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I have a pronunciation question. I've been in Wrocław for the last few days and it's clear to me that the pronunciation is "gin-koo-yeh" but now that I have a better grasp of the rules for pronunciation I don't understand why the ę in the middle takes an "n" sound to make the first syllable "gin" but the one at the end doesn't .
Now that I've thought about it I think the trailing ę is often pronounced differently than when it's in the middle of a word. Can anyone explain?
Bonus pronunciation: Wrocław. This is a tricky one for anglophones because for such a short word it contains a lot of letters that have very different pronunciation between Polish and English. This is pronounced (roughly), <vratswaf>
You're quite correct assuming that the nasal vowels ą and ę are pronouced differently when in the middle of a word or when at the end. Usually, if they're in the middle of a word, they get a little n-sound following, but when at the end of a word, it's more of a ł-sound. You have to note though it's not like the sounds are actually 100 % hearible, more like 30 %. so it's like gie(n)-koo-ye(ł). It's actually just a nasal sonant that's added to ą and ę respectively, but it's just happens that the nasal sonant is easier to produce when in the middle of a word, which is why it sounds a little bit differen when at the end.
It's usually on the second to last syllabe, not always though. For example, in verbs like "zrobiliśmy", "byliśmy", "zjedliśmy" etc. it's on the third to last syllabe. This is also the case in some words derived from Greek, e.g. "biblioteka", "muzyka", "fizyka" etc.
But that's just for the language purists, most Poles don't know about it. I just wanted to point it out :)
I don't know your way of spelling, but if if it's e vs ę thing then:
final ę can be either pronounced like polish e, or with slight nasality.
I would say it's safer to learn "e" version, because, it's easier and many Poles say it like that, but you are French, so if you are able to pronounce slight nasality, without overdoing it, you can say it too.
Duolingo's TTS always says final ę as e.
Dziękuję means "Thank you", but my answer "Thankyou" was shown as wrong! Ok so I had not left a gap between thank and you, but it seems a bit harsh. Also the system suggested that "Thanks" was the right answer, which isn't really correct. "Thanks" is right for dzięki, as it is a less formal comment.
I've heard that the Slavic languages took some words from ancient languages without changing them much (eg Sanskrit, where this word shares the first syllable with its counterpart: dhanyawādāh,) so maybe it's a matter of a common source? It definitely isn't taken from English, it's too old a word - looking on the "thank you"s in the Slavic languages, I'd say that it's more used in the West and western parts of East, so either it took root there but before the divide into semi-modern nations, or - if the Southern Slavs have something like this but not used much - then maybe it just got popular at such a time.
Also, the fact that "dziękuję" contains "-kuję" makes it sound as a distinctively Slavic word. Bc of the verb "kuć" → "ja kuję" (archaic form: "kować"), which seems to mean digging into something in punching-like sequency, mostly literally.