Before you set about conquering the DL Ukrainian tree

This Ukrainian course may seem difficult if you are not at all familiar with the Cyrillic alphabet. Therefore, prior to taking it we recommend you to utilize another resource.

The resource we are going to share with you here was originally developed for Peace Corps volunteers without any Slavic language background. It consists of audio files, a supplementary PDF script and flashcards. There are 5 units broken down into lessons. Units 1-4 let you practice the alphabet. Unit 5 has some basic useful phrases

The approach we use in the language script will help you to easily start reading Ukrainian words and phrases. First you see the familiar looking/sounding letters and words that can be made of these letters. And then you string new letters and words, practicing alphabet and building your vocabulary. To some extent we tried to use this approach in our Duolingo course, but because of randomization system, lack of single word audio and some other limitations it’s not engaged fully.

There are no grammar topics in these lessons. After Unit 4 there is short information about the grammar items you come across in this course. You get to know more grammar in Tips and Notes while doing the Ukrainian tree here.

You will need a device that can read PDF format, a player to listen to the audio and (optional) an installed mobile app to work with digital flashcards (links to AppleStore and GoogleStore provided). Or you can choose to print out the flashcards (also included).

We hope these materials will help you get a head start in learning the language.

Dropbox link or Box link

Please note: to proceed to Duolingo Ukrainian you need to have the keyboard installed. This has been discussed here already; we will just put the how-to notes and links one more time (thank you again to all who contributed to this research!)


Ukrainian phonetic keyboard on Mac

Real (non-phonetic) Ukrainian keyboard on Mac:

  1. Open the keyboard settings in system settings
  2. Open the "input settings" tab
  3. Click on the plus in the lower right corner and add the Ukrainian keyboard
  4. Click on the Shortcuts tab to the left of input settings
  5. Change the "input sources" shortcut to option-space instead of command-space.
  6. Open the "Keyboard" tab. Select "Show keyboard & character viewer in menu bar
  7. Now you have a little flag in your menu bar. Click on it and choose "show keyboard viewer
  8. Hit option-tab to switch from English to Ukrainian. The keyboard viewer shows the new layout.
  9. This isn't a phonetic layout but it's probably better to learn the real layout anyway.
  10. The keyboard viewer floats on top of the browser window so you can always see it.

Ukrainian phonetic keyboard on Windows Vista/7

Please read also the Duolingo Ukrainian forum - Instructions by Darktroyd (and users’ comments) in this thread.


August 11, 2015


Sorted by top thread

Here's something else I found really helpful when I first started Ukrainian: A Ukrainian touch-typing practice page. It has other languages/keyboard formats as well. :)

August 12, 2015

I started by using the GoUkrainian keyboard on my Android phone to become familiar with the keyboard layout. Then I installed Ukrainian on my laptop and created two hot-keys to switch between keyboard layouts. Within a few week I have become proficient in touch-typing in Ukrainian.

January 11, 2016

I use multiLing's O keyboard on my Android phone, for English and Ukrainian both. Highly recommended. I have both languages' plugins downloaded.

February 10, 2016

Cool! I've always wanted to learn touch -typing. Thanks for the link!

August 14, 2015

Very useful, but I was a little taken aback when the entire site turned to Ukrainian. :)

August 15, 2015 didn't turn into all Ukrainian for me. Try this link instead, perhaps:

EDIT: Ah, okay, I see what you mean now. If you click on the language in the list it turns to that language. The link I just added should work the way you want it to (note in the address it has "en" for English and Ukrainian) :) Sorry about the mix up!

August 17, 2015

I used the program Stamina to learn Cyrillic typing and even features sound from Чебурашка!

January 28, 2016

Is this "touch-typing" compatible only with touch screens?

September 13, 2015

Oh, no! Touch typing means typing on a keyboard without having to look at the keys. :)

September 14, 2015

I switched to the more-efficient Dvorak keyboard layout for English a while ago. I am starting to find that lessons are not necessarily the best/only way to learn a new keyboard layout. Although they help, you can learn most of the locations of the keys in an hour or two without any lessons. You just have to force yourself to not look at the keys, and then just start typing things (but not random letters, deliberate typing is required). I have had no training, and I am starting to become pretty good at touch-typing Cyrillic just by doing these lessons with a bit of practice on the side when I'm bored. It's frustrating at first, but after typing without looking for a while, you get used to it. Of course, it's hard to type anything without knowing the language, so you may have to wait until you know the language better to really learn to type well.

