I Dare You To Pronounce These Polish Towns

Polish is often considered one of the most difficult languages for English speakers to learn. Its convoluted combinations of the letters “s,” “c” and “z” and addition of unfamiliar letters like “ł” or “ń” make you want to drink several shots of vodka while smashing your face into a plate of pierogi.

If you’ve ever visited Poland, you might have found it difficult to explain where you went for the sheer fact that you couldn’t even pronounce the town name! “Warsaw” is easy enough to say, but some Polish towns were created to murder your tongue and vocal cords.

Below is a list of what I think are the top 10 hardest Polish towns to pronounce. Are you up to the challenge?

10. Szczecin:

Szczecin is Poland’s seventh-largest city, located in the northwestern part of the country near the Baltic Sea. It’s one of Poland’s major seaports and has a population of roughly 400,000. Szczecin is the highest-profile Polish town on this list, but it’s much easier to pronounce than what’s to come.

Stettin

Szczecin, Poland’s seventh-largest city, and tenth most difficult town to pronounce.

9. Rdziostów:

Located in southern Poland, Rdziostów has a population of only 431, and those people are the only ones who can pronounce its name properly.

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Rdziostów

8. Siemianowice Śląskie:

This is a town also located in southern Poland.  It’s not far from the major city of Katowice and was once a blue-collar industrial town. I hear there’s a brewery here. Gee, I hope so, for the sake of those who have to pronounce this town on a regular basis.

town-Siemianowice_Śląskie.JPG

Siemianowice Śląskie

7. Czechowice-Dziedzice:

Uh-oh, we have a hyphen in this town-name, and that’s never good. It even rhymes if you pronounce it correctly. This town serves as a major railroad junction between four major lines heading in all directions  and lies in southwestern Poland.

town-Czechowice-Dziedzice

Czechowice-Dziedzice

6. Pszczyna:

Located in southern Poland, Pszczyna is known for its beautiful Renaissance castle and other interesting historical sites. Unfortunately, nobody can figure out how this town got its name, with various scholars debating it to this day. You know the name is convoluted when even the Poles can’t figure out its origin.

town-pszczyna castle

The Renaissance castle in Pszczyna.

5. Dzierżoniów:

Ok, I don’t know the deal with south/southwestern Poland, but here is yet another town that has a ridiculous pronunciation down there. Dzierżoniów is named after Jan Dzierżon, who was a Polish priest, scientist and human tongue twister.

town-Dzierżoniów

Dzierżoniów

 

4. Kędzierzyn-Koźle:

Another hyphenated town name! Yay! This was once two separate towns—Kożle and Kędzierzyn, until they decided their names were not complicated enough and combined in 1975. It’s located in southwestern Poland.

town-Koźle

Kędzierzyn-Koźle

 3. Ejszeryszki:

This village name looks like the alphabet vomited. It’s located far in northeastern Poland, right on the Lithuanian border. Ejszeryszki is part of Rutka-Tartak county. I know, it sounds like it’s from Star Trek or something.

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Ejszeryszki

 2. Łęczeszyce:

Łęczeszyce is a town near Warsaw in central Poland. All this place is known for is its centuries-old monastary. The monks inside are said to spend hours meditating on how to pronounce the name of the town they live in.

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The monastary in Łęczeszyce

1. Wytrzyszczka:

And number one….Wytrzyszka. I had the experience of driving through this southern Polish village a few months ago with my cousin and his dad, who decided to put my Polish skills to the test, daring me to read this town name as the car breezed past the welcome sign. I survived this masochistic game, but barely…let’s see how you do.

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The breathtaking Tropsztyn castle neat Wytrzyszczka.

Look at any map of Poland, and you’re bound to find more Polish towns that are spelled to kill. Do you have anything to add to this list? Comment below!

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13 thoughts on “I Dare You To Pronounce These Polish Towns

  1. I don’t speak Polish, but are familiar with some of the typical things, like the w takes a V sound. I can’t even begin to pronounce these towns. My maternal grandparents were born in Poland but no one taught us the language… other than a few words.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. For a Polish speaker, it is the proverbial, peace of cake. Personally, I love all those hard to pronounce names, including my surname.

    Like

  3. Chruszczewka Szlachecka
    Pszczółki-Szerszenie
    Ruszcza-Płaszczyzna
    Przedmieście Szczebrzeszyńskie
    Brzozowo-Chrzczonki
    Chrząszczówka
    Krzyczki-Żabiczki
    Leszcze Częściowe
    Leśniczówka Leszczydół
    Leśniczówka Skarżysko Kościelne
    Mieczki-Sucholaszczki
    Potrzymiech Rzeszynkowski
    Przeździatka-Leśniczówka
    Przeździecko-Pierzchały
    Rzeszotary-Pszczele
    Szczawno Rożdżalskie
    Szczuczarz
    Trzebcz Szlachecki
    Trzeszczany Pierwsze
    Wrzeszczewice-Tomaszew
    Wrzeszczewiczki
    Download: http://ksng.gugik.gov.pl/urzedowe_nazwy_miejscowosci.php
    Use Regular expression in search for more tongue twisters: ((sz|cz|rz|ch|ś|ć|ź|ż).*){4,}

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cute story. I wonder why the author didn’t include phonetic pronunciations so non-Polish speakers could learn how these towns’ names are pronounced.

    Like

  5. FYI: i know where all our vowels have gone to: people from India! I have several Indian Doctors and they must be pretty wealthy, because they “bought” all the vowels! Their names are as difficult to pronounce as any good Polish name or town! I can pronounce most Of those names, but they sure dont role off the tongue, And driving in Poland, we found it difficult trying to find a street, because even at 25 mph, you couldn’t identify the whole name in one pass of the sign!

    Like

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