Tuesday, November 28, 2023

What Language Is Spoken In The Ukraine

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Over The Course Of History Numerous Peoples Have Lived In What Is Modern

WIKITONGUES: Vira speaking Ukrainian

Like many European nations, Ukraine is a linguistically diverse country with many other languages and dialects spoken. This reflects its long history and cultural heritage that comes from numerous migrations of different peoples over centuries.

Of the nations roughly 44 million inhabitants the vast majority, just under 68 percent, consider their native language to be Ukrainian, the official national language. About 30 percent of Ukrainians consider their first language Russian, the second largest group. Russian and Ukrainian, along with Belarusian come from the East Slavic family of languages.

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Dramatic Increase Of Russian Settlers

The 19th century saw a dramatic increase in the urban Russian population in present-day Ukraine, as ethnic Russian settlers moved into and populated the newly industrialised and growing towns. At the beginning of the 20th century the Russians formed the largest ethnic group in almost all large cities within Ukraine’s modern borders, including Kyiv , Kharkiv , Odessa , Mykolaiv , , Luhansk, , Kherson , Melitopol , Ekaterinoslav, , Kropyvnytskyi , Simferopol , Yalta , Kerch , Sevastopol . The Ukrainian migrants who settled in these cities entered a Russian-speaking milieu and needed to adopt the Russian language.

Around 40 Languages Are Spoken In Ukraine

The nations long, storied history has left Ukraine with over three dozen languages and dialects. Although attempts were made by Russian leaders for over two hundred years to suppress the Ukrainian language and identity, both have lived on. Now, Ukrainian is enshrined in the constitution as the official language, but guarantees are in place for Russian and other minority languages.

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How Similar Are The Ukrainian And Russian Languages

Ukrainian and Russian are very closely related languages, but are not as similar as many might think.

Despite sharing the Cyrillic script and a similar grammar structure, the two languages have many major and minor differences that set them apart from one another.

Most Ukrainians also speak Russian or at least have a large amount of exposure to it, while only a very small number of Russians speak Ukrainian.

This means that there is asymmetrical mutual intelligibility, which is to say that Ukrainians who dont speak Russian fluently can understand Russian much better than Russians who dont speak Ukrainian fluently can understand Ukrainian.

Ukrainian Is The World’s 3rd Most Beautiful Language

In what parts of Ukraine is Ukrainian spoken?

Based on the results of the languages competition that took place in Paris in 1934, Ukrainian is the third most beautiful by its phonetics, vocabulary, phraseology, and sentence structure after French and Persian.

Also, it’s officially the second most melodic language in the world after Italian. So it comes as no surprise that many admit the Ukrainian language reminds them a nightingales song.

To make sure it’s true, you might want to listen to world-famous Summertime by George Gershwin and Carol of the Bells in their original language, which isUkrainian!

  • Summertime was inspired by the ancient Ukrainian lullaby Oi Hodyt’ Son Kolo Vikon.
  • Carol of the Bells, a Christmas song we all hear and sing yearly, comes from Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych. Peter J. Wilhousky adapted its lyrics, following the original performance of the Ukrainian National Chorus at Carnegie Hall in 1921.

The Ukrainian Language Is Very Flexible

With more than five million synonyms, Ukrainian is versatile and diverse.

According to the Brief Synonym Dictionary of the Ukrainian Language, the biggest number of synonyms, which is 45, goes to the word .

Ukrainian has fewer homonyms, which says a lot about the lexical wealth of the language.

Ukrainian is unique with its alphabet having two letters you won’t find in any other language:

sounds like /g/. The thing is, Ukrainians also have that sounds somewhere between /g/ and /h/.

is a letter that makes Ukrainian so melodic.

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How Did The Language Situation Change After Ukraine Gained Independence

Two years before independence, in 1989, when the Soviet Union was undergoing perestroika, the Law on languages in the Ukrainian SSR was passed, stating that the Ukrainian SSR gives Ukrainian the status of a state language. This status was specified in the Constitution of independent Ukraine .

