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Notes about the Polish language:

Many native English speakers are intimidated by the combinations of consonants that are common in the Polish language. It may be a surprise to you that Polish is a phonetic language, so once you learn how the combinations of letters sound, you can read Polish quite accurately. It is also worth noting that the accent in Polish is almost always on the penultimate syllable. Female surnames usually end in ‘A’ and the corresponding male surname ends in “I” – so it is Pan Majewski (for a man) and Pani Majewska (for a woman). Pan is Polish for mister or sir, and is commonly used with both first and last names. Pani is Mrs. or Miss and also used with first and last names. 
Prz= psh like silencing a child, (przysięga = pshi-SHEN-ga)
RZ  = like the second g in garage
Ci, CZ = CH, like Church  (Wieliczka – Vyel-LEECH-ka)
Sz, ś, si = SH, like Shoot (Sikorski = She-KOR-ski)
W = like a V in English (Wanda  = Vanda) unless at the end of the word, then like F (Kraków = KrakOOF)
J = like the y in English (Majewski – My-yef-ski)
ź, ż, zi = similar to RZ, like the second g in garage
ł = like the W in English. (łapanka  = Wa-PAHN-ka)
DZ, dź = j like jeopardy (Łódź = WOOJ)
Ó = u as in uber
There are some vowels like ą and ę that are not found in English, but are more likely familiar to those who have studied French or Portuguese. Both are nasal vowels. 


Polish Vocabulary / Key Places

Szarlotka - a traditional apple cake 

Łapanka - roundup
Wieliczka - Henryk’s home town, also famous for its salt mines
Krakowianka - folk dance from the Kraków region, Poland’s most famous folk dance style

Kraków - Poland's second largest city and former capital until 1596, later taken over by the Nazi General Government as the seat of occupied Poland

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