Russian Influence in the modern Bulgarian Language

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  • Soldier of Macedon
    Senior Member
    • Sep 2008
    • 13675

    Russian Influence in the modern Bulgarian Language

    Here are some excerpts from Hristo P'rvev, B'lgarski ezik VIII, 1958, which talk about the Russian influence in the Bulgarian language after their liberation from the Turks by the Russians.

    Osvobozhdenieto ostavja v knizhninata mnogo ruski ezikovi (leksikalni pred sichko) elementi…….
    The liberation left in the literature many Russian linguistic (in lexicon above all) elements........

    The result of the Russian element was deep, lasting and obvious, mutating the Slavic language of Moesia and parts of Thrace into an Eastern-influenced South-Slavic tongue, which distanced it from the neighbouring tongue in Macedonia.
    V’v vseki sluchai ima dostat’chno osnovanija da se dopusne, che dneshnata b’lgarska knizhovna participialna sistema mozhe da se ustanovi nova kategorija – segashno stradatelno prichastie……….
    In each case there are sufficient grounds to assume that today's Bulgarian literary participle system may establish a new category - present passive participle........

    In a certain part of the text where Hristo P'rvev is quoting Ivan Vazov, 1901, he states the following:
    Sichki b’lgari govoreha ruski, t.e. njakak’v rusko-b’lgarski cherkoven ezik. Govorimata rech I kanceljarskata praktika g’mzhaha ot rusizmi. Dori turskite dumi priemaha ruska forma…….
    All Bulgarians spoke Russian, ie some sort of Russo-Bulgarian church language. The spoken language and council practice was full of Russianism. Even Turkish words received a Russian form........


    Below is a paper from Ivanka Sakareva, 'South-Western University of Blagoevgrad' - In Bulgarian-occupied Macedonia, Pirin Region. The main theme of the paper is influence in Bulgarian from other Slavic languages, she seems to credit alot to the Russians which the Macedonians, Serbs, Croats, etc also use, and which may likely be present in Church Slavonic. I would like to see something in the Bulgarian language from the 15-17th century, so we can see what this language looked like before all these various influences.


    Among the different Slavic languages that influenced the development of Bulgarian, the most prominent is Russian. This began in the middle of the 19 th century and continues up to now, although its intensity and extent had not been the same all the time.

    During the Revival, the Russian language significantly affected Bulgarian as it enriched its literary vocabulary. The extent of the Russian impact was determined not only by cultural and historical reasons, but also by the considerable similarities between the two languages. That is why some elements in Russian words are similar to those of Bulgarian. A lot of Bulgarian verbs that end with " -вам" come from Russian. For example, 'уважавам' - 'to respect'; 'заявявам'.............

    ...............examples are: 'република' - republic', 'демокрация' - 'democracy', 'революция' - 'revolution', 'парламент' - 'parliament', 'департамент' - 'department', 'култура' - 'culture', 'литература' - 'literature', 'климат' - 'climate', etc.

    ..........active nouns with the suffix " -тел" increased again thanks to the Russian language. These words are mainly nouns expressing professions: 'изследовател' - 'explorer', 'завоевател' - 'conqueror', 'учител' - 'teacher', etc.

    ..........also appeared almost the same adjectival suffix '-телен' such as in: 'внимателен' - 'attentive, careful'; 'забележителен' - 'remarkable'; 'изпълнителен' - 'executive', etc.

    While some of the new words were built on a Russian model, others got the suffix '-ник' and '-чик'. These were mainly nouns relating to professions that are no longer in use today..........

    Russian became the main source for filling up and enriching the terminology in all the spheres of science and technology. It also contributed to the large category of verbal nouns with the suffix '-ние': 'вълнение'..............

    with nouns ending with '-ие', such as 'известие' - 'notification'.....................

    ............the suffixes '-ост' and 'ство' in the formation of abstract nouns such as 'активност' - 'activity', 'алчност' - 'greediness', 'наследство'

    The Russian impact was also crucial in spreading nouns ending with '-ствие', e. g. 'удоволствие' - 'pleasure', 'присъствие' - 'presence'...................

