Questions about Slovak

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MasterEnki
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Questions about Slovak

Postby MasterEnki » 2013-03-02, 8:44

I'm quite new to learning Slovak (and Slovak in general), so I have many questions (and will have many, many more in the future!!!).

To start off with:

Does Slovak have a particular word order / grammar rules for word order (like English, Spanish, etc.) or is it whatever someone wants?
If there isn't any rules for word order, is there a particular word order that the majority of Slovak-Speaking Natives use or prefer?

In English... "The red cat sat on the mat" is preferred, where as "Cat sat the red on mat the" would be considered really stupid and weird!!!

While I'm studying Slovak, I'll try write down any questions that I have, and post them here.

Also, could someone (or more than one) please check the accuracy of the following:

On the left is the sentence in English (i.e. What I'm trying to say), on the right is my guess in Slovak (that I need the accuracy of checked)

SLOVAK - 'What I want to say'
'Goodbye big dog' - Dovidenia veľka pes (The dog is female, is 'pes' accurate for both genders, or just male?)
'I am very strong and pretty - Som veľmi silný a pekný (I probably wouldn't use this in real-life, but is this the correct way to use Som = I form, present of byt'?)
'Luke is my friend' - Luke je môj priately (is this correct, I think this is meant to be Genitive Case?)
'I have a friend named Luke' - Ja mam priately volá Luke* (Is this correct?)

In real-life, I have a friend named Luke (who is just a friend who I grew up with as a kid and teenager). I heard that in Slovak, you use different words depending on the Relationship (i.e. Friend, Lover, Boss, Stranger in Street, etc.)

Also how would you express this for a girlfriend?

For example - what would 'I have a girlfriend named Sarah' be in Slovak?
Also what about 'I have a wife named Sarah'? (I'm not actually married, but knowing how to express this in Slovak would be useful if I did)

* Zahrada (for example) is Zahrada (Nominative), Zahrady (Genitive), Zahrade (Dative), Zahradu (Accusative), Zahrade (Locative) and Zahradou (Instrumental)

What is Luke in each Case? How does it look for Nominative, Genitive, etc.

I have many more questions, but I'll post some more in a few days.

Thanks to anyone who offers help.

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Re: Questions about Slovak

Postby qwerty » 2013-03-03, 12:59

Good to hear there's someone new who wants to learn Slovak! :welcome:
MasterEnki wrote:Does Slovak have a particular word order / grammar rules for word order (like English, Spanish, etc.) or is it whatever someone wants?
If there isn't any rules for word order, is there a particular word order that the majority of Slovak-Speaking Natives use or prefer?

In English... "The red cat sat on the mat" is preferred, where as "Cat sat the red on mat the" would be considered really stupid and weird!!!
Unfortunately, there is no general rule for word order, nor any "preferred" or "common" word order - usually the words in a sentence can be reorganized in several different ways (some combination are not possible, of course), and it is up to you which one you choose for a particular situation. Sometimes the word order determines what you want to emphasize in the sentence; some combinations may sound formal or old-fashioned or poetic... I think you will get to feel these things intuitively as you make progress with the language.
To use your example, both "The red cat sat on the mat." and "On the mat sat the red cat." can be used in normal communication; several more combinations are not completely impossible, but would be considered copied from an old poetry book (e.g. "The cat red on the mat sat.").

As to the translations:
MasterEnki wrote:'Goodbye big dog' - Dovidenia veľka pes (The dog is female, is 'pes' accurate for both genders, or just male?)
"Pes" is male, but if you don't particularly care about the gender, just use "pes" all the time... In that case your sentence would be "Dovidenia, veľký pes". To underline that you are dealing with a female dog, use "fena" or "fenka": "Dovidenia, veľká fena" (although I can't come up with a situation that would make me say that :) ).

MasterEnki wrote:'I am very strong and pretty - Som veľmi silný a pekný (I probably wouldn't use this in real-life, but is this the correct way to use Som = I form, present of byt'?)
:waytogo:

MasterEnki wrote:'Luke is my friend' - Luke je môj priateľ (is this correct, I think this is meant to be Genitive Case?)
No, this should be just plain old nominative.

MasterEnki wrote:'I have a friend named Luke' - Ja mam priately volá Luke
These are possible:
1. "(Ja) mám priateľa, ktorý sa volá Luke." (Word-for-word translation: I have a friend that is named Luke.)
2. "(Ja) mám priateľa menom Luke." (I have a friend named/with the name of Luke.)
The declensions of "záhrada" might have misled you. "Záhrada" is feminine and "priateľ" is masculine - hence the main reason they have different declension suffixes.

