Gdansk or Danzig – and how to pronounce Gdansk?

Gdansk pronunciation

When you were preparing your trip to Gdansk, you probably came across two names related to this city: Gdansk and Danzig. Of course, the proper one is Gdansk, but some people still tend to use the name Danzig. Danzig derives from German, so we will not care about how to pronounce it, but we will show you what the proper Gdansk pronunciation is.

History of the name Gdansk

The first mention about Gdańsk comes from the vita of Saint Adalbert, written in 999. The town’s name is written as “urbs Gyddannyzc” (this is why Gdansk celebrated its millennium in 1999). After that, Gdansk appeared in written documents as – among others –  Kdansk, Gdanzc, Dantzk, Dantzig, Danzig or Gdynsk.

Gdansk or Danzig?
Gdansk or Danzig? By Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel – http://diglib.hab.de/mss/553-helmst/start.htm, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36427506

The name Danzig was used mostly by people of German origins – and they had a long history of ruling the city. After the liberation from Nazi occupation, the official name is Gdansk, but the name Danzig is still widely used in Germany as it has deeply rooted in German. But remember – in Gdansk none of the inhabitants uses Danzig name. For us, this is always Gdansk.

How to pronounce the name Gdansk?

First of all, in Polish we write it Gdańsk, with “ń” letter.

And now the difficult part – how to pronounce the name of our city? Let’s split it into parts to make it easier.

Gda – this part is easy, as it is pronounced as “gda” part in the name Magdalenne

The hardest part is “ń“. If you pronounce it as simple “n” everyone will understand you, but if you want to sound like a pro, you need to soften it. This is the same sound as “n” in the English word “new”

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Then it’s easy again. Do you like Ska music? “-sk” ending is exactly the same as “sk” part in the word “Ska”

Gda-ń-sk!

And here is the audio showing how to pronounce Gdansk:

 

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