    A great number of compound nouns were equally taken from Russian: 'параход' - 'ship', 'небосклон' - 'sky, heaven'; 'риболовство' - 'fishing', etc.

    Lots of verbs ending in "нича" that came from the Russian "-ничать" are observed in Bulgarian: 'безделнича' - 'to idle', 'любезнича' - 'fawn'.................
    No mention of characteristics such as the 'cheski' ending. According to P'rvev and Vazov, Russian influence in the Bulgarian language is much deeper and more integral than this.


    Russian influence in alphabet.

    Bulgarian is a Southern Slavic language spoken mainly in Bulgaria by about 12 milion people.

    At the end of the 18th century the Russian version of Cyrillic or the "civil script" of Peter the Great (1672-1725) was adapated to write Bulgarian as a result of the influence of printed books from Russia. During the 19th century a number of versions of this alphabet containing between 28 and 44 letters were used. In the 1870s a version of the alphabet with 32 letters proposed by Marin Drinov became widely used. This version remained in use until the orthographic reform of 1945 when the letters yat, and yus were removed from the alphabet.
    In the name of the blood and the sun, the dagger and the gun, Christ protect this soldier, a lion and a Macedonian.
  • Delodephius
    Member
    • Sep 2008
    • 736

    #2
    I confirm this. Bulgarian does have a lot more words of Russian origin than any other South Slavic language.
    अयं निज: परो वेति गणना लघुचेतसाम्।
    उदारमनसानां तु वसुधैव कुटुंबकम्॥
    This is mine or (somebody) else’s (is the way) narrow minded people count.
    But for broad minded people, (whole) earth is (like their) family.

    Comment

    • Risto the Great
      Senior Member
      • Sep 2008
      • 15659

      #3
      Prior to the Russian influence, they were speaking a language much closer to Macedonian.

      I am not convinced the word endings written above are based on Russian influence though.
      Risto the Great
      MACEDONIA:ANHEDONIA
      "Holding my breath for the revolution."

      Hey, I wrote a bestseller. Check it out: www.ren-shen.com

      Comment

      • Soldier of Macedon
        Senior Member
        • Sep 2008
        • 13675

        #4
        Originally posted by RtG
        I am not convinced the word endings written above are based on Russian influence though.
        Neither am I, something to look into I think.
        In the name of the blood and the sun, the dagger and the gun, Christ protect this soldier, a lion and a Macedonian.

        Comment

        • Soldier of Macedon
          Senior Member
          • Sep 2008
          • 13675

          #5
          After a brief search, it seems that many of the Russian influences in Bulgarian are already present in the other Slavic languages. For example, the word 'uchitel' (in basically that form) is present in all Slavic languages, and the suffix of 'ost' seems to be quite common also.

          This begs the question of how the rest of the Slavic languages have these features already, and how Bulgarian must have sounded prior to Russification.
          In the name of the blood and the sun, the dagger and the gun, Christ protect this soldier, a lion and a Macedonian.

          Comment

          • Soldier of Macedon
            Senior Member
            • Sep 2008
            • 13675

            #6
            In Church Slavonic, the word for teacher is uchitel, and it is more than obvious that Church Slavonic, which has its origins in Macedonia, had a significant impact on all other Slavic languages outside of Macedonia in terms of linguistic characteristics, vocabulary, grammar, etc.
            In the name of the blood and the sun, the dagger and the gun, Christ protect this soldier, a lion and a Macedonian.

            Comment

            • Soldier of Macedon
              Senior Member
              • Sep 2008
              • 13675

              #7
              All of the quotes I have supplied from P'rvev come from the book I mentioned in another thread by T. Dimitrovski, Podvigot Na Miladinovci, (Matica Makedonska, 2000). Here is some more by P'rvev:
              дори и членове на правописната комисия исказват съвсем ясно отрицателното си отношение към сегашното деятелно причастие
              ...even members of the spelling committee clearly state their negative attitude towards the detail of the present participle........

