"A sandwich"


July 21, 2016

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What is the difference between kanapka and kanapke


What is the English spelling here? I am hearing a couple versions of this it feels like. Kanapka?


There's not a single trap here, it's read exactly as it's written, kanapka.

Perhaps thinking of Polish pronunciation in terms of English pronunciation is actually not the best idea... although at the beginning of your learning, whatever really helps you. But they're pretty different.


For some reason I am clearly hearing Kanapka and yet some other times, it comes through as KanaTka.


When you learn how Polish language pronounces specific letters, you already know how to pronounce 99,999% of words. Polish reads words exactly as it sees them.


It's one of the best things about Polish.

I read a polish newspaper and even though my vocab is extremely low at the moment, I manage to read all the words and actually quite fast now.

My brain has completely stopped treating letters like sz or dzi separately. It sees them as one now. So I can read quite fast even though I dont know what they mean.

My brain has started stressing the 2nd last syllable now as well, haha.

Can I ask.....

I have read quite a few websites about polish pronunciation and they have all been in agreement about rz, cz, ci, dzi etc etc

But none of them EVER mention that a 'w' which comes after a 't' is pronounced like 'f'

Is that just my ears?

I dont hear twarz as tvazh.... I hear it as tfazh.

I dont hear tvój, tvoje. I hear tfój, tfoje.

Is it just me? No website or youtube video ever mentions this


Phonology is one of my least favorite subjects concerning languages, so I'm not the best person to explain it, but what you're saying is real, that's not just your ears. You can google "devoicing in Polish" or something similar.

Devoicing is something that happens unconsciously, no native decides to pronounce "twarz" with an 'f', it's just what happens naturally. If you asked someone in the street about it they would either say "what in the world you're talking about" or perhaps "hmm... oh my gosh, that's true! I've never noticed that!" ;)


It's probably not mentioned in that list because it affects all voiced consonants, so it's not just restricted to /w/ -> /f/.

On a side one, especially when it comes to the /w/ -> /f/ devoicing, I wouldn't recommend overdoing it. I remember thinking about disabling the audio for a sentence, where the TTS overaspirated the /f/ to make it sound like "tffój". On the other hand, if you pronounce something between a /w/ and an /f/ that's still alright.


Ok thanks for your reply above.

I was just surprised that none of the websites added it to their list of cz ci sz si rz dzi etc

But I guess it's like u said, devoicing is not a rule that is taught. It just happens. And if for someone it didn't, it wouldn't really matter.



Ok thanks Alik.

I won't overdo it... Plus I just tried it in my own native tongue just now and even there aitvaar is pronounced aitfaar and attvaadi is pronounced attfaadi.

So no risk of, at least me personally, overdoing it.

I realise now that it is quite subtle and, as Jellei said, most Polish people probaly dont even realise it as it's not a rule, just natural


Sounds like it could be borrowed from French, "canapé"?


Yes indeed.

A closer borrowing is "kanapa", which means the same things as "canapé".

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