Digraphs – dwuznaki

Posted on 23. Apr, 2012 by in Grammar, Languages, Polish Language

A combination of two letters representing one sound is called digraph (dwuznak, plural: dwuznaki). There are few of these in Polish language.

Here they are as well as examples of words we use them in:

CH – In modern standard Polish, “ch” is pronounced identically to “h”. It obviously makes the pronunciation aspect easier while messing up the simplicity of the spelling at the same time… For most Polish students, learning when to use “ch” and “h” is a painful process involving hours of writing mind-bogglingly boring dictations. The same goes for rz and ż, and for u and ó.

chodnik (pavement)

chemia (chemistry)

chleb (bread)

chirurg (surgeon)

chmura (cloud)

chrześcijaństwo (christianity)

 CZ – This sound is pronounced similarly to the English ch in chalk

czas (time)

czerwony (red)

czasami (sometimes)

człowiek (person)

czytać (to read)

czuć (to feel)

 DZ –  it becomes softer sound when followed by “i” (for example “dzik” – boar)

dzwon (bell)

dzban (jug)

– Try not to confuse it with ć or dż!

więk (sound)

wig (lift, elevator)

wignia (lever)

 DŻ – It sounds more or less like the English j in Joe.

em (jam)

dżdżownica (earthworm)

dżdżysty (rainy)

ungla (jungle)

insy (jeans)

entelmen (gentleman)

 RZ – You pronounce it identically to ż – practically the same as the s in leisure or pleasure.

rzecz (thing)

rząd (row)

rzeka (river)

rzadko (rarely)

rzeczownik (noun)

rzeczoznawca (expert)

 SZ – similar to English “sh” in shovel

szary (gray)

szpilka (pin)

szczery (honest)

szarlotka – (apple pie)

szalony (crazy)

szczęście (happiness)

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Let me know if you have questions:)

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)

US Medal of Freedom for Jan Karski

Posted on 20. Apr, 2012 by in Countries, Culture, Famous people, History

Jan Karski, the Polish WW II resistance fighter, is to be posthumously awarded with the US Medal of Freedom, America’s top civilian honour, by President Barack Obama.

Award to Jan Karski – the man who tried to warn the West about the Holocuast being perpetrated by the German Nazis in occupied Poland – was announced by President Obama during a ceremony at the Holocaust Museum in Washington.

“I’m proud to announce that this spring I will honour [Karski] with America’s highest civilian honour—the Presidential Medal of Freedom,” Obama said during a tour of the museum, Monday.

“We must tell our children about how this evil was allowed to happen—because so many people succumbed to their darkest instincts; because so many others stood silent,” Obama said.

“But let us also tell our children about the Righteous Among the Nations [those who saved Jews during WW II]. Among them was Jan Karski—a young Polish Catholic—who witnessed Jews being put on cattle cars, who saw the killings, and who told the truth, all the way to President Roosevelt himself.”

Jan Karski, who died in 2000, was a courier for the Polish Underground and escaped occupied by Poland and made it to London, where he gave eyewitness accounts of the horrific conditions in the Warsaw Ghetto to the Polish-government-in-exile and British government.

After the war, Karski settled in the United States and became a lecturer at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service.

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)

Touring Poland on two wheels

Posted on 17. Apr, 2012 by in Countries, Culture, Geography, Places to visit, Sports, Transport, travel, Vacation

Poland really is a country of diverse landscapes, with mile after mile of sandy beaches in the North, rugged mountains in the South, and large patches of unspoilt forest and lakeland. What better way to explore this diverse and fascinating country than on a bike? After all, as most bikers would agree, you get much closer to your surroundings on a motorbike than you would on any other form of transport.

If the thought of a long and tiring ride through the motorways of Western Europe is what is putting you off touring Poland, how about flying to Poland, and then hiring a bike when you arrive? Cameron Motorcycle Tours in Bielsko-Biała is run by two enthusiastic bikers who will rent out anything from an Aprilia Pegaso 650, ideal for a beginner or intermediate rider, to a Harley Davidson 883 Sportster. They will even hire out the protective Gortex or leathers, though as it tends to be motorbike enthusiasts who are attracted to touring Poland by bike, most arrive with their own protective clothing.

While exploring Poland by motorbike is just as straightforward as it would be in any other part of Europe, there are some distinct advantages of doing it as part of a group tour. If a tour is led by experienced riders who know the roads well, they should be able to make the riders in the group aware of some of the best roads to ride on as well, and give tips on dealing with some of the more challenging roads. Best of all, they should know all the best places to stop – whether it be a quick lunch en route, or a more leisurely feast at the end of the day. Ah yes, the end of the day, when riders are feeling weary – that’s when the support van that comes in handy.

Another advantage of going on a guided tour as part of a group is the friends that you make – fellow biking enthusiasts. You might not be able to persuade your friends from home to come and join you on a two-week tour, however you might not feel like going it alone. On tours, you’ll meet fellow enthusiasts, and hopefully bond with them during evening meals and nights out, when you’re not in the saddle.

Please let us know if you attended a tour like that in Poland and what you thought about it!

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)