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The singular "paczek" is pronounced "PUN-check"


i heard someone pronounce paczki as punch-ki. i was very confused as i never heard of this stuff until now.

Kate: thanks!

RobynT: that's how I say it, too. It's the singular noun that confused me. The Wikipedia entry on paczki makes a special mention of the plural pronunciation for the Detroit area, which makes me wonder how it's pronounced elsewhere.


singular: "PUN-check"
plural: "POONCH-ki"

at least, that's what my Polish-native relatives say is correct :O)

No, paczki is not pronounced 'poonch-ki' or 'pun--ki'. The letter 'a' in paczki is a letter not found in our English alphabet, it's really more of a nasal sound. Although I have no idea how to really explain short of saying it, but, maybe:


What is for sure is that there is definitely no 'oo' or 'u' sound in it.

I was intrigued by the plum, but not able to order any. However, Big City Bakery also 'imported' paczki from a Hamtramck area bakery. I noticed this as I walked by this morning, so I stopped in for one [no plum available, so i got raspberry]. Much better than the grocery store fare I've had before, but it would have been fun to have a side-by-side taste test! :^)

No, paczki is not pronounced 'poonch-ki' or 'pun--ki'. The letter 'a' in paczki is a letter not found in our English alphabet, it's really more of a nasal sound. . . .

What is for sure is that there is definitely no 'oo' or 'u' sound in it.

Okay. Can we get an mp3 file of a native speaker saying both the singular and the plural, so we can post that and have a definitive answer?

(BTW, the paczki we got from Copernicus were indeed excellent, though I doubt they have any left. The "rose" wasn't very rose-like, but it was good.)

I was good, I had only one :)

The "a" in paczki is actually written with a little hook on it in Polish, signifying that it is nasalized. There's an example here:


For anyone who speaks French, it's pretty much the same sound as the nasal "o" in the French words "son" or "onze".

Just as you wouldn't tell people to say "Gray POO poon" or "Gray POO pun" or "BOON zhoor" or "BUN zhoor" for "Grey Poupon" or "bonjour," you shouldn't be telling people to mispronounce "pa,czki" (there's an "accent" mark on the "a"--"paczki" are packages). It's pronounced "POANCH kee" (and one is a"pa,czek"--pronounced "POAN chek)!! Yes, there are people who mispronounce it . There are people who say "EYE tal yun" (Italian); "aks" (ask); "ih lih NOIZ" (Illinois)--but why promote the incorrect? While we're at it--it's "pyeh RAW gee" (pierogi--also plural). One is a "PYEH roog": piero'g.
We are so ignored in the media. When a Slavic word or name is mentioned, it should be correctly pronounced!!
R. Duslack

Thanks! Again, it would be great if a native speaker like yourself could record an MP3 file so we can hear what it actually sounds like. We'll be happy to post it as a new post -- so people can say it correctly just in time for Paczki Day.

Just curious as to why this day is called "Paczki Day" in Detroit? I'm from the Chicago area and always thought it was a Polish "Fat Tuesday" fare. (Which would make sense because they would be clearing out the cupboards for fasting during Lent.)

I forgot to add that there is an mp3 file of the correct pronunciation on Wikipedia.


I've been searching for more information on Paczki Day and found some fairly informative sites that answered my previous question. If anyone else is interested, I listed a couple of them below. (One even has a recipe if you want to try to make them on your own.) It is indeed part of the pre-Lent celebration, though in Poland more are eaten on Fat Thursday than Fat Tuesday.



pie... yeah


type in paczki and it will speak it for you...the a in the word is more pronounced like an ow, it's nasaly...

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