MasterEnki wrote:I heard that in Slovak, you use different words depending on the Relationship (i.e. Friend, Lover, Boss, Stranger in Street, etc.)
That's exactly what I wanted to warn you about the first time I read those sentences about Luke :) Although "priateľ" was originally a perfectly neutral word for a friend, nowadays it takes more the meaning of a boyfriend. To avoid misunderstanding, use "kamarát" instead. ("Mám kamaráta, ktorý sa volá Luke.")

MasterEnki wrote:Also how would you express this for a girlfriend?
Very similar: "priateľka" = girlfriend, "kamarátka" = friend. "I have a girlfriend named Sarah."
1. "(Ja) mám priateľku, ktorá sa volá Sarah." (Word-for-word translation: I have a girlfriend that is named Sarah.)
2. "(Ja) mám priateľku menom Sarah." (I have a girlfriend named/with the name of Sarah.)
("manželka" = wife. -> "Mám manželku menom Sarah.")

MasterEnki wrote:What is Luke in each Case? How does it look for Nominative, Genitive, etc.
:hmm: This is a tricky one... There are many debates about how (and IF) foreign names should be declined. I usually try my best to avoid declining them at all by reorganising the sentence so that the name is in nominative :) So sorry, no response to this from me. Maybe someone else will dare try the declensions for "Luke".
Just in case you were interested: our, Slovak, equivalent of the name is "Lukáš", so that would be "Lukáš" (N), "Lukáša" (G), "Lukášovi" (D), "Lukáša" (A), "Lukášovi" (L), "Lukášom" (I).

Uff :) Hope this helps.

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Re: Questions about Slovak

Postby Mulder-21 » 2013-03-05, 0:43

qwerty wrote:Good to hear there's someone new who wants to learn Slovak! :welcome:
MasterEnki wrote:Does Slovak have a particular word order / grammar rules for word order (like English, Spanish, etc.) or is it whatever someone wants?
If there isn't any rules for word order, is there a particular word order that the majority of Slovak-Speaking Natives use or prefer?

In English... "The red cat sat on the mat" is preferred, where as "Cat sat the red on mat the" would be considered really stupid and weird!!!
Unfortunately, there is no general rule for word order, nor any "preferred" or "common" word order - usually the words in a sentence can be reorganized in several different ways (some combination are not possible, of course), and it is up to you which one you choose for a particular situation. Sometimes the word order determines what you want to emphasize in the sentence; some combinations may sound formal or old-fashioned or poetic... I think you will get to feel these things intuitively as you make progress with the language.
To use your example, both "The red cat sat on the mat." and "On the mat sat the red cat." can be used in normal communication; several more combinations are not completely impossible, but would be considered copied from an old poetry book (e.g. "The cat red on the mat sat.").


Strictly speaking, Slovak is SVO (Ja (S) vidím (V) muža (O)), however because of Slovak's morphology, the combinations are almost endless.

MasterEnki wrote:What is Luke in each Case? How does it look for Nominative, Genitive, etc.
:hmm: This is a tricky one... There are many debates about how (and IF) foreign names should be declined. I usually try my best to avoid declining them at all by reorganising the sentence so that the name is in nominative :) So sorry, no response to this from me. Maybe someone else will dare try the declensions for "Luke".
Just in case you were interested: our, Slovak, equivalent of the name is "Lukáš", so that would be "Lukáš" (N), "Lukáša" (G), "Lukášovi" (D), "Lukáša" (A), "Lukášovi" (L), "Lukášom" (I).[/quote]

Again, strictly speaking you 'have' to decline everything you can decline in Slovak. Phonetically, Luke is no problem since it's declined like the pattern chlap. Orthographically this is a pain, because of the silent E. But I'd go for these two options:

N. Luke, Luke
G. Luke-a/Luke'a, Luka
D. Luke-ovi/Luke'ovi, Lukovi
A. Luke-a/Luke'a, Luka
L. Luke-ovi/Luke'ovi, Lukovi
I. Luke-om/Luke'om, Lukom

So... take your pick :)
Gløgt er gestsins eyga. (Føroyskt orðafelli)
Wise is the stranger's eye. (Faroese saying)
L'occhio dell'ospite è acuto. (Proverbio faroico)
Hosťovo oko je múdre. (Faerské uslovie)

Fluent: Faroese, Danish, English, German
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Re: Questions about Slovak

Postby MasterEnki » 2013-03-05, 11:56

Thanks for replies...

So with "(Name) is my friend", the Nominative is used...

