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All Slavic Languages - Diacritical Marks

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by Tassos, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. Tassos

    Tassos Senior Member

    I notice that a lot of times BCS speakers from all three countries, omit the diacritical marks in internet texts (mainly youtube and newspaper article comments, forum postings of various types, sites with lyrics etc).
    I have to say that for me sometimes this is very frustrating. I am always trying to translate lyrics (I find them a simple way to understand various grammatical concepts) and 95% of the lyrics I find are without diacritics. So I try an unknown word twice or three times (in the case of c) to find the right one!! Of course someone might say that native speakers know these words so they don’t have to put the diacritics every time. But, on the other hand, in BCS at least, diacritical marks make a big difference in how a word is pronounced. They are there for a reason. It is not something subtle or stylistic, it’s crucial!
    Anyway, I wanted to ask if “leaving the diacritics out” is something that happens in other Slavic languages too (I think that Czech, Slovak, Polish and Slovene all have diacritical marks - I don't know about the "Cyrillic Languages" though), and what is the opinion of the various slavic speakers on this matter.
  2. LilianaB Senior Member

    US New York
    I agree with you that diacritics are very important in such languages as Polish. It is very hard to type using them if the person is not used to them and uses the English keyboard. I am guilty myself of not using diacritics when I just answering a question or in general discussion. If I translate a phrase for somebody I always use them. For somebody who types 99% of time in English it is very hard to type with the diacritics. This should not be an excuse however, especially for professional sites. The diacritics do not really exist in Russian. There are only some accents that you may use to indicate the proper stress pattern, but that would be only in textbooks.
  3. Maroseika Moderator

    In Russian there are only two letters with diacritics - ё (yo) and й (y as in day, this is и (i) with brevis).
    According to the rules, Ё is always written as Е except the cases (very few) when it can cause ambiguity. However there are purists who use to write Ё in all the cases.
    Й is always written like that.

    In Ukrainian there are ї (y as in day) and ґ (hard g).

    Belorussian has й and ё (like in Russian), and also ў (у (u) with brevis, more or less like w as in lower).
  4. LilianaB Senior Member

    US New York
    Yes, you are right Maroseika. I forgot about them I always use them in writing and when I type as well, not out of purist sentiments but because they appear on my keyboard. I do not type that much in Russian though.
  5. Kartof Senior Member

    Bulgarian & English
    Bulgarian only has й which is viewed as a separate letter in its own right. If и is used instead of й, which never happens, that turns a diphthong into two separate syllables.

    The only other case of using accents in Bulgarian is with ѝ, which is an и with a grave accent. It isn't viewed as a separate letter and is almost solely used for referring to the third person singular feminine pronoun in the dative case to differentiate from и (and), as in: He gave the ball to her and ran away (Той ѝ даде топката и избяга). In most cases, this letter with accent isn't available on most keyboards so и or й are typed, the former more correct than the latter, but both technically spelling mistakes. "ѝ" or any other vowel with a grave accent in Bulgarian can also be used in writing certain words in dialects to differentiate from the standard expected placement of stress in the word, although this is restricted mainly to dialectology.
  6. Azori

    Azori Senior Member

    Writing without diacritics is very common in Slovak on internet forums, chat sites, in e-mails, SMS messages and the like. I personally always try to write with diacritics and Slovak texts without diacritics slightly irritate me (it's not difficult to read, it just doesn't look good to me). The keyboard I use on my notebook doesn't contain all the lower-case letters, some letters can be written only by pressing two or three keys. These are there: ľ š č ť ž ý á í é ú ä ň ô, and these are not: ď ĺ ó ŕ. Writing capital letters also requires pressing additional keys. As for SMS messages, in Slovakia the maximum length of a single standard SMS is 160 characters. SMS messages with diacritics are shortened to 70 characters. Thus diacritics make them shorter and more expensive, too.
  7. Tassos

    Tassos Senior Member

    One time I met a Polish girl who torld me she was from "Utc". When she saw my blank stare after that, she said "It's the city you call Lodz" - and THEN I understood :) (because of course the city is written Łódź)

    I don't know, to me writing the BCS diacritics is not hard at all. Maybe it is that I am writing on a regular desktop keyboard (I don't know how it is to write BCS on a notebook/netbook keyboard or on a mobile phone), or maybe it is because writing on a greek keyboard is much harder!!

    This is exactly how I feel when I read BCS without diacritics and to me of course it is ALSO difficult to read...
  8. LilianaB Senior Member

    US New York
    It is hard for me to type with diacritics because I never really learned to type with them. When you try to learn how to type with diacritic after you have been typing without them is hard. I do not advise it however. I think languages which have diacritics should have proper representation. Maybe they could invent an easier way of typing with diacritics. OT.
  9. Azori

    Azori Senior Member

    Writing diacritics might not be hard, but I think it's faster to write without them. For instance, the Slovak alphabet has 17 letters with diacritics. It's easier to write with fewer keys.
  10. vianie Senior Member

    From 15 years typer's point of view, I would not agree. Slovak is not English or Bahasa Indonesia. One sound, one very letter. Excepting ch dz dž alone. :)
  11. Azori

    Azori Senior Member

    To type the (lower-case) letter ď one has to press three keys (as it's not in the keyboard), while to type d only one key, so what is faster? And texts without diacritics are in most cases as comprehensible as those with diacritics. Also, keyboards used in Slovakia have often keys marked with Czech letters and some Czech letters aren't even used in Slovak which doesn't add to the ease of use.
  12. vianie Senior Member

    Keying without diacritics a step backwards for me.

    Are you gaining from this time (and fingers) saving? Are you finding such texts as valuable as those with diacritics?

    I'm not writing about that.
  13. pawel_zet New Member

    In Poland we have two or three official standard of Polish keyboard layout, however, nowadays they are used only by professional typists. Since the beginning of 1990s we use so called "programmers' keyboard layout", and it is implemented in MS Windows as default layout. To type a Polish letter you have to press the right Alt key and holding the Alt key pressed you have to press the Latin equivalent of a letter with diacritical mark. So to type "ę" for example, you have to press Right Alt+e. Because we have two letters based on "z" - namely "ż" and "ź" - to write "ź" you have to type Right Alt+x. It is very easy to write this way for me.
    Another question is an SMS script being used by new generation. But it is a very strange script - without diacritical and interpunction marks and with some strange abbreviations. It resambles once used telex language, and it barely can be understood.
  14. Azori

    Azori Senior Member

    How valuable are generally texts on chat websites, forums etc. (be it with diacritics or not)?
  15. vianie Senior Member

    They are generally of omnifarious value. Value of the form and value of the content in legitimate interaction. The written is more important in the form, the unwritten in the content. Every body who have the possibility is publishing what he/she wants to be published and is presenting how he/she wants to be presented. Every one shows dye in the event.

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