1. The WordReference Forums have moved to new forum software. (Details)

Slavic languages similarities

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by xxatti, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. xxatti Junior Member

    Ok, I was reading the mutual intelligibility thread (wont let me post link) and wanted to try and get a concensus (or line-up) as to which Slavic languages are the most closely related to each other. Now I know they have the separations of east, west, and south when it comes to these language groupings… But it seems as though people tend to place Ukrainian and Belarusian (which are supposedly grouped the same as Russian) farther away from Russian, and Bulgarian much closer to Russian. I would’ve thought it would be the opposite. I also get the impression that Belarusian is closer to Polish than it is to Russian. Perhaps someone could explain or clarify this for me?

    These are the languages in question that I would like grouped/ordered in their relation to closeness.

  2. Maja

    Maja Senior Member

    Binghamton, NY
    Serbian, Serbia
    Well I will try:
    Serbian &
    Croatian (even disputed by some if they are two separate languages, see "Serbian/Croatian: One language?" thread), then Macedonian (smt between Serbian & Bulgarian), Bulgarian then Russian.
    Ukrainian and Belarusian.
    Czech & Slovak (obviously :D), then Polish;
    Of course, I might be wrong as I don't speak any language from the "second" and "third" group!
    Hope this helps, but wait to see what the others will say.

  3. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    To me, Slovak is obviously the most familiar, but I often wonder whether it wouldn't be considered closer to Polish if Czechs and Slovaks hadn't lived in one state.
    Polish comes second.

    I find the East Slavic group much easier to understand than the South one, but I took a Russian class long ago (my brother who has been never exposed to Russian would be probably more comfortable with the South branch). Within the East group, Russian is much easier than the rest, but that's probably just because of the class I took. Bulgarian is easier than the other South Slavic languages; I'd even say that I can understand it better than Belarusian and Ukrainian, which would corroborate your claim.

    Some practice works like a charm. :) I can easily follow all Slavic discussions, much better than one year ago, before we had this forum. It's not like I could always chip in, but having to read the threads has substantially improved my understanding.

  4. Marijka

    Marijka Junior Member

    Lublin/Eastern Poland
    I study Slavic Languages& Literatures, so it is much easier for me to understand all Slavic languages, but I have problem with South Slavic group ( though I've learned Old-Church-Slavonic).
    For West & East Slavic groups I've tried to "draw" a diagram, hope it's clear :)

    ............Polish < ........l.........> Russian
    Czech <.....l........Ukrainian
    ............Slovak <

    Czech is similar to Polish and Slovak. Ukrainian and Belarussian are something between Polish and Russian, but Ukrainian and Slovak vocabulary and pronounciation are alike in many ways.
    But it is just my personal classification.
  5. xxatti Junior Member

    Well that seems to be the general concensus on the east and west groups. But the question is where do the languages from the south group fit in? Are they closer to the Czech side or the Russian side... or somewhere in between? And from what I've been reading, the gap between Russian and Ukranian/Belarusian seems to be much larger than the gap between Czech/Polish or even Belarusian/Polish and Ukrainian/Slovak. This is what Im trying to get an understanding on.
  6. übermönch

    übermönch Senior Member

    Warum wohne ich bloß in so einem KAFF?
    World - 1.German, 2.Russian, 3.English
    I'd say the southern languages are closer to the eastern group, mainly because the old bulgarian was the basis of the lithurgical language of all slavic orthodox christians and thus had an influence on their first languages. Ukrainian is hard to classify since it doesn't really exist as a single language. The ukrainian spoken in eastern ukraine is the same as the southern dialects of russian, the ukrainian spoken in the western part is almost the same as slovak.
    I would say that Russian vocabulary differs stronger from white rusian then polish, simply because Russian has a lot borrowings from turkic, ugric, dutch, french and german; while white russian rather borrowed words from lithunian and polish. The white rusian grammar however resembles almost entirely the russian - thus both Russians and Poles understand White Rusian to a comparable degree.
  7. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    Discussion about Ukrainian moved here.

