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Indian-Polish Accent. :P

fullyalive 6 | 13
6 Sep 2011 #1
Hey guys,

I am posting a link to an audio of me talking in Polish. It's nothing complex, just a short, simple introduction. I thought you might find it interesting to hear an Indian trying to speak Polish. So here it goes.


It starts off after 4 seconds...


Wroclaw Boy
6 Sep 2011 #2
Why did you leave the picture blank?
OP fullyalive 6 | 13
6 Sep 2011 #3
Errm... Cuz I am shy on camera... But well, I will try to make a proper video... and upload it here. Thanks for listening. :)
Dooku6 - | 7
6 Sep 2011 #4
Good effort, and I believe you have a good ear for languages. I like the laidback style of the recording - you sound confident and not at all 'mechanical'. Good. The word stress is also correct in most cases.

Now, some remarks and possible areas for improvement.

- 'Cześć': you handle the last two sounds 'ś' and 'ć' very well. However, you should pay attention to the differences between 'ć' and 'cz'. The latter is a combination of two letters, but uttered as a single sound. Now, while 'ć' is close to the English 'ch' as in 'CHocolate' (albeit a bit 'softer', I believe it resembles the 'ch' sound in Hindi, but I may be wrong), the 'cz' sound is 'darker', 'harder' - if you're interested in music, try to imagine what would happen if you tried to imitate the English 'ch' with its pitch lowered a few tones, ok? Technically, the sound 'cz' is produced by shaping your tongue into a 'spoon' (remember to also rise the tip of your tongue!).

- 'nazywam się': the word stress is (as with the majority of Polish words) on the penultimate syllable, so 'naZYwam się', not 'NAzywam się', ok? :-)

- 'mieszkam': your 'sz' is much better than the 'cz' in 'cześć' (IMHO).

- 'w Indiach': you produce the last sound 'ch' as 'k', while it should be 'h' - pretty much the same sound as in the English 'hot' or the word 'hona' in Hindi. Now, I know it's difficult to pronounce it word-finally, but I can know you can learn it :-).

- 'jestem studentką': the word-final 'ą' should be pronounced as 'oł', close to the American 'oh'.

- 'medycyny': 'c' should be pronounced as 'ts', not 's'.

- 'uczę się: very, very audible word-final 'e'. I know I'm being picky now (and some people might disagree, but word-final 'ę' in Polish is often non-different from 'e', as in English 'pen'. However, in a non-final position, your 'ę' would be perfect.

- 'muzykę': good word stress, but the vowel in the first syllable should not resemble 'mu' from the English word 'music', but rather a kind of 'moo' as in English 'mood' (don't make the 'oo' sound as sound as the English one, though).

Errm... I think you already know that 'dzień dobry' can't be used as a 'goodbye' phrase, right :-).

'Przepraszam' sounds nice, but the 'prz' consonant cluster is not the easiest one - it want it to sound natural, you're going to need some practice.

Well done!
Sidliste_Chodov 1 | 441
6 Sep 2011 #5
Not bad! I've heard plenty of east Asians and Africans speaking Polish before, but not an Indian :)

Why did you leave the picture blank?

She obviously knows what we're like round here, hehe :)
OP fullyalive 6 | 13
6 Sep 2011 #6
OMG! Dooku! I love you for this! You are awesome! Thank you so much! You are as good as my Polish teacher. He is brilliant beyond description.

And wow, you also know Hindi! That is so cool! Not many Polish people know Hindi.

And yes, I know that 'dzień dobry' is something like 'good day'. So from your doubt, I gather it is not used towards the end?
Dooku6 - | 7
6 Sep 2011 #7
Hmmm... I didn't expect such a great enthusiasm. You're most welcome, fullyalive!

You're correct: 'dzień dobry' is no good towards the end of a conversation. Here's what you can use:

- Miłego dnia. (Have a nice day.)
- Do zobaczenia [wkrótce]. (See you [soon].)
- Do usłyszenia [wkrótce]. (Talk to you [soon]). <--- Literally: 'Hear from you [soon].'
- Cześć! (Hi!/Bye!)

