Similarity between South Slavic languages

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by Linguai, May 24, 2013.

  1. Linguai New Member

    I understand and know every of these languages and what I can see is that, in my opinion, Slovenian is far too more different from BCSM than Bulgarian (in vocabulary). I think that standard Bulgarian is much more understandable to BCSM speaker than Slovenian.
    Macedonian is very similar to BCSM and it is very popular language in Macedonia too so I think these two languages will be even more similar through the years.

    What do you think about this theme? :)
  2. francisgranada Senior Member

    This is not very surprising :) ... (i.e. that the Macedonian is popular in Macedonia)
  3. Linguai New Member

    No, BCSM language was and still is very popular in Macedonia. Even on the radio they rather play BCSM song versions of the Macedonian singers than the Macedonian version. And Serbian 'slang' is very popular in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia.

    For example:
    možda instead možebi
    saat instead čas/časot
    kjuti instead molči
    u instead vo
    škola instead učilište

    And many other examples... ;)
  4. francisgranada Senior Member

    Ok, it was a misunderstanding. I interpreted your sentences as "Macenodian is very popular in Macedonia", but you wanted to say that "BCSM is very popural in Macedonia" :).
  5. I am sure Linguai meant BCSM which indeed is popular in FYRO Macedonia :).
    I hope I won't get too far off topic here, but I am a native Slovak speaker who learnt Serbian, i.e. I understand CBM without any difficulties.

    When it comes to Slovenian I find it more difficult to understand, although some its features (like e instead of a in words like pas, otac, etc.) and part of vocabulary makes it similar to Slovak and Czech (western Slavic languages - which makes me think: was there a link between them or continuous population between Great Moravia and what is today Slovenia connected via western Pannonia with western Slavic vernacular as opposed to Southern Slavic Croatian next to it? an argument for that could be that Nitrian duke Pribina was expelled and founded a duchy around Balaton lake - Blatenske jazero - close to Slovenia).

    I understand Macedonian better than Slovenian as it has a great deal of vocabulary common with Serbian and once I understood its gramatical rules it all became quite clear. Some features as disappearing of the case system made it even easier I'd say.

    It is not the case for me with Bulgarian, I can understand some written, but the pronunciation and accent make spoken Bulgarian very difficult to understand for me. I blame it partially on the excessive occurence of schwa in Bulgarian which for me makes the common Slavic words a bit unclear.

    So my ranking of intelligibility of Southern Slavic languages would be:
    1. BCSM
    2. Macedonian
    3. Slovenian
    4. Bulgarian
  6. Linguai New Member

    BCSM - Macedonian is today something like Czech - Slovak. [in terms of understanding]
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
  7. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    That's an overstretch. Even though mutual intelligibility is high, lexis is still significantly different, and grammar even more so. Lack of cases notwithstanding, Macedonian tense system is quite alien to BCS; while it's not a barrier for understanding the gist, we certainly lose a lot of nuances in meaning.
  8. itreius Senior Member

    The Croatian spoken next to Slovene is quite removed from the standard language and forms a continuum with Slovene. There are some works discussing possible convergences between Central Slovak and Kajkavian dialects, and afaik, it's accepted that there was a dialect continuum between West and South Slavic languages (not just Slovene) prior to the arrival of Hungarians. The standard BCSM language spoken on the Croatian side of the Slovene border is a rather recent phenomenon.

    As for intelligibility, I have quite a bit of trouble understanding Macedonian and Bulgarian, so much that I rarely, if ever, get the entire meaning of a sentence. With Slovene the only thing I might not understand is a word here and there (not too often), but I'm quite biased in that respect. Slovene dialects are a different matter.
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
  9. Linguai New Member

    But in future, I think that Macedonian language will be more and more similar to BCSM language.

    And also, for example, on Macedonian TV Sitel during show Big Brother (and many other cases) I never saw subtitles for BCSM language, at Slovene TV stations there are always subtitles for BCSM language.

    + as I can hear from Macedonian friends, in Macedonia is normal to know BCSM language, in Slovenia it is not case.
  10. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    Macedonians indeed do better understand Serbian than the other way round, due to being a smaller nation and having more exposure.

    Macedonian already has became closer to (standard) Serbian than it used to be, due to 80 years of living in the same country. I really don't see why they would further converge now, when we're different countries. But I don't like fortune-telling.
  11. iobyo Senior Member

    Bitola, Macedonia
    That could only occur in a situation, as Duya mentioned, where BCS is more prestigious.

    I too don't like fortune-telling, but the opposite may actually be the case: languages tend to simplify—for lack of a better term—over time. Dialects in the south of Serbia have a simplified nominal declension (and pitch accent too, I believe), and dialects in Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria have almost completely lost the Proto-Slavic nominal declension. Specifically Balkan simplifications also include the merger of the dative and genitive cases and the loss of the infinitive. However, given that all of these languages have standardized norms, it's unlikely that any noticeable changes will occur in the foreseeable future.

    That's definitely true, although I've noticed that younger people (in the early to mid teens) are not acquiring BCS at the same pace that older generations did. There was a time when, in Macedonia, they wouldn't bother translating a novel or even a university textbook if a BCS translation already existed, and although this is still true to a lesser degree, English is now preferred as a result of US pop culture.

    There are a two main reasons for this. The first is that there's the assumption that Macedonians ought to be able to understand BCS because of exposure; e.g. everyone watches HRT, RTS, B92, etc., or listens to Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian music. The second is that translation is an additional cost and, given the first point, isn't a always a worthwhile one.

    When a guest in a live TV program speaks BCS, it's never translated, but prerecorded interviews in more 'serious' programs are always translated. Big Brother wasn't translated, but that wife changing (?) show was. So, it depends on the situation and channel management.

    Although there are many borrowings from BCS in Macedonian, most of these ones aren't. The word можда, though, most likely is.
  12. vianie Senior Member

    I found this some weeks ago -

    And the other one about Slovak (requires signup) -
  13. makedonskijazik New Member

    Yes, that's true. Macedonian vocabulary in North Macedonia does have words and phrases in Serbian, but that's not the case with Southern parts of Macedonia.
    For example people in Skopje use word "Škola" but for example in Bitola or Prilep it's impossible to find word škola, there is only Učilište.
    If we talk about understanding, Serbians have difficulties to understand original Macedonian, with gramatical and vocabular correct using of the language. But for me, let's say that Serbian is like my native language, I can read book even I can study in serbian without any need of translation.
  14. DarkChild Senior Member

    That would be tragic to continue replacing native words with Turkish and other foreign borrowings that pass for BSC words. However, Skopje isn't a representative of what real Macedonian is. The people there are the most serbophile in the whole country, but if anything, even the dialect there will likely have a bigger Albanian influence considering how many of them there are.

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