... Does this apply to all 'my' statements?

Such as, "That is my pen"
"White is my favourite colour"
"The blue car, is my car"
"Dylan is my name"

What would these be in Slovak?

And what Case would be used in statements like...

"The apple is mine"
"That table is mine"
"The white car is mine"
"Andrew's old car is mine"

And what about...

"That is his / her pen"
"The apple is his / hers"
"See that apple, that one is yours"
"This is my chair, and that is your chair"
"The white car is Andrew's car"
"This is our house"

What Case would be used in each of these, and what would they be in Slovak?

Also what Case(s) would be used for a statement like, and what would they be in Slovak:
"I see Lenka from work"
"I am seeing amongst the mountains"
"I'm walking towards Andrew's car"
"I'm jumping on the trampoline"

These seem to imply multiple Cases at once, which one would take priority?

Thanks

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Re: Questions about Slovak

Postby MasterEnki » 2013-03-10, 5:53

About a week ago, I found out about slovake.eu,

I was already on Chapter 3 / 4 of 'Colloquial Slovak', but I found that book to be quite complicated.

I'm on A1 Course, Part 2 - Getting Acquainted. I've found this website to be much better for learning the basics (which I'm still doing).

http://slovake.eu/en/learning/1/2/dialog

On this page, I noticed:
Person A: "Akými jazykmi hovoríš?"
Person B: "Hovorím po litovsky, po anglicky a trochu po slovensky."

Why is the Person A's question in Instrumental Case? (Assuming that it actually is, since -mi, as far as I know, is Instrumental).

Why not just "Aky Jazyk Hovoris?"

Later on, a few pages later it has "Akým jazykom hovorí?"
(http://slovake.eu/en/learning/1/2/he)

I understand the difference between 'hovori' and 'hovoriš' (one is 'he/she/it', the other is 'you' (singular / familiar)).

But why is Aky and Jazyk used differently?

If it is because of Case, why would different cases be used?

Thanks

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Re: Questions about Slovak

Postby silmeth » 2013-03-12, 23:16

That’s because in Slovak you do not speak the language, but with the language, using it. Thus when you say something like “I speak Slovak” you need to use Intrumental: Hovorím slovenským jazykom. Alternate (and far more popular AFAIK) is construction “hovoriť po taky”, like Hovorím po slovensky.

“Slovensky” here is an adverb, so this actually literally means something like “I speak the Slovak way”, “I speak Slovakly”.

The question uses Instrumental, because it is problematic to form a question using this “po taky” structure. In Polish you would say “Po jakiemu mówisz?”, but one does not do this in Slovak.

So:

“Akými jazykmi hovoríš?” uses Instrumental plural and means literally “With what languages do you speak?”
“Akým jazykom hovorí?” uses Instrumental singular and means literally “With what language does he/she/it speak?”
polszczyzna jest moją mową ojczystą (pl)foghlaimeoir na Gaelainne Mumhan ’s ea mé (ga)mám, myslím, dobrou znalost češtiny, rozumím a něco mluvím (cs)

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Re: Questions about Slovak

Postby MasterEnki » 2013-03-13, 7:46

Thanks

What about the following, are these correct (If not could someone please correct them):

Chceš spať na matrace? (Would you like to sleep on the mattress?)
Vidiš záhradu? (Do you see the garden?)
Byvaš medzi horami? (Are you living among the mountains?) - I know this is meant to be in Instrumental (since it has 'medzi' in it!!)

Would these kind of questions exist in Slovak? Are they in the correct Case(s)?, etc.

What about Questions / Statements that seem to use multiple case's at the same time? Such as,

Byvaš medzi môja horami (You are living among my mountains) - Would this be in Instrumental? OR
Byvaš medzi môja hor (You are living among my mountains) - Would this be in Genitive?

Is there a particular priority for Cases?

Thanks for your replies.

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Re: Questions about Slovak

Postby silmeth » 2013-03-13, 17:23

As far as I know (please, someone correct me if I’m wrong) Slovak medzi works just like Czech mezi. It means that only two grammatical cases can appear here – Accusative and Instrumental. They work like in many other European languages here (like in all Slavic, and like in most Germanic, eg. German, except that in German you use Dative for Instrumental).

medzi + Instrumental means, as you wrote, that something is between two or more other objects.

medzi + Accusative means that something is changing its place, to the destination between two or more other objects.

On býva medzi mojimi horami. (Note that moja also must be declined!!!) means He lives between my mountains.

On ide medzi moje hory. (Here moja and hora are in plural Accusative which in this particular case looks just like Nominative) means He goes/travels to (the area between) my mountains.