And a highly informal expression used by Internet users:
- Do sklikania (Literally: Click to you).

I bet some other users might give you additional options :-).
OP fullyalive 6 | 13
9 Sep 2011 #8
Hmmm... I did the video again... this time with me in the frame and tried to improve my pronunciation... what do you think? ...
Dooku6 - | 7
9 Sep 2011 #9
Hello again.

Haha, you have changed "cześć" into "dzień dobry" this time ;). Anyway...

- "nazywam się": your word stress has improved, great.
- "dwadzieścia dwa": not bad, it's not the easiest numeral to pronounce. I know you wanted your flow to sound fluent, but pay attention to the final 'a' in dwadzieścia - you reduced that sound a bit.

- "studentką": ok, better now, but it sounds like the English "aw" istead of "oh".
- "w Indiach": the "ch" is much better - actually I could hear the air stream coming from the glottis, good, very good.

Oh, so "cześć" comes at the end this time. That's ok. It sounds sweet with the giggle ;-).

"Przepraszam" sounds better, I can hear the mild plosive "p" at the beginning, which is quite good.

Great effort. Please try to incorporate new information or perhaps some reading next time.
Sidliste_Chodov 1 | 441
9 Sep 2011 #10
Very good, and a big improvement on the first video. I've met a lot of British-born Poles with MUCH worse pronunciation than yours. Come to think of it... the drunks outside Warszawa Centralna are more difficult to understand, and you don't swear as much as they do, lol ;)

If you find that you struggle to pronounce "przepraszam", you could just use "sorry" instead - like everyone on Polish TV these days, haha ;)
Vincent 9 | 927 Moderator
9 Sep 2011 #11
what do you think?

Your "dzień dobry" sounds like "dzień dobra to me. Is this an error or is the latter also common in Poland?
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384
9 Sep 2011 #12
Is this an error or is the latter also common in Poland?

i think it be might be a case of nerves at the beginning of the video.
Vincent 9 | 927 Moderator
9 Sep 2011 #13
True, or maybe I'm just hearing it wrong. I'm sure shes clever enough to realise that "dzień" is masculine and the qualifier "dobra" is feminine.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384
9 Sep 2011 #14
True, or maybe I'm just hearing it wrong.

No, i'm sure we are both hearing the same thing. i'd say she needs to relax and stress the ending.

a good video though. however, u won't catch me making one.
Vincent 9 | 927 Moderator
9 Sep 2011 #15
a good video though

A good video indeed and I hope she will make many more.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
9 Sep 2011 #16
It's pretty decent, really. If you are starting out then it's a good stab at the main points. I've had the chance of imitating more so it's easier for me but there are still some sounds that need a lot of effort from my side. You did well.
beckski 12 | 1,617
9 Sep 2011 #17
what do you think?

Sounds good to me. I'm not one to judge Polish pronunciation... I don't speak Polish :(
BBman - | 344
9 Sep 2011 #18
Sounds good OP!

I was expecting your accent to be funny, like an English (US/Canada) - Indian accent.
PolkaZaGranica 2 | 12
10 Sep 2011 #19
Your accent is....pretty convincing actually.

And your pronunciation for someone completely unrelated to Poland (Well apart from studying there), is excellent. I've got a few Indian friends here in SA, and after 12 years of being in school together, you'd think they could pronounce my surname by now. But they can't even do that, let alone say hello in Polish lol.

In fact I'd go as far as to say that your pronunciation and grammar is much better then that of some Polish kids I know that were born (And live) outside of Poland (sad fact).

I think someone has already said that you have a knack for languages. I agree with that person. :)
OP fullyalive 6 | 13
10 Sep 2011 #20
Thanks for the comments, guys. Really appreciate it. And yes, it's the nerves. 'Wroclaw' is right. And I did notice that it sounds like 'Dzień dobra' after I uploaded the video. But thank you, Vincent, for pointing it out.