  8. Anatoli Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    Native: русский (Russian), home country: English
    The gap between Russian vs Ukrainian vs Belarusian is artificial and is not so large. There's too much heat and Ukrainians forgot they were together with Russia for hundreds of years, fought the same wars side by side with Russians. Standard Ukrainian is intelligible to Russian but needs some getting used to as any other language, all depends on exposure, speed of the speaker's talking and the topic (easy, complicated).

    Belarusian is way easier to understand than Polish, let alone Czech for a Russian speaker. It's probably the closest to Russian, followed by Ukrainian.

    If Czechs never heard Slovak language they would have to do the same. I am Russian linguist, learned to some extent and was exposed to a few Slavic languages.

    The hardest to understand for me are Czech and Slovenian. They seem the furthest from Russian. Having said this, I would need a couple of months to be able to understand and if I put some effort, I would be able to communicate in a few months in either of them.

    Each Slavic language is different from another,they are not dialects but languages, Serbian and Croatian are really one language or used to be. Macedonian and Bulgarian are also very close.
  9. Etcetera

    Etcetera Senior Member

    St Petersburg, Russia
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    For me, it's rather easy to understand Polish - as I'm currently learning this language.:D
    Then comes Ukrainian, which I can understand, too, but it seems to me to be much closer to Polish (remember that Ukraine used to be a part of Rzeczpospolita). My Polish friend who is learning Russian and is used to Ukrainian (some of her acquiatances are Ukrainians) says that it's easier for a Polish to understand a Ukrainian than a Russian.
    I also studied Serbian for a year or so, but Polish still seems to have more features in common with Russian.
  10. xxatti Junior Member

    So in terms of proximity to Russian, Im guessing it’s safe to say that the closest language would be Belarusian, then Ukrainian. Therefore, we could say that Marijka’s graph is quite accurate, with Belarusian being a bit closer to Russian than Ukrainian?

    ............Polish < ........l.........> Russian
    Czech <
    ............Slovak <

    And what about Macedonian and Bulgarian? Are they off in a totally different direction, or are they close to one of the languages in the graph? If the languages from the south are closer to the east group, then would they be closer to the Russian side or the Belarusian/Ukrainian side?
  11. Etcetera

    Etcetera Senior Member

    St Petersburg, Russia
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    Ukrainian seems to me to be closer to Russian than Belarusian. It's only my opinion, of course.
    Bulgarian and Russian are somehow rather close. And they both use Cyrillic. But it's easier for me to understand Czech than Bulgarian.
  12. übermönch

    übermönch Senior Member

    Warum wohne ich bloß in so einem KAFF?
    World - 1.German, 2.Russian, 3.English
    Bulgarian is certainly very close to Russian, in regards on vocabulary closer then ukrainian and byelorusian, the grammar is, however, very different, but comprehensible thank to it's relative simplicity. As I mentioned before, the reason is that for a long time the only written language in Russia was a variant of old Bulgarian, called Church Slavonic, and it's still the language of the russian orthodox church. Bulgarian also, just like Russian, has some ugric and turkic vocabulary since they actually migrated from Volga and also had close contact to seljuk Turks. I think written Bulgarian is easier to understand to a Russian then written (western :D) Ukrainian, spoken Bulgarian, however, is alot harder due to different accents. The word for "language" is, for example the same in bulgarian and russian, the ukrainian word however differs.

    White Rusian:
  13. xxatti Junior Member

    But could this be because you're currently learning and have good knowledge of Polish? For a Russian speaker that has no knowledge of the western group, I get the feeling that Czech is quite difficult to understand.

