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Correct Polish spelling

acrimon 6 | 11  
13 Sep 2008 /  #61
Merged: Spelling out words in Polish to someone else


I had this question on my mind for a while now, and I guess it's high time I asked. ;D I was wondering, how exactly does one go about spelling out words in Polish to someone else. I know it's not like in English where you spell out words by the "names" of letters rather than their sounds, and so I'm not exactly sure how it works in Polish.

Additionally, let's say you want to spell out an English word or words in Polish that don't have translations in Polish, such as a name of a store, like "Food Basics." I'm not sure how I would spell out the double o sound, and especially the final c in Basics as it has more of an k sound than the Polish variant. Or, in this case, is it just better to spell it out in English?

I appreciate any help! ;D
Thanks in advance!
sausage 19 | 777  
13 Sep 2008 /  #62
spell out words by the "names" of letters rather than their sounds

do you mean like alpha, bravo, charlie?
The "Teach Yourself Polish" book says that christian names are used when spelling out words...
e.g A jak Adam (A like Adam)
B jak Barabara
C jak Celina
and so on
acrimon 6 | 11  
13 Sep 2008 /  #63
Sorry, I think I worded that question a bit vaguely. ;P Like in English, for example a spelling bee, one would spell the word pool as: (the letter) P (the letter) O (the letter) O (the letter) L; that is, not by how those letters sound in the word.

Hope that clears it up a little. ;P

But what you said is also a good bit of knowledge to have, though. ;P
McCoy 27 | 1,275  
13 Sep 2008 /  #64
if something has english name we spell it like english do.
clouddancer - | 25  
13 Sep 2008 /  #65
Cie (=Ć)



fał (=V)
Iks (=X)
igrek (=Y)
ziet (=-)
żet (=Ż)
osiol 55 | 3,922  
13 Sep 2008 /  #66


Actually, I like the distinction between curly-kuh and kicking kuh.
clouddancer - | 25  
13 Sep 2008 /  #67
igrek Why?

From the Latin Y Græca? In most languages it's either a variation on that, or on Ypsilon, see

I forgot to add the distiction between U and Ó:
ó - u kreskowane / u zamknięte / o z kreską
u - u zwykłe, u otwarte
mafketis 23 | 7,834  
14 Sep 2008 /  #68
In my experience Polish people mostly don't spell words out loud.
This is because, mostly, there's no need. Polish pronunciation and writing are much in sync than in English.

There are strategies for dealing with the ambiguities that do appear.

1. If a word (esp name) has an ambiguous point you just mention that. "Dahowski przez samo h". "Korza przez er zet"

2. Pronounce a word just as it's spelled and not how it's commonly pronounced. Here, it's possible to voice final sounds that are usually voiced and ą and ę would be pronounced as in isolation. It's not uncommon for Polish people to do this with English words too (to indicate spelling) "'bread' pisane bread" (pronounced breh-ahd)

To clearly indicate a word (or in an argument or to make a point) English speakers might spell a word.
"I'm broke, get it? B-R-O-K-E!"
In Polish you'd say each syllable separately.
"Jestem spukłany, kapujesz? Spu-kła-ny!"

Finally, IME Polish people often don't use the official names of letters (back when I foolishly spelled my name using the official names of letters it almost always got written down incorrectly). Ry and sy are especially common instead of er and es though 'rz' is always er zet.
acrimon 6 | 11  
24 Sep 2008 /  #69
Excellent, thank you everyone for the information! :) This will definitely help me out. :D

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