The Slavs, the good people that they are, tend to feel a sort of affinity for each other when they are away from their homes and in places like the U.S. or Canada.
Language helps to form the way a person thinks, or maybe thinking helps to form language. Whichever it is, the two are closely linked – thinking and language. If you bring your former Slovak student to the Western Open to work parking lot detail with you (as I did) you should not be surprised that after 2 weeks of being surrounded by Americans, he will, out of the 3,000 people he encounters that day, be drawn to the one guy that immigrated to Chicago from Poland 20 years earlier.
It’s hard to know exactly what grammar is, and I will not dedicate more time to arguing this issue, as many thousands of pages of debate have already been spent by linguists doing just that, but it’s likely to me that the two of them (the fresh off the boat Slovak and the well-acclimated Pole) share the same “grammar.”
They may not always be best friends, but Slavs very often tend to be drawn to each other. For an observer of this process, this can cause confusion in drawing the boundaries of where one language starts and another begins because the languages can be so similar. Below is yet another of the many examples of similar vocabulary is used in Slavic languages.
(Hungarian is not a Slavic language, but they have taken this Slavic word for their own, much like Chicagoans (and maybe others in America) have made kielbasa part of the English language)
On 52inSk, here’s also an interesting collection of Slavic terms for wishing each other a good day, akin to this page.
Allan Stevo writes on Slovak culture at www.52inSk.com. He is from Chicago and spends most of his time traveling Europe and writing. You can find more of his writing at www.AllanStevo.com. If you enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to like it on Facebook or to share it with your friends by email. You can sign up for emails on Slovak culture from 52 Weeks in Slovakia by clicking here.