    And doesnt Serbian also use the Cyrillic alphabet? Would that mean it's also closer to Russian? But I know having the same alphabet doesnt mean much because English and French have the same alphabet (just with accents) and they are very different from one another.
  14. übermönch

    übermönch Senior Member

    Warum wohne ich bloß in so einem KAFF?
    World - 1.German, 2.Russian, 3.English
    Serbian differs much stronger from Russian than Bulgarian. The cyrillic writing doesn't change much. Croatian is similar to serbian without using cyrillic. For me it's as hard to understand as Czech, maybe a little easier, but only a little. I get around 20-30%

    EDIT: So, let's say Serbian's like high German vs. English, and Bulgarian like Dutch vs. English.
  15. Etcetera

    Etcetera Senior Member

    St Petersburg, Russia
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    Serbian use Cyrillic (the Cyrillic? I'm not sure about using an article here!). Croatian prefer Western alphabet. That's the major difference between them, it seems.
    As to the question of whether or not is Serbian closer to Russian... Well, I was sure that Serbian is very close to Russian right until I took some Serbian classses (it was about 5 or 6 years ago). Amusingly enough, only a year before that I made a report at school about Slavic languages, and from what I'd read in various books, I somehow decided that Serbian is the closest to Russian from all Western- and South-Slavic languages! But when it came to vocabulary, to grammar - oh! In fact, Russian and Serbian grammars have rather little in common. Compare those two sentences, for example (they both are translations of the same, very simple phrase - I'm Milan's mother):
    - Ja сам Миланова мама/Ja sam Milanova mama. - in Serbian
    - Я мама Милана/Ya mama Milana. - in Russian
    See the difference?
    Natasha can say much more on Serbian. I took those classes too long ago...
    It could be so - and I've pointed out that I'm not speaking for all Russians:). But at the same time, every Russian can catch at least the main idea of a text in Polish, Czekh, any other Slavic language. They're closer than, say, Germanic languages.
  16. Anatoli Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    Native: русский (Russian), home country: English
    It's all matter of exposure as it seems, Polish can't be closer to Russian than Ukrainian, that's for sure! Classification in Eastern, Western and Southern makes sense. You really need to know how to map Polish sounds to Russian -

    porządek (pozhondek)
    rzeka (zheka)
    przyszedl (pshyshet)

    порядок (same spelling in Russian)
    река (same spelling in Russian)
    прийшов (Russian: пришёл)

    As for the simlarity of Bulgarian (more than say Serbian) to Russian, it's not the simlarity, they are borrowings:
    a whole of group of words was borrowed when Orthodox church was introduced in Russia:
    глава (cf. голова)
    врата (cf. ворота)
    град (градостроитель, преграда, Петроград) (cf: город)
    враг (Ukrainian: ворог)

    Although, there are quite a few words in Ukrainian and Belarusian borrowed from Polish, there are even more words similar to Russian in both Ukrainian and Belarusian.

    Polish is quite different in pronunciation to any other Slavic language that it has nasal sounds like in French (letters [FONT=&quot]"ą" [ong] and "[/FONT]ę" [eng]), "rz", which is pronounced as either "zh" or "sh" is quite specific, usually can be mapped to Russian or Belarusian soft (palatalised) R', in Ukrainian it's not palatalised but it's still the R sound.
    Polish has a steady word stress on the penultimate syllable.

    Czech and Slovak have both accent on the first syllable of a word and have long vowels - unique to these two languages compared to other Slavic ones. The Czech letter "ř" can be mapped to Polish "rz", also makes it harder to understand. Slovak is lightly easier because it doesn't use ř and the vocabulary is a bit closer to Eastern Slavic languages.

    When I had to take a test in Ukrainian, I started reading books and magazines and Ukrainian with hardly any previous exposure. I didn't use any dictionary, I was able to guess a lot of words by their context, there is more similarity than dissimilarity. I doubt a Russian could read a Polish or Czech book without actually learning it first. So, in my opinion Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian are very close, which also made it easier for the Ukrainian government to Ukrainise official institutions in Ukraine (not meaning to start a new debate!). There are attempts to distantiate Ukrainian further from Russian, which is possible because there are dialects and different versions of the same word, standard Ukraianian differs significantly from western Ukrainian, so if more words are chosen to replace the usual words, then Ukrainian may become different and will become closer to Polish.
  17. xxatti Junior Member

