https://www.duolingo.com/AlexanderS548497

Prounounciation of ę

Hey i have a question most of the polish people i hear prouncing the ę like an normal e if it stand in at the of a word.

Mogę czytać tę ksiączkę * btw what is correct tę or tą? they say moge czytać tę ksiączke

But somtimes they also prounce it normally like ę but then sometimes it is hard to hear the difference between mogę and mogą

What is the correct way at the end of the word ?

I know that pamiętamy or zęb is again a little different.

1 year ago

6 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Gerardd88
Gerardd88
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Nasal vowels were present in Proto-Slavic but have disappeared from all other Slavic languages and were preserved only in Polish. In future they will also probably disappear from Polish and we are in the middle of this process right now. Ą and ę are already reduced to simpler sounds in many contexts. Some basic IPA needed:

  • [ɛ] — Polish e,
  • [ɔ] — Polish o,
  • [ɛ̃] — Polish ę, nasal e,
  • [ɔ̃] — Polish ą, nasal o (that's right, ą is not nasal a but nasal o!)
    IPA is given in [ ] brackets and the text in { } indicates how the word would be spelled if it were spelled the same as pronounced.

Some basic rules:

  • At the end of the word, ę is reduced to [ɛ] (as if spelled {e}), e.g. piszę {pisze}, książę {książe}, idę {ide}. Sometimes it can be still pronounced as full [ɛ̃] for emphasis though. Not that it's not true for ą. Mamą, tobą etc. are always pronounced with the full nasal sound.
  • Before stops (p, b, t, d, k, g) ą is often pronounced [ɔn] {on} and ę is pronounced [ɛn] {en}, e.g. tępy {tempy}, rąbać {rombać}, kąt {kont}, rządzić {rzondzić}, mąka {monka}, ścięgno {ściengno}. This phenomenon is not as widespread as the first one and you can always hear either [ɛ̃] [ɔ̃] or [ɛn] [ɔn].
  • In other contexts it's still common to pronounce full nasal sounds, though it's true that the general tendency is towards pronouncing [ɛ̃] [ɔ̃] as [ɛn] [ɔn].

PS is the correct form of ta in the accusative (Czytam książkę), but using is a very common mistake among native speakers. (wrong! — Czytam tą książkę). This actually seems to be a pretty irritating mistake for many people and I've heard people correcting others to say and not many times.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chartsman
chartsman
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"tą" instead of "tę" is acceptable (in some regions even preferred) in spoken language but when writing it is indeed a mistake.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
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rządzić -- is it {rzondzić} as you wrote or {rzońdzić} with palatal ń to match the following palatal dzi?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gerardd88
Gerardd88
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You're right. It would be [ˈʐɔɲdʑitɕ] (with the palatal nasal). I thought it could be confusing as it didn't have much to do with the point. Also that shift of n before palatal consonants is just allophonic and natural to Polish speakers so there's no need to indicate it in such respellings (rzondzić and rzońdzić would be pronouonced the same), the same way there's no need to indicate the shift to the velar [ŋ] in {ściengno} and {monka}. Most of them wouldn't hear any difference if you pronounced it [ˈʐɔndʑitɕ], the same way they wouldn't hear it if you pronounced bank as [bank] and not [bãŋk]. Note that I also didn't mention that the denasalisation before [ŋ] in words like mąka is not entirely true, but the comment was probably already long enough.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/birkovsky
birkovsky
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In everyday spoken language it isn't always carefully pronounced so you could hear something like "moge czytać te książke" without the "ę". But the correct way is with the IPA's [ɛ̃] - like in French "vin" - https://translate.google.com/#fr/en/vin.

Regarding the "mogę" i "mogą" they sound quite different, especially when you are Polish :) "ą" is IPA'a [ɔ̃] which can you here in the French "bon" - https://translate.google.com/#fr/en/bon. So it is like a difference between "vin" and "bon" :)

...and it is "ząb" not "zęb" :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gerardd88
Gerardd88
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tl;dr For those who know French: I don't think it's good to pronounce French nasal vowels in Polish words, even if someone tells you they're the same, e.g. the vowel in mężczyzna sounds nothing like the vowel in vin.


I always had a problem with the French nasal vowels, because the sounds that have the same symbols in the IPA sound completely different in the two languages. [ɛ̃] in vin sounds nothing like [ɛ̃] in mężczyzna. From the point of view of a Polish speaker the French vowel is more like a nasal a.

On the other hand, probably no Polish speaker without experience in French can hear any difference between the nasal [ɔ̃] in son and [ɑ̃] in sans. This is actually my biggest problem in French phonetics (that's why I tend to overpronounce [ɔ̃] as closed [õ] and I merge [œ̃] and [ɛ̃] completely). For me, the French nasal vowels are somehow strangely shifted from their non-nasal counterparts so I don't like giving them as examples for nasals in other languages like you did. Do they, too, seem so strange to you as a Polish speaker or is it just my ear?

1 year ago
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