I have never had much contact with Belarussian nor Ukrainian; my contact with them is rather limited and the one I have is only in the written form (not specialistic texts). What I noted is that the two languages are more understandable to me than Russian (although, I've learnt it). The vocabulary is more "Polish-friendly" and I can make out the whole meaning quicklier than in the case of the same text written in Russian. This, however, doesn't mean that there're no words that I don't understand because there are many of them. I didn't pay much attention to grammar since it is similar enough to my mother tongue's that I can do without delving into nuances and simply nothing has drawn my attention so far.A question to all with a very good competence in Russian and Polish:
What about your passive competence (listening and reading comprehension) in Ukrainian and Belarusian? Would it make sense for you to learn these languages or would be a waste of time since you already understand almost everything?
Hi übermönch, your post shows that you have good observation and you were exposed to both languages but sorry, it also shows that you are just learning both. The matching pairs you provided show how letters are transliterated differently in both languages but unfortunately the words that contain these sounds are most commonly pronounced differently in both languages, for exampleMuch of it's grammatical and basic vocabulary (like question words) is closer to Polish, the grammar itself and it's orthograhy is, with little exceptions corresponding to Russian, though it has quiet some own innovations. The practical vocabulary differs depending on the place. In west of the dniepr river they rather use voc. of Western Slavic languages, in the East similar to Eastern ones, in the South you might even encounter Romanian, Turkish and Hungarian words; but everywhere it's a mix of all those with quite some own ones. The official language is the variant spoken in Kiev, in the very centre of Ukraine; There are some neologisms in it to avoid Pol. or Rus. voc.
Knowing Russian and very basic Ukrainian, I can understand it as long as it doesn't concern some complicated topic; Speakers usually modify their language depending on wether you're Polish or Russian to be better understood. What else? yeah, Belorusian is very similar to Ukrainian in many regards
Yes, the differences to Russian - first of all, Ukraian azbuka is somewhat different:
и-ы (the Ukrainian sound is not really the same; it's something between R. и and ы)
г doesn't exist in Russian, something similar to the English h.
Then, Ukrainian, unlike Russian, may have soft soft sibilant constants:
чь, ць, шь etc.
The hard л in Russian is sometimes replaced with a в in corresponding cases in Ukrainian:
is the suffix in past tense with masculinum subjects. In that regard Ukrainian is between Ru. and Pl.- In polish there is no hard ł any longer, it's allways read as w; лампа (lampa) in Ukrainian and Russian is łampa (wampa) in Polish.
The Russian hard р sometimes corresponds to Ukrainian hard л.
рыцарь - Rus.
лицарь - Ukr.
both meaning knight
The speech intonation is much stronger in Ukrainian. It's comparable with the situation in Am. and Br. English, where Ukrainian is the latter.
...to be continued
Incorrect about Ч. It is always soft in Russian, the Ukrainian one is always hard.Then, Ukrainian, unlike Russian, may have soft soft sibilant constants:
чь, ць, шь etc.
Not sure what you mean. The Ukrainian sound is very similar to the Russian.и-ы (the Ukrainian sound is not really the same; it's something between R. и and ы)
It's probably the only case (maybe one more) where it's true.The Russian hard р sometimes corresponds to Ukrainian hard л.
рыцарь - Rus.
лицарь - Ukr.
Letter "г" in Russian represents the hard "g" sound as in "give". The same letter serves what you are saying about Ukrainian.г doesn't exist in Russian, something similar to the English h.
