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BobK
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Joined: 11 Nov 2008
Replies: 231
Location: Portland, Oregon USA

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Post Posted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:25 pm      Post subject: Niewiera
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While in Brooklyn, we went to a Polish resurant on Manhatten Ave in Greenpoint for some old-fashioned 'soul food'. After, the wives *had* to shop in the numerous small shops. Bored, I wandered in the clothing shop they were in and chatted with the owner.

I learned that I was pronouncing my mother's maiden name slightly wrong. I didn't realize the 'w' in Niewiera sounded like a 'v' while pursing the lips to form 'f'. At least, by her dialect.

She wasn't familiar with that name, but when I added that family stories said he was "Lithuanian", she agreed that perhaps that was why it was unfamiliar to her. She had no idea if there was any 'meaning' to it.

Are there great variations in Polish pronunciation? I recall a German teacher claiming there were nearly 100 major variations in German, and I know my German grandmother scoffed at the 'high German' I was learning in high school.

Bob K.
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Zenon
PolishOrigins Team Leader


Joined: 28 Apr 2007
Replies: 1468
Location: Poland

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Post Posted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:36 am      Post subject: Re: Niewiera
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BobK wrote:


Are there great variations in Polish pronunciation? I recall a German teacher claiming there were nearly 100 major variations in German, and I know my German grandmother scoffed at the 'high German' I was learning in high school.



Do you mean variations in Polish pronunciation in different Polish language dialects?
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BobK
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Joined: 11 Nov 2008
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Location: Portland, Oregon USA

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Post Posted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:28 pm      Post subject: Re: Niewiera
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Zenon wrote:
BobK wrote:


Are there great variations in Polish pronunciation? I recall a German teacher claiming there were nearly 100 major variations in German, and I know my German grandmother scoffed at the 'high German' I was learning in high school.



Do you mean variations in Polish pronunciation in different Polish language dialects?


Yes.

I'd think that Poland, having covered so much territory at one time, and having so many other-language speakers living throughout, would have caused regional variations. We certainly have them here in the USA.

Bobk.
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Zenon
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Joined: 28 Apr 2007
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Location: Poland

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Post Posted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:20 am      Post subject:
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That's right, we still have regional dialects in Polish language.

Only a few days ago while visiting with Shellie one of the Gorale (Highlander) family (click here for this day entry on the blog: http://blog.polishorigins.com/2009/07/16/ ) during interpreting from Polish Gorale dialect into English I had difficulties to understand my compatriots a few times. They have characteristic dialect, a little similar to Czech and Slovak language, and they place the accent a little differently, not always in the second to the last vowel, like in "official" Polish.

When you go to Silesia you will also hear different words, greatly influenced by German language.

At the east edge of our country especially older people speak with a drawl making their language similar to Russian.

And even if you are Polish from birth and you visit Kaszuby (region south from Gdansk, nearby Baltic Sea) you will only understand the worst swearwords while listening Kaszubians talking between themselves Laughing .

Even today my wife Magda often teases me when I throw in German words (my family comes from Galicia, which was for more than a hundred years under Austria reign). Then I start speaking with a drawl (she comes from a town located nearby Ukrainian border) Smile .
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BobK
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Joined: 11 Nov 2008
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Location: Portland, Oregon USA

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Post Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:48 pm      Post subject: more on pronunciation
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My wife saw a lecture on TV about a book on Thaddeus Kosciusko ("The Peasant Prince") and got it for me. I'm enjoying the book so much that when I found I could see the lecture again on booktv.org (http://www.booktv.org/search.aspx?For=The%20peasent%20prince )
I had to watch it. (It's very interesting & I recommend it to you)..

The author, Alex Storozynski, (http://www.kosciuszkofoundation.org/News_Storozynski_Bio.html pronounced "Kosciusko" differently than my Polish relatives. We lived near the Kosciusko bridge in New York, so I heard it said often.

What I heard, growing up, may have been the Americanized or NY way of saying his name ("koz KEY oz KO" ), but Alex Storozynski pronounced it "koz CHEWS ko". Kosciusko is honored in many places in the US, couties named for him, more than one bridge in NY, and even a mustard!

In any case, Thaddeus' name was written numerous ways by the American revolutionaries, showing that Americans have always had problems with Polish names.. Wink

Do watch that lecture though, it's a 40 minute overview of the book, which describes how that Polish-American hero helped the U.S. win it's independence from Britain and what a unique person Kosciusko was.

Bob K
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BobK
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Joined: 11 Nov 2008
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Location: Portland, Oregon USA

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Post Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:49 pm      Post subject: more on pronunciation
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My wife saw a lecture on TV about a book on Thaddeus Kosciusko ("The Peasant Prince") and got it for me. I'm enjoying the book so much that when I found I could see the lecture again on booktv.org (http://www.booktv.org/search.aspx?For=The%20peasent%20prince )
I had to watch it. (It's very interesting & I recommend it to you)..

The author, Alex Storozynski, (http://www.kosciuszkofoundation.org/News_Storozynski_Bio.html pronounced "Kosciusko" differently than my Polish relatives. We lived near the Kosciusko bridge in New York, so I heard it said often.

What I heard, growing up, may have been the Americanized or NY way of saying his name ("koz KEY oz KO" ), but Alex Storozynski pronounced it "koz CHEWS ko". Kosciusko is honored in many places in the US, couties named for him, more than one bridge in NY, and even a mustard!

In any case, Thaddeus' name was written numerous ways by the American revolutionaries, showing that Americans have always had problems with Polish names.. Wink

Do watch that lecture though, it's a 40 minute overview of the book, which describes how that Polish-American hero helped the U.S. win it's independence from Britain and what a unique person Kosciusko was.

Bob K
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KKempa



Joined: 05 Apr 2009
Replies: 43
Location: Ontario, Canada

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:18 pm      Post subject:
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I have a question about a first name. My aunt's name is something like Valeria. We call her Vi and her brother called her Violet or Val. She's still alive but not of "sound mind" so I can't ask her. Is there a common Polish name Valeria or is it something else that's similar?
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Bill Rushin
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Joined: 14 Dec 2009
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Location: Virginia Beach, Va.

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:30 pm      Post subject:
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KKempa wrote:
I have a question about a first name. My aunt's name is something like Valeria. We call her Vi and her brother called her Violet or Val. She's still alive but not of "sound mind" so I can't ask her. Is there a common Polish name Valeria or is it something else that's similar?


Waleria= is a Polish name for girls meaning Strong.
Walerya=Polish- Strong, Brave, Healthy

Val-er-E-uh
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KKempa



Joined: 05 Apr 2009
Replies: 43
Location: Ontario, Canada

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Post Posted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:19 pm      Post subject:
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Again, thanks so much, Bill. Very Happy
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Slav
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Joined: 26 Sep 2010
Replies: 172
Location: Warsaw, Poland

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Post Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:12 am      Post subject:
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Just for the record, here is how the name Tadeusz Kościuszko (Kosciuszko) is pronounced. This text-to-speech synthesizer does quite a good job:

http://www.ivona.com/pl/?tk=jtXMADcU3M
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