Polish ę

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Geist
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Polish ę

Postby Geist » 2005-03-29, 2:06

As part of my quest for Polish citizenship, I've switched most of my current Slavic studies from Russian to Polish. I've read that the Polish letter ę is pronounced like a normal e at the end of words (for ex. idę is pron. ide), but I've also read that in some formal speech, the nasal character of final ę's is preserved. What is the extent of this final-ę nasalization? Also, does ą ever lose its nasal quality at the end of words?
Thanks! :D
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Postby Zaduma » 2005-03-29, 13:17

Hi Geist! :)
NEVER omit the nasalization of ą the end of the word! As you surely know, Polish ą is not ã but õ. It is absolutely forbidden (unless you speak Silesian or eastern dialects ;)) to forget about the nasalisation of ą, (but about ę, you can ignore the nasalization but in my humble opinion the best is to nasalise it slightly). It is loosing the nasalisation also before l and ł, so words like wziął, zaczął will be pronounced like wzioł, zaczoł. before some other phonems it will be pronounced like em, om, en:
kępa -> kempa
pręt -> prent
ząb -> zomp

If you have more doubts about it then just ask.

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Postby projetdefleur » 2005-03-29, 19:47

I also have a question... about the word się.

I've read various rules about pronunciation, and I assume it's pronounced like śe. Is this correct? I read that si, ci, zi are all pronounced like ś, ć, ż before vowels. Is this also correct?
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Geist
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Postby Geist » 2005-03-29, 22:39

Thanks for your help, Zaduma! :D
projetdefleur:
I've read various rules about pronunciation, and I assume it's pronounced like śe. Is this correct? I read that si, ci, zi are all pronounced like ś, ć, ż before vowels. Is this also correct?
I think your pronouciation of się is correct (though perhaps you might add the slight nasalization Zaduma mentioned above to the ę). Also, as you say, si and ci are pronounced ś and ć (respectively) before vowels. I think zi becomes a palatalized ż (a voiced сounterpart to ś) before vowels. Hope this helps!
Also, I recently found a seemingly great free Polish course, if you (or anyone else) is interested. Here's the link:
http://polish.slavic.pitt.edu/
Go to "First Year Polish Course".
:D
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Postby Sido » 2005-03-30, 16:11

projetdefleur wrote:I also have a question... about the word się.

I've read various rules about pronunciation, and I assume it's pronounced like śe. Is this correct? I read that si, ci, zi are all pronounced like ś, ć, ż before vowels. Is this also correct?

Yes I think so, that's something I have lot of difficulties to get used to in the polish pronunciation
when I hear "się" in polish it sounds exactly like "chien" in french, just perhaps a little softer at the end
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Postby arti » 2005-04-01, 23:14

FSidoroff wrote:when I hear "się" in polish it sounds exactly like "chien" in french, just perhaps a little softer at the end

I may be wrong (I am not French native speaker) but I would write pronounciation of French "chien" as Polish "szię" not "się".

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Postby Sido » 2005-04-02, 8:20

arti wrote:I may be wrong (I am not French native speaker) but I would write pronounciation of French "chien" as Polish "szię" not "się".

Well, I don't precisely catch the difference between "szię" and "się".
I interpret szię as more insisting on the initial consonant, somewhat nearer to szczę ?
In which case you're right in a french correct articulation; in everyday casual speech however you'll probably hear a lighter articulation nearer to się (at least in my idea of polish pronunciation which may be entirely wrong)
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Postby arti » 2005-04-02, 10:50

I decided to record Polish "się" and my French "chien" as I was thaught. Let me know if I pronounce "chien" correct.

mp3 file

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Postby Sido » 2005-04-02, 14:14

arti wrote:I decided to record Polish "się" and my French "chien" as I was thaught. Let me know if I pronounce "chien" correct.

Yes, you're right.
I thought that the i in "się" had a double effect (I don't know phonetics so I probably use wrong terms)
a/ make "s" a 'chuintante', i.e. transforms "s" in french "ch" or polish "sz", which it does
b/ "mouille" le son, i.e. introduce a slight "i" between sz and ę. which it does not or at least not ar the degree I thought.
Probably I'm afraid, like in italian in "ciao" to completely eliminate the sound of the vowel "i"
Would there be a difference between się and szę ?

In your recording of "chien" you are a little shy in the nasalization of "en".
it is not a modified e but clearly another (short) vowel. Things are (of course !) entirely different in "chienne" where e is the usual vowel and n the usual consonant (!!!)
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Postby arti » 2005-04-02, 15:43

FSidoroff wrote:Would there be a difference between się and szę ?

