memorandum of the interslavic community about Slovio, Slovjanski and Neoslavonic

(za anglijskym textom jest medžuslovjansky text)

INTRODUCTION

The Slavic languages are a relatively coherent language group. Knowledge of one Slavic language is often sufficient to get at least a rough understanding of what a text in any other Slavic language is about. During the course of history, this fact has inspired linguists and others to build a universal Slavic language that would be understandable for all Slavs, including the famous Old Church Slavonic language from the 9th century, as well as dozens of other projects from the 16th century onwards. What they have in common is that they are all based on the assumption that the Slavic languages are similar enough to make such a language possible at all.

SLOVIO

Mr. Mark Hučko was one of the first who picked up this idea in the digital era. He made his Slovio in 1999 on almost the same principles as Esperanto, but using Slavic word roots instead. Initially, the project was received with some enthusiasm on the Internet, but interest in it later fizzled. One significant drawback of the Slovio language is the artificial character of its grammar. Slavic vocabulary is used only for word stems, but suffixes and many other grammatical elements were taken from Esperanto or English, or designed artificially. For non-Slavs, this language may serve as a kind of Esperanto with the advantage that Slavic people can understand some of it; nonetheless, for Slavs the entire concept comes across as unnatural and sometimes ridiculous. As a result, Slovio never gained acceptance, and by now it has practically vanished from the scene.

THE INTERSLAVIC PROJECT

Most other projects past and present have chosen a more naturalistic approach, which has accumulated today into our two collaborative community projects: Novoslovienski (Neoslavonic) and Slovjanski (Slavic). Both share a similar, naturalistic grammar, a common vocabulary and one common goal: to describe a universal Slavic language that Slavs can understand without any prior learning and use actively after some minimal learning only. This language, called Interslavic, is based exclusively on forms that exist throughout the Slavic language continuum, and artificiality is carefully avoided: every word stem, grammatical ending or morphological element can be found in several Slavic languages, ideally in all of them. This design strategy locates Interslavic at the very centre of the living Slavic languages.

In addition, speakers can easily mix words or other elements from their mother tongue into Interslavic, which enables them to make themselves clearer to other Slavic speakers, and also allows them to use Interslavic as a transient tool for faster and easier learning of another Slavic language. Likewise, Interslavic can easily be manipulated by using characteristics from the language(s) of a specific target group. We call these processes "flavorization".

Our experience is that speakers of Slavic languages tend to perceive Interslavic as either an ancient or remote dialect of their own language, or a neighboring language closely related to their own. People are often surprised how much they can understand of it. Our strategy is to develop this auxiliary language in such way that it can be naturally incorporated into the collection of spoken Slavic languages, to enable Interslavic dialogue, knowledge and cultural transfer without the need of translating information into several national languages.

It should be emphasized that Interslavic is not related to any religion, ideology or political movement. It is neither intended to ever replace any living language, nor to become a universal second language of any kind, but merely to serve as a tool for those who wish to communicate with other Slavs, and to those who hope to achieve a better understanding of the Slavic languages.

SLOVJANSKI

Slovjanski consists of elements that are most common in today's living Slavic languages. Grammar is basic, simple and regular. To maximize understandability to Slavic speakers, all words and forms are consistently based on majority solutions. Because Slovjanski is a multi-purpose language, it is not a closed system with hard rules, but a flexible collection of Interslavic language instruments, including numerous word-building tools. The Slovjanski project also encompasses Slovianto, a highly simplified experimental form of Interslavic, designed to have an even lower complexity level than Slovio, but using natural forms only.

NEOSLAVONIC

Neoslavonic (Novoslovienski) is an artificial evolution of the Old Church Slavonic language from the early Middle Ages into modern times. It can be regarded as the simplified grammar and vocabulary of all Slavic languages. Neoslavonic includes elements that are no longer universal in Slavic (multiple past and future verb tenses, the dual, the present passive participle). This somewhat greater complexity has the advantage that it contributes to a greater passive (e.g. receptive) understanding of the local languages. Even so, Neoslavonic grammar is not very complicated at all; a basic overview fits on two pages.

COOPERATION

Practically, differences between Slovjanski and Neoslavonic are minimal. Slovjanski is based on the commonalities of the living Slavic languages, but to ensure consistency, we never borrow straight from any living Slavic language but reconstruct proto-forms and take those as a starting point instead. On the other hand, Neoslavonic is Old Church Slavonic modernized through the prism of the modern languages. Not surprisingly, the results are often identical. Words, forms and conventions from one project can be very easily used in the other and vice versa, to the point that nobody can tell the difference anymore. This is proven by some of the columns written in the Internet news and the Internet discussions within our community.

