Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Gina: Hello everyone and welcome to PolishPod101.com. This is Absolute Beginner, season 1, lesson 5, An Alphabet Full of Polish Tongue Twisters. I’m Gina.
Joanna: And I’m Joanna.
Gina: In this lesson you'll learn all about the Polish alphabet.
Joanna: This conversation takes place in a restaurant.
Gina: It’s between Gosia and Alex.
Joanna: The speakers are around the same age, so they’ll be using informal Polish.
Gina: Let’s listen to the conversation.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Gina: So what’s the education system in Poland like? Do people learn foreign languages?
Joanna: We start learning our first foreign language, English, in kindergarten.
Gina: Wow! That’s so early!
Joanna: Yes, but at that stage it’s fun because you’re singing songs, playing games, and just learning basic words. In the first 3 years of elementary school that study is continued, but at a slightly higher level - by then there’s only one teacher for all the classes. During the last 3 years we improve all the skills, learn grammar..
Gina: And then you move on to junior high school when you start learning your 2nd foreign language, right?
Joanna: That’s right. From that moment on we study 2 foreign languages right up until the time we graduate.
Gina: Sounds tough. But knowing a couple of languages is great! Okay, now let’s move on to the vocab.
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
Gina: Let’s take a closer look at some of the words and phrases from this lesson. Joanna, what’s the first word?
Joanna: ‘wymowa’
Gina: “pronunciation”
Joanna: It’s a noun that derives from the verb ‘wymawiać’
Gina: Meaning “to pronounce”
Joanna: For example, you can say ‘polska wymowa jest trudna’
Gina: “Polish pronunciation is difficult”. But I hope our listeners don’t think so! What’s the next word?
Joanna: This one’s very easy to remember - ‘problem’
Gina: It’s just like the English “problem”
Joanna: Easy, isn’t it?
Gina: Yeah, this time!
Joanna: The meaning is also very similar to English, because it’s a difficult or troublesome situation, something we have to think through. There are a few commonly used types of sentence or phrases that use this word.
Gina: I’m sure our listeners will want to hear them.
Joanna: The first example would be ‘problem z głowy’
Gina: The literal translation is “problem off your head”. Hmm, what does it mean?
Joanna: You can use it when you have just solved some problem, or rid yourself of some trouble.
Gina: Can we get one more example?
Joanna: A very simple and useful one is - ‘mam problem’
Gina: “I have a problem”
Joanna: You usually use it when you want to talk about or discuss something that’s bothering you.
Gina: Okay, and what’s the last word?
Joanna: This time it’s a phrase - ‘dobrze ci idzie’
Gina: This literally means “it’s going well for you”, but we will stick to the English equivalent “you’re doing well”
Joanna: If you want to encourage someone even more, feel free to change the adverb ‘dobrze’ into ‘świetnie’, which will give you ‘świetnie ci idzie’
Gina: “you’re doing great”
Joanna: Let’s hope our listeners hear this while they’re studying Polish!
Gina: Definitely. Okay, now onto the grammar.
GRAMMAR POINT
Gina: In this lesson, you’ll learn about the Polish alphabet.
Joanna: It’s based on the Latin writing system, like many other languages in the world, but there are some sounds and characters that are typically Polish.
Gina: Some of them may be a little bit challenging when it comes to pronunciation, and the writing system also requires a lot of practice. Now Joanna, the listeners might be worried that some words are really hard to pronounce!
Joanna: It’s not that terrible! You will probably just have to use mouth muscles that you have never used before.
Gina: Okay! So let’s give your mouth a workout and go through the Polish alphabet.
Joanna: Great idea!
Gina: Listeners, Joanna will start with a Polish letter, then you’ll have a few seconds to repeat after her, and then I’ll give you the English equivalent, if there is one...and if there isn’t, then I’ll move on to the next letter. Let’s start!
Joanna: A
Gina: (pause) “a”
Joanna: Ą
Gina: (pause) this sound is unique to Polish
Joanna: B
Gina: (pause) “b”
Joanna: C
Gina: (pause) “c”
Joanna: Ć
Gina: (pause) next unique sound
Joanna: D
Gina: (pause) “d”
Joanna: E
Gina: (pause) “e”
Joanna: Ę
Gina: (pause) unique sound to Polish
Joanna: F
Gina: (pause) “f”
Joanna: G
Gina: (pause) “g”
Joanna: H
Gina: (pause) “h”
Joanna: I
Gina: (pause) “i”
Joanna: J
Gina: (pause) “j”
Joanna: K
Gina: (pause) “k”
Joanna: L
Gina: (pause) “l”
Joanna: Ł
Gina: (pause) that’s another unique Polish sound
Joanna: M
Gina: (pause) “m”
Joanna: N
Gina: (pause) “n”
Joanna: Ń (pause)
Gina - unique to Polish
Joanna: O
Gina: (pause) “o”
Joanna: Ó
Gina: (pause) unique sound
Joanna: P
Gina: (pause) “p”
Joanna: R
Gina: (pause) “r”
Joanna: S
Gina: (pause) “s”
Joanna: Ś
Gina: (pause) unique sound
Joanna: T
Gina: (pause) “t”
Joanna: U
Gina: (pause) “u”
Joanna: W
Gina: (pause) “w”
Joanna: Y
Gina: (pause) “y”
Joanna: Z
Gina: (pause) “z”
Joanna: Ź
Gina: (pause) unique Polish sound
Joanna: Ż - another unique Polish z.
Gina: Did you get all the sounds correct? Some seem pretty difficult to pronounce...
Joanna: That’s because in Polish we use quite a few diacritical marks, like dots, lines and slashes...which change the sound of the original letter.
Gina: Everyone, be sure to check the lesson notes because you’ll see all the Polish characters there.
Joanna: Something that makes the Polish language quite special among other Slavic languages, is that it has the nasal vowels Ą and Ę
Gina: I’m not even going to try to pronounce those!
Joanna: Okay, listeners, try to repeat after me...Ą [pause] and Ę [pause]
Gina: One of the other key characteristics of Polish, is that it has voiced and unvoiced sounds where most voiced sounds have a voiced representative. So they’re like pairs.
Joanna: Exactly. In that sense, they are easy to remember, a little bit like symmetry! In the lesson notes there’s a table that shows that really well, so be sure to check it out!
Gina: I’ve heard that Polish is kind of a whistling language too.
Joanna: That’s true, we have many sounds like - sz, rz, cz, ż dź.. and so on
Gina: That’s great pronunciation practice!

