ń vs ni, ć vs ci etc.

Discussion in 'Polski (Polish)' started by JakubikF, Jan 19, 2008.

  1. JakubikF Senior Member

    I have got a short question to people who learn Polish. Do you see any significant difference in pronunciation between ń and ni in words e.g. słońce|słonice or ć and ci in "wróć|wróci". Are you able to distinguish during a talk what is used in the moment, the letter ć, ń, ś, ź or ci, ni, si, zi.
  2. Hal1fax Member

    Nova Scotia
    Canada, English
    Well they're not even the same sound....
  3. slowik Senior Member

    Hal1fax, you are wrong.

    All of these sounds are exactly the same - ń is pronounced in exactly the same way as ni and the difference lies somewhere else (probably you should read about Polish phonetics if you want your pronunciation to be perfect).

    What you have written is a bit simpler way of pronouncing Polish and it's aimed at foreigners who don't have to speak it perfectly. It's still incorrect though.

    We think of it more like:

    ń - ń
    ni - ń-i
    ć - ć
    ci - ć-i
    ś - ś
    si - ś-i
    ź -ź
    zi - ź-i

    ń, ć, ś and ź are Slavic-specific sounds and they can't represented correctly using English alphabet.
  4. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska
    Then I must have been wrong all my life as in the given examples they are different to me...:confused:

    If they are exactly the same, why is it that I can tell which word is which in the following:
    wróci jutro
    wróć jutro
    when enunciated?
    To me, the difference in pronunciation is very conspicuous as well as in the meaning.
    I can clearly hear the it and have never been diagnosed as being hard of hearing.
    It is interesting since I have heard a few times that they are the same and haven't really been able to come up with a satisfactory explication as to whether this is true or not. Could you please explain where I am, and some other Polish speakers too, wrong?


    PS: the subject has already been brought up in the forum: Polish: Soft consonants.
  5. .Jordi. Senior Member

    Mnie również bardzo dziwi, że ktoś mógłby pomylić wróć jutro z wróci jutro, chociażby dlatego że to i nie tylko zmiękcza, lecz także - w przypadku wróci - pełni funkcję sylabotwórczą i nie wierzę, że ktoś nie słyszy różnicy między jednosylabowym wróć i dwusylabowym wróci. Analogicznie jest w wypadku pary słonice - słońce.
  6. slowik Senior Member

    I wrote that Hal1fax was wrong because she wrote incorrect comparison of sounds.

    Ci obviously isn't chee.

    What I meant was the fact that the ć sound in the words słońce and słonice is produced by exactly the same part of the tounge and in the same part of the mouth in both words. I wrote that because Hal1fax's comparison could be misleading and make other foreigners make unnecessary mistakes.

    I am a Pole too and I know that we all can hear the difference between wróć jutro and wróci jutro. I would like you too read my post again (especially my comparison of sounds - it's much more accurate) - maybe I wasn't too clear the first time. Am I clear now?
  7. .Jordi. Senior Member

    Nie do końca można się zgodzić z zaproponowanym przez Ciebie porównaniem, są wyrazy w języku polskim, w których ciąg liter ci nie jest realizowany ani jako [ć], ani jako [ći], przykład - cis [c'is].

    Aby uprościć sprawę, można powiedzieć, że występowanie dwuznaku w miejsce jednego uzależniony jest od prawego kontekstu samogłoski. Jeśli po niej pojawia się samogłoska, to używamy dwuznaku, jeśli nie - konieczna jest spółgłoska z diakrytem. I oczywiście ich wymowa jest identyczna.

    A wracając do pary słonice - słońce, jak się nad nią zastanowić i dobrze wsłuchać, to tutaj w wyrazie słońce nawet nie zachodzi zmiękczenie n. Nie zwróciłem był na to uwagi.
  8. JakubikF Senior Member

    My aim was to make aware people who learn Polish of the fact that those sounds ARE different from each other. I just wanted to know how (or if) they recognize this difference and discuss it. Nevertheless slowik is partially right . Hal1fax - the way of pronunciation of Polish soft sounds you presented is absolutely wrong. Not only you have used "English phonetic writing" (so the way you hear it), but also, as slowik wrote - sounds si, ni, zi, ci should be considered as śi, ńi, źi, ći. The point is pronouncing e.g. wróci and wróć are very similar but not the same. First of all, wró-ci - two syllables, wróć - only one. Secondly, "-ć" is much shorter than "-ci". Thirdly the true pronunciation of "-ci" is "-ći". I think that you should find some records with pronunciation with Polish to understand it properly.
  9. JakubikF Senior Member

    If I am wrong correct me but in my opinion in wróci and in cis (a tree) we pronounce it in the same way. Do you mean "cis" as a tree or "cis" as isomer cis/trans (in chemistry) or "cis" a sound in music. If you mean cis as an isomer I think it subjects to something else. As far as I know in Polish there is a rule which says that foreign words like "cis", "sinus" must be pronounced without making "c" or "s" soft.
  10. .Jordi. Senior Member

    Owszem, moja wina, powinienem był napisać, że chodzi mi o cis 'dźwięk w muzyce'. Co nie zmienia faktu, że nigdzie nie napisałem o tym, że w wymowie tego wyrazu c jest miękkie, wyraźnie napisałem [c'is], a nie [ćis].
  11. JakubikF Senior Member

    I might not be so well educated in this matter but for me [c'] is the same as [ć]. Am I wrong? In Czech it is used this way and transliterations from Cyrillic also require [ ' ] sign if a letter before it was softened.
  12. JakubikF Senior Member

    However the example you have mentioned above is just an exception from standard rule, I suppose.
  13. .Jordi. Senior Member

    Nie wiem, jakie rozwiązania są przyjęte w transliteracji z cyrylicy, za to wg fonetycznej transkrypcji slawistycznej [c'] i [ć] to dwa różne dźwięki.
  14. JakubikF Senior Member

    Of course you're right, I withdraw my doubts about [c'] and [ć]. Certainly these are to different sounds. I got mixed up.
  15. Hal1fax Member

    Nova Scotia
    Canada, English
    I certainly do know how to pronounce Polish...I was merely stating the 'i' at the end of the sound differentiates them? I used English phonetic writing intentionally. Maybe I don't understand the question here? The 'i' threw me off and I don't think ńi and ni sound the same at all, the ń is much more pronounced.
    Anyway, bottom line, yes I can distinguish them I guess....
    and I still don't think I understand the question....

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