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Mutual Intelligibility in Slavic Language

 Language Learning Forum : Specific Languages Post Reply
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Sennin
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Bulgaria
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 Message 9 of 63
18 March 2010 at 2:35am | IP Logged 
Siberiano wrote:
Polish... Russian... uroda (beauty) => урод (ugly)


Actually I believe урод means freak in Russian. But there are other false friends like грозный which means scary in Russian and грозен, ugly in Bulgarian.
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Delodephius
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Yugoslavia
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 Message 10 of 63
18 March 2010 at 10:11am | IP Logged 
In Slovak úroda means yield or bounty.
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Kubelek
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 Message 11 of 63
18 March 2010 at 10:19am | IP Logged 
... which looks like Polish urodzaj which means the same thing :)
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Siberiano
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Russian Federation
one-giant-leap.Registered users can see my Skype Name
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 Message 12 of 63
18 March 2010 at 8:29pm | IP Logged 
Sennin wrote:
Actually I believe урод means freak in Russian. But there are other false friends like грозный which means scary in Russian and грозен, ugly in Bulgarian.
Yep, you're right, I'd better have checked the dictionary. Freak (the same way as in English - even colloquially), or monster.

urodzaj - урожай (harvest, yield)
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dantalian
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Bouvet Island
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 Message 13 of 63
18 March 2010 at 10:34pm | IP Logged 
ruskivyetr wrote:
To my understanding, Slavic languages are fairly similar. It is not difficult to learn one if
you know another, as they share many grammatical endings and concepts and share very
similar words. I myself can understand basic Ukrainian and Polish with my basic Russian. I
found that when I switched from Russian to Czech the endings of the accusative and
forming plurals in the nominative was exactly the same. Are Slavic languages mutually
intelligible to a certain degree? Could a Polish person have a conversation with a Russian
person or a Czech person? Could a Ukrainian have a conversation with a Slovenian or a
Slovak and have a degree of understanding? Certainly many differences between the
languages exist, but they don't seem all that different.


Here is the sentence «I can eat glass, it does not hurt me» :) in 11 Slavic languages (I hope there are no mistakes in the them)
Russian.     Я могу есть стекло, оно мне не вредит.
Ukrainian     Я можу їсти шкло, й воно мені не пошкодить.
Belarusian.     Я магу есці шкло, яно мне не шкодзіць.
Croatian.     Ja mogu jesti staklo i ne boli me.
Serbian.     Могу јести стакло а да ми не шкоди.
Macedonian.     Можам да јадам стакло, а не ме штета.
Bulgarian.     Мога да ям стъкло, то не ми вреди.
Czech.        Mohu jíst sklo, neublíží mi.
Slovak.     Môžem jesť sklo. Nezraní ma.
Polish.          ; Mogę jeść szkło i mi nie szkodzi.
Slovenian.     Lahko jem steklo, ne da bi mi škodovalo.


I personally can understand it in full and with virtually no effort only in the Croatian language and actually cannot understand it in Polish. In Serbian, Ukrainian and Bulgarian the difficulty is only one word.

As to the false friends, some of them can be found in the crosstabs:
http://ru.wikibooks.org/wiki/Ложные_друзья_сл �виста
(Some are extremely funny. :))

So, all in all, slavic languages are not that easy for a Russian and at times really seem all that different.

You should read "слависта" instead of "сл� �виста"

Edited by dantalian on 18 March 2010 at 10:35pm

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Aineko
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New Zealand
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 Message 14 of 63
19 March 2010 at 9:56pm | IP Logged 
Thanks for the informative post! just one small thing:
dantalian wrote:

Serbian.     Могу јести стакло а да ми не шкоди.

actually, in Serbian you would say: "Mogu da jedem staklo a da mi ne škodi" (while Croatian use infinitive of the verb quite often in examples like this, Serbian does it very rarely - although both are grammatically correct and perfectly understandable for Serbs and Croats).
consequence, I guess, is that 'jedem' would further confuse Russian speaker, because conjugation ending for 'I' in Serbian is same like for 'We' in Russian :).
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dantalian
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Bouvet Island
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 Message 15 of 63
20 March 2010 at 8:53pm | IP Logged 
Aineko, thanks for your correction! It is so easy to plunge into mistakes if you borrow data from external sources.

Actually the word 'jedem' could be misleading not only because of its conjugation ending, but also since it looks like a real false friend meaning in Russian «едем»: (we are) riding/moving. Since my quickest association in Russian for the word škodi is «шкодить» (play mischievous / mean tricks (on) -coll.) the whole phrase "Mogu da jedem staklo a da mi ne škodi" can be easily transformed in my head into something like that: «We can ride on the glass to play mischievous tricks».
So, I agree here with you that the renewed Serbian variant of the sentence would further confuse Russian speaker. :)

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1qaz2wsx
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Groupie
Greece
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 Message 16 of 63
20 March 2010 at 10:42pm | IP Logged 
I have serious doubts about the mutual intelligibility between slavic languages.Maybe in a very basic level you can pick up some words or even some small phrases.But true mutual intelligibility,it seems,is way far from that.Even for native speakers.
I was once in Bulgaria and I,more or less, was able to get by with my russian.But I noticed the elderly could understand me a lot better because they had apparrently studied russian at school during the communist era.Most of the people of young age simply could not understand me.During my stay there I came across a 25 year-old girl in a shop who could not understand a simple question in russian:Kогда открывается ресторан рядом?And my russian pronounciation is fairly well.


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