'j' or an 'ł' at the end of a word

USA / English
#1
I have been working very hard at my pronunciation (what's the use in learning a language if no one can understand you when you speak it?) One thing that I haven't been able to figure out is how to pronounce a 'j' or an 'ł' at the end of a word. Quick example is kraj (country) or przyjaciół (friend).
 
  • Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    #2
    I have been working very hard at my pronunciation (what's the use in learning a language if no one can understand you when you speak it?) One thing that I haven't been able to figure out is how to pronounce a 'j' or an 'ł' at the end of a word. Quick example is kraj (country) or przyjaciół (friend).
    Hello downfallofutopia,

    The first letter j is pronounced as English y in yes; one thing worth mentioning is that the a is pronounced as a in but (and this is, I think, the only way we pronounce this sound, conversely to English where you can find at least three different as).
    I’ve just thought of the way we pronounce ja (I) if you can pronounce this then pronounce it backwards. :)

    The second one — ł – is, roughly speaking, an equivalent of English w as in work.

    You could also try to use the Polish speech synthesizer, I have just tried it and it works quite well.

    If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask them.:)



    Tom

    BTW: Did I say welcome? I guess I didn’t.

    Welcome to the forums, downfallofutopia. :D
     

    beclija

    Senior Member
    Boarisch, Österreich (Austria)
    #5
    Try to pronounce "cry" with a Scotch or Northern British "r", that'll be the best approximation to "kraj" (although it's not quite the same).
     
    USA / English
    #6
    Dziękuję państwo bardzo za pomoc.

    I think that is the correct way of spelling that. Either way your replies have helped very much. I have tried the synthesizer and it unfortunately did not work for me. I will fool around with it some more, but until then I hope you don't mind me asking more questions.

    Thanks again.
     

    Anatoli

    Senior Member
    Native: русский (Russian), home country: English
    #7
    Unlike English w in some positions, Polish ł is always a consonant, not part of diphthong (as in row).

    Note that it is never palatalised (if it is, then it becomes an "l"). It is pronounced as English w not only in front of vowels but in any position and can also follow the "u" vowel (as in put), which is impossible in English.
     

    Seana

    Senior Member
    Polish
    #8
    (...)how to pronounce a 'j' or an 'ł' at the end of a word. Quick example is kraj (country) or przyjaciół (friend).
    Hi downfallofutopia,
    Yesterday I wanted to help you and write the word "przyjaciół" in a phonetic transcription but I have found nothing what could be similar for sound "przy" which is little close to "pshi".
    Would anyone be able to write this word "przyjaciół" in the phonetic transcription?
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    #9
    It is pronounced as English w not only in front of vowels but in any position and can also follow the "u" vowel (as in put), which is impossible in English.
    Well, in standard English anyway. Many speakers in parts of South-East England pronouce l's as w, so they pronounce the -ool in 'tool' just the same as 'ół' in 'przyjaciół' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L-vocalisation
     

    Anatoli

    Senior Member
    Native: русский (Russian), home country: English
    #10
    Hi downfallofutopia,
    Yesterday I wanted to help you and write the word "przyjaciół" in a phonetic transcription but I have found nothing what could be similar for sound "przy" which is little close to "pshi".
    Would anyone be able to write this word "przyjaciół" in the phonetic transcription?
    English rough transliteration: [pshiyach'uw] or using IPA: [pʂɨ'jaʨuw]

    The "sh" is hard (unpalatalised) and the "ch" is soft (palatalised), so I put the apostrophe to mark palatalisation.

    For the meaning of symbols:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_phonology

    "przy" is close to "pshi" but there's a big difference between ś (ɕ) and sz/or rz in a voiceless position (ʂ) - English "sh" is something in between. You really need to pay attention so you pronounce "si" and "szy" differently.

    Also there's a difference between Polish i and y [ɨ]. This pair is identical to Russian и and ы.
     

    Anatoli

    Senior Member
    Native: русский (Russian), home country: English
    #11
    Well, in standard English anyway. Many speakers in parts of South-East England pronouce l's as w, so they pronounce the -ool in 'tool' just the same as 'ół' in 'przyjaciół' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L-vocalisation
    Agree that some English speakers vocalise l, I personally had some trouble finding a shop in Australia a long time ago called "O'Phones", which was "All Phones". The person vocalised l and I only heard [w] instead :)
     
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