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Mutusen sa učí slovenčinu - UniLang

Mutusen sa učí slovenčinu

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Mutusen
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Mutusen sa učí slovenčinu

Postby Mutusen » 2011-01-14, 15:27

Dobrý deň! I will probably spend the summer in Bratislava, so it would be a good idea to learn Slovak. I like Slavic language and I think Slovak sounds nice. I tried to learn Polish and I know a few Czech words, so it might help (unless I mix the languages).

I open this thread to ask questions and to try to write in Slovak (later, I'm not able yet). I found a PDF copy of Colloquial Slovak, but it's hard to find resources about this language. I'll try to look for books in French, but unfortunately there's no Assimil for Slovak.

So here are my first questions about pronunciation:
  • how is dcéra pronounced? Like *céra?
  • Is there a difference between ne/nie, te/tie, etc?
  • Is the D in deň soft?
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Re: Mutusen sa učí slovenčinu

Postby kotrcka » 2011-01-14, 16:15

Mutusen wrote:So here are my first questions about pronunciation:
  • how is dcéra pronounced? Like *céra?
  • Is there a difference between ne/nie, te/tie, etc?
  • Is the D in deň soft?


1. Yes, the "D" letter is very weak

2. there is no "ne" as an alternative to "nie", so I do not know, what exactly do you mean. "Ne" is "no" in czech language, it means nothing in slovak

3. Yes, there is a rule in slovak, that "de/te/ne/le" and ""di/ti/ni/li" is soft, so you read it like "ďe/ťe/ňe/ľe" and "ďi/ťi/ňi/ľi" and you do not have to (or, to be exact, you CAN NOT :-) ) add "ˇ" on it.

So for example, deň = ďeň (day), deti = ďeti (kids).

But, even if it is a rule, there are words, which you have to read hard - example "list" (letter).
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Re: Mutusen sa učí slovenčinu

Postby Mutusen » 2011-01-14, 17:48

kotrcka wrote:2. there is no "ne" as an alternative to "nie", so I do not know, what exactly do you mean. "Ne" is "no" in czech language, it means nothing in slovak

I wondered if, for instance, nie in nie som and ne- in nemám have the same pronunciation.

kotrcka wrote:3. Yes, there is a rule in slovak, that "de/te/ne/le" and ""di/ti/ni/li" is soft, so you read it like "ďe/ťe/ňe/ľe" and "ďi/ťi/ňi/ľi" and you do not have to (or, to be exact, you CAN NOT :-) ) add "ˇ" on it.

So for example, deň = ďeň (day), deti = ďeti (kids).

But, even if it is a rule, there are words, which you have to read hard - example "list" (letter).

Thank you. I was not sure because D is hard in some common words like jeden, so I thought it might be in deň too.
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Re: Mutusen sa učí slovenčinu

Postby kotrcka » 2011-01-14, 18:00

Yes, jeden is the same as list - breaking the rule.

And oposite words with "ne" prefix are always soft - like neviem, nemám, neurobím, etc. Nie is also soft N.
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Re: Mutusen sa učí slovenčinu

Postby silmeth » 2011-01-18, 21:25

I'm not a Slovak expert (well, I speak some Czech, and besides I read some about Slovak).

Anyway, as far as I know, "nemám" is pronounced [ˈɲɛmaːm] and "nie" is pronounced [ɲi.e], thus there is difference. In "ne", "ni", "de", "ti" and similar you have one syllable with soft consonant, in "nie", "die", "tie" you have two syllables and soft consonant, the "i" sound is pronounced.

But a native speaker needs to verify what I'm saying.

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Re: Mutusen sa učí slovenčinu

Postby kwalijkje » 2011-01-19, 9:02

Dobry den,
Lucky you, spending the summer in Bratislava. It's a great city. Party-slava, as the tourist board there called it for a while. :P

I found a PDF copy of Colloquial Slovak, but it's hard to find resources about this language.


If you can get hold of Basic Slovak by Jozef Mistrik, it is the best book I've found for learning Slovak so far. It's heavy on the grammar, but it also has an indispensible vocabulary.

