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Your Ultimate Polish Pronunciation Guide

Knowing how to correctly pronounce words when you learn to speak a new language is crucial for speaking it well. It is no different with Polish. At PolishPod101, we put a lot of emphasis on teaching and demonstrating correct pronunciation, as it is our aim to help you to speak like a native after a while!

According to Dictionary.com, ‘pronunciation’ is: the act or result of producing the sounds of speech, including articulation, stress, and intonation, often with reference to some standard of correctness or acceptability.

Paying attention to your Polish pronunciation not your own essentially means you’re learning to ditch most of your foreign accent. This is very important if you want to be a successful communicator in any language. Getting Polish pronunciation right may seem like a daunting task at the onset, but it need not be!

Download Your FREE Guide to Beginner Polish!

If you want to master the Polish language and become fluent, get this Polish eBook!
You need physical worksheets to practice on.

This eBook is a MUST-HAVE for all Polish learning beginners!

FREE Polish eBook

Download your FREE Polish practice sheets PDF today and learn the Polish language in no time!
This is a must-have guide for absolute beginners

1. Introduction to Polish Pronunciation

Polish Pronunciation

When it comes to learning Polish pronunciation, there are two things that might make it a little bit difficult for a native English speaker. Thankfully, however, there is at least one thing that does make it a lot easier. One of the things that make pronouncing the Polish language a little bit more difficult for native English speakers is the fact that different letter combinations are used to indicate familiar sounds. Also, the way sounds are combined in Polish can often twist the tongue of English speakers. Still, there are actually only three sounds in Polish that do not exist in the English language. So, mastering those sounds right up front will certainly make your life quite a bit easier, to say the least.

One of those sounds in Polish pronunciation that doesn’t exist in the English language is an ”a” with a tail on it. In order to properly pronounce this sound, English speakers should first imagine saying, “Ow!” Next, imagine pronouncing the “ng” sound at the end of the word “swing.” When you combine the two, you’ll be creating a sound that closely approximates the correct sound in Polish. The next Polish sound you should learn that doesn’t exist in English is represented by an “e” with a tail on it. In order to approximate this one, all you have to do is say “en,” as in “engage,” but make the “e” a bit more nasal.

The third sound in Polish pronunciation that doesn’t exist in English is its “ch” sound.” The Polish “ch” sound isn’t at all like the English “ch” sound. It’s completely different. If you just pronounce a hard “K,” and put a lot of breath in it, you’ll be close enough. Another thing to keep in mind about properly pronouncing Polish words is that in nearly all of them, the emphasis is placed on the second to last syllable. Like so many other rules in this language, this one is applied on a nearly universal basis, which makes learning this language at least a little bit easier.

Remember, another thing to study in Polish pronunciation is the fact that some sounds which are already familiar to you are going to be represented by different letter combinations in Polish than in English. For example, in Polish, the “ch” sound in the word “church” is represented by the letter combination “cz.” Learning this and other differences first will greatly increase your speed of mastery.

2. Why is Correct Pronunciation in Polish Important?

Correct Pronunciation

Proper pronunciation is important, very important. Some say it’s even more important than getting the grammar perfectly correct! Why would this be?

1) Good Understanding

If communicating with native speakers matters to you when learning Polish, you need to be understood when you talk, and you need to be able to understand the native speakers. After all, without understanding, the purpose of language is null and void! In order to be understood, you need to be able to speak the language in a way that is familiar to native speakers, or at least recognizable by them.

When learning to speak a new language, you will learn that the more you progress the more intricate it becomes! For instance, almost every language has vocabulary that may look the same in writing, but because the words are pronounced differently, they have very different meanings. This means that you may say a word in Polish, and because of a slight change in pronunciation, the meaning of the word changes completely. Understandably, this can make for pretty embarrassing situations! At worst, your mispronounced Polish will sound garbled to a native speaker.

Knowing the nuances of how a word or letter is pronounced will also help you to understand spoken Polish better.

No worries if this feels hard; you’re learning, and with our help at PolishPod101, you will not have a problem with mispronunciation if you follow our advice and examples carefully.

2) Good Communication

Not pronouncing Polish or any other language correctly can lead to a lot of frustration because you’re unable to express what you mean, and you will not be understood correctly. Even if you have total knowledge of Polish grammar, and can write it like a native, not knowing how to speak it properly will only make for very frustrating communication all around.

3) A Good Impression

Even if you’re only a beginner, it is possible to speak any language correctly. This way, you are bound to make a good impression on native speakers, and when you’re more fluent, you will be likely to garner a lot more respect than a fumbling newbie speaker who doesn’t care much for correct pronunciation.

People often have a lot of patience for someone who learns to speak a new language, but native speakers are more likely to address you and engage with you in conversation if you work hard on your accent. This is simply because you’ll be able to understand one another! So, proficiency in pronunciation can mean the difference between having none or plenty of Polish speaking friends. It will also serve you well in the workplace, and make you popular with your Polish speaking managers and employers or employees.

Learning to speak Polish properly is also a sign of respect for not only the language, but also the native speakers and their customs.