              Citing the well-known Bulgarian linguist, B. Conev, 1893, it states the following with regard to the discontent of some Bulgarians due to the history of bastardisation of their language during the 19th century (translation may not be the best):
              Всеки ще е чул жалби - ако не и сам жалил, че българският език изгубил такава "сгодна" форма, каквато е действителното причастие за сегашно време, форма толкоз "нужна"!
              All would have heard the mourning - if not themselves mourning - that the Bulgarian language has lost "enough" form, for the actual present participle, a form that is so "needed"!

              Dimitrovski goes on to write:
              По него и други бугарски филолози и лингвисти: Х.П. Стоилов (1914), Ц. Младенов (1930), Н. Костов (1939) ќе кренат глас против употребата на овој партицип во бугарскиот литературен јазик, хо се е залудно. Во современиот бугарски литерантурен јазик сегашниот активен партицип е нормална структурно-морфолошка катерогија. Тој сега се употребува не само во функција на атрибут туку и во функција на особен дел во реченицата. На бугарските граматичари не им остана друго.......
              And after him other Bulgarian linguists and philologists: H.P. Stoilov (1914), V. Mladenov (1930), N. Kostov (1939) would raise their voices against the use of this participle in the Bulgarian literary language, but all is lunacy. In the modern Bulgarian literary language the currently active participle is a normal structural-morphologic caterogy. It is now used not only in the function of attribute but also as a function in parts of the sentence. The Bulgarian grammarians were left with nothing else.........


              I would like to get to the bottom of this to see just how far the Russian language has penetrated the Bulgarian. Characteristics such as "cheski" in 'istoricheski' sound like Russianisms.

              It is also quite interesting (and odd) to note the irrelevant Bulgarian assertion that the Macedonian language has received some loans from Serbo-Croat during the mid 20th century, while the Bulgarian language adopted wholesale Russianisms is several ways since the late 19th century.
              In the name of the blood and the sun, the dagger and the gun, Christ protect this soldier, a lion and a Macedonian.

              Comment

              • Delodephius
                Member
                • Sep 2008
                • 736

                #8
                Originally posted by Soldier of Macedon View Post
                In Church Slavonic, the word for teacher is uchitel, and it is more than obvious that Church Slavonic, which has its origins in Macedonia, had a significant impact on all other Slavic languages outside of Macedonia in terms of linguistic characteristics, vocabulary, grammar, etc.
                It is used in all Slavic languages. How did you conclude it is taken from Old Church Slavonic? Poland for example had almost 0% of influence from OCS and yet it is a Slavic language nonetheless. You greatly overestimate the influence OCS had on other Slavic languages.
                Last edited by Delodephius; 05-08-2009, 07:55 AM.
                अयं निज: परो वेति गणना लघुचेतसाम्।
                उदारमनसानां तु वसुधैव कुटुंबकम्॥
                This is mine or (somebody) else’s (is the way) narrow minded people count.
                But for broad minded people, (whole) earth is (like their) family.

                Comment

                • Soldier of Macedon
                  Senior Member
                  • Sep 2008
                  • 13675

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Slovak
                  It is used in all Slavic languages.
                  I believe I have already made this clear in a previous post, but you would know that already, wouldn't you?
                  How did you conclude it is taken from Old Church Slavonic? Poland for example had almost 0% of influence from OCS and yet it is a Slavic language nonetheless.
                  Slovak, have you been reading this whole thread or have you just decided to chip in after reading what you wanted to see? The Bulgarian scholar tried to indicate that the word was loaned to Bulgarian via Russian, I showed that this word was already present in OCS centuries before. What exactly are you trying to conclude, that it was originally a Polish word? What % of influence has Macedonian or any other South Slavic language had from Polish? Please share your findings.
                  You greatly overestimate the influence OCS had on other Slavic languages.
                  Wrong, you greatly underestimate the influence OCS had on all Slavic languages including YOUR western Slavic languages, god forbid some influence may have passed from Macedonia to Moravia via OCS, god forbid your opinion being partial due to your resentment for some Macedonians (for the same reasons you would have resented yourself only a couple of years ago).
                  In the name of the blood and the sun, the dagger and the gun, Christ protect this soldier, a lion and a Macedonian.

