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Difference between Polish Ł and English W


slyder 2 | 27  
19 Feb 2008 /  #1
Alright, we know they're similar, and usually Poles just say stick with the W sound, but are there any well trained people out there that know the difference between £ and W?
MareGaea 29 | 2,752  
19 Feb 2008 /  #2
I actually found it much easier to get a grasp of the language of comparing it to my native language rather than with English. Dutch has more similar tones with Polish than English does and where I first kind of struggled to get a grip, I found it is much easier for me to compare the sounds and tones with Dutch sounds and tones. But of course, that is not of much help to you as you will have to refer to English.

The ł has -as far as I can hear it, but it could just be me- an "o" tone embedded in it, where as the English W doesn't have that. Personally I compare it to the Dutch word for century, eeuw, which has a similar o-sound in it at the end of the word.

M-G (hope this helps)
z_darius 14 | 3,968  
19 Feb 2008 /  #3
In most cases Polish £ sounds much like English W in water.
On occasion you will hear a different version of the sound, and that would be similar to English dark L in whole. That sounds seems to by vanishing in standard Polish. It is used mostly by older people all over Poland with their roots in Eastern Poland/Western Ukraine, or by some younger ones in the Eastern borders areas.

I wouldn't worry about the latter version.
MareGaea 29 | 2,752  
19 Feb 2008 /  #4
like English W in water

Indeed, forgot about that one...It has the o-tone in it as well - sorry for overlooking that one.

M-G
OP slyder 2 | 27  
19 Feb 2008 /  #5
Thanks, this is really interesting. Props on linking the Polish £ and English L!! I had no idea W and L were actually sort of similar until a linguistics student explained it to me. You're right about the O too, I think it might have something to do with the shape of the lips?
MareGaea 29 | 2,752  
19 Feb 2008 /  #6
Could be, never really thought of that, actually.
hancock 1 | 95  
19 Feb 2008 /  #7
MareGaea You are absolutely fantastic with the eou

also remember the £ is said higher up at the roof of the mouth not with the lips realy.
MareGaea 29 | 2,752  
19 Feb 2008 /  #8
MareGaea You are absolutely fantastic

Thanks, I always like to hear that :)

M-G
hancock 1 | 95  
19 Feb 2008 /  #9
you know i think it takes some one from a different nationalety to do this. its much harder for the english.

i am not sure why that is exactly i am not being nasty though but realy realistic.
Michal - | 1,865  
19 Feb 2008 /  #10
I do not like the Polish ł. It is not bardzo ładnie but bardzo ladnie with a hard 'l' sound.
osiol 55 | 3,922  
19 Feb 2008 /  #11
I do not like the Polish ł.

It's possibly my favourite letter in Polish. It reminds me of the things that happen to the L sound in the English spoken in my part of the world and also in Brazilian Portuguese. (Braził, as they say).
polski_zyd 2 | 72  
19 Feb 2008 /  #12
I do not like the Polish

Yeah, we've noticed. Bloody Russians.

I do not like the Polish ł

Maybe you would be happier writing in Czech then, hlupák
:p
hancock 1 | 95  
19 Feb 2008 /  #13
I do not like the Polish ł. It is not bardzo ładnie but bardzo ladnie with a hard 'l' sound.

yes in this case of course. It sounds more like hw in english.

God now its the Czecs. Peace brothers peace.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837  
20 Feb 2008 /  #14
Maybe you would be happier writing in Czech then, hlupák

...except some Czech/Moravian dialects actually have the [ł] sound as well, so there! ;-p
polski_zyd 2 | 72  
20 Feb 2008 /  #15
Well, I never claimed fluency in anything other than English and Polish, so there! :p
Piątek  
16 May 2009 /  #16
It reminds me of the things that happen to the L sound in the English spoken in my part of the world and also in Brazilian Portuguese. (Braził, as they say).

I was about to post the same thing. In England many people say hełth for helth, fyłm for film, skół for school and botół of myłk for bottle of milk. I like the Polish £, but not when used in English by people too lazy to pronounce L.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,534  
16 May 2009 /  #17
Interestingly enough, the two variants of the Polish £ can be heard in the English word WELL. The "eastern" version of the sound (LL) was once a norm in the Polish language; actors in the theatre retained this pronounciation until fairly recently (the so-called ł teatralne). The sound LL survived - as it often happens - on the outskirts of the language area; in this case on the eastern outskirts of Polish, that is among the Polish speaking population of Lithuania, Belorus and Ukraine (I remember one of the former presidents of the Republic of Lithuania, Vytautas Landsbergis who is a fluent speaker of Polish, pronouncing it very distinctively). One of my former colleagues in the office who came from a village near Vilnius did pronounce it in this nice way, but she constantly tried to hide this pronounciation to sound more standard and less dialectical. You can still hear the sound LL in the pre-1939 Polish films, songs of Czesław Niemen (who was born in today's Belorus) and also in the language of correspondents of the public Polish TV in the city of Vilna who are wise enough not to hide this formidable pronounciation from their "standard" audience.

The English people pronounce the sound £ very well, indeed. I remember one Englishman asking me "how do you pronounce the letter £ ?", and another Englishman just laughing at his excellent pronounciation of this sound.
Daisy 3 | 1,225  
16 May 2009 /  #18
@Piątek
You obviously have spent time in the South East of England to have heard this, what you regard as 'lazy' is a regional accent.
Piątek  
16 May 2009 /  #19
I've lived in south-east England for about 15 years and I've always regarded it as lazy speech.
osiol 55 | 3,922  
16 May 2009 /  #20
too lazy to pronounce L

Most of the English are too lazy to pronounce the letter R before a consonant too. Poles are so lazy, they couldn't be bothered to keep the dual number or some of the old verb tenses. The French are really lazy, only pronouncing about half of each word as it appears written down. Actually, we're all lazy.
jump_bunny 5 | 237  
16 May 2009 /  #21
Poles are so lazy, they couldn't be bothered to keep the dual number or some of the old verb tenses.

That's an interesting part, would you mind giving me some examples?
niejestemcapita 2 | 561  
16 May 2009 /  #22
what you regard as 'lazy' is a regional accent

no it isn't it's pure lazy...:) (from a south easterner)
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384  
16 May 2009 /  #23
found this interesting:

bbc.co.uk/insideout/southeast/series7/voices_language.shtml

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