SE English place names in Polish
Posted: 02 November 2017 07:02 AM   [ Ignore ]
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A couple of days ago there was some press interest in the UK in a newly-published book of the maps that the Soviet Union had prepared over a 40-year period in readiness to take over the UK. I was particularly struck by a map of southeast England in Polish.

From where I’m sitting (viz. between Dzylynem and Czetem) it’s retrospectively downright frightening how well the place names are rendered in Polish orthography. It’s not just that whoever prepared the transliterations had a perfect grasp of the English schwa, eclipsed H and un-sounded R: more than that, they actually knew how to pronounce Wrotham and West Malling, which I honestly wouldn’t expect anyone outside Kent to know how to do. (Root’m and West Mawling, which our Cold Warrior has correctly rendered as Rutem and Łest-Molyng.) This map would be dead useful for any Polish plumber coming to work in the area today.

BTW, you have to peer quite closely at the map to see this, but a lot of examples of what looks like the letter L are actually the Polish letter Ł, which is pronounced like an English W. Keep that in mind, as otherwise many names are hard to work out.

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Posted: 02 November 2017 05:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Saufend, lol, that’s quite how they say it.

I always previously thought the Ł was a dark lateral, so thanks for that info.

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Posted: 03 November 2017 03:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I always previously thought the Ł was a dark lateral

Well, yes, it is; but in practical terms, mentally substituting an English W will pretty much get you there.

I think the spelling I most admire in this whole map is Szijenes for Sheerness. It looks outlandish: but when you actually try it for sound, you find that yes, Sheer- is a disyllable, so that really is how we pronounce it.

This map for some reason reminds me of a story about Desirée Clary, the wife of Marshal Bernadotte who became king of Sweden. She hated Sweden so she lived in Paris and hardly ever joined her husband in his kingdom: but on one occasion in 1828 when she came to attend their son’s wedding, the loyal peasantry were instructed to line the road and, when her carriage was sighted, to shout “We want rain!” (“Vi vill ha regn!” in Swedish) which would sound to her like “Vive la Reine!”

[ Edited: 03 November 2017 03:36 AM by Syntinen Laulu ]
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Posted: 03 November 2017 05:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I always previously thought the Ł was a dark lateral

Well, yes, it is

I don’t think it is; it used to be, historically, but now I’m pretty sure it’s just /w/.  (I don’t speak Polish, but this is the kind of thing I pick up.)

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