Ukrainian tree finished!
I've finally completed the tree! Ukrainian has been a pretty wild ride, and I'm sincerely grateful to all the developers for allowing us to learn this beautiful language. In particular, Ukrainian reminds me favourably of Italian and French, while having lots of cognates from those languages too.
I of course hope to improve my Ukrainian further, perhaps through some easy books, or films with subtitles. If any of you know of any beginner Ukrainian books (or children's books) that I can find online, it would be greatly appreciated if you would share them.
The problem with books and films in Ukraine is that there is huge influence of Russian language in Ukraine and even in Lviv they sell plenty of newspapers and magazines Russian. The same is with TV, large parts (even those made in Ukraine) are in Russian. Honestly the only Ukrainian film I know is Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (Тіні забутих предків) from 1960s which is however a masterpiece. Also some Ukrainian (but generally it is Polish film) is spoken in Polish film By Fire and Sword (Ogniem i Mieczem) by Jerzy Hoffman. This is all I know apart from regular literature, but after finishing the tree at Duolingo you wouldn't be ready to read Zabuzhko in original :)
Also when you'll get to Ukraine once be aware of the possibility that you can talk to the people in Ukrainian and they can reply in Russian (it's not that they don't know or understand Ukrainian, everyone just uses the language he wants or is used to, but also perfectly understands the other one). This is pretty common even in Kyiv which is totally bilingual city.
You can buy a lot of books, magazines and newspapers in Russian here. But it's not like there's nothing Ukrainian here or you'll have troubles finding and buying Ukrainian books. We don't/can't produce as much books as Russians do. But there are still plenty of Ukrainian books to choose from :)
The situation is worser with movies. And there's very little quantity of "mass movies", mostly arthouse. Apart from Тіні забутих предків there have been other great movies in 60s:
- Криниця для спраглих / Well for the Thirsty http://goo.gl/sI2Rqz
- Камінний хрест / The Stone Cross http://goo.gl/kPrz7E
- Білий птах з чорною ознакою / White Bird with a Black Mark https://goo.gl/Krh8WZ
There's also an amazing comedy from 60s "За двома зайцями / After two rabbits". For a long time only it's Russian voiced version was known, but the original language of the movie is Ukrainian: https://goo.gl/1txBxF.
- Іван Сила / Strong Ivan https://goo.gl/0L78qj
- Поводир / The Guide https://goo.gl/AiGDlp
- Той Хто Пройшов Крізь Вогонь / Firecrosser https://goo.gl/EDbNBk
I know there is a lot of literature and newspapers/magazines in Ukrainian. However it is pretty common to see in Kyiv newspaper stalls that have most of what they sell in Russian. Generally if you're looking for any books in both Ukrainian and Russian and you're in Kyiv then just go to Petrivka they've got everything here :)
That's like with everything. There are many things people who don't have to live in Ukraine consider great and interesting, but I understand that for locals it must be annoying. My experiences with Ukrainian bureaucracy are sort of "funny stories" but it isn't fun when you have to live in that system (and I myself remember how angry I was when I had to arrange something and it was awfully complicated and lasted for incredible time - e.g. when I had to get propiska back in 2011 in Kyiv or dealing with National library of Ukraine which had no electronic catalogue at all and you had to fill in some strange long forms etc.). As a friend of mine from Lviv (btw. she's Polish not Ukrainian and works for local Polish newspaper :)) once said during our conversation: Lviv and Ukraine is great, but sometimes you would like to live in a normal country where there are normal roads without any holes in them.
Your profile states you're from Edmonton. Canada has a large population of Canadians who hold on to their Ukrainian heritage. There are Ukrainian organizations in Edmonton that you can Google to find. Unfortunately, I don't know how active they are. If you can not find what you are looking for from them, perhaps they could give you names and contact information of other Ukrainian organizations and associations. I know that as far west as Toronto, the Ukrainian community in Canada is very active and vibrant, including TV, radio, print (newspaper, magazines), scouting, churches and festivals. These communities also support Ukrainian shops that cater to the needs of Ukrainians in the diaspora. You can also find these stores on-line.