Имам един приятел от Търново, и по някога има серйозни проблеми с разбирането
Oh, sorry, I have just read that you wrote that you cannot think of a literal translation for those words. I thought you were unaware if they meant something in any Slavic language.
Anyway, a very interesting topic. Keep up the good work. Cheers! =)
completely comfortable with:
1. Bulgarian (between 99% and 100%)
2. Croatian and Serbian (between 98% and 99%)
not so comfortable with:
3. Russian (somewhere above 50%)
4. Slovene (somewhere around 50%)
extra effort necessary:
5. Czech and Slovak (less than 50%)
extremely difficult to grasp:
6. Polish (less than 40%)
I have a question for Slovene speakers: Can most of your fellow citizens still understand and/or speak BCS? Because I'm under the impression that it remains a common ground for communication between Slovenes and Macedonians, rather than English - Slovene guests in Macedonia communicate in BCS with the locals.
About Russian, which I've studied for about 4 years, I can say that Slovene is very different from it. I think Russian is the most difficult Slavic language to understand and especially to speak correctly for a Slovenian. I think it is easier for Czechs, Bulgarians and BCS speakers (they share more similar words with Russian or more similar grammar than Slovene does). And those three languages are easier to comprehend for a Slovene speaker than Russian. I've learned BCS in a few months, while I'm still struggling with Russian.
Some areas of trouble: use of perfective/imperfective verbs; the verbs of motion; formation of future; many different case endings; different usage of prepositions (to add difficulty sometimes they also use different cases); omission of the verb "to be" in the present; the use of the instrumental case with some verbs which for a Slovenian is somehow confusing; not to talk about different ways to express age, possession, name, the verb must...; tons of different words and many false friends in basic vocabulary; vowel reduction and stress on different syllables make difficult to grasp similar words (for example water in Russian is pronounced vadà in Slovene vòda).
I'm curious about your experience.
Last edited by jadeite_85; 4th November 2012 at 12:40 AM.
I think what I want to ask belongs to this thread. Which languages are not subtitled or added voice-over when broadcasting a TV programme. What I can say regarding the mutual intelligibility of Slovak and Czech, they never use subtitles, but all other Slavic languages are subtitled. How about mutual intelligibility and subtitles among other Slavic languages?
[ɒkinɛk humorɒ vɒn, mindɛnˤtud, ɒkinɛk niŋʧ, mindɛnrɛ ke.pɛʃ]
Once I asked about the intelligibility of former Yuguslavia languages to a Bosnian, and he told me that it is possible, but Makedonians are more dificul because of their accent. / And, once talking to a Belarusian, she wrote some words in Russian and Belarusian, the words looked very similar. / I think there is three groups of Slavic languages: one formed by Slovak, Czech and Polish; other by Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian; and one by former Yuguslavia (I know that there is more Slavic languages than it).
Ah, dative, sir! Ahh! No, not the dative, sir! Oh, the... accusative! Accusative! Ah! 'Domum', sir! 'Ad domum'!
I wonder how it is in Ukraine now. In the past Russian programmes weren't necessarily subtitled, now, as far as I know, legal requirements demand it, but is it obeyed in the eastern or southeasten part of the country? Maybe some Ukrainian citizens could explain it. And how is it in Belarus?
Last edited by marco_2; 27th November 2012 at 4:24 PM.
Well I'm a native Croatian, and have been since about 14 centuries.
Well, I adore linguistics, it's simply fascinating for me to study them in my pass time.
I can give you from my point of view, what I think I understand from each Slavic language, written and spoken. I'v also learned the Cyrillic alphabet.
Spoken Russian- Up and around 40-60%. The language isn't too different, and if one speaks slow enough, and the other tries really hard, they can have a basic conversation. I was in Croatia with my parents and aunt, and there was a Russian lady who needed help calling home from the public payphone. My mom and my aunt thought she spoke Croatian, but only realized she spoke Russian around halfway through the conversation. They seemed to be able to understand each other quite well, however when I hear Russians talk, depending on the phrase, I can understand about 30%, however, there are different dialects of Russian, some of which I only understand 20% of, while others I get about 60%.
Written Russian- About 80-95%. Russians have a VERY similar alphabet to the serbian Cyrillic alphabet, except for the bacwards "R", which I thinks makes the "y" sound. I can read Russian without almost any hesitation.
Spoken Ukranian- I was surprised to find that Ukrainian is WAY more similar to Croatian than it is to Russian. The mutual intelligibility to Russian is only 76%, while to Croatian it's a huge 87%! Depending on how thick your accent is, I can understand anywhere between 60-80% what a Ukraine says. Having a conversation with them might be a little harder, but I can understand almost everything they say. The mutual intelligibility might be asymmetric.
Written Ukranian- I don't know if they have the same Cyrillic as Russian, but there alphabet is a bit iffy to me. I can understand about 70% of their written writing. Two people of Serbian and Ukranian descent would be able to write letters to each other, and get the big idea of what they were saying.
