Why do you study Ukrainian language?
Hello all! My name is Oksana and I am Ukrainian tutor and creator of https://ukrainian-zone.com - an open resource for Ukrainian language learners. I'd like to make the website useful for the students. Please share your goal in learning Ukrainian. Why do you study it? Do you have some topics in your learning process (grammar, words, audio) that you struggle with?
Id like to make some new lessons based of the needs of language learners.
I am learning for family. I am a native English speaker, but our roots in Canada are the first Ukrainian immigrants in Canada who basically farmed half of the country in the prairies, joining east and west. (A thankless job. Our ancestors were lied to and taken advantage of. Ukrainian Canadians deserve a national apology, but that's a different story.) I feel very caught in-between cultures. I am not from Ukraine, but I am from a Ukrainian family who held on to many traditions. We were just brought up speaking English in Canada. I don't fit in with other Canadians, and can't communicate with any distant relatives we have left in Ukraine.
Anyway, I have recently found some relatives in Ukraine that I'd like to correspond with, but they don't speak English, and I have always felt more of a pull to learn my family's own language. I also have some living, elderly relatives that were brought up on both Ukrainian and English. Speaking with them to let them know I'm doing my part to revive our language is important to me.
I have said this on the Ukrainian forum before, but the Duolingo course has strangely avoided more salutations, words of congratulations, and idioms. I've completed the tree and I am getting comfortable with the material on Duolingo, but it's not enough. I'd like to interject with real-life language.
Also, the course has avoided the complexities of dates and times. For example, I'd like to tell someone the date and year I was born. Or tell them my flight leaves at 8:40pm. In the Duolingo course, we are taught only seasons, months, and days, but not years and dates. We are also told how to say time on the hour, but not how to say quarter or half hour marks, and all of the minutes in between.
When I asked about it, some members filled me in, and I realized quickly how difficult it could be, and why Duolingo was likely not prepared to focus on something that would discourage new learners.
As a learner who has completed the tree and achieved Level 25, I'm ready for more. There is no advanced learning here, and the best I can do is repeat easy lessons. Where I live there is no Ukrainian community or classes near by. I'm stuck with doing things on my own with a Ukrainian/English dictionary and watching Ukrainian speakers on YouTube.
It would be nice to watch a film or TV show, but Netflix seems to only offer me Servant of the People.
@Oksana15 I've seen your site and it's lovely! I have listened to some of your lessons, and my only critique is to slow down the audio on some sentences. I suppose it's because I'm used to the Duolingo pace, but it caught me off guard to listen to the audio and listen to a sentence being spoken naturally. I know it should be me adjusting, but maybe just a thought if you create some audio that is said slower, or if possible, a feature to slow the audio for the listener. If it's not a possibility, I understand.
There is no advanced learning here
There is English-Ukrainian course here. I don't know how much it is diffrent from Ukrainian-English, but you can try.
Netflix seems to only offer me Servant of the People
Money is everything! :D
Speed is a big thing I struggle with. I try to learn Ukrainian at home with Duolingo and other apps and think I'm doing alright, but this is mainly practising reading and writing with a little listening that is usually fairly slow and simple. Every time I'm in Ukraine I realise how little I've actually learnt, because I'll be in a shop or cafe, someone will say something to me and I'll only understand 1 or 2 words of what they say. Sometimes because they've phrased it with slightly more complicated grammar or different words than I've learnt (and a slightly different word ending can make me not recognise a word I should know), but often it's just because the natural speed is a lot faster than I can comprehend, and if I can repeat the sentence to myself for a minute or two, I'll realise I do actually know what it means.
I know to understand things at the natural speed I'll have to listen to things that are faster, but I think I also need to hear things slower to help me learn to recognise the spoken words. I wonder if maybe playing something at normal speed and then being able to slow it until I can understand it all would help.
I also struggle with all the grammar. I've never been good with languages anyway, but I feel Ukrainian has a lot of different grammar to English so things like understanding the cases doesn't come naturally to me. My biggest problem (particularly with books and language courses) is they'll often use grammar terms and just assume you know what they mean. It's fine being taught "you use this ending with genitive case", but if you don't know what genitive means, it's not actually much help because you don't know when to use it. I'd love if whenever there is a grammar term used, you can hover over and an explanation in simple language would come up. I think I need some "Ukrainian grammar terms for dummies" notes!
I haven't had a proper look at the website yet, but I've bookmarked it to check later, it seems like it might be helpful.
My original reason to learn Ukrainian was because my paternal grandparents came from Ukraine, but I don't actually know my relatives that still live there. Now I learn more because I go on holiday once or twice a year and occasionally bring English friends so I want to be able to do some translating for them, and also because I met a lovely Ukrainian man while I was there, so I just want to understand general conversation (at a natural speed).
I'm not studying it but I have been thinking about it because part of my family is from Kyiv before WW2, not many survived the Holocaust and they spoke Ukrainian & Yiddish. I hear Ukrainian is the most beautiful of Slavic languages because it sounds melodic. I will probably give it a try :)
I read a book about the Holodomor recently, an extremely tragic and horrific event in Ukraine's history. The first couple of chapters briefly covered Ukraine's history going back about 1000 years, and explained how they developed their sense of nationality. I never had a desire to lestn a different language, but I found what I learned about Ukraine's culture very interesting, and decided to try to learn the language. The book, in case anyone's interested, is "Red Famine" by Anne Applebaum.
I learn Ukrainian because I have a Ukrainian girlfriend. I would like to talk to her and her family in Ukrainian. (Some of them don't speak English and I feel left out when they speak at dinner parties and I don't understand a word... And they certainly don't speak Norwegian which is my native language :)
I would also love to learn how to write Ukrainian. (Not on a keyboard, but with pen and paper.) However, writing these strange letters is not something one learns during these lessons. I think I would benefit from writing down words and sentences after each lesson in order to practice and memorize what I learn during the lessons.