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  5. Ukrainian is a beautiful and …


Ukrainian is a beautiful and а funny language at the same time

People who speak Russian will understand what I mean.

Some Ukrainian words sound funny for me because they тhave unexpected meanings.

For example: дружина in Ukrainian means жена but it is a squad in Russian. Чоловік is a husband but in Russian is a man (чеповек). I could not expect that in Ukrainian місто is a city, because in Russian it means a place (место).

Ukrainian is a beautiful language at the same time. It is а very melodic language.

Будь ласка sounds more beautifully for me than Russian пожалуйста.

I am very excited learning Ukrainian and eager to learn more words.

May 22, 2015



Hah, I also find it funny as my native speaker is Polish. It made me crack up when I found out that "зараз" means "now" whereas in Polish "soon".


I'm native Ukrainian speaker, and Polish sounds funny to me xD But I look forward to Polish course.


Hah, it seems that all Slavic languages sound funny to other Slavic languages. :) For me Czech and Russian also sound funny.


It is true. For me Czech sounds funny too and also Bolgarian and Serbian. But Polish pronunciation is most difficult among all Slavic languages even for Russian speaker


I remember when I was just told how to say stuff in Polish and repeated it back, I was fine, but trying to pronounce Polish from seeing how it was written? Hopeless!

I remember learning how to say "hello", then asking someone to write it down for me, and when I saw the written word, I suddenly couldn't say it any more. So weird!


I think cyrillic is more suitable for Polish than Latin. All those cz, sz...


Polish isn't so bad, Slovenian sounds the strangest and most difficult to pronounce even Czech with its unique vowels is seemingly harder to my ears. But then again I'm familiar with Polish so maybe that's why :) But if you take spelling then yeah, no one comes close, Polish takes crown as the language with most unfortunate spelling of all Slavic languages. I'd say even of all European languages :) Slovak is much easier to read than polish and I only started to dabble in Slovak.


However, many words are the same, and it's confusing.

For example, I'm asked to translate "Моя сестра" to English. It looks exactly like Russian, which is my native. In these cases I forget that it's EN-UK course and try to translate given Russian phrase to Ukrainian (how?).


Та же проблема :D


Yep, same here. Every time I translate a Ukrainian sentence with ні to English I put нет.


The same problem. That's why it takes 30+ sentences to complete a lesson.


The first time I saw some Ukrainian words in the past, I was often in stitches laughing, as a native Russian speaker. However, when you get used to the fact that many Russian o are changed to і in Ukrainian, it's not as funny anymore. Like кіт actually meaning cat, not whale (Russian). However, хмарочос is still great.

On a side note, I find it amazing that so many Russian-speakers are learning Ukrainian. I thought I was the only one who wanted to! (I have no direct connection to Ukraine myself)

[deactivated user]

    І я приємно здивований. I am pleasantly surprised too. :)


    Oh, there's much more where that came from. Also, there is the same effect, but less of it when talking about Belarusian and Ukrainian. One funny one in Belarusian and Ukrainian:

    Belarusian: горад, which means "town", while Ukrainian: город means "vegetable garden". The actual Belarusian word for "vegetable garden" is агарод, while the Ukrainian word for "town" is місто.


    On a tangent... In Dutch the word tuin (pronounced town) means garden too, not town!


    Btw in Belarussian it sounds "gOrad" and in Ukrainian it is "hgorOd". Belarussian is much closer to Russian than Ukrainian, because агород also means "vegetable garden" like russian огород, belarussian горад is russian город, belarussian дзярэўня is russian деревня (village) etc.

    [deactivated user]

      Still Belarussian is closer to Ukrainian than to Russian, or to any Slavic language for that matter.


      Also, Polish gród (fortified town) vs ogród (garden, of any kind).

      • 2345

      Town in Polish is 'miasto' so probably the Ukrainian word has the same roots (the two countries share a lot of history).

      For me, being Polish, who was learning Russian at school some time ago (but i still know the alphabet quite well), Ukrainian is more like an eastern Polish dialect written in cyrilic ;)

      [deactivated user]

        Same can be said about Polish being the western latinized dialect of Ukrainian :P


        I wonder if western and eastern polish dialects are different. Could you provide some examples?

        • 2345

        Because of partition of Poland since XVIII century up to the early XX, the country has been divided generally to two parts - Russian and Prussian (also the western part of Poland was under German influence because of proximity of the two countries). Therefore the everyday vocabulary started to mix, especially those reffering to new items (ie chisel - german: messel - polish: przecinak, but also mesel; train - german: Bahn - polish: pociąg, but in western parts also bana). Eastern Poland and Ukraine (and Belarus) shared a lot of history, because they once were one big country, and also they are all slavic, so the vocabulary mixed a lot and quite easily.

        Since I am from the eastern part, I feel familiar with Ukrainian language sound, because especially older people from eastern borders seem to talk very similiarly (ex. who in Polish is 'kto', in Ukrainian - 'хто' (hto), in eastern Polish dialect the word seem to sound like 'hto' rather than 'kto').


        Yes, that happens a lot! Чоловік actually just means "a man", it's just that when you say "мій чоловік" (literally, "my man"!) you mean that he's yours and therefore, it means "husband"...

        city = місто, place (место) = місце, interesting, thanks for noticing! I think it makes sense etymologically, but yeah, pretty confusing.

        Дружина also means a squad :) But more like something ancient, like Kievan Rus, I think (ask other people)

        So happy that you enjoy learning it! I don't even know whether it's easier or harder for you as a Russian speaker, quite similar maybe too similar, all this confusion arises... My mother is Russian, but she's been living in Ukraine for around 30 years, her Ukrainian is perfect (even better than some Ukrainians...), but she had quite a lot of funny moments learning it :D


        I was really tickled to find that медведь (long since a favourite Russian word of mine) is ведмідь in Ukrainian. It is very strange to learn a language that's both familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. I hope one day there will be a Russian->Ukrainian course as it would be really interesting and helpful, too!


        I'm like that as well! There are so many similar words. But I've already found first false friend: зараз is now in Ukrainian, but zaraz in Polish means soon/in a minute. :)

        btw. Russian <-> Ukrainian would be quite cool to see ;)



        I remember when I realised that сейчас, aka the urgent version of now in Russian, literally means "this hour". That's a fairly loose definition of now, no? ;)


        It sure is. If you think about it that way, you could find a few examples of Polish sentences when zaraz would have a meaning of now but generally it's soon.

        I really admire people who want to learn Polish, I don't know if I would go for that if it wasn't my native language... ;P I still like it, but... it's hard ;)


        FYI, сейчас literally means "this time" (это время, этот момент). Час has an original meaning "время", now it's rarely used so (классный час, часом). In Ukrainian it is still the main meaning. Now can also be used as "сию минуту", "сей момент" etc with a similar form.


        I have a question for Polish-speaking people here. Which Slavic language is closer to Polish? I have heard that Belarussians better understand Polish than Ukrainians.


        Closest one would be Slovak. Then, maybe Czech, Belarusian and Ukrainian in no particular order but it would be a bit easier with Czech for those who aren't familiar with Cyrillic alphabet.


        I sometimes watch Peppa Pig in Russian (don't judge, you know it's an amazing show!) I understand it pretty well, almost like it is Ukrainian. There is of course a lot of differences but context usually helps me to understand.

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