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Mistake in the pronunciation of Polish "a"

Hi guys!

I've noticed there's a mistake in one of the most important parts of the course - the pronunciation of Polish letters.

Polish "a" (e.g. in "tak") is said to be pronounced as in "black", but this in phonetic script would be /'blæk/, which is nowhere near the Polish "a".

What should be the corresponding example is probably something with /a/, like in "smart".

I hope someone can fix this problem! :)


December 25, 2015



In Polish we usually pronunce letter "a" as [ä], like some Americans pronunce the letter "o" in the word "cot". After palatal or palatalized consonants it becomes [a], like "a" in the word "hat" (Received Pronunciation), some speakers pronunce the letter "a" like this in general. It can be pronunced as [æ], like "a" in "cat" too. Also some speakers pronunce "a" as [ɐ], like "u" in the word "nut" (Received Pronunciation). Source: Wikipedia


Probably, but this would vary on the local accents, it generally is [a].


That's it, normally it's /a/: [ä] or [a] depending on sources


It depends on what accent you have. The northern British 'a' is virtually identical to the Polish 'a' - or /a/ in the phonetic alphabet. The 'a' in 'tak' is thus not the /ɑː/ or 'aa' sound in 'smart'; nor is it (as you correctly pointed out) the /æ/ in the American pronunciation of 'black'. But /ɑː/ is hardly closer to /a/ than /æ/ is. I really don’t think it’s hard to learn how to say it, even if the /a/ sound isn’t common in your accent. Just try listening to Sean Bean say “bastard” and copying the ‘a’ in the first syllable. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0YSbEtna4A

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