                  Comment

                  • Delodephius
                    Member
                    • Sep 2008
                    • 736

                    #10
                    SoM, you don't either know OCS nor Slovak, or any other West Slavic language for that matter. Why do you shoot blindly by claiming that OCS had influence on these languages? I have read entire studies concerning OCS's influence on other Slavic languages (I'm holding one in my hands right now). Contrary what you may think, other Slavic languages had more influence on OCS than it had on them. The influence on both sides is marginal however, because both OCS and other Slavic languages at the time were similar to the extent of mutual intelligibility. The Slavonic tradition in Moravia was very short lived, and what it had on the religious languages was even less believe it or not, and that was the area it was dominant in. When the brothers Constantine and Methodius arrived to Moravia they encountered a rich cultural language used in all forms of social activity. They had to accommodate their language to fit the one in Moravia so that it would be better understandable. I mean, imagine the situation where the brothers come and preach in the Salonikan dialect: everyone would ask "Wait? You came to preach to us, in our language as we asked, so why are you preaching in some weird dialect?". What the brothers brought to Moravia were translations of books, of the Bible, the prayer books, even poetry as Constantine was a great poet which shows in the prayers he translated from Greek. The remaining texts from Great Moravia show little if no influence from a South Slavic languages. The only vocabulary Constantine and Methodius brought was the one introduced in the Bible and was not familiar to Moravians. Simultaneously a large number of words not present in OCS were taken from Moravian.
                    Last edited by Delodephius; 05-08-2009, 12:41 PM.
                    अयं निज: परो वेति गणना लघुचेतसाम्।
                    उदारमनसानां तु वसुधैव कुटुंबकम्॥
                    This is mine or (somebody) else’s (is the way) narrow minded people count.
                    But for broad minded people, (whole) earth is (like their) family.

                    Comment

                    • Soldier of Macedon
                      Senior Member
                      • Sep 2008
                      • 13675

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Slovak
                      SoM, you don't either know OCS nor Slovak, or any other West Slavic language for that matter. Why do you shoot blindly by claiming that OCS had influence on these languages?
                      Blindly? Come on Slovak, are you that blind you can't see how OCS could (and did) influence (to one degree or another) West Slavic during the Cyrillo-Methodian mission? You are trying to downplay these significant events to mere insignificance, I don't share you're opinion, and it certainly has nothing to do with my ignorance of OCS.

                      If Greek can influence Slavic via the Orthodox Church, if Latin can influence Slavic via the Catholic Church, if Russian can influence South Slavic languages via church liturgy and language during the 19th century, how is it logical that OCS left nothing in other Slavic languages?

                      Help me understand Slovak, give me a chronology of how it unfolded, for example:

                      1) South Macedonian dialect used as a basis to translate biblical and other texts by the Salonika brothers

                      2) Salonika brothers arrive in Moravia, and re-write their texts to suit the local Moravian vernacular (?)

                      3) This re-written version is a hybrid of OCS and Moravian, or Moravian with some minor OCS influence (?)

                      4) This re-written version is what we all know today as OCS (?)

                      5) etc, etc, etc.........

                      Questions:

                      a) Were the letters already in the making prior to the request by Rastislav?

                      b) Why were the translations initially made based on a Macedonian dialect, if they were only to be altered once they got to Moravia?


                      The only vocabulary Constantine and Methodius brought was the one introduced in the Bible and was not familiar to Moravians. Simultaneously a large number of words not present in OCS were taken from Moravian.
                      Can you please elaborate on that final point.
                      In the name of the blood and the sun, the dagger and the gun, Christ protect this soldier, a lion and a Macedonian.