January 9, 2016

Hello there! If someone has a problem switching keyboard layouts, I recommend to pay attention to this Google Chrome extension that will allow you to answer the questions without having to constantly change your keyboard:

I use it for a while and I can say that this app is so cool!

Happy Duolingoing!

August 14, 2015

I couldn't have handled this without having first spent many hours over the last 2 months doing the Peace C pre arrival self starter course.

I find that the self starter course and Duo Lingo are very complementary.

Even with Duo Lingo I am still doing flash cards and work with them when i go walking. Just on line is not enough for my learning style.

Thanks. Duo Lingo is kind of addictive in a fun way

August 16, 2015

I very like know more about different countries. In this time I know foreing languages bed, but my wish is travel in whole world. I want to be a diplomat. Please, brothers europeans, help us in war, You all should be know that we have a good memory and our children, grandchildren, and we ourselves will remember you and help you in the future. I am fourteen, and I live in small village, but i know death, many children now are orphan throuth this war. I write it, becouse i want to find a mirror of my soul.

December 10, 2015

My friend Роман from Skype and Duolingo, showed me a trick for a Windows machine. Once you have your keyboard layouts loaded (I have EN, UK, RU) just press [alt][shift] to toggle between the texts. Very fast!

April 6, 2016

We would appreciate if you directed new learners who ignore (or don't know about) forum discussions to this and other relevant posts.

August 11, 2015

Worked through the Peace Corps pre-arrival Ukrainian in conjunction with DuoLingo and loved combination of printed scripts, audio and exercises. Having completed that I'm floundering a bit as there is no backup for the DuoLingo exercises, so will probably continue my learning with the peace corps next level 'survival Ukrainian' but hope to revisit later.

December 6, 2015

Will do. And thanks for the course. I find it to be very well planned and user-friendly.

August 11, 2015

This is a great resource. Can I share the link and materials with others outside of the DuoLingo network?

December 28, 2015

I don't see why not, they've made it public by posting on a forum.

April 15, 2017

Just learned about these discussions, cool

December 13, 2017

Thank you! I had tried out a little bit of the Ukrainian course, and will remember to use this before I start back in on it. Much appreciated :)

August 12, 2015

I think if we aren't familiar with other than Roman alphabet, we should use a smartphone because it is a lot easier to change the keyboard layouts...Duolingo app

August 25, 2015

Well, why not get acqainted with a new - other than Roman - system? ))

August 26, 2015 point is using smartphone will make it easy to change keyboard layouts...besides, the keyboard layout for computer is the same as the phone's...right now, I'm using smartphone for Swedish...

However, I noticed that in the web version, I list Ukrainian as one of the languages I'm learning but there is no Ukrainian lesson in my phone!

Both have their advantages and disadvantages... :))

August 27, 2015

Duolingo has been updated! There are many lessons available on my phone!

September 7, 2015

Was going to write this. It's hard af to learn the keyboard layout without being able to see the keys. You can either buy some stickers of eBay (did this, they were fingers' fat magnets and got off pretty easily - not good if you use the keyboard for gaming, etc) or use your smartphone's keyboard until you can write ❤❤❤❤❤/ukrani without looking at it (like you SHOULD be able to do in the Roman one).

September 6, 2015

I used a Tippex pen to write the letters on my keyboard - a little less messy than stickers as they tend to slide leaving glue on the keys. I have to redo some characters every 3 weeks or so, but that's no big deal.

September 7, 2015

I am from Ukraine. I have 14 years old. I am a student. I like this site. My name is (Валентин) or (Валік) :) .

August 27, 2015

Cool, I am from Kiev, Ukraine. My name is Felix. (Фелікс)

December 9, 2015

My mom is from Kiev. I lived there for half a year in 3rd grade. I really enjoyed it. :) I speak Russian, though, not Ukrainian, but that's why I'm here, to learn it, eh?