Both projects cooperate very closely. Our project members write and read in both language forms, have their discussions on the same Internet forums, share the same dictionary, the same Internet newspaper, as well as several other places. Moreover, we have chosen the name INTERSLAVIC as a common denominator for both our projects. We expect that our two approaches will continue to inspire and enrich each other in the future, but in the meantime, we thoroughly enjoy our cooperation: the fruit of mutual appreciation of each other's work, respect for different points of view, overcoming personal ambitions, constructive criticism and most of all, the belief that our common goal is best served if we work together.

DISCLAIMER

We have, at several occasions, invited Slovio's creator, Mark Hučko to cooperate with us. Despite our differences, we do appreciate his pioneering work and we still consider Slovio a part of the Interslavic family. Sadly, his attitude towards our work has from the very beginning been extremely hostile - including a hate campaign, personal attacks and even threats. Among his more recent actions is the purchase of several domain names with the names of our projects (slovianski.eu, novoslovianski.com, interslavic.org, slovianto.com). These pages are completely unrelated to our projects, and what they contain is either a mix of plagiarism, parody and hatred, or modifications of Slovio presented under new names similar to ours. Obviously, the purpose is to confuse potentially interested people. Mr. Hučko's writings make it more than clear that he considers himself to be the exclusive owner of the entire concept of Interslavic, and that he holds us personally responsible for the failure of his own project. Other projects are consistently referred to as "plagiarised Slovio clones" or "useless copy-cut languages".

We want to stress that the information contained on the aforementioned and other pages is patently and deliberately false. Our projects do not use Slovio material. Any coincidences are the logical result of both projects being based on the same Slavic source material. It is our belief that no one has the moral right to call himself the owner of Slavic vocabulary, and that the Interslavic language should never be used as a vehicle for anybody's personal ambitions or financial gains.

CONCLUSION

Both our Interslavic teams are perfectly aware of the fact that we are only in the beginning, and that there is still a lot of work ahead of us. We need to practice, produce more texts and other materials, and we always need more feedback from others. We, as the collaborative creators, do what we think is best, but we know very well that we cannot always take the right decision. Spoken languages are living things and we know that no conlang (Esperanto, Interlingua) or reconstructed modern national language (Slovak, Hebrew, Indonesian) in the world is used in the exactly same form as when it was first published. Therefore we welcome anybody – linguist, non-linguist, native speaker, non-native speaker – to join our ranks and work with us on this great task!

THE INTERSLAVIC COMMUNITY, September 2011



SUPPLEMENT

In July 2017, there was made a significant shift towards unity. The first international conference took place (see http://cisla.slavic-union.org/) and a committee of the five most active experts of both dialects was created. The result is 100% unification of orthography and basic grammar, so today we can talk about one common language. The remaining small differences are only a question of the personal taste of individual users.



VOVEDENJE

Slovjanske jezyky sut grupa sobě relativno razumivyh jezykov.  Znanju jednogo slovjanskogo jezyka jest mnogaždy najmenše dostatečno domysliti grubo razuměnje smysla textov v drugyh slovjanskyh jezykah.  Tutoj fakt v tečenju věkov inspirovaše lingvisty i druge ljudi tvoriti univerzalny slovjansky jezyk, iže by byl razumivy vsim Slovjanom, pričitajuči prěhvalny Staroslovjansky crkveny jezyk i takože desetice drugyh projektov od 16-ogo věka dalěje.  Vse tute projekty byli zajedno postavěne na prědpoloženji, že slovjanske jezyky sut sobě dostatečno podobne do možnogo dělanja takogo jezyka.

SLOVIO

Gospod Mark Hučko běše jedin iz prvyh, kto postignuše digitalnu eru.  On sotvoriše svoje Slovio v 1999 na blizko podobnyh principah kako Esperanto, no odlišeno od Esperanta s slovjanskymi korěnami slov.  Iznačala běše projekt prijaty na Internetu s dehověnjem, no potom je interes v njego izčeznul. Jedin iz priznačnyh nedostatkov jezyka Slovio jest umětny charakter jego grammatiky. Slovjansky slovnik jest koristjeny samo v korěnah slov, no suffixy i mnogo drugyh grammatičnyh elementov byli izbrane iz Esperanta ili anglijskogo ili sut byli autorom umětno prědloženi.  Neslovjanom tutoj jezyk može služiti kako poddialekt Esperanta s prinosom častečnogo razuměnja od Slovjanov, ale Slovjani tutoj vsej koncept čujut neprirodnym i někogda směšnym.  V razrěšenji Slovio nikogda ne bylo prijato, i nyně jest praktično izčeznulo iz sceny.

