quick question: how understandable is Ukrainian to Russian? Just wondering!
Depending on the benefits from the situation, they either say that Ukrainian is not different from Russian at all and is just a dialect influenced by Polish (usually politicians), or that Ukrainian is a completely different language and why don't we translate to Russian because they can't understand (well, usually everywhere else, like museum tours and etc, which is what it actually is...)
I am Russian native-speaker and I understand I'd say definetely over 90% of words in written texts. When it comes to listening, i'd say 60-70% but it depends much on the topic. It also depends on the region of Ukraine, it is more difficult to understand people from Western regions
Russian двое and Ukrainian двоє do sound the same :)
There's no є in Russian and no э in Ukrainian. Ukranian е sounds the same as Russian э.
There are quite a few words that have the same spelling in Rus and Ukr, but are pronounced in a different way: дерево (tree), текст (text), день (day)
We don't have any rules as those are just two different sounds (there are only rules about which letter to choose when you are dealing with loan words). "і" causes the palatalization of the previous consonant (i. e. the consonant becomes soft). Listen to these examples:
- кіт (cat): http://goo.gl/PKO8ep, кит (whale): http://goo.gl/GAxGxe
- ліс (forest): http://goo.gl/T8E8o3, лис (fox): http://goo.gl/3I4FQy
- зима (ru winter): http://goo.gl/Lx5t2J, зима (uk winter): http://goo.gl/mbiKDU
- калина (ru guelder rose): http://goo.gl/n3bcTf, калина (uk guelder rose): http://goo.gl/HAZ5oH