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Poles struggle with English vowels


spiritus 67 | 664
22 Jun 2017 #1
Having spent a lot of time with Poles I have noticed that most of them really struggle with English vowels.

For example:

Sheep is pronounced "sheeeep" but Poles struggle to say this and often sound like they are saying "ship"
Two is pronounced "tu" etc etc

I guess it's a sound that they're not used to having to make in their native language.

Then again I find it impossible to pronounce the Polish "sz" sound correctly
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,671
22 Jun 2017 #2
It's all about your vowel sounds! I haven't particularly noticed the ship/sheep thing with Polish people though; more with Italians and Spanish.

youtube.com/watch?v=rtvDCiHfYQ0
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
22 Jun 2017 #3
saying "ship"

Reminds me of an anecdote about an Italian visitng America. The bed in his hotel room lacked a sheet so he called room service and said: "I hopea you canna helpa me. I wanna **** inna my bed..." Well, you can inagine the reactiomn of room service.
WielkiPolak 58 | 1,034
22 Jun 2017 #4
Also 'th' in the word 'the' is one Polish born Polish people find tricky and pronounce it like an f or v

On the flip side, as mentioned already, 'sz' 'rz', 'ź' and other combinations are difficult for non Polish people to pronounce.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,720
22 Jun 2017 #5
How about you, WP? Do you have any problems with pronunciation as a Polish speaker that has never lived in Poland?
WielkiPolak 58 | 1,034
22 Jun 2017 #6
Not really, since I speak it on a daily basis with friends and family.

Heck I reckon I can pronounce most Polish words better than you, given that, you know, I am actually Polish and you're not.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,720
22 Jun 2017 #7
Plenty of other people in your position can't speak a word of it, having brought up solely in "Anglo-jabber" as Polly would call it.
WielkiPolak 58 | 1,034
22 Jun 2017 #8
It's a shame to see. I never understood why when one parent is Polish in the UK, they don't make an effort to speak in Polish to their child/children. It gives them an extra language. I have even heard of cases where both parents are Polish, but because they live in the UK, they think there is no need to speak Polish to their child/children as they don't live in Poland. Now that's insane.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,720
22 Jun 2017 #9
Absolutely and totally insane, I agree. It doesn't cost anything to give them the extra language, and let's say in your case that you want to learn Slovak - you'd be able to pick it up incredibly quickly. A lot of it is just stupid snobbery by people who think that Polish is "beneath them" because they moved to the big city.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,671
22 Jun 2017 #10
I never understood why

in our case, sheer laziness and a desire to show off their English..:):)
NoToForeigners 6 | 1,002
22 Jun 2017 #11
Also 'th' in the word 'the' is one Polish born Polish people find tricky and pronounce it like an f or v

TH is pronounced by putting tongue between teeth and blowing. It's nothing difficult and if a Pole can't pronounce that it's simply because he's not aware.

Still MANY MANY MANY more Poles speak Polish and an extra language than the English and as one famous guy said "Your World is as rich as are the languages you speak".

in our case, sheer laziness and a desire to show off their English..:):)

which is nothing to brag about. A chimp can speak basic English.
jon357 63 | 14,137
22 Jun 2017 #12
The sound / ɔː / (law, door) causes the most problems here.
NoToForeigners 6 | 1,002
22 Jun 2017 #13
@jon357
reallly? I thought if i'll go with long Polish "o" sound in those cases i'm fine.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,671
22 Jun 2017 #14
A Chimp can speak basic English.

in fact, they can't..:) there have been many trials and efforts to do that. google 'Nim Chimsky'
Anyway I am sure my children's father speaks better English than you do..:):) thanks.

You say that making a 'th' is simple, but if it is not in your language, its hard to remember to do it (muscle memory)

For example in Welsh we have 'll' which is like a normal 'L' but instead of removing your tongue from your top gum, you leave it there, and blow through. Simple right? but for some reason every Welsh learner I have met is convinced that this is a 'CL' sound.
NoToForeigners 6 | 1,002
22 Jun 2017 #15
ts hard to remember to do it (muscle memory)

Hard to remember =/= technically hard. Technically it's actually easy. Way easier than the "ć" or "ę" sound is for you.

I don't care if your guy's English is better than mine (I don't care about English at all for that matter. It's easy and "cheap as chips", Nothing to brag about as i mentioned in the previous post) especially because he .... you know.... did you lol. Certainly no authority ROFL.
NoToForeigners 6 | 1,002
22 Jun 2017 #16
I bet your English is atrocious, tbh. If you think it is 'easy' then i know what stage you are at, and it isn't high.

