Slavonic Language Groups

Sanja   Monday, August 09, 2004, 14:37 GMT
I visited Hungary as well, in 1998. We went there on the excursion after high school. We were in a town called Siofok, but we visited Budapest as well. I liked it very much.
Sanja   Monday, August 09, 2004, 14:39 GMT
Ed, I'm not sure about Indira Radic, but I think she is actually from Serbia, not Bosnia (?).
Ed   Monday, August 09, 2004, 16:50 GMT
Sanja, in her website it says she was born near Banja Luka - it's all in yugoslavian so as far as i could understand she's bosnian
Biljana   Tuesday, August 10, 2004, 04:27 GMT
Are you kidding me? Bulgarian not like Serbian? Dude Bulgarian and Serbian and Bosnian are all soooo close. I have a shitload of friends out here that r all three and we can all understand eachother.
Kako si? Kak si? Dobro. Dobre...
Sta ima? Kvo ima? u dont think thats similar??
garans   Tuesday, August 10, 2004, 04:52 GMT
Kako si = how's the life ?
kak zhizn'? (Russian)
Biljana   Tuesday, August 10, 2004, 05:20 GMT
Easterner   Tuesday, August 10, 2004, 07:10 GMT

Thank you for sharing the experience of visiting my native town. I see we have a lot of common points of interest, but I didn't suppose we could have met in person with a little luck (I was actually away on my studies in 1992 and 1993 and beyond, so we couldn't have met). Subotica is still a beautiful town, although some of the buildings are in a bad condition due to the lack of money for renovation. Actually there are a lot of ethnic Hungarians living there, as it is close to the Hungarian border, together with Serbians and ethnic Croats (called the Bunjevtsi). Were you there as an interpreter?

Actually there is a great deal of cultural variety all over the ex-Yugoslavian countries, because historically this territory has always been on the crossroads. Thus Ljubljana and Zagreb (the capitals of Slovenia and of Croatia) breathe a Central European atmosphere, the Dalmatian seaside has a lot in common with Italy, in many Bosnian towns you can feel a touch of the Orient, as well as in Serbia, Monenegro and Macedonia, where there are also many traces of the Byzantine influence. It is good to see this territory in that way, too, because most of what people have heard about the area is news of ethnic strife. I have visited all these places, except for the southernmost parts (Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia). And the food and dishes also reflect this cultural variety.

And yes, Budapest is a good place to see, too, although a lot of the old parts have vanished by now, and supplanted with ugly blocks of flats, but the hills of Buda, the Castle and the old downtown are definitely worth taking a walk at.

Sanja, Biljana: Dobrodosle u nase drustvo (Welcome to our community). I agree that the Southern Slavic languages are for the most part mutually intelligible. With my knowledge of Serbian and Croatian I also understand much of Slovenian and Macedonian, though I have a little more difficulty with spoken Bulgarian, but it's not a big problem. Just one question: do you actually use the term "Bosnian language" in Bosnia? If so, this is something new to me.
Jordi   Tuesday, August 10, 2004, 07:52 GMT
Yes I was a conference interpreter during the war and for a couple of years. I did four such conferences in the former Yugoslavia with people from all over the world. I was a part of the Spanish delegation. At that time I was doing conference interpretation all over Europe (english and French from and into Spanish and Catalan). I'm native in these four languages since my parents have lived in several countries and I spoke them at age 10. After that, I learnt some other Romance languages and some basic German.
I now work in the Tourism trade and I'm married with two young children. I find there are a few people in Antimoon who are really worthwile and that enables me to practice my English on a fresh, regular basis with young people. I just discovered this site by chance. It's 15 minutes a day, when I can manage, since I do some extra professional translating as well through the Internet. You know how hard it is to keep up a family and I'm a lucky man since my children (a son and daughter in their early teens) are quite bright and have long years of study ahead. I do go very fast in this board as we all probably do.
Sanja   Wednesday, August 11, 2004, 15:10 GMT
OK Ed, if she was born near Banja Luka, then she is Bosnian :) I only know (well at least I think) that she lives in Serbia now.
Biljana, I don't think Bulgarian is all that similar to our ex-Yugoslav languages (Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian, which are actually almost the same - we do have a few variations and different words, but they were treated like synonims in ex-Yugoslavia and everyone knows what they mean, no matter if they're Bosnian, Serbian or Croatian). On the other hand, Bulgarian IS similar, but I don't think I could understand it that easily without translation.
Sanja   Wednesday, August 11, 2004, 15:16 GMT
Easterner, yes we do use the term "Bosnian language" now, but that is highly politicised, just like everything else in my country. Bosnian Croats call it Croatian, Bosnian Serbs call it Serbian and Muslims call it Bosnian. We all called it "Serbo-Croat" before the war.
Ryan   Wednesday, August 11, 2004, 15:29 GMT
Is Bulgarian more similar to Macedonian than it is to the ex-Serbo-Croat languages?
Sanja   Wednesday, August 11, 2004, 17:17 GMT
I think it is.
Ed   Wednesday, August 11, 2004, 17:21 GMT
Yes, Ryan, it is. In fact Bulgaria considers Macedonian a Bulgarian dialect, not a separate language.
Julian   Thursday, August 12, 2004, 06:01 GMT
I have a question about "Macedonia" -- have the Macedonian and Greek governments ever settled their differences over use of the term "Macedonia"? If not, then what do the Greeks call the country and its people?
Easterner   Thursday, August 12, 2004, 07:42 GMT

You can find more about the official correspondence concerning the Greek-Macedonian dispute here:

Greece finally acknowledged the independence of Macedonia (in 1995, as far as the documents suggest) while insisting to use the acronym FYROM, which stands for Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (actually I have seen a Greek document where it was featured with Latin script). As to whether they really call it by this acronym, I'm not sure, though I think it's possible. The purpose is to avoid Macedonia being mentioned in official usage. Personally I find it a strange example of "Macedophobia" (now that we are talking about Greece), which seems to be deeply ingrained in Greek official politics. They call Macedonians Slavs, however much Macedonia has affirmed its separate nationhood recently. They dispute its territorial integrity in much the same way as Bulgaria disputes Macedonian being a separate language. Personally I think this is a result of a feeling of guilt over the really bad peace settlements after the Balkan Wars and WWI in this area, and you can see the consequences of these at more than one place.