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Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448  
30 Aug 2008 /  #1
Americans of Polish extraction can rightfully envy their east Slavonic neighbours whose names are in general pronoucned correctly in the USA. The reason is simple.

An eastern Хмелницкий simply transcribes his surname into English as Hmyelnitsky and Чарковский becomes Charkovsky.
A Pole named Chmielnicki or Czarkowski would end up having his surname Anglo-mangled into some God-awful Chimmel-Nicky or Zar-Cow-Ski.
Szumiacki ends up sounding like a Japanese restaurant entré: soo-mee-yakee.
And you can imagine a first former named Dombkowski on his first day of school and class mates taunting him with: Does your DUMB COW SKI?

Even Czechs and Slovaks named Novak do not have to go through life being called NO-WHACK the way a Polish Nowak does.
There is really no solution except respelling the name phonetically: Yablonski (Jabłoński) or patiently correcting each and every Anglo-mangler.
People with lots of cheek may counterattack like a lady I once knew named Wróblewski. When someone addressed her as Mrs Rob-a-loose-key, she would shoot straight back: ROB A LOOSE KEY? HELL, I WOULDN't EVEN WANT TO ROB A TIGHT KEY! Often the Anglo-mangler would become flustered and stammer: Ah, er, um, you mean that's not how you pronounce it?

Have anyh of hyou encoutnered such problems.
27 Oct 2008 /  #2
What about Poles mangling foreign names like: Szopen, Szekspir... :o ;)
Patrycja19 63 | 2,699  
27 Oct 2008 /  #3
Have anyh of hyou encoutnered such problems.

osiol 55 | 3,922  
28 Oct 2008 /  #4
Most people who mispronounce foreign names know that they're getting it wrong. For many people, there's not much they are going to be able to do about it.
rsm109 - | 16  
29 Oct 2008 /  #5
I used to work in a warehouse that had a lot of Polish guest workers, and they appreciated my faltering attempts to pronounce their names properly on the tannoy because apparently none of my predecessors had bothered. Some of them wondered if I was actually Polish or part-Polish myself, or had lived in Poland. This was before I went over there the first time and before I started learning Polish seriously.

If you watch a football match with Poland or a Polish club team and English commentary and take a drink for every mispronunciation, you're not going to be sober by the end.
dexi - | 3  
6 Nov 2008 /  #6
I have problem. How can I teach American people my last name. For example I met in here people with that names: Maćkowski, Andrzejewski, Wierzbicki, Czereszewski, All Americans cannot speak anyone correctly.

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