Serbian (BCS) vs Bulgarian: Mutual intelligibility

< Previous | Next >

Aguno

New Member
Romanian
It's a question that has bugging me for a while, and I've seen that there is no specific thread just for this issue.How mutual intelligible are serbian and bulgarian?
I know some of both, not much though, and the vocabulary is very similar, but serbs seem not to understand a damn thing of bulgarian, while bulgarians understand as much as 70 per cent.
A bulgarian friend of mine told me that he understands 50% or serbian words.
So, put your opinions here.

Let it be like a heavyweight match between serbian and bulgarian.
 
  • DarkChild

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    People from Western Bulgaria can understand almost everything in Serbian because their dialect is closer to it (dialect continuum). In Eastern Bulgaria we don't understand almost anything unless we learn it or spend some time listening to it.
    Bulgarian is hard for others to understand because of the pronunciation, vowel reduction and dynamic stress. Serbian, on the other hand, has a very straight forward pronunciation, so it's easier on the foreign ear.
     

    Orlin

    Banned
    български
    I became interested in Serbian in the 1990s and before I learned to speak it, I could understand much (btw, I've always lived in Western Bulgaria and in 1998-2003 I watched Serbian TV much and was in Serbia in 2000).
    Because of being exposed to Serbian too much, I began understanding it well and it was quite easy to learn Serbian later.
     

    Aguno

    New Member
    Romanian
    Still no serbs round here on this topic, I wonder what they have to say about mutual intelligibility between srb vs blg
     
    Being a speaker of serbian language in advanced level i would say that they are not mutual intelligible.

    Serbs seem to find it difficult to understand bulgarian.I would say that they are lazy ;) On the other hand a foreigner who studied first Serbian can easily learn Bulgarian.True story!
     

    Aguno

    New Member
    Romanian
    On the other hand a foreigner who studied first Serbian can easily learn Bulgarian.True story!
    I totally agree.I was playing different bulgarian songs to serbs and they were just shrugging, even though there were many words similar, so that one could get an idea of what was about (even though he wasn't understanding allthe words).I can get an idea of what a text's general idea is if I know around 1/2 of the words.

    BTW, I'm expanding my serbian + bulgarian vocabulary every day, and the best way to cement a new word in my memory is to find it similar in serb and bulgarian (for ex jedva (srb) vs. edva (blg) )
     

    Orlin

    Banned
    български
    Being a speaker of serbian language in advanced level i would say that they are not mutual intelligible.
    I think that this is not a "yes-no" category: "easiness" of communication can vary from easy to completely impossible, and if it's possible for a speaker of one of the languages to get the idea of something in the other language (certainly true for Bulgarian/Serbian), a certain level of mutual intelligibility exists (in the case Bulg./Serb. are for sure mutually intelligible to some level - let others say to what level because I speak both languages).
    On the other hand, some people say that mutually intelligible languages are only those whose native speakers can participate in a fluent conversation - I don't know if Bulgarian and Serbian are m. i. in this sense (i. e. I don't know how fluent a Bulgarian-Serbian conversation can be).
     
    I totally agree.I was playing different bulgarian songs to serbs and they were just shrugging, even though there were many words similar, so that one could get an idea of what was about (even though he wasn't understanding allthe words).I can get an idea of what a text's general idea is if I know around 1/2 of the words.

    BTW, I'm expanding my serbian + bulgarian vocabulary every day, and the best way to cement a new word in my memory is to find it similar in serb and bulgarian (for ex jedva (srb) vs. edva (blg) )
    Sometimes this language continuum can be fascinating!

    The bulgarian Едва is written the same in Russian.But since the russian Е is JE its pronounced Jедва.There you go.Thats how the serbs got the word ;)

    So i guess for foreigners yeah serbocroatian and bulgarian are mutually intelligible but for native speakers isnt.Again,this is not the rule!
     

    Orlin

    Banned
    български
    So i guess for foreigners yeah serbocroatian and bulgarian are mutually intelligible but for native speakers isnt:confused:.Again,this is not the rule!
    It seems very improbable to me because a foreigner most probably won't know the archaic, regional and other words that help a lot to understand the other language, so mutual intelligiblity between natives should be higher.
     
    While studying russian in a foreigne languages school the professor noticed that because of my knowledge in Serbian i was learning much faster than his bulgarian students.

    So i think that native speakers are not that "open-minded" (not using the expression in a bad way) and they dont use their imagination!
     
    Last edited:

    Orlin

    Banned
    български
    i can't understand any of bulgarian. Almost any slavic language not being bcs sounds very soft for my ears.
    Сигурен ли си? Аз разбирах поне частично сръбски, преди да мога да го говоря, и затова може би също можеш да разбереш поне нещо, ако не говорим, то поне писмен български (с говоримия език, разбира се, винаги е по-трудно). Доколкото знам, в момента учиш руски, а руският няма как да не помага за разбирането на българския.
     