                      Comment

                      • Delodephius
                        Member
                        • Sep 2008
                        • 736

                        #12
                        a) Were the letters already in the making prior to the request by Rastislav?
                        Could be, there is no mentioning of it but it is possible that Constantine was perhaps experimenting with a new script for the Slavs as he was familiar with the fact they had no working script of their own. But it's all unprovable really, and the text "About the letters" by Monk Hrabar mentions he got to working on the new script after Rastislav's request, but no mention of which script.

                        b) Why were the translations initially made based on a Macedonian dialect, if they were only to be altered once they got to Moravia?
                        Because Constantine and Methodius were not familiar enough with the dialect of Moravia or they did not know it was different from the Macedonian one since all the dialects were branded Slavonic. Plus they themselves knew only the Macedonian dialect and it was in this dialect alone they could translate the texts. It is also more likely that the 200 students that were assigned to them in Moravia and Panonia that altered the language under the brothers' supervision.

                        Can you please elaborate on that final point.
                        I have a short list of Moravian words not originally present in OCS nor other South Slavic languages/dialects:

                        strižьnikъ - priest; sъnьmъ - council; kazatelь - preacher, teacher; chodatajь - middleman; pravaja væra - true faith (expression); mьšьnъ - of the holy mass; obrokъ - holy bread; uvarovani - caring for an infant; obraščenie - saved from evil spirits; dogoniti - to catch up; nagъlьstvo - hurry, rush; neračenie - evil; tęža - trial case; kleveta, klevetьnikъ - complaint, complainant; ustrojenie, ustroiti, vъstroiti - restoration; pritъknǫti - to prove.


                        I have also a couple of words taken from other languages via Moravia:

                        kružь, križь - cross, from Lat. crux; mьšæ - holy mass, from Lat. missa; papežъ - Pope, from Germ. babes; poganьskъ - Pagan, from Lat. paganus; præfaciæ - prologue, from Lat. prefacio.

                        These words then later appear in OCS texts. Most of them are today used only in West Slavic languages.
                        Last edited by Delodephius; 05-08-2009, 08:57 PM.
                        अयं निज: परो वेति गणना लघुचेतसाम्।
                        उदारमनसानां तु वसुधैव कुटुंबकम्॥
                        This is mine or (somebody) else’s (is the way) narrow minded people count.
                        But for broad minded people, (whole) earth is (like their) family.

                        Comment

                        • Soldier of Macedon
                          Senior Member
                          • Sep 2008
                          • 13675

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Slovak
                          Because Constantine and Methodius were not familiar enough with the dialect of Moravia or they did not know it was different from the Macedonian one since all the dialects were branded Slavonic. Plus they themselves knew only the Macedonian dialect and it was in this dialect alone they could translate the texts.
                          That sounds reasonable enough. Would it be accurate to then say though, that there are two types of OCS, a Macedonian and a Moravian? Did they co-exist or did one eventually dominate over the other? Can we find a comparison sentence so we can better see the differences?

                          This manuscript that you mentioned is interesting. Which language of today does it resemble the most, Slovene, Slovak or Czech?


                          Are these manuscripts enough to ensure that the Slavic tongue of Moravia did not accept any terminology, grammar influences, etc, from that of Macedonia via OCS? Are there no differences in Moravia between the language of this manuscript and the language after the missionaries from Salonika and the introduction of OCS in Macedonian?

                          Slovak, in your opinion, which Slavic language of today shares the most similarities with the two OCS (Macedonian and Moravian)?
                          In the name of the blood and the sun, the dagger and the gun, Christ protect this soldier, a lion and a Macedonian.

                          Comment

                          • Delodephius
                            Member
                            • Sep 2008
                            • 736

                            #14
                            I wouldn't know to which modern language OCS resembles most because all Slavic languages have evolved in their own direction. This separation began even before OCS and that is why OCS can be classified as a South Slavic language because it has features found in those languages. I think there was a topic on this forum where I posted the main difference between each group (East, West and South).

