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Drzymała's wagon (wikipedia.org)
109 points by danielam on Nov 12, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 23 comments

In case anyone wants to pronounce the name:

"drz" is unpronouncable in English, but probably closest to /j/ in "journalist", but with a /d/ in front of it (actually /dʐ/.) "y" is a slightly darker Schwa /ə/ (actually /ɨ/) and "ł" is the same as English /w/.

I'd render it in English as something like: djeh-MAW-uh.

Also worth reading is the Wikipedia article on spite houses in General: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spite_house Lots of cool examples of malicious compliance and plain disobedience.

Apperantly Google Translate got new voice for Polish pronounciation; here [1] are few examples of how "rz" and "ż" sounds like (the pronunciation is same but origin of each is different)

[1]: https://translate.google.com/#pl/en/Drzymała%3B%20potrzask%3...

“George” is probably a better example for English speakers than “journalist”, I think. The ‘g’ in George is typically a ‘drz’ sound.

Both of these should be /d͡ʒ/, which is an affricate. In some Polish dialects, "drz" is pronounced basically like that. But it seems to me (I'm not a native speaker, merely an observing linguist) that standard Polish does not in fact form an affricate here, but two separate consonants. Compare "dżem" (with an affricate) and "drzem" (with two separate consonants.)

That's what's so hard to pronounce for English native speakers, who have trouble with word initial consonant clusters (compare the English pronunciation of "Dvorak" as "Duhvorak.")

An added difficulty is that the fricative part here isn't alveolar as in either George or journalist, but retroflex (not /j/ but /ʐ/.)

My favorite Polish word in this regard is drzwi (door.) A word initial triple consonant cluster with an alveolar, retroflex and labio-dental sound, all voiced. Fun times.

Another fun word: "bezwzględny". Five consecutive consonants.

George actually begins with more of a 'dż'.

I’m still learning Polish, but aren’t ‘rz’ and ‘ż’ pronounced exactly the same?

No, at least not in Standard Polish.

There are three voiced sibilant affricates in Polish: d͡z, (alveolar) d͡ʐ, (retroflex) and d͡ʑ (palatal.)

The sound of rz and ż is indeed always a voiced (laminar) retroflex sibilant, but and here's the important distinction, following a consonant, ż forms an affricate (the middle one above) but rz does not; instead they remain as 2 separate phonemes (again, dialectal variations may apply.)

The other affricates are dz (alveolar) and dzi and dź respectively (palatal.)

I recommend the Polish phonology Wikipedia page, it seems to me to be relatively well sourced, though maybe a bit difficult to read for beginners: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_phonology#Consonants

EDIT: I think I wasn't clear: there is no difference between ż and rz, except when they follow a consonant. Then Xż is pronounced "in tandem" as an affricate, and Xrz is pronounced as two separate phonemes.

Although there are exceptions to it, eg. "budżet" (or budget) is typically pronounced as if it were spelled "budrzet", apparently owing to the French origin of the word.

Hi. I'm Pole. "Budżet" is pronounced with both short and long ż, depending on person and region. In most regions of Poland there is no correlation between written ż/rz and its pronounciation. This is one of the pains every polish kid has to go through and we just have to learn arbitrary rules and exceptions to where we write ż an where rz as there is no help from pronounciation. Same goes for u/ó and h/ch which also have identical pronounciation. Historically, there were differences in pronounciations but these were lost over time. There is a movement to completely eradicate these different forms to make the language a little bit easier, especially for kids. I think the time spent on these arbitrary, unnecessary details that cannot even be heard and very rarely providing any useful information could be used on learning something with a bit more value than just sentiment.

> There is a movement to completely eradicate these different forms to make the language a little bit easier, especially for kids.

As a Pole too, I'd be against it. There may be no difference in pronunciation, but the spelling is still linked to the grammar and origin of the word.

Eg. while "każe" and "karze" may be pronounced the same, the spelling clearly implies that the former one is a form of "kazać", while the latter is conjugated "karać". It's neither arbitrary nor unnecessary - it's perfectly logical and it conveys actual information.

Eradicating the difference would obfuscate the underlying links and structure completely, and I'm not sure whether it would really make learning easier in the long run. Simplification for the sake of simplification is a lossful process.

The idea is there is an opportunity cost to preserving the forms. The time devoted to learning this could be devoted to other things. Now, it is difficult to tell what is more valuable. But keep in mind most people don't care at all about orthographic rules but could gain a lot if that time was spent on something like educating young people on personal finances.

Although @admitrov gave you a nice, long answer that may be correct (I'm no linguist), as a native Pole never in my life have I heard a difference between rz and ż. Same with ó and u, as well as ch and h. If there really* was a difference, native speakers wouldn't have so much trouble with ortography.

*ch and h have historically been two different consonants but have gotten washed down into one.

There is no difference between ż and rz, there is a difference between dż and drz.

Per adimitrov example - compare dżem to drzem. As a standalone "letters" there's no example.

Some homeless people get wheelchairs to circumvent "sit-lie" local ordinances.

why is this here? as a pole I don't understand what's the connection between this and hackernews?

I may be under-thinking this, but getting a mobile house and moving it every 24 hours to peacefully circumvent "hostile" legislation against building houses, seems like a good hack.

There are more stories like that. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Churches_of_Peace In one case lutherans were not very welcome so they were only allowed to build three churches from wood, loam and straw, without steeples within time limit of 1 year, outside city limits. This was of course to prevent building of any large permanent structure. Lutherans built magnificent churches, two of them surviving to this day. https://www.google.pl/search?q=swidnica+kosciol+pokoju

New title "Law hacker lives in a van (1904)"

However oppressive the Prussian Partition could have been, they did recognize the law, in this case at least.

Under communism Drzymała wouldn't be unlikely to get threatened, beaten up or even killed by "unknown perpetrators" (secret police).

Prussia respected the slave permissions one had - hardly an excuse

I'm not excusing anything (especially being a native Pole myself), just pointing out a difference between a 19th century authoritarianism and 20th century ones.

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