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Ukrainian vs Russian

 Language Learning Forum : Specific Languages Post Reply
Poll Question: Is Ukrainian a dialect of Russian
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
4 [14.81%]
23 [85.19%]
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44 messages over 6 pages: 1 2 3 46  Next >>
Delodephius
Bilingual Tetraglot
Senior Member
Yugoslavia
Joined 3760 days ago

342 posts - 501 votes 
Speaks: Slovak*, Serbo-Croatian*, EnglishC1, Czech
Studies: Russian, Japanese

 
 Message 33 of 44
30 April 2010 at 12:14am | IP Logged 
Fazla wrote:
I don't understand how can it be political if the whole Macedonian nation (thus, I'm not referring to the ones that use that name in a regional sense) uses that term. What you said would make sense if there was a party that pushed for that name, while the people was claiming that they speak a dialect of Bulgarian but no, every single Macedonian says he speaks Macedonian so it's not political at all.

This is true. Macedonians don't call their language differently, they just call it Macedonian. All other ethnic groups in Macedonia have some other identity as well.
1 person has voted this message useful



Levi
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United States
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 Message 34 of 44
30 April 2010 at 3:00am | IP Logged 
What about Moldovan? It is pretty much identical to the Romanian language, and there are plenty of Moldovans who will tell you they speak Romanian, but Moldovan is the official language of Moldova.

Or consider Montenegrin. Montenegrin is the official language of Montenegro, but in the 2003 census, when it was still in political union with Serbia, 60% of Montenegrins identified their native language as Serbian.

Are these separate languages?

I think we all understand that empirically, there is a fuzzy line between languages and dialects, since mutual intelligibility obviously falls along a spectrum (e.g. the Dutch-Low German-High German-Swiss German spectrum, the Ukrainian-Russian-Belarussian spectrum, the Arabic dialects). This also logically follows from consideration of linguistic evolution: there is no single point in history when French and Spanish ceased to be dialects and became separate languages; rather, their mutual intelligibility gradually decreased to a point where it is now extremely low. Mutual intelligibility can even be a one-way street: there are plenty of Scottish, Jamaican and Indian people who understand American English perfectly due to cultural exposure but whose speech cannot be deciphered by some Americans.

On top of that there are cultural, historical and political factors which will determine how one self-identifies linguistically. Therefore, I don't think it's a particularly meaningful or fruitful exercise to determine whether different varieties of speech "count" as separate languages. Though I understand the human urge to divide things conceptually into discrete categories, I think linguists are best advised to resist this urge and to acknowledge the fuzziness of linguistic spectra.

Edited by Levi on 30 April 2010 at 3:21am

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Solfrid Cristin
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Winner TAC 2011 & 2012
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Norway
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4143 posts - 8863 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, Spanish, Swedish, French, English, German, Italian
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 Message 35 of 44
09 May 2011 at 10:09am | IP Logged 
I listened to a beginner's lesson of Ukrainian a couple of days ago, and was actually surprized that Russian and Ukrainian were so different. The only words that were identical were "yes" and "but". The rest of the vocabulary was 50/50 words that ressembled Russian, and totally new words. No doubt about them being different languages.
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Chung
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 Message 37 of 44
09 May 2011 at 1:57pm | IP Logged 
Really? I thought that Russians didn't use так and але to mean "yes" and "but" as Ukrainians do.
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Haukilahti
Triglot
Groupie
Finland
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94 posts - 126 votes 
Speaks: Finnish*, English, Polish

 
 Message 38 of 44
09 May 2011 at 2:25pm | IP Logged 
Chung wrote:
Really? I thought that Russians didn't use так and але to mean "yes" and "but" as Ukrainians do.

Is Ukrainian Russian with Polish vocabulary, or Polish with Russian grammar?

;-)
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Solfrid Cristin
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Norway
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4143 posts - 8863 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, Spanish, Swedish, French, English, German, Italian
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 Message 39 of 44
09 May 2011 at 8:55pm | IP Logged 
Chung wrote:
Really? I thought that Russians didn't use так and але to mean "yes" and "but" as Ukrainians do.


I am not usually afraid of looking stupid in the eyes of others, but this time I am actually mortified.

I was going to write that the only word I found in common was я, could not figure out how to transcribe that into Latin letters, decided to translate it, and since that means "yes", I translated it as such. Forgetting in the process that the sound "ya/ja" means "yes" in Norwegian and German, but the correct translation of that word is "I".

As for the other mistake I am still working on a good excuse. :-)

I think I need to go back to that beginner's lesson and do it again.

Edited by Solfrid Cristin on 09 May 2011 at 9:00pm

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William Camden
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United Kingdom
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 Message 40 of 44
09 May 2011 at 9:09pm | IP Logged 
It was the official policy of Tsarist Russia to treat Ukrainian as the "Little Russian
dialect of the Great Russian language", to deter Ukrainian nationalism, but no, it is a
separate language, even if close to Russian in many ways. As has been noted, it has a
huge amount of Polish vocabulary.


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