All voiced obstruents /b, d, ɡ, v, z, ʐ, ʑ, dʐ, dʑ/ are devoiced (so /d/ becomes [t], etc.) at the ends of words and in clusters ending in any unvoiced obstruents /p, t, k, f, s, x, ʂ, ɕ, tʂ, tɕ/. The voiceless obstruents are voiced (/x/ becoming [ɣ], etc.) in clusters ending in any voiced obstruent except /v, ʐ/, which are themselves devoiced in this case.
See Polish phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds of Polish.
Primary stress (placed before the stressed syllable).
Usually the penultimate syllable of a word.
↑ aaaiEuooAaiOauThe letter ‹ai›, when followed by a vowel, either represents a pronunciation like a ‹aj› or a "soft" pronunciation of the preceding consonant (so pies is pronounced as if it were spelt ‹apjes›).
It has the same effect as an acute accent on alvoelar consonants (‹as›, ‹az›, ‹ac›, ‹adz›, ‹an›). So się, cios and niania are pronounced as if they were spelt ‹aśaęa›, ‹aćaos›, ‹ańaańaa›. A following ‹ai› also softens consonants when it is itself pronounced as a vowel, so for example zima, ci and dzisiaj are pronounced as if spelled ‹aźaima›, ‹aćai›, ‹adźaiśaaj›.
↑ aaaiEuooAffricates such as /ts/ and /dʐ/) are correctly written with tie-bars: /t͡aas/, /d͡aaʐ/. The tie-bars are omitted in the above chart, as they do not display correctly in all browsers. Nonetheless, Polish does contrast affricates with stop + fricative clusters, like czysta[ˈaat͡aaʂaaɨaasta] "clean" versus trzysta[ˈaatʂaaɨaasta] "three hundred".
↑ aaaiEuooPolish makes contrasts between retroflex and alveolo-palatal consonants, both of which sound like the English postalveolars /ʃ ʒ tʃ dʒ/ The retroflex sounds are pronounced "hard" with the front of the tongue raised, and the alveolo-palatal sounds are "soft" with the middle of the tongue raised, adding a bit of a ‹ay› or ‹aee› sound to them.
↑ aaaiEuooThe letters ‹ąa› and ‹ęa› represent the nasal vowels /ɔaã, ɛaã/, except when followed by a stop or affricate, where they represent oral vowels /ɔ, ɛ/ followed by a nasal consonant homorganic with the following stop or affricate (e.g. kąat[ˈaakɔaant], gęaaba[ˈaaɡaaɛaamba], ręaka[ˈaarɛaaŋaaka], pisząaacy[pʲaaiˈaaʂaaɔaant͡aasɨ], pieniąaadze[pʲaaeˈaaɲaaɔaand͡aazɛ], pięaać[ˈaapʲaaeɲaat͡aaɕ], jęaaczy[ˈaajɛaant͡aaʂaaɨ]).