Why is Ukrainian so neglected?
Hi. I'm wondering, why don't more people learn Ukrainian? Sure, Russian's great and all. But Ukrainian is so melodic, it allows so many vowels in its words. It's completely phonetic and like Latin languages, it doesn't like having many consonants together. It's also very easy to pronounce with only a few strange sounds and combinations such as "kh, szcz/shch, vzh, vcz/vch" but apart from that it's relatively easy. The alphabet is phonetic and I'm half way down the tree and I've only come across four/five irregular verbs and extremely few irregular case endings. To have is formed with to be, as is the future tense. So please people, give Ukrainian a try it is one of the most spoken Slavic languages. It's estimated to have 40-60 million speakers!
I would say the reason a lot of people don't learn Ukrainian is because it isn't all that important to them. Ukraine is not a very internationally important country and unless you know someone Ukrainian there is little point to learn it. Generally people looking towards Eastern Europe would learn Russian because of its bigger international recognition. There is also the fact that with it seeming like Russia is invading Ukraine in Western Media, I am sure a lot of people are not keen on setting up a vacation home in Ukraine.
I think the Ukrainian course is great and it is also one of the few courses that uses a real human voice. The reasons that it is not more popular are probably because it is still a difficult language to learn for English speakers and that it is only spoken in Ukraine by half the population only. I have stopped doing both courses, however if Russian would switch to a human voice, I will consider picking it up again.
I just joined the site, and Ukrainian was my first pick. I was actually looking for a course online, and this was it. Now that I've done it for a few days I never realized that there were robot-voices doing the other courses until I included German.
I agree - the human voice makes it much more enjoyable, and helps me with the accent.
To be honest, I'd say more like 1/4 of the population. Maybe even 1/5. I visit Kyiv and Lviv (The largest city in Western Ukraine) frequently. In Kyiv, almost nobody speaks Ukrainian. In Lviv, Ukrainian is spoken by most people, but in the past few years a frighteningly large amount of Russian speakers are contaminating the purity of the city. It's all in the villages and some of the western Ukrainian cities - that's where Ukrainian lives. Sadly, what you learn on Duolingo is hardly how people speak irl. Most Ukrainian speakers use words either from Russian, Polish or simply Galician in their vocabulary.
Official Ukrainian: Я не зрозумів, він що, зістрибнув з тієї вежі? Він напевно підсмажився як картопля на сковорідці. Сподіваюся він живий.
How most people say it: Я не поняв, він шо, спригнув з отої башні? Він певно піджарився як бульба на пательні. Надіюсь він живий.
What do you mean by "Galician"? You probably know that Galician is a Romance language spoken in the North-Western area of the Iberian Peninsula, closely related to Portuguese. I suppose you want to refer to the historical region of Galicia or Galitzia in Eastern Europe, but as far as I know, there is no "Galician" language in this area. Polish and, to a lesser extent, Ukrainian are/were the languages spoken in Galicia.
I think Ukrainian is one of those languages you really want to learn because you have someone in your life who is Ukrainian, or you plan to visit Ukraine. There are only about 50 million people worldwide who speak Ukrainian, compared to something like French which has over 250 million speakers worldwide.
I agree with others who have said the new alphabet is probably the biggest drawback. I myself struggled until I figured out how to install the Ukrainian keyboard on my PC, which made life easier!
I think many people who choose to take on a new language need to want to do it, and don't want to be discouraged. I'm surprised at how many words are actually pretty close to English. "Photo", "Cafe", "Fountain"... it's not as hard as I thought!