Belarus-I've never heard this language, so I can't really comment on it.
All Together: About 60%
Spoken Czech- About 70-80%. Czech, at least by me, is very easy to understand and I've had many conversations with my Czech friends, and we've managed to keep the conversation alive, it is no problem to understand Czech
Written Czech- Eh, around 70%. They got some weird things going in their alphabet, what not with this letter "ř" On top of that, written language is always harder for me, I get it better if I have a visual grasp.
Spoken Polish- After having so much exposure to Polish, I can safely say I can understand almost EVERYTHING Polish people say. For a person with a new dawn to either language (Croatian, or Polish), it might be only 60%, but after using "code phrases" with my Polish friends in elementary school, I can understand about 90%.
Written Polish- See Czech.
Slovak- See Czech (They are almost the same language with 99% mutual intelligibility)
All together: About 80%
Spoken Serbian- 100%. Everything. There may be 1 or two words off but otherwise, I can understand EVERYTHING a Serbian says.
No written Serbian for this part
Bulgarian- Around 80%. A Croatian and Bulgarian person could have a conversation, no problem. There might be some dialects that differ, but all in all, they're very similar.
Written Bulgarian- WOAH, this one is really iffy. Only about 60% I'd say. They have some additional Cyrillic letters they put in front of another letter and it can sometimes be very confusing.
Macedonian- I'm surprised how little people rate these languages to be similar. I can understand 100%! I have Macedonian neighbors and I talk with them all the time, and I can't notice a difference in the 2 languages. They are basically the same.
Written Macedonian- Around 95%. There might be VERY slight differences but all in all you could even Facebook each other using slang and understand each other.
Slovenian- Like 95%. I had a Slovenian teacher and we talked to each other all the time in our own languages, and none of us had any trouble talking. They are very mutually Intelligible.
Written Slovenian- About 98%, it's almost the same as Croatian.
All Together: About 87%
GRAND MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING FOR ALL SLAVIC LANGUAGES, WRITTEN AND SPOKEN COMPARED TO CROATIAN:
About 72%.So to conclude, you're pretty much covered understanding the Slavic Langauges if you know one, and almost Guaranteed if you 1 from all 3 branches.
Misc. that is part of Balto Slavic Languages, but are not Slavic Languages:
Lithuanian+ Latvian= 10%. This goes for written too. I can't understand a word they say because they are only Baltic languages. The only two things we have in Common is that we are Indo-European and Balto-Slavic, granting us about a 10% chance of understanding each other.
Hope this helps!
Certainly for a Slovene is easier to learn BCS, even without studying, but just listening to Croats/Serbs speaking (I did this with my friends - at the beginning I was just quiet, month after month I understood more and more and I started to talk it). But is not that immediate IMO. I mean you need exposure.
I want to say something about Bulgarian: I'm listening in this period to some Bulgarian songs and I can understand 70%-80% of the text (but it is more difficult without reading the text) and I'm becoming more familiar to Bulgarian words ("iskam" meaning "I want" instead of Slovene "I search"). But most of the words I can understand because of Russian or BCS, less because of Slovene. I doubt I could understand 70%-80% of text without knowing previously these two languages.
I'm quite impressed by all of you that say that you can easily understand and talk in all Slavic languages! Congratulations!
Maybe Slovene is not a good gate to other Slavic languages, because of heavy German and Italian influence in syntax, some archaism in basic vocabulary and newly formed words with Slavic roots that aren't found in other languages like "sladkor" ("sugar")?
Last edited by jadeite_85; 6th December 2012 at 10:27 PM.
I personally disagree, there might 1 or 2 MAJOR words in the Slovene in Croatian language that differ in meaning, but for sure if a Slovene needs to speak to a Croatian, they can converse without a problem. It's like a Scottish person talking to an Aussie. Sure they have some things that are different (like instead of saying "what floor are you on" they'll say "what station are you on", or when taking attendance in Australia, they say taking the register) but all in all, Slovene and Croatian are VERY mutually intelligible. To be fair, there may be key phrases that could differ, but at least 85% of the language, WITHOUT ANY PRIOR EXPOSURE, is mutually intelligible.
Then again, I could've just been taught a different dialect of Croatian.
I am not sure what you mean by intelligibility in this thread (what level of understanding), but except perhaps the languages of former Yugoslavia, Slavic languages are not mutually intelligible in the 21st century. Some words yes, but the languages have totally different grammars and phonetic systems (stemming from the same, many centuries ago). I think most Polish speaking people would really understand only Slovak -- to a large extent (maybe about 80%) some Czech and Ukrainian, unless they studied the other Slavic languages thoroughly. I think Russian speakers probably understand Belarusian quite well and Ukrainian to a certain extent -- much lower, Bulagarian to some extent, and single phrases from other languages. This is about it, in my opinion.