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Poles in America: How do you pronounce your Polish surname?


mafketis 24 | 9,387
21 Nov 2016 #91
'Wojciechowski' pops up frequently. The 'cie' part I don't know how to pronounce. Anyone?

roughly

voy-cheh-HOF-skee (HOF rhymes with loaf)

you'll probably never be able to say it

helpful as always....
Looker - | 1,076
21 Nov 2016 #92
You may also use the text-to-speech tool from ivona.com website. Change the language for Polish and write the name there.
Candybelcher
23 Nov 2016 #93
Śkłodówśką
Ziemowit 13 | 4,282
23 Nov 2016 #94
Śkłodówśką-Curie
Wulkan - | 3,250
23 Nov 2016 #95
roughly

Very roughly
Cardno85 31 | 976
23 Nov 2016 #96
HOF rhymes with loaf

I would say more like Hof as in David Hasslehoff.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,958
23 Nov 2016 #97
no its more like LOAF if you say it in a German accent. Something between HOFF and LOAF anyway.
Cardno85 31 | 976
23 Nov 2016 #98
if you say it in a German accent.

That seems pretty contrived. I will be honest, you would want to replace the ff with a v so more like "hov" to rhyme with Hasslehoff. In no way does it rhyme with Loaf...if you have to apply an accent, your pronunciation guide is bad...
DominicB - | 2,709
23 Nov 2016 #99
I will be honest, you would want to replace the ff with a v so more like "hov"

No. The "w" is followed by an "s", which is unvoiced, so that it becomes assimilated and is pronounced like an "f".
mafketis 24 | 9,387
24 Nov 2016 #100
Something between HOFF and LOAF anyway.

If you use a Spanish o it will be fine (though the Polish o is a little weird higher and more open simultaneously which is a little weird)
abcfuxq
25 Nov 2016 #101
Some Polish family name is Rutkowski. We of course pronounce it the Polish way, but since all throughout school years everybody would botch the pronunciation, we use the Anglicized version when meeting new people. Root-kof-skee for us, Rut-KOW-skee for everyone else.
Wulkan - | 3,250
25 Nov 2016 #102
though the Polish o is a little weird higher and more open simultaneously which is a little weird

What? It happens that I am a Spanish speaker and there is almost no difference between Spanish and Polish "o". We short form name Aleksandra (Ola) just like Spaniards say "hi" to eachother (hola)
mafketis 24 | 9,387
25 Nov 2016 #103
there is almost no difference between Spanish and Polish "o"

yes, the key word being 'almost' (and different types of Spanish have vowels that are different).

I remember years ago an American linguist (very fluent in Spanish) heard Polish vowels demonstrated and remarked on the slightly odd nature of the Polish o (not something non-linguists are likely to hear but it's there).
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
25 Nov 2016 #104
Rut-KOW-skee

Many Polish Amricans have respelt their Polish surnames to retain the proper pronunciation. Eg Domkoski (Dąbkowski). If they spelt it Dombkowski, non-Polish kids in primary school could well taunt a pupil asking: Does your dumb cow ski?

The "f" sound in your surname is very faint and inaudible in normal colloquial speech. If you told people it was pronoucned root-CUSS-key, even the dumbest Anglo could pronounce it.
mafketis 24 | 9,387
25 Nov 2016 #105
The "f" sound in your surname is very faint and inaudible in normal colloquial speech

Where do you get that idea? The w (phonetically f) in -owski names is perfectly audible in all but the most element-ish speech (element in its Polish meaning).
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
25 Nov 2016 #106
Where do you get that idea?

Years of careful listening. Maybe only TV presenters and speech teachers say domb-RUFF-ski. Usually the F-sound is swallowed up and comes out sounding closer to domb-RUSS-key.
DominicB - | 2,709
26 Nov 2016 #107
You weren't listening carefully enough, if at all. No one drops the f, except babies and retards. Stop making $hit up.
losangelino
12 Dec 2016 #108
I've retained the Polish spelling, except for Polish-specific letters, and pronounce more or less the way Americans pronounce it with the Polish spelling. Among Polish people, I pronounce it the correct way, but I see no use in further confusing Americans who already are having enough trouble with my last name as it is.