    Duya

    Senior Member
    Whatever
    Сигурен ли си? Аз разбирах поне частично сръбски, преди да мога да го говоря, и затова може би също можеш да разбереш поне нещо, ако не говорим, то поне писмен български (с говоримия език, разбира се, винаги е по-трудно). Доколкото знам, в момента учиш руски, а руският няма как да не помага за разбирането на българския.
    OK, I do know some Russian, but size of my vocabulary is fairly small, so it isn't of big help.

    I can say that I understand some 50-90% of written Bulgarian, depending on context. I get the most of your sentence above, but I didn't really understand the red words, and green ones are so-so (i.e. need some time to decipher them).

    Taking the random Bulgarian newspaper article, such as this (but where I do know the international context of the news), I have problems with the following words:

    въздушни пратки - hm, false friend with "praćka" (sling). Funny. That's a "pošiljka" (shipment) I guess?
    срещата - meeting, apparently. false friend with "sreća" (happiness)
    обсъжда - to handle?
    предприеме - to prepare?
    заловените -
    взривни вещества
    - no idea
    редица - no idea
    посолства - true friend with "poslanstvo" (embassy)? Funny false friend with "posoliti" (to salt).
    възлов - main?
    опитите за терористични атаки - apparent false friend with "opit" (experiment).
    засилен - strengthened, apparently, though not what immediately comes to mind.

    So, already knowing a lot of context, I get the most of the text, but I'm not sure what I would make out of a novel, for example.
     

    Orlin

    Banned
    български
    OK, I do know some Russian, but size of my vocabulary is fairly small, so it isn't of big help.

    I can say that I understand some 50-90% of written Bulgarian, depending on context. I get the most of your sentence above, but I didn't really understand the red words, and green ones are so-so (i.e. need some time to decipher them).

    Taking the random Bulgarian newspaper article, such as this (but where I do know the international context of the news), I have problems with the following words:

    въздушни пратки - hm, false friend with "praćka" (sling). Funny. That's a "pošiljka" :tick:(shipment) I guess?
    срещата - meeting, apparently:tick:. false friend with "sreća" (happiness)
    обсъжда - to handle?:cross: BCS raspravljati, diskutirati, ruski обсуждать
    предприеме - to prepare?:cross:да предприема нещо = BCS početi raditi nešto (normalno kao otpor neke opasnosti) - formalno
    заловените - BCS uhvaćeni
    взривни вещества - no idea BCS eksplozivi (ruski взрывчатые вещества)
    редица - no idea BCS niz
    посолства - true friend with "poslanstvo" (embassy):tick:? Funny false friend with "posoliti" (to salt).
    възлов - main?:tick: (samo približno, moram da razmislim za preciznije objašnjenje; възел=čvor)
    опитите за терористични атаки - apparent false friend with "opit" (experiment).:tick: BCS pokušaj
    засилен - strengthened, apparently, though not what immediately comes to mind.:tick:
    затова=zato
    може би=možda
    също=isto
    поне=bar(em)
    частично=delimično (част=deo)
    разбира се=naravno
    винаги=uvek
    писмен=pisan, pismen (http://hjp.srce.hr/index.php?show=search_by_id&id=eV1mXRU=&keyword=pismen u 1. značenju)
    So, already knowing a lot of context, I get the most of the text, but I'm not sure what I would make out of a novel, for example.
    Zdravo, mislim da nema potrebe na engleskom. Možda smo dokazali da definitivno postoji neki nivo razumljivosti, što neki forero odriče, a po meni je uzajamna razumljivost definitivno ne "da-ne" kategorija i nešto izuzetno subjektivno. Nadam se da sam ti dovoljno dobro pomogao razumeti ovaj tekst.
     
    Last edited:

    Tjahzi

    Senior Member
    Swedish (Göteborg)
    Greetings

    First of all, this is not a question of if or how well BCS and Bulgarian are intelligible. Mainly from this forum, I've learned that the level of comprehensibility between these languages is high or very high (correct me if I'm wrong). However, what puzzles me is why that is.

    I'm interested in linguistic typology and as such have a decent general linguistic knowledge. My native language is Swedish, which shares a number of grammatical features such as suffixing definite articles, absence of grammatical cases for nouns (more or less), a relatively large inventory of compound tenses etc, with Bulgarian. I have also studied Russian, at least to the degree that I would say that I'm familiar with the case system of BCS and that I can read it (BCS) with a dictionary.

    However, based on this knowledge, it seems to me that, although both obviously being Slavic languages and as such are related and share a decent amount of vocabulary, they are very grammatically distant and as such, I can't understand how the level of intelligibility could be so high. Also, I've got the impression that speakers of BCS even find it easier to understand Bulgarian than Slovenian, which of course further sparkles my confusion given the fact that Slovenian is grammatically closer to BCS and that Slovenia and BCS, until the early nineties, was part of the same country, which to some extent, must have exposed speakers of BCS to Slovenian.
    However, all, or any, of the assumptions that Slovenian and BCS are more similar, that BCS speakers understand Bulgarian better and that they have been exposed to Slovenian could be wrong.

