How is Ukrainian different from Russian, besides the alphabet?
Well, Ukrainian is the most like Belarusian. Ukrainian and Belarusian are kinda like Scandinavian languges (of course excluding Finnish). Then it's Polish with 70% and with Russian is a bit more than half. So if you accept for example Swedish and Norwegian as languages, the same you should do with Ukrainian and any other Slavic language :) The words are different, pronunciation is different (for example "г" is "h" in Ukrainian and "g" in Russian).
Yes, I agree. I understand Polish and Belarusian much better than Russian. Ukrainian and Belarusian are kinda like English and Scots. Sometimes, you understand it pretty much perfectly sometimes it might as well be Japanese!
Nice that a Ukrainian person agrees :) We in Poland call something hard to understand "Chinese", "chińszczyzna" or "chiński". Як це сказати українською?
"Chinese" українською це, "Китайська" і я не українця а ірландець ;)
Китайська грамота (Chinese grammar)
"Це якась китайська грамота для мене"
It's like if Polish and Russian had a baby that was raised by Italian. The grammar is Russian, words are Polish and the accent somewhat Mediterannean
Very wrong opinion. It's like to say that Catalan is something between French and Castillano Spanish, or Dutch - between German and English.
Ukrainian in fact is closer to Polish than to Russian, but all the three are quite different. The Ukrainian language in Eastern and Central Ukraine was strongly influenced by 300+ years of Russian domination, it's usage was officially prohibited in Russian empire (like Catalan in Spain during Franco rule) , and there were millions of migrants into Ukraine from Russia.
Nevertheless Ukrainian has much more features common to all Slavic languages, while Russian has some features descending from aboriginal for present Central Russia Ugric tribes.
That's what I said. I said it's like a mix of Russian and Polish, the accent is the easiest way for foreigners to tell Ukrainian apart, it sounds like an Italian speaking Russian.
I repeat: Ukrainian IS NOT a mix of Polish and Russian, it is a language of its own. It is much farther from both than Slovak from Czech - can you tell them apart?
Yes, it's a separate language and is unique language but it's kinda like English (in my opinion), it has German-like grammar but many French words.
EDIT: I forgot to answer your other question. Did you mean can I tell Ukrainian, Polish and Russian apart? Yes because I understand Ukrainian understand most of Polish and half-understand Russian. Or did you mean can I tell Slovak and Czech apart? No, I know very little Czech sadly but I know some Slovak :(
Hm... German grammar is much more complicated than the English one, while the Ukrainian one is not closer to Russian than to any other Slavic language. Ukrainian and Russian vocabularies overlap each other perhaps more than French and English ones, but, unlike, common words did not come from Russian to Ukrainian, rather opposite. Mostly technical and scientific terms came to Ukrainian from Russian, but they are either of Latin/Greek/German etc. origin or calques thereof.
"The grammar is Russian" - you are so wrong! I am ukrainian and I tell you that ukrainian grammar is not similar to russian one. there are lot of differences between them.