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Lagom
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Lagom asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 decade ago

Why do slavic languages have to be so hard?

I mean, I can pronounce english and spanish without difficulties(I'm swedish), but polish and russian pronounciation, omg.. like in this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJI6JDAxUd4

Youtube thumbnail

And the grammar is supposed to be really hard as well, russian has three genders and six grammatical cases for example. But aren't they all indo-european languages? why are they so much harder?

Update:

as I said in the question, I am swedish. du kanske borde läsa hela frågan innan du svara? bara en tanke..

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  • 1 decade ago
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    That's a funny question, you've made my day! It's a subject for the mountains of books, but I will try to explain it as simply and short as possible.

    Slavic languages (and to the certain point Baltic ones) are the languages which preserved the original, ancient system of Indo-European Protolanguage more than others. If you have any knowledge of Latin you may not only find the striking similarities in conjugation of verbs and declension of nouns between Latin and Russian, but you can also see that it had much more complicated grammar system. And just one millennium ago the grammar system of Russian, Ukrainian or Bulgarian languages contained more grammar tenses, declensions etc. For instance there were not only singular and plural but also a "double" form for nouns!

    Slavic languages simply preserved the original synthetic system better than Romanic or Germanic languages. There is at least one Slavic language which has lost a lot from its synthetic grammar system through the centuries - it's Bulgarian.

    What is a "synthetic system"?

    There are two major types of Indo-European languages: synthetic and analytic.

    Synthetic languages have well developed complicated system of conjugations and declensions, simply saying - a lot of inflections. But the order of words in a sentence is free.

    Analytic languages haven't cases and conjugations at all, but they have a strongly determined and predictable positions for the words in a sentence - like a subject always stands before a predicate etc.

    You can see that Slavic languages are mostly synthetic and Germanic or Romanic languages are the analytic ones. There aren't "pure" synthetic or analytic languages, there is no "either/or" situation. English, Dutch have some rudimentary system of conjugations, French language preserved it more in written traditional spelling system than in a real spoken language. And there are still own rules of building the sentence (Syntax) in Russian or Polish languages.

    At some point in the past Germanic and Romanic languages started loosing their synthesis, their literally saying flexibility in an exchange for more structure, more analytics in their systems. Why? Nobody knows that. Each language has its own mysterious way of inner development.

    The point is that you can express any thought, any idea or a feeling in each human language. The only difference is which solutions and methods which every language can offer. There is an equal amount of simplicity and complexity in each language, it's just what are you personally used to. That's why learning a different language is a challenge for your brain, a small shock to a system, farewell to clichés and banalities of every day's thinking. It's a rather unexpected way to keep yourself open-minded, but that's the way the life works.

    Good luck!

    BoBoBlackBear, you are a plagiarist, you've stolen 3/4 of my answer. Shame on you.

    Мой ответ содержит необходимую информацию. Если Вы не нашли её, перечитайте мой ответ ещё раз внимательнее. И если Вы переходите на общение по-шведски, приготовьтесь к тому, что Вам могут ответить по-русски.

    Желаю удачи!

    Source(s): all the years I spent studying linguistics
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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    I'm Bulgarian and I should tell you that it's not very easy to learn a Slavic language. First you have to learn a brand new alphabet. Second, the grammar is really hard! But if you learn Serbian, Croatian or other countries on the west of Serbia, you don't have to learn Cyrillic, because they use the Latin alphabet. But if you know the Cyrillic alphabet well, you won't have trouble reading words, because it's written like it's pronounced. I mean that for example if there is an "e" in the end of the word, you read it too (It's not like in English or in other languages when you don't read some letters). Bulgarian and Serbian are very close, and Bulgarian and Macedonian are almost the same ( I'm not going to say why, because some Macedonian brothers won't like what I would write;) ). When you learn one Slavic language, (no matter what it is) you won't have very much trouble understanding other Slavic languages. But if you really want to learn Slavic languages, go ahead! I wish you good luck!

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