February 11, 2016

[deactivated user]

    Welcome. By the way, may I suggest that Kiev is the Russian way of spelling Kyiv?

    January 29, 2018


    January 30, 2018

    I am from Ukraine, but I do not know that name. %) My name is Valentyn (Валентин) or Valik (Валік) for friends.

    December 10, 2015

    Ви живете в Україні? Я живу в Києві.

    December 10, 2015

    Я живу в Odecce.

    April 23, 2016

    Don't bother with this tool

    Scroll down, he seems to be trying to look legit now.

    April 23, 2016

    Всеодно я ніколи не чув про ім'я Фенікс, я живу у Волинській області, в селі. Ви змінили ім'я???

    December 11, 2015

    Так. Але мій весь генеалогічне дерево має принаймні один Фелікс за покоління, тому я змінив його, щоб зберегти наші традиції.

    December 11, 2015

    [deactivated user]

      My father is from Kyiv. Felix is cool in both alphabets.

      January 29, 2018

      Валентин ... your name is the same as "Valentino" (in Italian). Correct? And, Saint Valentine's Day.

      September 13, 2015

      Thank you. Yes, you are right.

      September 19, 2015

      "I am 14 years old". Anyway, that's good that you like this site. I do as well. :D

      October 1, 2015

      Sorry, but I am not ideal human, I try to speak English. I know this. And thank you.

      October 1, 2015

      My family heritage is Ukrainian. My last name is Tokar. Does anyone know what that means ? I have heard it has something to do with metal work.

      December 13, 2015

      Токар literally means "turner, machinist" ( But this job is quite a "new" one, so it's unlikely that your last name came from the name of this profession.

      There are two possible versions. One is that people used to call "токар" a person who sharpened different tools (knives, scythes) and the other one is that it's what people used to call a grouse (the bird, it's nowadays called тетерук)

      December 13, 2015

      Hi there. Since you seem to be great at deciphering names, could you maybe help me out. I am also of Ukrainian heritage and have just started learning Ukrainian on here a few weeks ago. My last name is spelled in English as Yaworski. Maybe яворски or something like that? Do you have any idea what that means?


      January 18, 2016

      Hello, In Polish there is a tree called "jawor" (явір in Ukrainian) which corresponds to the English sycamore/sycamore maple


      In Polish your name would be Jaworski, in Ukrainian - Яворський (suggested by my Ukrainian husband, I'm Polish)

      January 18, 2016

      There is a city Yavoriv (Ukrainian: Яворів; Polish: Jaworów) in Ukraine on the border to Poland

      April 9, 2016

      puszczucha tells you the truth :). My last name is spelled in English as Radobenko (Радобенко in Ukrainian) . I live in Ukraine, but I don't know what that means. :)

      January 21, 2016

      Appreciate the reply thanks

      December 14, 2015

      Do you know the meaning behind the last name Померлян?

      Just curious! Because it may be my last name one day lol.

      January 4, 2017

      Hey, my mother is from Kiev, but doesn't speak Ukranian. Her maiden name is Talalay. Any clue as to where it comes from or what it means? It could also be spelled Талалаі or Талалаї or something like that, I'm not quite sure. Any help is greatly appreciated! :)

      July 28, 2017

      According to Google, it means Turner. :)

      December 13, 2015

      Probably very old Romanian heritage ! As many Romanians lived there before Kievan Rus even.

      June 15, 2019

      I am from Ukraine too! Good luck learning languages here!

      April 24, 2016

      Дякую! This will be a big help!

      August 30, 2015

      Would it be reasonable to incorporate a primer on the Cyrillic alphabet into the actual course. The learning structure that Duolingo uses would work well with learning and being able to remember the alphabet, and it would eliminate the need for having to carry around multiple learning sources when on the go.

      September 10, 2015

      I quote:

      To some extent we tried to use this approach in our Duolingo course, but because of randomization system, lack of single word audio and some other limitations it’s not engaged fully.

