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The shame! I can't pronounce my Polish wife's name (Ola)


Wulkan - | 3,251
16 Feb 2012  #31
Wulkan: Im asking is it a problem to a native English speaker to say it short instead?Yes. It is wrong.Wulkan: my girlfriend and her female friend (both English) is not a problemThey either a) are trying to be nice or b) like your exotic accent.

looks like you are here to score more posts cause you don't even read what I wrote
croggers 7 | 109
16 Feb 2012  #32
say it like HOLIDAY. h-OL-iday
TanyaCole 1 | 15
16 Feb 2012  #33
Like the 'O' in Octopus. Very simple really, the Polish vowels that look like English vowels take the 'baby' form of the English alphabet, the baby alphabet meaning the alphabet they first teach children in nursery where the 'G' is as in girl and not the 'G' in Georgia.
Peter Cracow
16 Feb 2012  #34
It's Ola. Sad, but true

The simlpest way:
(3xw dot)translate.google.pl/?hl=pl&tab=wT#pl|en|ola
then click on speaker icon and listen.
JonnyM 11 | 2,621
16 Feb 2012  #35
They're good ideas Tanya and Croggers. The OP is from America so I'd suggest he looks in the mirror, makes the 'o' sound from holiday and octopus, but make his mouth more round.
BBman - | 344
16 Feb 2012  #36
What's the closest approximation in English to the "O" in Ola? Please help!

Anglophones are not very good at pronouncing foreign names, most poles know this so don't worry too much. Take some polish classes.
pudortiz - | 5
17 Feb 2012  #37
don't sweat it. you will always pronounce things differently. maybe she just likes the way you say it. I live and work here- I speak Polish but everybody knows that I am a foreigner. People appreciate that I do speak it and that is all that I can hope for because this language is a bit of a nightmare.

I couldn't agree more.. it is nice that someone try his very best to speak another language, especially if you're in their country.. they don't really expect you to pronounce it like them..
MinaD 1 | 25
2 Mar 2012  #38
Cracks me up every time!! :D
Pan Zuk Gnojowy 10 | 24
2 Mar 2012  #39
Though names like Grzegorz and Małgorzata Szczepan etc. look or would seem harder, the OP has the problem (and I can relate!) that in his mind the sound must be, has to be /əʊ/. It may seem simpler, but it's fossilized and damn hard to get rid of. For instance, I have maddening difficulties trying to pronounce the word "firm" as it sounds in Polish, whereas Grzegorz Brzęczyszczykiewicz is an absolute doddle.
polishmama 3 | 279
2 Mar 2012  #40
OP, are you from around Baltimore? Bc from what you wrote, it sounds like you have a Baltimore hun accent. Not being funny, I'm genuinely curious. You could also try saying like the "O" in "Off". Hey, her name could be mine ;) Katarzyna
gumishu 11 | 5,015
2 Mar 2012  #41
the "O" in "Off". Hey, her name could be mine ;) Katarzyna

Jason - you would pronounce Olla diffrently to Ola wouldn't you - just forget your wife is Ola, and try to imagine she is a Finnish blonde called Olla :) - it will sure help ;) (but don't get on me if you eventually divorce because you start to fancy Finnish blondes ;)
OP jasondmzk
3 Mar 2012  #42
are you from around Baltimore?

Nope, but I've been there. Don't think I picked up any speaking habits, tho. I tried all the above tips, and I dunno if I'm doing it wrong or my wife is just having fun with me. The more I try, the harder she giggles.
Amathyst 19 | 2,702
3 Mar 2012  #43
They either a) are trying to be nice or b) like your exotic accent.

I think Wulkan was saying that his girlfriend and her friends have no problem saying Ola, I dont understand how someone could get it wrong, as for Orla, thats an Irish way of saying it...all down to accent, the OP, it would seem has an accent that makes it difficult to say it correctly and keeps putting an "r" sound in there..I have to say it would peeve me.

youtube.com/watch?v=kH4U8RPICgA

Now isntead of staying Olay, put an "a" instead of the "ay" sound...simples!
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
3 Mar 2012  #44
What about AWL-ah? Awl like the tool for piercing leather with an ah at the end.
polishmama 3 | 279
5 Mar 2012  #45
Nope, but I've been there. Don't think I picked up any speaking habits, tho. I tried all the above tips, and I dunno if I'm doing it wrong or my wife is just having fun with me. The more I try, the harder she giggles.

