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Polish regional accents?


shush 1 | 212
29 Jun 2010 #31
People do tend to speak differently to the way they write, even if they are educated.

Yes, there is formal and informal language.

Btw i am happy that this time mothers stayed away from the discussion! lmao
alexw68
29 Jun 2010 #32
It's simply a regional thing. Kartoffel is from German and you can hear it used here on occasion in Silesia. It's not the sign of a burak at all.

Hehe. See what you did there...

Actually I'm not sure about the regional - my other half's grandmother (born 1929) comes from Wegrow, east of Warsaw, and uses 'kartofel' all the time.

BUT - and this floored me when I was listening to it for the first time - my Dad is from the Rheinland and was raised on both Hauchdeutsch and his local dialect. He swears blind he recognised words she was using (about farm life, the past, etc) in her Podlaski speech from his local dialect - though 600-odd miles separates the speech communities.
songbird
19 Jul 2010 #33
Thread attached on merging:
Accents in Poland in comparison to uk

As a Polish person can you define just where someone lives, because of their accent. Do you have many coloquial accents?
musicwriter 5 | 87
29 Aug 2010 #34
frd, I think you mean "born and bred".
hague1cmaeron 14 | 1,368
29 Aug 2010 #35
votes for "na dwor"!*

not every Pole owns a manor house either:)
mafketis 37 | 10,852
29 Aug 2010 #36
jagże instead of jakże

That's universal in modern Polish.

(czy instead of trzy

I thought that was more idiosyncratic than regional.

what does Polish with a Wielkopolska accent sound like

There's a kind of lilt, statements often have something like English question intonation and wh questions (where, when etc) have a high fall and then slight rise at the end, something like (periods are just to make spacing work)

któr
.......................na?
....... ra godzi

Most other accents sound kind of flat in comparison, and people from other parts of Poland who live in Poznan for more than a year pick up the intonation whether they want to or not.

They also say 'tej' instead of 'no' when they're kind of annoyed, słuchaj tej!
Teffle 22 | 1,319
17 Feb 2011 #37
Merged thread:
Polish accents?

Not sure if this should be a language or culture based thread...

Anyway, I have been advised a few times that other than a few main dialects (in the East for example and in the mountains) there are no Polish accents as such - you either speak "proper" Polish or you don't - is this true?

Just wondering. It's not unusual - some other countries are like this I think. Eg. Germany with the High/Low German.

I know in Britain and Ireland there are scores of accents, all distinct and relatively easily discernable.e.g. an accent can change sufficiently at distances of only 15km, and then again, and again etc.

I do realise that Britain & Ireland are somewhat special cases in this regard. Also, English in general is much more open and flexible than most languages. Furthermore, regional accents are readily accepted in the media these days - even so called "working class" accents but this certainly wasn't always the case.
mafketis 37 | 10,852
17 Feb 2011 #38
The short answer: Yeah, regional accents are no longer very prominent. Since WWII standard Polish spread very throroughly throughout the country and strong regional dialects are restricted to a few places (mountains and Silesia esp).

This is partly because of the close match between pronunciation and spelling which makes it easy for those who want to change their dialect upward to do so as long as they're literate. Just adopt a 'reading' pronunciation and you're all set.

So there's not much in the way of class differences either, broadly I'd say theres a) urban working class b) rural working (farmer) class and c) everybody else. There's no real equivalent of 'posh' accents. The differences are in occasion than in the person.

There are differences but they're subtle. They would include different intonation patterns (Poznan is very distinct) and different kinds of conversational particles. Wielkopolska has the confrontational 'tej' whereas most of the rest of the country would use 'no' (in wielkopolska 'no' is mostly used as 'yeah'). They tend to say jo instead of tak in the north central part. But a lot of the old regional dialects seem to have all but died out.

There are also local words for things that might not be understood elsewhere but nothing very extensive.
gumishu 15 | 6,186
17 Feb 2011 #39
But a lot of the old regional dialects seem to have all but died out.

not among the elderly mafketis - even my cousins from Mazury who are in their 20's and 30's and who have Podlasie background (£omża vicinity which dialects are nearly identical to Kurpie dialect) speak with longer accented vowels

edit: oh well it does not actually mean it is a dialect or is it?
Teffle 22 | 1,319
17 Feb 2011 #40
I would differentiate between dialect and accent though - dialect being different vocab (not just a few localised slang words), unique to an area, almost a sub language, sufficient to make it a bit difficult for outsiders to completely follow. Spain would be an example.