    So what could it be? Speakers from the southern parts of former SFRY are likely to be bilingual in Macedonian (whose status as a language or Bulgarian dialect appears to be somewhat disputed) and BCS, but that does not in anyway explain the widespread intelligibility. Neither do I believe every citizen of SFRY studied Macedonian (and hence acquired a knowledge of Bulgarian), if so, they should know Slovene equally well. And even if that was the case, this was 20 years ago and shouldn't apply to people under 25-30 of age, which again rules it out.

    I look at the phonology and although it's very similar, it's no perfect match (by my standards) either, given the Bulgarian palatalization, lack of palatal fricatives and the stress/pitch accent system of BCS (shared with Swedish!).

    The only plausible explanation that remains to me seems to be that the core vocabulary must indeed be very similar. That is, to the degree that the seemingly major grammatical differences are still easily overcome.

    Oh well, that was all I had. I'm aware that some of the above babbling is not exactly necessary to present my question, but I just wanted to ponder it once more, in writing.

    Obviously I would very much appreciate if you could help me add some sense to this. Thanks in advance!
     

    Duya

    Senior Member
    Whatever
    Well, to start with... a Serbian mocking reference to Macedonian is "Serbian without cases" :). Of course, it is rude, but it carries a part to the answer.

    While the difference in grammar between Bulgarian/Macedonian and Serbian is significant, it is not a particular obstacle for communication. I think that the fact that they share a common basic vocabulary, including a large number of Turkish loans and Old Church Slavonic remnants, significantly affects the intelligibility. Especially so with Macedonian (whom Bulgarian cynics might call "Bulgarian with Serbian vocabulary"), and to a lesser extent with Bulgarian.

    Generally, Bulgarian phonology is tougher for Serbian ears to understand than Macedonian, but I suppose it only takes a while to adapt.

    As with most similar situations, the intelligibility is probably not identical in both directions (compare that Romanians can understand a fair deal of e.g. Italian, but Italians can make a lot less of Romanian). However, we haven't established with certainty who understands better whom, at least not on this Forum (there's an recent thread around).

    As for Slovenian, while its grammar and phonology is more similar to BCS, what makes it difficult to understand (especially for those remote from the border) is rather specific vocabulary of Slovenian which is simultaneously 1) full of archaisms 2) full of recent inventions and 3) full of false friends (many common Slavic words in Slovenian has a subtly or less subtly different meaning).
     

    Orlin

    Banned
    български
    While the difference in grammar between Bulgarian/Macedonian and Serbian is significant, it is not a particular obstacle for communication. I think that the fact that they share a common basic vocabulary, including a large number of Turkish loans and Old Church Slavonic remnants, significantly affects the intelligibility. Especially so with Macedonian (whom Bulgarian cynics might call "Bulgarian with Serbian vocabulary"), and to a lesser extent with Bulgarian.


    As for Slovenian, while its grammar and phonology is more similar to BCS, what makes it difficult to understand (especially for those remote from the border) is rather specific vocabulary of Slovenian which is simultaneously 1) full of archaisms 2) full of recent inventions and 3) full of false friends (many common Slavic words in Slovenian has a subtly or less subtly different meaning).
    Hteo bih dodati da je visoki nivo razumljivosti bugarskog i BCS rezultat pre svega teritorijalne blizine i nekih važnih zajedničkih faktora za jezički razvoj (npr. je većina bug./BCS zemalja bila unutar Osmanske Imperije u 15.-19. veku, uticaj crkvenoslovenskog), što objašnjava opšti bazisni vokabular (ili neki kažu "reči nižeg registra"). U većini 20. veka je politička i socijalna situacija u Bugarskoj i ex-Jugoslaviji veoma različita, što je uzrok nekog "jezičkog udaljavanja" bugarskog i BCS jezika - posebno šta se tiče tzv. "višeg registra", koji uključuje terminologiju u različitim oblastima - lako je vidno da BCS i bugarski često koriste sasvim različite termine, što ponekad smanjuje razumljivost. Moj utisak je da makedonski koristi terminologiju uglavnom sličnu srpskoj, i zato neki kažu da samo specijalizirani makedonski tekstovi moraju da se prevode na bugarski dok se svi ostali tekstovi lako razumeju od strane Bugara. Druga relativno važna razlika koja nekako utiče na razumljivost je broj rusizama u bug./BCS jezika - bugarski ih ima značajno više uglavnom zbog različitog političkog razvoja i odnosa s Rusujom/SSSR u 19.-20. veku.
    Slovenački mi je "srednje" razumljiv većinom zbog mnogih nepoznatih reči, ali znanje BCS je naravno presudno - da nisam znao BCS, razumeo bih mnogo manje.
     
    Last edited:

    Aguno

    New Member
    Romanian
    The whole issue concerning mutual intelligibility between Serbian and Bulgarian revolves around the pronounciation. Serbian is a tonal language, plus the accent on the syllables is fixed (especially in 2 slb words) which makes it a very predictable language. Bulgarian on the other hand, has dynamic stress.
    But still, a serb should be able to pick some words out of it; for example the same word in both languages, different stress : ZHE-na (serbian) and zhe-NA (bulgarian)

    By the way, it would be interesting to read some funny situations concerning mutual intelligibility, from serbs that were in Bulgaria and needed to get around, or bulgarians visiting Serbia, so don't be shy and post them. I hope I don't make it too chatty.
     