Yes, there is the difference. If you pronounced "szę" instead of "się" you would be in one moment recognized that you are a foreigner. You can pronounce "się" like "sie" but not like "szę". I use these forms just permutably. I recorded "szę" - "się" - "sie". I hope you will see the difference.

szę _ się _ sie

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Postby Luís » 2005-04-02, 20:23

I suppose neither SZ nor Ś correspond exactly to French/Portuguese CH or for that matter, to English SH. Though in theory, the IPA symbol is the same [ʃ] for sz/ch/sh, from my experience there are some differences. If I use my regular Portuguese 'ch', Poles will complain it will not sound as 'sz', though it won't sound as 'ś' either... on the other hand, a Polish 'sz' in place of a Portuguese 'ch' most of the time sounds too hard to my ears. So I'd say it's something in between, with variations. I suppose this is because I can say my /S/ either harder or softer, depending on the emphasis or on the phonemic context. It doesn't really make a difference in these languages. This might also explain why it is usually so hard for foreigners to distinguish these sounds. Back in summer, I remember showing some songs in Portuguese to wsz in which he tried to identify some /S/ and /Z/ sounds, sometimes he was hearing them as ś/ź, others as sz/ż! :)

arti, your final ę sounds just like Zaduma's! :) I prefer the non-nasal version, though. ;)
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Postby Luís » 2005-04-02, 20:47

Luís wrote:Back in summer, I remember showing some songs in Portuguese to wsz in which he tried to identify some /S/ and /Z/ sounds, sometimes he was hearing them as ś/ź, others as sz/ż!


I guess you can play the game too. 8)

Here'sthe excerpt from the song.

You can fill the blanks with the sound you think you're listening to. Is it sz/ż/ź/ś...? :)

(I'm using a kind of approximate transcription using Polish spelling)

__a dansamu__ dymaj__, __a fu__imu__ dymaj__, __a pyrdemu__ dymajz i ki__ parar. ku__to a sałdady dy ser dymaj__, dymaj__, dymaj__, dymaj__
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Postby arti » 2005-04-02, 23:07

It is my version of this song :roll: I would like to see Portuguese text of that...

sz_a dansamu_ż dymaj_(), sz_a fuż_ymu_ż dymaj_ż,sz_a pyrdemu_ż dymaj_ż i ki_sz parar. ku_ż_to a sałdady dy ser dymaj_sz, dymaj_sz, dymaj_sz, dymaj_sz


weird but I hear dymaj_ in two ways +ż and +sz :)
And couple questions. Why this song is so horrible? Has Toranja more songs like that? And why haven't you said earlier that Portuguese music is such nice? ;) (well I am going to check Toranja's songs after listening to "Carta")

Luís wrote:arti, your final ę sounds just like Zaduma's! I prefer the non-nasal version, though.

Then I am happy that I am not alone who pronounces ę this way ;)
Hmm is it good or not good? :D But seriously every Pole pronounce this way unless he pronounces only "sie" :)

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Postby Luís » 2005-04-02, 23:37

Well, you didn't hear any soft sounds (ś/ź). That's a difference from wsz. Which is good, 'cause Portuguese only has sz and ż :)

arti wrote:sz_a dansamu_ż dymaj_(), sz_a fuż_ymu_ż dymaj_ż,sz_a pyrdemu_ż dymaj_ż i ki_sz parar. ku_ż_to a sałdady dy ser dymaj_sz, dymaj_sz, dymaj_sz, dymaj_sz


1. It's ż (you said sz)
2. It's ż
3. It's sz (you said -)
4. It's ż (you said sz)
5. It's ż
6. It's sz (you said ż)
7. It's ż (you said sz)
8. It's ż
9. There's no blank here. It's a z :) (you said ż)
10. It's sz
11. It's sz (you said ż)
12, 13, 14, 15. It's sz



arti wrote:weird but I hear dymaj_ in two ways +ż and +sz


It's not weird. It's exactly like that. And it works similarly to Polish. You have ż before voiced consonants (dansamuż_dymajsz) and sz before unvoiced consoants (kuszto, kisz_parar).

arti wrote:I would like to see Portuguese text of that...


Sure!

Já dançámos demais, já fugimos demais, já perdemos demais e quis parar. Custou a saudade de ser demais, demais, demais, demais...

arti wrote:Why this song is so horrible?


Well, I like it :)
And so does wsz. He became a fan :D

arti wrote:And why haven't you said earlier that Portuguese music is such nice? (well I am going to check Toranja's songs after listening to "Carta")


I don't get it. Do you like it or not? First you say it's horrible, now you say it's nice... :roll:

arti wrote:Then I am happy that I am not alone who pronounces ę this way
Hmm is it good or not good?


