Ukrainian or Russian
Ok, so I obviously know that Russian is spoken more, but is Ukrainian (or at least the course) easier than the Russian course? Which course should I do, as I have found Russian rather challenging.
I took Ukrainian until Russian came out and I can second this. Honestly, it may be better to do Ukrainian just for the better alphabet intro and switch over to Russian after that (you'd have to map over a few different sounds, but it's honestly worth it in my opinion if you have never used Cryllic).
Isn't it just preference? Perhaps you should consider trying out both courses for a little bit and see which flavor you enjoy. You may like learning both simultaneously, or you may find that you have a preference for just one. You can't lose. They're both beautiful and historically complex languages. Well worth the effort.
Though I am not sure how to say which is harder. I don't think I really see why Ukrainian could be described as "harder." I do think the Ukrainian authors (of the Duolingo course) could - and this is a stretch - add a few more skills to the tree, but I think it's a pretty well built course.
I have experience in both languages, and I would say that Russian has some pretty maddening concepts along the way, too (just wait). But I wouldn't say that there's much weight to put on any opining about which language is harder. I for one find some of the linguistic aspects of Ukrainian simpler, while I also believe that the Russian course has more resources to help you out.
Try them both… you never know what your brain will like sometimes.
Either way, enjoy!
Ukrainian will be hard and a native Russian told me that Ukrainians understand Ukrainian and Russian and Russian speakers will understand Russian and some Ukrainian. I love Ukrainian though and trust me if you decide to do Ukrainian be prepared. Practice the cases, conjugations, etc. a lot! When I get bored at school I will sometimes review my cases. Just be ready to learn a beautiful yet hard language that only a few understand.
True. For some, my advice wouldn't work if they're really new to the sounds and grammatical concepts.
Though you could make the counter-argument that the languages will likely reinforce one another as you get a better grip of the linguistic differences. It's hard to justify spending months studying one just to decide that time will now be tossed in order to try the other. Not that it has to be so black and white, but if someone is good with languages, I don't see the harm in dabbling a little (key term - good at learning languages) with both before putting forth more effort into one.
Maybe you can make a plan to study one for six months in order to get a grasp of the basic concepts, and then take six months to focus on the other. Or maybe that's crazy... I'll leave it up to the individual to decide that one. ;-)
They are similar, but they are not the same. I spent a little in western Ukraine, and I could hear the differences (not just vocabulary but even the pronunciation). Linguistically, they're very similar but I think they are a little more than a varied choice of hot sauces.
Overall, I enjoy speaking Ukrainian more, and I didn't feel overwhelmed by the cases (there's a lot in Russian too). With that being said, I started the Russian course to refresh and build my knowledge and I really like it a lot. It's fun to notice the differences between them or see the subtle similarities.
Either way, hope you have fun learning Russian - or Ukrainian.