Czech Linguist and Croatian Anthropologist Create an Inter-Slavic Language

By , 14 May 2017, 15:28 PM Lifestyle
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The proposed universal New Slavic language would simplify communication between speakers of different Slavic languages, and improve the quality of machine translation.

Vojtěch Merunka, a Czech linguist and professor at the Faculty of Technology in Prague, is close to finishing his project of creating a universal meta-Slavic language, Jutarnji reports. Merunka will present the project at the first Conference of Inter-Slavic Language in the Moravian village of Staré Město kod Zlina on June 1st 2017.

"I've been working on language structures since the early days of my youth. I've always been thrilled by the concept of esperanto, but seeing that this international language is formed on the basis of Romance and Germanic language structures, I got carried away with the idea of creating a universal Slavic language that would enable easier communication within the Slavic language group." said Merunka. 

The Czech expert is collaborating with Croatian anthropologist Emil Heršak, a big advocate of the new inter-Slavic language and one of the participants at the upcoming conference. He stated that the majority of European population is composed of Slavic speakers: 250 million people, or 32.3% of the total population in Europe. Romance languages take second place with 31%, leaving the third place to Germanic language group with 27% of speakers.

Heršak noted that Merunka's pan-Slavic language isn't meant to replace all Slavic languages in existence, but should be used as a computer language to simplify inter-Slavic communication. At this moment, English is the only intermediary language in Google's online translation system, which often results in wrong translation of one Slavic language to another. For example, the system translates the Croatian word medvjed (n. bear) into endure in Polish and carry in Russian, as the English verb bear also represents a synonym for all listed suggestions. If an inter-Slavic language was used as basis for all machine translation related to Slavic languages, the results would be much more accurate.

Merunka mentioned he's bothered when he hears Czechs, Croats, Poles and Bulgarians speaking English among themselves, while their respective mother tongues all share a similar structure. "The New Slavic grammar is extremely simple and a speaker of one Slavic language could master it in a month, whereas a speaker of two Slavic languages would understand it at once." he said, adding that his project isn't a political issue and that he would like the new language to become a topic at cultural summits and events in multiple Slavic countries.

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