PDA

View Full Version : Learning Slavic languages.



Decimator
2009-11-17, 01:22
Hey Cail, do you think that from a Romance speaker perspective (like myself) it would be too hard for me to learn Russian (or any other Slavic language)? I already can read a little cyrillic. I need to learn an additional language for graduating from University and I'm thinking in Russian

Cail
2009-11-17, 01:42
Hey Cail, do you think that from a Romance speaker perspective (like myself) it would be too hard for me to learn Russian (or any other Slavic language)? I already can read a little cyrillic. I need to learn an additional language for graduating from University and I'm thinking in Russian

Russian, Polish, Czech etc are similiar, and difficulty level is the same. South Slavic are a bit easier, Bulgarian is the easiest (it doesn't have the characteristic Slavic "insane" grammar). But from the "usability/advantage" point of view i'd definetely go Russian, since southern Slavic are pretty much useless in this aspect. Also, after learning Russian you could learn Ukrainian, Polish or even Czech pretty fast.

As for the difficulty - well, it's certainly more difficult then English, and somewhat more difficult than German, but easier then, say, Finnish or Japanese. Or Chinese ofc (which is unlearnable for Europeans).
Cyrrilic isn't hard at all - it's a simple system just like latinic, not some weird hieroglyphs. As a Romance speaker you have a bonus in pronounce aspect - Slavic sounds are often similiar with Romance (except French), unlike Germanic ones.

If you knew some Latin, it would be quite helpful, since Russian's (and other Slavic) grammar (which is the hardest part) has a lot in common with Latin's - same cases, declinations etc. Romance languages had lost it over time, while Slavic didn't.

If you have any futher questions or need help in studying - just ask :).

Decimator
2009-11-17, 01:51
I still retain some basics from Latin Declinations from my Etimology class in high school. Actually I find russian to be easier to read than for example, Polish or Czech with their endless szcszoszki combinations

Cail
2009-11-17, 02:38
I still retain some basics from Latin Declinations from my Etimology class in high school. Actually I find russian to be easier to read than for example, Polish or Czech with their endless szcszoszki combinations

Well it's just a matter of orthography, or an alphabet. Actual sounds are same. But, as much as you have to learn Cyrillic for Russian, you must also learn Polish Latinic for Polish, because it differs from standard Latinic quite a lot.

Polish-Czech-Cyrillic-Standard Latinic:

Cz - Č - Ч - Ch
Sz - Š - Ш - Sh
Szcz - Šč - Щ - Sch or Shch
Ż - Ž - Ж - Zh

These are core Slavic "hissing" sounds. There are also another variant - Polish had graphemes "Rz" and "Dz", which etymologically correspond to Russian common R(Р) and D(Д), but became "hissing" in Polish with time - Rz is "Ш/Sh" or "Ж/Zh", while "Dz" is same as "J" in English "John" or "Jam".

Thus, for example, your combination "szcszoszki" would be simply "щoчки" in Russian (actuall Russian cognate is "щёчки"), or "shchochki" in standard Latinic.