Outro

Gina: Ok, that’s all for this lesson. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time.
Gina: Bye!
Joanna: papa

24 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

PolishPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
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Hello Listeners! Are you ready to practice the Polish Alphabet?

PolishPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 01:08 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Cześć Pippa,


Thank you for studying with us ❤️️

It would be perfect if you choose the verb "uczę się" to say "Uczę się polskiego", and use the adjective "trudny" in masculine form ("polski" is masculine) to say "polski jest trudny".


If you have any questions, let us know!


Best,

Hanna

Team PolishPod101.com

Pippa
Tuesday at 08:48 PM
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Cześć Polish Pod101.


Jak sie masz? Jestem polskiego nauka. Polski jest trudna.

PolishPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 09:54 AM
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Cześć Steve,


"ę" at the end of the word should sound like "ę",


but to tell the truth in most cases it sounds like "e" :)


Sincerely,


Hanna


Team PolishPod101.com

Steve
Friday at 01:22 PM
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Dzień dobry! Jak się masz dzisiaj?


For ‘ę’ at the end of a word, should it sound like ‘e’?


Dziękuję bardzo

PolishPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 12:35 AM
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Hi Steve,


Yes, 'sz' is pronounced as an unvoiced consonant. It means you do not use your vocal cords to pronounce this kind of letters.


Sincerely,

Hanna

Team PolishPod101.com

Steve
Friday at 02:34 PM
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Ok, please explain "Unvoiced". Obviously, when saying szukać, you pronounce the 'sz', an unvoiced consonant. Or.... And correct me if I'm wrong. Is unvoiced the same as using air from teeth and mouth (instead of vocal cords) to pronounce the letters?

PolishPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 09:13 AM
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Hi carline,


You're welcome on behalf of Basia :smile:

Let us know if you have any questions.

Thank you,


Ofelia

Team PolishPod101.com

carline
Tuesday at 07:38 PM
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Thank you, Basia! Pronounciation is the most important in my books! That is why Polishpod is so outstanding.

carline

PolishPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:49 PM
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Hi Carline


Thank you for your feedback. Everybody's learning path is different. Take your time, enjoy learning Polish. In Polish we say 'trening czyni mistrza' what you could translate as: practise, practise, practise. I am sure you will pretty soon see a progress and be able to build a sentence independently. Good luck and keep going:)


Cheers:sunglasses:

Basia

Team PolishPod101.com

carline
Saturday at 12:44 AM
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Unlike one user in the comments, I am still not able to construct a sentence independently. It doesn't happen that fast, at least usually.