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Polish and other slavic language differences


clifborder4fm 20 | 35
2 Jun 2010 #1
So for my slavic final I will be given a paragraph translated into 13 different Slavic languages and I have to tell which language it is and why..

I was wondering if anyone knew of a website dedicated to showing the differences bettween all of them. I speak Polish so Polish, Czech, and Slovak I know but the cyrilic ones are a different story

Dziękuje!!
shush 1 | 212
2 Jun 2010 #2
Maybe some languages have some letters which others dont have and that will give u a clue? what languages will u have to recognise?
OP clifborder4fm 20 | 35
2 Jun 2010 #3
Ya I know I will be able to tell which language is which but the big thing is giving many examples as to why. The only way I will be able to know which cyrilic languages are which is because of the accents over certain letters. The languages are Russian, Ukrainian, Czech, Slovak, Polskiego, Upper Sorbian, Lover Sorbian, Slovenian, Hrvatski (croatian), Serbian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Belarussian, and Polabian.
Ziemowit 12 | 3,582
2 Jun 2010 #4
My God! Polabian has been extinct for about two centuries now!

Upper Sorbian is closer to Czech, whereas Lower Sorbian is closer to Polish.

Czech and Slovak would be extremely difficult to distinguish for me, but I have the impression that some of the Slovak vocabulary is closer to Polish than the matching part of this vocabulary in Czech. I think that Slovak doesn't have the diacritical marks in the shape of unfilled little circles.

Croatian and Serbian will be very difficult to distinguish between them if the samples are written with the same alphabet.

Belorussian has quite a number of words imported from Polish.
Trevek 26 | 1,702
2 Jun 2010 #5
Macedonian has no cases (unlike Polish) and had an article (definite, I believe) and uses cyrillic. It also has no 'w' (ł) sounds. I believe the alphabet only has 32 letters.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
3 Jun 2010 #6
Ask Crow here on the forum. He is a cunning linguist ;) He knows Serbo-Croatian, a useful language down there.
OP clifborder4fm 20 | 35
3 Jun 2010 #7
Well the Cyrillic langurages will all be in cyrillic so I will be able to distinguish them only because of the accents they use over their letters (macedonian has no accents). Will message crow thanks!!
Trevek 26 | 1,702
3 Jun 2010 #8
Macedonian also doesn't have that back-to-front R for 'ya'. It uses 'ja'.The lack of case conjugations might alert you to it not being Serbian or Russian etc (although I don't think Bulgarian has cases either, does it? But it does have the btf R)

Of course, Moldovian is written in cyrillic but is actually a romance language.

Croatian would be written in Latin script. Bosnian? Not sure.
nincompoop_not 2 | 192
3 Jun 2010 #9
Czech and Slovak would be extremely difficult to distinguish for me

called my friend - half Czech half Slovak
main differences:
when both languages have, as she called it, 'dash' above C, S, Z (è), Czech has got one also above R (Slovak doesnt)

Slovak has got dashes above L and T (Czech doesnt) and Slovak has got 'umlauts' (I call them that those two horizontal dots - like in German lang.) above A (ä)

and Czech doesnt
SouthMancPolak - | 104
3 Jun 2010 #10
That's a good way of differentiating between the two.

Many Slovak words often sound similar to Polish and Czech words, but the Slovak word often sounds "closer" to Polish, yet somehow more "wrong-sounding" to me, e.g. airport (Polish: lotnisko; Slovak: letisko; Czech: letiště).

I've only ever studied Czech and not Slovak, though; I don't really like the latter, it just sounds weird to my ears (no offence to Slovaks ;) ) after learning Czech and already knowing Polish.

To me, Slovak sounds like a mixture of Polish, Czech and Silesian, what with its weird "ie" and "jo" endings, lol. I find Slovak difficult to understand, but maybe that's because of having learned that most of the Slovaks I've met were from the East.
convex 20 | 3,978
3 Jun 2010 #11
Slovak comes across as a sloppy form of Czech with lots of slang. Not sure how it evolved, but that's probably one of the reasons that Slovaks usually don't have a problem understanding Czechs, but quite a few Czechs have serious problems understanding Slovak.
nincompoop_not 2 | 192
4 Jun 2010 #12
I've only ever studied Czech and not Slovak, though;

may I ask how come?

I'm finding it very interesting, since Slawistyka has never been the most popular one in the past (in Poland). It was always a choice between studying Polish lit and language (teaching 'career') or Slawistyka.

So it's extremely interesting that so many people, and not from Poland, study it. Hats off.
SouthMancPolak - | 104
4 Jun 2010 #13
may I ask how come?

Why did I not learn Slovak, or why did I learn Czech?

If it's the latter, it's a long story, but the short version is that I won't go anywhere on holiday unless I learn enough of the language to get by. Which means I've only ever spoken Italian, French, Czech and extremely basic Cantonese/Mandarin, apart from English and Polish of course, lol. My mum thinks it's really funny when I speak Czech, because she can't speak it, but thinks it sounds like Russian, which she can speak, lol :) I like to confuse her sometimes by saying things like "kde je vase toaletni ubrousky"** and she says, what do you mean where are my toilet tablecloths LOL.

I was brought up bilingual from birth, so learning Polish was no bigger an achievement for me than learning English. But it definitely helps with other languages!