      The first three skills are actually Letters 1, 2, and 3, it's just that Duolingo's structure is not optimized for teaching this particular type of material, and so it may not be sufficient for teaching that.

      September 11, 2015

      completely agree - 2 years on I am surprised there is no alphabet instruction despite the first three levels being called "letters" I would not be able to participate here had I not already been learning Ukrainian elsewhere for a few years.

      July 12, 2018

      I find that it's much easier to find an online ukrainian keyboard and type the text in as for example: and then copy/paste to duolingo. I find it much more convenient than switching it on my mac. It's been challenging to learn cyrylic alphabet but it's rewarding to be able to spell in the actual language, rather than phonetically. Ukrainian course is excellent and I admire all who put in so much work to make it possible. Дякую!

      September 26, 2015

      I don't know about macs, but on Linux, I have it set so that pressing Left Alt+Left Shift switches between layouts. There should be a similar settings somewhere on your computer, being that this option is also available on Windows. It makes it very easy to switch. I can't imagine having to switch tabs back and forth every time you want to type in Cyrillic. I would really recommend looking into this. If you get it working, everything will be дуже добре :D

      And, yes, it is nice to learn Cyrillic.

      January 9, 2016

      I am using to practice the alphabet and find it very useful.

      October 6, 2015

      How can I see Cyrillic letters in the lessons instead of the Romanized versions?

      October 22, 2015

      Little switch on top left of excersize

      February 10, 2016

      Why doesn't the Cyrillic appear when I'm doing the lessons? All the lessons are written in anglicized scripts and it makes it incredibly difficult to learn how to spell words.

      November 4, 2015

      Open it up in the full version. You can change the setting to Cyrillic there. Then, the next time you open it in the mobile version (or the regular way) all the lessons will be in Cyrillic.

      November 4, 2015

      I think you also have to have the Ukrainian keyboard loaded in your computer's keyboard settings before you will be able to see Cyrillic on your screen.....maybe. At least for me it was like that.

      February 4, 2016

      Almost gave up on the Duolingo course before I found this - it is a huge help. Also well worth looking at more material from the Peace Corps on Ukrainian language Tried the Flash Cards Deluxe on my tablet but the recommended flashcard files downloaded seemed to be empty.

      November 11, 2015

      Hi there, I've started on the course already but it comes up in latin, not cyrillic, do you know how to change this?

      December 29, 2015

      If you're on a computer, there should be a switch-looking button somewhere on the top left of the lesson screen.

      December 29, 2015

      Thanks, I'm on a mac and there is no switch

      December 29, 2015

      Oh! Wish I knew more about it. Sorry, and hope you can find a solution.

      December 29, 2015

      I also use a Mac and there is a switch. It is just to the right of where it says "Tips & notes." If it is not there it is possible it uses Flash. Apple no longer installs Flash by default, so you might need to download it from Adobe. Otherwise, your Flash might be old. This is just a guess on my part, but I work with students who have this problem frequently. You might also try downloading a different browser and leave the settings on default. This is a way to check if the problem is settings or a plugin or extension on your current browser. Also, you can go to preferences--> Security and make sure JavaScript is enabled. Hope that helps.

      December 29, 2015

      You have to be doing a lesson

      February 10, 2016

      Thanks for sharing. I have enjoyed learning Ukrainian and I want to keep building my skills. Perhaps someday, I will be able to visit Ukraine. My name is Jeffrey. I am from the United States, but my ancestors were Ukrainian. Drop me a line if you would like to chat in Ukrainian.

      February 4, 2016

      Ha that's funny. That is also why I started delving into Ukrainian. My name is also Jeffrey, and I am also from the united states. My ancestors are also from the Ukraine......whoa. Maybe we are the same person in 2 parallel dimensions.... :)

      February 4, 2016

      You might get a kick out of this. Since Jeffrey is an uncommon name (at least where I come from), I have always joked with other people that I knew when there were other "Jeffs" around (almost like a sixth sense). It probably sounds stupid, but it is just something that came to mind.

      April 14, 2016

      Please, complete Ukrainian course to stable version, I'd like to learn this language, since I already know Russian and it will help me.