                            To me OCS is very close to Slovak, but not so much the literary language as the dialects. The book I have covers that similarities between Slovak dialects and OCS quite extensively. Modern standard Macedonian is I think less similar to OCS then the dialects down the Struma River in the south towards the Aegean where according to the book I have the closest dialect from which OCS evolved, although it is today not so much similar to it. As for Slovenian, it is too quite similar in grammar and phonology, but I don't know the language enough to comment.

                            There was only one OCS. There were only more (not just two) ways of writing it. You see, everyone added to this language from their own vocabulary and grammar. The offspring of OCS, the Church Slavonic language, comes in several versions: Serbian, Croatian, Bulgarian, Macedonian and Russian. But in all of these, besides the indigenous South Slavic features from the original language of Constantine and Methodius, there are also Moravisms, like the words I mentioned. OCS was an artificial language for no living dialect existed at any time that was like it. It was based on a living dialect, but then words and forms from various areas through which the language passed were added. They weren't added in the beginning and in different areas they were different, but the path of language is clear: from Macedonia to Moravia and from there to Croatia, Serbia, back to Macedonia, and Bulgaria, and from Bulgaria to Russia. That is why Croatian or Serbian church languages have only Moravisms but lack Bulgarisms like the ones Russian Church Slavonic has.
                            अयं निज: परो वेति गणना लघुचेतसाम्।
                            उदारमनसानां तु वसुधैव कुटुंबकम्॥
                            This is mine or (somebody) else’s (is the way) narrow minded people count.
                            But for broad minded people, (whole) earth is (like their) family.

                            Comment

                            • Delodephius
                              Member
                              • Sep 2008
                              • 736

                              #15
                              Can we find a comparison sentence so we can better see the differences?
                              I found a reconstruction the Lord's Prayer in the two versions: one original OCS and one then used in Great Moravia. It should be noted that the one used in Moravia is from which modern Catholic and Protestant prayers originate, while the Orthodox ones are based on the original OCS one, mainly because the Moravian uses words translated from German and Latin that were in usage before the mission of Constantine and Methodius.

                              OCS
                              Otьče našь,
                              iže esi na nebesæxъ,
                              da svętitъ sę imę Tvoe,
                              da pridetъ cæsaŕьstvie Tvoe,
                              da bǫdetъ voĺæ Tvoæ
                              æko na nebese i na zemĺi;
                              xlæbъ našь nasǫštьnъ daždь namъ dьnьsь,
                              i ostavi namъ dlъgy našę
                              ækože i my ostavĺæemъ dlъžnikomъ našimъ.
                              I ne vъvedi nasъ vъ iskušenie,
                              nъ izbavi ny otъ lǫkavaego;
                              æko Tvoe estъ cæsaŕьstvie i sila i slava vъ væky.
                              Aminь.

                              OCS with Moravian influence
                              Otьče našь,
                              iže esi na nebesæxъ,
                              svęti sę imę Tvoe,
                              pridi cæsaŕьstvo Tvoe,
                              bǫdi voĺæ Tvoæ
                              æko na nebese i na zeḿi;
                              xlæbъ našь vьšьdæiši dazь namъ dьnьsь,
                              i otъpusti namъ græxy našę
                              ækoze i my otъpuščaemъ græšьnikъmъ našimъ.
                              I ne vъvedi nasъ vъ iskušenie,
                              nъ vybavi ny otъ nepriæzni;
                              æko Tvoe estъ cæsaŕьstvo i mocь i slava vъ væky.
                              Amenь
                              अयं निज: परो वेति गणना लघुचेतसाम्।
                              उदारमनसानां तु वसुधैव कुटुंबकम्॥
                              This is mine or (somebody) else’s (is the way) narrow minded people count.
                              But for broad minded people, (whole) earth is (like their) family.

                              Comment

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