ż and ź

Jana337

Senior Member
čeština
Cześć, :)

The distinction between ż and ź is driving me crazy. I don't even dream of pronouncing them correctly :rolleyes: but I would really love to know when to write which.

Other than learning the vocabulary by rote, are there any ways to accomplish it? Any regularities like "ż can never be followed by ..."?

To jest bardzo trudne! Czy ktoś wie, jak to zrobić?

Dziękuję!

Rozdíl mezi ż and ź mě přivádí k šílenství. Any se mi nezdá o tom, že bych je mohla někdy vyslovovat správně :rolleyes:, ale ráda bych věděla, kdy se které píše.

Pomineme-li učení slovní zásoby nazpaměť, znáte nějaký způsob, jak to zvládnout? Nějaké zákonitosti typu "po ż nemůže nikdy následovat ..."?

Je to velmi těžné. Ví někdo, jak to udělat?

Děkuji,

Jana
 
  • GoranBcn

    Senior Member
    Catalan, Spanish, Croatian/Serbian
    Ahoj Jano,

    As far as I know ź is phonetically softer than ż. That means that it's pronounced with the tongue and mouth oriented toward the hard palate just behind the dental ridge.

    ż is pronounced like s in pleasure approximately
    ź is pronounced like z in azure approximately

    The letters ź and zi- represent the same sound. The spelling zi- is used before a vowel, except that only z is written before i. So z before i is pronounced ź.

    I just want to mention that ż and rz are also the same sound:

    może = he can
    morze = sea

    Anyway, the difference between ż/rz and ź are the same as between sz and ś, cz and ć, and .

    Well a native speaker can explain it better. :)

    Goran
     

    Little_Me

    Senior Member
    Poland, Polish
    Goran is right, but I guess there's no strict rules about it, 'cause you can't forget that these are two different letters, only sounding a bit alike! It's not the same question as: when you write "ż" or "rz" or "ó" or "u"! "Ż" sounds not the same as "ź", so you use them in diffeent words without strict rules!

    But I think we may say that if "ź" sounds definitely softer than "ż" it's more probable to have it before soft consonants, especially "n" (jaźń, później, kaźń, kuźnia etc.), but I guess it's not relevant when "ź" is the first letter (źle, źródło, źrebię, źdźbło)...
    But definitely there is a rule that if they are the first letters, "ż" can and "ź" cannot be followed by a vowel! If you need to have a vowel after "ź" you change it into "zi":
    - zielony ( not źelony!), ziołowy (not źołowy!), ziemia (not źemia!)...
    And - żaba, żuraw, żal, żaden, żałoba...

    Hmm, that's all I can think of!
    Pozdrawiam ciepło:)
     

    beclija

    Senior Member
    Boarisch, Österreich (Austria)
    I think if you cannot hear the difference between "ż" and "ź", the rule about one not being followed by a vowel does not help so much, you might just keep wondering wether to write żelony or zielony as the "i" is not actually pronounced as such.

    I don't find them too hard... maybe because I'm used to č:ć and dž:đ, so I can extrapose that difference on other consonants.

    Do you never have "ż" before soft consonants like ń or is it just a tendency?
     

    Marga H

    Senior Member
    Poland,Polish
    Goran's explanation is the best thing to do:thumbsup: ,so I can only add some small comments on the topic.If letter ć is at the end of the word it often change into ci if you are doing the declination.For exemple:
    chęć(wish,desire)
    nie mam chęci (I don't feel like)
    It is the same thing with ś->si and zi(I can't make "kreska" above z)
    BTW I think more problems you can have to distinguish rz and ż because they have the same pronounciation,A small tip can give a fact that the words with rz often change into r and the words with ż change into g.For exemple:
    morze(sea)->morski(adj)
    on może(he can)->ja mogę(I can)
    Pozdrowienia!
     

    Anatoli

    Senior Member
    русский (Russian)
    Other than learning the vocabulary by rote, are there any ways to accomplish it? Any regularities like "ż can never be followed by ..."?
    I think your question is NOT about pronunciation but about the usage, correct me if I am wrong? I know that you know some Russian Jana, so ż matches Russian ж or Czech ž but ź matches palatalised з (in front of softening letter - я, ю, ё, е, и) or зь. "ż" is never followed by "i", since it makes the consonant palatalised but ź can (then it loses its accent but retains pronunication) - ziemia.

