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Polish/Ukrainian words similarities

16 Dec 2006 #1
I was looking at some words and noticed several similarities. Is Ukrainian more similar to Russian or Polish?
Kowalski 7 | 621
16 Dec 2006 #2
Ukrainian and Russian are closer.
Polish is closer to Russian but some people may argue here I think. In Ukrainian quite many words are identical with polish ones....
To me Russian is more understandable then Ukrainian but that again maybe due to me having rather more exposure to Russian language.
hello 22 | 890
16 Dec 2006 #3
For sure Polish have a whole lot different alphabet than the Russian cirilica..
bartek212 2 | 19
17 Dec 2006 #4
Beautiful girls, my favourite similarity :)

About Ukrainian, it's more similar to Russian, of course, but it's still easier than Chinese :)
Kowalski 7 | 621
17 Dec 2006 #5
Beautiful girls, my favourite similarity

yup and in polish we have only one word for both "tongue" and "language"
18 Dec 2006 #6
If you speak Polish and Russian, Ukranian should be simple for you. I think Russian and Ukranian are equally close to Polish.
26 Dec 2006 #7
Slavic languages are all very similar. But polish uses the latin alphabet with special signs. Ukrianian, russian use cyrillic alphabet very similar to greek but without the same meaning. but I have a russian friend who understands many words in polish. Russian is also easier to learn then polish.
30 Jan 2007 #8
There is a very little number of the Ukrainian language course-books oriented for foreigners. That makes this language difficult for learning by foreigners.
15 Feb 2007 #9
I would say that Ukrainian is much more similar to Polish than Russian is. However Russians understand Ukrainians and the other way around it because of the mutual exposure to those languages due to the history.
Babylon 16 | 192
15 Feb 2007 #10
Ukrainian is a brother of Belorussian and Polish is much more similar to Slovak I think, or maybe even to Croatian
22 Feb 2007 #11
Somewere in this thread it was stated that Russian is easier to learn than Polish (I assume we're talking about an English speaker here). Does anyone here agree or disagree, and why?

I thought just the opposite because of the different writing systems. I have tried for some time to learn Russian on my own. I have found it very difficult, esp the cyrllic writing. I was considering trying to study Polish instead because at least our writing systems are more similar. Just wondering what everyone thinks on this topic?
22 Feb 2007 #12
Cyrilica makes it tougher to learn Russian..
Marek 4 | 867
23 Feb 2007 #13
As a native English speaker myself, raised though bilingual English-German in the States, Polish might seem superficially less complex than Russian (or for that matter Ukrainian) solely by virtue of their alphabetic similarities, save for several different letters which I'm not able to reporoduce on my keyboard in the office.

However, morphologically, i.e. phonologically, Polish has one extra case from the Russian's six (the vocative, though rarely used), a tongue-twistingly difficult pronounciation ("Chrzasz brzmi w trzecinie"= The beetle buzzes in the reeds) and numerous irregularities in both declension as well as the counting system.

This alone, having studied both, makes Polish harder for Americans than Russian!
23 Feb 2007 #14
since you are interested in languages this site might be of an interest to you:
23 Feb 2007 #15
This alone, having studied both, makes Polish harder for Americans than Russian!

As an aside, are there any Bulgarian speakers here who might offer an opinion as to which slavic languages are easier or harder for the native English-speaker? On the one hand it has the cyrllic alphabet like Russian. But I've heard Bulgarian is the only slavic language where nouns don't decline?

23 Feb 2007 #16
My Polish mother speaks Polish to her Ukrainian aunt who in turn speaks Ukrainian and they seem to get along just fine...It's actually pretty interesting
Marek 4 | 867
24 Feb 2007 #17

A Russian native speaker told me recently that Bulgarian is "closer" for her to Russian than the other Slavic languages.

Don't know if this means anything or not :)
Koach 16 | 128
7 Mar 2007 #18
There is a very little number of the Ukrainian language course-books oriented for foreigners. That makes this language difficult for learning by foreigners.

I was at my local Borders (bookstore) and saw two book on Ukrainian: Ukrainian by Teach Yourself (features two CDs and is rather thick) and a phrasebook by Lonely Planet. I bought the latter. For a phrasebook it's almost 300 pages thick. Just thought I'd share if anyone was interested in learning Ukrainian.

I browsed through my Ukrainian book today. Not only does it give hundreds of phrases, but it has about 20 pages on grammar.
Michal - | 1,865
11 Mar 2007 #19
The matter of a different alphabet in Russian does not in itself make Russian easier or more difficult than any other language. Russian is not at all phonetic with a shifting stress patern, which makes it much harder to learn that Polish. Polish stress is almost always set on the last but one vowel.
Marek 4 | 867
11 Mar 2007 #20

That's true enough what you say. Nonethless, Polish seems to have a slightly more intricate morphology as well as phonological structure than other Slavic languages, including Russian (Slovene though, does have a vestigial "dual" form!).

Apart from stress patterns in Polish, an added difficulty in pronunciation, is the proto-slavic, i.e. left over, nasals in Polish vowels "a" and "e", a phenomenom no longer found, for example, in Modern Russian or in Ukrainian.

