Fat Tuesday is over and today begins lent. And that means another season of hearing pączki mispronounced and made plural when it already is (singular pączek, plural pączki) is done. Amen.
I get that some sounds are hard to translate from one language to another, but pączki is not pronounced poonch-key. There is an oo sound in Polish, but it’s not what ą sounds like. I also understand there aren’t a lot of Polish-speaking people out there, but we all know how to order fajitas, right? And quesadillas? Even lasagna for that matter.
While we’re at it, let me say that gołąbki are not golumpki. It sounds like [ɡɔ-wɔmpki] and it, too, is already plural. But now I’m asking a lot. Let’s get back to pączki.
If it’s too much to ask to pronounce them [pɔntʂhki] a perfectly acceptable alternative would be to call them Polish donuts. Just please don’t call them poonchki.