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Can any young Poles can still speak Russian


KingAthelstan 9 | 142
24 Sep 2011  #1
I'm aware that all Poles over the age of 40 can speak Russian, but I was curious to know how common it is for younger Poles (under 30) to speak Russian?
gumishu 11 | 5,012
24 Sep 2011  #2
not that common at all - my bro who is 32 now still was taught Russian at school and is able to understand some Russian and speak a couple of words (this helped him a bit in dealing with Lithuanians in his job in Northern Ireland) - his girlfriend who is a couple of years younger than him was not schooled in Russian and she can't speak nor understand any Russian that is not obviously similar to Polish (most Russian is not obviously similar to Polish for a non-accustomed ear)

pozdrawliaju was s Nowym Godom ;) kakaja u was pogoda w sientabrie Korol Athelstan? idjot czasto dożd?? - there is a well established Polish transcryption of the Russian language though many Poles may be completely unfamiliar with it
Malopolanin 3 | 134
24 Sep 2011  #3
all Poles over the age of 40 can speak Russian

All? 5% is more likely.
noreenb 7 | 557
24 Sep 2011  #4
I speak Russian. It's great. J remember a lot from primary school. I also had Russian at high school. The language is great and easy to learn for Polish.

It's a bit strange that it's not taugh at schools as often as in the past. Russian literature is amazing and sooo interesting. It's just of the reasons to learn the language.
pawian 159 | 9,515
24 Sep 2011  #5
=KingAthelstan]I'm aware that all Poles over the age of 40 can speak Russian,

Nope, we can`t.
But we can read it with understanding.
Wulkan - | 3,251
25 Sep 2011  #6
Can any young Poles can still speak Russian

well their Russian is just a bit worse then your English
hague1cmaeron 14 | 1,377
25 Sep 2011  #8
I'm aware that all Poles over the age of 40 can speak Russian

No, only a few can in fact. And hardly any young people in Poland speak Russian or understand it.

I am English Wulkan.

Which makes it worse.
beckski 12 | 1,617
25 Sep 2011  #9
Can any young Poles can still speak Russian

My cousins are able to speak very little Russian today. They are now in their late thirties. They're more concerned with continuing to learn the English language, in order to assist them with their careers.
bullfrog 6 | 603
25 Sep 2011  #10
It's a bit strange that it's not taugh at schools as often as in the past

are you kidding? you are surely aware of Poland's history..
Billy_Vodka
5 Oct 2011  #11
Most of the youth nowadays studies English. It is afterall the most important language for all Europeans to learn.
Zman
6 Oct 2011  #12
Russian has been mostly passee for a good while now. Like 22 years, so no.... kids do not dig it. And those over 30/40 have long forgotten it. Of course there are exceptions (me!) :-)
legend 3 | 664
6 Oct 2011  #13
No I cant speak Russian I must say. I understand all slavic languages except Russia too :|
OP KingAthelstan 9 | 142
6 Oct 2011  #14
wh

No I cant speak Russian I must say. I understand all slavic languages except Russia too :|

what percentage of Russian words can Polish speaker understand? My Serbian wife ( who can't speak russian) says she can understand about 50 % of spoken Russian just from knowing Serbian.
Natasa 1 | 580
6 Oct 2011  #15
Similarities with Russian:

Russian 100%
Ukrainian 90%
Bulgarian 90%
Serbo-Croatian 65%
Polish 60%
Czech 40%

how-to-learn-any-language.com/e/languages/similarities/russian/index.html

Govoriš li srpski KingAtheristan?

Sram te bilo ako ne ;)
Sasha 2 | 1,083
6 Oct 2011  #16
what percentage of Russian words can Polish speaker understand?

The biggest obstacle for the Poles in understanding Russian is Cyrrilic alphabet. We the Russians don't have that obstacle for everyone can more or less read Latin letters.

what percentage of Russian words can Polish speaker understand?

Hard to say really. One may trust figures provided by Natasa but my feeling is that I understand Polish better than Serbian, though worse than Ukrainian. It's definitely different the other way round. Poles understand us worse than we understand them. It's just my assumption based on fund of words in Russian.

That's how Natasa's phrase would sound in Russian:

Govorish li ti na serbsom? /Govorite li Vi na serbsom?
Sram tebe (Vam), esli net.
Wroclaw_666 1 | 47
6 Oct 2011  #17
But we can read it with understanding.

It's not so easy... there is a different alphabet... I know their letters but it's really hard for me to read their words. Many of them is understandable for me, but only after decryption from their letters :)
legend 3 | 664
6 Oct 2011  #18
what percentage of Russian words can Polish speaker understand? My Serbian wife ( who can't speak russian) says she can understand about 50 % of spoken Russian just from knowing Serbian.

