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How does Polish sound to you? How to make Polish sound more pleasurable?


Ksysia 25 | 430  
25 Sep 2009 /  #1
babinich has posted this link in Politics section, but to me it's interesting how the language sounds in comparison to the long American pronunciation:

foxnews.com/video2/video08.html?maven_referralObject=998838

What's more, I am interested to hear how can I make Polish sound more pleasurable when speaking to foreigners? When in High School in the USA, I translated and recited 'Twas the night before Christmas', lifting all the Os half up - like when we say kobita instead of kobieta. The kids were taken with awe, and wanted to learn Polish.

How do you perceive Polish? What is unpleasant, what is pleasant?
southern 75 | 7,096  
25 Sep 2009 /  #2
What is unpleasant, what is pleasant?

Unpleasant:The sz,scz,rs all these peculiar sounds.
Pleasant:The slavic words.The way they pronounce them with sweet voice like a delicate subject.
Strange:The intonation.It is syncopated,not like long-flow,rhythmical russian intonation and not funny like czech.The first sound.It always sounds soft and out of place.
Lyzko  
25 Sep 2009 /  #3
At least when Polish women speak, it sounds to me like birds chirping, rhythmic and excited. Russian sounds more like a slow-moving river, long and winding, drawn out, drawling and lazily dragging itself, no matter who's speaking it, male or female:-)

Funny though, the latter impression is almost the same as many Poles say about American English. LOL
OP Ksysia 25 | 430  
25 Sep 2009 /  #4
Thank you, Guys

the softened consonants sz, cz are hard to pronounce for us, too. One can learn to pay attention to those when taking on the phone with a sloppy speaker - the hissing is plain unbearable.

Syncopated, you say? that's a valuable observation. I haven't noticed at all. I don't understand about the first sound... Do we also do that speaking English?

'Birds chirping', I like the expression! So Polish does not sound like Russian?
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
25 Sep 2009 /  #5
How do you perceive Polish? What is unpleasant, what is pleasant?

The Polish language sounds like leaves rustling, with all the shh sounds.
I like Autumn and i like the sound of the Polish language :)

So Polish does not sound like Russian?

Russian Is a more hard and abrupt language.
Even before when I could not speak Polish, it sounded like a weird mix of "an eastern European language", French and Italian.
I do not speak French or Italian.
Kikuko - | 1  
25 Sep 2009 /  #6
My American friend once described it as the sound of skates sliding on ice
krysia 23 | 3,058  
25 Sep 2009 /  #7
I heard someone else also compare Polish to leaves and trees blowing around.
But then it depends how many kurwas are said.
German sounds like dogs barking.
Lyzko  
25 Sep 2009 /  #8
German sounds like dogs barking.

Southwestern German speakers can indeed. Northern Germans, including Berliners though, are far smoother in their delivery:-)

And NO! Polish sounds very little like Russian, in fact. If anything, closer to Czech with all those hissing sibilant sounds, as well as those consonant clusters. LOL
Krystal 6 | 95  
25 Sep 2009 /  #9
I always thought Russians people are like Turkish people.

Polish people been raised by German & Austrian people for thousand years, Polish people are speaking same way as German sound.

Polish people do holler all the time. German people seem kinda firm and control. Oh what ever???????
OP Ksysia 25 | 430  
25 Sep 2009 /  #10
Polish people do holler all the time. German people seem kinda firm and control.

Ha! I thought it were the other way around - but that definitely depends on where exactly you are.

Leaves rustling, ice skating - another lovely phrase. (not when hollering, granted)

Thank you for answering me, I appreciate it.
krysia 23 | 3,058  
25 Sep 2009 /  #11
Someone overheard Polish people talking and asked me why are they always arguing? I laughed and said that's how they talk. It all depends who is talking. Older Polish women complain about everything, everything is a tragedy and they sound like they are arguing all the time. Younger ones talk nice (until they get to know you very well, then the arguing starts). Guys always put in their kurwas, pierdole, jebania.

So it all depends who talks, when and what.
peter_olsztyn 6 | 1,098  
25 Sep 2009 /  #12
The Polish language sounds like leaves rustling, with all the shh sounds

I heard opinion that it sounds like noise between radio stations when you tune up :)
sadieann 2 | 205  
25 Sep 2009 /  #13
Polish is very passionate, expressive, and loud. It does sound like arguing and yelling. You have to be amped up to be heard or to get in a word. Frustrating due to the interrupting. Add Vodka, and every other word is Kurwas. Extremely, animated. One could do stand up. I've laughed so hard watching stories being told because the teller acts out everything. Hysterical.
krysia 23 | 3,058  
25 Sep 2009 /  #14
But they are always formal and say pan, pani, panie no matter how drunk they get.
beckski 12 | 1,617  
25 Sep 2009 /  #15
what is pleasant?

