Eastern European languages are widely spoken across the world. If you’re interested in learning an Eastern European language, or placing a Polish or Lithuanian voiceover or subtitle in your latest marketing or educational project, this article takes us through some of the similarities and differences between those languages:
Eastern European languages can also be known as Slavic languages and include (but are not limited to); Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Polish, Czech, Slovakian, Serbo-Croat, Slovenian, Macedonian and Bulgarian.
Eastern European languages are spoken across the world but you can hear them the most in The Balkans, Northern Asia and Eastern Europe.
The Slavic languages actually have a lot in common when it comes to grammar, but the vocabulary is widely different. Certain languages like Polish and Ukrainian have more similarities than Russian does to those languages, but there are still broad differences between them all, more so than you might find with, say, French and Spanish.
You can take a more detailed look at the specifics of the Slavic languages in this article.
One of the easiest ways to identify which Slavic languages are more similar to each other than not is to look at the different language families they are in. In some cases, the family group is so narrow that multiple languages may be somewhat understood by speakers of those multiple languages. Here is a breakdown of the Slavic language families :
Lechitic Family – Polish
Czech-Slovak – Czech, Slovak
Western Family – Slovene, Serbo-Croatian
Eastern Family – Macedonian, Bulgarian
Ukrainian, Russian, Belarusian
A good example of how the different Slavic languages relate and affect language learning and understanding is with Macedonian and Bulgarian. Those languages form part of the South Slavic family of languages, on the Eastern side. That means naturally those languages will have many similarities. Serbo-Croatian is in the same South Slavic family, but because it comes from the Western side it’s similarities to Bulgarian and Macedonian are less, but not as different as say Russian, which is a different Slavic language family altogether.
Russian, is more distant still from Macedonian and Bulgarian because it is an East Slavic, not a South Slavic language, along with Ukrainian and Belarusian. Despite this, if you wanted to choose a broad reaching Slavic language for your educational or marketing voiceover, or video subtitles, a good choice would probably be Russian. It is the most widely spoken Slavic language and so, even those who speak Eastern European languages from a different language family, are likely to know some Russian as well as their mother tongue language. Russian is spoken by about 258 million people worldwide.
Of course, for more specific marketing targeted to specific speakers of languages like Lithuanian, Polish or Bulgarian you should use a professional subtitling or voiceover company for your Eastern European subtitles or voiceover. They can provide the services for those languages ensuring they are correctly translated, and account for regional dialects if necessary.
If you are interested in learning about Eastern European languages in more depth as an educational or marketing tool, you can speak to a professional voiceover company offering Eastern European language services.
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