https://www.duolingo.com/I_Love_Poland

What Slavic language is closest to Polish?

While I await the arrival of Polish, I want to take the closest language to it to help extend my base knowledge even further. Anything extra helps!

2 years ago

28 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/UneJamKuqEZi

Czech or Slovak are the main languages closest to Polish. But those are not available to learn on Duolingo yet. You can try Ukrainian, it's pretty close to Polish. It's actually closer to Polish than it is to Russian. And Ukrainian is available to learn on Duolingo. You can change the option to learn the Latin version instead Cyrillic, since Polish is in the Latin alphabet, not Cyrillic. Hope that helped! :D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/anitramwaju
anitramwaju
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Yes, of the languages available on Duolingo, Ukrainian is the closest to Polish.

But pay attention that the the transliteration in latin alphabet of Ukrainian has nothing to do with Polish spelling (which is very specific to the Polish language).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/I_Love_Poland

I'm used to Polish sounds and spellings.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/I_Love_Poland

thx a lot. have a lingot!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/UneJamKuqEZi

Have 12 back, I have 1912 lingots, and I have no use for them. I have a little desire to make things perfect, so I gave you 12 to make my amount 1900. :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eikoopmit

Oh wow, that is a lot of lingots that you have.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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I'm not convinced how much the transliteration is likely to help with Polish spelling, to be honest.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/UneJamKuqEZi

I just meant to use Latin so they don't have to learn Cyrillic if they don't know it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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I think given how weird Polish spelling can be, getting used to a different Slavic language where it's trying to mimic English spelling would be really unhelpful. I would think if anything they'd be better off learning Cyrillic so they didn't confuse the (not terribly good) transliteration with Polish later. At least if they learn Ukrianian with Cyrillic, there's much less chance they're going to start writing Polish in a sort-of-Ukrainian-but-not-really kind of way.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/I_Love_Poland

I'm used to Polish spelling. I've been to Poland and I've actually taken a few lessons.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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Well obviously it's up to you, but I don't recommend using the transliterated versions of Russian or Ukrainian. I don't think the transliteration is very good, and what you learn won't really be applicable to Polish.

If you feel that confident, then the reverse course would seem to be the option that makes most sense.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jack.Elliot
Jack.Elliot
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you could take Polish in the reverse course

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/natashadusz

That's probably the best option! :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LangForThought
LangForThought
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I hear Ukrainian is very close to Polish, and Russian is kinda close as well.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Michal_90
Michal_90
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Russian is actually the most different from all west and east slavic languages. Polish is generally west slavic language and as such it belongs to the same group as Czech and Slovak, but Polish differs from those two. The main difference is in my opinion in phonology and ortography which makes mutual understanding problematic (Czech and Slovak are almost 100% mutually intelligible). From my experience Polish and Slovak people understand themselves better than Poles and Czech. Also Polish is quite close to two neighbouring east Slavic languages - Ukrainian and Belarusian. Ukrainian is quite close in terms of vocabulary and Belarusian both vocabulary and phonetics. Russian as another east slavic language is also related to all those languages, but the differences are bigger.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LangForThought
LangForThought
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Thanks for the comparison! But the key word from my comment is "kinda" haha I only said they were kinda close because Russian and Polish (and Ukrainian) are all Slavic nonetheless. I completely understand the differences because I've studied Russian for a while and looked into Polish, but there are some similarities due to simply sharing Slavic roots.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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If you mean a language you can study here on Duolingo, your best bet is to do the reverse (English for Polish speakers) course.

The closest to learn from English as the base language is Ukrainian, and there are certainly some things Slavic languages have in common you'll figure out, but if your passion is for Polish, I'd suggest your best investment is the reverse course.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
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I would say Silesian, Kashubian, Lower Sorbian, Slovak, Czech, Upper Sorbian, Ukrainian may be the closest languages to Polish. (Roughly in that order, perhaps.)

Of those, only Ukrainian is currently on Duolingo for English as a base language.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mwyaren
mwyaren
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personally I would swap Kashubian and Silesian. Kashubian is recognised as a separate Lechitic language, but Silesian's status as a language is highly disputable; most linguists consider it a dialect of Polish. the reason for this is the degree of mutual intelligibility - Silesian is pretty much a borderland Polish given its own spelling, while Kashubian seems to be something else entirely.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
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Thanks! I'll update my comment based on yours and jgstcd's, I think.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jgstcd
jgstcd
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Czech is much closer to Polish than Ukrainian is, and Upper Sorbian should be somewhere in between Lower Sorbian and Ukrainian in the list, though I haven't had enough exposure to it to be sure where to place it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/greg.mort
greg.mort
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I'd have to disagree on that. IMO they are about the same "distance" from polish, maybe slight edge towards Czech because of the Latin script. But "much closer"? Nah... :)

I grew up with Ukrainian and Polish (mainly passive comprehension) and when I dabbled in Slovak I was able to understand a great deal from the get-go. When I tried to learn Czech a year later, I was mostly lost for about a month, and that's with fairly decent Slovak comprehension under my belt. Yes, it did "click in" after a while and now, sometimes, I forget which one I'm listening to, Slovak or Czech :)

One story that I heard, is about a group of foreigners who went to Czechia, Slovakia and Poland for student exchange program. After some time passed studying languages of their host countries they went to one big conference where all three languages were spoken. Only students from Slovakia were able to understand both Polish and Czech, other two groups had to use English even in basic conversation, as those from Czech Republic had hard time with Polish language and students from Poland couldnt understand Czech speakers.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Michal_90
Michal_90
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Actually I've heard a few times that Slovak is something like slavic Esperanto - everyone can understand it :)

I agree with Ukrainian, which is at least in terms of vocabulary probably closer to Polish than Czech. But I wouldn't forget about Belarusian. When I learned the language for a while I found pronounciation very similar to Polish.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ingmar65536
ingmar65536
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Medžuslovjanski is the real "Slavic Esperanto", especially in its Slovianto form http://steen.free.fr/interslavic/slovianto.html

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
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Thanks.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Michal_90
Michal_90
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As mentioned below, it depends what do you consider to be separate language. There are also very strong German influences in some of those especially Silesian. I once bought newspaper in this language near Opole in Poland called "Ślůnski Cajtůng" (Zeitung means "newspaper" in German").

And if you mention those languages, don't forget about Rusyn :) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rusyn_language

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/I_Love_Poland

Thanks to everybody who has helped! I think that since I already know some Polish, I am going to try Ukrainian for English speakers. You have all been a great help!

2 years ago
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