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Czech/Slovak/Polish: Differences

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by Diaspora, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. Diaspora Senior Member

    USA
    Serbocroatian, English
    So what are exactly the main differences between Czech, Slovak and Polish?
     
  2. slavic_one

    slavic_one Senior Member

    Prague, Czech Republic
    Croatian (štokavski, jekavski)
    Huh... mainly grammer and lexic :)
     
  3. slavic_one

    slavic_one Senior Member

    Prague, Czech Republic
    Croatian (štokavski, jekavski)
    Some examples:
    - different endings for verbs
    - Polish different perfekt (Polish is unique in that amongst other Slavic languages)
    - where Czech and Slovak has "h" Polish (like almost all other Slavic languages) has "g" (ok not in all cases, but mainly - ethimologically, CZ and SK "h" is other's "g")
    - Slovak has more words similar to Polish than Czech (to Polish), while Czech and Slovak are the most similar
    - different conugation
    - and so on....

    More or less, same as if you ask between e.g. Czech, Croatian and Slovene or Polish, Ukrainian and Russian and so on...
     
  4. winpoj Senior Member

    Slovak and Polish suffer from lacking "ř".
     
  5. Azori

    Azori Senior Member

    For comparison, the same text in Polish, Czech and Slovak:

    Polish

    Zakupy

    Gdy coś jest nam niezbędne albo gdy czegoś pragniemy i mamy pieniądze, to robimy zakupy. Na zakupy można pojechać samochodem albo autobusem czy też pociągiem, w przypadku gdy do sklepu mamy tylko kawałek drogi. Zakupy robimy w sklepie albo w centrum handlowym, bo tam jest więcej sklepów w jednym miejscu. Pieniądze to zwykle monety i banknoty. Jeżeli nie mamy pieniędzy, możemy spytać przyjaciela czy nam pożyczy. Jeżeli mamy więcej niż osiemnaście lat, to możemy sobie kupić polską wódkę i papierosy. Nie możemy sobie kupić marihuany, bo handel narkotykami jest w Polsce nielegalny.

    Czech

    Nakupování

    Pokud něco potřebujeme nebo po něčem toužíme a máme peníze, jdeme nakupovat. Na nákupy se dá jet autem, nebo autobusem, či vlakem, v případě že to máme daleko. Nakupujeme v obchodě, nebo v obchodním středisku, protože tam je více obchodů na jednom místě. Peníze jsou obvykle mince a bankovky. Když nemáme peníze, můžeme se zeptat kamaráda, jestli nám půjčí. Pokud máme více než osmnáct let, můžeme si koupit polskou vodku a cigarety. Ale nemůžeme si koupit marihuanu, protože obchod s drogami je v Polsku nelegální.

    Slovak

    Nakupovanie

    Pokiaľ niečo potrebujeme alebo po niečom túžime a máme peniaze, ideme nakupovať. Na nákupy sa dá ísť autom, alebo autobusom, či vlakom, v prípade že to máme ďaleko. Nakupujeme v obchode, alebo v obchodnom stredisku, pretože tam je viac obchodov na jednom mieste. Peniaze sú obvykle mince a bankovky. Keď nemáme peniaze, môžeme sa spýtať kamaráta, či nám požičia. Pokiaľ máme viac než osemnásť rokov, môžeme si kúpiť poľskú vodku a cigarety. Ale nemôžeme si kúpiť marihuanu, pretože obchod s drogami je v Poľsku nelegálny.
     
  6. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    While this in theory is true I'd see this rather as an advantage of Slovak and Polish over Czech.
    (Only kidding of course, as supposedly even Czech children have troubles learning the correct pronunciation of "ř". :D)

    Well, in all earnest:

    - Slovak has a great many diphtongs, as has Polish and Croatian plus Slovene dialects;
    - Slovak has a dark back vowel where Czech (and generally all Slavic languages) haven't: "som" for example, vs. CZ "jsem" and PL "jestem" (Slovene "sem", BCS "sam" etc.; this feature of Slovak sounds quite exceptional to me and I've wondered if it could be due to Hungarian influence;
    - Polish phonology significantly differs from Czech and Slavic phonology; the latter are rather similar despite all those diphtongs and the dark vowels ("som") plus a few other differencies in phonology;
    - I'd say lior neith's example shows quite well that Slovak and Czech are also rather close concerning grammar and idioms while Polish differs here significantly.

