Polish Names






Parish Affiliations of the Former Archdiocese of Wilno
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Polish and Lithuanian

Some of the letters of the alphabets of both languages represent similar sounds that are rendered differently in the orthography of each language. These include

Polish                                   Lithuanian

             cz                                       č

Here are some generalizations. They should, in no case, be treated as hard and fast phonetic rules. They are merely intended as a very general guide.

1.  Many times when the vowel is "o" in Polish, it is
     rendered as an "a" in Lithuanian (and vice versa)
Troki vs Trakai
                    Poporcie vs Paparčiai

2.  The Polish plural endings -y, -e and -i frequently are
     rendered as -ai in Lithuania
                         Daugi vs Daugai
Gielwany vs Gelvonai
Komaje vs Kamajai

3.  The Polish suffix -iszki/yszki may appear in
Lithuanian as
          -ikis   Dorsuniszki vs Darsūnikis
 -ikės  Ejszyszki vs Eiikės

4.  The Polish suffices -w and -owo may appear in
     Lithuanian as
           -ava   Lackw vs Leckava
-avas  Retowo vs Rietavas
-ave   Kiernw vs Kernave
           -uva   Datnw vs  Datnuva

5.  Place names beginning with H in Polish usually will
     not retain this letter in Lithuanian and will start with
     a vowel
             Hanuszyszki vs Onukis
             Hoduciszki vs Adutikis

6.  Phonetic Miscellanea

     When Polish uses w, Lithuanian will use v.
     Additionally, there are no nasal vowels in Lithuanian,
     and the rendition of these sounds is too varied to
     categorize here.  In general, the Polish nasal vowel ą
     represents a sound similar to but no means equivalent
     to -on or -om and Polish nasal vowel ę is vaguely
     represented by -em or -en.

7.  In some cases, the place name was translated from
     one language to another.  This is true only of place
     names with lexical items that are able to be actually
     translated from one language to another.  For
     example, Czerwony Dwr vs. Raudondvaris.

Polish vs Belarusian

Polish and Belarusian are both Slavic languages and their lexical stock and grammatical structure are quite similar.  However, Belarusian is written in the Cyrillic alphabet and Polish in the Roman.  Therefore, in addition to phonetic conversions, you also have to deal with another alphabet,.  Some of the more common generalizations on converting the Polish name to the Belarusian name are as follows:

1.  The Polish plural endings in many place names,
     which mostly end in the vowels -e or -i, will appear in
     Belarusian as some form of -i

Polish Suffix           Transliterated          Belarusian
         -ie                           i                             i
                     Bieniakonie vs Beniakoni

        -cze                          i                           чы
Baranowicze vs Baranavichi

        -ce                          chi                         чы
Mrozowice vs Morozovichi

2.  The Polish suffix -szczyzna is usually -shchyna
     (шчына) in Belarusian
Dzierkowszczyzna vs Dzerkaushchyna

3.  The Polish suffix -w frequently is rendered as -ava
     (ава) in Belarusian
                   Kossw vs Kosava (Kocава)
                   Janw  vs Ivanava )Іванава

4.  Polish o is frequently -1 in Belarusian
          Odelsk vs Аdelsk ( Адэлвск)
ssowa vs Asava (Асава)

5.  Polish w pronounced as an English v, frequently
     appears in Belarusian as a sound approximating
     English w, and represented by the lettter -ў
Adamwka vs Adamouka (Адамоўка)
Budsław vs Budslau (Будслаў)

6.  Polish H is frequently represented by the letter
     symbol for G (r) in Belarusian
           Holszany vs Galshany (Гальшаны)

7.  Polish rz is usually a plain r in Belarusian
           Krzywicze vs Krivychi (Крывічы)