Sounds the best when the sound is coming out of a sexy Polish guy's mouth.
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595  
26 Sep 2009 /  #16
1. Pronunce the hard consonants softer.
2. Less rolling of the R-sound.
3. A little bit more "floating" melody (less marked intonation).

But I don't think you should change the words, e.g. kobieta should not be kobita.

You have to be amped up to be heard or to get in a word.

Depends on who's speaking of course. I've heard girls speaking very soft and rather quiet.
Prickiewicz - | 20  
26 Sep 2009 /  #17
I heard opinion that it sounds like noise between radio stations when you tune up :)

You have tinitus.
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595  
26 Sep 2009 /  #18
Especially r, c, cz and szcz could be pronunced a little softer, if you don't want to scare the children.. haha.

But Polish is Polish. :) It's a quite beautiful language. But it takes some time to appreciate it.
ShawnH 8 | 1,507  
26 Sep 2009 /  #19
How to make Polish sound more pleasurable?

And exactly how do you plan on getting about 40 million Poles to agree on changing it? Languages can morph over time, but I think a concerted effort to change it would likely fail.

I like watching my wife talk in Polish on the phone to friends and family. Her nose moves in such a cute way when she talks Polish. If you change it, the cute nose movements will probably disappear!
frd 7 | 1,399  
26 Sep 2009 /  #20
How to make Polish sound more pleasurable?

Start using ear plugs
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595  
26 Sep 2009 /  #21
Her nose moves in such a cute way when she talks Polish

I haven't thought about that. But when you say it, one moves the nostrils quite a lot when doing some of the Polish sounds.
ShawnH 8 | 1,507  
26 Sep 2009 /  #22
one moves the nostrils quite a lot when doing some of the Polish sounds.

I think it is related to getting the tongue and palate in the proper way to pronounce the rz, sz, cz, dz, ż, ś, ń, ę sounds.

For me, I still find it hard to discern the differences between some of them when compared side by side.
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595  
26 Sep 2009 /  #23
I still find it hard to discern the differences between some of them when compared side by side.

And it doesn't get easier when different Poles pronounce them a little different as well.
But as far as I know rz and sz are pronounced exactly the same.
ShawnH 8 | 1,507  
26 Sep 2009 /  #24
when different Poles pronounce them a little different as well.

True!

Or when they attempt to describe the differences in sound or how to actually make the sound!
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595  
26 Sep 2009 /  #25
Yes, that's usually of no value at all. Except for some things. Like that cz is pronounced like ch in cheese. Or that c has a distinct t-sound in the beginning. Except listening/talking to people, Polish music actually helped me to better differentiate the sounds.

But I love that the sounds are almost always the same, they usually don't change depending on which other letters are in the word.

However, in the beginning I thought all these sounds would kill me sooner or later (probably sooner).
OP Ksysia 25 | 430  
26 Sep 2009 /  #26
how do you plan on getting about 40 million Poles

I don't at all. it's enough that politicians take pronunciation lessons.

When speaking Polish was a matter of national survival for us, we were much more mindful of keeping it beautiful. Only in PRL had we lost that care - partly because PRL was a Polish state, even if a Russian colony, partly because it required mingling with the proletarians to be accepted.

I know, I know, another piece of historical ramblings to annoy you, Foreigners. This time only to explain causes.
Arien 3 | 721  
26 Sep 2009 /  #27
I think Polish sounds sexy. Y'all talk too friggin' fast though!

:)
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595  
26 Sep 2009 /  #28
I think all languages I don't know sound friggin' fast. :)
Arien 3 | 721  
26 Sep 2009 /  #29
I know what you mean, but Polish people really do talk fast! (Especially when you hear a bunch of excited Polish girls chatting with eachother!)

:)
gumishu 11 | 5,740  
26 Sep 2009 /  #30
But as far as I know rz and sz are pronounced exactly the same.

"rzyć" (arse) does not sound the same as "szyć" (to saw)
rz is the same sound as ż

rz and sz sound the same at the end of words (because voiced conconants become voiceless in that position)

so piekarz (baker) sounds 'piekasz'

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