However, after many years of colonial rule, the situation developed inertially, and diglossia which had lasted for centuries, did its thing.


On the one hand, interest in the history of Ukraine grew. For example, Ukraine: A History by Canadian historian Orest Subtelnyi was first published in Ukrainian in 1991 with a circulation of 100,000 copies. Further, despite the disappointing economic situation of the 1990s, books by philologists who were repressed or deliberately forgotten in the Soviet Union were published. These books included Sviatoslav Karavanskyis Practical Dictionary of Synonyms of the Ukrainian Language , Ivan Ohienkos History of the Ukrainian Literary Language , and dictionaries of the Ukrainian language such as Hrinchenkos Dictionary in 2-Volumes . Words banned in Soviet times began to return to use.

After the Orange Revolution, there were some changes, primarily in the field of media. Quotas were set at 50% for broadcasting and music in Ukrainian on all TV and radio stations. In 2006-2008, a number of government decrees required distributors to dub and/or subtitle all foreign films in Ukrainian.

Russian And Ukrainian Is Perceived Differently

Even though the Ukrainian language has seen a rise in popularity during the later years, there still seems to be a clear difference in how Russian and Ukrainian are perceived in Ukraine and especially in Kyiv.

Most people prefer to speak the Russian language in public. For many Ukrainians, Russian is the language of educated cosmopolitans, whereas Ukrainian is considered by many to be the contrary, much like rural dialects are perceived in many countries.

This has meant that people have a certain preference for Russian in the public sphere, even if both interlocutors are perfectly able to speak Ukrainian. Only if one of the two people speaking have troubles expressing him or herself in Russian, or if it becomes clear that both are from regions in the West where Ukrainian is more common, will they make the switch.

In some cases, you’ll also hear two people having a conversation, each one speaking a different language. This is possible only if each person know both languages, which if often the case, but with each person having a different preference. While , they’re not mutually intelligible, meaning that both persons do need to know the language that the other part is speaking for this to work.

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How Similar Are Ukrainian And Russian

The misconception that Russian and Ukrainian are the same sometimes stems from the fact that Russian is widely spoken in Ukraine. The numbers can differ slightly according to various sources, but its generally agreed that 60% of Ukrainians consider Ukrainian their native language, while 15% consider Russian to be their native language. Moreover, 22% consider both to be their native languages.

Its also worth noting that most Ukrainian speakers can also speak Russian, even if its as a second language. To an untrained ear, that may sound like Ukrainian when it is in fact, Russian. On top of that, some people use a mixture of Ukrainian and Russian called Surzhyk.

So how similar are Ukrainian and Russian? They share about 62% lexical similarity. What many people dont know is that Ukrainian has a higher lexical similarity with Polish, Slovak and Belarusian, than it does with Russian especially with Belarusian.

Since most Ukrainian speakers also speak Russian or have extensive exposure to it, asymmetric intelligibility is the best term to describe the relationship between the two languages. In other words, Ukrainian speakers can often understand Russian, while Russian speaker doesnt understand Ukrainian, especially Russian speakers from outside Ukraine.

However, all three languages Ukrainian, Russian and Belarusian are in part mutually intelligible, and already knowing one can help a lot if you want to learn one of the others.

Ten Interesting Facts About The Ukrainian Language

How to Pronounce Ukraine in Ukrainian? ()

Fact 1: Ukrainian is one of the most melodic languages in the world. In 1934 in Paris, at a linguistic congress, leading experts recognized the Ukrainian language as the third among all languages in terms of melodiousness, lexical and seemingly well-established phraseological richness, huge word-shaped possibilities, and syntactic flexibility. At a similar forum of linguists in Switzerland, where the primary evaluation criteria were the euphonic system of the language, its melodiousness, and sonority, the Ukrainian language was named second after Italian.

Fact 2: The longest word in Ukrainian is dichlorodiphenyltrichloromethylmethane . This word has 30 letters.

