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Are the languages of Russian and Polish similar at all?


brandy919r
3 Dec 2006  #1
Since there are no Polish classes close to me right now, would taking basic Russian help at all when I do learn Polish?
dziadek 3 | 64
3 Dec 2006  #2
it would help quite much, but it will be still difficult to understand polish
miranda
3 Dec 2006  #3
I don't think it would be a good idea, since those languages have different alphabets.
Eneven though they come from the same language group Slavic, they are different enough.
Goole Russina alphabet and see for yourself.
Russin is a Cyrillic and Polish is Latin, as the one used in English language.
dziadek 3 | 64
3 Dec 2006  #4
i'm also learning russian and as i mastered its alphabet it is now to me quite easy to understand at least the russien text.

many russian letters have its equivalent in polish and words that are build of them are similar in both languages.

but, yes. I don't think mastering russian is enough
OP brandy919r
3 Dec 2006  #5
Thanks, I'm desperately trying to find Polish lessons for adults in the Elgin, Il area, but am having no luck
miranda
3 Dec 2006  #6
there must be some programms you can purchase on the internet
Kostya
16 Dec 2006  #7
Russian and Czech would help very much I think. If not czech by itself.
Eurola 4 | 1,906
16 Dec 2006  #8
Thanks, I'm desperately trying to find Polish lessons for adults in the Elgin, Il area, but am having no luck

I know it's far, but the only ones that offered polish language lessons are city colleges in Chicago, Wright College for one. Give them a call, they might know more.
gosica 1 | 33
16 Dec 2006  #9
Russian and Czech would help very much I think. If not czech by itself.

I don't think it would help - i am myself a native speaker of polish and i don't understand much russian, not to mention czech - to me it seems even more dissimilar than russian.
Kochana_Babcia 2 | 70
16 Dec 2006  #10
Northern University in DeKalb offers Polish language classes.

info-poland.buffalo.edu/student/NIU.html

Elgin is not that far from DeKalb
bartosz
16 Dec 2006  #11
I work with polish, czech, slovakian, russian and ..... What I noticed, is that the closest language to polish is balrus. Slovakian which is realy close to czech is allmost like polish 2.
Kostya
17 Dec 2006  #12
I speak Russian and when I hear polish, many things are very similar.Reading polish, I can translate 70% probably.
kittikat
13 Jan 2009  #13
I've tried learning Russian and Polish together, and I wound up learning Russian quicker than Polish. I think Russian is the easier of the two (and don't be intimidated by the alphabet--it shares many letters with the Latin alphabet, anyway. And the letters it doesn't share are relatively easy to learn.), and that it can play an important role as a stepping stone to other Slavic languages (including Polish).

Some people may try to discourage you by saying that even though they speak Polish, they can't understand much Russian, but I personally have known several Poles who claim to be able to understand a good 60% or 70% of what a Russian says. I think it's more of an individual thing--some understand a lot; some don't.

The fact of the matter is, Polish and Russian have many cognates and close cognates (just beware of the false cognates), and furthermore, the grammar of the two languages is similar enough that it should be able to at least help you learn Polish. (But again, I think Russian's a lot easier than Polish, and part of the reason is due to grammar. For example, just compare Polish's 7 cases with Russian's 6. :-P )

But if you're aiming to understand more people, might I suggest Ukrainian? Then you'll be able to understand a good portion of what both the Russians and the Poles are saying. ;)

And as a final note, remember, the more languages you know, the easier it is to learn more...especially if they're related.
osiol 55 | 3,922
13 Jan 2009  #14
If you like learning languages, why not learn Russian? There are similarities as well as differences. There are also those dreaded "false friends". But if you want to speak Polish, I wouldn't recommend learning Russian - just learn Polish. Any language that you learn should be attempted in more than one way - don't just go to classes, don't just use a book, don't just talk to people. Combine these different approaches and you will go far. Unless you have a particular interest in languages generally, try to stick to the one you want to be able to use.

I'd quite like to learn Portuguese, Swedish and maybe one of the Finno-Ugric languages (possibly Finnish, maybe Estonian), and Welsh (edited that bit in). However, Polish seems to be more than enough for me to contend with at the moment. But maybe one day, attempting one or more of these other languages could be an option, and having been developing an ear for different languages and the different ways that grammar can work may be of some benefit to me.

compare Polish's 7 cases with Russian's 6

Isn't that counting the vocative case, which most people tell me is fast disappearing?

I would draw an analogy between the Slavic languages and the Slavic languages. German and English seem to work too differently to eachother, whereas the differences between Spanish and Italian for example, may be more equivalent to the differences between Polish and Russian. That's without taking into account the different alphabets.
Davey 13 | 388
13 Jan 2009  #15
i am myself a native speaker of polish and i don't understand much russian, not to mention czech

Really? I know many Poles who can almost completely understand Czech
Marek 4 | 867
14 Jan 2009  #16
I found Russian much easier to pick up having already learned Polish. The other way round? Not so sure-:)

Above all, the case system and aspectual issues of Polish verbs made acquiring a second Slavic language ever so much simpler. Only thing about Russian for me was, of course, the alphabet. That was though just a mechanical problem and I memorized it fairly quickly.
Cristina
15 Apr 2010  #17
15 years ago I learned a little Polish, but since I have not used it, I forgot it all. I believed... Then a while ago I decided to learn Russian, at the age of 47 - and discovered to my dismay, that every Russian sentence I would attempt to say, would contain a Polish word.