      March 30, 2016

      I find some of the answers in Ukrainian to be incorrect...

      April 4, 2016

      As of now, Ukrainian is still in beta. Hopefully very soon it will be out. For now, keep reporting problems and hopefully the team will fix them! See here.

      August 11, 2016

      В поясненні до уроків написано:
      e.g. Write "tse mama" or "це мама" - NEVER "цe мама".

      Напевно, треба "NEVER "цe mama"? (Та "or "tse мама"")

      June 18, 2017

      Hi. I've found a small mistake in the materials. In the хто exercise you have "там кіт" translated into "there is dad". The audio has the correct translation. And thanks for creating these materials!

      June 26, 2018

      Really awesome,thanks! This could help me :)

      August 13, 2015

      Thank you - I appreciate your work putting this together!

      August 16, 2015

      Тут говорити на англійській? Where I must speek English?

      August 27, 2015

      valikradobenko. це форум спільноти англомовних, які вивчають українську, тому тут переважно англійська. Якщо вивчаєте англійську - є форуми для українців, які вчать англійську.

      August 28, 2015

      And sorry, I want say Here, but not Where.

      August 27, 2015

      Thanks for the materials!

      September 1, 2015


      October 14, 2015

      I use a linux O/S and gave up on Ukrainian since its too fiddly to remember the differences in alphabets - typing answers in a Latin script all it takes is a typo and you get a wrong answer

      October 30, 2015

      They should remove the Latin option or change it to an assist. Doing the full lessons in the Romanized Ukrainian won't teach the language properly if the learner can't read in Cyrillic. It would be like learning Hebrew or Arabic in the Latin alphabets.

      October 30, 2015

      this is really useful thank you!

      November 18, 2015

      thanks for this help!

      December 2, 2015

      A link to this page at the beginning of the Ukrainian lessons on the mobile app would be very useful for most people. I had no trouble because I already know the rip usual alphabet, but I am sure a lot of people do have trouble at first. Thanks for the great app!

      December 10, 2015

      Hi! i read this text, and i anderstend in Ukranian, now i can't to speak because i dont have whit who.

      January 14, 2016

      Find people on ;)

      January 14, 2016

      This is great. I looked at my keyboard and tried to figure out how to type, but I had no idea what the letters sounded like. I'll learn the alphabet first this way. Already learned a few just by reading the first unit. Looks like it'll work pretty quickly.

      January 21, 2016

      I am the same as the other two Jeffs. The majority of my family comes from L'vov but I was born in Canada, and I am really enjoying learning the language. When will there be other features like (when I am learning French), flash cards to keep building my vocabulary?

      February 7, 2016

      Try Memrise. They have cue card sets for DuoLingo, at least for some languages. It's free.

      February 7, 2016

      sweet, thanks!

      February 12, 2016

      What to do with the files downloaded?

      February 13, 2016

      Cool! Thanks!

      February 20, 2016

      Nothing seemed to work very well. I downloaded the resource, the app(for $2.99), but I have no flashcards. The instructions on the PDF file didn't work either.

      April 24, 2016

      Very good coarse. Thank you for it. But one thing you could do to make it better is to put the words you are translating from Ukrainian to English in the exercises in Cyrillic Ukrainian and not in English alphabet. It would make it a lot harder for us, but we would thank you later.

      May 30, 2016

      You can switch between Cyrillic and Latin spelling as described here

      May 30, 2016

      Oh I didn't know you could do that. Thank you.

      May 30, 2016

      Thank you for the heads up and resources!

      June 28, 2016

      You can also learn rusian as part of the cyrillic alphabet too!

      August 7, 2016

      Russian has a slightly different alphabet, though they are all part of the Cyrillic one, similar to the difference between the French alphabet and English. (but a much larger difference.) Click these gray letters for more.

      August 11, 2016

      I am a Ukrainian Canadian and am here to help learners with Ukrayins'ka mova, So any1 has questions, ask!

      November 15, 2016

      Привіт, я кебекуаз і хотіла б знати, якщо є тепер будь-який український клуб на дуолінґо?)

