Chrząszcz

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Chrząszcz (beetle, chafer) by Jan Brzechwa is a poem famous for being considered one of the hardest-to-pronounce texts in Polish literature. It may cause problems even for adult, native Polish speakers.

About this soundPolish original  Phonetic transcription English translation
W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie [fʂt͡ʂɛbʐɛʂɨɲɛ xʂɔɰ̃ʂt͡ʂ bʐmi ftʂt͡ɕiɲɛ] In Szczebrzeszyn a beetle sounds in the reeds
I Szczebrzeszyn z tego słynie. [iʂt͡ʂɛbʐɛʂɨn stɛɡɔ swɨɲɛ] And Szczebrzeszyn is famous for this.
Wół go pyta: „Panie chrząszczu, [vuw ɡɔ pɨta paɲɛ xʂɔɰ̃ʂt͡ʂu] An ox asks him: "Mister beetle,
Po cóż pan tak brzęczy w gąszczu?” [pɔ t͡suʂ pan tak bʐɛnt͡ʂɨ vɡɔɰ̃ʂt͡ʂu] What are you buzzing in the bushes for?"
Monument to the poem's main character

The first line "W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie" (In Szczebrzeszyn a beetle buzzes in the reed) is a well-known Polish tongue-twister.

Thanks to the poem, the town of Szczebrzeszyn is widely known in Poland. A monument to the beetle was erected there in 2002, and a yearly sculpture festival has been held there ever since.

Chrząszcz was translated into English by Walter Whipple as Cricket (whose Polish equivalent, świerszcz, is also considered difficult to pronounce for non-Polish speakers).

See also[edit]