What Are The Slavic Languages?

Slavic countries are absolutely fascinating. If you ever get the chance—you must go. 

From the cathedrals of Kiev, Ukraine to the Charles Bridge in Prague, many countries are very unexplored and yet have an incredible beauty. Of course, in some of these countries, the English is not top-notch. Knowing a few phrases here and there will really help you out immensely.

So what are the Slavic languages?

Generally speaking, they include…

  • Russian
  • Ukrainian (very similar to Russian)
  • Belorussian (also very similar to Russian)
  • Polish
  • Czech
  • Slovakian
  • Croatian
  • Serbian
  • Bosnian
  • Lithuanian
  • Latvian
  • Estonian
  • And many, many more!

Which One Is Best to Learn?

Generally speaking, I’d say that Russian is your best bet—simply because the most people speak it. Often times, speakers of other Slavic languages speak at least a little bit of Russian. But, they’re very similar as far as many basic phrases.

For example, to say “Good day”.

  • Russian: Dobre den
  • Czech: Dobre deen
  • Polish: Dobre gin

Yes, those are not exactly how to write them—but for an introductory introduction to these Slavic languages, it will suffice. As you can see, they are all close enough that a Polish speaker would be able to understand what you meant in Russian, and vice versa.

That doesn’t mean that they will be happy about it, though 😉

For example, you should be very careful about speaking Russian on the western side of Ukraine.

In any case, that’s a brief introduction to Slavic languages. We’ll be reviewing the best programs to learn the various languages in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

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n//3 - April 14, 2017

Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia are not slavic lands, peoples or languages.

    Sam
    Sam - April 14, 2017

    Most people reading this site would associate them similarly.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltic_languages

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-European_languages

      SuomiPerkele - April 15, 2017

      Those Wikipedia articles do not list Estonian as a Slavic language. Estonian belongs to a separate Fenno-Ugric language group, consisting mainly of Finnish, Estonian and Hungarian. That language group is unrelated to Slavic and even Indo-European languages.

      Regarding Latvian and Lithuanian, even if the term “Slavic” were correct in some loose linguistics theory sense, from practical POV, it is not. Knowing e.g. Russian does not help you much with Lithuanian or Latvian languages, while it helps you tremendously with even distant Slavic language relatives such as Bulgarian.

        Sam
        Sam - April 18, 2017

        Except plenty of people in Latvia and Lithuanian do speak Russian.

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