Hi! Is there a difference in pronunciation between pije and piję? I can't seem to hear a difference.
Text to speech used on doulingo pronounces them exactly the same. all final "ę" like Polish "e"
In real life it is complicated. Some people pronounce them exactly the same, some pronounce "piję" with a slight nasality. Even the language books (for Poles) disagree, some say you should pronounce final ę as "e" but may add nasality when it's ambiguous like with "piję", others say you it's better to always use slight nasality, especially when it's ambiguous, but not using that is acceptable in "common speech".
Both agree you should not "overdo" the nasality.
I think the "e" in pije is more open. While the "ę" in piję implies a soft "n" sound at the end of the word.
no. not at the end. If you "overdo" it it would sound like Polish "pijęł" (English "w"). But it is more correct to just say "e".
Oh ok, thanks for that. But how would I be able to distinguish between the two words? Is there no difference at all?
Depends on a person speaking, but often there is no difference. If you need to distinguish between them , you use pronouns for he/she/it, and either use "ja", or pronounce clear "ę" at the end.
Most of Poles don't pronounce ę at the end of words, we rather tend to pronounce it as e. In fact, if someone does it, it might seem a bit pretentious or protectional. We even have this funny term "Ą Ę " or "bułkĘ przez bibułkĘ" (with strongly pronounced ę) for people who act very protectional towards the others.