Slovene Russian mutual intelligibility

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by qsr20130301, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. qsr20130301 New Member

    Mandarin Chinese

    Is there any mutual intelligibility between Slovene and Russian? I know that mutual intelligibility is rather subjective and not well defined. Maybe the problem should be put like, "to what degree is the mutual intelligibility between Slovene and Russian?"

    I have read some articles in the forum about mutual intelligibility between all Slavic languages, but they are not very specific about Slovene and Russian. I want to know the degree of mutual intelligibility between the two, both in oral and in written language, without formal study of the other language. If Russian is transliterated in Latin alphabet or Slovene is transliterated in Cyrillic alphabet, what would the mutual intelligibility in written languages be?

  2. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    Hello. The mutual intelligibility between Slovene and Russian in oral is 24,729% while in written 0%. Best regards.
  3. qsr20130301 New Member

    Mandarin Chinese
    Thank you Encolpius!

    May I know how you got these numbers? (way more precise than what I expected!)

    Is it safe to say that, without previous knowledge, Slovene and Russian are mutually unintelligible?

  4. jadeite_85 Senior Member

    italian, slovene
    My personal view (a Slovene speaker learning Russian)

    Without any previous knowledge Slovene and Russian are not very intelligible (I'll say 10-20% spoken and 40-50% percent written, if the person knows the other alphabet). For a Slovene (or Russian) learning Russian (or Slovene) is certainly easier than learning a language of another language family, because both of them share many Slavic features. However Slovene has a German and Italian influence on words, grammar and expressions, that grows even bigger in colloquial Slovene and dialects, that can be a problem for a Russian speaker. False friends, a somehow different syntax and idiomatic expressions can be problematic too for both.

    In any case for a Russian speaker standard written Slovene (not colloquial!) is easier to understand than the other way around. This is due to the fact that:

    1) some everyday words used in Russian are not of Slavic origin, but still have a Slavic synonim (found in Slovene) that is less used, but known to every speaker. Slovene words such as pes, konj, razumeti, lep, velik, torba, klobuk, podoben, ladja, dober and others are less used, found in idioms or not used at all (every word with a different degree!!) in everyday Russian, but can still be understood. Their more frequently used Russian equivalents could not be understood by a Slovene speaker without previous knowledge of Russian.
    2) some Church Slavonic words (found in Slovene) are not used, but understood by Russians.
    3) the vowel pronounciation of Russian (non stressed o turns to a;non stressed e and ya turn to i) makes a lot of words that have the same root non intelligible to a Slovene speaker.
  5. qsr20130301 New Member

    Mandarin Chinese
    Thank you jadeite_85!

    Based on your estimation on Slovene and Russian, how would you rate the mutual intelligibility between (some) Romance languages? I don't know if it's convenient for you to give an estimation between French and Spanish, because I know these two languages better and you're from Italy.

    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013
  6. TriglavNationalPark

    TriglavNationalPark Senior Member

    Chicago, IL, U.S.A.
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
    MOD NOTE: The mutual intelligibility of Romance languages, while an interesting topic, should not be discussed in the Slavic forum.
  7. qsr20130301 New Member

    Mandarin Chinese
    I am interested in the mutual intelligibility between Slovene and Russian. If I have known any of the two, I could feel how (un)intelligible the other one is by myself. The problem is that I do not know any of the two, so I need something I know to compare with.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
  8. TriglavNationalPark

    TriglavNationalPark Senior Member

    Chicago, IL, U.S.A.
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
    I understand, but if you want to compare the situation with the Romance languages, the conversation should be moved to our "All Languages" forum, which is intended for such comparisons between different linguistic groups.
  9. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    Why 0% for written?? Is it based on different scripts (Cyr. vs. Lat)?

    EDIT: I do not speak any Slavic languages other than Russian. I just looked up a Slovene (slovenščina) page on Wiki for a random word ("Human"). Here is my experience (I know, not very scientific) :):

    Although the number above (~25%) is for oral, I estimate my own (reading) comprehension at about that level (I do know Latinic script though). In other words, if I had to read an unfamiliar text in Slovene, I would only understand its very general topic. I am not sure I have ever heard Slovene spoken, but I suspect my oral comprehension would be much lower than 25%.