The "f" sound in your surname is very faint and inaudible in normal colloquial speech

Where do you get that idea? The w (phonetically f) in -owski names is perfectly audible in all but the most element-ish speech (element in its Polish meaning).

I have to agree. I have NEVER heard a Pole with an elementary grasp on the Polish language pronounce the w as an "s" or not at all...
Johan14
19 Aug 2018 #109
Doing some Ancestry for a cousin, I came across a Census name of Satkarski. Can anyone help me on a more likely Polish spelling and pronunciation?
grannycrash
17 Feb 2019 #110
I just found out my Mom's birth name was Zglenicki. How would I pronounce it? Thanks
Rich Mazur 4 | 3,309
2 Apr 2019 #111
Why would anyone want to inflict on the innocent Americans the pain of coping with the Polish names like Grzegosz Szczakula? How about changing it to John Green?

If I misspelled my example, keep it a secret because I don't care.
Miloslaw 8 | 3,220
2 Apr 2019 #112
pain of coping with the Polish names like Grzegosz Szczakula?

Greg Shacks would be better.....
MrsPriz
7 Dec 2020 #113
I see this thread has been inactive for over a year but I am hoping it is still monitored.
My husband is second-generation American born and had almost no influence of being Polish while growing up. His grandfather was born in the village of Bielowy but he can trace his mother's line to original Mayflower settlers. Through genealogical searches, my husband discovered the original spelling of his last name (now mine) was Przybylo. When my father-in-law was in the USArmy they dropped the second 'y'. Once the US military decides something it is impossible to get them to see otherwise so the spelling of Przyblo stuck for the descendants of my husband's father.

In English, we pronounce it as prizz-blow. How would you say it in Polish? Thanks in advance and sorry for the long post!
Looker - | 1,076
7 Dec 2020 #114
Przyblo

How would you say it in Polish?

google.com/search?q=przyblo+t%C5%82umaczenie
(Ignore the translation here - word "przyblo" in Polish don't exist)

Przybylo

More likely Polish Przybyło:
google.com/search?q=przyby%C5%82o+t%C5%82umaczenie
Dirk diggler 9 | 4,721
7 Dec 2020 #115
@MrsPriz

Przybylo - a common Polish last name. You'd pronounce it "p-zhy-by-woah" sort of. Thing is, there really isn't an equivalent of the rz sound in English. It's almost like the j in junk but with more of a roll. It's almost like if you combined the "sh" sound with an "z" sound together and a little bit of "r" sound inserted. There isn't really an English equivalent that I can think of.

The "l" is also different. It'd actually be spelled ł and with the o at the end would sound almost like "woah" with a similar w sound but softer o/oah

Google does a good job with the pronunciation - google.com/search?sxsrf=ALeKk00G0o3HCd5DIgN-OoY5OauW0tzBHA%3A1607359806415&ei=Pl3OX8HcGISxtQaM8J6YBQ&q=przybylo+po+polsku&oq=przybylo+po+polsku
Novichok - | 2,149
7 Dec 2020 #116
Przybylo - a common Polish last name.

...and should be dropped at naturalization - like Ryszard or, worse yet, Grzegosz.
Dirk diggler 9 | 4,721
7 Dec 2020 #117
Why should it be dropped at naturalization? The USA is a country that was founded by European immigrants. We built this country and you recommend forcing people to drop their cultural identity - especially a European one?
Novichok - | 2,149
8 Dec 2020 #118
and you recommend forcing people

...and should be dropped at naturalization

"should' is not equal to "forced". I have no idea how those are equal in your opinion.
Givemebeer
10 Dec 2020 #119
Hello, I stubbled across this thread by chance and wanted to know if anyone could help me. I was adopted at a young age and took on my step-father's last name, but I always wanted to know the correct pronunciation of my Polish last name Jagodowski. In America it was always pronounced Jag-go-DOW-skee, but after reading a couple of posts on here I'm willing to bet that it's nothing close to the actual Polish pronunciation.
pawian 176 | 14,299
10 Dec 2020 #120
In America it was always pronounced Jag-go-DOW-skee,

In Polish it is Yagodovski. Do you know what it means?


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