    "rz" (pronounced the same as ż)on the other hand matches Russian palatalised "р" (rzeka - река, w barze - в баре, etc) or "рь" (ślusarz - слесарь). You probably figured this out, it matches the Czech letter ř.
     

    Jana337

    Senior Member
    čeština
    I think your question is NOT about pronunciation but about the usage, correct me if I am wrong? I know that you know some Russian Jana, so ż matches Russian ж or Czech ž but ź matches palatalised з (in front of softening letter - я, ю, ё, е, и) or зь. "ż" is never followed by "i", since it makes the consonant palatalised but ź can (then it loses its accent but) - ziemia.

    "rz" (pronounced the same as ż)on the other hand matches Russian palatalised "р" (rzeka - река, w barze - в баре, etc) or "рь" (ślusarz - слесарь). You probably figured this out, it matches the Czech letter ř.
    Anatoli, you saved my day! (Thanks for all other replies, too!) :)

    I am mumbling Polish words with ż and ź, and Russian words with ж and зь, and it works! :)

    Большое спасибо! :)

    Jana
     

    Anatoli

    Senior Member
    русский (Russian)
    Anatoli, you saved my day! (Thanks for all other replies, too!) :)

    I am mumbling Polish words with ż and ź, and Russian words with ж and зь, and it works! :)

    Большое спасибо! :)

    Jana
    You're welcome, Jana :)
    Not that you need more clarification but interesting that if Belarusian were spelled with Łacinka, ж and зь would be ż and ź but pronounced like Russian, not Polish. In Czech you don't have a palatalised "z" but Polish letters with ź or zi... would match Czech words with "z" (often in front of e or i) and (probably) never ż.

    polski - čeština - русский:
    ziemia - země - земля, zima - zima - зима, zielony - zelený - зелёный
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    I think Russian зи and зь are more frontal in the respect of palatalization. I can even discern some difference between ź and zi when pronuncing some words. Anatoli can you tell any difference between the Russian counterparts, please?
     

    Anatoli

    Senior Member
    русский (Russian)
    I think Russian зи and зь are more frontal in the respect of palatalization. I can even discern some difference between ź and zi when pronuncing some words. Anatoli can you tell any difference between the Russian counterparts, please?
    There is no difference Thomas, just the position, зи is followed by a vowel but зь is not. "З" in возьми, вези is pronounced the same, IMO. The tongue is positioned on the teeth (dental).

    I thought there was no difference between ź and zi either. Is there?
    They are different from Polish, of course. зь is a palatalised z [z'] but ź is a palatalised ż, if I can describe it that way because it has the [ʒ] sound (as s in "measure").

    The Czech ž is pronounced as something between the Polish ż and ź.
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    There is no difference Thomas, just the position, зи is followed by a vowel but зь is not. "З" in возьми, вези is pronounced the same, IMO. The tongue is positioned on the teeth (dental).

    I thought there was no difference between ź and zi either. Is there?
    They are different from Polish, of course. зь is a palatalised z [z'] but ź is a palatalised ż, if I can describe it that way because it has the [ʒ] sound (as s in "measure").

    The Czech ž is pronounced as something between the Polish ż and ź.
    I thought that too. I checked that pronuncing various words with each of them and listening to people who enunciated them and I indeed noticed they (sometimes) are pronunced differently in a way that zi is more frontal in its palatalization. The distinction is hardly recognizable and probably most people don't discern any difference as they simply don't pay attention but I'm almost convinced there sometimes is variation.
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    Do Polish dialects distinguish between these sounds or did they merge into one sound in these dialects?
    In my neck of the woods, and also in the parts of Poland I've been to, this distinciton is well observed by everyone.



    Tom
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Engedi

    New Member
    PL
    In some Polish dialects (eg. mazovian) where so called mazurzenie exists, "ż" is pronounced as "z", but never as "ź". This phonetical process does not affect the pronunciation of "rz" which always sounds as "ż" [ʐ].
    </SPAN>
     
    Last edited:
    Top