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  1. #1
    NewHope is offline Senior Member
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    Default How to pronounce Lech Walesa

    Lech Walesa, former Poland President. How to pronounce Lech Walesa in English?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How to pronounce Lech Walesa

    Quote Originally Posted by NewHope View Post
    Lech Walesa, former Poland President. How to pronounce Lech Walesa in English?
    Well, it wouldn't be in English, it would be in Polish .

    I think it's pronounced Lek Vallessa, but perhaps there is a Polish reader who could help?

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    Ouisch is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: How to pronounce Lech Walesa

    My dad speaks some Polish, and when he pronouces "Lech" he sounds like a cat trying to bring up a hairball, so I can't begin to figure out how to type it phonetically.

    In the US, the newscasters usually pronounce it "Leck Wal-LAY-sah", but I'm sure that's no where close to the way Mr. Walesa says it.

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: How to pronounce Lech Walesa

    I have heard 'Vawessa' as well as 'Walaysah' in the UK, but I have no idea whether it's right or not.

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    Default Re: How to pronounce Lech Walesa

    The "CH" at the end of his first name is similar to the "CH" in German - a kind of a soft "K" sound with a strong hiss - also similar to the Scottish word "Loch"

    The "W" at the start of his surname is pronounced as a "V"

    The third letter in his surname is a diacritic character - a "l" with a slash through it. It's pronounced like a "W" in English.

    So I would guess the best guide would be

    le-H VAWessa

    At least that's my understanding...

  6. #6
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: How to pronounce Lech Walesa

    Quote Originally Posted by I.E. Lester View Post
    ...

    The third letter in his surname is a diacritic character - a "l" with a slash through it. It's pronounced like a "W" in English.?

    ...
    If by 'like' you mean 'not dissimilarly, using the phonemic resources of English'...

    b

  7. #7
    Soup's Avatar
    Soup is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: How to pronounce Lech Walesa

    Quote Originally Posted by NewHope View Post
    Lech Walesa, former Poland President. How to pronounce Lech Walesa in English?
    I've heard: leck, as in check, and va-len-sa.

  8. #8
    engee30's Avatar
    engee30 is offline Key Member
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    Cool Re: How to pronounce Lech Walesa

    If you want to sound Polish-like, you should pronounce the name as follows:

    Le(h) = (like the 'h' in how)
    Va'(wh) = (like the 'wh' in what) ensa

    Otherwise, try the following:

    Le(ck) Va'lensa (the easiest to say, I guess ).

    I'm Polish by birth, nationality, origin, and so on...

    The punctuation mark ' means the primary stress.

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    nyggus is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: How to pronounce Lech Walesa

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    I've heard: leck, as in check, and va-len-sa.
    Yes, listen to engee30. As a Pole, I might have problems with understanding "leck" as "lech". This reminds me how much time it takes to learn English pronunciation. Though they say Polish pronunciation is hard, and I met many non-Poles who claimed Polish sounds not nice, kind of rustling. Sounds fine for me (Polish, I mean)!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How to pronounce Lech Walesa

    Well,
    Lech Wałęsa: lek (or as in Polish lex) va:'wents (English Pronouncing Dictionary, Daniel Jones 17 th Edition)

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