On chce isť medzi moju horu a môj dom. (Here môj and dom are in singular Accusative which in this particular case looks just like Nominative) means He wants to go/travel to (the area between) my mountain and my house.

So:
1. You need to decline the noun and all adjectives and pronouns describing it! All of them have to be in same case, gender and number.
2. You use Instrumental (and only Instrumental!) with medzi (and other prepositions describing location) when you describe that something is located between other things.
3. You use Accusative with medzi (and other prepositions describing location) when you describe that something is going with some direction, changing its location to the place between other things.

I hope this clears things up a little.
polszczyzna jest moją mową ojczystą (pl)foghlaimeoir na Gaelainne Mumhan ’s ea mé (ga)mám, myslím, dobrou znalost češtiny, rozumím a něco mluvím (cs)

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Re: Questions about Slovak

Postby MasterEnki » 2013-03-15, 10:57

Thanks

http://slovake.eu/en/learning/1/3/words

What are these in Nominative, Genitive, Dative, etc.?

môj
tvoj
náš
váš
jeho
jej
ich

If they differ from Case to Case

Thanks

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Re: Questions about Slovak

Postby Mutusen » 2013-03-15, 12:37

Jeho, jej and ich are indeclinable. The other are declined more or less like regular adjectives, see Wikipedia.
„Koľko jazykov vieš, toľkokrát si človekom.“

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Re: Questions about Slovak

Postby MasterEnki » 2013-03-23, 3:46

Thanks

http://slovake.eu/en/learning/1/5/genitive

Just wondering, when describing ownership of something, which is more commonly used?

To je dom Lenky / kniha Lenky / auto Lenky OR
To je Lenkin dom / Lenkina kniha / Lenkino auto

The first one seems a lot simpler, but I think learning a language is more about - Something complicated? Well, Tough Luck - You need to get used to it, if it is commonly used!!

I plan to try get my head around both though.

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Re: Questions about Slovak

Postby qwerty » 2013-04-05, 1:08

(I'm sorry for the delay, I've been terribly busy writing my thesis the past few weeks...)

MasterEnki wrote:Just wondering, when describing ownership of something, which is more commonly used?

To je dom Lenky / kniha Lenky / auto Lenky OR
To je Lenkin dom / Lenkina kniha / Lenkino auto
I would definitely go for the second variant, i.e. "Lenkin dom", "Lenkina kniha", "Lenkino auto". There might be cases, though, when the first one is used almost exclusively, for example when the owner is represented by multiple words: "kniha Lenky Novákovej*", "dom mojej starej mamy" (my grandma's house).
I'm trying to piece together a rule but to no avail so far... :hmm:


* "Ján Novák" = the Slovak equivalent of John Doe; "Nováková" = the female version of this surname

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Re: Questions about Slovak

Postby MasterEnki » 2013-04-06, 10:50

Thanks

I have a big question in mind, but will start a new thread for it.

Any smaller questions, I will post here in the future,

Thanks

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Re: Questions about Slovak

Postby MasterEnki » 2013-04-12, 12:11

Can both of these (the following) be used?

Chcel som vidiet' tvoju zahradu
Som chcel vidiet' tvoju zahradu
(I wanted to see your garden)

As in:

(Verb) som (2nd Verb)...
Som (Verb) (2nd Verb)...

Is there a preferred / correct way of expressing this?

What about:

Budem chciet' vidiet' tvoju zahradu
chciet' budem vidiet' tvoju zahradu
(I will want to see your garden)

Budem (verb) (2nd Verb)...
(Verb) budem (2nd Verb)...

Thanks

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Re: Questions about Slovak

Postby qwerty » 2013-04-12, 19:29

Just the "Chcel som vidieť tvoju záhradu"-pattern is correct, but you might encounter sentences like "Som chcel vidieť tvoju záhradu" in highly colloquial or slang conversations. Everybody knows it's wrong, though.
As for the second pair of phrases, "Budem chcieť vidieť" is the only option; we would never even think of the other one ;)

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Re: Questions about Slovak

Postby MasterEnki » 2013-04-17, 10:40

Thanks

I am learning the declension(s) for:
aký
či
kto
čo

I noticed that these are declined in all Cases, similar to adjectives (Pekny, Cudzi, etc.)

Obviously these are used in the nominative:
aky je dom?, či dom je to?, etc.

I can imagine these in the Genitive:
akeho je Lenkin dom?, etc.

And the Locative:
akom je na zahrade?, etc.

But, I'm finding it hard to imagine real-life examples for these that are in Dative, Accusative and Instrumental.