    So could we say that Belarusian/Ukrainian and Russian are like Spanish vs. Catalan?:)
  18. Maja

    Maja Senior Member

    Binghamton, NY
    Serbian, Serbia
    No, in Serbia we use both Cyrillic and Latinic alphabets. Although I prefer Cyrillic myself, Latinic is more in use when it comes to road signs, license plates, some official documents... a lot of newspapers and magazines are printed in Latinic, then computers and mobile phone manus, movie subtitles...
    Croats, however, only use Latinic (but all generations who went to school prior to the 90's and the country split-up, HAD to learn Cyrillic in school - it was obligatory).

    A little correction: JA сам Миланова мама. We don't have letter Я.

    I think that Russian is close to Serbian, but then again I was studying it in school and maybe I just assume that it is so since I understand it.
    But I think that Bulgarian is smt between Serbian and Russian. The common ground to Serbian, Russian and Bulgarian is Church Slavic, still in use in our Orthodox Churches that influenced our modern languages.

    As to глава (head), врата (door), град (city/town), враг (devil), we use them in Serbian as well. I didn't know they are borrowings from Bulgarian?!!! Can you elaborate that?

  19. Etcetera

    Etcetera Senior Member

    St Petersburg, Russia
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    Maja, thank you for your corrections!
    Indeed, I remember seeing on TV road signs written in Latinic.
    Well, I used to consider Serbian to be closer to Russian, not Bulgarian! But since you all vote for Bulgarian... Maybe I used to think so because I took several Serbian classes but have never learned any Bulgarian?
  20. übermönch

    übermönch Senior Member

    Warum wohne ich bloß in so einem KAFF?
    World - 1.German, 2.Russian, 3.English
    I'm not sure those are borrowings from Bulgarian. At least 'Grad' and similar words are present is all slavic languages. I'd rather call pozdravlen'ye, zdravstvovat', pomojenye, merzost as certain examples of borrowings from church slavonic to modern Russian. :idea: Corresponding words wouldn't be so hard to find in Serbian since those are just the ones not present in Croatian.
  21. cyanista

    cyanista законодательница мод

    The analogy is not bad, in each case it's national language versus world language. But Belarusian is losing this uneven battle not being supported by the goverment nor by strong tradition. :(
  22. Aldin Junior Member

    Similarites in South-Slavic languages:

    BHS is very similiar to Macedonian and then to Bulgarian.There are similarities with Slovenian as well but for most BHS speaker it's very hard to understand Slovenians.BHS,Macedonian and Bulgarian share a great amount of orientalisms(words from Arabic,Perisian and Turkish),while in Slovenian there is a great amount of germanisms.I'd say that Slovenian is more similiar to Western group than to Southern group.The phonetics of Slovenian and BHS are almost the same(Slovenian lacks Ć and Đ)

    And about Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian:
    It is definitly the same language,if you call a dog Mimmy,Lilly,Fuffy or something like that,the dog will still be a dog,his name is not important,the content is.
    BHS just use different synonims.
    Croatian-Lubenica/Rajčica(Poma in Dalmatia)
  23. Maja

    Maja Senior Member

    Binghamton, NY
    Serbian, Serbia

    Well, I think that it depends on how you look at it. For instance, Bulgarians use "й, я, ю, щ" like Russians (Serbs don't), and a lot of their vocabulary is similar (as far as I know). On the other hand, Serbs used all 6 cases (+ 1) that Russians have, but Bulgarians only have 2. See "All Slavic Languages Dictionary" thread in "Multilingual Glossaries"!
    Serbian and Bulgarian are also similar, which is to be expected since we are neighboring countries and we influence each other's languages. I have some Bulgarian friends who say that when I speak Serbian, they recognize some archaic expressions which their grandparents use (like "RAT" -war etc.). And when I hear Bulgarian, it sounds to me like south-eastern Serbian dialect (around the town of Vranje or Dimitrovgrad which is on the very border with Bulgaria).
    This is a matter of subjective opinion and our impressions based on our previous knowledge of languages.
    We should ask some real expert on the subject :D.

