https://www.duolingo.com/lukas_hv

What is special about each Slavic language?

lukas_hv
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Hello, everybody! I am learning Polish, and I want to know what you think makes each Slavic language different. Something special about every language.

2 years ago

24 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/muscletwink
muscletwink
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Well I guess for Polish it's the nasal sounds - which have been lost in all the other Slavic languages by the way - represented by the letters "ą" and "ę".

Czech/Slovak = the stress always falling on the first syllable, as well as the unique way they tend to "extend" their endings when they speak. Also for Czech the letter " ř "

Bulgarian/Macedonian = have lost their cases (except in some words and fixed expressions), but have replaced them with an intricate tense system, comparable to that of English/French/Spanish.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/keaves27

Bulgarian didn't actually 'replace' its noun system with a verbal tense system - it retained Proto-Slavic's system but lost its noun case system, whereas most other Slavic languages retained the complicated noun cases but simplified or lost the verb tenses.

Of course, nobody speaks Proto-Slavic, and nobody ever wrote it down, so I guess nobody actually knows for sure. But that's the generally accepted theory.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/muscletwink
muscletwink
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Yes, you're absolutely right. I meant "replaced" like "replaced the difficulty". Because often you'll hear that Bulgarian is the easiest Slavic language, which is not entirely true because of all the tenses. And there's also this inferential/renarrative mood thing...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Yamarrin
Yamarrin
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For Slovenian, I'd say it's the fact that it has three numbers. Besides "singular" and "plural", it also still has the "dual" number that is used when you talk about - or to - exactly two people, which means it has a bunch of extra declensions and verb conjugations :).

Also, two-digit numbers are read like in German, which means that, for example, "тридцать два" becomes "dvaintrideset".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lukas_hv
lukas_hv
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Fun fact: several Norwegian dialects also read numbers like that. The standard is "femtito", but many people, especially older people from more rural parts of the country, say "to-og-femti".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Yamarrin
Yamarrin
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That's interesting. Do you maybe know if it is a common thing in other North Germanic languages as well? I think I'm correct in saying that Slovenian is the only Slavic language that does this.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lavendeltee
lavendeltee
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Swedish does not do so (don't know about the dialects, but the "normal" rule is reading the numbers like in English), but Dutch does, though it is not a North Germanic language, but also a Germanic one.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lordhajius

In Danish, two digit numbers are also read in reverse of the obvious, e.g. tooghalvtreds = 2 & 50 = 52.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/David483540
David483540
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In German, once you get past 20, you start counting "one and twenty" (ein und zwanzig) until you reach "nine and ninety" (neun und neunzig).

The Anglo-Saxons in Old English used a similar system, which changed to our current counting system in Middle English, thanks to the Normans. For fans of "Lord of the Ring," Old English for 110 was hundendleofontiġ (hundred-eleventy) and 120 was hundtwelftiġ (hundred-twelvety).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bookworm_lang

My native language is Bosnian, and what's really funny about that language, is that if you know Bosnian you'll be able to understand Croatian and Serbian language as well. They're really similar.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lavendeltee
lavendeltee
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In our university, there has even been a BCS course where these languages were taught in a triple package :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bookworm_lang

Really? That's amazing to hear! People are not really interested in learning them :/

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lavendeltee
lavendeltee
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I knew a guy who was enrolled into this course and he felt absolutely happy :) I think these languages just need more promotion!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bookworm_lang

Oh yeah they do, and I don't know is it just me, or they sound really pretty. Not that hard as Polish or Russian hahaha :')

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lavendeltee
lavendeltee
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Oh... I love Polish, it sounds really lovely for me.
Can't say anything about Russian as a native speaker but my husband indeed mentions that it sounds hard for an extern person.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/muscletwink
muscletwink
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Why are they easier than Polish or Russian ? Could you elaborate on that ?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Adiatorix
Adiatorix
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What is really the difference between the three languages, and the three peoples that speak them?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/arcusimpetus

There is no difference between the languages (other than superficial differences similar to the ones you'd find between American and British English, or between Brazilian and European Portuguese); the distinction is purely political. The fact that someone who speaks "Bosnian" can completely understand someone who speaks "Croatian" should tip you off to that.

A Bosnian who says he speaks "Bosnian" is like an American who says he speaks "American."

As for the differences between the three peoples . . . well, they fought whole wars over that.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/arcusimpetus

They're mutually intelligible, because the distinction between the "Serbo-Croatian" languages is purely political.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PikaPunkt
PikaPunkt
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Slovenian has dual. Otherwise it is quite similar to Croatian/Bosnian/Serbian. Slovenian speakers are a bit more likely to understand the three than the other way around. This is due to our common Yugoslav history (Serbo-Croatian was the primary common language) and, to a degree, tourism, but less so (in both directions) with each passing generation. We have fewer interesting letters (only č, š, ž) and diacritics than most Slavic languages, but to Westerners, the result might still sound like a cacophony of buzzing and clicking consonants with hardly any vowels thrown in there. :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/standelf
standelf
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I remember this song my grandma used to sing to me:

Moj očka 'ma konj'čka dva,
oba sta lepa šimeljna.

I think "dvojina" is really interesting. Serbo-Croatian lost it a long time ago.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/standelf
standelf
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The thing that makes Serbian interesting is the use of pitch accents, making it a tonal language. The sentences like: "Ja sam sam" can be understood correctly if you use pitch accents correctly while speaking. "Gore gore gore gore nego što dole gore dole" is quite a challenge to understand even for native speakers.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/miamoraca

I'm Croatian and it actually took me like a minute to understand lol. Is it supposed to mean that hills that are up are burning worse then dolovi (i don't know how to say this word in English) that are down? But ofcourse ja sam sam means i am alone, that one was easy... Anyways, this was fun lol.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/standelf
standelf
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Recimo da je prevod "Gore lošije gore brda , nego što dole gore doline" Uzgred, ovo je donekle i tačno jer je gore manje kiseonika (kisika) hahaha.

The translation could be: "Up there hills burn worse than valleys down here."

1 year ago
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