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Ukrainian language similar to Polish?

aphrodisiac 11 | 2,441
15 Jun 2011 #151
That Ukrainian is a beautiful language!

here is a couple of videos with music:
Nathan 18 | 1,363
15 Jun 2011 #152
nor does Nathan

Sorry, Aphrodisiac, but I do :) I might have some typical Galician additives, but it doesn't make me more truthful to the language :)
I just would like to make some corrections:
Not everyone on the post-Soviet space is bilingual. I don't speak Russian, although I understand it. The same is true for the rest of my family. And I lived in the SU till I was 12 and my parents till they were around 40. Russian was used in the SU as a language of communication among different nations, but this feature and forceful Russification didn't make everyone bilingual.

Yushchenko in the video speaks very nice Ukrainian. I wouldn't be able to say it better. The region around the upper portion of the Dnieper is considered the true holder of true Ukrainian language (Sumy, Chernigiv and especially Poltava regions), while eastern and western regions like Donetsk or Lviv, respectively, influenced by the neighboring states or historical circumstances (Austro-Hungary, Poland or Russia) and thus cannot really boast the status of the true Ukrainian.

I'd like to know from our Ukrainians if their top leaders can speak good Ukrainian today.

No. I wish they did.
I'll post you some videos, Antek, in which, if you are interested, you would be able to appreciate the most pure version of the Ukrainian language.

I also wonder what part of Poland is considered the true carrier of the Polish.
Antek_Stalich 5 | 997
15 Jun 2011 #153
You want to know the honest answer? It is Wrocław, formerly Breslau. Shocked?
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454
15 Jun 2011 #154
It's certainly much easier to understand than the hyper-fast Poznan Polish :(

Lviv, respectively, influenced by the neighboring states or historical circumstances (Austro-Hungary, Poland or Russia) and thus cannot really boast the status of the true Ukrainian.


I can't tell the difference between parts of Ukraine, but for me, the way Ukrainian is spoken in L'viv is hauntingly beautiful.
Antek_Stalich 5 | 997
15 Jun 2011 #155
It's certainly much easier to understand than the hyper-fast Poznan Polish :(

Oh, poor boy ;) I wanted to mention Poznań as the next city but they use too much of the "tej" word and for example "kapce", "spultać się" and other regionalism eliminate Poznań as the pure-Polish-language city.

Wrocław is inhabited only by immigrants from all over Poland, from former Polish territories and by immigrants from abroad. The virtue cultivated in Wrocław is "speak the purest Polish possible" and it is people of Wrocław who drew my attention to some mistakes I used to make.

I used to say: "Mi się to nie podoba!" (Me doesn't like it!)
And they made me say: "Mnie się to nie podoba!" (I do not like it!) ;-)
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454
15 Jun 2011 #156
No way - "bimba", "banna" and other such nonsense definitely eliminate Poznań - tej?

I was once utterly bewildered by some old man speaking to me, using a lot of the local dialect - I didn't have a clue :(

If it's any consolation, I get mistaken for being either Czech or Ukrainian. Czech by those living in Wroclaw (on account of lousy grammar but reasonable pronunciation) - and Ukrainian by people in Poznan because I have a really soft accent in Polish, combined with the same lousy grammar.
Antek_Stalich 5 | 997
15 Jun 2011 #157
"tej" (pron. tey) is a meaningless word used by Posnaners as a comma.

To answer Nathan fully: Polish is a pretty uniform language all over Poland and we do not experience similar problems as the Ukrainians with their language.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454
15 Jun 2011 #158
"tej" (pron. tey) is a meaningless word used by Posnaners as a comma.

I know this :D

It's especially amusing when it's liberally used alongside the K-word - I nearly died of laughter one night in the pub after some old man shouted "kurwa, tej!" at the TV :)
15 Jun 2011 #159
:) On my street, kurwa is also used as a comma - or perhaps a semicolon or dash.

And to think, the pagans got given their P45s only 400 meters across the bridge in Ostrów Tumski. Hey ho.
Language Buff
16 Jun 2011 #160
So, I am sorry - but your examples don't prove anything.

Hi Wiedzmin.

You are missing my point. Because you understand both Ukrainian and Russian - you should know the vast differences.
I am not saying they are not similar. I am just highlighting that there are zillions of differences. You know them.

Now - Zaras - Seichas
Bed - Lishko - Kravat'
Rubbish - Smitya - Musor
Onion - Tsibulya - Luk
This - Tse - Eta
Good - Dobre - Harasho

I could honestly go on forever...and ever..... with all the differences.

Ukrainians who are Russian speakers are biased to the differences (and see the language as the same just with a dialect) because they understand both, understand all the words, its ingrained, it all sounds as one and they are oblivious to their bias.

The point is if a Ukrainian speaker who had never heard russian in their life all honesty I would think they would only understand 60% of Russian being conservative. The Russian accent also presents many problems for someone who had never heard it - all o's are pronouced as a's. All e's are pronoucned a ye's.

