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The final "ę"


Vincent 9 | 818   Moderator
13 Sep 2007 /  #1
I have read that an "ę" in the middle of a word is pronounced "en" ( sometimes "em" ) and at the end of a word just as ordinary e. However I was watching a Polish language video this morning and, a lady said Dzie-ku-jen and her male companion said Dzie-ku-ja.

It is a bit confusing and I wondered if there are any cases when the final "ę" is pronounced "en" as I have also heard it with the word "się" a few times. Just to make it a bit more complicated there are lots of words in the Polish dictionary ending in "e" and "ę" Thanks to anyone who may help.
ojrana - | 6  
13 Sep 2007 /  #2
ę = [ e ] before l or ł or at the end of a word. for example DZIĘKUJĘ CI/WAM -thank You

more info - free.of.pl/g/grzegorj/gram/gram01.html#ogoniaste
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
13 Sep 2007 /  #3
it all comes down to the style, if you talk in Queen's (or Royal or whatever you call it) English, you pronounce the words/sounds differently from a standard "street" talk, it's the same for Polish, final "ę" pronounced as "e" has been officially accepted by the linguistic/phonetical councils of Polish language, so it's not considered a mistake anymore to pronounce "dziękuje", "sie" etc., but if you want to speak in a very proper and correct way, then you should say "dziękuję", "się" etc.
Ronek 1 | 261  
13 Sep 2007 /  #4
mistake anymore to pronounce "dziękuje"

yeah you can but people in certain circles might look down at you ;)

But its a fact that polish started changing again, many many changes, diference in pronounciation. Luckly most of it is not accepted. But verything has some sort of effect. If you see an old polish movie form lets 20s they spoke a lot different.
porta 18 | 297  
13 Sep 2007 /  #5
I have heard people say it like "dzienkuje" is that also correct?
Zgubiony 15 | 1,554  
13 Sep 2007 /  #6
It sounds like that, but I think that you're hearing the nasality in that ę
Ronek 1 | 261  
13 Sep 2007 /  #7
I have heard people say it like "dzienkuje" is that also correct?

some do, especialy young ppl tend to simplify language.

If you hear old ppl talking they talk completly different polish.
Most of middle aged ppl would speak something that we would consider proper polish.
there are youngster as I've mentioned.
And there is also all sorts of ethnic minorities, like silesians, kashubians, highlanders and they tend to speak a lot different, and most of them even if they try to speak proper polish you can hear in in their accent and how they say things.

There is also staropolski (old polish) but you can find it mostly in the books and only few ppl use it.
Wyspianska  
13 Sep 2007 /  #8
Quoting: porta
I have heard people say it like "dzienkuje" is that also correct?

some do, especialy young ppl tend to simplify language.

some = idiots
OP Vincent 9 | 818   Moderator
14 Sep 2007 /  #9
Thanks to all,for the link, information and comments.
This helps a lot, and is much appreciated
kochanie 3 | 58  
17 Sep 2007 /  #10
Quoting: Ronek
Quoting: porta
I have heard people say it like "dzienkuje" is that also correct?

some do, especialy young ppl tend to simplify language.

some = idiots

lol, straight to the point x
hello 22 | 891  
17 Sep 2007 /  #11
It sounds unnatural if you pronounce "ę" at the end of a Polish word - you should just stick to "e."
OP Vincent 9 | 818   Moderator
22 Sep 2007 /  #13
It sounds unnatural if you pronounce "ę" at the end of a Polish word - you should just stick to "e."

Well I think it's very confusing for a beginner trying to master Polish words, when all these language courses, conflict with each other.
Today I was listening to another audio source and They were pronouncing the "ę" on the end. I have heard the words "Dziękuję"and"Proszę" spoken in so many various ways, that, I'm not sure how it should be said any more?

If there are any native Polish speakers reading this, and would spare their time, could you please point out what other letters, ( if any ) change at the end of a word. It would be very helpful to myself and any other beginners. Thanks for any help.

the ones that I have found so far are..

b=p
d=t
g=k
v=f if "v" is used in foreign word.
Bondi 4 | 142  
28 Sep 2007 /  #14
b=p
d=t
g=k
v=f if "v" is used in foreign word.

Yes, Polish is a soft language, and most of these things simply come down to the voiced/unvoiced assimilation. For instance, try to pronounce the name "Kwiatkowska". You'll naturally say "Kfiatkofska". :)
Pratush - | 3  
28 Sep 2007 /  #15
Polish is a soft language

I always felt it was not such a soft language....
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446  
29 Oct 2009 /  #16
Oct 29, 09, 23:04 - Thread attached on merging:
Pronouncing the final ę

What do the native Polish speakers say about the pronounciation of the final ę? Is there a faint touch of nasality in widzę, kocham cię, daj tę książkę or is it a nomral, totally non-nasal e: widze, kocham cie, daj te książke?

