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Looking for people from Slavic countries!

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  • Looking for people from Slavic countries!

    Hey! I'm Sue (Zuza) and I live in Poland.
    Once I've read about studies that shows how people from different Slavic countries can understand each other by talking in their own languages, because they are really similar. So why shouldn't we try that?
    I thought about creating an experiment, where we could meet on chat, i.e. Skype, talk in our native languages and try to understand each other. That might be hard, that might be weird, but that definitely will be fun!
    If you're interested in taking part in that, just write here or in private message

  • #2
    Hi Sue,
    From my experience, I can understand spoken Polish rather well but as for written form, it is a bit whorse. It could be said that Polish is the second closed language to Czech. In the tenth century, Czech and Polish used to be almost identical languages.
    An interesting idea, anyway.

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    • #3
      I speak some Russian and Bulgarian - but not as a native speaker. I find that I can get some of what is being said from northern Slavic speakers via a knowledge of Russian - such as Ukrainian and also some of the southern Slavic languages such as Serbian.

      I'm not so sure if southern and northern Slavic speakers would get so much of each others versions of Slavic languages.

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      • #4
        Well, I am a native Serbo-Croatian speaker. For what I have noticed, with some effort, I can understand Bulgarian and Macedonian (written better than spoken). Russian and Ukrainian is a little bit more difficult (again, written better than spoken), but if you have a good knowledge of the subtleties of your own mothertongue, you could pull it off. I've seen my mother communicate decently well with Polish tourists who needed directions. However, I personally think that for Polish people, the best bet would be Slovenian. At least, that is what a Pole told me.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by DoomCupcake View Post
          Well, I am a native Serbo-Croatian speaker. For what I have noticed, with some effort, I can understand Bulgarian and Macedonian (written better than spoken). Russian and Ukrainian is a little bit more difficult (again, written better than spoken), but if you have a good knowledge of the subtleties of your own mothertongue, you could pull it off. I've seen my mother communicate decently well with Polish tourists who needed directions. However, I personally think that for Polish people, the best bet would be Slovenian. At least, that is what a Pole told me.
          From my own experience, via Bulgarian the easiest one for me to understand is Macedonian. My Bulgarian level is about Intermediate/lowish B1 (according to a couple of people who have been teaching Bulgarian as a foreign language) and I can quite easily get the gist of many conversations in Macedonian if I'm listening carefully.

          Serbian / Serbo-Croation is quite a bit more difficult. There is a far more different vocabulary from Bulgarian but the grammar is not too far away - things like the question particle "ли" ("li") are the same. Some words I've heard spoken by Serbo-Croatian ( Serbian / Croatian speakers like "нога" (noga = leg) or "кукуруз" (kukuruz = corn) are about the same as in Russian so I can guess them from that, even though they differ significantly from Bulgarian (крак/ crak = leg and царевица/tsarevitsa = corn).

          A trick that makes it easier to get understanding from a similar language that I've found works well - don't think at all in the language you usually use as your native language or in the language that is similar to the one you are listening to. Simply leave your head "empty" and let your brain make the connections and do the work

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          • #6
            Originally posted by aussieinbg View Post
            крак
            You would be surprised to know that we can also use "krak" for body members, though I have mostly heard it used in the case of sea animals, such as octopi or sea stars. I believe that when applied to humans, it is in a more in a teasing, funny way.

            Now I hope this will not hurt anyone's feelings (I know this is a delicate subject), but I always believed that since Bulgarians and Macedonians have lived for many centuries in close relations, their language was so similar because at some point it had been the same language that has evolved apart (maybe a little bit more than Croatian and Serbian, however even between these two languages/dialects, there are sometimes surprising differences - at least, surprising for me).

            Thank you for the trick. I will try it the next time I get a chance to speak with another Slav. Though I can imagine it is difficult to stop oneself from thinking in one's mothertongue. I remember when I was taking Russian classes, the native French-speakers were learning Russian with much more ease than I did, because they did not have that reflex of trying to adapt the language they were learning to the knowledge they had of their mothertongue.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by DoomCupcake View Post
              You would be surprised to know that we can also use "krak" for body members, though I have mostly heard it used in the case of sea animals, such as octopi or sea stars. I believe that when applied to humans, it is in a more in a teasing, funny way.
              I don't know if "noga" or "krak" is the original Slavic word for "leg". I should check this

              Originally posted by DoomCupcake View Post
              Now I hope this will not hurt anyone's feelings (I know this is a delicate subject), but I always believed that since Bulgarians and Macedonians have lived for many centuries in close relations, their language was so similar because at some point it had been the same language that has evolved apart (maybe a little bit more than Croatian and Serbian, however even between these two languages/dialects, there are sometimes surprising differences - at least, surprising for me).
              It's always an interesting question about what is a "dialect" and what is a "language". As a non-Bulgarian, when such discussions come around,. I always plead that "my Bulgarian is still very poor, so I can't really judge".

              Originally posted by DoomCupcake View Post
              Thank you for the trick. I will try it the next time I get a chance to speak with another Slav. Though I can imagine it is difficult to stop oneself from thinking in one's mothertongue. I remember when I was taking Russian classes, the native French-speakers were learning Russian with much more ease than I did, because they did not have that reflex of trying to adapt the language they were learning to the knowledge they had of their mothertongue.
              No worries!

              I have quite a lot of problems with 3rd language interference (making mistakes from a previous foreign language you have learnt when you are learning a new language) because I had learnt Russian before.

              In your case, you are trying to leverage your native language because of a lot of similarity between it and Russian. When learning Bulgarian, I try that with Russian. Sometimes it gets me into real trouble

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              • #8
                Really ideas are in the air ... Recently I've had the same thought . I'm a native Russian speaker. I think we must keep in mind that there are 3 branches of Slavic family of languages and it's always easier to understand each other inside the same branch .

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                • #9
                  ХОРОШАЯ мысль! Предлагаю и писать на родном языке или хотя бы дублировать (повторять) написанный на родном языке. Как вам такое предложение?
                  Last edited by Wlodzimir; 06-14-2017, 03:33 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Jestem otwarty na rozmowy. Ale myślę, że inny alfabet nie jest przeszkodą, a nawet dodatkowy bodziec (zainteresowanie) w nauczaniu języka obcego. «Я открыт для разговора. Но думаю что другой алфавит не помеха,а даже дополнительный стимул в изучении иностранного языка.»
                    Last edited by Wlodzimir; 06-15-2017, 03:49 PM.

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                    • #11
                      I am from Serbia, I can help Serbian is very easy in terms of basics, you can easily learn to read, the grammar is bit complicated tho. But I am happy to help!

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                      • #12
                        I am from Ukraine I can understand a little polish. Write me and we can communicate at skype

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                        • #13
                          Hi.I am also interested as a native Polish speaker.I also speak and understand Czech,Slovak and Ukrainian a bit.I had friends from Serbia,Russia,.

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