3. Secrets to Learning the Correct Polish Pronunciation

Secrets to Learning

1) Use voice recording tools to perfect your pronunciation

PolishPod101 has plenty of resources to help you with your Polish pronunciation, so be sure to make thorough use of our recordings with native Polish speakers. These are available not only to demonstrate to you how you should pronounce Polish vocabulary, but also sentences and dialogues. Watch and listen to these over and over again to train your ear, and watch the teacher’s mouth as she speaks in the video lessons. Then, copy the speech as best you can. Later, you can record yourself to hear if you sound like a native speaker and compare yourself with native speakers. Great for self-motivation.

2) Practice in front of the mirror.

And see that you’re copying the correct lip and mouth movements.

3) Use our PolishPod101 dictionary!

Use the Polish dictionary provided by PolishPod101 to look up words and listen to the audio pronunciation. This will go a long way towards giving you an idea of how to pronounce a word or letter correctly.

4) Train your ear to the language!

Make an effort to often listen to Polish music and recorded books, and watch plenty of Polish movies and/or TV shows in Polish. This will train your ear to the language, and you’ll be surprised how quickly you pick up the accent. Remember, this is the way we learned to speak when we were young - mostly by listening to the adults talking, and repeating what they say!

5) Practice, practice, practice…

Repetition of the same thing may be boring, but in learning a new language, you’re creating new pathways in your brain. For these to remain and become habitual, you will need to repeat the correct pronunciation often.

6) Make friends with a native Polish speaker.

Don’t be shy to address them in Polish! Ask them to correct you when you make a pronunciation mistake - this is a wonderful way to practice and learn the language first-hand, and also to make new friends.

7) Practice your pronunciation with your Polish teacher!

If you’re a serious student and don’t know where to meet native Polish speakers, consider investing in PolishPod101’s Premium PLUS plan. This means you will have your own native Polish teacher available to practice your pronunciation with, and much more! Send recordings of yourself speaking Polish and get feedback from your Polish teacher.

4. How to Download Your Free Guide to Beginner Polish

Download Your FREE Guide to Beginner Polish!

If you want to master the Polish language and become fluent, get this Polish eBook!
You need physical worksheets to practice on.

This eBook is a MUST-HAVE for all Polish learning beginners!

FREE Polish eBook

Download your FREE Polish practice sheets PDF today and learn the Polish language in no time!
This is a must-have guide for absolute beginners

Log in with Your Free Lifetime Account and we’ll give you a bundle of PDF cheat sheet including Survival Phrases, Romantic Lines, Learning Tips… — absolutely FREE!

3 Reasons to Learn Polish Through PDF Lessons

Let’s now take a closer look at how studying Polish lessons in PDF format can help you reach your dream in up to half the time of normal video or audio lessons!

① Saves Minutes on Your Data Plan

Learning Polish through PDF lessons can dramatically reduce your data use. Once a lesson or tool is downloaded, you can then access it offline via your computer or smartphone any time or place regardless of Internet access. And once you’ve downloaded the Polish lessons in PDF format, you can actually access them faster than logging in and trying to do so via a live site. So not only will learning Polish using PDF lessons save minutes on your data plan—it will save you some significant time as well as the lessons add up!

② Print and Take All Polish Lessons and PDF Tools With You Anywhere

Sometimes, a tiny smartphone screen just isn’t adequate, especially when you are trying to learn something new. The great thing about PDF lessons, tools or files is that they can be quickly printed and taken anywhere after you download them. In fact, printing out Polish lessons in PDF format can actually save you time when compared to going through the material on a smartphone with a small screen—even with the extra printing time!

③ Great Study Tool to Boost Retention and Mastery

Studying video or audio lessons online is a great way to learn a language because students can play and rewind sections as many times as needed until the lesson is mastered. But when you review the same Polish lessons again in PDF format, an incredible thing happens: your retention dramatically improves! Thanks to Time Spaced Repetition, seeing the information again in written format helps reinforce the information in your mind and improves both retention and recall. The benefits of learning Polish using PDF lessons quickly add up to significant time savings for you, your data plan, and your dream of learning a new language!

Why are we giving it away?

Learning to read and write is a must for all beginners. Although you get video lessons on how to write in Polish at PolishPod101, you’ll still need physical worksheets to practice on. That’s why you’re getting this printable tutorial PDFs as a gift.

5. Related Lessons

How to Say Hello in Polish
Do you know how to say hello in Polish? It’s the most basic phrase that you’ll need to say and hear in everyday life. If you don’t know yet, learn 15 ways to say hello and greet others in Polish. Why 15? The more variations you know, the more you can speak and the more fluent you become!
How to Introduce Yourself in Polish
Can you introduce yourself in Polish? Don’t worry! Check out the 10 Polish Lines You Need To Introduce Yourself with this free Review Sheet. From “My name is…“ and “I live in…” down to “My hobbies are…” Just review the 10 lines. It will only take you 2 minutes. Then, introduce yourself in the comment section below!
Polish Alphabet
Learn everything you need to know about the Polish alphabet. At PolishPod101, we introduce you to Polish writing in simple, easy-to-follow steps, and you can ask for advice or help anywhere along the way. It is important to master the Polish alphabet completely from the start.
How to Say Thank You in Polish
Has anyone thanked you today? We will. Thank you for reading this article and learning with us! In fact, today, you’ll learn the many different ways to say “Thank You” in Polish. It’s one of the most important Polish phrases. Check it out and watch the video too to practice your pronunciation.

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