I got to the point where I wondered if I should start taking Polish classes again, to see if my poor brain would then cope with the situation. I called a professor of Slavic languages, who would not recommend it, and decided I would just have to try and cope.

Then a few weeks ago we were to visit Ukraine, and after having picked up a phraze book I realized that there was hope for me, as Ukranian seemed to be in between the two languages. So when I got to Ukraine I happily just used any Slavic word that came into my mind - and it worked!! I won't even attempt to give what I spoke a name, but I was understood. :-)
moska1
26 Apr 2010  #18
brandy919r
No, Russian is quite different and it would not be worth learning if Polish is your final goal.
Velund 1 | 325
26 Apr 2010  #19
I think that for someone who will try to learn Polish And Russian at same time, it may become a quite difficult task. Just because of a lot of similarities that often lead to "mixing up" and curious mistakes.

Russian as a step to Polish for a native English speaker will be a bit easier than Polish as a step to Russian, IMHO.

Russian have a much larger number of people who speak it around the world, and it is much easier to find Russian classes. There was curious case when I saw German, Polish, Russian and Kazakh guys speaking on a Hong Kong street using Russian. ;)

But if ultimate goal is to learn Polish - I think someone should concentrate entirely on it.
Lyzko
26 Apr 2010  #20
Exactly, Velund!

The number of false friend between related languages, Slavic and otherwise, could fill several volumes (.....and indeed, it has):-) Tough to keep apart from each other, no matter how good at languages you are, except of course if one is raised from childhood with two or three "mother languages" simultaneously, e.g. growing up in Czech Rep. with a Czech father and a Polish mother etc.....

To be continued.
jezykowiec
21 Jul 2010  #21
so u should listen to the czech radio, after 2 days u'll understand most of it, few words has completly opposite meaning which makes our languages very funny at this point... u'll b amazed how polish and czech r close! we talk with my czech friends in our languages and we understand each other perfect... put some effort and u'll find out! and sorry but russian is a more distant cousin of polish, u just had more environment to get used to the sound and so (u think) u can understand it better....

good luck with opening ur ears to the world!

it was a reply to "gosica"
Lyzko
21 Jul 2010  #22
I was once a houseguest of a Czech aquaintance many years ago, around the time I was still studying Polish. During dinner one evening, in my broken phrase-book Czech, I tried to tell my hosts that I found Czech beer, i.e. Pilsen Urquell, a "fresh-tasting" brew which I really enjoyed. Instead, I mistakenly happened onto a false friend which sounded the same in Polish, but which instead in Czech means "stale" or "flat". I wondered why Pani Dworakowa's face suddenly dropped in shock-:)) I then later (regrettably too late) realized that "zapach" in Polish and in Czech DO NOT MEAN THE SAME!!!

Essentially, I ruined an otherwise perfectly charming weekend but all but telling my homestay, their beer sucks and their house smells, LOL

))))
Patti - | 5
21 Jul 2010  #23
Hey, Iam polish girl and I can tell that czech and polish is very similar, I understand a lot czech from someones talk but i just can not speak czech...
Lyzko
21 Jul 2010  #24
ł
Doskonale, no zrozumiesz co za klopoty miałem, gdy wtedy byłem w Pradze!!-:))
Borrka 37 | 594
21 Jul 2010  #25
Russian as a step to Polish for a native English speaker will be a bit easier

Sure, especially "bukvi" are very helpful.
Nathan 18 | 1,363
22 Jul 2010  #26
There was curious case when I saw German, Polish, Russian and Kazakh guys speaking on a Hong Kong street using Russian. ;

After smoking some grass with my friends I too used to be in Bangkok speaking French to a cyprus tree. We understood each other perfectly.

Sure, especially "bukvi" are very helpful.

;) Yeh, after them you will be fluent in Polish and Suomo languages at the same time.
cinek 2 | 335
22 Jul 2010  #27
would taking basic Russian help at all when I do learn Polish?

Only if you are a native Russian speaker. If you just want to take a few hours because you don't want to waste your time, then no. It will be wasting your time. Instead, try watching Polish movies (e.g. on youtube) or listening to the radio. You won't understand much but you'll learn the 'melody' of the language and will get used to the sounds that are used (e.g. sz, ś, ą, ę, ż etc.) It will be more helpful when you start the learning in a future.

Cinek
Lyzko
23 Jul 2010  #28
The thing that got me while learning Russian was those palatalized consonants 't' and 'd'!! My teacher, a fellow just a few years older that I at the time and a graduate in linguistics from Leningrad State University, confessed I would "never" acquire a decent Russian accent if I continued to struggle so over those letters.

From the sheer pronunciation point of view, I found Polish soooo much easier (as I've no doubt posted here before)-:))) Oddly enough, I never even thought about 'false friends' between different Slavic languages until long after I'd finished studyingLOL
Velund 1 | 325
23 Jul 2010  #29
After smoking some grass with my friends I too used to be in Bangkok speaking French to a cyprus tree. We understood each other perfectly.

Unfortunately, these guys in HK was not so high... ;) They just tried to make at least some use of something they learned in school in a cold war times. ;)

Sure, especially "bukvi" are very helpful.

Alphabet is not so big problem. I have a friend that learned thai language - alphabet was easiest part, as they said later. And Cyrillic is much closer to Latin than Thai to any of them.

You'll have real troubles learning Chinese...
espana 17 | 911
23 Jul 2010  #30
simple , they both sound disgusting.


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