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  5. i'm considering Ukrainian.


i'm considering Ukrainian.

i want to learn ukrainian, since im interested in their culture and i feel that would be a good way. i have a 2questions 1. how hard is the language (relatively) and how hard is it to learn the alphabet

June 27, 2015



It isn't as hard as you think to learn the Cyrillic alphabet, it is actually very very easy. It's just a bit jarring on your eyes for a while because letters that look like they should be familiar are actually totally different. e.g. Cyrillic "H" is actually the letter "N", while backwards "И" is equivalent to "I", "П" is the letter "P", because Cyrillic "P" is really the Latin letter "R", while probably the most familiar cliché, the backwards "Я" is really the vowel sound "YA". You just have to forget the Latin alphabet a little bit, and imagine what it would be like if random sounds where assigned to each letter. But realistically, if you have ever been able to read '13375p34k', then you are mentally capable of learning the Cyrillic alphabet.

And yes, if you are looking for someone to blame for all that, then you have to go back a few thousand years, to the time of the Roman empire, and the split between the latin and greek alphabets...there is no one left to complain to really, they are long since past caring :D


I know Cyrillic (actually, it is my native alphabet), but i can`t read '13375p34k'. Should it be backward compatible?)


No, its totally different, it's just a similar kind of 're-training' for your eyes. I meant it as in saying, writing systems that are totally different like Hindi or Arabic don't have the same confusion of similar symbols meaning different sounds. But if you can look past that, its pretty easy.


I got it. You have take numerous courses here. What is you native language?


My first language is English. But my family travelled a hell of a lot when I was young. So I got exposed to dozens of different languages. I'm pretty rubbish at other languages if I am honest, I just like to understand though :)


So why did you take an Englsih course (i mean that little American flag)?


It's because the doing the reverse of a course, eg English from Spanish offers a greater challenge, because it assumes you have a high level of skill and asks for more written answers in Spanish.


The language is probably no harder than French, just is different ways. The alphabet is easy. After a month, it will be as if you knew it your whole life. I'd definitely recommend learning Ukrainian if you like the culture.


I am Ukrainian. French is very-very difficult for me. I left learning after a bit of time. Nowadays I am learning Spanish and it seems to be very easy and similar to Ukrainian for me.


Yeah, french is really hard. I am a native English speaker and sometimes the only benefit you get is knowing similar vocabulary. The grammar is hard, like verb conjugation and the spelling... Just curious, but how did you find Spanish similar to Ukrainian?


It looks different (different alphabet and so on) but for me it is in times easier than English even taking into account that fact that i know English better in times. The reason is that both Ukrainian and Spanish has no strict word order in sentence - intonation rules instead of order, they both are functional languages unlike English which is of analytic type - words changes in various ways.


So I'm not the only one who thinks so. I also tried to study French and it seemed to me very difficult. I also began studying Spanish and noticed that it was very similar to Ukrainian. Although Spanish has a much more complicated grammar than English and I know English much better, but Spanish seems very easy.

  • Many Spanish and Ukrainian basic vocabulary are similar. This greatly facilitates the study of the language at the beginning. -- For example (en-es-uk):

I - Yo - Ya;

You - Tú - Ti;

And - Y - Y.

  • But more similarity in the grammar of languages.

-- The ending determines the genus of the noun:

He - She;

Él - Ella;

Vin - Vona;

King - Queen;

Rey - Reina;

Korol' - Koroliuna;

Teacher - Teacher;

Maestro - Maestra;

Učitel' - Učitel'ka;

Paul - Pauline;

Paulo - Paulina;

Paulo - Paulina.

-- The verbs are similarly aligned:

I drink - Yo bebo - Ya pyu;

You drink - Tú bebes - Ti py;

We drink - Nosotros bebemos - Mi pyemo;

He/she drinks - Él/ella bebe - Vin/vona pye;

I write - Yo escribo - Ya pišu;

You write - Tú escribes - Ti piš;

We write - Nosotros escribimos - Mi pišemo;

He/she writes - Él/ella escribe - Vin/vona piše.

  • Sometimes there are whole sentences whose meanings are intuitively clear to the native Ukrainian speaker. For example:

en. Do you give me your number?

es. Me das tu número?

uk. Meni dasi tviy nomer? (In many western dialects: Me daš tviy nomer?)


The alphabet is actually really, really easy. I'd say you could learn it well in a day or two. As far as grammar and vocabulary goes, Ukrainian is actually much easier to learn than I expected. You can't really compare it to Spanish or French, but it really isn't as hard as some people make it out to be. The noun declensions really intimidated me at first, but it's not nearly as hard as you would think. It is also very easy to spell words because words are spelt exactly as they sound for the most part. There are no articles either ("a", "the") which I personally really like about the language. I'd really recommend it. I'm loving it so far!



don't be impressed with the alphabet, one day or good work will enable you to read! Without understanding almost anything, of course. Thinking that alphabets are difficult is a common misconception, it looks impressive but it is always very easy (I am of course talking about phonetical alphabets, not Chinese!).

Actually, you know what? Learning to read French relatively well is MUCH more difficult, it will take you several month of hard work where Ukrainian will require a week! (again, don't misunderstand, I'm not saying that French is 100 times more difficult than Ukrainian).

As for the difficulty of the language, it is not in itself a difficult language (Polish is very similar, spelt with latin alphabet but I find it much more difficult). If you know a slavic language (which I guess is not your case), it should be fairly easy.

But most importantly, the difficulty you will feel learning the language mostly depends on your regularity and on the passion you have to learn.

  1. The language is not that bad. I like it a lot. But you have to have patience There are a few cognates or words that sound similar to English. For me, it is harder than learning french and Portuguese. But it is not impossible

  2. The alphabet is not that bad either. It took me about two weeks to get comfortable with it. My biggest problem is pronunciation, but once I get over that, I think I should be fine.

Ps: the grammar is very different from English. And there is a fair amount of conjugation to do also. But, if you want to do it, go right ahead man!


I want to learn Ukranian and Russian too, but I cannot figure out how to switch my keyboard over like they say.


When you start the course there are instructions on how to switch.


If you want a single keyboard that can type both Russian and Ukrainian, you might want to check this. Installation is pretty straightforward.

Then you need to set the installed keyboard up. Instructions on how to do this on Windows can be found here.


The alphabets are not too difficult to learn, I taught myself Cyrillic alphabets and they are not as hard as I think but quite easy actually. The grammar actually different from English so that could be a challenge. But again if you love the language nothing can stop you.


It is less a puzzle but I like the puzzle aspect of Turkish. I think it's as tricky as let's say Portuguese but just different. Cyrillic itself is easy. I could already read and write it before I started checking out ukrainian.


Cyrillic is super easy to learn, I know it off by heart, took me a few days to get it nailed down... I can't speak much Russian though lol, just very basic stuff. Doubt I'll carry on much with Ukrainian.

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