Fact 3: Unlike other East Slavic languages, Ukrainian has a noun case.

Fact 4: The modern Ukrainian language has about 256 thousand words.

Fact 5: In the Ukrainian language, the most significant number of words begin with the letter P. The least used letter in the Ukrainian alphabet is the letter .

Fact 6: Outside of Europe, the Ukrainian language has semi-official status in the United States . Cook County in Illinois is the 16th largest local government in the world. About 5.5 million people live in this district the district includes the city of Chicago along with the suburbs. And the Ukrainian language was chosen as one of the most commonly used languages in the area.

Fact 9: The names of baby animals in Ukrainian are neuter.

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Relation To Other Languages

Spanish is closely related to the other , including , , , , , and .

It is generally acknowledged that Portuguese and Spanish speakers can communicate in written form, with varying degrees of mutual intelligibility. of the Spanish and Portuguese languages is remarkably high, and the difficulties of the spoken forms are based more on phonology than on grammatical and lexical dissimilarities. gives estimates of the between related languages in terms of precise percentages. For Spanish and Portuguese, that figure is 89%. Italian, on the other hand is phonologically similar to Spanish, but has a lower lexical similarity of 82%. Mutual intelligibility between Spanish and or between Spanish and is lower still, given lexical similarity ratings of 75% and 71% respectively. Comprehension of Spanish by French speakers who have not studied the language is much lower, at an estimated 45%. In general, thanks to the common features of the writing systems of the Romance languages, interlingual comprehension of the written word is greater than that of oral communication.

The following table compares the forms of some common words in several Romance languages:

A related dialect is , the Judaeo-Spanish of northern Morocco. This too tended to assimilate with modern Spanish, during the Spanish occupation of the region.

Thus, the Spanish alphabet has the following 27 letters:

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, Ñ, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z.

How Many Ukrainian Speakers Are There In Kyiv

Kyiv has seen a drastic change in how its population see itself. In 2001, 75% of the capital’s population considered themselves ethnic “Ukrainian” whereas in 2015, the number was 94%. . Whether the capital saw an influx of people who consider themselves Ukrainian in this period, or if the existing population merely changed their opinion on their own identity is hard to say.

According to other statistics, however, in 2006 23% of Kievans spoke Ukrainian at home whereas in 2015, 27% spoke Ukrainian at home, which is only a slight increase. This might indicate that the linguistic situation of the city remained more or less unchanged, whereas people’s perception of their own identity was the thing that changed.

But even though most of the population of Kyiv don’t speak Ukrainian at home , almost everyone is able to communicate in the language.

Speaking Ukrainian in Kyiv will certainly allow you to speak with almost everyone.

Read: .

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Learning Ukrainian Helps You Easily Understand Other Languages

Once you learn Ukrainian, you can understand Polish, Czech, Belarusian, or other Slavic languages because they are quite similar.

Coming from the same family of languages, they share common sounds and roots of words.

For example, those who learn Ukrainian will eventually know 70% of Polish lexicon and a third of its grammar rules.

But if you plan to understand Russian, Ukrainian won’t help you, as the Russian language differs from other Slavic languages.

Though it shares most grammar rules with them, it still lacks a lot of Ukrainian, Polish, and Belarusian phonemes.

Is English Widely Spoken In The Ukrainian Capital Kyiv

What is the most popular language spoken at home and in family ...

If you’re planning to go to Kyiv and rely on English, you might have to either hire a guide or to learn a few phrases before you go there – and don’t be too adventurous.

In Ukraine, English isn’t widely spoken, and even though Kyiv, the capital has more English speakers than the rest of the country, you shouldn’t expect to be able to ask directions from people in the streets or shop clerks and vendors. According to this source, Ukraine has one of the lowest English proficiency levels in Europe.

Many people employed in the tourist industry do, however, speak English, and Ukrainians are always very helpful, and even if they don’t speak the same language as you do, they’ll try and help you, or find someone who can.

