Duolingo is the most popular way to learn languages in the world. Best of all, it's 100% free!

https://www.duolingo.com/leolevy111

comparing the slavic languages

does anyone know how similar czech is to polish, or czech to ukranian? how about russian?

2 years ago

13 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/wombatua
wombatua
  • 25
  • 25
  • 19
  • 14
  • 13
  • 13
  • 13
  • 12
  • 12
  • 6
  • 5
  • 2
  • 1909

Ukrainian and Russian (and Belarusian) are East Slavic; Polish (and Czech and Slovak) is West Slavic. They're all somewhat similar as Slavic languages, but those in the same subfamilies will be more similar.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jakub4096
jakub4096
  • 21
  • 14
  • 12
  • 9
  • 8

I, as a Slovak native speaker, can understand Czech perfectly and Polish fairly well. But I've heard and also experienced that Czechs (mainly young) can't understand Slovak that well and Polish even worse. Ukrainian and Russian are more different and therefore Czechs can only understand some words.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/iwc2ufan
iwc2ufan
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 21
  • 21
  • 20
  • 17
  • 17
  • 15
  • 14
  • 13
  • 10
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 5
  • 5
  • 5
  • 3
  • 1429

Polish is similar enough to Slovak that my Polish speaking husband could explain something to someone Slovak speaking and they understood each other - not perfectly, but with some effort. Russian is related, but not anywhere near that close. My husband understands bit and bobs of Russian, but couldn't easily communicate with a Russian. Ukrainian is quite close to Russian (I say from studying them both here - they seem to have more in common with each other than Polish). That said, there are definitely plenty of obviously related words between the three.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kimonocrazy
kimonocrazy
  • 15
  • 15
  • 9
  • 9
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 28

I was told by one of my Polish friends that he could watch Czech cartoons without needing subtitles and he understood all of it. He knew not one word of Czech.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DuoFlash
DuoFlash
  • 25
  • 14
  • 11
  • 10
  • 9
  • 7
  • 7
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

I understand Slovak very well and I can usually make out the basics of Russian, Ukrainian, and Polish. Czech, on the other hand, is so similar to Slovak, that I could live there and not have to learn the language since most Czechs understand Slovak.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Viersch
Viersch
  • 15
  • 11
  • 9
  • 6
  • 4
  • 2

Czech is strange for Poles because there are many confusing translations for words. For example May in Czech sounds like April in Polish.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/leolevy111

are they otherwise mutually inteligible?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/widle
widle
  • 23
  • 11
  • 9

Not really. From what I've heard, Poles understand Czech better than the other way around, but still not very well.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Viersch
Viersch
  • 15
  • 11
  • 9
  • 6
  • 4
  • 2

For instance: Czech válka means war (wojna in Polish) and Czech vojna means the services. There's a word in Polish walka and it means fight.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Queen_of_Antiva

Also strawberry: in Czech it's jahoda, which sounds similar to polish jagoda (blueberry). Now imagine trying to buy strawberry ice cream, while the salesman is trying to sell you the blueberry ones :D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/schmidzy
schmidzy
  • 25
  • 17
  • 17
  • 15
  • 12
  • 10
  • 88

But these are all relatively small differences, in the larger scope of things. Are Polish and Czech mutually intelligible? Not entirely. But they are very closely related in terms of vocabulary, grammar, etc.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/broca23

I was looking for the lexical distance map that is linked in the first sentence but I found a newer one which I'm linking. These diagrams aren't perfect but it nice for those who want to get a visual sense of how similar various languages are.

https://alternativetransport.wordpress.com/2015/05/05/34/

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/leolevy111

thanks.

2 years ago