The rusification of Ukraine started in the east and worked its way west.
This is proven by the fact that Ukrainian language and cultural strongholds are in western Ukraine.
In Western Ukraine they uphold traditions, know words to ukrainian folk songs. I will not list all the examples.
They know the words to the Ukrainian National Anthem...(unlike the players in the national soccer team with the exception of Tymoschuk and Shovkovsky and a couple others.)

I am not here to point out the difference between east Ukraine and west Ukraine, or to say that west is good and east is bad.

It is all Ukraine and they are all Ukrainians and they should respect, encourage and support each other.
To be narrow minded and persecute or judge russian speaking ukrainians is wrong and unfair:
" Учітеся, брати мої, Думайте, читайте, І чужому научайтесь, Свого не цурайтесь"

Let it be known to all in this forum that Ukrainian is not a village language, it is not a selo language, it is not a simple persons language. This is typical Russian propaganda (most arrogant of all) and has been caused by the fact that Russian was not an optional language, it was not selected by choice or freewill, it was cunningly and strategically imposed and its strongholds were in the big cities of Ukraine where government and government administration was centralised (e.g. Kiev), were the industry was (Donbass) as two examples (there are many others). If you wanted a job you had to speak Ukrainian otherwise you would be persecuted. You had to fall "into line" otherwise you were not supporting the soviet cause...and if you were nto suporting it, you were against it, and if you were against're existence was at risk, your families lives were at risk.

Where were all the jobs? - In the big cities?
Where was the governement - In the big cities?
Where were the big organisations, resources, universities etc - In the big cities.
What language was spoken by the government, in workplaces and also in the media - Russian?

Of course Ukrainian languages remained preserved and untouched in sela, in villages, for this reason as the russification did not pierce the villages because the Russians didn't have economic reasons to do so...unless they wanted to get into the cabbage, cucumber and potato business.

Because there was no IMMEDIATE economic advantage in doing so...they reverted to acts of genocide (Holodomor) instead to stop the revival of Ukrainian culture and language.

The history tells the truth and the history cannot be changed. (Although in Russian schools they do change history, slant it to suit themselves and make Russia look pristine and teach it as the truth).

What Ukrainians (especially new Ukrainian youth) need to do is stop looking at the above negatives that I have mentioned, as it only causes division and there is only strength in unity. They need to come together to fight a supporting cause to make things right in the country.

Unfortunately in Ukraine, because things have gotten so bad - the primary focus is not on language, its on getting the system right so people can live a normal life.

This was a big mistake - i.e. not making the Ukrainian language imposed from DAY ONE in 1991! It should have been government policy that all national, government structures: tv, schools, universities, newspapers, workplaces must be in Ukrainian language. If this was done from day one...they could have been focussing on the economy fopr the last 20 years instead. (Although after 300 years of russification....its unfair and unreasonable to aggrivate millions of russian speaking ukrainians overnight. To contradict myself...this needs to be a slow and gradual process which it is....just painstakingly slow)

I read an article yesterday that Georgia passed legislation that anyone who was part of the soviet communist regime in the last 30 years (something like this) cannot hold any government, parliamentary, ministerial or any position of government influence. The article said that such laws already exist in many former USSR countries (like in the Baltic countries) as well as others.

This would be a fantastic thing for Ukraine...but would never happen. Could you imagine, no more ex KGB, no more ex Homo Soveticus...just new fresh faces uninfluenced by Russia and the communist regime.

Sorry for the long winded post. I hope you find it interesting and read the important bits through the rant.

Last of all...not saying I like this person...but i like what he said in Ukrainian parliament. If you understand Ukrainian listen to this:
16 Jun 2011 #161
OK, guys! I wasn't lazy - just wanted to be more convenient for those who doesn't have Polish keyboard... And I can understand your offence. If so, here's the correct thing, I hope.

Last time I've confused Ukrainian-Russian words for "not" and "no" - now everything must go alright! "Nie" as not is "nie" in Russian and "ne" in Ukrainian; "nie" as no is "niet" and "ni", respectively...

Remember: Ukrainian "h" is actually close to "g", it is a hard h - not the same as ch in Polish. It is said by Wikipedia, Ukrainian h is like English h in "behind". So I'll use here below h as English h, not as Polish ch.

I am sorry for the incorrect words in the former list - yes, I can understand it can hurt.

As a bonus I've added some words to the former one...


Here are a few examples of more-or-less different words in Polish-Russian-Ukrainian, respectively (in Polish transcription). I omit the sound reduction (akanye in Russian, etc.) and write just how it writes, not how it reads. Accented vowels are capitalized; apostrophe means softening-palatalisation. By "h" I mean "Ukrainian g" - close to English "h"; by "ch" - "Ukrainian h", the same as English "kh" or Polish "ch".

