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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Polish language pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. For a guide to adding IPA characters to Wikipedia articles, see {{IPA-pl}}, {{IPAc-pl}} and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Pronunciation § Entering IPA characters.

See Polish phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds of Polish.

IPA Polish Example English approximation
b b About this soundbardzo bike
ɕ ś, s(i)[2] About this soundJaś she
d d About this sounddawno door
d͡z[3] dz About this sounddzban beds
d͡ʑ[3] dź, dz(i)[2] About this sounddziadek jeep[4]
d͡ʐ[3] About this soundakarta jug[4]
f f About this soundfoka feist
ɡ g About this soundgrać girl
ɡʲ g(i)[2] About this soundGiewont argue
ɣ ch, h niechby Spanish amigo
j j, i[2] About this soundjak yes
[5] ń About this soundkoń point
k k About this soundkrowa scam
k(i)[2] About this soundkierowca skew
l l About this soundlampa lion
m m[6] About this soundmorze mile
n n[6] About this soundnad Nile
ɲ ń, n(i)[6][2] About this soundnie canyon
ŋ[7] n[6] About this soundmango bank
p p About this soundpolicja spike
r r About this soundróżowy rolled r, as in Italian Roma
s s About this soundsmak sign
ʂ sz About this soundszybko shore[4]
t t About this soundtak stow
t͡ɕ[3] ć, c(i)[2] About this soundcierpki cheer[4]
t͡s[3] c About this soundcałkiem cats
t͡ʂ[3] cz About this soundczy child[4]
v w About this soundwartość vile
w ł About this soundładny way
x ch, h About this soundchleb Scottish loch
ch(i), h(i)[2] About this soundhiacynt huge
z z About this soundzebra zebra
ʑ ź, z(i)[2] About this soundziarno vision, azure[4]
ʐ ż, rz About this soundrzadko
IPA Polish Example English approximation
a a About this soundtam father
ɛ e About this soundkrem bet
ɛ̃ ę[6] About this soundczęść French vin
i i[2] About this soundpiwo eat
ɨ y About this soundmy mill
ɔ o About this soundrok off
ɔ̃ ą[6] About this soundwąż French son
u u, ó About this soundduży boot
Other symbols used for Polish
IPA Explanation
ˈ Primary stress (placed before the stressed syllable), usually the penultimate syllable of a word.
ˌ Secondary stress (placed before the stressed syllable).
. Syllable break.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ All voiced obstruents /b, d, ɡ, v, z, ʐ, ʑ, d͡ʐ, d͡ʑ/ are devoiced to [p, t, k, f, s, ʂ, ɕ, t͡ʂ, t͡ɕ] respectively at the ends of words and in clusters ending in any unvoiced obstruents. Voiceless obstruents are voiced (/x/ becoming [ɣ], etc.) in clusters ending in any voiced obstruent except /v, ʐ/, which are then themselves devoiced.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j The letter ⟨i⟩, when it is followed by a vowel, represents a pronunciation like a ⟨j⟩ or a "soft" pronunciation of the preceding consonant (so pies is pronounced as if it were spelt *pjes). It has the same effect as an acute accent on alveolar consonants (⟨s⟩, ⟨z⟩, ⟨c⟩, ⟨dz⟩, ⟨n⟩) so się, cios and niania are pronounced as if they were spelt *śę, *ćos, *ńańa. A following ⟨i⟩ also softens consonants when it is itself pronounced as a vowel: zima, ci and dzisiaj are pronounced as if they were spelled *źima, *ći, *dźiśaj.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Polish contrasts affricates /t͡s, d͡z, t͡ɕ, d͡ʑ, t͡ʂ, d͡ʐ/ with stop–fricative clusters: for example, czysta About this sound[ˈt͡ʂɨsta] "clean" versus trzysta About this sound[ˈtʂɨsta] "three hundred".
  4. ^ a b c d e f Polish makes contrasts between retroflex and alveolo-palatal consonants, both of which sound like the English postalveolars /ʃ, ʒ, tʃ, dʒ/. The retroflex sounds are pronounced "hard", with the tip of the tongue approaching the alveolar ridge and the blade of the tongue somewhat lowered, and the alveolo-palatal sounds are "soft", realized with the middle of the tongue raised, adding a bit of an ⟨ee⟩ sound to them.
  5. ^ Allophone of /ɲ/ in coda position or before fricatives.
  6. ^ a b c d e f The letters ⟨ą⟩ and ⟨ę⟩ represent the nasal vowels /ɔ̃, ɛ̃/ except when they are followed by a stop or affricate, in which case they represent oral vowels /ɔ, ɛ/ followed by a nasal consonant homorganic with the following stop or affricate: kąt [ˈkɔnt], gęba [ˈɡɛmba], ręka [ˈrɛŋka], piszący [piˈʂɔnt͡sɨ], pieniądze [pjɛˈɲɔnd͡zɛ], pięć [ˈpjɛɲt͡ɕ], jęczy [ˈjɛnt͡ʂɨ] (as if spelled *kont, *gemba, *renka, *piszoncy, *pieńondze, *pieńć, *jenczy).
  7. ^ Allophone of /n/ before a velar /ɡ, k, x/ in some cases.

Further reading[edit]

  • Jassem, Wiktor (2003). "Polish" (PDF). Journal of the International Phonetic Association. 33 (1): 103–107. doi:10.1017/S0025100303001191.
  • Sadowska, Iwona (2012). Polish: A Comprehensive Grammar. Oxford; New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-47541-9.