Like I said, I learnt the non-nasal way. That's what you find in books and recordings for Polish learning, for instance. So I find this other pronunciation stranger.

arti wrote:But seriously every Pole pronounce this way unless he pronounces only "sie"


Yes. Of all Poles I've heard so far, only Zaduma(and now you) pronounce it that way :D
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Postby Geist » 2005-04-03, 4:31

Luís wrote:I suppose neither SZ nor Ś correspond exactly to French/Portuguese CH or for that matter, to English SH.

I've noticed this, too - English sh is too soft to be sz, but too hard to be ś.
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Postby arti » 2005-04-03, 11:04

So I am good listener I "only" made one mistake in each gap :D Well, if he sang louder it would be simplier to recognize.
arti wrote:Why this song is so horrible?

Luis wrote:Well, I like it :)
And so does wsz. He became a fan :D

arti wrote:And why haven't you said earlier that Portuguese music is such nice? (well I am going to check Toranja's songs after listening to "Carta")

Luis wrote:I don't get it. Do you like it or not? First you say it's horrible, now you say it's nice... :roll:

Sorry I was kidding :D I like it of course and now I am listening to Toranjas' songs 8) I am afraid that I will join to wsz and I will be a fan too (at least a fan of couple songs). ;)
Luis wrote:Only Zaduma(and now you) pronounce it that way :D

So in pronounciation Poland divides into "Zaduma & arti" and "rest of the Poles" :D
And thank you Luis for Portuguese text of that song.

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Re: Polish ę

Postby Fenek » 2005-04-16, 17:11

Geist wrote:I've read that the Polish letter ę is pronounced like a normal e at the end of words (for ex. idę is pron. ide), but I've also read that in some formal speech, the nasal character of final ę's is preserved. What is the extent of this final-ę nasalization?


You may want to hear samples from the Polish version of the Sounds of the World:
http://home.unilang.org/resources/pronscript/sonidos/sonidos.php?lng=pl
Both speakers try to pronounce the sounds clearly, so they both strongly and a bit unnaturally nasalize the final ę's.

In fast, informal speech final ę's tend indeed to loose all their nasality.

I heard Zaduma having a natural conversation and I can confirm that she tends to nasalize final ę's pretty much (dziopiĘ ;) ). It doesn't jar my ears, but when I pay attention to this pronunciation, I hear it as unusual.

I don't really know what about arti, because I never heard him speaking in a natural situation. I only heard samples recorded by him. And when recording samples, people usually more or less consciously try to pronounce everything clearly, intelligibly and 'as it ought to be pronounced', which in this case means that they tend to preserve the nasality of final ę's. My impression is, however, that people from Cracow generally tend to nasalize vowels to a greater extent than people from Warsaw, so I wouldn't be surprised if arti's ę's were strongly nasalized.
I'd appreciate any corrections to my messages!
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Postby Fenek » 2005-04-16, 17:25


sia dansamuź dymaj?, sia fużimuż dymajź, sia pyrdemuż dymajz i kisz parar. kuszto a sałdady dy ser dymajś, dymajź, dymajś, dymajś
I'd appreciate any corrections to my messages!
Vi sarò molto grato per ogni correzione!
Zelo vam bom hvaležen za popravke!
Aş fi recunoscător pentru orice corectare!
Bio bih vam veoma zahvalan na ispravkama!

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Postby Fenek » 2005-04-16, 18:07

I can say more about cz/ć than about sz/ś. If I were supposed to list sounds ordered from the hardest to the softest, I'd do it this way:

Polish cz
English ch
Italian ci
Spanish ch
Romanian ci
Polish ć
I'd appreciate any corrections to my messages!
Vi sarò molto grato per ogni correzione!
Zelo vam bom hvaležen za popravke!
Aş fi recunoscător pentru orice corectare!
Bio bih vam veoma zahvalan na ispravkama!

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Postby Luís » 2005-04-17, 11:19

Fenek wrote:
sia dansamuź dymaj?, sia fużimuż dymajź, sia pyrdemuż dymajz i kisz parar. kuszto a sałdady dy ser dymajś, dymajź, dymajś, dymajś


Welcome back, Fenek!

So you hear soft sounds too? :) No wonder foreigners seem to have such a hard time getting those ś/sz, ź/ż, ć/cz right...

Btw, can someone record the phrase przez grzeczność, please? I almost choked when I tried to pronounce that... :oops:
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