Also, knowing some Czech words will also be really helpful to be understood. Even though they're not Slovak, most Slovakians understand Czech.

Vsetko najlepsie :-)

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Re: Mutusen sa učí slovenčinu

Postby Mutusen » 2011-01-23, 12:50

Thanks everyone for your answers.

Does anyone know a website which conjugates/declines any Slovak verb/noun/adjective? Something like this website for French verbs.

Also, are there good online dictionaries? I'm using this one, but it doesn't indicate the gender of nouns or if the verbs are perfective/imperfective.
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Re: Mutusen sa učí slovenčinu

Postby kwalijkje » 2011-01-23, 13:01

I've tried high and low to find one that does a job like that. I used to use one for Dutch when I was learning it. But I've never found one for Slovak.

However, Slovak has a lovely system of rules that it sticks to almost all the time. And wiki deals with it fairly comprehensively. :-)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slovak_language#Verbs

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Re: Mutusen sa učí slovenčinu

Postby Mutusen » 2011-01-24, 12:34

Thanks, this link is interesting.

I have two more questions. First, is oni animate or only human? (I wonder how it works in Slovak; Polish sometimes distinguishes between personal and non-personal animate: for male animals, the singular accusative is like the singular genitive, but the plural accusative is like the plural nominative.)

Also, in the sentence Učím sa slovenčinu, apparently both sa and slovenčinu are in the accusative. How can a verb have two direct objects? (Polish uses the genitive in this case, eg Uczę się polskiego.)
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Re: Mutusen sa učí slovenčinu

Postby silmeth » 2011-01-24, 13:16

Mutusen wrote:Thanks, this link is interesting.

I have two more questions. First, is oni animate or only human? (I wonder how it works in Slovak; Polish sometimes distinguishes between personal and non-personal animate: for male animals, the singular accusative is like the singular genitive, but the plural accusative is like the plural nominative.)



Again, what I say, needs verification, but:
I believe Slovak can treat masculine animate impersonal nouns both ways - like Polish - and it is more natural (and probably the farer to the east, the more natural is the 'Polish way') and like Czech language. Czech language doesn't make any difference between masc. anim. impersonal and personal - they both get the form analogous to Polish personal, so "oni", "ti", and accusative is always the same as the genitive. But this is, AFAIK, quite rare in Slovak.

Still, there is some possibility that I remember wrongly how Slovak treats these words, so better wait for reply from anyone who really knows Slovak.

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Re: Mutusen sa učí slovenčinu

Postby kwalijkje » 2011-01-24, 13:25

Oni is masculine animate. Everything else takes ony.

Also, in the sentence Učím sa slovenčinu, apparently both sa and slovenčinu are in the accusative. How can a verb have two direct objects? (Polish uses the genitive in this case, eg Uczę się polskiego.)


I guess technically 'sa' is accusative, but it's a reflexive pronoun, which permits two direct objects. Think of it like a split infinitive, 'sa' is inextricably part of the verb. In a dictionary you'd find the verb under 'ucit' sa'. There's a whole bunch of verbs in Slovak like this. As far as I can tell, it's like learning gender in a romance language, no obvious rules, you just have to learn which ones take it. As a rule though, if a verb has no direct object, it usually takes 'sa'. For example, 'Hram futbal,' (I'm playing football) vs. 'Hram sa' (I'm playing).

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Re: Mutusen sa učí slovenčinu

Postby silmeth » 2011-01-24, 13:28

Oni is masculine animate. Everything else takes ony.

But you say "Oni, ti vlci..." or "Ony, ty vlky..."? I heard both are possible in Slovak, but I'm not sure. I'd be happy if someone clarified :P.

