Relationship of current Slavic languages to Proto-Slavic and to one another.


Senior Member
The prototypical meaning, at least in Russian, is "to form from some sticky, plastic material". "To stick to sth" is "ли́пнуть" (perf. "прили́пнуть"), which is remotely related (through the proto-Indo-European vowel alteration).
A sidenote: липнуть is an in-Russian creation after -липать, the older form being льнуть<льнѹти (the Aorist льпъ), thus: *lipneti (>льнеть>>льнёт) — -līpājeti (>-липаѥть>>-липает) with the regular lengthening of the root vowel in the Iterative (likewise *suxneti — *-sūxājeti >> сохнет — -сыхает). In Ukrainian, a different development took place, with the modern result линути — -линати, н being reinterpreted as part of the root.
  • Roman A.

    New Member
    Being Russian I personally find the Polish language easy to understand, when it is written. Many words are similar to Russian, of the same origin and meaning, even swearing words are very similar to Russian. Syntax features such as flexible word order are the same. The other Slavic languages except for Polish and Ukrainian are harder to understand.


    Today for the first time in my life I have heard Bulgarian. I must confess that it doesn't sound clear to me (though,as I wrote before,the written language is understandable,more to the point,it became clearer after I had learnt some BSCM). It seems that it resembles BSCM as for intonation and articulation.


    I'm a native speaker of German and I do have some experiences with slavic languages. I live near the settlement area of the Sorbian minority.

    Polish - fluent
    Russian - basic
    Czech - basic
    Ukrainian - basic (started one month ago)

    Sorbian: To me Upper Sorbian sounds like a Western Slavic language spoken by a native speaker of German with a very strong German accent. For some reason even the written language looks somehow awkward to me. Among all Western Slavic languages it is definitely the one I understand the worst.

    Upper Sorbian on German TV

    Czech/Ukrainian: Both languages are very closely related to Polish, but I didn't understand a lot before I started learning them. But when I did, it actually took me only a few weeks to achieve some kind of fluency in both, which you wouldn't expect so quickly, when you begin to learn a new language.

    Slovak: It is closer related to Polish than Czech, but after taking classes in Czech, it is a little less intelligible to me compared to Czech. When I went to Bratislava a long time ago - I only spoke Polish at the time - the Slovak spoken in Bratislava sounded a little like Austrian German to me, but I didn't understand a lot to be honest.

    Russian: Understanding spoken Russian has been always hard, even after taking classes. In some respects Russian is close to Polish, but in others it seems to be really remote.

    Slovenian/BCSM: I do understand a few words i both written and spoken language. Only sometimes am I able to get what a longer conversation is about. On the other hand once I overheard a conversation between a Croat speaking slowly and clearly to a Pole about a recipe and I understood almost everything. I hear a little Italian accent in both Slovenian and BCSM.

    BTW: In my humble opinion the most beautiful Slavic languages are Polish, Ukrainian and Slovenian.
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