https://www.duolingo.com/RayC628481

Czech and Russian

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So I just accidentally tried out Czech, and realized how similar it is to Russian (from the beginner's point of view, anyway). Some of the first words in Czech I don't even need to try to remember them. Wow! It's fascinating.

It makes me wonder if one would interfere another; Russian is the first Slavic language I'm learning. Or will one help another? Considering, I've finished the Russian tree, and have continued on with other learning resources/ started to understand slow and simple dialogs. I guess similar questions can also be asked of Ukrainian, Belarusian, etc...

Thanks

10 months ago

18 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Austrins
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In my opinion and from experience with Russian, Russian has the ability to help with learning other Slavic languages, especially understanding the case system. In regards to one interfering with the other, there's always the slight possibility, but Czech and Russian are different enough that it shouldn't be that difficult. It would be a lot more challenging to learn Russian alongside Belarusian or Ukrainian since they are sometimes considered dialects of each other and are close.

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RayC628481
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Thank you very much for the insight!! You bet I tried Ukrainian right away.

Russian has the ability to help with learning other Slavic languages, especially understanding the case system.

I hope sincerely that I don't have to learn any more cases than Russian already offered... They are a lot of fun already. ))))

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc
Mod
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Only the Vocative. Slavic Vocatives usually end in -e or -i.

Russian completely lost this form, though you can still see the ending in Боже (which is, roughly "Oh my God").

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RayC628481
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Now I finally get how "Боже мой!" is constructed. :) But what about "боженка"?

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc
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Боженька. It is just a mutation, similar to what you have in divide→division. You can see this happening all over the place (e.g., могу/можешь/может, видишь/вижу, ходить/хожу, рука→ручка, нога→ножка, платить/плачу, even постить/пощу and бэкапить/бэкаплю).

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MariellaNebe

Hi. I am Czech and yeah, Slavic languages are very similar. You know, when you speak Czech, there is no problem with Slovak (some words are different, but no problem, really). Polish is very similar too. And Russian - except for the fact, that you have to learn azbuka, it is very similar, althought there are more differences - and some words sounds same but the meaning is absolutely different. There is also something with accent, but when you know it, it's really easy. (In history, everyone in Czech schools had to learn Russian - and take maturita (= leaving examination) from it. My mother did it just because she was speaking Czech with Russian accent (and the fact that she got really good question). )

I think some languages are really similar - do you learn about language structure? Like Indo-European languages are split into several groups and so on.

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RayC628481
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Absolutely, yes I've heard about it. But knowing a few coworkers who are from India - and whose local languages are completely unintelligible to each other including their writing system - I really wonder how that tree works... lol

From personal experience. Chinese is full of local dialects which can be seen as complete different languages. I've made another post earlier explaining - it's actually harder to learn Cantonese as a Mandarin speaker because the sound of every single word change drastically. And knowing that English and German have similar words, etc., in that sense I know they are a "family" - if distant relatives. But the Slavic languages, it feels a lot "closer" (again from beginner point of view). I guess that's what got me really excited. :)

Cheers

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mereade
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While Mariella is certainly partially right and so are others in the thread, I'd like to precise a few things:

The anecdote with maturita with almost no knowledge of the language is not about the two languages being so similar. It is about Russian being so unpopular in the occupied country, that lots of students hated it and so did lots of the teachers, so they just tolerated not really knowing it.

This leads to another thing: don't overestimate the similarities. Yes, there are tons of them. But the number of false friends is rather high (I've bought a fascinating dictionary on them and was rather surprised). Also, while it is hypereasy to understand such a similar language (I take this also from my experience with three romance ones), it takes more time to actively and correctly use it and that can be discouraging. I don't mean to discourage you, but it is just something to keep on mind.

They are still two different languages and should be treated so (it is the same as when you are learning several romance ones). And be careful that sounding too Russian can be perceived very negatively in the Czech Republic, for lots of good reasons. Don't count on Czechs being excited you speak a similar language. Learn Russian to communicate with Russians, that is definitely worth it, there are tons of great Russian culture to enjoy. But don't make the typical mistake many americans do, that they assume Russian is a language you can use in half europe as a lingua franca, because you cannot.

Don't worry too much about the interference. The more you study and practice, the less interference. I know it from learning a few romance languages. A tip: listen a lot. That will help.

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RayC628481
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Gotcha. Thanks for the background on this. Much appreciated!

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/david_cieszyn
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I am also learning both languages here, but its even easier for me as a native Polish speaker (and even more with Czech cause I speak Cieszyn dialect that is transitional to Czech). I already discovered features present in both Russian and Czech but absent in Polish. For example 'kolik' in Czech and 'skolka' in Russian, very different from Polish equivalent 'ile' (or Cieszyn 'wiela'). The first 'false friend' I stumbled upon is úžasný and Ужасный, that have opposite meanings (btw. interestingly there is no such a word in Polish that would sound like that). I also wonder what is the origin of Russian 'у меня́ есть' that I think exists only there and not in Ukrainian or any other language I heard of.

My plan was to learn Croatian later and hopefully understand all the rest Slavic languages.

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexeyGolo4

No a nesmis rict "szukac" kdyz jsi v czechach. :-) You right, Russian has some constructions that never used in other Slavic languages. "'у меня́ есть' " came from Urals languages , then very few of modal verbs (like "должен" instead of "mam, musim" ) , more simple past tense construction "Я сделал" - "Ja jsem udelal" , recursive verbs and etc.

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/david_cieszyn
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Toto jsem už dobřé znal :)

And thanks for explanations, what other uralic influences are there?

With muset (pl. musieć) I think I've once heard it was borrowed from German 'müssen'... or vice versa, or not... I'm not sure. Speaking of German I believe Czech used to have many many more borrowings from that language, but they cleansed it away. Which would mean muset is not really from German, meh. And basically now learning it I was surprised how much less English borrowings they use compared to Polish.

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3
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The Ukrainian course here teachers "у мене э".

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/danikgap
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Slavic languages are extremely similar since they split into separate languages relatively recently. Learning Russian will probably help to understand the case system of the Slavic and help with the vocab.Keep in mind though, that Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian (Eastern Slavic subgroup) are more similar to each other than to Polish, Czech, etc.(Western Slavic subgroup). It's great to read up on history of the languages that you are learning, it helps with the Why's and the What's.

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexeyGolo4

being a native Russian speaker I didn't understand other Slavic languages except of some basics. But then I learned Czech and now can easy understand Polish, Slovak, Croatian, Ukrainian and etc.

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cerez00
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You might get them confused since they're so similar if you're learning them at the same time. However if you master Russian and then go back to Czech it would help you learn a bit, but that's just what I think.

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/slogger
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Like cerez00 I think that studying at a lower level 2 Slavic languages at the same time would be likely to cause confusion between finer points of grammar where the languages differ, which is why, although my Russian is fairly good (especially reading), I've not yet taken up Czech, Polish, or Slovak, all of which I'd like to learn

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LICA98
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I'm a native Russian speaker and I think that Czech is probably the most distant Slavic language to Russian (for example Polish is much closer) but it's still quite similar

10 months ago
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