    And so on.
    Of course, all three - PL, CZ and SVK - really are quite close, especially if you compare at a dialectal level.
    We've had that somewhere in this forum before, I can't quite remember where - that Eastern Slovak dialects supposedly have an accentuation which is somewhere in-between Standard Slovak and Polish accentuation.

    (The question is a little pointless really because it's way too broad :D - to compare at such a level, including all and everything, really would require an entire book; a thread won't do. :))
     
  7. Diaspora Senior Member

    USA
    Serbocroatian, English
    Thanks, from the sample text, wow Polish is really different from Czech and Slovak, in fact trying to read Polish makes my head hurt.
     
  8. Azori

    Azori Senior Member

    The West Slavic languages are divided into 3 subgroups: Czech-Slovak, Lechitic and Sorbian, where Czech and Slovak fall under the Czech-Slovak group and Polish under the Lechitic one. Czechs and Slovaks can generally talk to each other and understand fully (most of the time) what the other is saying while a Czech or a Slovak speaking Czech/Slovak to a Pole can usually only make himself understood just to get along, rather than involve in meaningful conversations (especially when one doesn't speak any foreign language, otherwise, at least from personal experience, English is preferred).
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2009
  9. slavic_one

    slavic_one Senior Member

    Prague, Czech Republic
    Croatian (štokavski, jekavski)
    Won't say that for Polish! Polish has same that sound (morphologicaly) - rz, just it's pronounced as ż or sz (ž / š).

    Polish don't have ě, where in Slovak sometimes e is soft.

    Cz and Slv don't have ł.

    Slovak has ľ, ŕ, ä, ĺ, which other lngs don't have.. Polish writes č and š with two symbols - cz, sz; ž as ż; and has ś, ź, ć, dź which Czech and Slovak don't have (althou ć is often like CZ / SK ť).

    In Czech and Slovak, (soft) i makes soft t, d, n while in Polish c, s, z, dz, n.

    But really pretty pointless topic (please no offense, Diaspora) ;)
     
  10. Azori

    Azori Senior Member

    Also, Czech, unlike Slovak, has ě, ř and ů but Slovak has ä, ľ, ĺ, ŕ, dz, dž and diphtongs ia, ie, iu, ô /u̯ɔ/.

    Slovak has a more regular grammar than Czech.
    Slovak uses palatalization more often.
    Czech and Slovak have different declension and conjugation endings.
    Czech, unlike Slovak, uses the vocative.
    Slovak uses the passive voice formed like in English less than Czech.
    There's a "rhythmical shortening rule" (rytmické krátenie) in Slovak according to which there cannot be 2 long syllables in a row in one word. Diphtongs are regarded as long syllables as well (for example SK -biely, CZ -bílý). There are some exceptions, though.

    And phonetic differences of course, both languages have rather distinct pronunciation and intonation.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2009
  11. Diaspora Senior Member

    USA
    Serbocroatian, English
    How is the Polish Perfect (aka Past) different from Czech and Slovak, I thought all Slavic languages use the Past Participle for the Perfect?
     
  12. slavic_one

    slavic_one Senior Member

    Prague, Czech Republic
    Croatian (štokavski, jekavski)
    As far as I know, all other Slavic lngs make perfect with auxiliary verb and main verb in past.
    Polish goes only with sufix.

    Czech: byl jsem / byla jsem; byl jsi / byla jsi; byl / byla; byli jsme; byli jste; byli
    Slovak: bol som / bola som; bol si / bola si; bol / bola; boli sme; boli ste; boli
    Polish: byłem / byłam; byłeś / byłaś; był / była; byliśmy; byliście; byli
     
  13. robin74 Senior Member

    But that's just how historically it evolved. Historically it is really the same form:
    Slovak: zrobil som; zrobil si; zrobil; zrobili sme; zrobili ste; zrobili
    old Polish: zrobił jeśm; zrobił jeś; zrobił jest; zrobili jesmy; zrobili jeście; zrobili są
    which got contracted in modern Polish to one word: zrobiłem; zrobiłeś; zrobił; zrobiliśmy; zrobiliście; zrobili

    But the ending still remains removable, as if it actually were a separate word, attached to the participle. So you could say "ty to zrobiłeś" but also "tyś to zrobił" or "toś ty zrobił", with no differencing in meaning (though emphasis is put on the word to which -ś is actually attached).
     
