Appendix:Polish pronunciation

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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Polish pronunciations in Wiktionary entries.

All voiced obstruents /b, d, ɡ, v, z, ʐ, ʑ, dʐ, dʑ/ are devoiced (so /d/ becomes t, etc.) at the ends of words and in clusters ending in any unvoiced obstruents /p, t, k, f, s, x, ʂ, ɕ, tʂ, tɕ/. The voiceless obstruents are voiced (/x/ becoming [ɣ], etc.) in clusters ending in any voiced obstruent except /v/, and /ʐ/ spelled rz, which are themselves devoiced in this case.

IPA Polish Example English approximation
b b bardzo bike
ɕ ś, s(i)[1] Jaś she
d d dawno door
dz[2] dz dzban beds
[2] dź, dz(i)[1] dziadek jeep[3]
[2] akarta jug[3]
f f foka feist
ɡ g grać girl
ɡʲ g(i)[1] Gienek argue
j j, i[1] jak yes
k k krowa scam
k(i)[1] kierowca skew
l l lampa lion
m m[4] morze mile
n n[4] nad Nile
ɲ ń, n(i)[4][1] nie canyon
ŋ[5] n[4] bank bank
p p policja spike
r r różowy trilled r
s s smak sign
ʂ sz szybko shore[3]
t t tak stow
[2] ć, c(i)[1] cierpki cheer[3]
ts[2] c całkiem cats
[2] cz czy child[3]
v w wartość vile
w ł ładny way
x ch, h chleb (Scottish) loch
h(i)[1] hiacynt huge
z z zebra zebra
ʑ ź, z(i)[1] ziarno vision, azure[3]
ʐ ż, rz rzadko
IPA Polish Example English approximation
a a tam father (shorter)
ɛ e em bed
ɛ̃ ę[4] kęs van
i i[1] piwo eat (shorter)
ɨ y my roses
ɔ o rok walk (shorter)
ɔ̃ ą[4] wąs wrong
u u, ó duży boot (shorter)
Other symbols used for Polish
IPA Explanation
ˈ Primary stress (placed before the stressed syllable).
Usually the penultimate syllable of a word.
ˌ Secondary stress (placed before the stressed syllable).
. Syllable break.

See also[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 The letter ‹i›, when followed by a vowel, either represents a pronunciation like a ‹j› or a "soft" pronunciation of the preceding consonant (so pies is pronounced as if it were spelt ‹pjes›).
    It has the same effect as an acute accent on alvoelar consonants (‹s›, ‹z›, ‹c›, ‹dz›, ‹n›). So się, cios and niania are pronounced as if they were spelt ‹śę›, ‹ćos›, ‹ńańa›. A following ‹i› also softens consonants when it is itself pronounced as a vowel, so for example zima, ci and dzisiaj are pronounced as if spelled ‹źima›, ‹ći›, ‹dźiśaj›.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Affricates such as /ts/ and /dʐ/) are correctly written with tie-bars: /t͡s/, /d͡ʐ/. The tie-bars are omitted in the above chart, as they do not display correctly in all browsers. Nonetheless, Polish does contrast affricates with stop + fricative clusters, like czysta [ˈt͡ʂɨsta] obsolete or nonstandard characters (PQQ), invalid IPA characters ([M:Pgg[]'"`UNIQ0000001EQINU`"']), replace : with ː, g with ɡ, g with ɡ, ' with ˈ, ' with ˈ "clean" versus trzysta [ˈtʂɨsta] obsolete or nonstandard characters (PQQ), invalid IPA characters ([M:Pgg[]'"`UNIQ0000001FQINU`"']), replace : with ː, g with ɡ, g with ɡ, ' with ˈ, ' with ˈ "three hundred".
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Polish makes contrasts between retroflex and alveolo-palatal consonants, both of which sound like the English postalveolars /ʃ ʒ tʃ dʒ/ The retroflex sounds are pronounced "hard" with the front of the tongue raised, and the alveolo-palatal sounds are "soft" with the middle of the tongue raised, adding a bit of a ‹y› or ‹ee› sound to them.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 The letters ‹ą› and ‹ę› represent the nasal vowels /ɔ̃, ɛ̃/, except when followed by a stop or affricate, where they represent oral vowels /ɔ, ɛ/ followed by a nasal consonant homorganic with the following stop or affricate (e.g. kąt [ˈkɔnt], gęba [ˈɡɛmba], ręka [ˈrɛŋka], piszący [pʲiˈʂɔnt͡sɨ], pieniądze [pʲeˈɲɔnd͡zɛ], pięć [ˈpʲeɲt͡ɕ], jęczy [ˈjɛnt͡ʂɨ]).
  5. ^ Allophone of /n/ before a velar /ɡ, k, x/.