Accent, purely the pronunciation/intonation - although inevitably there is some local slang too.
Malopolanin 3 | 133
17 Feb 2011 #41
Stalin's transmigration destroyed accents and dialects. I heard that the "purest" polish is spoken in Szczecin.
jonni 16 | 2,481
17 Feb 2011 #42
I heard that the "purest" polish is spoken in Szczecin.

Because as you suggest, a lot of the people there came straight from the east, from rural communities. I like the Podlaski accent, but the nicest, purest accents I've heard are from (very posh) old people who grew up around Wilnius.

Gumishu mentions the long vowels of £omźa - a nice sound, but the singsong rythm that you get closer to Białystok is somehow special.
SeanBM 35 | 5,793
17 Feb 2011 #43
Stalin's transmigration destroyed accents and dialects.

That's what I was also told.

but the nicest, purest accents I've heard are from (very posh) old people who grew up around Wilnius.

Same as the English language in South Africa, they speak RP English.
i think when isolated, it retains the old style, instead of evolving like in London.
jonni 16 | 2,481
17 Feb 2011 #44
Accents change with time, some faster than others. It's happened in the UK too, due to post-war migration and the influence of TV. Depends on all sorts of things though, including sociolects. Not long ago I heard a recording of Florence Nightingale's voice - very clear and somehow sounding more modern than The Queen when she was younger.

Old Polish films from the thirties seem almost a different language than today's Polish.
isthatu2 4 | 2,694
17 Feb 2011 #45
there are no Polish accents as such - you either speak "proper" Polish or you don't - is this true?

Ive been told this too.Often wondered if this is why so many Poles have genuine difficulty understanding foreign people speaking Polish who may not have every word "perfectly " accented yet.

A native English speaker can understand even the most heavily accented Polish person speaking English which I guess is down to us having day to day adapt to the dozens of english accents.

Ive never corrected some ones pronunciation of an English word if it gets close and doesnt sound silly (insisting on pronuncing silent W's etc) but I constantly have Poles making me re pronounce words to a silly degree to the point I honestly cant tell what im saying wrong....and before anyone says anything,accents are "my thing" and no Russian has ever corrected my russian pronunciations :)
Teffle 22 | 1,319
18 Feb 2011 #46
Same as the English language in South Africa, they speak RP English.

You're having a laugh surely?

never corrected some ones pronunciation of an English word if it gets close and doesnt sound silly (insisting on pronuncing silent W's etc) but I constantly have Poles making me re pronounce words to a silly degree to the point I honestly cant tell what im saying wrong

He he - have a look:

Poles - don't fall into the French/Spanish trap re pronunciation/accent!
SeanBM 35 | 5,793
18 Feb 2011 #47
You're having a laugh surely?

Nope, not the Dutch South Africans....obviously.
Teffle 22 | 1,319
18 Feb 2011 #48
Well maybe I've been mixing with the wrong South Africans - although I wouldn't call RP an objective "standard" to aspire to by any means - it can be as poorly enunciated and mangled as any other accent in its own way.

IMO there needs to be some level of rhoticity for a start.
SeanBM 35 | 5,793
18 Feb 2011 #49
IMO there needs to be some level of rhoticity for a start.

Some women here have beautiful "R"s :)

although I wouldn't call RP an objective "standard" to aspire to by any means

Nor would I, The Dublin accent should be the height of aspiration, naturally.

Well maybe I've been mixing with the wrong South Africans

The English south Africans sound well posh.
Teffle 22 | 1,319
18 Feb 2011 #50
The Dublin accent should be the height of aspiration, naturally.

Well, certain varieties - maybe, just about : )

So judging by some comments it seems there is a little more variation accent wise in Poland than I was initially led to believe. Interesting. Still, I get the impression though that there is more of an obvious hierarchy in Poland than in e.g. Britain & Ireland.
smurf 39 | 1,966
18 Feb 2011 #51
The Dublin accent should be the height of aspiration

yaaarrrr, jayyzuz buud, 'ave ya gorra youro fora hostel :P

but I'd rather speak like someone from the north of the Liffey than some D4 ponce.

