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  5. "Чия мати?"

"Чия мати?"

Translation:Whose mother?

May 26, 2015



It's a little difficult to learn the letter sounds without the noises. I hate to complain, but are they the same sounds as in Russian? (Google translate has an audio section for Russian but not Ukranian.) Thanks!


Ukranian sounds are somewhat different from the Russian ones. Here is a brief overview of both spelling conventions and pronunciation differences:

  • і corresponds to Russian "и" (the sound in meet)
  • и is about halfway between Russian "и" and "ы", with a hint of "э" (so it is something like "i" in "tit")
  • е is something like Russian "э", only usually more open (like in "этот")
  • є stands for what would be "е" in Russian.
  • ї stands for Russian "йи" sound combination, and often appears where Russian spells unstressed "е"
  • unstressed А and О are still audibly different, like in northern Russian dialects. Unstressed О may move towards У in some environments (when an adjacent syllable has "о" or "у")
  • unstressed И and Э are somewhat different, though it is less audible and the difference may disappear. Let a native Ukranian speaker correct me if I got it wrong
  • unstressed Я does not reduce to "ї" (йи), unlike in Russian (where it does)


  • г is not a "g" in "go" but a voiced counterpart of English "h" or Russian "х" — I've heard, it depends on a speaker.
  • ч is not "palatalized" (sounds like т+ш). Щ means ш+ч, unlike Russian
  • в will be like "w" or like "v" depending on the environment
  • ц can be both palatalised and non-palatalised, unlike Russian "ц" (always non-palalalized)
  • дз, the voiced counterpart of "ц" is a real sound in its right. Same with дж (the voiced counterpart of "ч")
  • an apostrophe is used istead of Russian "ъ"
  • voicing/devoicing of adjacent consonants is more limited than in Russian

Labial consonants (like Б) are never fully palatalized in Ukranian.

AFAIK, palatalized т / д never get a hint of [ц] / [дз]. In Russian such alteration happens for some speakers, both average natives and professional voice talents. It is considered a normal variation in Russian, unless you truly slide into ц and дз. In Ukranian, it is not a part of standard pronunciation.

As far as I could tell from the voice recordings in the course, the intonation in Ukranian is also different from what you'd expect from a Russian speaker reading the same sentence. Mind you, Russian intonation may also show some variety in certain regions. I am just telling that the intonation in the standard language is different.


In a lot of words which are (almost) the same in both languages the stress is different, which is a source of many mistakes. We often joke: "How to now the position of the stress in Ukrainian? - Take the Russian stress and move it!"


I live in Kyiv, and here "ч" is pretty much the same sound as in Russian, a soft one ("чь"). The hard "ч" sound is a bit strange to my ear. On TV and radio I hear a middle sound - not exactly soft, but not hard, either.


In Ukranian it is a mistake.
Well, nevertheless, it does happen in some people's speech :)
It feels somewhat weird, but I don't think someone would actually say to them that they are wrong. Y'know, local differences and such


Well, as I said, in Russian it is completely OK to use a bit of ц/дз sound there, even for actors who are actually paid for their voice work. Not sure it is included in standard Ukranian.

Hmm.. is it even a good idea to watch films or cartoons dubbed into Ukranian to get a grasp of how a good speaker sounds? Where do they get their actors anyway? :)


I think the best examples of Ukrainian can be heard on stations of National Radio Company of Ukraine, in national drama theaters and (usually) in movies dubbed into Ukrainian :) Elsewhere a whole lot of mistakes is usually heard


Ah thank you very much!


There are differences in pronunciation of some of the letters. For example, г, и, е


Now, Google Translate which I use every now and then includes Ukrainian audio as well as alphabet.


Yes!!! I am learning two other languages and this one has the fewest audio.


more or less, if you read russian you can usually rely on it


I wonder if anyone can contribute with ''sounds''. I mean, if you need anyone to say the words out loud and record it so that you can add them to the sentences? I think a lot of people would be helped that way? Because, I know people that are native Ukrainian that would be willing to help out.


I agree. I'm also doing Duolingo Swedish and we hear the pronunciation of nearly every word. Is it possible to let us do that for the Ukrainian course too, please? To be tackling an unfamiliar script is much tougher with so little help with what the words sound like. I've had to do each lesson 3/4 times and I'm still making very slow progress...


It will not happen anytime soon. The Ukrainian course is among the few where the audio is recorded from a real speaker. As a result, only a few thousand sentences are available.

Courses that have complete audio have well over 40 hours of MP3 files, which is why usually a text-to-speech engine is used to read all that material.


Thanks for explaining!


As a workaround you could use forvo.com, which has a lot of recordings of Ukrainian words, or Google translate, which has a decent Ukrainian TTS.


Thanks! I'll give those a try


This hard and soft sounds are VERY difficult from a Brazilian point of view 'cause we pretty much soften all syllabes in here... I cant really grasp the difference at all between ч and чь, for example... =\ Does anyone have any tips on that?


Whose mother is it? Wrong?


If you want the "is it" part that would be Чия це мати? or Це чия мати?


difference between "Чия" and "Чий" please?

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