    Duya

    Senior Member
    Whatever
    Serbian is a tonal language, plus the accent on the syllables is fixed (especially in 2 slb words) which makes it a very predictable language.
    Whoa, hold on, that is exactly the opposite of truth. Apart from some basic rules where an accent cannot be, the type and placement of stress in neo-Štokavian is far from predictable (unless you're a native, or a trained Slavicist). OK, granted, for 2-syllable words the accent can fall only on the first, but as soon they enter declination they become 3-syllable words. For example, see the first paragraph of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serbo-Croatian_phonology#Pitch_accent.
     

    Maja

    Senior Member
    Serbian, Serbia
    I can only speak from personal experience.
    A very good friend of mine is Bulgarian, but we always communicate in English. Only when we cannot think of a certain word in English (as it is not, after all, our native language), we use Serbian / Bulgarian word instead.
    It is just easier and quicker that way!

    However, when I went to visit her it took me a while to get the hang of it, but eventually I could understand much that was being said to me and talked without many obstacles with her parents. I was speaking Serbian, of course, and they were speaking Bulgarian.
    Also, I had no problems when holidaying at the Black Sea with reading menus, asking for directions, booking a hotel etc.

    But it must be also said that I had to be concentrated, and if I was not spoken to but only listening to other people's conversation (esp quick and dynamic ones), I'd found it really hard to follow.

    Written Bulgarian is, I think, a bit easier for understanding, and I can smt even read for instance a newspaper article that my friends post on a social network, or follow some "internet" BG messaging in Latinic script with numbers (4-ч, 6-ш) and letters (q-я, j-ж ... ) as substitutes for Cyrillic letters.
     

    Mantae

    New Member
    Bulgarian
    People from Western Bulgaria can understand almost everything in Serbian because their dialect is closer to it (dialect continuum). In Eastern Bulgaria we don't understand almost anything unless we learn it or spend some time listening to it.
    Bulgarian is hard for others to understand because of the pronunciation, vowel reduction and dynamic stress. Serbian, on the other hand, has a very straight forward pronunciation, so it's easier on the foreign ear.
    It should be added that Serbian is really understood well by those who actually speak western Bulgarian dialects. While Sofia, for example, is located in Western Bulgaria, most inhabitants use standard Bulgarian, which is mostly based on the eastern dialects and have a correspondingly lower understanding of Serbian.
     

    DarkChild

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Greetings

    First of all, this is not a question of if or how well BCS and Bulgarian are intelligible. Mainly from this forum, I've learned that the level of comprehensibility between these languages is high or very high (correct me if I'm wrong). However, what puzzles me is why that is.

    I'm interested in linguistic typology and as such have a decent general linguistic knowledge. My native language is Swedish, which shares a number of grammatical features such as suffixing definite articles, absence of grammatical cases for nouns (more or less), a relatively large inventory of compound tenses etc, with Bulgarian. I have also studied Russian, at least to the degree that I would say that I'm familiar with the case system of BCS and that I can read it (BCS) with a dictionary.


    The only plausible explanation that remains to me seems to be that the core vocabulary must indeed be very similar. That is, to the degree that the seemingly major grammatical differences are still easily overcome.
    I don't see why people think the case system somehow makes it overwhelmingly difficult to understand another language. I might be wrong but I think cases are easily understood by Bulgarians because they appear frequently in older literature and also is preserved in many dialects. In addition, exposure to Russian also has made cases something ordinary to our ears.
    Tense system also isn't that big of a deal. The only think I can think is that when listening to other Slavic languages, including Serbian, their past simple tense is the same as our past renarrative mood which we use for things we did not witness or are not sure happened. So when I listen to Serbian, it always sounds like they aren't sure about what happened.
    Now, I don't know what that tone business is. I've heard about it but I've never seen an example nor have noticed it when listening to Serbian.
     

    Orlin

    Banned
    български
    now, i don't know what that tone business is. I've heard about it but i've never seen an example nor have noticed it when listening to serbian.
    Между впрочем, става въпрос за това, че в босненския, хърватския и сръбския език ударението е тоническо (музикално) - т. е. ударената сричка се определя от промяната височината на тона, докато при нас тя се определя от силата на звука (или по друг начин казано, от напрежението на артикулация) - динамическо ударение. При езиците с динамическо ударение височината на тона също се изменя, но не това е определящият признак. Затова, когато носителите на език с динамическо ударение слушат език с тоническо такова, могат и да не забележат нещо особено - те пак ще усетят, че една от сричките в думата е акцентирана. (Лично за мене е горе-долу така - аз знам всичко това общо взето само на теория и почти не различавам при слушане.) Така тоническото ударение почти не влияе на разбираемостта - със сравнително редките изключения на двойки думи, при които единствената разлика е това дали ударението е възходящо или низходящо, но дори и тогава слушащият обикновено не е в безизходица, защото контекстът често помага.
    Накрая, регионалните различия в акцентирането са твърде големи, а освен това, доколкото знам, в Южна Сърбия не използват тоническо ударение.
     