Pol - Rus - Ukr (I write how it WRITES, NOT HOW IT READS)

Wielkanoc - PAscha - WełYkdeń
poczta - pOczta - pOszta
ciężarna - bieriEmiennaja - wahItna
bezpłatny - biesplAtnyj - bezkosztOvnyj
jedzenie - jedA - jIża
ormianin - armianIn - wirmenYn
bezczynność - biezdiEjstwije - bezdijAl'nist'
wzdłuż - wdol' - uzdOwż
październik - oktiAbr' - żOvten'
łapówka - wziAtka - chabAr
parowiec - parochOd - paropłAw
marzenie - miećtA - mrIja
ssaki - mliekopitAjuszśije - ssavtsI
kot, kotka - kot, kOszka - kit, kIszka
róża - rOza - trojAnda
dziękuję - spasIbo - diAkuju, spasYbi

Simpler stuff:

piotr - piotr - petrO
jeż - joż - jiżAk
jeżeli, jeśli - jEsli, jEżeli - jakszczO
i - i, da - i, j, ta
z, ze - iz, izo - z, zi, zo, iz
albo, lub, czy - ili, libo - czy, abO
czyż(by) - nieużEli, nieUżto - newżE
jest - jest' - je
jeszcze - jeszśO - szcze
las - lies - lis
los - sud'bA - dOlia
gdzie - gdie, kudA - de, kudY
co, że - ćto - szczo
nie (as "no") - niet - ni
nie (as "not") - nie - ne

After all, Ukrainian tongue has also strong and special Old Slavic influence: notice the word "jakszczO" - it's most likely come from the Old Slavic word "Aszcze"...

"trojAnda" is from the Old Greek's for "of thirty petals", for all I know.

It is said, Russian and Ukrainian are 60-70 percents similar. Ukrainian and Polish are 80% similar that doesn't mean 80% the same, of course! Ukrainian and Belarusian (classic, non-trasyanka form?) are the most, 90% similar.

This is it. Though I can understand patriotic nationalistic feelings of the Poles... Yet believe me guys - I got the same patriotic nationalistic feelings for my country and my people. Yes, it's kinda dialect of Polish and Russian to some medium extent, but they're all are sorta dialects of each other to some medium extent...
Antek_Stalich 5 | 997
16 Jun 2011 #162
Thanks a lot, Woon. Now, it is a piece of really good work!

Remember: Ukrainian "h" is actually close to "g", it is a hard h - not the same as ch in Polish. It is said by Wikipedia, Ukrainian h is like English h in "behind". So I'll use here below h as English h, not as Polish ch.

Yes. As I said before, my Mum could pronounce her Polish h's and ch's distinctly due to the Ukrainian influence in the region. Nowadays, Poles pronounce "h" and "ch" identically, softly.
Language Buff
16 Jun 2011 #163
Woon, nice article. Welld done. what country are you from?
16 Jun 2011 #164
I am from Ukraine. Simple oh so simple:-))).

I've extracted myself 10 noticeable differences between Russian and Ukrainian. Certainly, not the complete list of differences - just a taster.
Here they are:

1. Russian has six cases of the nouns, Ukrainian - seven (plus vocative).

2. In Russian the consonants of sz, ż and c (=ts) are ALWAYS hard and not to be palatalised, in Ukrainian they can be both hard and palatalized.

3.In Russian the consonant of ć is ALWAYS soft, in Ukrainian it’s formally ALWAYS hard (so, it’s rather cz in Polish transcription), though it can sometimes be as it’s called "softened" – palatalized-in-half, as it were.

4. In Russian the letter щ represents the sound of sz+ś, while in Ukrainian it does the one of sz+cz: "Juszczenko" is read in Russian as jUszśenko and in Ukrainian as jUszczenko.

5. In normal Russian unstressed [o] is pronounced like [a] (akanye), in Ukrainian ain’t.

6. In Russian there are letters and sounds for [ch] and [g] – just like in Polish – so, no actual letter/sound for English [h] like in "behind"; in Ukrainian there are three letters/sounds – for both [ch] and say it [gh], and [g], though the latter one is seldom used in it.

7. There are significantly less consonants palatalized by the following iotated vowel in Ukrainian's than in Russian language's words. Compare the names:

Rus – Ukr

siergiEj – serhIj
pAwieł – pawłO
jekatierIna – katerYna
michaIł – mychAjło
alieksAndr – ołeksAndr
alieksiEj – ołeksIj

The rare exception is the female name of
tat’jAna (Rus) – tetiAna (Ukr)

bu’, well, one-two exceptions are next to nothing.

8. There are 4 Russian letters absent in Ukrainian: ё (jo), ъ (hard sign), ы (y), э (e).
And there are 4 Ukrainian letters absent in Russian: "g with upturn" (g), є (je), і (i) and ї (ji).

9. Instead of "hard sign" in Russian, there’s an apostrophe in Ukrainian. The difference is that hard sign is the letter, apostrophe in Ukrainian is not a letter. Apostrophe doesn’t play any role in lexicological order of the words in a dictionary, while the hard sign does!

10. Insert yours? :-))...
Nathan 18 | 1,363
16 Jun 2011 #165
Thanks a lot, Aphro, L. Buff and Woon - great posts.

In Russian ... is ALWAYS soft, in Ukrainian it’s formally ALWAYS hard

I agree ;)

Can I safely go there?

Nope. You will be skinned alive and smoked for a kabanos :)

Do we Poles need visa?

Yes, or master :)

Having some drink with Natan and perhaps a friendly fight would be reallty something!

After a few beers we will kill each other over transliteration ;) We need Woon to cool you down.

You want to know the honest answer? It is Wrocław, formerly Breslau. