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Thread: All Slavic languages: Mutual intelligibility

  1. #421
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    Re: All Slavic languages: Mutual intelligibility

    Quote Originally Posted by trosheniorasi View Post
    Wow! I didn't know it would be that indecipherable. Укендрил (качил) се пужел (охлюф) на гранкю (пръчка approx) па (и) нюри (почива approx).

    Охлюф се е покачил на пръчка и си почива/A snail has climbed on a stick and is resting


    Actually this is approximate, since I can't think of a literal translation for гранкю апd нюри in any language.
    Gran(k)a - branch
    Gnjurati - "to dive"

    Hope this helps.

  2. #422
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    Re: All Slavic languages: Mutual intelligibility

    Quote Originally Posted by trosheniorasi View Post
    Wow! I didn't know it would be that indecipherable. Укендрил (качил) се пужел (охлюф) на гранкю (пръчка approx) па (и) нюри (почива approx).

    Охлюф се е покачил на пръчка и си почива/A snail has climbed on a stick and is resting


    Actually this is approximate, since I can't think of a literal translation for гранкю апd нюри in any language.
    Well, how would we understand this? None of these words are standard language. It's hardcore dialect

  3. #423
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    Re: All Slavic languages: Mutual intelligibility

    Quote Originally Posted by Stormwoken View Post
    Gran(k)a - branch
    Gnjurati - "to dive"

    Hope this helps.

    Well in Torlakian "гранкю" refers only to a branch, which has fallen on the ground, and is the right size to whip a cow or some other animal.
    Нюри means literary to do nothing/stare aimlessly.

  4. #424
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    Re: All Slavic languages: Mutual intelligibility

    Имам един приятел от Търново, и по някога има серйозни проблеми с разбирането

  5. #425
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    Re: All Slavic languages: Mutual intelligibility

    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! =)

  6. #426
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    Re: All Slavic languages: Mutual intelligibility

    Quote Originally Posted by Montenegrina View Post
    I am native os Serbian, and my scale of Slavic languages is as follows:
    1. CROATIAN
    2. MACEDONIAN
    3. SLOVENIAN
    4. RUSSIAN
    5. BULGARIAN
    6. SLOVAK
    7. CZECH
    8. POLISH
    9. UKRAINIAN
    10. BELARUSSIAN
    native Macedonian 100%

    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%)

    no opinion:
    7. Belarussian
    8. Ukrainian

    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.

  7. #427
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    Re: All Slavic languages: Mutual intelligibility

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoj View Post

    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.
    BCS is quite easy to understand for me, maybe because of my high exposure to Serbian, Bosnian and Croatian pop songs. I can speak BCS quite well without studying it that much. I tried to understand some Bulgarian songs and IMO is a little bit more difficult.

    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.

  8. #428
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    Re: All Slavic languages: Mutual intelligibility

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoj View Post
    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.
    That's my impression too,—and also what I do—but I've noticed that in recent years more businesspeople from Slovenia know Macedonian and vice versa. I've also been in a situation where younger people from Slovenia and Macedonia (in their early 20s) were speaking English with one another.

  9. #429
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    Re: All Slavic languages: Mutual intelligibility

    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]

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    Re: All Slavic languages: Mutual intelligibility

    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).

  11. #431
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    Re: All Slavic languages: Mutual intelligibility

    Quote Originally Posted by MPA View Post
    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).
    Please, start reading the thread from the beginning.

  12. #432
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    Re: All Slavic languages: Mutual intelligibility

    Quote Originally Posted by MPA View Post
    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).
    Accent-shmaccent ... It's the grammar - the way sentences are formed that's the biggest difference between BCS and Macedonian.

  13. #433
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    Re: All Slavic languages: Mutual intelligibility

    Quote Originally Posted by Encolpius View Post
    What I can say regarding the mutual intelligibility of Slovak and Czech, they never use subtitles...
    (Open) subtitles are in fact rarely to be seen on Czech and Slovak TV stations. Nonetheless, new Slovak programs (films, TV series etc.) are broadcast dubbed in the Czech Republic. So much for the mutual intelligibility of Slovak and Czech. And even though Czech programs are broadcast in the original language in Slovakia (I don't think I've ever seen a Czech film dubbed into Slovak), all children's programs must be in Slovak.
    Quote Originally Posted by Encolpius View Post
    ...but all other Slavic languages are subtitled.
    Or dubbed.

  14. #434
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    Re: All Slavic languages: Mutual intelligibility

    Quote Originally Posted by Azori View Post
    All children's programs must be in Slovak.
    This is an important point. The use of subtitles or dubbing depends partly on mutual intelligibility but partly also on legal requirements.
    Ah, dative, sir! Ahh! No, not the dative, sir! Oh, the... accusative! Accusative! Ah! 'Domum', sir! 'Ad domum'!
    LoB sc.8

  15. #435
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    Re: All Slavic languages: Mutual intelligibility

    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.

  16. #436
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    Re: All Slavic languages: Mutual intelligibility

    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.

    East Slavic
    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%


    West Slavic
    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%

    South Slavic
    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!

  17. #437
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    Re: All Slavic languages: Mutual intelligibility

    Quote Originally Posted by Slavoniac View Post











    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.







    Hm, I'm still wondering what you mean by additional Cyrillic letters the Bulgarians put in front of their letters...

  18. #438
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    Re: All Slavic languages: Mutual intelligibility

    Quote Originally Posted by Slavoniac View Post
    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.
    Really? If you are capable to understand 98% of a Slovene written text either you are a talent or you have some previous knowledge/exposure to the language. Or maybe you speak Kajkavian. Shtokavian Croatian certainly isn't that similiar to Slovene. I'm Slovene and I've never really studied Croatian, but I've learned it with Croatian, Bosnian and Serbian friends. Now I can understand it well (let's say 85%-90%), but at the beginning (without previous exposure to it - to be fair just songs) it was more difficult. Well not that difficult to be fair. But I had to become accostumed to the accent, the "jesi li" thing, the "ću future" thing. The languages share a fair amount of vocabulary but I don't think it arrives at 95%. To give an exemple: just to talk about time (basic vocabulary) you'll have problems since vrijeme and ljeto have another meaning in Slovene, while godina, sutra, jučer, sat, proljeće aren't found in Slovene. Understandable words, though, are danas, jutro, zima, mjesec, tjedan. The words to say the names of the week are similar, but as for what concerns the names of the months a Slovene won't be able to guess any of the 12.
    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.

  19. #439
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    Re: All Slavic languages: Mutual intelligibility

    Quote Originally Posted by jadeite_85 View Post
    Really? If you are capable to understand 98% of a Slovene written text either you are a talent or you have some previous knowledge/exposure to the language. Or maybe you speak Kajkavian. Shtokavian Croatian certainly isn't that similiar to Slovene. I'm Slovene and I've never really studied Croatian, but I've learned it with Croatian, Bosnian and Serbian friends. Now I can understand it well (let's say 85%-90%), but at the beginning (without previous exposure to it - to be fair just songs) it was more difficult. Well not that difficult to be fair. But I had to become accostumed to the accent, the "jesi li" thing, the "ću future" thing. The languages share a fair amount of vocabulary but I don't think it arrives at 95%. To give an exemple: just to talk about time (basic vocabulary) you'll have problems since vrijeme and ljeto have another meaning in Slovene, while godina, sutra, jučer, sat, proljeće aren't found in Slovene. Understandable words, though, are danas, jutro, zima, mjesec, tjedan. The words to say the names of the week are similar, but as for what concerns the names of the months a Slovene won't be able to guess any of the 12.
    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")?
    I never said I spoke all the Slavic Languages. I speak 1 (2 if you count serbian.) I said I can have a conversation with lets say a Ukraine, in Croatian, and they would be able to get the big idea of what I'm saying. It has to do with them all being part of the same tribe back in the dawns of Europe.

    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.

  20. #440
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    Re: All Slavic languages: Mutual intelligibility

    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.

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