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Did Kotlyarevskyis Eneida Immediately Encourage Others To Start Writing In The Living Ukrainian Language

Eneida was indeed a popular work among the intellectuals of that time, but reading in the vernacular language was strange and unusual, so there arose a controversy over what the Ukrainian literary language should be, whether it could be used to write serious works, not only humorous ones.

In the 1830s, other works by Kotliarevskyi written in the vernacular were published in Kharkiv: the plays Natalka Poltavka and Moskal-Charivnyk , and Hryhorii Kvitka-Osnovianenkos novels, among which were not at all humorous, but serious works, such as

In 1840 Shevchenkos Kobzar was published in St. Petersburg. Shevchenkos uniqueness is that he, a native of Naddniprianshchyna, used his local dialect in his poems but selected the words that were clear to every Ukrainian, no matter where they came from, which gave Shevchenkos poetry an all-Ukrainian character.

Taras Shevchenko. Illustrator: Oleksandr Grekhov.

In Naddniprianshchyna, translations of the iconic works of world literature the Bible, works by Shakespeare, Goethe, Byron, Heine were published in the living Ukrainian language.

Therefore, the language based on the version spoken by people was increasingly used in writing. Attempts were even made to standardise it.

Los Ucranianos Suelen Saber Ruso Pero Los Rusos No Suelen Saber Ucraniano

Aunque el ucraniano y el ruso son lingüísticamente distintos, hay una importante asimetría a la que hay que prestarle atención: aunque la mayoría de los rusos no sabe o entiende ucraniano porque se trata de un idioma diferente, la mayoría de los ucranianos sabe y entiende ruso. La razón de esto no está en la lingüística, sino en la política e historia: ya que la Unión Soviética ocupó Ucrania por casi 70 años, el ruso era el único idioma oficial de Ucrania. Se obligaba a gobiernos, escuelas y negocios a usar únicamente el ruso. Así que, aunque la mayoría de las familias continuó usando ucraniano en casa, necesitaban hablar ruso en la mayor parte de sus vidas públicas. Como resultado, los ucranianos de mayor edad crecieron con el ruso e incluso las generaciones más jóvenes aún se encuentran con el ruso en su vida cotidiana.

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How Many Russian Speakers Are There In Kyiv

In 2001, 25% of Kievans considered themselves to be ethnic “Russians”. In 2015, that number had fallen to 5%.

Despite of this, Russian remains a very important language in the Ukrainian capital and it even remains the preferred language of most when speaking in public and conversing in the streets.

Russian also remains the preferred language spoken in Kievan households, with 32% of the population speaking primarily Russian at home as opposed to the 27% who speak mostly Ukrainian. .

While most of the capital’s population do speak Russian, the amount of Russian speakers isn’t as high as it’s the case with Ukrainian speakers. Even though Russian is extremely common in Ukraine and Kyiv, it is mostly spoken by people who have at least a minimum of schooling.

This means that Kyiv finds itself in the strange situation where more people are able to speak Ukrainian, the national language, but where most people still prefer to speak Russian.

What Is The Main Language Spoken In Kiev

Kyiv: Why are there different ways to pronounce the Ukrainian capital? | ITV News

Ask any inhabitant of Kiev and theyll tell you that the main language on the street is Russian.

Its also acknowledged that the Ukrainian language is gaining traction, but most interactions are still held within Russian.

Despite any rumors youve heard, in reality, theres barely any cold feeling towards the Russian language in Kiev and people will happily undertake a conversation in either language as long as they have adequate proficiency.

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What Languages Are Really Spoken In Ukraine

Ukraine is an incredibly linguistically diverse country and not in the way that youre thinking. The country is linguistically diverse due to its history with Russia, Hungary, Romania, Poland and the rest of its neighbors.

Over time, Russia has come to be a strong influence within Ukrainian culture due to intertwined pasts and close proximity. Not only this, but our respective languages are highly similar allowing for an even closer connection to grow.

Whether or not this connection has been cherished or despised over the years, it is undeniable. And this connection is key to understanding the linguistic culture of Ukraine.

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