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Re: Mutusen sa učí slovenčinu

Postby Mikey93 » 2011-01-24, 19:31

ti psi, vlci, vtaci,......... a tie psy, vlky, vtaky ....... well this is right (in grammar way) but pronounciation could be slightly different.... depends on region :hmm:
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Re: Mutusen sa učí slovenčinu

Postby qwerty » 2011-01-24, 19:39

silmeth wrote:But you say "Oni, tí vlci..." or "Ony, tie vlky..."? I heard both are possible in Slovak, but I'm not sure. I'd be happy if someone clarified :P.

You are right, both are possible, but they are used in different contexts. Usually, when talking about wolves, you really mean the animals, so you say "tie vlky (=ony)". However, if you say "tí vlci (=oni)", you put an emphasis on the "animate" aspect of the subject (as kwalijkje mentioned before). The difference is not that obvious in this case - as for me, I do not think I have ever heard or read "tí vlci" in my whole life. The same rule, however, holds for other animals, for example "tí býci/tie býky", "tí psi/tie psy", "tí vtáci/tie vtáky", and the last two I think really show the difference: expression "tie psy" denotes simply any dogs you are talking about, while "tí psi" is used mostly in literature as an insulting, disdainful way of addressing people. Something similar for "tí vtáci/tie vtáky": "tie vtáky" - animals, "tí vtáci" - people, but this time it indicates something noble. Well, enough of it, I will not bother you with any more details ;) I hope I made it a bit clearer.
One more thing to add: you do not need to use "tí" and "tie", these are just demonstrative pronouns. (You probably know that, this is just to make sure everyone does.)

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Re: Mutusen sa učí slovenčinu

Postby qwerty » 2011-01-24, 19:59

kwalijkje wrote:I guess technically 'sa' is accusative, but it's a reflexive pronoun, which permits two direct objects. Think of it like a split infinitive, 'sa' is inextricably part of the verb. In a dictionary you'd find the verb under 'ucit' sa'. There's a whole bunch of verbs in Slovak like this.

Absolutely right, "si" and "sa" are reflexive pronouns. French has reflexive verbs as well, and as far as I remember there are also verbs that can, but do not have to be reflexive - this is the same in Slovak, so Mutusen will probably be okay with it :)

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Re: Mutusen sa učí slovenčinu

Postby Mutusen » 2011-02-04, 17:22

Ďakujem za odpovede. Ešte mám pár otázok o výslovnosti. (Je to správne? :D)

First, I've read that V is pronounced as a short U at the end of a syllable, but I have the impression that it's not always the case. Is the rule more complicated than this or does it depend on the speaker?

Also, I bought a book in French about Slovak (Le slovaque de poche, it's a phrasebook but it looks very good). It has a phonetic transcription to help people with pronounciation, and in some cases, they transcribe the L in li, , le as a soft L. So is the L in words like blízko or stále supposed to be soft? And when I hear Slovak I hear almost no difference between L and Ľ; I've read that the Ľ sound tends to disappear, is it ok if I pronouce it as a normal L?

Also, does väčší sound like väč-ší or *väčí?
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Re: Mutusen sa učí slovenčinu

Postby Mikey93 » 2011-02-10, 16:30

hi! this is called assimilation! this website should answer all of your questions!
http://www.arbeitundleben.de/exchange/0 ... sk_a_1.htm
I hope its clear to you know :)
in colloquial slovak we pronouce Li always soft (ľi) and I think le is pronounced in most cases hardly... well it also depends on region
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Re: Mutusen sa učí slovenčinu

Postby Mutusen » 2011-02-16, 16:20

Thanks, but I already knew about assimilation. I wondered how double consonants should be pronounced in words like mäkký, plynný, bližší, etc. Should I say “bliší” or “bliš-ší”?

Also, I have questions about grammar. First, how do you use pronominal verbs in the past tense? I know that the auxiliary should be in the second position of the sentence, but so does the reflexive pronoun. So how do I say, for instance, “I played”"? Hral som sa? Hral sa som?

And what are the rules about the instrumental case after byť? Here are two sentences taken from Wikipedia:
Slovensko je vnútrozemský štát v strednej Európe.
Slovenská republika je parlamentnou demokraciou.
Why is the instrumental used in the second sentence but not in the first one? Is it mandatory? If it's not, does it change the meaning?

