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Chung at work / Chung pri práci

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Solfrid Cristin
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Norway
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 Message 465 of 541
03 September 2014 at 6:47am | IP Logged 
I look forward to your post on Russan false friends. My only previous background was a mostly forgotten
basic Polish which was literally learned in the last century, but I could see that Russians use the same words
with
different meanings in a lot of cases. (Meaning cases in the non grammatical sense :-)

Edited by Solfrid Cristin on 03 September 2014 at 5:54pm

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Ogrim
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 Message 466 of 541
03 September 2014 at 5:09pm | IP Logged 
Chung wrote:

Even though my background has been very useful in studying Russian and smoothing out items that I've seen others stress over (e.g. cases, verbs of motion, aspect, "strange" vocabulary), the language has increasingly come off to me as being weirder than the other Slavonic languages which I've studied than I had imagined. It's not just the sound of the language with all of its vowel reduction that catches my attention but also the number of false friends and ways in expressing certain concepts. At some point, I'll devote a post with examples to illustrate what I mean.


For someone who so far has not studied any other Slavonic language but Russian, it is interesting to see that you find Russien "weirder". It really makes me want to take up other Slavonic languages as well to get a better understanding of Russian's place within the family. I assume from what you say that vowel reduction does not take place in the other Slavonic languages you know?

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Chung
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 Message 467 of 541
03 September 2014 at 6:34pm | IP Logged 
Vowel reduction does occur to a certain degree in Ukrainian and Slovenian, which I have studied (in addition to Belorussian and Bulgarian which I have not studied), but it's very noticeable in Russian when you deal with pronunciation of unstressed а, e, о and я diverging from their stressed versions. From what little I know of Belorussian, in addition to the few times I've followed spoken examples of it with transcripts, vowel reduction comes off about as strongly as it is in Russian but for a learner, the complication of unphonemic spelling is reduced drastically because Belorussians spell in ways that are closer to current pronunciation unlike what you see in Russian.

E.g.

"dog"
B: сабака
R: собака (but pronounced /sɐˈbakə/)

"tree"
B: дрэва
R: дерево (but pronounced /ˈdʲerʲɪvə/)

"head"
B: галава
R: голова (but pronounced /ɡəlɐˈva/)

This isn't to say that Russian is the "blackest" sheep in the Slavonic group. I could with some justification posit Slovenian and Sorbian (it's all the dual's fault) or Bulgarian and Macedonian instead (Where did the cases go? What the hell did those Balkanites do to the verb conjugation?).

However for a Slavonic language that broadly aligns typologically to most other Slavonic languages in having continued using the grammatical cases of Proto-Slavonic, and kept the number of tenses pretty low, my subjectivity makes me mutter about various oddities in Russian grammar and sometimes smirk at the false friends that I've encountered so far. All of these are on top of my general but ultimately futile moaning about mobile stress in inflection (i.e. it's not just in declension, but in conjugation too). This last point trips me up a lot in Ukrainian too.
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stelingo
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 Message 468 of 541
04 September 2014 at 9:05pm | IP Logged 
The Czech equivalent of celkom is celkem, and ačkoli is the more usual way of saying
although in colloquial speech.

Of the 3 Slavic languages I study, Polish is the one I find the 'funniest'. When I first
started studying it I was struck by the words it shared with Czech but pronounced as
though everyone in Poland had a speech impediment. (šest/szesć, na přiklad/na przykład)
and then there are all those nasal vowels. Past tense verbs with personal endings,
future tense formed with być plus the past participle?!! Just weird.
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Chung
Diglot
Senior Member
Joined 5563 days ago

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 Message 469 of 541
04 September 2014 at 11:18pm | IP Logged 
stelingo wrote:
The Czech equivalent of celkom is celkem, and ačkoli is the more usual way of saying
although in colloquial speech.


Sakra, why didn't I catch celkem in the first place?

stelingo wrote:
Of the 3 Slavic languages I study, Polish is the one I find the 'funniest'. When I first started studying it I was struck by the words it shared with Czech but pronounced as though everyone in Poland had a speech impediment. (šest/szesć, na přiklad/na przykład) and then there are all those nasal vowels. Past tense verbs with personal endings, future tense formed with być plus the past participle?!! Just weird.


Yeah, you have a point with Polish being a weirdo of a Slavonic language (although I still think that it isn't as weird as Bulgarian or Macedonian). That last point about using the l-participle with być for an imperfective future isn't all that weird to me and not something that makes Polish that unique since in BCMS/SC and Slovenian, the same structure is used for future activities although details of its use vary from Polish which uses it only with imperfective verbs.

BCMS/SC uses it in "futur drugi" which is for a future action that is followed by another future action. This tense occurs with certain conjunctions or adverbs. It's sometimes like the future perfect.

"If we'll have time, then we'll go to Sarajevo."
Ako budemo imali vremena, ići ćemo u Sarajevo.

Slovenian uses it for future of both imperfective and perfective verbs.

"If we’ll have enough money, then we’ll buy a new house."
Če bomo imeli dovolj denarja, bomo kupili novo hišo.
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stelingo
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 Message 470 of 541
05 September 2014 at 1:38am | IP Logged 
I've dabbled briefly in Croatian, Ukrainian and Slovak, but have decided I can't handle any
other Slavic language. Keeping interference from Czech at bay when trying to speak Polish is
hard enough. But it's a pity as I find the Slavic language family much more interesting than
Romance and Germanic. Slovenian looks pretty weird from your example sentence.

Edited by stelingo on 05 September 2014 at 1:45am

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tristano
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 Message 471 of 541
10 September 2014 at 12:06am | IP Logged 
Chung, it's the first time I check what are you doing. Your schedule seems to be overwhelming (for almost everyone
else than you) with really tough languages. Your work, monumental.
I'm seriously impressed.
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Chung
Diglot
Senior Member
Joined 5563 days ago

4228 posts - 8256 votes 
20 sounds
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Polish, Slovak, Uzbek, Turkish, Korean, Finnish

 
 Message 472 of 541
10 September 2014 at 5:16pm | IP Logged 
If you'd be doing what I've been doing for as many years, you'd get used to it. What's more is that I have low expectations from my efforts (although higher expectations for what counts as fluency) and really am in it for myself rather than to impress others (almost all of my friends speak English, so it's not as if I need to master any of my target languages).

It's hard for me to get worked up about learning something for which I can control that much. If I stop enjoying it or feel that I'm overwhelmed, I pick up my bag of tricks and leave.


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