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Helen Betts | all galleries >> Kraków: The Jewel of Central Europe > The Cloth Hall and the challenge of Polish
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The Cloth Hall and the challenge of Polish
17-MAY-2012

The Cloth Hall and the challenge of Polish

I was fascinated with the Polish language during our week in Kraków. My undergraduate degree is in linguistics, so wherever we go, I'm always interested in trying to figure out the sound system of the local language. Hungarian (which I don't speak but am good with place names!) is pretty difficult, but Polish was an incredible challenge with all the consonants and not so many vowels in between.

These are two cities in Poland and are pronounced (roughly) Chens-ta-HO-va and (much to my amazement) VROTS-waf. The biggest surprise, though, was Łódź -- pronounced not Lodz but WOOODJ.

I kept asking salespeople and waiters how to pronounce things, and they were happy to oblige. On our last evening in town, I decided to have duck and when the waiter came, I told him I wanted to try to order it without his assistance; he said sort of incredulously, "In Polish??" So I did, and he understood and even said it was "perfect" (after spending five minutes trying to figure out the sounds of the word ;-)).

Nikon D700 ,Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
1/80s f/5.0 at 70.0mm iso200 full exif

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William Barletta25-May-2012 23:49
Great story. Brava!
Stephanie25-May-2012 21:22
Beautiful painted crests and vaulted ceiling! V
Very interesting story too! Linguistics, eh? :)
joseantonio25-May-2012 16:40
Interesting to know this curiosities in the Polish language