    Tjahzi

    Senior Member
    Swedish (Göteborg)
    I don't see why people think the case system somehow makes it overwhelmingly difficult to understand another language. I might be wrong but I think cases are easily understood by Bulgarians because they appear frequently in older literature and also is preserved in many dialects. In addition, exposure to Russian also has made cases something ordinary to our ears.
    Thanks, that makes sense. My only reference is Swedish, which recognizes only genitive for nouns as well as accusative for pronouns (no vocative at all), and when Swedes try to study German (which recognizes accusative, dativ and genitive for nouns and pronouns) they usually have great troubles and most never even figure out the very concept of cases. That said, neither dialects nor older literature contains any regular case usage. Also, German is no longer known to a degree that it could be said to influence the general knowledge of cases.

    Tense system also isn't that big of a deal. The only think I can think is that when listening to other Slavic languages, including Serbian, their past simple tense is the same as our past renarrative mood which we use for things we did not witness or are not sure happened. So when I listen to Serbian, it always sounds like they aren't sure about what happened.
    Haha! :D
     

    Duya

    Senior Member
    Whatever
    Now, I don't know what that tone business is. I've heard about it but I've never seen an example nor have noticed it when listening to Serbian.
    What Orlin said. Tonal accents are a prominent feature of Serbo-Croatian (that is, neo-štokavian accents on which all standard SC forms are based), but foreigners may not hear or recognize them (except perhaps as a peculiarity in prosody), and lack of tones does not particularly hamper understanding. To our ears though, placement and usage of tones readily gives out the origin of the speaker (within the BCS area), or betrays a stranger (because they're notoriously difficult to master for a L2 speaker).

    I don't think that 95% of native BCS speakers is able to consciously tell one accent type from another and name them, but they are of course able to use them subconsciously.
     

    Orlin

    Banned
    български
    Međutim, kakve tonove osećaju izvorni BCS govornici kad slušaju neki jezik s dinamičkim akcentom (bugarski, ruski, engleski, francuski ili kakav god drugi)?
     

    Duya

    Senior Member
    Whatever
    Međutim, kakve tonove osećaju izvorni BCS govornici kad slušaju neki jezik s dinamičkim akcentom (bugarski, ruski, engleski, francuski ili kakav god drugi)?
    Ne osećaju. :) Prosto, koncept nije primenjiv na druge jezike, niti mislim da bilo ko očekuje nekakvu komponentu tona. Prosto, drugi jezici imaju drugačiju "melodiju".
     

    Orlin

    Banned
    български
    Ne osećaju. :) Prosto, koncept nije primenjiv na druge jezike, niti mislim da bilo ko očekuje nekakvu komponentu tona. Prosto, drugi jezici imaju drugačiju "melodiju".
    Mislim da se u jezicima bez tonemičkog akcenta visina tona isto nekako menja kod akcentovanog sloga, ali to se ne percipira kao ton u kontekstu BCS iz nekog razloga (npr. pošto se melodijska kontura nekog drugog jezika ne prepoznaje kao nešto slično BCS tonovima).
     

    DarkChild

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Между впрочем, става въпрос за това, че в босненския, хърватския и сръбския език ударението е тоническо (музикално) - т. е. ударената сричка се определя от промяната височината на тона, докато при нас тя се определя от силата на звука (или по друг начин казано, от напрежението на артикулация) - динамическо ударение. При езиците с динамическо ударение височината на тона също се изменя, но не това е определящият признак. Затова, когато носителите на език с динамическо ударение слушат език с тоническо такова, могат и да не забележат нещо особено - те пак ще усетят, че една от сричките в думата е акцентирана. (Лично за мене е горе-долу така - аз знам всичко това общо взето само на теория и почти не различавам при слушане.) Така тоническото ударение почти не влияе на разбираемостта - със сравнително редките изключения на двойки думи, при които единствената разлика е това дали ударението е възходящо или низходящо, но дори и тогава слушащият обикновено не е в безизходица, защото контекстът често помага.
    Накрая, регионалните различия в акцентирането са твърде големи, а освен това, доколкото знам, в Южна Сърбия не използват тоническо ударение.
    What Orlin said. Tonal accents are a prominent feature of Serbo-Croatian (that is, neo-štokavian accents on which all standard SC forms are based), but foreigners may not hear or recognize them (except perhaps as a peculiarity in prosody), and lack of tones does not particularly hamper understanding. To our ears though, placement and usage of tones readily gives out the origin of the speaker (within the BCS area), or betrays a stranger (because they're notoriously difficult to master for a L2 speaker).

    I don't think that 95% of native BCS speakers is able to consciously tell one accent type from another and name them, but they are of course able to use them subconsciously.
    OK, for a moment I thought it was the same as in Chinese.
     