Well, I've been comparing Ukrainian to Russian and, as good as I could, tried to explain the different letter values.Hi übermönch, your post shows that you have good observation and you were exposed to both languages but sorry, it also shows that you are just learning both. The matching pairs you provided show how letters are transliterated differently in both languages but unfortunately the words that contain these sounds are most commonly pronounced differently in both languages, for example
You are correct in saying that Ukrainian "i" is pronounced as Russian "и" but a very large number of Slavic words that have "и" in Russian will have "и" in Ukrainian, that is they will be spelled the same way but pronounced differently:
гриб, скрип, три, etc. Using Russian pronunciation guide the become: [hрыб] [скрып], [тры]
The same is often true about letter "е" - same spelling but different pronunciation for words similar in Russian and Ukrainian:
небо, земля, etc. Using Russian pronunciation guide they become:[нэбо] [зэмля]
my bad Though isn't it that the rule that no softness sign can follow a sibilant constants doesn't work for Ukrainian? Or is it simply limited to ч?Incorrect about Ч. It is always soft in Russian, the Ukrainian one is always hard.
It is. But it is not the same. The phonetic value of Рус. ы is [ɨ], while Укр. и corresponds to [ɪ] which is something between and [ɨ].Not sure what you mean. The Ukrainian sound is very similar to the Russian.
But it's so odd. There must be others.It's probably the only case (maybe one more) where it's true.
There's a whole thread on this very topic somewhere in the dephts of the Slavic forum Ukrainian has another letter for the "hard" g,"ґ"; Ukr. "г" on the other hand corresponds to "h".Letter "г" in Russian represents the hard "g" sound as in "give". The same letter serves what you are saying about Ukrainian.
As well as many young people.Still, I think your Russian will serve you well. For obvious reasons, most older generation Ukrainians are bilingual, or at least able to understand Russian quite well.
I have to say that I believe it really depends on the area or the town in Ukraine, as to whether or not young people or the older generation can speak Russian. For example, in my home town - Харьков - it is almost the official language and everyone - from ordinary people in the street, to продовцы в киоски, even the cats and dogs! - speaks it perfectly, and in fact some of them even struggle at times to remember certain words or phrases in Ukrainian!As well as many young people.
My Ukrainian friends all speak excellent Russian and even prefer it to Ukrainian.
OK but:In my opinion Ukrainian is somewhat like a bridge between Russian and Ukrainian as it has a large vocabulary similar to either Polish or Russian. Pronunciation of Polish/Ukrainian/Russian is quite distinct from each other, so it's hard to say which one is closer to which, so is the grammar, however Polish has more features that make it quite different from any Eastern Slavic language.
Kim/Kto jesteś? (Polish) (?)
Ти хто? (Ukrainian)
Ты кто? (Russian)
Jestem studentem. (Polish)
Я студент. (Ukrainian)
Я студент. (Russian)
Chciałbym coś zjeść. (Polish)
Я хотiв бы (хотiлось би) щось з'їсти. (Ukrainian)
Я хотел бы (хотелось бы) что-нибудь съесть. (Russian)
Kiedy będzie gotowe? (Polish)
Коли буде готово? (Ukrainian)
Когда будет готово? (Russian)
Prosze mi przynieść butelkę białego wina. (Polish)
Прошу (будь ласка принесить) принести менi пляшку бiлого вина. (Ukrainian)
Прошу (пожалуйста) принести мне бутылку белого вина. (Russian)
Polish and Russian have more palatalised consonants in common, although Polish palatalisation is different from Russian: siła - сила (cf Ukrainian hard "сила"), although Ukrainian has a lot of palatalisation as well.
Polish G matches in pronunciation to Russian hard Г. Ukrainian has
Г (H) instead.
Polish nasal sounds, sibilants ź, ś, dź, ć and letter combination RZ make it sound quite distinct from any Slavic language.
день (Ukrainian) [d]
день (Russian) [d']
rzeka (Polish) [zh]
река (Ukrainian) [r]
река (Russian) [r']
Devoicing consonants in Polish is very similar to Russian but very different from Ukrainian:
ząb [zomp] (Polish)
зуб [zub] (Ukrainian)
зуб [zup] (Russian)
But Polish goes even further in devoicing consonants than other languages:
twój [tfuj] (Polish)
твiй [tvij] (Ukrainian)
твой [tvoj] (Russian)
I like analysing languages on concrete examples, my point is there are a lot of similarities and differences.