  14. slavic_one

    slavic_one Senior Member

    Prague, Czech Republic
    Croatian (štokavski, jekavski)
    Yes I know that, we were discussing that topin in thread I started some time ago:
    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1144770
    ;)
     
  15. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Well, Russian too, only personal pronoun + participle is used but no auxiliary - and I guess Belorussian and Ukrainian too.
    And in Czech the auxiliary is not used in third person - see this previous discussion on Czech auxiliary.

    That just for clarification; apart from that you're of course right, Polish still stands out among Western Slavic
     
  16. slavic_one

    slavic_one Senior Member

    Prague, Czech Republic
    Croatian (štokavski, jekavski)
    Correct, Russian also don't use auxiliary (for Ukrainian and Belorusian don't know) and Czech and Slovak (as I write in examples) don't have it in 3rd persons, but still all of them have main verb in past without any sufixes or anything.
    But there's no need to discuss that as we know how it function in each of those languages.
     
  17. Diaspora Senior Member

    USA
    Serbocroatian, English
    Does Slovak drop the auxilliary in third person like Czech?
     
  18. Azori

    Azori Senior Member

    Yes, in both singular and plural.
     
  19. slavic_one

    slavic_one Senior Member

    Prague, Czech Republic
    Croatian (štokavski, jekavski)
    As I give in an example and said above your post. :)
     
  20. robin74 Senior Member

    One other minor comment on the 3rd person auxiliary verb - while Polish merged the auxiliary verb with the participle to form one word, you can actually still see it explicitly in the old-fashioned, but still sometimes used and commonly understood past perfect tense - "zrobił był". Here past tense of "być" used as an auxiliary verb is still present in all persons.
     
  21. vianie Senior Member

    Slovak
    Needless to say, the biggest "personero" of Slavic languages, which one use in plenty "h" is Ukrainian. :)

    Nice remark, though I would rather say from my nearer point of view, it is fifty-fifty in the aggregate.
    A matter of course, this is not determining for Polish understandableness.
    (To boot, excellent Czecho-Slovak mutual intelligibility may help both of them to "wider" to perceive Slavic languages pan-domain.)


    Indeed, "ř" is Czech folk patrimony all the more national pride. 



    Hm, really so much? ;)

    Comfortably, it could be.


    Sorry slavic_one, however I do not understand which soft "e" you kept in view.


    In a matter of fact, the exceptions are not so unusual.
    Niečie skália riešia líščie dianie vtáčích básní súdiac býčie siatie vôní pávích piesní. :)
    Naturally, Czech words with three long syllables in a row in one word (doznívání zůstává) are unavailable in Slovak language.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2009
  22. Azori

    Azori Senior Member

    Speaking of unusual exceptions, this sentence is a gross nonsense, hence not the best example. The exceptions to this rule apply mostly to case endings, some compound words and some words with particular prefixes and suffixes.
     
  23. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Compared to Czech and Slovene standard plus BCS standard languages, yes it has. :)
    Slovene dialects however have both "ie/ei" and "uo/ou" diphtongs, and this indeed reminds me of Slovak diphtongs (with "ie" and "ô").
    And some Croatian dialects (from Kajkavian group) are similarily rich in diphtongs.
     
  24. vianie Senior Member

    Slovak
    The examples are the particular words.
    Mass of these words is used conventionally.
    The surrealistic banter indeed may brought a ballast in here. :)


    It has, however compared to Polish almost not. :)
     
  25. Mishe Senior Member

    Ljubljana
    Slovenian

    Slovenian doesn't have diphthongs only in dialects, but also in the standard language. They can usually be found where the "l" is pronounced like "u", for example the past participle of verbs: delal (worked), where the final "l" is pronounced like "u", but it is pronounced together with a like a diphthong, so you have the final diphthong "au".

    Some other examples of Slovenian words with diphthongs: polž (a snail), volk (wolf), čoln (boat), polh (dormouse), etc.
     
  26. werrr Senior Member

    Phonetic differences between Czech and Slovak

    First of all, this comparison doesn’t apply for loanwords, interjections and onomatopoeic words. Czech sounds and words are highlighted in blue, the Slovak sounds and words in red.