    We call it "lubenica" (watermelon) as well :)!

    Puno pozdrava iz Beograda
  24. Anatoli Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    Native: русский (Russian), home country: English
    I thought I explained clearly. They are borrowings into Russian from Bulgarian, not the other way around.
    Serbian and Bulgarian are languages of the same group, no surprise many words are the same - very similar.
  25. Aldin Junior Member

    I don't know,my cousins from Kragujevac called it bostan,we never use that word in bosnia for that.
  26. Maja

    Maja Senior Member

    Binghamton, NY
    Serbian, Serbia
    Any proof???:D

  27. Maja

    Maja Senior Member

    Binghamton, NY
    Serbian, Serbia
    Yeah, you are right, there is such a word and people use it, especially those that live in the country. But I, for instance, never used in my life... Maybe to say "obrao je bostan" :D, but I can't imagine myself using that saying either when there are so many good slang expressions like "ugasio je" :p.

    Veliki pozdrav!!!
  28. Anatoli Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    Native: русский (Russian), home country: English
    Why do you need the proof? What is your point? My point was to say that some people say that Bulgarian is closer to Russian than Ukrainian.

    It's a common knowledge in Russia that Russian has a layer of southern Slavic words - usually called "старославянский" or "церковнославянский язык"

    There is heaps of info on the web, I can't post links because I haven't reached the limit of 30 posts.

    Now I have the right to post links, here's one article, use google if you need more:
  29. xxatti Junior Member

    Just when I thought I had things all figured out on the Russian side:( . I guess there really is no concensus, it just depends on who you ask:confused: .
  30. xxatti Junior Member

    According to this article, it is Bulgarian which has borrowed words from Russian (amongst other languages).


    ....After the Bulgarians achieved independence in 1878, a modern literary language based on the vernacular came into its own. Modern Bulgarian, which is generally said to date from the 16th cent., borrowed many words from Greek and Turkish during the period of Turkish domination; more recently it has borrowed words from Russian, French, and German.....

    See S. B. Bernshtein, Short Grammatical Sketch of the Bulgarian Language (tr. 1952); H. I. Aronson, Bulgarian Inflectional Morphophonology (1968); C. Rudin, Aspects of Bulgarian Syntax (1986).
  31. cyanista

    cyanista законодательница мод

    You cite a passage about modern Bulgarian; Anatoli was speaking about Old Bulgarian. According to the article you've found,
    Russian borrowed numerous words from Old Church Slavonic/Old Bulgarian that was indeed a South Slavic language.

    @Anatoli: There's no need to get angry when people ask about proof or additional information. We usually expect participants of a discussion to provide those, otherwise it's just "my word vs yours". ;)
  32. xxatti Junior Member

    Ok, but when we start talking about old and modern forms of languages... the modern forms can be very different from the old forms. So while the old Bulgarian may have been very close to Russian at the time, modern Bulgarian may very well be quite different from the current Russian language (I dont know, Im just stating the possibility).

    We got into a discussion of what was borrowed from what, but I dont think that necesarily always correlate to strong language similarities in the present/modern language forms.
  33. Etcetera

    Etcetera Senior Member

    St Petersburg, Russia
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    That's true! Modern Russian is very different from the language of, say, XI century. Everything has changes since then - spelling, grammar, let alone the very way of expressing ideas. So, it's rather naive to look for strong similarities.
  34. Anatoli Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    Native: русский (Russian), home country: English
    I wasn't not angry, I only didn't contradict Maja's posts, so I wasn't sure what I needed to prove. Sorry, I didn't mean to upset anyone, it wasn't very polite but "any proof?" is not a polite question either.
  35. Maja

    Maja Senior Member

    Binghamton, NY
    Serbian, Serbia
    I was actually joking a little and put a :D to indicate so!!!!!!!

