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The usage and future of the special Polish letters: ą, ć, ę, ł, ń, ó, ś, ż, ź (Polish language)


Polonius3 1,000 | 12,467    
16 May 2011  #1
Occasionally one hears that diacritics are on the way out in our IT era. Already email addresses do without diacriutics of any kind, and texters and many emailers communicate without the benefit of accent marks, even eschewing punctuation and capitalisation. Do you believe that the long-term trend will be to do awy with accent marks?
z_darius 14 | 3,971    
16 May 2011  #2
Do you believe that the long-term trend will be to do awy with accent marks?

There is that possibility. Some languages don't always use diacritics (Russian ё), some even skip entire letters, like the vowels of alef-bet in Hebrew.
pgtx 29 | 3,160    
16 May 2011  #3
There is that possibility

i agree...

some even skip entire letters

one day, it used to be "good afternoon!'
nowadays it's "yo!"
Antek_Stalich 5 | 997    
16 May 2011  #4
I'm sure all of you know this EU directive:

The European Union Commissioners have announced that agreement has been reached to adopt English as the preferred language for European Communications, rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty's Government conceded that English spelling shows some room for improvement and has accepted a five-year phased plan for what will be known as EuroEnglish (Euro for short).

In the first year, "S" will be used instead of the soft "C". Sertainly, sivil servants will reseive this news with joy. Also the hard "C" will be replaced with "k". Not only will this klear up konfusion, but typewriters kan have one letter less.

Source: unknown

boletus 30 | 1,367    
16 May 2011  #5
Antek_Stalich
Gut! :-)
Contrariwise to what was said till now, I think the "ogoneks" face a very bright future. I have noticed that all my text handling software becomes much smarter nowadays with respect to handling Polish language text. For example, my gmail editor will automatically add acute diacritics over s or c if it thinks that I have made a mistake. The google "translate" is also smarter in this respect.

My BBEdit or TextEdit editors are becoming smart panties too. Sometimes they go too far. Try for example to type "gazda" and they correct it to "gazed", unless you re-correct it.
Softsong 5 | 495    
16 May 2011  #6
In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

My grand daughter in first grade is already at this level. I believe she would whole-heartedly endorse these changes. ;-)
Antek_Stalich 5 | 997    
16 May 2011  #7
Ze drem vil finali kum tru and evrivun vil be hepi! ;-)

In the early era of home/personal computers, I was thinking it could be possible to give up the "ogonki". Later, Microsoft decided to support local languages; the Polish is not the weirdest, having only 9 lowercase and 9 corresponding uppercase diacritic characters. Think of whole alphabets, such as Chinese, several Japanese, Cyrillic, Hebrew, Arabic, etc. Even Czech language sports as many as 15/15 diacritic characters. The whole top row of the keyboard (where we normally type digits) is occupied with local characters on Czech and Slovak keyboards.

Next, why don't the French, Spanish, Scandinavian, German give up their local characters?

Yes, I was thinking giving up the local characters would be easy. Then I realized that a person reading text does nor read the characters. Whole words, sentences, even blocks of text are being read. The human reads pictures, not characters. The word "miłość" (love), the word "szczęście" (happiness) lose their impact without the right characters. Back in 1990's, some people in Poland were writing on Internet in a lingo, using totally phonetic transcription and making spelling errors on purpose. Their text were completely unreadable. Worse is, a lot of Polish youth write poorly. As reading makes the "pictures" commemorate, I myself sometimes write "młodziesz" instead of "młodzież" (youth) and then I feel awfully...
JonnyM 11 | 2,622    
16 May 2011  #8
Do you believe that the long-term trend will be to do awy with accent marks?

In the long tern future yes. But not yet and Poland has been quite resolute in holding on to its language so far. As the immediate threats to that language which existed in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries vanish, there may well not be the motivation to hold onto every last detail.