    Czech and Slovak experienced similar sound shifts for consonants, but different sound shifts for vowels. Thus Czech and Slovak words mostly share the same consonants, but the vowels differ frequently:

      sůlsoľ (salt)
      vejcevajce (egg)
      městomesto (town)

    Vowels

    Czech has relatively small set of vowels. There are only five vowels, every with short and long variant (in fact, the ó sound is extinct in words of Czech origin):

      a-á, e-é (ě), i-í (y-ý), o-ó, u-ú (ů)

    and only one diphthong:

      ou

    All the Czech vowels exist in Slovak too, but there are some additional:

      ä (about to extinct and to be replaced with e)

    and diphthongs:

      ia, ie, iu, ô

    The correspondence of Czech and Slovak vowels is as follows:

      a-áa-á, ä, ia, e
      e-ée-é-ie, a-á, o-ô
      o-óo-ó, ô, a-á
      u-úu-ú
      ouu-ú, ou
      letter ěe-ie, a, ä
      letter i-íi-í, e-ie, ia, o, u-ú-iu
      letter y-ýy-ý, i-í (in loanwords only), e-ie
      letter ůo-ô-ó, u, a, ia, -ov

    Consonants

    As for the consonats there are only minor differences.

    In Czech:

    1) there is no ľ sound (ľl)
    2) vocals l and r have only short variants (ŕr; ĺlou)
    3) original Slavic g sound is extinct (gk, zgz, zk), only exceptionally k is assimilated to g sound (e.g. kdo /gdo/)
    4) there is the exclusively Czech ř sound (řr)
    5) ť and ň sound is less frequent at the end of the words (ť - > t, ť, ň -> n, ň; vlast × vlasť, pramen × prameň)
    6) j sound is more frequently added at the beginning or end of the word (jaký × aký, jistý × istý, jsem × som, umyj × umy)
    7) f sound is used only in words cognate to doufat and zoufat
    8) the c and č sounds have no voiced counterpart, except of rare examples of assimilation (léčba /lédžba/, leckdy /ledzgdy/). sound is rare (džbán), dz sound is extinct (dz -> z).
    9) glottal stop is extensively used to separate two following vowels and to separate the words starting with vowel from preceding word
    10) syllabic consonants are less frequent, but unlike in Slovak they could be at the end of the word and even m could be syllabic (švagr × švagor, vítr × vietor, metr × meter, sedm × sedem)

    In Slovak:

    1) there applies the rhytmic law
    2) the letter v is pronounced as /ʊ/ at the end of closed syllables

    Alternation

    Not considering the Slovak rhytmic law, Czech and Slovak vowels alternate in quantity to the similar extent and mostly, by far not always, in the same words.

    Czech vowels alternate commonly in quality (stůlstolu, vejcevajec).

    Slovak, unlike Czech, tends to use optional vowels in all inflected and derived forms (levlva × levleva; levlvice × levlevice).

    When forming words, Czech and Slovak consonants undergo practically identical alternation (nohanožka × nohanôžka), but the alternation because of inflection is less frequent in Slovak (rukaruce × rukaruky; deskadesce × doskadoske).

    Assimilation

    Slovak always tends to use the regressive assimilation. Czech mostly tends to the regressive assimilation, but for the sh cluster it uses the progressive assimilation (albeit regressive assimilation is acceptable as Moravian variant) and it tends to use no assimilation in front of sonors (jsme /sme/ × sme /zme/).
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2009
  27. werrr Senior Member

    I think slavic_one is right. Slovak shares practically all its vocabulary of Slavic origin with some of the other Slavic languages, but in Czech there is relatively big set of exclusively Czech (or Czech and Upper Sorbian) words of Slavic origin. This makes Czech less intelligible, in terms of vocabulary, than Slovak. On the other hand, this set is small in comparison with the set of words exclusive for Czech and Slovak.
     
  28. winpoj Senior Member

    It's an impressive overview that you have provided, werrr.
    Just a small point: I've always thought that the Slovak word for "brother" is "brat". Is "brator" an archaic version or something?
     
  29. werrr Senior Member

    Yes, it is.

    Yes, it’s archaic (used mostly in religious context) and incommon in modern Slovak except of some Czech-Slovak border dialects.

    You are right, I should choose examples common in modern Slovak. I took that example from a source on historical sound shifts which operated with ancient forms. Is it better now?
     