Do people in Slovakia use aky, či, kto and čo in all Cases on a day-to-day basis?

What are some examples for Dative (especially), Accusative and Instrumental.

Thanks

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Re: Questions about Slovak

Postby qwerty » 2013-04-17, 16:50

MasterEnki wrote:I noticed that these are declined in all Cases, similar to adjectives (Pekny, Cudzi, etc.)
Yes, pronouns are also declined. (Note: "čí" (="whose") is spelled with an accent on i; "či" means "whether".)

MasterEnki wrote:I can imagine these in the Genitive:
akeho je Lenkin dom?, etc.

And the Locative:
akom je na zahrade?, etc.

But, I'm finding it hard to imagine real-life examples for these that are in Dative, Accusative and Instrumental.
To give some examples of "aký" in different cases:

Genitive:
Z akého materiálu je to vyrobené? (="What is it made of?", literally "Of which material is it made?")
Dative:
K akému jedlu sa hodí červené víno? (="Which food the red wine goes well with?", literally "To which...")
Akému športu sa venuješ? (="What sport do you play?")
Accusative:
Akého partnera by ste chceli? (="What (kind of) partner would you like?")
Locative:
O akom dome sa rozprávate? (="Which house are you talking about?", literally "About which...")
Instrumental:
S akým spoluhráčom sa ti dobre hrá? (="Which type of team mate do you like to play with?", "With which team mate...")

Be careful about those examples you used, though. They were not correct, because you only changed the case of the pronoun and left the rest of the phrase be. To decline words, you must always, let's say, "have a reason" - usually a certain preposition or a different meaning - so in most cases changing the case of just one word in a sentence results in something that does not make sense.
I can imagine, however, that it must be extremely difficult to understand declension, so don't be put off, you will learn it step by step :)

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Re: Questions about Slovak

Postby MasterEnki » 2013-04-18, 11:45

Thanks

Those examples were just guesses from my mind. Except the first one "Aky je dom" (which came from a proper textbook).

Here's what I was trying to say:

akeho je Lenkin dom?
What is Lenka's home like?

akom je na zahrade?
What is it like in the garden?

Could you please give me the correct translation.

Another thing that has been on my mind...

The average Slovak Dictionary has Verbs only in the infinitive (examples: chciet', prijat', hovorit', etc.).

How does one know the Conjugation(s) for those Verbs (and I'm assuming that a good Slovak Dictionary would have 1,000s of different Verbs).

Are there easy to follow 'rules' for Conjugation?
How common are 'irregular' Verbs in Slovak?

Thanks

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Re: Questions about Slovak

Postby MasterEnki » 2013-04-20, 9:06

I'm having trouble trying to make sense of:

http://slovake.eu/en/learning/grammar/c ... onjugation

How does one know what 'pattern' of Conjugation to follow for a verb?
(I've got a English <> Slovak Dictionary (that only has Verbs in the Infinitive)).

I also found out that prijat' follows - prijmem, prijmes, prijme, etc. - This doesn't seem to fit any of these (mentioned in in above link).

I find this somewhat confusing.

I also wonder about Perfective VS Imperfective Aspects.

I understand the difference (especially with the Past Tense) - Perfective Verbs acts like a 'Preterite' and the Imperfective acts similar to the 'Imperfect'.

But, is there a pattern here. For example:

http://www.heartofeurope.co.uk/dictionary_verbs.htm#

This site lists verbs (and has them conjugated in the Present). But, after looking them up in the dictionary (mentioned) above...

Some were considered as Perfective ('dok' in dictionary) and some were Imperfective ('ned' in dictionary)...

... I'm hoping to learn both (aspects) at once, for each new verb I encounter.

Thanks

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Re: Questions about Slovak

Postby MasterEnki » 2013-04-22, 1:37

I had a thought about Verbal Aspects:

Do all 'Perfective' Verbs have a 'preposition' in them (zahrat', urobit', etc.)?
If so, is there a rule in which ones must go with which 'Imperfective' Verb?

Does robit' (to do) have to be urobit' (to do), can it be say zarobit'? or porobit', etc.?

For example,

Lenka robila domacu ulohu - Lenka was doing (her) homework VS
Lenka urobila domacu ulohu - Lenka did (her) homework

Is it possible, in Slovak, to have:
Lenka porobila domacu ulohu OR
Lenka zarobila domacu ulohu
etc, etc.?

If not, are there any 'hard rules' in choosing which 'preposition' goes with what Verb?

(Hopefully this makes sense, this seems to be a complicated topic)

Thanks


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