And (lol), Polka, I am not studying in Poland. I have never been to Poland for that matter(though planning a trip next summer.) It is just that, I am obsessed with the Polish language and well, everything related to Poland.

My romance with the language began a few months back. But sadly, I couldn't devote much time to it. It is hard to balance medical studies with extra-curricular activities. I also sing(a bit, here and there, most recently on an album) and compose songs on the guitar.

Anyway, I will keep trying. :)

Btw, I have been tripping on Polish music too, of late. I like Myslovitz. I am planning to cover a Polish song, sometime later. I will make a video and post the link here.

Anyway, I need to run now. Have a nice day, guys.
10 Sep 2011 #21
- "studentką": ok, better now, but it sounds like the English "aw" istead of "oh".

Even I don't know what you mean Dooku6. If the sound ą cause a problem, fullyalive can pronounce it like 'om'. Many people in Poland pronounce it that way, however it can be consider a bit sloppy way of speaking.

For fullyalive: try to say cieszę się (I am happy) and czeszę się (I'm combing /my hair/). In the word cześć you pronounce ść sound very good but cz sounds bit English to me (or my speakers are deceiving me;). In the case of word cześć it doesn't matter how you pronounce it - it would be intelligible but when you have two words like czeszę and cieszę it might cause some problems to distiguish between these two. Cz sound is rougher than English "ch", so when you are trying pronouncing cz try to touch the palatum only with the tip of your tong. That trick rarely comes off to foreigners so don't worry if that sound is not how it should be - it's just for your information that there is a subtle difference in those two sounds: Polish "cz" and English "ch".

In general I must say that your pronunciation is very good, besides those little things mentioned above, on the whole you pronounce words very clearly :)
Dooku6 - | 7
10 Sep 2011 #22
The pair "czeszę się" and "cieszę się" is a good idea to hear the difference, a.k.

As far as "ą" is concerned, I must admit that I can't remind myself when it is produced as "oh" and when as "om"... And actually, the "om" pronunciation is not always sloppy --- as far as I remember, there are cases where it is perfectly acceptable.

The only problem I could expect is that Polish features two similar words "studentką" and "studentkom" (the latter of which the dative form of the plural noun "studentki"). But on the other hand, this is easily discernible from the context (whether the speaker wants to mention a single student of a group)... So maybe I'm just being picky ;-).
10 Sep 2011 #23
You are very talented, girl, if you could pronounce it all so well! However, avoid using -om instead of ą. This is a typical Great Poland (Poznan and around) and to some extent Kuyavia trait and sounds a bit uneducated..... although when you live in those areas it's okay. Ever listened to ex President Wałęsa? :)
Dooku6 - | 7
10 Sep 2011 #24
Even I don't know what you mean Dooku6. If the sound ą cause a problem, fullyalive can pronounce it like 'om'.

@a.k.: I made a mistake in my explanation. If you listen listen closely the word studentką finishes with the pair of sounds (diphthong) that resemble "ou" in "house" (previously, I identified it wrongly as "aw").
10 Sep 2011 #25
pair of sounds (diphthong) that resemble "ou" in "house" (previously, I identified it wrongly as "aw").

Are you Polish? :)
I don't say anything which could resemble studentkoł or studentkał... ą is ą - a nasal sound the same one you can find in French, however, unlike in French, we try not to put a stress on that letter, so the sound of it might be perceived as bit blured. Putting too much accent on that sound (and ę sound as well) is wrong and may appear funny. In middle of a word ą can be read as om or on (ząb - zomb, ląd - lond) but it's all to avoid oversteressing that sound.
Dooku6 - | 7
11 Sep 2011 #26
a.k.: I was just saying that "ą" in the recording (in the word "studentką") sounded kind of like "ał". Woudn't you agree? :-) Other than that, I totally agree with your last post.

I'm Polish, BTW ;-)

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