  30. Azori

    Azori Senior Member

    ä is already pronounced like "e"
     
  31. werrr Senior Member

    Extinct or about to extinct, what a difference! :D

    Only some of the oldest generation pronounce it differently. That sound is predestined to disappear. Now, for most of the Slovaks it is only source of orthographic confusion. I think the natural next step should be replacing the letter ä with e.

    Of course. :eek:
     
  32. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Prague
    Hungarian
    The prosody.
    The most important, to hardest to learn it and get rid of it, the least discussed and fewest linguistic studies about it.
     
  33. silmeth New Member

    OK, I think the texts could be a little bit changed (and still would be totally understandable and would sound natural) so that Polish looks more like Czech and Slovak versions. With such longer texts it always heavily depends on the way the speaker forms sentences.

    Polish

    Zakupy

    Gdy czegoś potrzebujemy albo czegoś pragniemy i mamy pieniądze, idziemy na zakupy. Na zakupy można pojechać autem albo autobusem, czy pociągiem, w przypadku gdy mamy daleko*. Zakupy robimy w sklepie albo w centrum handlowym, ponieważ tam jest więcej sklepów w jednym miejscu. Pieniądze to zwykle monety i banknoty. Kiedy nie mamy pieniędzy, możemy spytać (się)** przyjaciela czy nam pożyczy. Jeśli mamy więcej niż osiemnaście lat, możemy sobie kupić polską wódkę i papierosy. Ale nie możemy sobie kupić marihuany, ponieważ handel narkotykami jest w Polsce nielegalny.

    * In case it is far [to the shop]. Previous Polish text said In case the shop is really near (lit. we have only piece of road to the shop). That is absolutely not what Czech and Slovak texts say.
    ** It is very common to say spytać się in Polish, however it is considered incorrect (correct form is without się, just spytać). This is however standard way of saying to ask in Czech and Slovak (zeptat se, spýtať sa)

    Czech

    Nakupování

    Pokud něco potřebujeme nebo po něčem toužíme a máme peníze, jdeme nakupovat. Na nákupy se dá jet autem, nebo autobusem, či vlakem, v případě že to máme daleko. Nakupujeme v obchodě, nebo v obchodním středisku, protože tam je více obchodů na jednom místě. Peníze jsou obvykle mince a bankovky. Když nemáme peníze, můžeme se zeptat kamaráda, jestli nám půjčí. Jestli máme více než osmnáct let, můžeme si koupit polskou vodku a cigarety. Ale nemůžeme si koupit marihuanu, protože obchod s drogami je v Polsku nelegální.

    Slovak

    Nakupovanie

    Pokiaľ niečo potrebujeme alebo po niečom túžime a máme peniaze, ideme nakupovať. Na nákupy sa dá ísť autom, alebo autobusom, či vlakom, v prípade že to máme ďaleko. Nakupujeme v obchode, alebo v obchodnom stredisku, pretože tam je viac obchodov na jednom mieste. Peniaze sú obvykle mince a bankovky. Keď nemáme peniaze, môžeme sa spýtať kamaráta, či nám požičia. Pokiaľ máme viac než osemnásť rokov, môžeme si kúpiť poľskú vodku a cigarety. Ale nemôžeme si kúpiť marihuanu, pretože obchod s drogami je v Poľsku nelegálny.


    Polish is still much more different from the other two languages than they are from each other. However I think Polish and Slovak texts are somehow mutualy intelligible and pretty similar.
     
  34. bibax Senior Member

    Czech
    Nákupy

    Když čehos potřebujeme bo po čemsi prahneme a máme peníze, jdeme na nákupy. Na nákupy možno jechat autem bo autobusem, či vlakem (potah, FF) v případku, kdy to máme daleko. Nákupy robíme v obchodě (sklep, FF) bo v centru obchodním (handl = obchod i v češtině), poněvadž tam jest více sklepův v jednom místě. Peníze to (jsou) obvykle mince a bankovky. Když nemáme peníze, můžeme se zeptat přítele či nám požitčí (půjčiti < požitčiti). Jestli máme více než osmnáct let, můžeme sobě koupit polskou vodku i cigarety (papirosy). Ale nemůžeme sobě koupit marihuany, poněvadž obchod (handl) narkotiky jest v Polště nelegální.

