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site.btaLinguist Prof. Sotirov: Slavic Peoples Are Similar and Different Simultaneously

Linguist Prof. Sotirov: Slavic Peoples Are Similar and Different Simultaneously
Linguist Prof. Sotirov: Slavic Peoples Are Similar and Different Simultaneously
Prof. Petar Sotirov (BTA Photo/Krasimir Nikolov)

In an exclusive interview for BTA, linguist Prof. Petar Sotirov said that there is a stereotype that Slavic languages being similar to each other means that the people who speak them are also similar. Sotirov, who works in the fields of sociolinguistics, cognitive linguistics, ethno-linguistics at the University of Maria Curie-Sklodowska in Lublin, Poland, noted that language and culture should not be mixed up.

The scholar said that groups of Slavic countries that have maintained their closeness in language have had different histories, have different geographies, have experienced different cultural influences. He added that while Bulgarian and Polish have Slavic vocabularies with the same or similar words for the surrounding environment, parts of the body and more, cultural code in the two countries is quite different.

Polish people for example tend to use the "polite" form to address a person significantly longer, while Bulgarians are more likely to switch to the "familiar" form much faster. Phrases like about, as in "in about half an hour", or at some point are a lot more common in Bulgaria, since the Bulgarian community is a polychronic one, unlike the Polish one, which is monochronic and prefers to work with specific hours.

Language hides a cultural code, a picture of the world, Sotirov said. It is the revelation of the realities behind a language, the culture of the people who speak it, that are part of the new methods being taught at universities, the scholar said. He visited the Neofit Rilski South-West University here to hold talks, meetings and training seminars in the field of Bulgarian studies.

Sotirov said that in recent years there has been a decline in the interest among young people in pursuing education in Bulgarian studies, but there is also talk of a general crisis of humanities. Interest has shifted toward studying technical or economic subjects, law and others that offer quick success in the modern world. According to Sotirov, some ten years ago Poland was the country in Europe with the highest number of people studying Bulgarian in some form outside of Bulgaria. "While the language still enjoys a relatively high level of popularity, it also falls under the negative influence of this outflow, and it is here that we must look for new ways and means to sustain this interest," said Sotirov, who has been living and working in Poland for years.

/NZ/

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By 03:41 on 14.07.2024 Today`s news

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