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Reader feedback: Overcoming the barrier

Re: Dialects - what happens when east meets west?, By Eric Smillie, March 22 - 28, Vol 10, No 11

I was born in and live in the US. My grandparents came from mountain villages in the extreme northeastern corner of Slovakia around 1900.

I remember many words that they used and words I learned in the Orthodox (Pravoslavne) Church. I am now studying the Slovak language and have been to Slovakia twice to visit relatives. I know some of the eastern dialect, but we are learning formal Slovak.

This has been a problem for me, depending on with whom I am speaking (or trying to speak).

In the villages my limited dialect works fine along with my limited Slovak. Although there are great regional differences in the pronunciation of words, we seem to understand and accept each other. All this adds variety and diversity to a language. Slovakia is a wonderful country with so much to offer and be proud of. I hope its future is not clouded by an internal language barrier.

Mike Charnego
(Michal Cernega),
Pennsylvania, USA

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