    I was talking about the origin of words like grad, glava etc. (read my post again). You are CLAIMING that they are borrowings from Bulgarian, but since we use them in Serbian and probable a lot of other Slavic languages as well, I just asked for some reference (like this or that dictionary). Otherwise it is just speculation. Know what I mean?
    My opinion is that one cannot tell for sure when it comes to words that are spread out through all Slavic languages. The most probable scenario is that they actually belong to the old Slavic language we all used before we "split" into eastern, western and southern group (not counting, of course, new words like those of Communism era etc.).

  36. Etcetera

    Etcetera Senior Member

    St Petersburg, Russia
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    I totally agree. Moreover, that's what all my books on comparative linguistics say about Slavic languages.
  37. GoranBcn Senior Member

    Barcelona (Spain)
    Catalan, Spanish, Croatian/Serbian
    In Croatian/Serbian/Bosnian there are also short and long vowels and, apart from that, there is also a pitch accent (tonal accent) that doesn't exist in other slavic languages except Slovenian.

    There are four accents:

    - long rising
    - short rising
    - long falling
    - short falling

    Apart from these there is also "long unstressed accent".

    Some examples:

    gore (hills)
    gore (worse)
    gore (upthere)
    gore (they burn)

    There is a different accent in each of these words.
  38. Anatoli Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    Native: русский (Russian), home country: English
    How are long vowels marked in these languages if these markings exist? What about tones?
  39. GoranBcn Senior Member

    Barcelona (Spain)
    Catalan, Spanish, Croatian/Serbian
    Neither long vowels nor tones are marked, so you have to deduce the meaning of a word from the context.
  40. българин Senior Member

    Поздрави, Pozdravi to all the slavic language forum persons!
    I thought I'd add some things in here, hopefuly clarify some things. At least, for my opinion and observations (after all, I am a navite of a Slavic language speaking country). I think someone mentioned the groups of slavic languages, and that's pretty much correct. The languages in each group are close to each other than the other groups, however one must consider the written part also. For example, it is a bit challenging at first to understand spoken Russian, but when I read it, it's a whole different story. Here's the deal, I'm going to say my opinion mostly on south-slavic languages since I know that best. Serbian and Croatian are pretty close in terms of vocabulary, if not the same, with some minor pronunciation twists. But from what I understand, there are minor differences in grammar and word order, but nothing too overwhelming so as to cause miscommunication. Bulgarian and the Serbo-Croatian languages have a lot of vocabulary in common dealing with vernacular speech. I mean to say that the vocabulary is similar dealing with everyday life situations, for example; shopping, sports, weather, various daily activities, and just basic conversation. However, when you switch to scholarly vocabulary, there are quite a bit of similarities with Russian. There are a couple of reasons for this.
    After Bulgaria freed itself from the Ottoman Empire, the language underwent major changes. A more modern Bulgarian literary language emerged which reduced a large number of Turkish loan words, replacing them with Russian and some Church Slavonic words. This change was mostly within the scholarly vocabulary of the language. However, some of the more vernacular usage of vocabulary loan words from Turkish remained the same because obviously of its more frequent use than the literary language. For example, the Turkish words "tavan," "bair," "budala," "chekmedzhe," "chanta," "chiflik" are still in use in Bulgarian. The words mean ceiling, steep hill, stupid person, drawer, bag, and small farm. You can see these words are just everyday words used in everyday situations. Whereas words such as "opravdanie," "predstavlenie," "uchrezhdenie," "sutrudnichestvo," "sudurzhanie" are more scholarly and most likely borrowed from Russian (although they might be also used in other slavic languages). They translate to justification, representation, institution, cooperation, contents. They were less frequently used in everyday speech (when these changes occured) than the previous group, and therefore more easily replaced. When the communists took over in the latter part of the 20th century, even more Russian words were introduced (especially militarily speaking) due to the fact that the two countries were very close allies. But that's a different story....
    I'm not sure, but I think Serbian must have gone under some similar changes in their language after they freed themsleves from Ottoman rule, but correct me if I'm wrong.
    I have quite a bit of Serbian friends and I can undestand them with little problem, partly because I'm used to the language and can easily adapt to their vocabulary. However, I beleive it would take me a lot longer to, say achieve the same level of communication with my Czech speaking friend.
  41. Maja