MEDŽUSLOVJANSKY PROJEKT

Bolša čast projektov iz prošlogo ili sučnogo vrěmene izbrala sobě prirodnějši pristup, iže se dnes izvršil do dvoh sorabotajučih sobornyh projektov: Novoslovjansky i Slo-viansky.  Oba dva učestjut podobnu prirodnu grammatiku, i imajut zajedno jedin slovnik i jednu cělj: Popisati univerzalny clovjansky jezyk, jemuže by vsi Slovjani razuměli bez nikakogo prědhodnogo učenja i jegože by koristili samo poslě někakogo minimalnogo učenja. Toj jezyk nazvany Medžuslovjansky jest osnovany otlučajno na formah, iže izpolno sustvujut v prostranstvu Slovjanskyh jezykov i jih umětnost jest promyšleno od-klonjena: vsekaky slovny koren, gram-matične zakončenje ili morfologičny element jest možno naiti v mnogyh slovjanskyh jez-ykah, idealno v vsih iz njih.  Tuta strategija prědloženja nastavuje medžuslovjansky jezyk do samoj srědiny živyh slovjanskyh jezykov. 

Navyše, govorci mogut udobno měšati slova ili druge elementy iz svojego rodnogo jezyka do medžuslovjanskogo, čto jih dělaje vyše razumivymi drugym slovjanskym govorcam, i takože jim davaje možnost koristiti medžuslovjansky kako prěhodny instrument brzejšego i udobnějšego učenja drugogo slovjanskogo jezyka.  S medžuslovjanskym jezykom se takože može dvigati koristjenjem svojstev iz jezykov specifično narěčenoj grupy.  Tuti procesy pridavanja vkusa sut nami nazyvane «flavorizacija». 

Imajemo opyt, že govorci slovjanskyh jezy-kov strmjut svoje počutje medžuslovjanskogo kako davnověkovy dialekt svojego jezyka, ili kako susědny jezyk blizko vezany k jih jezyku.  Često sut ljudi udivjeni, kako mnogo mogut medžuslovjan-skomu razumiti.  Naša strategija jest iztvoriti tutoj pridavny jezyk tako, že može byti pri-rodno priključeny do občiny govorimyh slovjanskyh jezykov, može popustiti medžuslovjansky dialog, prěnesenje znanja i kultury bez potrěby prěloženja informacije do mnogyh narodnyh jezykov.

Trěba jest znamenati, že medžuslovjansky jezyk ne jest vezany na nikaku religiju ili političsko dviženje.  Ni ne jest ustavjeny někogda izměniti někaky živy jezyk, ni byti univerzalnym vtorym jezykom vsih črěd, no jemu jest toliko služiti priborom těm, ktori hočut komunikirati s drugymi Slovjanami, i těm, ktori nadějajut sobě dobytje lučšego razuměnja slovjanskym jezykam.

SLOVIANSKI

Slovianski držal elementy, iže sut najvyše zajedno v dnešnyh živyh slovjanskyh jez-ykah.  Grammatika jest osnovna, prosta i regularna.  Radi maximalizacije razumivosti od slověnskyh govorcev, vse slova i formy sut konsistentno osnovane na majoritnom razrěšenji.  Po pričině jezyka do mnogyh značenjej, on ne jest zaključena systema s pevnymi zakonami, ale flexibilno sobiranje jezyčnyh priborov vkupě s mnogymi instrumentami strojenja slov. Projekt Slovianski takože obimaje Slovianto, vysoko oproščenu experimentalnu formu medžuslovjanskogo, narěčeno imati ješče menšu urovenj složnosti od Slovio no koriščuče toliko prirodne formy.

