Learning a Slavic language

Is it a day when you’ve decided to learn a new language? And probably if you’re reading this article, you’re thinking about a Slavic one. As a native speaker of two Slavic languages I think I can motivate you to act! In this article I will give you just general information about several Slavic languages.

The difference between Russian, Ukrainian, Polish.

Some people say that Polish is very difficult to learn, but it depends on your mother tongue. For example, for me it was easy but other people can hardly pronounce Polish words. Everything is relative, but once you start, the rest of Slavic languages will be less difficult for you. You should try! 

It can be confusing to learn new Cyrillic alphabet and new sounds, so you should really pay attention to this. Repeat every time when you hear a new word. In some Ukrainian words, for example, the meaning of a words changes depending on the stress, for example: плачУ – плАчу (I pay – I cry), оргАн – Орган (musical instrument – part of body).

Russian Grammar Cases

You also will need to learn cases and it can be confusing for you. But there are good news about the tenses, we use three grammar tenses. Look at Russian examples:

Case

Masculine

who ? / what ?

Feminine

who ? / what ?

Neutral

what ?

nominative

студент / стол

подруга / вода

яблоко

genitive

студента / стола

подруги / воды

яблока

dative

студенту / столу

подруге / воде

яблоку

accusative

студента / стол

подругу / воду

яблоко

instrumental

студентом / столом

подругой / водой

яблоком

prepositional

студенте / столе

подруге / воде

яблоке

Here is examples of tenses that you need to know:

Я слушаю музыкуЯ (по*)слушал музыкуЯ (послушаю*) буду слушать музыку

         Present                             Past                                              Future

* perfective form of the verb

Importance of prefixes in Polish

Prefixes can change the meaning of a word. Let’s take the Polish word “to walk”chodzić : podchodzić (to walk up) – wychodzić (to go out) – przychodzić (to come) odchodzić (to walk away) – zachodzić (go down)

By the way, if you want to learn Polish, I can recommend these series of books “Hurra!!! Po Polsku”. You can check it out here

Also check out a great Polish dictionary, where you can find words conjugation as well http://pl.bab.la/

Remember, if you operate at least one Slavic language, you’ll be able to understand a little some other languages of this group. Of course there is always a problem when you can’t find enough materials to learn “less popular” languages. For that you can use well known Duolingo, Memrise, italki and later try to find a language partner to talk with.

For those who learn Belarusian

Here is a great project of Belarusian guys who made a calendar where you can learn new words, the names of the months in Belarusian. For example, for the month of September you can learn some school vocabulary. You can download this application for you phone (Android and iOS).

vokl_web

Here is the link

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