    DarkChild

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Thanks, that makes sense. My only reference is Swedish, which recognizes only genitive for nouns as well as accusative for pronouns (no vocative at all), and when Swedes try to study German (which recognizes accusative, dativ and genitive for nouns and pronouns) they usually have great troubles and most never even figure out the very concept of cases. That said, neither dialects nor older literature contains any regular case usage. Also, German is no longer known to a degree that it could be said to influence the general knowledge of cases.



    Haha! :D
    So understanding for us is not a big problem, but using them correctly in other languages is always a mess :D
     

    Christo Tamarin

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    People from Western Bulgaria can understand almost everything in Serbian because their dialect is closer to it (dialect continuum). In Eastern Bulgaria we don't understand almost anything unless we learn it or spend some time listening to it.
    It should be added that Serbian is really understood well by those who actually speak western Bulgarian dialects. While Sofia, for example, is located in Western Bulgaria, most inhabitants use standard Bulgarian, which is mostly based on the eastern dialects and have a correspondingly lower understanding of Serbian.
    I think the dialect continuum is actually in the past since most people now use standard languages.
    The fact that people of Western Bulgaria can better understand Serbian than those of Eastern Bulgaria can be explained by the radio and TV. Even in pre-satelite era, Serbian TV could be catched in Sofia, Western Bulgaria, e.g. And, Serbian TV was assigned the role of iideological indoctrination in less extent than Bulgarian TV.
     

    Aleksey Groz

    Member
    Serbia, Serbo-Croatian
    The only think I can think is that when listening to other Slavic languages, including Serbian, their past simple tense is the same as our past renarrative mood which we use for things we did not witness or are not sure happened. So when I listen to Serbian, it always sounds like they aren't sure about what happened.
    This is very interesting! Could you, please, find or recall some example?
     

    Orlin

    Banned
    български
    This is very interesting! Could you, please, find or recall some example?
    Ova činjenica ima relativno prosto objašnjenje: naš renarativni glagolski način se formira otprilike kao perfekt indikativa, a bugarski perfekt indikativa je praktički jednak kao oblik BCS perfektu. Dakle, kad Bugarin čuje obični BCS perfekt, on mu asocira ili na bugarski perfekt indikativa ili na renarativ, a mi koristimo perfekt indikativa ili renarativ za prošle radnje koje nismo lično videli ili u kojima nismo potpuno sigurni.
     

    Aleksey Groz

    Member
    Serbia, Serbo-Croatian
    Ova činjenica ima relativno prosto objašnjenje: naš renarativni glagolski način se formira otprilike kao perfekt indikativa, a bugarski perfekt indikativa je praktički jednak kao oblik BCS perfektu. Dakle, kad Bugarin čuje obični BCS perfekt, on mu asocira ili na bugarski perfekt indikativa ili na renarativ, a mi koristimo perfekt indikativa ili renarativ za prošle radnje koje nismo lično videli ili u kojima nismo potpuno sigurni.
    Da, to sam shvatio. Ali hteo sam samo da vidim par primera kao bih lakše mogao to da vizualizujem i pokušam da shvatim kakav utisak bugarski govornik ima kad čuje BCS perfekt.
     

    Orlin

    Banned
    български
    Da, to sam shvatio. Ali hteo sam samo da vidim par primera kao bih lakše mogao to da vizualizujem i pokušam da shvatim kakav utisak bugarski govornik ima kad čuje BCS perfekt.
    Mislim da to mogu reći samo Bugari koji ne poznaju aktivno nijedan od BCS jezika, iz moje perspektive nije lako reći. Ali kazao bih da će biti zabavno Bugarima slušati razgovore na BCS u kojima se koristi samo perfekt - mi bismo shvatili da svaki govori samo iz pozicije nesvedoka (mnogo nerealno, zar ne?:)). Prosto mi jako očekujemo da aorist indikativa prevladava u velikoj većini svakodnevnih razgovora o prošlim radnjima. Ali ne mislim da to vredi za mene lično jer aktivno koristim BCS jezike.
     
    Last edited:

    Aleksey Groz

    Member
    Serbia, Serbo-Croatian
    Mislim da to mogu reći samo Bugari koji ne poznaju aktivno nijedan od BCS jezika, iz moje perspektive nije lako reći. Ali kazao bih da će biti zabavno Bugarima slušati razgovore na BCS u kojima se koristi samo perfekt - mi bismo shvatili da svaki govori samo iz pozicije nesvedoka (mnogo nerealno, zar ne?:)). Prosto mi jako očekujemo da aorist indikativa prevladava u velikoj većini svakodnevnih razgovora o prošlim radnjima. Ali ne mislim da to vredi za mene lično jer aktivno koristim BCS jezike.
    Prećiću sada na engleski, pošto možda bude interesantno i drugim učesnicima foruma.