lol OK, understand. Well, that accent carries past Baltimore and I've heard it in the MD/PA/DE/VA/WV area as well. It really sounded like maybe you have a Baltimore "O" as we call it, it sounds like A-ow. Don't worry, I have it a bit as well. But I can pronounce Ola. Maybe, if she's giggling, she likes the way you say it? Maybe she's flirting with you? Polish women do flirt with their husbands, you know. And we do it in little ways that some guys don't catch on to. ;)
TanyaCole 1 | 15
9 Apr 2012  #46
My boyfriend is called Adam- I say it in the English way (the second 'A' sounds more like a voiced puff of air) rather than the Polish way of the second A sounding exactly like the first, but he doesn't mind- I am called Tanya and neither him, his friends nor his family can pronounce my name right- they always end up sticking an 'i' in there or an exaggerated 'y' and a strong second 'a' - but I don't mind either!

P.S yes I know that in Polish 'Tania' is a word and I also know what it means, however it is not pronounced the same as my name is in English :)
allofon
17 Jul 2012  #47
There isn't an 'r' sound in the name 'Orla'.

That is incorrect. The sound in "Ola" is indeed /ɔ/. It's true that it's short, hence no colon. However, it certainly isn't /ɒ/. This sound does not exist in Polish.
jon357 63 | 14,134
18 Jul 2012  #48
The sound in "Ola" is indeed /ɔ/

No. There is no /ɔ/ in Polish. The O in Ola is a short O.
allofon
18 Jul 2012  #49
Jon, I cannot argue with ignorance. /ɔ/ is indeed a short vowel, but it is not the so-called short O that is present in American English. And /ɔ/ is the sound in the name "Ola". Please read a book on Polish phonology before you make statements like this. Or just a Wikipedia page -- most major languages are covered there, and Polish should be too.
jon357 63 | 14,134
18 Jul 2012  #50
'Allofon', you are wrong. /ɔ:/ is not a short vowel. It is (in standard British English) the 'or' sound in 'horse' and the 'aw' sound in 'law'. It does not exist in Polish.

You might like to use your normal username/s.
allofon
18 Jul 2012  #51
short O that is present in American English

Or British English, for that matter. (/ɒ/ is only used in a few of the American accents.)

'Allofon', you are wrong. /ɔ/ is not a short vowel. It is (in standard British English) the 'or' sound in 'horse' and the 'aw' sound in 'law'. It does not exist in Polish.

You might like to use your normal username/s.

For Christ's sake, /ɔ/ is a short vowel. It's /ɔ:/ that's long. The colon means that. Indeed, /ɔ:/ is not present in Polish. /ɔ/ is.
jon357 63 | 14,134
18 Jul 2012  #52
And it is not the sound in 'Ola'.
allofon
18 Jul 2012  #53
Right. I've had enough. Do look it up though.
jon357 63 | 14,134
18 Jul 2012  #54
No need. It's very straightforward really. It's one of the most common sounds in the language and very easy to reproduce correctly. I, and every other Polish speaker, use that sound thousands of times a day.
allofon
18 Jul 2012  #55
No need. I, and every other Polish speaker, use that sound thousands of times a day.

I'm a native Polish speaker, having lived in Poland all my life. But it doesn't matter. Most Poles, including you apparently, have no knowledge of phonetics, just as most people in the world in general. Speaking a language and being able to describe one's pronunciation are two different things.
4 eigner 2 | 831
18 Jul 2012  #56
I just can't wrap my lips around

good for you because if you could, you might get the attention, you're not looking for, LOL
jon357 63 | 14,134
18 Jul 2012  #57
Speaking a language and being able to describe one's pronunciation are two different things.

Some of us however do both. And Ola is a very easy name to pronounce.
allofon
18 Jul 2012  #58
It is, indeed. I don't know you, so I don't know if you're pronouncing it correctly. If you're a Polonus, you may have been influenced by the language around you. I know little about Polish accents outside Poland so I wouldn't know. What I know about you is that you don't know much about phonetics but insist that you know enough. You don't, but I can't convince you. You can convince yourself by looking up the pronunciation in question in a reliable book. It is true that "Ola" is easy to pronounce if you know how to pronounce it. It is not true that this implies your ability to name the first vowel in this word, even together with your ability to pronounce the word correctly. Since there seems to be no development in this discussion, I'm saying goodbye.
jon357 63 | 14,134
18 Jul 2012  #59
Because the issue is straightforward. There is only one pronunciation of the name and it is not difficult. A simple short sound that occurs in several languages. And by the way, I do know what I'm talking about.
catsoldier 62 | 596
18 Jul 2012  #60
The shame! I can't pronounce my Polish wife's name!

Well you are trying to learn it now so there is nothing to be ashamed of really, everyone has to start learning somewhere.


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