "p". 
A final ę is pronounced as a usual Polish "e". 


c "ts" as in cats
ć, ci as in cheese
ck as tsk
cz as in chair
ch as in loch
dz as in goods
dź, dzi as in jeans
as in jam
j as in yes
l as in last
ł as in winter
ń, ni as in onion
rz as in pleasure
ś, si as in sheep
sz as in show
w as in van
ź, zi as in Rhodesia
ż as in pleasure, same as rz
all others are pronounced as in English.

Two identical consonants following each other are pronounced separately. e.g.: An-na

Once in a while the pronunciation of consonants may change: they can either be voiced or voiceless. 
The most common shifting is the devoicing, this means a voiced consonant is said as it's voiceless counterpart. 
This happens at the end of a word or when standing before a voiceless consonant.


When ś, cz or k stand before an voiced consonant except of w and rz they are pronounced as their voiced counterpart. 
Here is a list of all pairs: 
voiced voiceless
b p
d t
g k
w f
z s
ź ś
dz c
ż, rz sz

if a consonant is followed by an "i" it is softened.


Usually the 2nd last syllable is stressed. 
But there are also a few cases in which the 3rd last syllable is stressed. Usually these are foreign words. 
If a monosyllabic preposition and a monosyllabic pronoun stand together the preposition is stressed. The same happens with the combination nie and verb.

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