    Maja Senior Member

    Binghamton, NY
    Serbian, Serbia
    As Goran said, they are not marked, except in dictionaries, and when emphasizing the difference in meaning between two exactly the same words when they are next to each other, like:
    On neće da da kuću. (He doesn't want to give up the house.)
    1st da - conj. to
    2nd da - present, 3rd. person sing. of the verb "dati" - to give
    Ja sam s
    am. (I am alone.)
    1st sam - I am; present, 1st. person sing. of the auxiliary verb "jesam" - to be
    2nd sam - alone (m.)

    The markings are:
    - kratkosilazni (short falling)- two lines above stressed vowel, slightly leaning to the left;

    - kratkouzlazni (short rising) - one line, slightly leaning to the left;
    - dugoslilazni (long falling)- one arch line;
    - dugouzlazni (long rising)- one line, slightly leaning to the right;
    dugi neakcentovani slog (long unstressed accent) - one flat line.

    I've provided some examples but they were not displayed, probable because there is no Benson 2 font. Sorry!
    Hope this helps anyways :)
  42. GoranBcn Senior Member

    Barcelona (Spain)
    Catalan, Spanish, Croatian/Serbian
    Ćao Majo, :)

    Thanks for your additional information. I've found these examples with accent marks. :)

    [FONT=Verdana,Geneva,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]The Long Rising Accent

    The long rising (dugoulazni akcenat or dugoulazni naglasak) can be on any syllable of a word but the last one. It is pronounced like the main English stress, and it's marked as: ´.

    Examples: gláva, rúka, báka...

    The Short Rising Accent

    The short rising (kratkoulazni akcenat or kratkoulazni naglasak) can be on every syllable of a word but the last one. It is pronounced like the English secondary stress, and it's marked as: `

    Examples: [/FONT]
    ž[FONT=Verdana,Geneva,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]èna, vòda, màgla...

    The Long Falling Accent

    The long falling (dugosilazni akcenat or dugosilazni naglasak ) can be only on the first syllable of a word. It is long, but the voice falls by the end of the stressed vowel. It's marked as: ^

    Examples: mâjka, sêko, bâko...

    The Short Falling Accent

    The short falling (kratkosilazni akcenat or kratkosilazni naglasak ) can be only on the first syllable of a word. It is the shortest of all accents, and it's pronounced with a short "explosion" on the stressed syllable, which falls by the end of the stressed vowel. It's marked as: ¨

    Examples: vëče, pëkar, vödu...

    After-Accent Longness

    The after-accent longness (poslijeakcentska dužina) isn't an accent, but a vowel which has an after-accent longness is a little bit stressed. This sub-accent can be found only after the main accent, and it can be anywhere in the word, including the last syllable. Some words needn't have the after-accent longness. The after-accent longness is marked as: ˉ

    Example: sīnōva...[/FONT]


  43. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    The word bostan is usually used in the country, and not only for watermelon, but for the whole family of these kind of fruits which include watermelon AND melon. Bostan is also used more for the garden where the melons and watermelons are grown. People from the country can say "Let's eat some bostan", or "This year, bostan is excellent", meaning that all melons and watermelons grew well, but when they put the watermelon on the table, they will always say "We eat lubenica" or "The lubenica from yesterday was so sweet" and not bostan. Lubenica is very common and used word for watermelon by Serbs, wherever they are.

    hope I cleared up a little bit.:)

    BTW: If Croats, Serbs and Bosnians use different words for watermelon and tomato, this does not mean they speak different languages. Spanish speaking South Americans have different word for a bus for example (and there are many more, for example fruits and vegetables) in almost every country, so practically in Spanish, there are some at least 10 words for "BUS", and they still think they all speak one language.

