Help:IPA for Polish

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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Polish language pronunciations in Wikipedia articles.

All voiced obstruents /b, d, ɡ, v, z, ʐ, ʑ, dʐ, dʑ/ are devoiced (so /d/ becomes [t], etc.) at the ends of words and in clusters ending in any unvoiced obstruents /p, t, k, f, s, x, ʂ, ɕ, tʂ, tɕ/. The voiceless obstruents are voiced (/x/ becoming [ɣ], etc.) in clusters ending in any voiced obstruent except /v, ʐ/, which are themselves devoiced in this case.

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

IPA Polish Example English approximation
b b bardzo bike
ɕ ś, s(i)[1] Jaś she
d d dawno door
dz[2] dz dzban beds
[2] dź, dz(i)[1] dziadek jeep[3]
[2] akarta jug[3]
f f foka feist
ɡ g grać girl
ɡʲ g(i)[1] Gienek argue
ɣ ch, h niechby roughly like go, but without completely
blocking air flow on the g
j j, i[1] jak yes
k k krowa scam
k(i)[1] kierowca skew
l l lampa lion
m m[4] morze mile
n n[4] nad Nile
ɲ ń, n(i)[4][1] nie canyon
ŋ[5] n[4] bank bank
p p policja spike
r r różowy trilled r, like Italian Roma
s s smak sign
ʂ sz szybko shore[3]
t t tak stow
[2] ć, c(i)[1] cierpki cheer[3]
ts[2] c całkiem cats
[2] cz czy child[3]
v w wartość vile
w[6] ł ładny way
x ch, h chleb (Scottish) loch
h(i)[1] hiacynt huge
z z zebra zebra
ʑ ź, z(i)[1] ziarno vision, azure[3]
ʐ ż, rz rzadko
IPA Polish Example English approximation
a a tam art
ɛ e em bet
ɛ̃ ę[4] kęs length
i i[1] piwo eat
ɨ y my roses
ɔ o rok rock
ɔ̃ ą[4] wąs wrong
u u, ó duży 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


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 The letter ‹i›, when followed by a vowel, either 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, so for example zima, ci and dzisiaj are pronounced as if spelled ‹źima›, ‹ći›, ‹dźiśaj›.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Affricates such as /ts/ and /dʐ/) are correctly written with tie-bars: /t͡s/, /d͡ʐ/. The tie-bars are omitted in the above chart, as they do not display correctly in all browsers. Nonetheless, Polish does contrast affricates with stop + fricative clusters, like czysta [ˈt͡ʂɨsta] "clean" versus trzysta [ˈtʂɨsta] "three hundred".
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 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, whereas the alveolo-palatal sounds are "soft", realized with the middle of the tongue raised, adding a bit of a ‹y› or ‹ee› sound to them.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 The letters ‹ą› and ‹ę› represent the nasal vowels /ɔ̃, ɛ̃/, except when followed by a stop or affricate, where they represent oral vowels /ɔ, ɛ/ followed by a nasal consonant homorganic with the following stop or affricate (e.g. kąt [ˈkɔnt], gęba [ˈɡɛmba], ręka [ˈrɛŋka], piszący [piˈʂɔnt͡sɨ], pieniądze [pjɛˈɲɔnd͡zɛ], pięć [ˈpjɛɲt͡ɕ], jęczy [ˈjɛnt͡ʂɨ]).
  5. Allophone of /n/ before a velar /ɡ, k, x/.
  6. The traditional pronunciation [ɫ] is still found in a minority of speakers.

Further reading

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External links