Us Slavic language speakers often forget just how lucky we are. If you speak one Slavic language, you can pretty much make ourselves understood in the whole of Eastern Europe. There are some big differences (any Pole looking for a drink here in Prague will be able to vouch for that). But our languages are similar enough that if we speak slow enough, we can get the gist of what the other person is saying. Surprisingly enough though, when we travel, we almost always speak in English. This led to a group of Czech and Croatian linguists creating the world’s first Interslavic language. It was created so that Slavs can speak to each other in a language that would be completely understandable for everyone. No matter which Slavic language they spoke.
Inspiration came from 9th century Church Slavonic, and many other different languages from the 16th century onwards which formed the building blocks of the languages Slavs speak today. Now, the Interslavic language has two forms – Slovianski and Neoslavonic. They both share the same grammar and a common dictionary. And if you speak a Slavic language you won’t need hardly any studying at all to master them (if only learning other languages was that easy!). Slovianski was started back in 2006 simply as a generic Slavic language, and Neoslavonic is based more on 9th century Church Slavonic and started a bit later in 2010.
For us language nerds, new languages are quite cool, but do we really need it? Well, although it’s not officially spoken anywhere, it’ll help you access the whole Slavic world. It can also be a great help for travellers so you don’t have to worry about any of those annoying false friends, and it will make learning a second Slavic language a lot easier 😊
If you’d like to see what it looks like, take a look at this website. It’s presenting their conference that was held a few weeks ago. As Czech speakers, we were a bit sceptical at the beginning, but we really can understand it all 😊