    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
  10. iezik

    iezik Senior Member

    Is this a joke? Do you have a source for this? To an extent, I can understand Russian texts. Let me translate few random sentences from Russian to Slovenian and English without using dictionaries. You can then check how many words I (mis)understand and how similar or different these two languages are.Пермь:
    RU: В начале XX века население Перми вместе с Мотовилихой составляло около 100 тысяч человек.
    EN: At the start of the 20th century, the city of Perm together with Motoviylyikh had about 100 thousand inhabitants.
    SL: Na začetku 20. stoletja je imelo naselje Perm skupaj z Motovilihom kakih 100 tisoč prebivalcev.
    RU: Иудейские общины России встретят праздник Песах
    EN: Jew community wishes all good to Russia for Easter.
    SL: Judovska občina čestita Rusiji ob veliki noči.

    RU: Москву заметает мартовская вьюга
    EN: Moscow covered by March snow
    SL: Moskvo je zametlo marčevsko sneženje.

    I spent several few hundred hours studying Russian few decades ago and I have a general interest in linguistics, so the average is probably different.
  11. DarkChild Senior Member

    For me as a Bulgarian speaker, I understand very little from those Slovenian texts above even if we're in the same group. I imagine with Russian it's even less.
  12. jadeite_85 Senior Member

    italian, slovene
    Here are some interesting examples of these couples. The Russian words in the first column (words in red) are impossible to guess (except some such as "красивый" and "друг") for a Slovene speaker, while the Slovene word could be guessed by the Russian speaker, thanks to the similarities between the Russian words in the second column and the Slovene words.

    собака/пёс = pes (dog)
    лошадь/конь = konj (horse)
    друг/приятель = prijatelj (friend)
    рот/уста = usta (mouth)
    глаза/очи = oči, očesa (eyes)
    судно, корабль/ладья = ladja (ship) ("ладья" is found in old literature, poetry, folk. Now it is a piece of the chess game)
    страна, государство/держава = država (state, country)
    сумка/торба = torba (bag) ("торба" in Russian is a "sack")
    шляпа/клобук = klobuk (hat) ("клобук" in Russian is a hat used by Orthodox monks)
    храм/церковь = cerkev (church)
    спасибо/хвала = hvala (praise, thank you) (with "хвала" in Russian the register is higher and the word is used just in the meaning of "praise")
    раз/крат = krat (times)
    понимать/разуметь = razumeti (to understand)
    надеяться/уповать = upati (to hope) (with "уповать" the register is higher)
    танцевать/плясать = plesati (to dance) ("плясать" is used for folk dances)
    воровать/красть = krasti (to steal)
    смотреть/глядеть = gledati (to watch, to look)
    врать/лгать = lagati se (to lie)
    каждый, любой/всякий = vsak (every) (the three words in Russian are not always interchangebable and do not mean always "every". When "всякий" is used instead of the other two sometimes the register is lower)
    похож/подобен = podoben (similar) (with "подобен" the register is higher)
    красивый/великолепный = lep (beautiful) ("великолепный" means wonderful. The meaning of "lep" can be understood also from the word "нелепый", meaning "absurd", "ungraceful")
    большой/великий = velik (big)

    To any Russian user: please correct any wrong information. Thanks!! :)
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013
  13. jadeite_85 Senior Member

    italian, slovene
    I've checked in the "Slovenski Pravopis" and I've found that the verb "nadejati se" exists in Slovene, marked as unusual. So this should not count in the list.
  14. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA

    This might be a very broad question, but how similar is the accent pattern in Russian compared to that in Slovene? E.g., if there was a Russian word that was cognate with a given Slovene word, would you normally expect the stress pattern to be the same in the two words?

    (Would the answer perhaps depend on whether the cognate word was a verb, noun or another part of speech?)
  15. jadeite_85 Senior Member

    italian, slovene
    Accents in Russian and Slovene do not always coincide. It can be sometimes confusing. But sometimes you can go by analogy. Here are some examples of these analogies:

    -many feminine nouns have the accent on the first syllable in Slovene, but on the last in Russian.
    voda - вода (water)
    zvezda - звезда (star)
    sestra - сестра (sister)
    žena - жена (wife)

    -same with neuter names
    vino - вино (wine)
    okno - окно (window)
    steklo - стекло (glass)
    jajce - яйцо (egg)

    -other times you have to know how the word is pronounced by heart
    oba - оба (both)
    ljudje - люди (people)
    jezik - язык (tongue, language)
    iti - идти (to go)
    okoli - около (around, about (with time))

    -in Slovene there are many double rules, especially for verbs. My dialect makes me more familiar with the first rule, so with a different stress from Russian.
    pisati/pisati - писать (to write)
    ljubiti/ljubiti - любить (to love)
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013

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