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Creation of Ukrainian Audio Flash Cards Using Cram

I have started to create a few sets of flash cards using Cram. I would like to have audio translations to accompany the Ukrainian terms. However, they don't provide a Ukrainian voice and only offer a Russian voice. So, I decided to be a little creative by entering the Ukrainian terms and marking them Russian so Cram would provide an audio translation.

Here's a link to one: http://www.cram.com/flashcards/ukrainian-family-members-6698264

I know the two languages have their difference but not actually sure how different they are when voiced in Russian. Can anyone offer some insight and if I may be making a big mistake doing it this way?


January 10, 2016



Disclaimer: not a native speaker of either language, fairly fluent in Russian, Ukrainian I only know the Duolingo tree.

I think you might have a problem with some vowels, as I don't think they map so neatly from Ukrainian to Russian - I'd need to double check, but I think и in Russian maps roughly to і in Ukrainian, and ы to и, so you might end up learning the wrong variant in some words. I'd suggest you need a native to completely clarify this and say how big of a problem it might be, though 8-o I haven't heard enough Ukrainian to be able to say "this is definitely wrong" or even "this is definitely right", but I feel it's a potential issue.

The two things that to me were decided problems:

1) велика was said with what seemed to be a pronounced o sound at the end, I can't, off the top of my head, figure out any reason why a Russian voice would say it that way, so it may be a more general fault, but I think it should be pronounced as an a. Off the top of my head, I don't know of any reason why either language would suddenly turn that into an o, so this might be an issue independent of giving it Ukrainian words to speak in a Russian accent.

2) дядько, батько. (Standard) Russian has vowel reduction of unstressed syllables, (Standard) Ukrainian does not. The voice pronounces them as if they are Russian words stressed on the first syllable, and reduces both the о sounds to а. As far as I know, that is not a correct pronunciation in Ukrainian. This is definitely a language-specific issue.

You might come across other issues like this. г is not said the same in Ukrainian as in Russian, and the его/ого ending (genitive) in Russian is not pronounced phonetically (it becomes evo/ovo, not ego/ogo), so if you have words with those endings you might well run into issues there.

The дядько/батько/велика pronunciations were the only ones that struck me as wildly inaccurate, but I am a beginner at Ukrainian who's used to Russian whilst not even being a native Russian speaker, so it's entirely possible there are finer details I'm missing. Hopefully someone who's more knowledgeable and/or a native will come along soon and help out more.


Wow... thanks for the great response. I am just a newbie here though I was noticing how it was handling some of the vowels and wasn't sure if it was due to the voice being off or if it was correctly doing it in Russian. It may be best if I remove the voice and just use text based cards.

Thanks again!


You're welcome, I'm glad I could help :D Since the Ukrainian forum seems to be pretty quiet these days, I figured non-native advice was better than none ;) :)

[deactivated user]

    This is definitely a bad idea.

    Here're some comments on the words:

    • діду́сь is mispronounced діду́с (also, soft д is not exactly right, it shouldn't be affricativised, but that is the smallest problem),
    • бабу́ся is mispronounced бабу́са,
    • він і вона́ mispronounced він і во́на,
    • ба́тько is mispronounced ба́тька~ба́цька (this is closer to Belarusian pronounciation than to Ukrainian),
    • ма́ти is mispronounced маті́ (also, soft ть is wrong; but it shouldn't be soft in the first place xD),
    • син is mispronouced сін,
    • дочка́ is mispronounced до́чка,
    • брат is pronounced correctly,
    • сестра́ is mispronounced сєстра́,
    • дя́дько is mispronounced дя́дька (also, soft д),
    • ті́тка is almost correct (except soft ть),
    • Ми сім’я́ is mispronounced Мі сім’я,
    • Сім’я́ не мале́нька is mispronounced Сі́м’я ні ма́лінька,
    • Сім’я́ вели́ка is mispronounced Сі́м’я віліко́ (???).

    2 correct words, 12 incorrect words.

    If that service allows uploading your own sound files, it would be better to use this.

    Unfortunately, there are no good TTS solutions for Ukrainian. Ukrainian Wikipedia has a list with examples. Unfortunately, all of them are for Windows.

    The best one is TTS by CyberMova, but its licence doesn't allow redistributing the files produced with it, so it's pretty useless. VymovaPlus, UkrVox and Розмовлялька have worse quality. I'm not sure if they are good for imitation. Nevertheless, UkrVox and Розмовлялька are free so you can try them if you use Windows.

    You might need to find some software to output files as mp3 files. I think such programs should exist, but if they don't, it's relatively simple to write one.

    Alternatively, I could just record these words for you. But my Ukrainian has a significant Russian/Belarusian accent (I pronounce those ть and дь incorrectly myself ^^'), and my microphone is not good. Upd.: here it is, http://s000.tinyupload.com/?file_id=43515190758324978297.

    If Cram doesn't allow uploading your own files, it might be better to find another service that does, or probably use offline software like Mnemosyne.

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