Tony<<For many educated Slavs Church Slavonic is not totally inaccessible, although it certainly no longer reflects the spoken language. It is also most clearly Russified.>>
Tony, the only Slavic language with which I have any reasonable familiarity in speech, reading and writing is a Western Slavic language: Polish, which, as you know, uses the same Western alphabet as the rest of Western Europe. I never learned to read or write Slavonic, nor was I exposed to Slavonic letters at all when I was growing up. And even though I have a college degree, which, I assume, puts me in the ranks of "the educated Slavs," I am hopelessly dyslexic, which frustrates me terribly when I sing in the church choir and a Church Slavonic hymn is suddenly put in front of me to replace an English one, e.g, the Cherubikon, and I am unable to read it and am embarrassedly reduced to simply humming the melody of the Slavonic hymn. For some inexplicable God-given reason, however, I *am* able to *understand* a reasonable amount of Church Slavonic--indeed, this faculty was given me from the first days I was exposed to it in Church, and yet I know almost no Russian! My maternal Ukrainian-born grandmother did sing a Ukrainian lullabye to me when I was a baby though. That was the extent of the Ukrainian I ever heard in my house. I know the Lord's Prayer and the "Ave" in Polish from my days as a student in a Polish parochial grammar school, but, alas, to this day I am still unable to either read or pray these prayers in Slavonic!