    Similar funny situation could happen with BCS speakers who are listening Bulgarian. That frequent usage of aorist (and imperfect also?), sounds a bit archaic and maybe a bit informal. Some BCS speaker could have an impression that Bulgarian speaker is not very serious.
     
    Last edited:

    Orlin

    Banned
    български
    Prećiću sada na engleski, pošto možda bude interesantno i drugim učesnicima foruma.

    Similar funny situation could happen with BCS speakers who are listening Bulgarian. That frequent usage of aorist (and imperfect also?), sounds a bit archaic and maybe a bit informal. Some BCS speaker could have an impression that Bulgarian speaker is not very serious.
    Mislim da je ipak bolje koristiti srpski i/ili bugarski jer je tema o njihovoj uzajamnoj razumljivosti, i isto pretpostavjam da bugarski učesnici razumeju našu diskusiju.:)
    Sličnost u obliku i istovremeno bitne razlike u frekvenciji upotrebe i nekako u značenju prošlih vremena u BCS i bugarskom po meni je samo uzrok da zvuči čudno govorniku respektivnog drugog jezika ali gotovo nikako ne utiče na razumljivost. To je po mom mišljenju mnogo važnije za aktivnu upotrebu jezika - npr. je meni trebalo vreme da se naviknem koristiti u BCS perfekt kao "univerzalno prošlo vreme", a s druge strane sam samo teoretski upoznat s BCS aoristom i imperfektom (ja u stvari mogu da prepoznam ali ne da formiram BCS imperfekt;)), i ne verujem da će mi nekada pasti na pamet njih upotrebiti.
     
    Last edited:

    Aleksey Groz

    Member
    Serbia, Serbo-Croatian
    Mislim da je ipak bolje koristiti srpski i/ili bugarski jer je tema o njihovoj uzajamnoj razumljivosti, i isto pretpostavjam da bugarski učesnici razumeju našu diskusiju.:)
    Sličnost u obliku i istovremeno bitne razlike u frekvenciji upotrebe i nekako u značenju prošlih vremena u BCS i bugarskom po meni je samo uzrok da zvuči čudno govorniku respektivnog drugog jezika ali gotovo nikako ne utiče na razumljivost. To je po mom mišljenju mnogo važnije za aktivnu upotrebu jezika - npr. je meni trbalo vreme da se naviknem koristiti u BCS perfekt kao "univerzalno prošlo vreme", a s druge strane sam samo teoretski upoznat s BCS aoristom i imperfektom (ja u stvari mogu da prepoznam ali ne da formiram BCS imperfekt;)), i ne verujem da će mi nekada pasti na pamet njih upotrebiti.
    Da, razumljivost nije ni dovođena u pitanje. Razlike postoje, ali se svakako razume da su to samo drugačiji načini izažavanja i strukture dotičnog jezika.
    Ono na šta sam ja ciljao je više utisak, "šmek" jezika, kakvu atmosferu stvara jezik (za Bugare BCS zvuči nesigurno, za BCS korisnike bugarski zvuči malo neozbiljno). Ali to ni u kom slučaju ne dovodi u pitanje suštinu i samo sporazumevanje.
    Aorist, barem u Srbiji, se koristi. Ali njegova upotreba je specifična. Po definiciji to je prošlo svršeno vreme koje se završilo u najbliskijoj prošlosti, nedavno, maločas. U praksi, aorist se isključivo koristi u neformalnom razgovoru, kao sredstvo za postizanje ironije ili humorističnih tonova, ponekad sa aluzijama na provincijalne dijalekte i provincijalnu kulturu uopšte. Zbog toga, upotreba aorista u Srbiji zvuči pomalo neozbiljno.
    Imperket se u praksi uopšte ne upotrebljava. Čak i u književnosti je njegova upotreba retka, minimalna.
     

    Arath

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Prećiću sada na engleski, pošto možda bude interesantno i drugim učesnicima foruma.

    Similar funny situation could happen with BCS speakers who are listening Bulgarian. That frequent usage of aorist (and imperfect also?), sounds a bit archaic and maybe a bit informal. Some BCS speaker could have an impression that Bulgarian speaker is not very serious.
    Yes, we do use imperfect, too. In fact, imperfect has more uses than aorist and is more easily conjugated. The only irregular verb in imperfect is "съм" (to be).

    For example, a nontraditional usage of imperfect is when we ask for confirmation of something we think it's true. English uses the past simple in a very similar (if not identical) fashion:

    Ти се казваше Деян, нали? - Your name was Deyan, right?
    Вие живеехте на горния етаж, нали? - You lived on the floor above ours, right?

    Although those are imperfect verb forms, they don't refer to the past at all, they refer to the present.

    We also use the imperfect in conditional clauses:

    Ако знаех, щях да ти кажа. -If I knew, I'd tell you.

    I'd like to know how the lack of grammatical cases is perceived by BCS speakers. Does using only nominative forms sound utterly wrong? Is it similar to not knowing the gender of a noun? In Bulgarian, for example, it sounds very bad and ugly when the gender of an adjective does not match the gender of the noun it modifies.

