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Help identifying a Slavic language: ot nas rodini matejovej z Lučak

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by rusita preciosa, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    Dear foreros,

    A colleague who is an American of Eastern European descent (not sure exactly what region) sent me a letter received from family in the 1980s. She hoped I could read it, me being Russian. Unfortunately Russian is the only Slavic language I speak, so I cannot read that. It looks Polish to me, but I am not 100% sure. I wonder if you can help me identify the language.

    I am attaching a small sample of the letter, please let me know if this is sufficient to tell what language that is.

    Many thanks in advance,

    Attached Files:

  2. bibax Senior Member

    A Czech (more precisely Moravian) or Slovak dialect.

    It is a greeting "od rodiny Matějovej z Lučak".
  3. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    Thank you so much bibax.

    Would any Czech speaker understand that dialect or it has to be someone from Moravia?
  4. bibax Senior Member

    It is not written in standard Czech or Slovak, but it is understandable. You certainly can understand it as well. Probably it is written by an older person, without any diacritics.

    Letter written on 16-Nov-1980
    So, kind and beautiful greeting
    first from kind Lord
    God and also from us, family
    Matěj (Matthew) from Lučky (?), so
    we greet you, better ...

    The strangest expression is "sami perši" (the first), it resembles Russian (samyj pěrvšij).
  5. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    Now that you wrote the translation, I re-read the sample and think "Duh, it is so obvious, very similar to Russian!":), but off the top of my head I would not be able to understand it. Cursive does not help either.

    Thank you again for your help!
  6. vianie Senior Member

    More probably there is written "od rodiny Matejovej z Lučok" on it. And most probably it is written by some Slovak Rusyn in somewhat simplified way.
  7. Azori

    Azori Senior Member

    It does appear to have (at least) some diacritics. As I see it (I may be wrong, of course):

    List pisani dňa 16 11 1980
    tak mili okrasni pozdraveňi
    sami perši ot milohce pana
    boha atak ot nas rodini
    matejovej z Lučak tak
    mi vas pozdravujeme lepši
  8. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    Thank you so much, vianie and Azori
  9. bibax Senior Member

    I meant rather punctuation than diacritics.
  10. Azori

    Azori Senior Member

    I wouldn't really say that it's understandable. I'm not sure about these parts in bold:

    List pisani dňa 16 11 1980
    tak mili okrasni pozdraveňi
    sami perši ot milohce (miloho?) pana
    boha atak ot nas rodini
    matejovej z Lučak tak
    mi vas pozdravujeme lepši

    "mili okrasni pozdraveňi sami perši" just doesn't make any sense whatsoever (in terms of grammar and vocabulary); milohce could be milosti (mercy) or miloho - milého ? (kind) in standard Slovak or probably something else, too; atak - a tak (and so?) doesn't fit into the text, imo...
  11. rdimd Junior Member

    Latvian, Slow Russian
    This text makes sense to me because I don't know Slovak language very well :) The knowledge of Russian and some Ukrainian (and of course translations given in this thread) helped me to understand the text.

    If "sami perši" looks strange to a Czech person then it is clear that it is taken from what I call Ukrainian (in Russian there is "samyj pervyj")

    And if there are many people in Slovakia who speak what I call Ukrainian, this letter must have been written by one of them. Maybe this is the situation when a person writes and speaks at work in one (or several) language but speaks at home in another.

    It is like my English - for a native speaker it would seem terrible but for English speakers in my region it is at least understandable. And, if I wrote a letter to a Latvian American, it would may be even more terrible but still understandable for a person with Latvian background. I suppose that the same is with this communication of two people with some (supposedly) Eastern Slavic background.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2013
  12. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    Vianie's link to the village of Lúčky gives a partial clue -- it is located in the far east of Slovakia, near the Ukrainian border, and it probably has Rusyn/Ukrainian influence, at least in vernacular. Their website is http://www.obeclucky.sk, so it would be interesting if a native speaker could tell us whether it's written in standard Slovak, or some Rusyn influence could be heard.
  13. bibax Senior Member

    Just image your great-grandmother, who is living in a remote village, writing a letter.

    "okrasni" it is probably "a krasni" (and beautiful) written as a one word;

    "milohce" it is clearly "miloho" (ot miloho pana boha);

    "sami perši" I found the following:

    „Nebojim še, že me vežne voda, z domu neidzem... Prišol syn, teraz še nebojim ničeho. Prišol aj bratov syn, ta me ratuju. Starosta prišol sami perši ku mne, š čim mi treba pomosc. Dobry je,“ povedala babka Nováková (from Folkmár in the Košice region).

    Obviously a Slovak dialect, where sami perši means najprv/najskôr in standard Slovak (= at first, first of all). The dialect probably forms the superlatives by the word sami and not by the preffix nej-/naj- like standard Czech and Slovak, e.g. sami krajši = najkrajši = the most beautiful (it's only my guess, of course).

    Translated in standard Czech with punctuation:

    List psaný dne 16. 11. 1980
    Tak, milé a krásné pozdravení
    nejprve od milého Pána
    Boha, a také od nás, rodiny
    Matějovy z Louček (Matejovej z Lúčok), tak
    my vás pozdravujeme, lepší ....

    There is not much of a difference.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2013
  14. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    Again, Thank you all so much for the analysis!
    Now it makes a bit more sense because that person's last name is Ukranian sounding (ends with an -o) - may be I should have mentioned that in the beginning.
  15. Azori

    Azori Senior Member

    Actually, it seems there are at least three villages with the name Lúčky in Slovakia, so I'm afraid vianie's link isn't really of much help.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lúčky,_Ružomberok_District - http://www.obeclucky.sk/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lúčky,_Michalovce_District - http://www.lucky.ocu.sk/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lúčky,_Žiar_nad_Hronom_District - http://www.luckyprikremnici.sk/

    This is the website of the village from vianie's link - http://www.lucky.ocu.sk/. As for the language, from what I can see, it uses standard Slovak. Some other place names in Slovakia also seem to use the word Lúčky.:confused:
    I would think pozdraveni means pozdravení (greeted) :confused:. In Slovak:

    List písaný dňa 16. 11. 1980
    Tak, milý a krásny pozdrav (or less likely, as the word pozdravenie isn't common - milé a krásne pozdravenie)
    najprv od milého Pána
    Boha, a tiež od nás, rodiny
    Matejovej z Lúčok, tak
    my vás pozdravujeme, lepší ....
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013

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