Wymowa: -yj -ij -ej

Discussion in 'Polski (Polish)' started by głupi, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. głupi Member

    English - UK

    Chciałbym wiedzieć jak się poprawnie wymawia po polsku następujące pary liter: "yj", "ij" i "ej".

    I know I can just listen to the sounds, but I'm looking for a clear explanation of the correct pronunciation for each pair, as it's difficult to trust your ears when you're a beginner.

    How is "yj" different from "ej", and is "ij" just pronounced as a long English "ee" or... something else?

    Dziękuję za wszelką pomoc.
  2. wolfbm1 Senior Member

    Maybe concrete examples will help.

    myje - wyje - tyje - ryje
    myj - wyj - tyj - ryj

    bije - pije - kije
    bij - pij - kij

    ojeje, jak leje - dnieje - dzieje - pigmeje
    ojej - lej - pigmej- dziej

    -ij: reverse the pronuncation of yeast or yield
    -ej: like in may or OK

    How to pronounce Polish 'y':
    <Pretend you're shrugging. What is the SOUND of a shrug? "Ihhhh".> Source: jasondmzk, Polish forum.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2013
  3. głupi Member

    English - UK
    Dzięki, wolf, za odpowiedź, ale ta strona nie jest dla mnie bardzo przydatna, bo nie szukam rymów, raczej wyjaśnienia poprawnej wymowy tych par liter.
    Sorry, I've just seen your edit. Okay, so "ej" is like the "ay" of "May", thanks, now that is clear.

    However, "reverse the pronuncation of yeast" for "ij" is not very clear to me, can you think of another way of explaining it? I also need to know the pronuncation for "yj", is this the same as "ej" or different?

  4. głupi Member

    English - UK
    The thing is, I know how to pronounce the 'y' by itself, but I don't know if it has the same pronunciation when followed by a 'j'. If so, then 'yj' seems like a very difficult combination to me, although when I listen to it (with my English ears) it sounds more or less just like "ey". As for "ij", which seems to come at the end of certain imperative verb forms, I don't know if this is just like "eee" or what effect the 'j' at the end has. As I don't know about phonetics, I'm just looking for a plain language explanation.
  5. wolfbm1 Senior Member

    Try to pronounce key and yeast together. The last sound of key and the first sounf of yeast - that's -ij.

    Polish 'y' is simlar to the vowel sound in myth and is pronounced a bit harder. Then you've got to add 'j' from yeast and you get -yj.
  6. wolfbm1 Senior Member

    No. -Yj never sounds like -ej. You have to move your jaw up a bit or close your mouth a bit. Then it is difficult to say 'e' and the sound becomes 'y'.
    No, it is not just plain 'eee'. You get that effect when you pronounce the English word 'key'.

    You need to add to 'ee' the glide 'j' from like the one in 'yen'.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2013
  7. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    The Polish [y] sound is more or less similar to the English KIT vowel -- [ɪ]-- which occurs, for example, in the word 'bit', the only difference being that it's more 'back' -- in the sense that you produce [y] further back in your larynx than the English . Try to make the English as 'back' as you possibly can, you should then end up with the Polish [y].
  8. głupi Member

    English - UK
    Thanks wolf, so 'ij' and 'yj' are just like 'i' and 'y', respectively, but with this added glide at the end? Would these be classed as dipthongs? A word like 'brytyjski' already seems more difficult to pronounce correctly...

    Thanks dreamlike, but I know how to pronounce the 'y', I'm just unsure about 'yj' and 'ij'.
  9. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    Well, these are both clusters of two sounds. If you know how to pronounce the [y], and given that sounds [j] and both occur in English, but are realised in a slightly different way, where do you think lies the problem? You pronounce those as you read them, that is, the spelling corresponds to the pronunciation.

    If you are willing to wait until tommorow, I can explain to you what's the differene between the Polish [j] and the English [j], -- I can't do it now, I have to rush off.
  10. głupi Member

    English - UK

    Thanks. The problem lies in the fact that pronouncing those sounds in sequence, particulary 'yj' mid-word, is unpleasantly awkward (a common theme in Polish, it would seem) for an English speaker such as myself. So much so that I thought they might actually produce a different sound to the way they are read. Apparently not, but thanks to you and Wolf for explaining that.
    I've already read a bit about this, so it's okay, but thanks anyhow.
  11. BezierCurve Senior Member

    You may treat these as diphthongs, if that helps you to get closer to what's been suggested.

    To have some rough idea about the difference between "i" and "y", and therefore between "ij" and "yj" you might use this approximation:

    Polish "i" - like in English "beet"
    Polish "y" - like in English "bit",

    Polish "ij" would be written as English "-eey"
    Polish "yj" could be therefore written as English "-iy" (if that ever existed).