Michal - | 1,865
12 Mar 2007 #21
Are the Polish nasals 'a' and 'e' a difficulty? Is the stress pattern of Polish difficult? To me, I find it quite logical. Why is the subject of Polish such a problem? Why have you got to use language like ' intricate morphology', 'phonological structure' and 'proto-slavic'-good God, do you think like this every time you drive a car? When I visit Slovenia I will remember at the border to tell the customs man when showing him my pasport about their 'vestigial "dual" form! Why is it necessary to make simple slovanic languages so unbearable complicated and boring?
natoczka - | 1
10 Sep 2007 #22
In Ukrainian opinion ;):

- our Russian is fluent because it was imposed by centuries. Russians don't understand Ukrainian (!)...and don't even try as far as they're being understood in our country;

- I can read in Serbian and Bulgarian without problems, but cannot speak. Vice versa in Polish and Check;
- in the means of vocabulary Polish is closer
Ronek 1 | 261
10 Sep 2007 #23

yeah well the languages sound very familiar. I come from those parts and have no problem understanding ukrainian. Plus you need to remember that for a very long time Ukraine was part of Poland so the cultures mixed with one another.

As it come to Lvov.... a tear comes to my eye. I wont say anything to avoid beeing called racist or anti Ukrainian (I love 'em). But if you look for Lvov history in the internet you will know.
jkirkwood 1 | 14
11 Sep 2007 #24
However I find ukrainian mentality as a whole closer to russian.Especially in East,central Ukraine.

Yes, I've read that there still exists two Ukraines: the western and the eastern. Western Ukraine, or formerly Galicia, used to be a Polish territory before the war (hence the similarities you mention), but the people there feel more Ukrainian than in the East, where Russian is more dominant in terms of language, culture, and mentality.

Just happened to be reading about this, thought I'd share :)
osiol 55 | 3,921
11 Sep 2007 #25
Has anyone actually mentioned that Ukrainian and Russian, along with Belorussian are East Slavic languages,
whereas Polish, along with Czech and Slovak are West Slavic languages.
West and East Slavic split some time before their daughter languages diverged.
I believe their is more commonality between all Slavic languages than, say,
between English and German (both descended from the same tongue).
Words may have been borrowed between languages after they had split,
thereby slightly incresing the possibility of mutual intelligibility
(but also giving rise to a certain number of 'false friends').

Has anyone else pointed out
that there are beautiful women from all over the world?
I thought that most men who look for a particular eastern European nationality of girl
are usually the ones who think they can get one cheap over the internet.
(See Singles section on PF)
Marek 4 | 867
12 Sep 2007 #26

With the topic "false friends", you've hit upon one of the most fascinating, yet misunderstood, areas in linguistics, fascinating at least to me. A certain Prof. Daniel Buncic, a Croatian linguist, has published a monumental paper on precisely this subject. He cites as examples Pol. "pismo" (work of writing, written opus) vs. Russ "pismo" (letter), Pol. Russ. "slovo/"slowo" (word) vs. Cr. "slovo" (letter of the alphabet) and numerous others.

Sidewinder 1 | 10
12 Sep 2007 #27
Hi everyone! Being Ukrainian, I can say for sure that Ukrainian language is definitely more close to Polish than Russian to Polish. Though I live in Kyiv (which is mostly Russian-speaking city), but there is no difference for me either to speak/read Russian or Ukrainian. But many Polish words really sound very similar to Ukrainian (much more than to Russian). E.g. "krawat" (hope I spell it correct in Polish) is like Ukrainian "krawatka", meaning is the same, but very similar word in Russian - "krowat' " means... "bed". And there are many other examples.

Here in Ukraine I think everyone understands both Russian and Ukrainian, it is just that historically people in Western Ukraine speak Ukrainian and in Eastern/Southern part they speak Russian. If I come to Lvov and speak Russian there, no one will kill me, the same as I can easily speak Ukrainian in Eastern part of Ukraine. Here in Ukraine the language problem is artificially created by some political entities (sorry for off-topic)...

Personally I understand Polish quite well, at least I can read and mostly understand when someone speaks to me Polish. :) And even try to speak Polish, I'm especially good in numerals.
cubic 2 | 63
12 Sep 2007 #28
That's pretty cool, Marek! (And osiol.)

I looked up Daniel Buncic, and he has created a wikibook of false friends among Slavonic languages:
Marek 4 | 867
12 Sep 2007 #29

No, umiesz zrozumiec, co pisze? Jezyk ukrainski ma roznicy z samoglosami, "nic" (wymowiony "nicz") przeciw "noc", "pozny" przeciw "pizny" itd.

Your written English though seems unusually good! Most Slavic speakers make numerous obvious usage errors, e.g. the person-tense agreement, yet you seem to make almost none of those. I'm delightfully surprised. Have you spent time here in the States, studied or visited the UK??

Sidewinder 1 | 10
13 Sep 2007 #30
Pewnie, ze rozumiem :)

No, I haven't spent time neither in the States, nor in UK. Actually, I speak English much worse than write :(

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