https://www.duolingo.com/LeBalochard

Differences in Diaspora Ukrainian versus Modern Ukrainian

LeBalochard
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Hello! I was most curious as to the limitations on the Ukrainian language module here in Duolingo as I am trying to learn and work with the differences in Ukrainian as spoken here in the US diaspora versus standard Ukrainian spoken in Ukraine.

Just to give you a background, I am American born and raised, but my family background is almost entirely Ukrainian (father's grandparents came here in the late 1800's with one side speaking old Ukrainian and another side speaking Rusyn), and another side coming in the 2nd wave of immigration in the 1950's (my dido speaking Ukrainian, and my baba [yes I am very well aware that in Ukraine, a man does not call an old woman "baba"; however here in the USA, both of my grandmothers always told me to refer to her as "baba" - the term was used as a term of endearment over here] speaking Lemko Ukrainian). While I do not speak Ukrainian very well, I am able to read it as well as generally understand what people are telling me in Ukrainian as both sets of grandparents would speak to me and my brothers in Ukrainian whenever we were with them.

I am a Ukrainian Greek-Catholic cleric (do not ask me why I picked the handle of Le Balochard as that is a long running personal joke with a friend on here!) who works with both established Ukrainians as well as immigrant Ukrainians here in the USA and often times I get confused when talking with immigrants and with Americans/Canadians/Brazilians who use older Diaspora Ukrainian. While I am working through the Ukrainian tree on here, I am utilizing two different course books to help me with vocabulary building (one from the 1970's printed in Canada, another one recently printed for the Harvard University Ukrainian Summer Course). My parishioners also tutor me in Ukrainian as well. I guess my question is, will the Ukrainian course here on Duolingo be able to distinguish between Diaspora Ukrainian and Modern Spoken Ukrainan? So far there seems to be some interchangeability (i.e. пес/собака), but I was wondering how far this goes.

I can only presume that there are limitations on this, just like in the French module that focuses only on Modern Standard French and does not deal with expressions/accents that I hear from my friends in Arras. Still, it would be useful to know the limitations so that way I can work around some of them as I build up my fluency. If these limitations were posted, please let me know. Дуже дякую!!

3 years ago

13 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Vinnfred
Vinnfred
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Can't really answer questions you have, I just wanted to say that one pair my of grandparents is from Kyiv region, another - from Poltava region. And I always call them дід [name] and баба [name] :)

Пес and собака are both commonly used nowadays. I tried to find some differences in usage or connotations, but in all honesty I have failed

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Myron1313

First, Vinnfred, do you ever sleep? You are almost always here and very helpful.You are "ангельська". :)

I am first generation of "new immigrants" to the United States from the late 40's and early 50's. Although, there are now so many current immigrants that maybe that is a misnomer. My father was from western Ukraine, with some college education and I basically learned his language. I attended many Ukrainian functions where speeches of all kinds were given. Some of them I understood without any issues, others sounded like gibberish. However, in personal conversations with the later group of folks, they spoke perfectly understandably. These days, I have a great deal of difficulty understanding our newest immigrants. I have been told, but have no idea if it is true, that it's because many are from eastern Ukraine and heavily incorporate Russian into their lexicon.

I have noticed differences in my Ukrainian and what is presented here. For example, I use "є" as in "я є студент" or "чи" as in "чи ти є студент?" Although, I do have to say that these phrases as presented on Duolingo are familiar to me and I have used them on occasion.

As further evidence, I did visit Ukraine, Lviv and Kiev, many years ago and really had no problem being understood (perhaps they were simply being polite) :) or understanding.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Vinnfred
Vinnfred
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Just woken up... :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/susanstory
susanstory
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Around where I live in Alberta, Canada, there are many people who are of Ukrainian ancestry and are probably 3rd or 4th generation now.

"Grandmother" here is "baba" and "grandfather" is pronounced "geedo" . That's what children here call their grandparents, if they are Ukrainian, all the time, even though they are speaking English.

There are Ukrainian Orthodox and Ukrainian Catholic churches around here too and lots of Ukrainian dance groups. They keep their culture and language alive.

With the native people, "grandma" is pronounced "kookoom" and "grandpa" is "mooshoom".

The native people use "kookoom" the same way. It's a Cree word, but they use it when they are speaking English when they mean "grandmother".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hyacinth21

As a diaspora-dialect Ukrainian speaker these blog posts really helped me out with some of the differing vocabulary/pronunciations that baffled me when I heard modern Ukrainian:

http://shadowsofaforgottenworld.blogspot.com/2012/05/normal-0-false-false-false_25.html http://shadowsofaforgottenworld.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-archaic-language-of-ukrainian.html http://shadowsofaforgottenworld.blogspot.com/2015/04/vanishing-galician-accent-sound-of.html

Though I haven't gotten far in the course yet I noticed that it didn't accept "тета" for "aunt" which is what I'd always called my aunts, having never heard the word "тітка" before.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Myron1313

Is it possible that you have other Slavic influences in your family that drew on the word teta? For example, Czech and Croatian, maybe others, use teta for aunt.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hyacinth21

Everyone in my Midwest/East coast Ukrainian diaspora community (mostly first generation American and onwards) uses тета, haven't heard тітка. If any other slavic influences, it would be Polish, as the vast majority of us are from Western Ukraine. Interestingly I have heard other modern Ukrainian words start to get a little bit of use, like машина instead of авто.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Myron1313

I'm with you there. I use teta, but....... from a non-Ukrainian side. As to my Ukrainian contemporaries(also for the most part from the west), they used either тітка or тьотя. As to the use of cars Vinnfred explained it here https://www.duolingo.com/comment/8759145

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LeBalochard
LeBalochard
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Interesting that you would use тьота for aunt. On my father's side (the Rusyn speaking side that is) they would use the Americanized "Chocha/Chochie". A VERY tiny handful of old 1st wave immigrants use that word in our parishes and have heard it only very rarely. To be honest,I have had no clue where "chocha" came from, but it would seem now I found it!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Vinnfred
Vinnfred
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And I am from Kyiv and have never heard of "тета" untill you guys here told me :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndrijVP
AndrijVP
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https://www.duolingo.com/Kiryo
Kiryo
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There is some kind of debate whether Rusyn is a separate language or not. Anyway, Ukrainian scholars universally agree that it is a Ukrainian dialect, with differences due to an extended geopolitical isolation. Indeed, the very word Rusyn, Ruthenian, is regarded as an archaic synonym for the Ukrainian people.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Vinnfred
Vinnfred
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Rusyns aren't even sure if they are a separate nation, part of a Ukrainian nation or any other

3 years ago
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