It is but like i said before... I DON'T CARE... and it is LIGHT YEARS ahead from your Polish lol.
jon357 63 | 14,137
22 Jun 2017 #17
reallly? I thought if i'll go with long Polish "o" sound in those cases i'm fine.

That would be 'low' instead of 'law' - this is sometimes how Poles prounounce (or rather mispronounce) that diphthong.

Another is the velar nasal, /ŋ/ (represented by the letters ng).
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,671
22 Jun 2017 #18
LIGHT YEARS ahead from your Polish

of..:)
YOu see Nottie, I am not the one who is shouting about how great I am all the time.
Besides, English is a world language, Polish isn't. Get over it.
NoToForeigners 6 | 1,002
22 Jun 2017 #19
That would be 'low' instead of 'law' - this is sometimes how Poles prounounce (or rather mispronounce) that diphthong.

Bullshit. Long Polish "o" would be
Law = Looo
Door = Dooo (without rolling 'r")
Floor -= Flooo (without rolling 'r")
Blood = Bloood
It's so simple

@rozumiemnic
OMG

thoughtco.com/difference-between-of-and-from-1211096
Seems you can't speak either. LOL
Ironside 48 | 9,825
22 Jun 2017 #20
Light Years are a measurement of the DISTANCE.

Man, it is an idiom. No matter what you mean to say and what you wanted to say. Idiom is the right way to go about it.
jon357 63 | 14,137
22 Jun 2017 #21
Bullshit

No. Your way of expressing the phoneme (and evidently your pronunciation) are very wrong. They reflect a common pronunciation error in Poland.

Some of us do actually know what we're talking about.

BTW, "rolling r" is an irrelevance here.

Blood = Bloood

I wonder why you think the word blood has the / ɔː / diphthong.
OP spiritus 67 | 664
22 Jun 2017 #22
I often have to stifle a smile when I hear Polish friends say they have been to the "beach" but make it sound like "*****" :)
NoToForeigners 6 | 1,002
22 Jun 2017 #23
:

But it doesnt make it difficult. It just shows they're ignorant. Beach and B*ch are as easy to distinguish as "Bicz" and "Bycz".

It just takes the English thinking their language is special lol
NoToForeigners 6 | 1,002
22 Jun 2017 #24
@

Bloood. Can't ever imagine anything more simple than this.
PLOUGH- PLAŁ
ROUGH - RAF
TOUGH - TAF
THOUGHT - ThOT
FOUGHT - FOT

so freaking simple.
The simplicyty and easiness of the English is the reason behind Enjglish being common.
jon357 63 | 14,137
22 Jun 2017 #25
Except, rough isn't pronounced raf, tough isn't pronounced taf, thought isn't pronounced thot and fought is t pronounced fot.

Fought has that pesky diphthong / ɔː / that pretty well nobody here can get right.

So freaking simple
The simplicyty and easiness of the English is the reason behind Enjglish being common

I'm sure Chomsky, Krashen and Crystal will be so awed by that revelation that they'll each tear up their life's work and just say "so freaking simple" instead.
NoToForeigners 6 | 1,002
22 Jun 2017 #26
that pretty well nobody here can get right.

even yourself lol
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,671
22 Jun 2017 #27
maybe Nottie learnt his English in Stepney Green ....
jon357 63 | 14,137
22 Jun 2017 #28
even yourself lol

An odd comment, since you've never heard me speak even one word.

And yes, your analysis of how to pronounce the /ɔː/ phoneme is just plain wrong.

maybe Nottie learnt his English in Stepney Green ....

Or from a teacher from Sicily who spent 10 years in Romford.
NoToForeigners 6 | 1,002
22 Jun 2017 #29
An odd comment, since you've never heard me speak even one word.

To me? You never participate in Polish section of this forum for many many years just say you cant spell Polish at all and you're too scare to even try because you know we would laugh our asses off reading through that from a guy that spent years in Poiland
jon357 63 | 14,137
22 Jun 2017 #30
just say you cant speal Polish at all

Well, some people do speak it all day every day, translate, and occasionally write academic papers in Polish. And pronounce it fairly well too - a professional awareness of the specific pronunciation issues that learners of both English and Polish face (and how to overcome them) helps that considerably.

Polish section of this forum

Why would I? One big reason I come here is to have contact with English. For Polish, I just look up from the iPad and speak to someone.


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