(Polish has a similar rule (which I have not really understood, actually), but I think the instrumental would be used in both sentences in Polish.)
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Re: Mutusen sa učí slovenčinu

Postby qwerty » 2011-02-16, 21:09

Mutusen wrote:First, I've read that V is pronounced as a short U at the end of a syllable, but I have the impression that it's not always the case. Is the rule more complicated than this or does it depend on the speaker?
Hmm... I have been thinking about this for a couple of days and only today I discovered that what you asked about was V at the end of a syllable, not at the end of a word :blush: (I could not think of any example when V at the end of a word is not pronounced U, that is why it took me so long.)
So, to answer your question: when V is followed by vowel, it stays V, and when it is followed by consonant, it is pronounced as a weak U.
(Edit: re-reading this I wondered if it is possible for V to be at the end of a syllable and before a consonant at the same time (in one word)... If it is not, then your rule was right and I am sorry for so much mess for nothing :) )
(Edit2: yes, of course it is possible, I am sorry. And my "rule" above does not seem OK either.)

Mutusen wrote:... in some cases, they transcribe the L in li, lí, le as a soft L. So is the L in words like blízko or stále supposed to be soft? And when I hear Slovak I hear almost no difference between L and Ľ; I've read that the Ľ sound tends to disappear, is it ok if I pronouce it as a normal L?
This is connected with the development of the language. In some cases, "li" and "le" should be soft, or originally were. However, as Mikey93 wrote, nowadays it depends on a particular dialect whether the speakers pronounce it soft. There are also some exceptions, when "li" and "le" must not be pronounced soft, but these are usually words adopted from other languages.
The Ľ sound indeed tends to disappear (at least in some regions), but it is a great pity... There is nothing like the true melodic Slovak pronounciation ;) To sum it up, I should not recommend you to pronounce Ľ always as L, but it would probably make little difference to the Slovaks now and cause you less trouble, so, whatever :)

Mutusen wrote:does väčší sound like väč-ší or *väčí? I wondered how double consonants should be pronounced in words like mäkký, plynný, bližší, etc. Should I say “bliší” or “bliš-ší”?
The double consonants in these words and generally any double consonants are pronounced longer. So it would not be ["väčí"] but ["väčší"], ["blišší"] instead of ["bliší"] etc. (I did not dare to use the International Phonetic Transcription :blush:)

Mutusen wrote:how do you use pronominal verbs in the past tense? I know that the auxiliary should be in the second position of the sentence, but so does the reflexive pronoun. So how do I say, for instance, “I played”"? Hral som sa? Hral sa som?
In these cases the word order is always this. Auxiliary first, then the reflexive pronoun. (Are you learning the past tense yet? You must have made a great progress :y:)

Mutusen wrote:And what are the rules about the instrumental case after byť? Here are two sentences taken from Wikipedia:
Slovensko je vnútrozemský štát v strednej Európe.
Slovenská republika je parlamentnou demokraciou.
Why is the instrumental used in the second sentence but not in the first one? Is it mandatory? If it's not, does it change the meaning?
This has been discussed a couple of weeks ago in "Practise Slovak language" thread, page 6, and as I was not sure myself, I waited for others to reply to this question. kotrcka wrote both are correct and equal. To my ears, however, the second version sounds slightly old-fashioned or a bit formal and I would use it in my official school essay rather than when talking to my friends. Just my opinion, though; I agree with kotrcka that both are correct.
Last edited by qwerty on 2011-02-17, 19:19, edited 4 times in total.

Mutusen
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Real Name: Matthieu
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Re: Mutusen sa učí slovenčinu

Postby Mutusen » 2011-02-17, 18:29

Thank you very much for your explanations. V can be at the end of a syllable in the middle of a word, as in hlavný. Also, I think most people pronounce ä like e, don't they?

And one small vocabulary question: what's the difference between vajce and vajíčko?
Koľko jazykov vieš, toľkokrát si človekom.
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