This is an interesting one. We have here a masculine personal noun. The singular form is "zły człowiek", the plural of człowiek is ludzie (highly irregular), and as regards the adjective...
"The masculine personal plural adjective ending is -y/-i and the preceding consonant is softened: dobry → dobrzy, ładny → ładni, miły → mili, wielki → wielcy, drogi → drodzy;
Swan, Oscar (2008-10-12). Polish Verbs & Essentials of Grammar, Second Edition (Verbs and Essentials of Grammar Series) (Kindle Locations 780-781). McGraw-Hill Education. Kindle Edition.
So from the third example the "ły" becomes "li", the softened version. But as someone below pointed out, the original "z" needs to be softened too, to "ź" ie. z slash.
I thought "człowiek" meant "human" not "person"? How is "ludzie" the plural of "human"? Could you elaborate for us beginners? Thanks
The word can mean both "human" and "person".
How is "ludzie" the plural of "człowiek"? Yes, that one stumped me! It's just a highly irregular plural form, and has to be learned.
It has to be learned of course but czlowiek is not the root of ludzie. So ludzie is not plural form for czlowiek. Its just a plural noun. Like people is not plural form for human.
złe - singular neuter (złe dziecko), plural non-masculine personal (złe kobiety, złe siostry, złe dzieci)
źli - plural masculine personal (źli ludzie, źli mężczyźni, źli chłopcy)
Well, in Polish (and other languages) there's what is called "a phonological agreement". Soft consonants go with soft ones and hard consonants go with hard ones. If I'm not mistaken, "l" is considered "soft" and "ł" is considered "hard". Nominative, singular, masculine adjectives usually end in "-y", which agrees phonologically with hard consonants, for instance "zły". To form its plural, we need to drop the "-y" and replace it with its soft version "-i", but the latter only agrees with soft consonants, so we need to drop the "-ł-" and replace it with its soft version "-l-", but "z" is not soft, so we also need to replace it with its soft version "ź". Then we are left with "źli", in which all three sounds agree in phonological softness. Please, everyone, feel free to tweak this explanation; I'm not a 100% sure I explained correctly.
Great explanation! I'm not Polish so I cannot be sure that what you have said is 100% correct, but until someone else tweaks it I will assume that it is :) Have a lingot regardless!
Absolutely not, it's зь vs ж. Well, of course not exactly that, but that's a lot better comparison than anything we can offer to non-Russian speakers.
I never understood why a lot of websites explain certain sounds in a way which I'd consider ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤. Not that I know how to explain it better... For example I enter this site and I see that theoretically ź is the sound at the end of the word "teach" - what the hell? Similarly with Ś, why would anyone compare it to sh-sound? But at least you could listen to examples of 'jeździć' vs 'żona' there, they are pronounced very clearly.
Wikipedia has a sound comparison between ź and ż.
But really, for a Polish person (at least for me) is hard to understand the problems that foreigners have with distinguishing between sounds that are totally obvious to us. I have no idea how to explain phonetics, unfortunately, I wish I could really help instead of just saying 'sorry but I think that's wrong' :(
we probably have a different understanding of how "soft Z" should sound then...
I just used a phrase used by another user in the comments below. To describe a sound with words, especially simple words, is not an easy task.
for me it was also really obvious how ś, ź, ń are pronounced before I started actually listening to the Polish pronunciations, then I got kinda confused because they didn't pronounce ś and ź (and even ń sometimes in the middle of the word) like what I would've expected (maybe it's better to say that ź is жь and not зь? tho there is really no difference between the pronunciation of жь and ж)
btw, you didn't answer the actual question: is it wrong to say that ź makes a zh sound?
Yes, I would say it's wrong, because in my opinion it is Ż that makes the zh sound, and Ź is 'soft Z'. But the articles mentioned in the next part of this comment find Ź and Ż sounds in many languages, but not in English, actually.
About жь... I honestly don't know, like I said, I'm not good with phonetics. For people that are, maybe it's a good idea to check the more 'phonetical' articles on Wikipedia.
This one represents Ź, and it claims that the same sound is found in Russian езжу... Polish wikipedia gives the example of жжёшь [ʑːɔʂ].
This one is for Ż and quite obviously it compares it to Russian Ж.
To sum it up from my side: I gave it some thought, and I think I'm personally just happy that foreigners from all over the world decided to learn my language, a very difficult one. If their pronunciation will not be perfect - well, let it be. I guess it's better to say czeszcz instead of cześć, than to give up on learning ;)
well what I meant is that in Polish "soft z" (and s) has a hush in it, and in Russian it doesn't
Cześć, TFG. First put the tip of your tongue behind your lower teeth, then try to pronounce the sound /3/, which is represented by "si" in "vision" for example.
Literally "person" translates to "osoba".
"People" is "ludzie", and singular "human" is "człowiek".
"Człowiek" in Polish seems to be a lot more often used than "human" in English.
what is the difference between "Źly ludzie" and "Źli ludzie"? I saw the previous comments but if I am not mistaken both version were marked as correct. (however long time ago, and I can be mistaken).
No, the first one is wrong, such a form doesn't exist. Generally, the adjective is "zły" with a normal Z and a Polish Ł. But masculine personal forms are usually... softened? So they do often look differently from the other forms.