    Also, do BCS speakers notice the definite articles in Bulgarian? Do they wonder why a familiar word ends in an additional ът, та, то, or те?
     

    Orlin

    Banned
    български
    i'd like to know how the lack of grammatical cases is perceived by bcs speakers. Does using only nominative forms sound utterly wrong? Is it similar to not knowing the gender of a noun? In bulgarian, for example, it sounds very bad and ugly when the gender of an adjective does not match the gender of the noun it modifies.

    Also, do bcs speakers notice the definite articles in bulgarian? Do they wonder why a familiar word ends in an additional ът, та, то, or те?
    Извинявам се, че се намесвам, защото въпросът не е адресиран към българите, но според мен всички тези сериозни граматически разлики не са решаващи за разбирането и са по-скоро проблем на активното овладяване на езика. Разбира се, по аналогия с проблемите с глаголните времена тези непознати граматически феномени би трябвало да звучат странно на носителите на босненски, хърватски или сръбски език, особено докато свикнат. Познати ми са и други мнения, че граматическите различия не са толкова важни - например същите проблеми са налице например и в комбинацията български/руски език, но взаимна разбираемост в тази двойка езици безспорно има (спомням си, че Вие не сте учили руски, но веднъж споделихте на този форум, че го разбирате).

    P. S.: Бих споделил и нещо, за което не съм сигурен, че е по темата: за първи път с непознати граматически категории се сблъсках на около 9 г., когато започнах да уча руски. Много време е минало оттогава и не си спомням много, но във всички случаи не мисля, че съм имал особени трудности с възприемането на падежите - не само да не ми звучат странно, но и да ги употребявам. Впоследствие в сръбския също ми беше елементарно със склоненията.
     
    Last edited:

    Aleksey Groz

    Member
    Serbia, Serbo-Croatian
    I'd like to know how the lack of grammatical cases is perceived by BCS speakers. Does using only nominative forms sound utterly wrong? Is it similar to not knowing the gender of a noun? In Bulgarian, for example, it sounds very bad and ugly when the gender of an adjective does not match the gender of the noun it modifies.
    Well, that's specific situation. Many other languages do not have cases, but it doesn't sound strange. Bulgarian and Macedonian are, on the other side Slavic languages, plus they are our neighbors, so BCS's (predominantly in Serbia) impression is based on their own dialects connected with those two language. But that just first impression. When BCS speaker realise that it's a separate language, and not a dialect, lacking of cases sounds completely normal. The similar situation happened to me in Sofia. One taxi driver said to me that he perfectly understands Serbian, but my Serbian sounded to him very strange and unintelligible. The thing was that a lot of his costumers were from Pirot region (south-east Serbian, near Bulgarian boarder) who speak a dialect close to Bulgarian. My (standard, or at least Belgrade's dialect) was strange for him, and Pirot's accent sounded a bit "селски" to him. The reason is, I suppose, fact that Pirot's accent is close to rural dialect of western Bulgaria, around Sofia.

    Wrong matching of adjectives and nouns with gender doesn't sound good (as in any other language as well). Hungarians, who does not have genders, have a big problem with that. But, maybe because we used on it, it can sound a sympathetic (although, still very irregular).

    Also, do BCS speakers notice the definite articles in Bulgarian? Do they wonder why a familiar word ends in an additional ът, та, то, or те?
    No, nothing familiar. To make it ''worse'', regular BCS's speaker, who have never been learnt any foreign language with articles, can not understand what's the point of articles at all. I learnt few such languages, but I still have a HUGE problem to realise when I have to use article and when not.
     
    Some Serbs I've met thought they were something like the cases in Serbian, which reminds me of a saying they have: makedonski je srpski sa govornata manata.

    Not sure how relevant, but where perception of articles is concerned, there's also that joke:

    What's the Macedonian word for rifle? Puškata.
    What's the Macedonian word for machine-gun? Puškatatatatatatatata.

    Personally I'd say that Macedonian uses of prepositions instead of cases and Macedonian verb forms are at least, if not more, notable and marked Macedonian differences from Bosnian / BCS from my point of view. There's a small "BCS - Macedonian dictionary" circling the net that should give the impression of what BCS speakers find strange enough to joke about (here, look for the section "Bosanko-makedonski rječnik"). Note there is a number of jokes dealing with the use of "na".
     
    Last edited:

    Aleksey Groz

    Member
    Serbia, Serbo-Croatian
    Some Serbs I've met thought they were something like the cases in Serbian, which reminds me of a saying they have: makedonski je srpski sa govornata manata.
    I didn't understand you well. Some Serbs said what about cases?
    Yes, I know that "joke" and I think it's very rude (if not worse).
     

    Orlin

    Banned
    български
    Zdravo svima! Mi smo već mnogo komentirali o bitnim gramatičkim razlikama BCS vs. bugarski/makedonski i koliko čudno svi ti nepoznati fenomeni zvuče govornicima drugoj grupi jezika. Ali tema je ovde uzajamna razumljivost - zanima me da li te gramatičke razlike sprečuju razumljivost.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top