    You may try to pronounce these like the English "bit" and "beet", but replacing the final "-t" with "-y".

    Hope that helps.

    Also, you can try to hear the difference here, just use the "listen" button (bottom right corner).
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2013
  12. głupi Member

    English - UK
    By the way, I'm not sure if it's possible to do this here (if not, no worries, just delete this post), but if anyone could make a recording of themselves saying 'yj' followed by 'ij' a few times over, and upload it somewhere, I'd really like to hear it ;).
  13. głupi Member

    English - UK
    Cheers Bezier, that does help. I'd already listened to the Google and Ivona speech playback, but even after your explanations I'm still having difficulty in working out those two sound pairs in my mind (especially 'yj', which doesn't particularly sound like y+j to me, just...erm, kind of weird). I guess it's as clear as day for you Polish speakers, but it seems we're not so precise with vowel sounds in English, which can change drastically from accent to accent, and this doesn't help much when accuracy is required in a different language.
  14. wolfbm1 Senior Member

    Let Ivona read this text:

    kij kanadyjski, kij kanadyjski,
    pije mleko i pije,
    nie pij tyle piwa,
    Myj, lej, hej, pij piwo. Myj lej, pij piwo.
    Lej nubijski. Lej nubijski.
    pije, piwo, pije, piwo, pije, piwo,
    nie pij, piwa, nie pij piwa,
    lej piwo, lej piwo,
    nie pij, tyle piwa.

    I would like to add that you need to pronounce the initial consonants 'p' in 'pij piwo' very softly.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2013
  15. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    You have to learn that the Polish "j" is a consonant, which does not form a diphtong with the preceding vowel, neither inside the word nor at the end. I think that your problem is treating the "j" as half vowel. The Polish sound is much more "solid" and less flowing than the English counterpart. Remember this, listen to IVONA, and practise.
  16. wolfbm1 Senior Member

    There are two syllables in 'leje' (LE-je), 'pije' (PI-je), 'kije' (KI-je), myje (MY-je). (When you read syllables in a word you actually treat the syllables as separate "words", e.g. kije (KI-je) in English is KEY - yen, but you don't need the 'n' in 'yen'.)

    The syllables in longer words are:
    bry-TYJ-ski, ka-na-DYJ-ski, nu-BIJ-ski.
    (Put stress on the capitalised syllables.)
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2013
  17. wolfbm1 Senior Member

    Actually, there is no such sound as /y/ in English, even in the word 'myth'. I think that trying to compare the Polish /y/ to the English /i/ is a mistake, and it is quite misleading for the British trying to learn Polish and vice versa.
  18. BezierCurve Senior Member

    Is it really? Except for more sophisticated tools (like IPA) I don't see a better way to give an approximation and explain the difference between |ɨ| and |i| to a speaker of English.
  19. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    Well, as long as you treat is a point of reference, it's fine. To say that these two sounds differ is stating the obvious.
  20. wolfbm1 Senior Member

    Try to use the Polish /y/ in sentences like:
    Tim bit a bit of Kitty's biscuit.
    Why did Jim hit Bill?
    (English Pronunciation in Use by Mark Hancock, pages 30 and 31.)
    There are probably better examples than those.

    They will probably sound very strange to a British ear.

    And when the British try to pronounce the name of Marek Kamiński with the English /i/, it sounds a little strange.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2013
  21. BezierCurve Senior Member

    Of course it will sound strange, they're different sounds.

    Still, when you have to choose the closest corresponding vowel in fact you're left with these two i > y, ee > i.
  22. wolfbm1 Senior Member

    Then learners usually use the corresponding sounds and never learn the proper sounds.
  23. BezierCurve Senior Member

    I guess that's mostly because few learners are familiar with phonetic symbols, and learning those symbols when they start learning a language would probably be too much for many of them.
  24. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Listening to the language is better than phonetic symbols. The IPA alphabet is also very imprecise, especially regarding consonants. The same symbols are used to denote different consonants.
  25. głupi Member

    English - UK
    Dziękuję wszystkim za odpowiedzi :thumbsup:.
  26. Peter94 Member

    I beg to differ. None of these is better from another, both (and being familiar with the phonology of the language) are necessary if one wants to have a native-like pronunciation. I agree about IPA being imprecise, but that's not a reason why one shouldn't learn it. When you learn that <t d n c dz> are laminal denti-alveolar in Polish, and <s z> apical post-dental you don't see transcribing them as if they were alveolar as a big deal.

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