It provides a set of symbols to represent the pronunciation of Polish in Wikipedia articles, and example words that illustrate the sounds that correspond to them. Integrity must be maintained between the key and the transcriptions that link here. Some keys are built on consensus more strongly than others; if the conventions of this key are already in wide use, any substantive change to it should be discussed on the talk page first as it would affect a large number of articles.
All voicedobstruents/b, d, ɡ, v, z, ʐ, ʑ, dʐ, dʑ/ are devoiced to [p, t, k, f, s, ʂ, ɕ, tʂ, tɕ] 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.
^ abcdefghijThe 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⟩.
^ abcdefThe affricates/ts, dz, tɕ, dʑ, tʂ, dʐ/) may be written more precisely with ligature ties: /t͡s, d͡z, t͡ɕ, d͡ʑ, t͡ʂ, d͡ʐ/, but they are omitted in transcriptions as they do not display correctly in all browsers. Nonetheless, Polish contrasts affricates with stop–fricative clusters: for example, czysta[ˈt͡ʂɨsta] (help·info) "clean" versus trzysta[ˈtʂɨsta] "three hundred".
^ abcdef 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.
^Allophone of /ɲ/ in coda position or before fricatives.
^ abcdefThe letters ⟨ą⟩ and ⟨ę⟩ represent the nasal vowels/ɔ̃, ɛ̃/ except when they are followed by a stop or affricate, when they represent oral vowels /ɔ, ɛ/ followed by a nasal consonanthomorganic 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).