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Pronunciation of English abbreviations in Poland


FlaglessPole 4 | 669
23 Aug 2010 #1
Since DSEAR & COSHH abbreviations are English, does their English pronouncination apply in otherwise Polish text? This would be for official use (audio). Thanks in advance.

ooops sorry for the typos (pronunciation, abbreviation)
Looker - | 1,099
5 Apr 2015 #2
I don't know if exist any special rule how to pronounce foreign abbreviations in Poland. I doubt it. It's all pretty messed up. Some are English pronounced (eg. FBI), some Polish (NATO), and even some are mixed - Polish-English pronunciation (Hi-Fi). So if you are an English speaker you can pronounce English abbreviations in the 'native' way, the more so when these acronyms (DSEAR & COSHH) are not commonly known in Poland.
kpc21 1 | 763
5 Apr 2015 #3
Sometimes even different native Poles pronounce one abbreviation differently.

Sometimes it is even more messy. There are names of international organisations, countries and other establishments that have their abbreviations in Polish, from the Polish translation of the name. For example United Nations are in Poland known as ONZ - Organizacja Narodów Zjednoczonych. The country of South Africa is called in Polish RPA - Republika Południowej Afryki.

Some of the abbreviations - I mean those pronounced in the Polish way - are pronounced letter by letter (ONZ - o-en-zet, USB - oo-es-beh, PKP - peh-ka-peh), others like a word (for example NATO - pronounced just as "nahtoh"). A strange example is AIDS - I have read somewhere that in English it is pronounced letter by letter (although I am not sure if they were right), while in Polish it is pronounced like a single English word ("eyds").

Another example. Not an abbreviation, but interesting regardless of this. Woonerf. This is a Dutch word that describes a kind of a street. Recently such one has been built in £ódź. And many people, as well as the local media, pronounce this word in the English way, with "oo" like Polish "u". Which has nothing in common with the pronounciation from Dutch. Pronounciation of this word in the Polish way is virtually the same as the Dutch one :) But people tend to pronounce it in English because of this double "o".

Another very strange example. Państwowa Inspekcja Sanitarna (the State Sanitary Inspection) is almost never abbreviated to PIS, but to Sanepid. At least by people in everyday speach. Probably because the abbreviation PIS refers also to a political party.

There are also abbreviation pronounced in Polish like in the source language. For example TGV (I mean French fast trains).
Vincent 9 | 860 Moderator
5 Apr 2015 #4
A strange example is AIDS - I have read somewhere that in English it is pronounced letter by letter (although I am not sure if they were right), while in Polish it is pronounced like a single English word ("eyds").

They were incorrect.
Wulkan - | 3,243
5 Apr 2015 #5
and even some are mixed - Polish-English pronunciation (Hi-Fi)

Hi-Fi is pronounced English way in Poland (haj-faj)

PKP - peh-ka-peh)

PKP - Polskie Koleje Państwowe is a Polish thing so it's obviously pronounced Polish way.

A strange example is AIDS - I have read somewhere that in English it is pronounced letter by letter

Wrong, it's pronounced like a word just like in Polish.

is almost never abbreviated to PIS, but to Sanepid. At least by people in everyday speach. Probably because the abbreviation PIS refers also to a political party.

Wrong, PIS the political party was founded in 2001 and the word Sanepid had been used long before that.
Looker - | 1,099
5 Apr 2015 #6
Hi-Fi is pronounced English way in Poland (haj-faj)

More often presently - yes I agree, but still I hear mostly "haj-fi" (Eng. hi-fee) - especially among older generation.
kpc21 1 | 763
5 Apr 2015 #7
Wrong, PIS the political party was founded in 2001 and the word Sanepid had been used long before that.

But maybe this institution got the name "Państwowa Inspekcja Sanitarna" after 2001, the name was different before and explained well the word Sanepid?

PKP - Polskie Koleje Państwowe is a Polish thing so it's obviously pronounced Polish way.

But for example, I often hear the name WORD (Wojewódzki Ośrodek Ruchu Drogowego) pronounced like the English word "word". Which doesn't mean that it's correct, but it's how people speak.

It wouldn't be probably so if "Word" wasn't also a name of a popular computer application :)

To be strict, the Polish pronunciation of the name of the text processor isn't ideally correct in English ("w" is pronounced in English way, but "o" in the Polish manner), and it's also how Polish people often pronounce that abbreviation.
Wulkan - | 3,243
5 Apr 2015 #8
But maybe this institution got the name "Państwowa Inspekcja Sanitarna" after 2001

Wrong, "Państwowa Inspekcja Sanitarna" (PIS) was founded in 1954.

But for example, I often hear the name WORD (Wojewódzki Ośrodek Ruchu Drogowego) pronounced like the English word "word"

That's just the ignorance of certain people or could be humorous way of saying it just like some people call French DIY shop "Leroy Merlin" - "Liroy" from the Polish rapper rather than pronouncing it like it sounds in French.

To be strict, the Polish pronunciation of the name of the text processor isn't ideally correct in English ("w" is pronounced in English way, but "o" in the Polish manner)

You can be even more strict and say that the "r" shouldn't be thrilled in a Polish way and the "d" at the end shouldn't be softened like we do in Polish...
Jakub Wedrowycz
6 Apr 2015 #9
Sanepid comes from "stacja sanitarno-epidemiologiczna"
kpc21 1 | 763
6 Apr 2015 #10
That's just the ignorance of certain people or could be humorous way of saying it just like some people call French DIY shop "Leroy Merlin" - "Liroy" from the Polish rapper rather than pronouncing it like it sounds in French.

Of course. Although most of the changes in languages come just from the people's ignorance :)

"r" shouldn't be thrilled in a Polish way

Doesn't it depend on the "version" of English which is used? In the "standard" British English - yes, but I am not sure about the American one. Don't they do with "r" more or less the same as us?
Wulkan - | 3,243
6 Apr 2015 #11
Doesn't it depend on the "version" of English which is used? In the "standard" British English - yes, but I am not sure about the American one. Don't they do with "r" more or less the same as us?

When I started reading it I thought you were gonna bring Scottish English as an example and then it would be almost a good point, even though Scottish thrill some of their r's they do it in a bit different way. As for Americans, no, they say it completely different to us.
jon357 67 | 17,053
8 Apr 2015 #12
Classic examples are 'veep' (VIP) and 'oofoh' (UFO).


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