The Polish phonetics

Previous partBack to the first page

Click a word to hear its pronunciation

Remarks Examples Pronunciation Translation
A voiceless become voiced before a voiced. proba /proba/ request
This process does not occur before semivowels, sonants, “rz”, “w”. misja /misja/ mission
maso /maswo/ butter
intro /intro/ intro (to a game)
butla /butla/ demijohn, big bottle
ketmia /ketmja/ ketmia, hibiscus
setny /setny/ hundredth
przetnie /pete/ he will cut (across)
bitwa /bitfa/ battle
Voiced spirants, affricates and stops become voiceless word-finally and before a voiceless – see in further pages.      
Sonants and /w/ can become voiceless when word-finally after a voiceless, initially before a voiceless, or between two voiceless consonants. The other semivowels never occur in these positions. piek /p′ekw̭/ he was baking
ka /w̭ka/ sob
pcie /pw̭e/ sexes
wiatr /v′atr̭/ wind
rt /r̭te/ mercury, quicksilver
krta /kr̭ta/ larynx
myl /myḽ/ thought, idea
lni /ḽi/ sparkle, shine
plwocina /pḽfoina/ sputum, spittle
rytm /rytm̭/ rhythm
mkn /m̭kno/ speed, rush
kosmki /kosm̭ḱi/ villi (in intestines)
hafn /xafṋ/ hafnium
piosnka /p′osṋka/ light music song
pie /p′ḙ/ song, lilt
There is no aspiration in Polish at all. It means that the voiceless stops and affricates have no aspiration (unlike in English). Also the letter “h” means the spirant /x/, not the aspiration.      
The cluster “rz” means /ž/ (when assimilated, also //). But the pronunciation is /rz/ or /r/ in several words. marzn /marzno/ freeze; be frozen
mierzi /m′eri/ disgust; pall
The clusters “dz”, “d”, “d” means affricates, but in some words they denote two sounds. See affricates.      
When the prefix ends in “s”, “z” or “d”, it assimilates to the following dental, alveolar or postdental consonant. See spirants and affricates.      
Groups of /t, d/ plus /s, z, , ž, , / never identify with /c, ʒ, č, ǯ, , ʒ́/. The stops /t, d/ become affricates in these positions (in very slow speaking they may remain stops). See affricates.      
When the prefix ends in a consonant and the main word begins from a vowel, there is no strict link between them. It means there is no palatalization for example. See vowels and semivowels: /i, j/.      
Examples for palatalization – see vowels and semivowels: /i, ′, j/.      


Continuation


Main pagePolish grammar

2009-02-04