Letters in the English language like 'thorn' etc disappeared after the introduction of printing, and 'ash' and 'ethel' within the last few decades - languages do change. I know a Pole in Warsaw (educated and a linguist) who never uses them.
gumishu 11 | 4,902    
16 May 2011  #9
Letters in the English language like 'thorn' etc disappeared after the introduction of printing, and 'ash' and 'ethel' within the last few decades

thorn and ash have been replaced by digraphs which are more or less unambiguous - now think of it in Polish? - I can't see a simple way to replace ś,ć,ń,ź, ą and ę with some digraphs - even ż and ó have a rightful place in Polish ból - boleć (pain - to feel pain in)
Antek_Stalich 5 | 997    
16 May 2011  #10
Or,
może = "maybe", perhaps, also "(s)he is able to" from "móc"
morze = the sea, the same pronunciation as "może".

Półka = a shelf
Polka = a Polish woman
polka = the dance of polka
pólka - little fields
Try writing just "polka" instead of "Półka/półka". Confusion ahead.
gumishu 11 | 4,902    
16 May 2011  #11
może = "maybe", perhaps, also "(s)he is able to" from "móc"
morze = the sea, the same pronunciation as "może".

morze bo morski

może bo mogę
Antek_Stalich 5 | 997    
16 May 2011  #12
My points are:
Get rid of Polish diacritics, confusion ahead.
Get rid of Polish diacritics, all the literature needs to be "translated" and published again.
Get rid of Polish diacritics, foreigners will NEVER learn Polish.

moze bo moge?
morze poniewaz morski?
Where's the logic between "z" -> "g"? ;-) Yes, "ż" -> "g" is justified.
Lyzko    
16 May 2011  #13
Do you though take into consideration dialect or regional, slang pronunciations of Polish words? Not sure eliminating diacritics will necessarily solve the confusion stated. Or maybe I missed the humor somewhereLOL
Antek_Stalich 5 | 997    
16 May 2011  #14
Lyzko, the confusion is already there, in this thread ;-)
I say -- elimination of diacritics will CREATE confusion.

As you might have noticed, I'm quite interested in the Silesian language and culture. Now, the Silesian authors use Silesian alphabet, combining some Polish and Czech diacritic characters and eliminating other. Honestly, reading Silesian written that way is harder for me but I get their right pronunciation easier. Before, they were writing in some sort of phonetic Polish - easier to read but losing that specific Silesian timbre, pronunciation.

You say "żyć" in Polish (to live)
You say "rziyć" in Silesian (the ass)
The pronunciation is different as long as you speak Silesian.
Lyzko    
16 May 2011  #15
Now I'm with you, Antek!

From a linguistic perspective however, NO language is therefore actually "phonetic", as the correlation between grapheme and phoneme is never really exact. It can be close, either in spelling or in pronunciation, yet almost every language with which I'm familiar takes homophones/homonyms into account, even as supposedly "regular" a language as Modern Turkish.
Koala 1 | 332    
16 May 2011  #16
Do you though take into consideration dialect or regional, slang pronunciations of Polish words? Not sure eliminating diacritics will necessarily solve the confusion stated. Or maybe I missed the humor somewhereLOL

There is no different slang pronunciation of words though and there are only a few regions where people pronounce stuff differently (actually only one - Podhale... Ślązacy and Kaszubi claim to have different languages :P), it's not an issue!
Lyzko    
16 May 2011  #17
Well, my teacher was a Krakowiak. When I pronounced e.g. "także", it came out "taGże" which a friend from Warsaw informed me sounded as though I'd learned Polish from someone who was born and raised in Kraków. The Varsovian insisted up and down, she. i.e. people from Warsaw pronounce Polish more as written than spoken.

I rest my case-:)
mafketis 17 | 6,756    
16 May 2011  #18
The Varsovian was wrong. The word is written także and pronounced tagże everywhere. On rare occasions, także might be used as a spelling pronunciation but no one says anything but tagże in everyday speech (according to Polish linguists, including phoneticians).
Koala 1 | 332    
16 May 2011  #19
The Varsovians speak terrible Polish though, in the western Poland it's much, much better. But the difference is in grammar and style, not pronunciation.
mafketis 17 | 6,756    
16 May 2011  #20
Actually in current electronic communication Polish letters like l, ż, ę etc are more common now than in the past. In the first years of email (and sms's) the norm was not to use them while the current norm is most definitely to use them. Polish accented letters aren't going anywhere.
Antek_Stalich 5 | 997    
16 May 2011  #21
You are mostly right Lyzko. Still, I remember my disappointment when my Dad took me by airplane to Kraków when I was a small kid. I listened so intently to hear any local dialect or slang - and there was none. I felt so unhappy because of that... No joking, this is how I felt that that time!

