Russians Understand other Slavic languages

Russian belongs to the Slavic language group. But can Russian people understand other Slavs?

We already wrote previously that the number of people who understand Russian in the world is quite large. Moreover, many Slavs who don’t speak Russiancan still understand a lot of the Russian spoken and written language.

But do Russians understand other Slavs?

Belarusian and Ukrainian Languages

By a rough estimate, Russian-speaking people can understand up to 70% of spoken and written Belarusian and Ukrainian languages. Those words that Russian-speaking people do not understand are usually supplemented by context.

Many words that do not match often sound or written in a similar way: a “person” in the Ukrainian language sounds like cholovik, and in Russian as chelovek.

Bulgarian, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, Polish, Czech languages…

According to some estimates in the case with these Slavic languages, the ​​percentage of understanding speech and text falls down to about 30%. So, some is understandable, but there might be problems with explaining things or understanding more complex topics.

Yet this knowledge is sufficient enough to explain yourself in everyday situations in the absence of a common language.

Of course, some languages are closer to ​​Russian in written form, others – in spoken language.

Reciprocal Linguistic Borrowing

Many Russian words can be heard in other Slavic languages.

But Slavic languages ​​too left their mark in the Russian language with a number of words.

Sometimes these words become commonly used, but more often they become slang common in certain small groups.

For example, the Ukrainian word “to flee” (tikay) is widely used in some areas of Russia as slang.

Russian word “to beg” (klyanchit ‘) came from the Polish language – klęczeć.

Russian word vampire (upyr ‘) came from the Croatian language – upir.

Even without knowing another language Slavs can still find understanding when talking about generally discussed subjects.


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