** hopes Magdalena doesn't laugh at my grammar lol
nincompoop_not 2 | 192
4 Jun 2010 #14
Sorry for the comparison but you are like my father - was it Czech, Slovak, German or Hungarian, or even Dutch on one occasion - he just had to :)

But the question still stands - clifborder4fm - what do you study? and why Slavic?
OP clifborder4fm 20 | 35
5 Jun 2010 #15
Haha I am studying biology ale chcem dostać moj minor w slavic languages (with an emphasis on Polish). They dont offer Polish as a minor by itself at my school but I can use Polish to get a Slavic lang minor which is good. I figure I speak some Polish so I should use it for a degree :)
SouthMancPolak - | 104
6 Jun 2010 #16
Slovak comes across as a sloppy form of Czech with lots of slang. Not sure how it evolved, but that's probably one of the reasons that Slovaks usually don't have a problem understanding Czechs, but quite a few Czechs have serious problems understanding Slovak.

Aha, that explains a lot... and I just thought my Czech was rubbish, lol. What always also gets me is the randomness with which Czech/Slovak words are similar to Polish (or not).

Like breakfast is śniadanie in Polish, snídaně in Czech, but raňajky in Slovak (though you can work out that it's something to do with the morning if you know Polish). But then cellar is piwnica in Polish, pivnica in Slovak, but is sklep in Czech (which in turn is "shop" in Polish, but shop in Czech is obchod, lolz: ) ).

You've got to love false friends! :)
Vlad1234 15 | 575
2 Jan 2019 #17
Btw, work/job is "rabota" in Bul = "rabota" in Russian, while most other Slavic languages around Russia use some version of "praca".

But in the same time to earn (money) in Polish is "zarabiać", in Russian - "zarabatywat" (зарабатывать) and in Bulgarian it is "peczelia" (печеля). So, in total you will find even more lexical similarities between Russian and Polish than between Russian and Bulgarian.
mafketis 21 | 7,399
2 Jan 2019 #18
Actually both robota and praca are used in Polish

robota - more like physical and/or unskilled work

praca - employment and general word

similarly

robotnik - worker

pracownik - employee

more lexical similarities between Russian and Polish than between Russian and Bulgarian

I think there are more lexical similarities between Polish and Bulgarian than Russian and Bulgarian... when I've looked at Bulgarian textbooks a large majority of words have more or less clear Polish cognates..
gumishu 11 | 5,017
2 Jan 2019 #19
I think there are more lexical similarities between Polish and Bulgarian

completely wrong - Russian was in the Middle Ages practically based on Old Church Slavonic that was in essence Bulgarian
Vlad1234 15 | 575
2 Jan 2019 #20
I think there are more lexical similarities between Polish and Bulgarian than Russian and Bulgarian...

I wonder if it's true, but even if you are right it may be explained in a way that both Polish and Bulgarian retained more archaic Slavic words than Russian... Have you tried to compare Polish and Russian in the same way?
mafketis 21 | 7,399
2 Jan 2019 #21
No... I'm not interested in Russian enough, after Polish my Slavic interest goes roughly Bulgarian, Czech, Slovenian (charmingly goofy)... then maybe Russian
Vlad1234 15 | 575
2 Jan 2019 #22
Growing up around Ukranians, I just knew them as pierogi

I think at some point of history some confusion about the names happened. Because what is presently known in the West as pierogi is known in modern standard Ukrainian as varenyky.

uk.wikipedia.org/wiki/Вареники
And only informally and dialectically as pierogi.

But classical Ukrainian or Slavic pierogi is quite a different dish altogether.
uk.wikipedia.org/wiki/Пиріг
Vlad1234 15 | 575
2 Jan 2019 #23
completely wrong - Russian was in the Middle Ages practically based on Old Church Slavonic that was in essence Bulgarian

Old Church Slavonic was/is used by the Russian Orthodox church mostly. Modern Russian has little in common with it as was spoken (folk) Russian centuries ago.
Vlad1234 15 | 575
2 Jan 2019 #24
Regarding similarity of Russian with other languages the closest to it is of course Ukrainian and Belarussian with which Russian share around 75% of words with common roots, similar grammar and almost identical pronunciation. Followed by Polish with around 60% of common roots words, similar (though more different) grammar and quite different pronunciation. All other Slavic languages are more distant with less than 60% similar words (though Bulgarian and Serbian may get close to it) and more different grammar and pronunciation.
Lyzko 23 | 6,653
2 Jan 2019 #25
Polish then is sort of the odd man out:-)
Vlad1234 15 | 575
2 Jan 2019 #26
What do you mean by that?
Lyzko 23 | 6,653
2 Jan 2019 #27
Well look at the facts, will you Vlad! Polish bares close similarity to Czech, yet has nasals which are extant in no other Slavic tongue, sees herself as more Western than Eastern European and is written in Latin rather than Cyrillic.
Vlad1234 15 | 575
2 Jan 2019 #28
That's true. Polish preserved archaic Slavic sounds which had been phased out in all the other Slavic languages 1000 of years ago at least. However, there are at least the same amount of Slavic languages which use conditionally "Latin" alphabet as those which use Cyrillic one. I said conditionally, because Polish alphabet contains many characters which aren't present in classical Latin. With exception of Poles some character of Latin alphabet are used by Czechs, Slovaks, Slovenians and Croatians at least. Serbs use both Cyrillic and Latin scripts. So, this is rather 50/50 among Slavic langs.
Lyzko 23 | 6,653
2 Jan 2019 #29
A Ukrainian acquaintance once giggled slightly when I asked her in Polish "Czy mowisz po polsku?", explaining the reason for her restrained chortling that in her language, "movit" is archain or bookish, sounding I suppose like :time-warp" Ukrainian:-)
Vlad1234 15 | 575
2 Jan 2019 #30
The most regular for "to speak" in modern Ukrainian is "howoryty" (which is similar to Russian), but "rozmowliAty" and "mOwyty" are also modern literature words (which are similar to Polish) are used. So, I wouldn't say that is completely archaic.


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