    PS: My cousins from Sarajevo use word bostan. They are perfectly familiar with this word.:)
  44. tarik_ze New Member

    Just to add something about "bostan". It is one of soooo many words in South Slavic languages that come from Turkish (and/or Arabic). Originally it means orchard or garden but it also means both melon and watermelon.
  45. българин Senior Member

    We use the word "bostan" in Bulgaria for a field, but more like a field for growing vegetables (something like a big garden). The accent falls on "a" when the word is pronounced. And yes, it is a Turkish word.
  46. Igor S.Rossine Gleb New Member

    Portuguese Brazil
    Thank you Anatoli. I am a grandson o Russians and always wanted to know how close were Russian and Ukranian languages. From your experience it seems that both languages are similar than Portuguese and Spanish (an educated speaker of one language can understant and talk to the ohter language speaker in a slow pace). Anyway, viewing far from here a think it is a pitty to make both languages Ukranian and Russian further apart. Here, we that speak Portuguese and are half of the inhabitants of South America feel compeled to speak Spanish to enlarge our market.
  47. beclija Senior Member

    Boarisch, Österreich (Austria)
    So is it actually related to bašta/bašća? That would be closer to the Bulgarian meaning anyway.

    Znači li da je istog porijekla/podriijetla kao i "bašta"? Bilo bi to u svakom slučaju bliže značenju u bugarskom.
  48. beclija Senior Member

    Boarisch, Österreich (Austria)
    As far as I know the Proto-Slavic words were something like *galva, *gard. After that came different sound changes in the different branches. These regular changes would let you expect "glava" and "grad" in South Slavic, "golova" and "gorod" in East Slavic, and "gl~owa" etc. in Polish. The point is that in Russian, for a lot of words, there are two variants: The expected "golova" and the "South Slavic" "glava". It only makes sense if we assume that the latter are borrowings from Church Slavonic (=Old Bulgarian). This does not mean that in Serbian they must be borrowings from Bulgarian, because in Serbian "glava" is precisely what we expect.

    One example which I have heard is that "vlast" means "dominion" in an abstract sense, while "volost" is something like the belongings of a Bojar. Very logical once we assume that (South Slavic) Church Slavonic was the "high" language and Russian the "pučki" (~folk) language. Correct me if I am wrong.

    Koliko ja znam, protoslavenski/protoslovenski riječi su bili nešto poput *galva, *gard. Tek su se poslije dogodile glasovne promjene u različitim jezicima. Te promjene bi redovno vodile ka ruskim "golova" i "gorod", južnoslavenskim/slovenskim "glava" i "grad" a poljskim "gl~owa" itd. Poenta je u tome što na ruskom postoje i "glava" pored (očekivanog) "golova". Nema smisla dok se ne pretpostavlja da je ono prvo posuđenica iz crkvenoslavenskog (iliti starobugarskog). To naravno ne znači da je na srpskom posuđenica, jer je "glava" upravo to što se za srpki očekuje.

    Sjećam se jednog dobrog primjera: "власт" (s mekim znakom kojeg nemam na tastaturi/tipkovnici) znači vlast u apstraktnom smislu, dok je "волост" imanje jednog Bojara. Logično kad se zna da je ruski vjekovima/stoljećima bio tek pučki jezik, dok je kao "viši" jezik služio crkvenoslavenski. Ispravite me ako se pogrešno sjećam.
  49. !netko! Junior Member

    Croatian, Croatia
    I tend to understand Slovak much better than Russian. Have you been exposed to Slovak?

    Anyway, I think Serbs might understand Russian a bit better than Croatians because a lot of words in Serbian are borrowed from Russian, as opposed to very few in Croatian (most words of foreign origin in Croatian are Italian, German or Hungarian) ...
  50. beclija Senior Member

    Boarisch, Österreich (Austria)
    Remember that also, when people tried to "slavicize" (can you say that in English?) their vocabulary, Croatians turned to Czech and Serbs to Russian for examples. I think I said before that I find it amazing how much Slovak I undersand. In spoken form, I even understand Slovak better than Russian, although I've made some attempts to "officially" learn the latter and not the former;)

Share This Page