how similar are Serbian and Polish? They are both Slavic languages so how similar are they? When i listen to them it sounds pretty similar

  • 4
    Likewise your another question, it may require more details on what "similar" is. It can be lexicon, syntax, phonology, or a dozen of different factors. Also, since you have received answers on another question, have you also done some own research prior to asking a second one?
    – bytebuster
    Aug 30 '16 at 9:06
  • 1
    Polish is West Slavonic, Serbian is South Slavonic. One significant difference, IIRC, is that South Slavonic languages have retained at least one inflected past tense in the verb, whereas the West (and East) Slavonic languages have lost all inflected past tenses. All branches make use of a synthetic past formed from what is effectively a participle in '-l' (or '-o'). Another difference is that South Slavonic languages distinguish three genders in the plural, at least in the nominative. Polish does not.
    – Colin Fine
    Oct 30 '16 at 22:40

Though no expert, I'm Polish–Serbian by descent.

I'm sure you're aware how different the alphabets are, but the phonetics are very similar, like you said.

Some examples of individual soundalike digraphs are ш and sz; ж and rz. Perhaps the IPA representations of Serbo-Croatian and Polish can be compared for greater detail.

The only difference in pronunciation I can think of is ch in Polish, for which I am unsure of a Serbian equivalent.

I also don't think that there are feminine or plural surname conventions in Serbian like there are in Polish.

I'm unsure whether sounds change depending on which letter precedes or succeeds them in Serbian as in Polish (the reversal of voicing or devoicing).

But, a lot of the vocabulary only slightly differs. For example:

баба and Babcia (grandma)

жена and żona (wife)

пиво and piwo (beer)

  • I wouldn't say the phonetics are "very" similar (though "very" is subjective); Serbian has a 5-vowel system with a length distinction; Polish has a 6-oral/2-nasal system. In consonants, Polish has [w] [ɕ] [ʑ] [dz] and palatalized velars which don't appear in standard Serbian, while Serbian has syllabic [r]. Oct 29 '16 at 17:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.