You hear both amongst different speakers. Some priests go overboard with the nasality during sermons.
ALso, does this vary from region to region?
axid - | 18  
30 Oct 2009 /  #17
if you talk in Queen's (or Royal or whatever you call it) English

you call it RP - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Received_Pronunciation ;))

as for the Polish ę and ą (but not only)
there is a notion in phonetics of Polish which is called "hypercorrection"
(although it is not entirely similar to the notion in other languages),
which states that using such sounds like ę, ą, voiced plosive + ł, and some other
is incorrect. some linguists even treat it as an error, while others argue that something
that has "correction" ("poprawność") in its name should not be treated as an error.

anyway, because of that, you can easily hear people saying "dzienkuje" instead of "dziękuję",
and generally speaking dropping final ę for e and middle ę for (usually) en or (seldom) em.

there is an important difference as "dzienkuje" (ending with -e) is 3rd sg. while -ę is 1st sg.
however, usually the context tells you which is which and eventually you can use both.
nonetheless, final -ę is the correct form.
it's, up to a point, similar to English 'dunno', 'gimme', 'lemme' etc.
a simplified version, used in spoken language but not entirely correct.

it does not vary in different regions as far as dialects are concerned.
it may vary in urban and rural regions though.

sry for eventual mistakes - I'm 3 sheets at the moment...
cheers!
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595  
30 Oct 2009 /  #18
Some pronounce final -ę as nasal ę, and some like normal e. Not much more to say.
escapee3 8 | 63  
1 Nov 2009 /  #19
It's certainly confusing for the novice. I've noticed myself that the likes of utube carries all manner of pronunciation of these words.

Interestingly, I think I've watched the videos referenced above (Travellinguist?) and I read a whole raft of utube comments suggesting the male voice was the correct form to follow (he often pronounced with the en or e rather than the full ę sound). I ended up using both depending on which of the two actors had last spoken the word! The trials of learning a language, eh? :-)

steve
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595  
1 Nov 2009 /  #20
It's certainly confusing for the novice.

It's not confusing at all. There are 2 ways to pronounce it, you can choose any of them, it doesn't matter.
escapee3 8 | 63  
1 Nov 2009 /  #21
That's fair enough from the point of view of someone who knows the language, but surely you can see how a newcomer might struggle if first they're taught one way and then the other, particulalry as there's no real message that both are good?

I kept chastising myself that I couldn't remember such a simple pronunciation.

steve
osiol 55 | 3,922  
1 Nov 2009 /  #22
The trouble is that books teach learners of Polish to use a feature that is considered by many to be a sub-standard form. It would be as if books teaching English taught the letter t at the ends of words as a glottal stop - it is how many people speak normally, although in careful or refined speech, this sound would not be used by nearly as many people.

I only started learning Polish because it has nasal vowels. Navajo also has nasal vowels and even uses the letters ą, ę and ł, but somehow Polish seemed like a more sensible option as a language to learn to speak.

So pronounce your final ę. Nobody will criticise you for doing so, but people may look down on your pronunciation you if you don't.
Kamil_pl - | 59  
3 Nov 2009 /  #23
Look at word "zignęło", example: "wczoraj na drogach zginęło 13 osób". There is "ę" in the middle, but absolutely nobody pronunces it like "ę". I always wonder about this word, when I read it on belt on tvn24.
ftggoP 2 | 27  
4 Nov 2009 /  #24
If you're educated and proper you will pronounce the "ę" at the end of a word, although it doesn't sound awful if you don't. An "ę" before an "ł" is an "e" sound whereas it stays as an "ę" sound after the "ł" (the word łęczna, for examle).

Also, an "ę" is NOT an "en" or "em" sound. Once would sound really stupid pronouncing "się" as "sien" or "siem". Same goes for dziękuję, etc.
henry  
5 Nov 2009 /  #25
There ARE people who pronounce "się" as "siem", and "dziękuję" as "dzienkujem". They are NOT necessarily stupid. This may indicate a class difference, or just the fact that they are the children of émigrés and have picked up the language imperfectly, or have been speaking a foreign (not Polish) language for a long time, and their Polish has deteriorated through lack of use. I have heard many speakers like this in Chicago, sometimes even on the radio. This is confusing to the language learner, because, while understandable, this pronunciation is not a good model. If you go to the Bronx, you will not hear the same English pronunciation as in Atlanta. Just one of the difficulties in learning a second language, and not unique to Polish.
Lyzko  
6 Nov 2009 /  #26
In my experience, both in Poland and here, native Poles engaged in natural speech, both with other Poles, as well as foreigners (whose language, i.e. English they typically don't speak!) NEVER intentionally nasalize 'ę' or 'ą', unless they are teachers or are trying either to sound academic or to make a point.

For ex. "Proszę panią.." comes out as "Prawshuh ponya" rather than
some lip-twisting exercise in exaggerated historionics! Same with 'się'
etc..

Then again, this is only how my ears process those native-speaker sounds:-)
Mivalekan 2 | 3  
7 Nov 2009 /  #27
From what I've heard, it doesn't matter if you pronounce it as ę or e, but ę sounds more "artificial," as in overly proper. I assume that to Poles, someone pronouncing ę at the end of words all the time is sort of like someone never using contractions in english.

Am I close in this assumption? :/
gumishu 11 | 5,493  
7 Nov 2009 /  #28
There ARE people who pronounce "się" as "siem", and "dziękuję" as "dzienkujem". They are NOT necessarily stupid.

no they are not necessarily stupid - they are uneducated - these are two different things
ChrisPoland 2 | 123  
8 Nov 2009 /  #29
Miodek says that pronouncing the final ę as e is considered correct. I think he is considered an authority on the subject.

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