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старый 23.08.2006, 08:08   #1
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По умолчанию Slovakia, Slovaks and Slovak

Hi,

I'm moving to Slovakia in a week for studying. As such I have a bunch of questions, but I'd like to know what I should be particularly aware of economically, culturally, linguistically etc.

So if there are any 'weird' things Slovaks do, I'd like to know what they might be, so I don't get too surprised.

Btw. are there any Slovaks here on this forum?

And please, do feel free to just say whatever you might know about this language, people and country. I'm moving to Bratislava to study chemistry, btw. but this first year will only be linguistical and academical preparations.

Thanks
старый 23.08.2006, 14:41   #2
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I have not seen too many Slovaks, so I must rely on what they (or Czechs) say.
Thus I have an impression that a Slovak in general is less formal and less "broody" than a Czech. The latter acts after a long and painful consideration, the former may just produce an outburst. There is more of a German in a Czech, whereas Slovak's mentality got something from a Hungarian.
старый 23.08.2006, 23:04   #3
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По умолчанию hej hej

So, you'd like to get to know something about Slovaks. Well...
Actually, I am in the Czech republic now and only have possibilities to communicate with Czechs. Nevertheless, there are lots of Slovaks here, as well. As far as I know, Czechs and Slovaks are very similar, as well as their languages which are almost the same.

Now... What can I tell you about these people? I cannot find any really considerable peculiarities about them. They resemble Russians and Ukrainians, and this says a lot. The major thing about them is the way to communicate. This way is open. I mean, for example, whenever you stop someone on a street and ask for directions, you'll be helped even if they don't speak your language. Everybody seems to be trying to help others the whole time. I remember how me and my friends were going somewhere by tram and got lost for the tram's line had changed. So, the whole crowd in the wagon were trying to explain to us where we'd move in order to get to our destination point. That is very typical and describes Czechs best, I guess. THEY TRY TO HELP.

What about the language. Slovak and Czech are very close to each other. For instance, I understand slovaks just perfectly. Nevertheless, Slovak sounds softer than Czech for it has more softened consonants. In general, the language is simple enough.

The system of phonemes is quite simple and contains no sounds difficult to say. They are best to be learnt from native speakers (books do not help here - you've gotta hear that).

Slovak grammar is typical for Slavonic languages.
Nouns have 3 genders, 2 numbers, and 7 cases (including the Vocative) and a great number of declension patterns (that is difficult even for Russians).
The same number of cases (without the Vocative) is typical for pronouns.
Adjectives are inflected according to gender, number, and case. They agree with the noun they modify.
Verbs have 3 tenses (Past, Present, Future), 3 persons, 2 numbers, 2 aspects (Perfect and Imperfect), 3 moods (Indicative, Subjunctive (only 1 form), and Imperative), and 3 voices (including the inflected middle voice).
That is the most general information I can give about this language.

See ya!
старый 26.08.2006, 12:26   #4
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One little remark: I guess that there is no Vocative case in Slovak. So I am sorry for giving wrong information.
старый 27.08.2006, 03:28   #5
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Hi.

Hmm, regn, I suppose you're Ukrainian since you live in Ľvov? (very hard to learn to pronunce btw. hehe)

Yes, I've been reading about Slovak, and it doesn't use Vocative case. Not anymore at least.

And btw. thanks for the info.

I only have one sound, that annoys me: ô. As best as I can understand, it's pronunce something like 'wo'. So, 'stôl' is pronunced 'stwol'. Is this right?

And what about šč? Is it separated as in Serbian or pronunced as one sound as in Ukrainian?

I'd like to know more about Bratislavans themselves. How is their 'attitude' so to speak towards foreigners?

Ehm, that's all I have for now. Btw. wish me luck. Only about 80 hours before I go + 24 more hours until I fly to Blava.
старый 27.08.2006, 22:35   #6
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I've been to Slovakia (at that time within Czeckoslovakia) back in 1986. Real good impressions! People are nice, friendly, not at all snobbish or 'weird' as you put it. Their language is very close to Ukranian, so I had no problems communicating even with those who did not speak Russian -- though they were real few. And in a couple of weeks I am sending my mom to a balneologic resort there relying on an experience of her friend who came very happy from such a trip!

One more thing: when in Bratislava, do not fail to bump into the Mammut -- the allegedly biggest beer restaurant in Europe, featuring traditional Slovak quisine, by the way!
старый 28.08.2006, 15:58   #7
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jpdfo1982,
I'll try to answer your questions.
(1) ô is rather a diphtong: you start with "u", continue and finish with "o", the second part is more stressed. But the first part is not a consonant "w" !
(2) šč. What do you mean by this ? Any examples ? There is št', which etymologically corresponds to the Russian "щ" and is pronounced like it is written, "separately", if you wish.
Mayhaps
http://www.slovak.com/language/phrases/phrases.html
will appear useful for you.
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