Help From Polish Readers Needed

Dear speakers of Polish,

how do you pronounce the following last name “Cukrowicz”? I’m specifically interested in the first consonant. Is it pronounced as an [s] (like in seven) or [k] (like in cat)?

This is for a play with Polish characters that a colleague is directing.

Thank you!

15 thoughts on “Help From Polish Readers Needed

  1. I don’t speak Polish, but using the WP articles on Polish orthography, phonology, and alphabet, I have determined that “Cukrowicz” is pronounced something like “tsuKRAveech”.

    The o is pronounced roughly like a short wal. The other vowels have their usual continental values.


  2. In all the Slavic languages that use the Roman alphabet (besides Polish there’s Czech, Slovak, Croatian, Slovenian, Serbian (even Belarussian’s old Roman alpahbet) a plain c is ц (also in non-Slavic Hungarian, Lithuanian, Latvian and Albanian). Romanian is an exception since its neo-romance alphabet uses c more or less as in Italian – к or ч depending on what follows)

    That’s one reason I wish that there was a standardized Roman transliteration for Russian and Ukrainian based on the usage of other Slavic languages. Anglicized spellings like Yeltsin offend my sense of etymology (El’cin or Eljcin or even Jeljcin would be my preference).


    1. Transliteration confuses everybody so much that my sister and I ended up with slightly different last names during emigration because the different clerks who filed our passports had different ideas as to how to write the last name in English. They also messed up everybody ‘s first name. Except mine because it’s too simple to mess up.


      1. That kind of problem is not just due to separate alphabets. I’ve heard of Polish and German, Scandinavian and Italian immigrants whose names got respelled in immigration too.

        I also knew a Polish woman whose last name was spelled differently than the rest of her family because the hospital (in Poland) made a mistake filling out the paperwork when she was born and it turned out to be a lot easier keeping the wrong spelling than dealing with the bureaucracy necessary to change it.


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