Absolutely!Most of my friends live in Kiev, one lives in Kamenets-Podolsky.
On my last visit to Ukraine (Odessa), when I expressed surprised at everyone's speaking Russian and only Russian, I was told that in Odessa the main language was Russian, but in Kiev most people spoke Ukrainian. But here are my friends, students of Kiev University (Faculty of Philology, English department), and they prefer to speak Russian.
Jestem studentem. (Polish)
Я студент. (Russian) (180,000 google hits)
or я являюсь студентом (30,000 hits)
Mum! (vocative case)
Мамa! (=nomin.) RUS
or Мам! (=vocative)
Prosze mi przynieść... (Polish)
Прошу принести мне... (Russian) (900 hits)
or Прошу мне приести... (100 hits)
My Russian friends told me they had a hard time understanding Ukrainian.Hi TGR,
in the grand scheme of things, the two languages are fairly close - both belonging, together with Belarusian, to the Eastern branch of Slavic languages. On the other hand, they differ enough to make mutual oral intelligibility quite difficult (in some cases < 60% !) for someone who hadn't been previously exposed to the other language.
Well, basically the difference between the Russian and the Ukrainian is the same as between Spanish and Italian.
A native Spanish-speaker could understand an Italian if he speaks very slowly and using an easy vocabulary. But in principal they're not the same altough many words are similar.
Note that he lives in Barcelona. So he probably has a certain knowledge of Catalan, and thus finds it even easier to understand Italian.Russian is my native language and Spanish is 99% my native language ... and I don't notice the difference between my comprehension of Italian (related to my Spanish) and Ukrainian (related to my Russian).
It would be extremely strange if a Russian could not understand Russian language spoken with Ukrainian accent. It would be much more strange than if some AmE native could not understand a Brit.They also said that there's Russian spoken with Ukrainian accent. They found it funny, but they were able to understand it.
Because they have no need to. Russian has been the dominant and prestigious language in Ukraine for a very long time. Ukrainian has been viewed as a peasant dialect and not something worth learning.If such similar language, why the Russians in Ukraine can not chat Ukrainian.
I think that's an inaccurate figure. I grew up in Ternopil Oblast and when I traveled to oblasts as close as Zhytomyr I hardly could consider their speech pure Ukrainian. And it gets more Russian the more east you go. They use lots of Russian words and also change the o to a in unstressed positions. When I was in Kiev only 1/10 of people spoke Ukrainian, and half of the time they were from Western Ukraine. In Odessa Ukrainian was completely unheard of, I remember as a kid I went there for a vacation and I had to speak Russian because no one understood Ukrainian.32.5 millions chat in rural dialect! What is rural dialect??
Seems you have dismissed comma before тлумлячи.Кобеняка наопаш, похуткував годованець манівцями тлумлячи розпуку.
No comma before тлумлячи.Seems you have dismissed comma before тлумлячи.
Also this sentence doesn't make any sense for me - most of these words are rarely used both in classic literature and modern texts, so it is hard to understand them without context for the person that is not familiar with particular regional dialect of origin from her/his childhood.
I never knew racist posts were allowed.It would be extremely strange if a Russian could not understand Russian language spoken with Ukrainian accent. It would be much more strange than if some AmE native could not understand a Brit.
Russian spoken with Ukrainian accent is such a widespread thing that often you even fail to realize you are listening to a speach with an accent.
Actually, very often Ukrainians speaking Russian sound just like Russians "from a village" or something.
In linguistics, there is no such thing as "phonetic language". One may speak of phonetic orthography, however.No one mentions, for some strange reason, the fact that Ukrainian language is phonetic, meanwhile Russian is morphemic. In Ukrainian language, all words are pronounced exactly as they are written, in Russian, when you speak, you substitute "a" for a written "o", devitalisation of the last consonant of the word, d-t, g-k and so on, while in Ukrainian language consonants stayed voiced. Also, I have never met a Russian who could understand Ukrainian language.