Polish Alphabet

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The letters q (named: ku), v (named: fau), and x (named iks) do not belong to the Polish alphabet, but are used in some foreign words and commercial names. In loanwords they are often replaced by kw, w, and ks, respectively (as in kwarc "quartz", weranda "veranda", ekstra "extra").

For digraph (orthography)|digraphs and other rules about spelling and the corresponding pronunciations, see Polish orthography.

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Upper
case
Lower
case
Polish name
Usual value
Rough English (or
other) equivalent
Other values
A
a
a
ä
large
More front a between palatal or palatalized consonants
Ą
ą
ą
ɔ̃
nasal o as French bon
[ɔn], [ɔŋ], [ɔm]; merges with ɔ before w
B
b
be
b
bed
p when devoiced
C
c
ce
t̪͡s̪
pits
d̪͡z̪ if voiced.
Ć
ć
cie
t͡ɕ
alveolo-palatal)
d͡ʑ if voiced
D
d
de

dog
d̺ before d͡ʐ; t̪ when t̺ before t͡ʂ.
E
e
e
ɛ
bed
e between palatal or palatalized consonants
Ę
ę
ę
ɛ̃
nasal e
[ɛn], [ɛŋ], [ɛm]; merges with ɛ before w and often word-finally
F
f
ef
f
fat
v if voiced
G
g
gie
ɡ
go
k when devoiced.
H
h
ha
x
Scots loch
ɣ if voiced, may be glottal ɦ in a small number of dialects.
I
i
i
i
meet
j before a consonant; marks palatization of the preceding consonant before a vowel
J
j
jot
j
yes

K
k
ka
k
king
ɡ if voiced.
L
l
el
l
light
May be [lʲ] instead in eastern dialects
Ł
ł

w
will
ɫ̪ instead in eastern dialects
M
m
em
m
men
ɱ before labiodental consonants
N
n
en

not
n̺ before /t͡ʂ d͡ʐ/; can be ŋ before /k ɡ/.
Ń
ń

ɲ̟
alveolo-palatal)
Can be j̃ in syllable coda
O
o
o
ɔ
British English long
o between palatal or palatalized consonants
Ó
ó
ó or o z kreską
u
boot
ʉ between palatal or palatalized consonants
P
p
pe
p
spot
b if voiced
R
r
er
r
trilled r
Often ɾ in fast speech.
S
s
es

sea

Ś
ś

ɕ
alveolo-palatal)
ʑ (cf. Ź) if voiced
T
t
te

start
t̺ before t͡ʂ; d̪ if voiced; d|d̺ before d͡ʐ.
U
u
u
u
boot
ʉ between palatal or palatalized consonants, sometimes w after vowels
W
w
wu
v
vow
f devoiced
Y
y
igrek
ɘ̟
between fit and put

Z
z
zet

zoo
s̪ when devoiced.
Ź
ź
ziet
ʑ
alveolo-palatal
ɕ when devoiced.
Ż
ż
żet
ʐ
vision
ʂ when devoiced.

  • Sequences /t.t͡ʂ d.d͡ʐ/ may be pronounced as geminates [t͡ʂː d͡ʐː].
  • /ɘ/ is most often transcribed as /ɨ/, sometimes as /ɪ/.