What's the difference between "dziewczynka" and "dziewczyna"? Are they interchangeable, or are they different forms?
"Dziewczynka" (a little girl) is a diminutive form of "dziewczyna" (a girl).
The same goes with "chłopiec" (a little boy) and "chłopak".
It's worth adding that dziewczyna/chłopak can also mean girlfriend/boyfriend.
Also, "dziewczynka" is typically used when talking about young-children-kind-of-girls.
Can someone write out how this word would be said? I can't wrap my head around what letters are making what sound!
Something like "jyev-chihn-kuh". The dzi combination is approximately j as in juice, and the cz is like a ch. A y is always ih, never ee. Hope that helps!
I think we should add here a note that we have soft and hard sounds. For example we have ć (ci) and cz. The first one is soft and and the second one is hard. English ch is something between two of them. Though English tch would sound more like the hard one. But I can't recall any English word where the soft ch is used. The soft sounds are pronounced with tongue and mouth bent quite like when saying the English yyy and the hard ones with the tongue touching the palate.
The sounds exist in English, but they are allophones - the only difference is the position in a word relative to other sounds. So English "chin" or "chip" are close to ci and "chop" or "check" are closer to cz.
As a native speaker of American English, I never thought there was a difference between "ch" and "tch", but I could be wrong...
There might not be that distinction in English. But in Polish, there really are different "ch" sounds.
I would just add that dzie combination is approximately j while dzi alone is more like g. "dzis" or "today" is said gee-s.
I think "j" and soft "g" make the same sound--at least where I come from (Florida, USA). :)
To y'all language geeks like me :): I know that all Polish words are stressed on the penultimate syllable. On the other part, here in the lesson I definitely hear that dziewczynka and mężczyzna are stressed on the antepenultimate (well, the third from the end) syllable. Is it my Ukrainian ear, the TTS gets it wrong or is it something related to y in the penult? Thanks!
Actually not all Polish words are stressed on the 2nd to last syllable, just most of them. There's an accent on the last syllable when the word is borrowed from French ( ateliER, juRY, meNU); in case of acronyms (PKS – pe-ka-ES, ); words with the added prefix arcy-, eks-, wice- to monosyllabic words ( wiceMISTRZ, eksMĄŻ). There are also some words that are stressed on the 3rd syllable to the last. Like words borrowed from latin with the suffix -ika, -yka in nominative (mateMAtyka, KRYtyka, PAnika, LOgika, loGIStyka); in ordinal numerals with the suffix -sta, -set (CZTErysta, PIĘciuset); and most verbs in the conditional mood (płaKAłabym, PŁAkałbyś, PŁAkałby) except for those in the 1st and 2nd person plural (płaKAlibyśmy, płaKAlibyście) those are stressed on the 4th syllable to last (!!!). "DziewCZYNka" and "mężCZYZna" are both stressed on the penultimate syllable. That's also how i hear it here.
Well I thought I was a language geek, but now I feel like such a novice, lol. So...Polish pronunciation be like 'this is the rule, except when this is the rule, except when this is the rule...". XD Still, English is probably worse, lol.
Try Dutch :P we have more exceptions than rules. And verb conjugation? Even more irregular verbs than English. And we also have those awesome things called "lidwoorden", which are basically "the" in "the table". Only we have three of them. And two of them are not interchangeable at all, and the third one is sometimes interchangeable but sometimes not.
ł is read just like English w. as to y - it's a sound that English language doesn't have. maybe listening to its pronunciation here, in Google translator, or somewhere else - is the thing to do? or maybe another Duolingo user can explain it, bc I can't.
no, it's really weird to call a <10yo girl "dziewczyna" and an older girl, about 12+ would get offended by calling her "dziewczynka"
can anyone explain why "a small girl" is considered wrong, but "a little girl" is given as a correct answer?
I believe it's just unidiomatic. "A small girl" sounds to me like a literally small girl. "A little girl" is closer to "a younger girl". Which is who "dziewczynka" is. Usually up to, let's say 13 years of age. But that's very subjective.