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How Reliable is the Ukrainian Course

So, I'm a Ukrainian, and I tried the course last year, and one of the first words you learn is, Titka, тітка, so I was talking to my dido, or grandfather about this, and the word he new was Chotka шотка, I know he speaks a more, archaic form of Ukrainian as he puts it, so I was wondering how reliable this is, to communicate in Western Ukraine, around the Lviv Oblast, and to him.

January 15, 2019



Defensively not shotka шотка, maybe tsotka цьотка. Ukrainian language has a lot of dialects. тітка, цьотка, цьоця, тета, тьотка, тьотя.


Do you know the area's where the dialects take root, Oblast wise, or major city wise?


I'm from Ternopil'ska obl. but people from village to village might say differently. I've never heard pure Ukrainian from people who speak Ukrainian on a daily base just those who learned at school but use it from time to time.


Ukrainian has a lot more dialectical differences than other languages per se. If we were comaring the ukrainian course to the russian one, for example, they both would teach you the standard versions of the respective languages. Applying what you learn in each duo lingo course is more challenging for ukrainian. For example, in russian the most common way to say thank you is спасибо, which is what duolingo teaches you. however for Ukrainian, there is more than one common way for thank you, from spasibi to дякую. I think ukrainian duolingo is a good start for sure!


I live in central Ukraine and I've never heard Chotka шотка. We say тітка or тьотя.


If, you can ask an elder about it, my Dido says it is archaic, so that might be it.


Did you read my post? Probably not. My sister just stopped by and I asked her about the word Chotka and she shook her head in agreement, that she has heard it used. But that word closely resembles the Polish word for aunt - Ciotka. It's not an "ancient" Ukrainian, unless you are referring to a time when Ukraine was more heavily influenced or ruled by Poland rather than Russia. You mentioned L'viv, well that city used to be part of Poland (Lwow).


I'm first generation Ukrainian-American - our parents came to the US in 1949. My siblings and I visited our many relatives in Ukraine in Sept of 2016. The oldest sister speaks pretty fluently, the next sister speaks decently, and my brother and I just a little. My brother and I worked with Duo for a couple months before going to Ukraine and at the time it didn't help us much at all. It's a very complicated language, in my opinion.

As for the word "aunt", I too was baffled by the word "тітка". Growing up I only knew"тьотя", but pronounced more like "цьоця". The same goes for the word for uncle - "дядько". I don't remember ever hearing that when I was young. I only knew "vujeko", which is Polish. But you see, I only knew one uncle - my mother's brother - and they were Ukrainians living in Eastern Poland, just over the border, and our father was from western Ukraine, so many of the words we heard from them were either Polish or some sort of Polish-Ukrainian hybrid.

However, as I move along through the course, and occasionally Skype with my aunt/cousins in Ukraine, I find that I can apply much of what I have learned, limited as it is, in my conversations. I have also found that Ukrainians are very knowledgeable and flexible when it comes to language variations.

P.S.- L'viv is a very beautiful city!


I know what you mean. When I've tried to ask my relatives how to say certain things, they had developed a type of Ukrainian that had Russian and Polish integration in their dialect. When I get a word out of the Lonely Planet Ukrainian Phrasebook, they will just outright tell me something is "wrong".

Wrong? Or not the same as what you learned? That's the difference.

The Ukrainian language has had to be salvaged, after years of social and political difficulties.

For example, in English, I call my grandmother "Grandma" whereas someone else might call their grandmother "Nana". I don't get it, and personally I won't use that word, but I'm not about to tell someone that it's not correct if they choose to use that word over the one I do.

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