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Languages understandable by Poles?


Polskiej_Dumy 18 | 66    
22 Jun 2010  #1
So Russians and Poles can pretty much understand eachother when both speaking their own language. What about Lithuanians, Czechs, Ukrainians? Are their languages understandable to Poles and eachother?
shush 1 | 212    
22 Jun 2010  #3
So Russians and Poles can pretty much understand eachother when both speaking their own language

Lithuanians

Ukrainians

No, we cant.

Czechs

Yes, we can.
Matowy - | 296    
22 Jun 2010  #4
No, we cant.

Are you sure? Because I only know a little Polish and I can understand spoken Russian a bit.
Velund 1 | 351    
22 Jun 2010  #5
Some practice (to abstract of how it is writen and concentrate on how it sounds) and over 60% of Polish speech become understandable to Russian. If the one know Ukrainian or Belarussian somewhat - even more, there is still some roots in use that was out of use in Russian long time ago. From my own experience - if Pole and Russian speak not so fast, choose simple words, and always ready to rephrase with synonims - it is pretty easy to understand each other. But again, there is some words that sounds similar but may have opposite meaning.

Lithuanian - quite difficult to understand for Russian, I would say <5% of words.

Ukrainian (especially subset that is in use on East and so much hated by Bandera fans) - no real problems for Russian, some people think that it is just malorossian dialect, with a lot of archaisms still in use. ;)
shush 1 | 212    
22 Jun 2010  #6
Are you sure? Because I only know a little Polish and I can understand spoken Russian a bit.

Maybe you only think that you can understand Russian coz there are lots of words which sound similar and in fact they have totally different meaning. And yes, i am sure Poles cant talk with Russians using their own languages (i am native Polish speaker).

We can communicate quite easly with Czechs and Slovaks (similarly as Italians with Spanish speakers) but there are also words which sounds the same or almost the same and have different meanings which is confusing and sometimes err embarassing :D
Seanus 15 | 19,716    
22 Jun 2010  #7
The Czechs understand Polish better than the other way around. Sometimes you only think you understand. Baltic languages definitely not.
shush 1 | 212    
22 Jun 2010  #8
Dont say szukac to a Czech :D
Seanus 15 | 19,716    
22 Jun 2010  #9
It might get a laugh if nothing else. More likely a slap :)
shush 1 | 212    
22 Jun 2010  #10
My friend was speachless when i told her - poszlam szukac ... lol
pgtx 29 | 3,160    
22 Jun 2010  #11
Czech

it's easier for a Pole to understand Slovak than Czech...
i love Slovak accent - mlieko... :)
Sasha 2 | 1,083    
22 Jun 2010  #12
which sound similar and in fact they have totally different meaning.

Most of the time they have the same or at least close meaning (in case they sound similar). Just my observation...

Are you sure? Because I only know a little Polish and I can understand spoken Russian a bit.

The fact that the Polish is not your native tongue plays into your hands in such a situation. You do not expect Russian to sound any closer to your native tongue whereas I as native speaker of Russian do. And as soon as I hear a similar word (and some words sound eerily similar:)) I subconsciously expect that a following word will be clear too and when it's not I lose the train of thought thereby.

Although I'm convinced if two people (a Polish and a Russian) speak slower than usual they will be able to understand a lot more. Unfortunately the only place I hear Polish speech are films and TV-programs... there's no way to slow them down. :)

As for the Lithuanian... even though it's considered proto-Slavic language I can understand very few.
shush 1 | 212    
22 Jun 2010  #13
i love Slovak accent - mlieko...

Do you know nozky and nozyczky? but i dont remember if it was Czech
Velund 1 | 351    
22 Jun 2010  #14
Hm, be careful with words uroda and błąd when talking to Russian girl as well. ;)
NorthMancPolak 4 | 649    
22 Jun 2010  #15
The Czechs understand Polish better than the other way around. Sometimes you only think you understand.

I believe this is true. But I'm also going to ramble a bit now (internaldialog may approve, haha ;) ). I was buying tickets in Praha-Ruzyně airport once, and the ticket seller understood everything I asked for. But I decided to apologise for my poor Czech, so he started speaking to me in Polish, after I had explained that I was Polish. To be honest I understood his Czech perfectly well, and much better than his Polish, and decided that I was no longer going to apologise for my "poor" Czech when everyone seemed to understand me lol!

Yes, we can.