NOVOSLOVJANSKY

Novoslovjansky byl umětno razvity staroslovjansky jezyk iz skorogo srědnogo věka do modernogo vrěmene. Na novoslovjansky jezyk se može nazirati kako na oprostjenu grammatiku i slovnik vsih slovjanskyh jezykov.  Novoslovjansky obimaje elementy, iže ne sut vyše univerzalne (bolše čisel prošlogo i budučego vrěmene glagolov, dvojina, sučny pasivny participij, ...).  Tuta malo vyšejša složnost imaje prědnost v tom, že prinašivaje lučše pasivno (to jest receptivno) razuměnje lokalnym jezykam.  Obače tomu, grammatika novoslovjanskogo jezyka ne jest mnogo komplikovana; osnovny prěgled jest položeny na dvoh stranicah.

KOOPERACIJA

Praktično, razlišenja medžu Slovianskym i Novoslovjanskym sut minimalne.  Slovian-sky jest osnovano na zajednostjah živyh slovjanskyh jezykov, ali po pričině utvrdjenja konzistencije, my nikogda ne beremo prosto iz živogo slovjanskogo jezyka, no rekonstrujemo iz njih proto-formy, od njihže načinajemo.  Iz vtoroj točky zrěnja, novoslovjansky jezyk jest staroslovjansky modernizirany črěz prizmu modernyh jezykov. Ne udivuje, že razrěšenje jest često identično. Slova, formy i konvencije iz jednogo dialekta mogut byti udobno koriščene v vtorom i povratno do takoj točky, že nikto nemože kazati někako razlišenje.  Tuto jest potvrdjeno mnogymi člankami napisanymi do naših internetovyh novin i interne-tovymi diskusijami izmedžu našeju komu-nitoju. 
Oba dva dialekta mnogo blizko kooperujut.  Členi našego projekta pišut i čitajut v obojih jezyčnyh formah, besedujut na rovnyh internetovyh forah i zajedno imajut rovny slovnik, pravopis, internetove noviny i několiko drugyh prostorov.  Navyše, my jesmo sobě izbrali priložno ime MEDŽUSLOVJANSKY kako obče nazvanje za oba dva dialekta.  Čajemo, že naše dva pristupy jedin drugomu prodolžajut inspiraciju i obogačenje do budučego, i v tutom vrěmeni gluboko uživajemo našu kooperaciju: plody iz ocenivanja raboty jednogo od drugogo, respektovanje raz-ličnyh toček zrěnja, prěmoženje ličnoj ambičnosti, konstruktivnu kritiku i naj-bolje věrovanje, že našemu jedinakomu narěčenji služimo najlučše, ako li rabo-tajemo zajedno.

ODMĚTANJE

Nebrežno od našego razlišenja my pravdivo ocenivajemo pioneersku rabotu gospodina  Hučka i navěk pomnimo Slovio do Medžu-slovjanskoj občiny. Na žalost, gospodin Hučko sebe polagaje exkluzivnym držiteljem vsego medžuslovjanskogo koncepta. Druge projekty sut jim prisno nazy-vajeme kako "plagirane klony od Slovio" ili "nepotrěbne copy-cut jezyky".

Hočemo podčrtati, že naše projekty ne koristet material iz Slovio.  Vse sorečnosti sut samo logičny rezultat našego projekta i  projekta Slovio po pričině osnovanija na rovnyh slovjanskyh iztočnikah.  Po našem věrovanji nikto ne imaje moralno pravo byti imajučim slovjanskogo slovnika, i medžuslovjanskomu jezyku ne jest možno nikogda byti koriščeny kako kolesnica ličnoj ambicije ili finančnogo prinosa.

ZAKLJUČENJE

Naš medžuslovjansky team odlično znaje fakt, že jesmo toliko na počatku, i jest prěd nami ješče mnogo raboty. Jest nam trěba praktizirati, strojiti bolše texta i drugogo materiala, i vsegda jest trěba nam dostavati povratny vez od drugih.  My, kolaborativni tvorci, dělajemo najbolše, čto myslimo, no mnogo dobro znajemo, že vsegda ne možemo prijati pravo razrěšenje.  Govorime jezyky sut žive věči, i znajemo, že nijedin konstruirany jezyk (Esperanto, Interlingua) ili rekonstruirany moderny narodny jezyk (slovacky, jevrejsky, indonezijsky) světa ne jest dnes koristimy v točno rovnoj formě, kako kogda je izprva byl publikirany.  Zato prizyvajemo vsekakogo - lingvista, ne-lingvista, rodimogo govorca, nerodimogo govorca - pričestiti se k našim činam i rabotati s nami na tutom velikom dělu!