Silesian accent is kinda close to an Irish accent....there's a lot of stress on vowel sounds too, probably something to do with the Irish language and our love of vowels in words.

Then there's the Silesian dialect....although, I've been told it's a language and not a dialect....anyway, it's very different to Polish....far easier than Polish too. It's seen as a kind of hybrid of German and Polish but there's a fair bit of a Czech influence in the mix too.
SeanBM 35 | 5,793
18 Feb 2011 #52
yaaarrrr

We don't speak like pirates, although that'd be deadly too!

but I'd rather speak like someone from the north of the Liffey than some D4 ponce.

Yah! :)

there is a little more variation accent wise in Poland than I was initially led to believe.

The accents here are nominal and it is great, I can understand people from most places in Poland.
I pity the poor Poles who have to attempt to understand the amount of accents we have in Ireland.
smurf 39 | 1,966
18 Feb 2011 #53
We don't speak like pirates

hahaha, that would be pretty cool though....yaaaarrr, hill 16 is dublin only
gumishu 15 | 6,186
18 Feb 2011 #54
Then there's the Silesian dialect....although, I've been told it's a language and not a dialect....anyway, it's very different to Polish....far easier than Polish too. It's seen as a kind of hybrid of German and Polish but there's a fair bit of a Czech influence in the mix too.

it is just a Polish dialect heavily loaded with German lexical borrowings often twisted beyond anybody German being able to recognize (like say 'tyj','zemła') - it really shares little with the Czech language (in terms of linguistic innovations IYKWIM) - it has little in terms of German influence on the grammar as far as I can tell

well I don't actually know how to precisely define a hybrid language but to my understanding if a language retains its grammar and just borrows a lot foreign vocabulary it is not a hybrid language
smurf 39 | 1,966
18 Feb 2011 #55
IYKWIM

no.... I had to google that :P

from what I can gather and this is a very simplified. Grammar is Polish, Vocab is heavily German influenced and letters are Czech, coz they have those funny symbols over some of the letters like you'd see in Czech.

It's a bit weird, some people here really like it and say more should speak it and then others think it's for rednecks and paupers.....I like it for the reasons that it's a helluva lot easier than Polish, people think it's cool that I'm learning both and I suppose coz it gives a stronger sense of identity to the Silesians.....but pierunie synek, I know I'll always be ino gorol :(
gumishu 15 | 6,186
19 Feb 2011 #56
but pierunie synek, I know I'll always be ino gorol :(

this one's pretty good - well i don't actually understand how come Silesian could be much easier than Standard Polish

I don't mind people speaking Silesian but in my view it's not a language in itself - it depends so much on Polish for vocabulary in so many fields (law, science etc etc)
Teffle 22 | 1,319
19 Feb 2011 #57
but I'd rather speak like someone from the north of the Liffey than some D4 ponce.

Well, kind of - but neither are great in fairness (bud) : )
smurf 39 | 1,966
19 Feb 2011 #58
well i don't actually understand how come Silesian could be much easier than Standard Polish

think it's coz if a word has a German element to it then it's a bit easier for an English speaker, them both being anglo-saxon langauges and all....or could just be me, coz I did some German when I was a young lad.

but neither are great in fairness (bud)

aye, I';m fairly happy with me bogger accent :P
Borrka 37 | 593
19 Feb 2011 #59
to a silly degree to the point I honestly cant tell what im saying wrong

Exactly!
You're simple not in position to understand what's wrong but you believe to "know it better".
Very funny approach of some language students.

As for Russian ... its pronunciation is rather hard for non-Slavic native speakers - I've never heard English or German having even remotely satisfying command of Russian language.

Not to mention their accent.
Like in this old song: You're gonna meet some gentle people there, that's all for their lacking reaction to your mistakes.

Remember two most important rules for languages' students:
1.Never argue with native speakers
2.In case you are in doubts don't look for any books, ask the first native speaker you meet for help.
anastazja
19 Feb 2011 #60
So judging by some comments it seems there is a little more variation accent wise in Poland than I was initially led to believe. Interesting.

I would like to add that for many dialect users there is no problem to speak in "standard Polish". Maybe that's why there is an impression that in Poland we have only one standard way of speaking.


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