Myself maybe 10 percent at most. My mom (shes not young) probably 70 percent.
Natasa 1 | 580
6 Oct 2011  #19
The biggest obstacle for the Poles in understanding Russian is Cyrrilic alphabet. We the Russians don't have that obstacle for everyone can more or less read Latin letters.

Being nowhere constantly, we have equally relevant two alphabets (East, West), one is taught in the 1.grade(cyrillic), the other one in the 2. grade (latin) of elementary school.

My education in large part was happening during the golden liberal socialism period, when different elem. schools had two different obligatory languages. English was the most common, and present in almost all of the schools(95%), second one was russian, then close to the oldest part of Belgrade, as a second language instead of russian that was more common in Novi Beograd, German and French were taught. Kids could choose only the school, but not the languages they will learn in particular school.

Summary: I had 5 years of English, from my 9- 14 year (most basic level), and in gymnasium my foreign language (elementary school was determining that one) was only russian. English was replaced with Latin.

Problems I had with Russian are not describable!!, we all mostly cheated shamelessly, my lexical fund was enriched with, all in total 20 truly russian words during 8 years of 'learning' it.

Russian grammar , on the other hand, I knew better than Serbian. System was for some unknown reason insisting on knowing by heart all declinations for nouns, adjectives. (in Russian)

So, I have no idea how would all that look like if there was no russian in school, but I do understand approximately 70 % of spoken russian, and I know that Russians understand me proportionally.

Written Polish is harder for me to comprehend than spoken one, and I understand it even then far less than russian.

I found the link to that chart, I am not sure about reliability of the source.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,626
6 Oct 2011  #20
I found the link to that chart, I am not sure about reliability of the source.

I'm not convinced it's accurate - Ukrainian is far closer to Polish in terms of nouns.
a.k.
6 Oct 2011  #21
what percentage of Russian words can Polish speaker understand? My Serbian wife ( who can't speak russian) says she can understand about 50 % of spoken Russian just from knowing Serbian.

One in 20. I have Russian channel on my tv and understand only single words from time to time.
gumishu 11 | 5,012
6 Oct 2011  #22
No I cant speak Russian I must say. I understand all slavic languages except Russia too :|

it's more difficult for a Polish person with no education in Russian I guess safely below 20 per cent (or even just 10 per cent) of spoken Russian would be understood - with just some basic training a Pole can gain some 10 per cent - other than that you need to learn a lot of words to understan Russian - still the grammar mostly poses very little problem
OP KingAthelstan 9 | 142
6 Oct 2011  #23
It's not so easy... there is a different alphabet

Govoriš li srpski KingAtheristan?

Yes but what percentage of purely spoken Russian would a Pole ( who can' speak Russian) understand?

Govoriš li srpski KingAtheristan?

malo zman
isthatu2 4 | 2,708
6 Oct 2011  #24
To a non native who speaks some Russian and some Polish it seems strange that Poles claim to be so bad at understanding Russian when it is clear to the non native that often there is only a slight difference in pronunciation.

But,I guess this ties in with Poles finding it difficult to understand non natives speaking Polish without a pitch perfect accent. In short, Poles dont really do accents/dialects.

A few years ago I was with some mates from the Warsaw area and put on a Gorale CD, they were convinced it was Slovakian ,claimed not to understand it untill they listened really carefully and read the CD case :)

Its funny though because give a reasonably inteligent Pole any non Slavic language and they usually master it pretty well .
I wonder how much of it is still a hang on of,frankly,choosing not to understand Russian?
a.k.
6 Oct 2011  #25
Yes but what percentage of purely spoken Russian would a Pole ( who can' speak Russian) understand?

As I already said: 1 word in 20. That would make 5% as for me. Given that one word for 20 not always let you to understand the context, the answer for how much I understand is: nothing ;)

To a non native who speaks some Russian and some Polish it seems strange that Poles claim to be so bad at understanding Russian when it is clear to the non native that often there is only a slight difference in pronunciation.

I have no idea how you can say such thing. I just played myself a random Russian tv footage of some interview and I have no idea what they were talking about. The only phrase I understood was "Ja nieznajo" or something similar but that was all! Of course there are some words or phrases that are comprehensive for a Pole because they sound quite similar in Polish (a good example is the title of a hit of a Russian girlsband Tatu "Nas nie dogoniat" from 2002, which is known worldwide as "Not gonna get us") but I think there is not so many of them.


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