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Indicating stress on Ukrainian words?


I've found that the hardest part of learning Ukrainian as a native English speaker is the wandering stress on the word: наприклад...міста́ (називний відмінок множина) чи мі́ста (родовий відмінок однина). Indicating the stress visually helped me a lot when I first started learning.

It would be wonderful if examples could include these stresses. I would be happy to help whenever I have free time, однак ще вчуся! That is to say, I don't consider myself bilingual in Ukrainian, or I would apply to contribute in a heartbeat.


EDIT: To my earlier comment about contributing, I would be willing to do the lion's share of this work, and I'm confident I would get the stresses right, but I don't consider myself bilingual, which is a requirement for contributors.

EDIT: I think I can provide some useful help, so I applied to contribute to this course anyway.

August 8, 2017


  • 1664

I'm not a contributor to this course, but I think you don't really need the stress when you've got an audio recording for each sentence. To actually indicate stress for each word in each sentence - that would require a lot of manual work from the course creators.


It would require a lot of work, and there are lots of audio recordings (though they are sometimes mismatched and the 'turtle' recordings haven't worked for me).

Acknowledging that, I nonetheless feel it would be very useful to indicate the stress. A few reasons:

1) It reinforces what you hear.

2) It will correct what you don't hear, and guide folks to listen a second or third time more closely for the stress.

3) It elevates awareness of the wandering stress in Ukrainian, which is a huge change for native English speakers, rather than hoping folks just catch onto it by listening.

4) Audio is not always enabled.

Finally, reinforcing the anecdote that I mentioned above, it's been my personal experience that indicating the stress is tremendously helpful in learning Ukrainian as a native English speaker. This is despite the fact that I have an entire family of in-laws constantly speaking Ukrainian around me. Granted, I'm probably not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I can't tell you how many times I've gone to repeat something they said and had to ask Де наголос?

As a side note, I would even go so far as to say that folks writing by hand would benefit a great deal from including the stress in their own writing until it becomes second nature, but that's outside the scope of Duolingo!

In any case, if it ends up being too much work, then that's that. But I do think it will be a boon to learners with a native language that has fixed stresses.

  • 1664

I do agree stresses are helpful, and not only for beginners, I get it. Realistically, that's too much work, so I don't think that will be implemented. Meanwhile I guess you should do same I do with English words - check IPA transcription every time I have doubts (and I have a lot).


For folks who are curious to find the stresses written down somewhere, check out this website: http://lcorp.ulif.org.ua/dictua/

  • 1636

The standard input methods of Ukrainian (and Russian as well) don't allow to put the stress marks - that's because they are never used in normal writing, only in vocabularies and learning materials. When it's necessary to avoid ambiguity, people put cApital or bold vowel. Perhaps it would be helpful for beginners to see the stress marks, but I'm afraid it could have a negative effect for advanced learners. I suppose that the similar consideration lays under the blocking of the transliteration option.


Thanks for the feedback, En.

I agree that it makes sense to use them in vocabularies and learning materials, like Duolingo.

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by the negative effect it may have on advanced learners, but I suspect you mean it will either become a crutch or an annoyance. Two thoughts:

1) Man, wouldn't it be great if there were so many advanced learners using the Ukrainian for English speakers course that this became a problem?

2) As someone who transitioned from learning to read/write with stresses to reading/writing without them, I can say anecdotally that it was an easy transition--and I'm not that smart :P.

As far as inputting the stresses, I'm not suggesting that users be required to enter the stresses when they write, but rather that they be indicated in the exercises provided.

But now that you've got me thinking about it...a big ask that would be even cooler than just having the stresses is a toggle to turn them on and off :P!!!!


  • 1636

My idea is that the learners have to get used to the normal appearance of the written text from the very beginning.


Hello there!

I am not sure, that you still need help but I have an advice for you. Anyway, in Ukrainian language, as far as I know, there are no strict rules about stresses. So here is what I found : http://lcorp.ulif.org.ua/dictua/ There you can find any word you want with the stress, just a dictionary. I don't know, I hope it will help you somehow.

Anyway, good luck!

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