Not quite as well as we think we can. ;) I'd say it's easier for Poles to read Czech than it is for them to understand spoken Czech. I realised this when I actually got around to learning it. I would also add that Czech may be a little too familiar to Poles, and therefore may make it a little confusing to learn, because you will keep comparing it to Polish. This means we think we know how the grammar should be, but actually get it wrong because it's not the same in Czech ;)

That said, it's probably the closest Slavic language to Polish, but I bet you still keep pronouncing Czech words in a Polish way, like I unfortunately do... Bolí mě hłava, lol :D

I can't understand a word of Russian, even though it sounds "Slavic" when I hear it spoken.

Do you know nozky? but i dont remember if it was Czech

nůžky ;)
shush 1 | 212    
22 Jun 2010  #16
Not quite as well as we think we can

Well, yes but i have Czech friend and we communicate using Czech and Polish with some English words when the word doesnt exist in one of languages or has different meaning (like eg czerwiec or szukac).
Seanus 15 | 19,716    
22 Jun 2010  #17
Very true, NMP. Poles sometimes find it hard to break from their own language, like the Borg breaking from the collective.
NorthMancPolak 4 | 649    
22 Jun 2010  #18
Hm, be careful with words uroda and błąd when talking to Russian girl as well. ;)

Or Czech dívka when talking to a Polish girl lol :)

(what do those two mean in Russian btw?)

Well, yes but i have Czech friend and we communicate using Czech and Polish with some English words when the word doesnt exist in one of languages or has different meaning (like eg czerwiec or szukac).

That's code-switching, but I see your point ;)

hledam divku v cervnu hehe :)
Sasha 2 | 1,083    
22 Jun 2010  #19
(what do those two mean in Russian btw?)

urod - an ungly man
blad - is a slut

divka is just a vulgar form of address to a woman :)
shush 1 | 212    
22 Jun 2010  #20
And frajer when talking to a Polish guy!
Sasha 2 | 1,083    
22 Jun 2010  #21
This is not good in Russian either. :) Initially came from Yiddish.
Velund 1 | 351    
22 Jun 2010  #22
(what do those two mean in Russian btw?)

Uroda is sounds very similar to a russian word that mean ugly creature, or mutant of some sort. ;) blad sounds very similar to whore, though russians still use this word to express their feelings if something goes wrong (in ancient times meaning was the same as in modern Polish, of course). ;)
NorthMancPolak 4 | 649    
22 Jun 2010  #23
divka is just a vulgar form of address to a woman :)

It's not vulgar in Czech though, it just means girl/dziewczyna - vulgar would be coura or špindíra ;)
pgtx 29 | 3,160    
22 Jun 2010  #24
my personal favorite.... ale piczowina... :)
OP Polskiej_Dumy 18 | 66    
7 Jul 2010  #25
Okay so I heard Slovak and Polish are most understandable..
And what about serbian.. I was watching some movie where some serb said you understand and it was identical to rozumiesz
George8600 10 | 637    
7 Jul 2010  #26
So Russians and Poles can pretty much understand eachother

Nice joke....
OP Polskiej_Dumy 18 | 66    
9 Jul 2010  #27
haha yah a lot of people say that, maybe its not as true as i thought..
Ogien 6 | 247    
9 Jul 2010  #28
I can understand Belorussian quite well.
Nathan 18 | 1,363    
9 Jul 2010  #29
Dont say szukac to a Czech :D

Or "ruchać" to a Pole ;) I have some Ukrainian friends who went for a vacation to Poland. Well, they met some nice chicks. The girls showed them around the town and in the evening they went to a club. After, it was around 1 am, they asked the girls whether they don't mind a company on the way home. So when one of the girls opened the house, her father was standing at the door, angry like hell. He started to yell at the guys (thinking the worst about my polite and decent friends) and they answered: "Ми її не рухали" ("We didn't touch her"), but in Polish "My ją nie ruchali", which sounds the same as Ukrainian phrase, means "We didn't f*ck her". Well, this was the last drop in this poor Polish father's heart. He yelled: "Oh, to wy jeszcze ją ruchać chcieli" ("Oh, so you wanted to f*ck her too") and chased the guys out with a stick. One of them said they barely escaped alive ;)

In general Polish and Ukrainians understand each other, especially people from the border region. Some expressions though can be life-threatening ;)
Bzibzioh    
9 Jul 2010  #30
And what about serbian..

Nope. Not a damn word. It sound similar but is not. I found that out the hard way.


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