      January 1, 2017

      I am also 13 years old and male my name is Pol and I'm here to help y'all learn Ukrainian ey

      November 15, 2016

      My father was Ukrainian - and came from Kolomyya region - Ispas which is now renamed Spas? I went to weekend school as a child, but did not do well learning Ukrainian as my mother insisted we speak English (she was English). I am now learning Ukrainian on here as I would love to go and visit family but won't until I can actually communicate with them. I know and remember the alphabet, but do struggle with pronunciation and my terrible English accent!!! There are no decent books out there and the course, whilst great, does not explain word endings for tenses, plurals etc.

      March 7, 2017

      You will not learn enough on here to communicate other than on a very basic level. If you are meeting family for the first time you will all have many questions about how each other lives. The exercises on here seem to revolve mostly on tourists staying in cheap hotels in a city and asking the waiter how much this lunch costs (you will get what I'm talking about once you start the course). I am 100% Ukrainian heritage. My parents came to the US in 1949. Ukrainian was my first language, but I was the youngest of 4 and became Americanized quickly. I'm now 63 and trying to make up for lost time. I talk to my one aunt and a couple cousins via Skype eery so often, and after 1 1/2 years of using Duolingo I cannot make it through a session without heavy use of an online translator. That will not be so easy when you go to visit. Many Ukrainians that work in stores or restaurants speak some English, so that will help. But don't count on Duo to make you a fluent Ukrainian speaker.

      By the way, when my siblings and I visited Ukraine in Sept of 2017 we visited the city of Kolomyya. The Hutsul museum there was fascinating!

      February 6, 2019

      Me and my friend made our own flash-card things for the cyrillic alphabet when we first started on our cyrillic-language-learning adventure, and it proved to work well enough. Although my poor pronunciation would make my eastern Polish/western Ukrainian ancestors cringe.

      March 14, 2017

      Дуже дякую !!!

      June 17, 2017

      Love this thread and all the resources, too! Unfortunately, the digital flashcards on the Flashcards Deluxe Lite app are not working. I've followed the instructions provided, but the Deck Code is not found. Can someone follow up? Would love to be able to use them for practice.

      July 21, 2017

      Error report: the audio files for mp3_unit2 on drop box have some errors. File 36 (Ні, це не студе́нти) and 37 (Хто він?) are merged and 56 (Це мій чолові́к) and 57 (Де мій чолові́к?) are missing.

      August 25, 2017

      I just had a problem in Ukrainian course: it wanted the word "літерату́ра" with "у́". And my simple "у" was checked as wrong. How to print this letter without copy/paste?

      November 18, 2017

      I cannot find a sentence with that word. It is actually an error if that word has an accent. Do you remember the skill or the sentences where you saw it?

      November 18, 2017

      What does the last name Kobasko mean, both parents are ukrainian. Also my middle name is Nickolayevich- ніколаєвич

      December 13, 2017

      "Ніколаєвич" - it is wrong.
      "Николаевич" - it is Russian, from russian name Николай, Коля.
      In Ukrainian - "Миколайович", from ukrainian name Микола.

      December 14, 2017


      February 13, 2018

      I have ukrainian heritage and i would like to know if anyone of you knows what Popadiuk, my surname, means. I tried to find but with no luck.

      February 16, 2018

      Утворені від церковних посад та на релігійну тематику
      піп — .... Попадюк

      February 17, 2018

      My heritage is Ukrainian. my Last name is Keryluk. does anybody know the meaning of the name?

      March 19, 2018

      А як "Keryluk" пишеться українською? "Кирилюк"? Чи "Курилюк"?

      March 24, 2018

      На сторінці написано:

      Я працюю а ти танюєш - I work and/whereas you work

      Напевно, хотіли сказати
      Я працюю, а ти танюєш - I work and/whereas you dance.

      May 2, 2018

      Why don't you use ukrainian keyboard or letters below the task?

      June 8, 2018

      The link to the Ukrainian phonetic keyboard for mac seems to be broken. Does anyone know where to find one?

      June 5, 2019

      thank you very much

      August 13, 2019
      Learn Ukrainian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.