    The modified Polish text is nearly fully understandable for the Czechs. There are two notorious false friends (potah ~ vlak, sklep ~ obchod) in the text.
     
  35. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Prague
    Hungarian
    :eek: What kind of Czech is that?
     
  36. silmeth New Member

    Bibax, your text definitely doesn’t sound natural (those čehos, čemsi, jest, bo… not actually commonly used in Czech anymore as I believe). Of course it nicely shows that my version of Polish would be understandable for Czechs but it doesn’t show how similar or different these two languages are. My point when changing Polish text (and slightly Czech one) was to show natural sounding version, that would be similar and more comparable.

    My idea is that you need texts in related languages written in similar manner, using similar words and constructions, if available in all compared languages and in common use and with similar meaning. Otherwise, if you write text in one of those languages in different style, you can show that this language is totally different, where it actually isn’t – one could, writing two texts with same meaning but using two different styles, prove that Polish and Polish are two totally different and not understandable languages. That was my point in changing the text.

    Another thing is that, in my opinion, the most similar language to Polish is not even West Slavic. IMO the most understandable language without learning for Poles is… Belorusian. Although it is East Slavic, it has enormous amount of polonisms, in vocabulary, in grammar and phonology is quite similar to Polish.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
  37. bibax Senior Member

    Czech
    It is a hypothetical text written by a Pole learning Czech (in fact I quickly edited the silmeth's Polish text). The text doesn't sound natural but it is grammatically correct and all words are used in Czech (frequency is another question). Even the word papirosa exists in Czech (however it is a special kind of the cigarettes, with a long embouchure, popular in the former USSR). Cosi, čehosi, čemusi, ... (cos, čehos, čemus) is common, robit and bo are used in the Ostrava region (and popularized in Nohavica's songs).
     
  38. vianie Senior Member

    Slovak
    It is natural that Poles have the worst position in the ability of mutual understanding amongst the West Slavs as Polish contains not a small number of features that occur only in Czech or only in Slovak. Not to mention the numbers of speakers.
     
  39. kalwi New Member

    Czech
    Little bit off topic: 'h' in Ukrainian (as well as 'g' in Russian) is used on ALL places where 'g' or 'h' is used in other languages. Unlike in Czech/Slovak, where these letters are strictly distinguished and can't be mutually interchangeable in both write or pronunciation (like it is for example in Russian spoken by Ukrainians, where 'g' is pronunciated as 'h', e.g. Gagarin – Haharin).

    Very expressive example is the word hygiene, which though is not a Slavic word, but it demonstrates the differences well. Notice also i/y in Czech/Slovak, where these letters have the same pronunciation but different grammar vs. Polish/Ukrainian/Russian:
    Czech/Slovak: hygiena
    Polish: higiena
    Ukrainian: hihiena
    Russian: gigiena


    My very subjective perception of Polish (as being Czech having only minimal knowledge of Polish) in comparison to Czech/Slovak is that written Polish looks quite anciently in a lot of aspects and it reminds old texts written in mid-age Czech:
    - compounds (rz, dz...) and usage of 'w' instead 'v',
    - words/word endings (jest, -ie...) and word order (as demonstrated in the example above of Polish text modified into Czech),
    While pronunciation doesn't sound ancientally, it just uses "too much" of sibilants (ć/cz, dź/dż, ś/sz, ź/ż – č, dž, š, ž), so Polish sounds very brigh and "ringing".

    There is also a lot of words which sound similar, but have opposite or completely different meaning in Polish vs Czech/Slovak, so some Polish sentences sound very funny for Czechs/Slovaks and vice versa. For example Remarque's novel All Quiet on the Western Front (in Czech Na západní frontě klid) can be freely translated to Polish as Na zachodzie nie ma nowin, which means There is no (news)paper in the toilet room. But this is just a Czech joke which demonstrates this fact in its extremes, the correct and official Polish translation is Na Zachodzie bez zmian, which still means freely No changes while being in the toilet room :) I also noticed a thread in some other Polish forum with funny translations of Czech sentences into Polish.
     
  40. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    It seems that nobody has mentioned yet the major phonetic difference between Czech/Slovak and Polish: Czech and Slovak distinguish between long and short vowels while Polish does not. The stress in Polish is almost always at the penultimate syllable, unlike in Czech and Slovak.
     

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