OK, the Poznaners love throwing their "tey" in (no meaning, I think) and they have some regional words. Your Kraków teacher spoke not really any regionalism, it was wrong pronunciation (I mean, if one pronounces "g" in "także", the "g" must not be stressed). I hate something else; uneducated people (often from some countryside regions such as Podlasie) confuse "bynajmniej" with "przynajmniej", and the simply love using "bynajmniej".

przynajmniej = at least
bynajmniej = not at all.

Wrong: Ona jest brzydka, ale bynajmniej bogata.
Correct: Ona jest brzydka, ale przynajmniej bogata.

The Varsovians speak terrible Polish though

Who, I?
You deserve some challenge, Koala ;-)
gumishu 11 | 4,902    
16 May 2011  #22
the most phonetically interesting (well it might me my personal admiration) dialect/variety of Polish is so called 'gwara kurpiowska' (Kurpie dialect)

it has a couple of sounds not present in any other Polish dialect (one is even similar to the English 'th' sound in 'there') - no special signs exist to represent the sounds in Polish
mafketis 17 | 6,756    
16 May 2011  #23
OK, the Poznaners love throwing their "tey"

tej

our Kraków teacher spoke not really any regionalism, it was wrong pronunciation (I mean, if one pronounces "g" in "także", the "g" must not be stressed)

Leading Polish phoneticians do not agree with this assessment.
Koala 1 | 332    
16 May 2011  #24
Not only you Varsovians don't speak correct Polish, but you spread your nasty language all over the rest of Poland since you control TV, radio etc. Example - Monika Olejnik pronounces "włANcza" while on air <- a typical Varsovian attempt to destroy beautiful Polish language
Antek_Stalich 5 | 997    
16 May 2011  #25
Antek_Stalich: OK, the Poznaners love throwing their "tey"
tej

You mean "tedż"? ;-)))))))

Whatever linquist say, you neither pronounce "g" nor "k" in także. The sound is indefinite, in between, unstressed. You also do not pronounce "jabłko" but "japko", otherwise it resembles old English actors pronouncing the "r" theatrically :-)
gumishu 11 | 4,902    
16 May 2011  #26
I hate something else; uneducated people (often from some countryside regions such as Podlasie) confuse "bynajmniej" with "przynajmniej", and the simply love using "bynajmniej".

I don't know about the whole of Podlasie but in Kurpie areas they have exchanged the meanings of words 'przez' and 'bez' - przez czapki - without a cap - bez pole - through the field - maybe this is somehow connected to the phenomenon you observed with bynajmniej and przynajmniej
Koala 1 | 332    
16 May 2011  #27
Whatever linquist say, you neither pronounce "g" nor "k" in także. The sound is indefinite, in between, unstressed. You also not pronounce "jabłko" but "japko", otherwise it resembles old English actors pronouncing the "r" theatrically :-)

Again with your Varsovian dirt. We here definitely do not pronounce it with 'p', though not exactly with "bł" either.

"Garnki" czy "garki"? Odwieczne pytanie...
Antek_Stalich 5 | 997    
16 May 2011  #28
I don't know about the whole of Podlasie but in Kurpie areas they have exchanged the meanings of words 'przez' and 'bez' - przez czapki - without a cap - bez pole - through the field - maybe this is somehow connected to the phenomenon you observed with bynajmniej and przynajmniej

Very interesting, gumishu, that's a regional thing and not any new, right?

Koala, I am sorry but...
Once Kora said on the TV: "Mam dobro dykcje" and she was completely right. Kora is a Krakower.
gumishu 11 | 4,902    
16 May 2011  #29
Very interesting, gumishu, that's a regional thing and not any new, right?

no, it is definitely not new - I think it is disappearing among younger generations - my grandpa and grandma used to speak this way - my mom speaks literary Polish mostly (but she has grown up in a dialectically mixed environment contrary to her parents)
z_darius 14 | 3,971    
16 May 2011  #30
I rest my case-:)

You are forgiven for resting your case as you know not what you are talking about.
Your friend is full of shhit.

także: wymowa: IPA: [ˈtaɡʒɛ], AS: [tagže].

pl.wiktionary.org/wiki/tak%C5%BCe


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