Slavic languages


Heh, I’ve also studied ancient Greek. Two years after completing my computer science studies, just because I could and I already knew all the letters from mathematics and physics… :grin:


I believe this all would be of great interest to @Millie, my dear twitter friend and also SSiW-er. They say for her she’s a walking dictionary so this debate might be interesting. What about changing the topic name into “Polyglot discussion”? :slight_smile: I just love this topic … :slight_smile:

To be honest I don’t listen to much German speach aside of occassional music I don’t have so little in my computer. And, yes, articles are the most hard work to do and to be honest again, I many times just pretend I know a lot about it but I actually don’t. When (if) I speak I just go with the flow and say what comes first to my mind having in my head that first feeling is always the best and the right one. Speaking it is quite challenging too due all those “r” sounds and when I learnt to properly say them I’ve got myself into 2 or 3 kind of flues due to trying really hard to say with “r” properly. I more or less masterred this but when tough words are in position to say, I tend to fail a bit … It sounds a bit awkward but (interestingly enough) I don’t mind too miuch.

@tygerc I’ve tried to learn some Czech and I even bougt myself a book (how language sounds was easy to cope for me so I didn’t need audio material for that matter but since this book didn’t contain keys/solutions of exercises so I could proove my work, I dropped out of studying it.

Well, interestingly enough, in our middle schools almost everywhere we have to choose two foreign languages to study for at least a year but there is not aincient Greek or Latin in that programe. Only high school (we call “gimnazija”) holds Latin in its program.


Catrin would tell you the chances of getting me to sing anywhere near a microphone are extraordinarily low (for very good reasons) :sunny:

And the chances of my pronunciation being anywhere near right, after all this time, and considering the initial learning circumstances (which I seem to remember might have involved a recording of the Red Army choir!)…

Aha - here it is!


Oh, do you not sing in a choir? I bet you have extreamly good voice. I imagine you and @catrinlliarjones would make as wonderful singing duet as you make “life” one. :slight_smile: And I’m not kidding about this. :slight_smile:

However, thank you for this recording. I didn’t listen to the proper Russian song for a long time. I love it!


Oh, there seem to be more people who have studied ancient Greek than I thought:) It’s a compulsory language if you choose a high school with a classical profile (liceo classico) as I did, in Italy, but I didn’t think it would be of great interest to people ouside Italy and Greece…

I love this topic, too, and I love the fact that we’re discussing so many different things here. But it’s also very pleasant to know that slavic languages deserved their own topic! So, just in order to keep on topic, I’ve found two translations of classical Russian poems, by M.Y,Lermontov and A.S.Pushkin into Cymraeg. Maybe it will be interesting for someone:smile: I can’t be a judge of the quality of the translations, of course, but it’s still very nice that they exist:smile:

@aran If you’ve learnt the song from the Red Army choir version, your pronunciation must be more correct than that of most of the natives! It is sung with very correct pure sounds.


No offence, I was just kind of joking as we wander off and on topic. The discussion is interesting and we shoudn’t stop though. :slight_smile:


Very interesting discussion! Thankyou, @tatjana for drawing my attention to it.

I cannot imagine not learning languages, it’s such a major part of my life. I am of Welsh origin, but an English native speaker. I have learnt French, German and Italian as foreign languages, and I am a fluent speaker of modern Greek. I love to pick up expressions from other languages and compare them - Tatjana has often given me Slovenian expressions. I am intrigued by the grammar of the Slavic languages, which seem (with the exception of Bulgarian) to have retained much more of the case system than other Indo-European languages have.


Oh, modern Greek seems to be just as difficult as the ancient version! Did you find it very complicated to learn and to become fluent at it? Is it very hard to pronounce? And, if it’s not very personal, why did you decide to learn it?
I’m very interested in it, since my father is of Greek origin and lives in Greece, so it’s kind of part of my heritage and I feel compelled to try to learn it one day…


To be perfectly frank, no, I didn’t find it complicated to learn modern Greek. I enjoyed it. And I think the pronunciation is not at all difficult. There are only two sounds that don’t also exist in English, and the vowel sounds are very similar to those in Italian, although perhaps a little less drawn out.

I should add that I live in Greece, so learning Greek was simply part of everyday life for a while!


Thank you) Does the modern language have the case system still, as the ancient one used to?


There are cases, but not as many.

In modern Greek, there are four cases, but only 3 are of any real importance: nominative, accusative and genitive. There is also vocative, but it is so easy and only affects masculine nouns. The declensions are also less complicated, and some nominative suffixes are the same as accusative.

You said you were Italian - are you still in Italy? It is not far from Greece, and I believe it is easy to get started!


I’m Russian (well, partly - my father is, as I said, Greek) and I live in Belarus. There are not so many learners of modern Greek here, I’m afraid. Though I’m lucky enough to have my father’s side of the family who are all native speakers of Greek and who would gladly help me, if one day I decide to learn it. It’s definitely on my to-do list:smile:
So, just nominative, genitive and accusative and vocative then? Sounds easier than Russian, which has six cases, each very important!


Sorry, I confused you with someone else. Lots of posts on here!

Greek is also good for word order - you can put things in any order, really, and it will make sense. More complicated than English, but simpler than a lot of Slavic languages!


Ooo, ja, same as Sklovene - 6 cases. Some “whisper” there were 7 once but that 7th has been lost in time and there might be only trays of it.


Oh, I did live in Italy for quite a while, so Italian’s much like my second native language.

That’s certainly one of the (few) bright sides of having a highly flective language - the freedom that you have in arranging things inside the sentence. It must be especially unusual for English speakers, since the word order is so fixed in English!

Are they the same as in Russian? Nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, instrumental and prepositional?




In Shona, if I remember correctly, there are 21 cases :sunny:


Phiew! I sometimes have difficulties with those 6 already what about 21. :slight_smile:


Oh, I know now how I will motivate my students who think Russian is the hardest language ever because of its cases. I’ll tell them they’re lucky not to be learning Shona instead:smile:


How fascinating that Shona is a case based language. I wonder how the other grammatical features compare with Indo-European languages (with which I am most familiar).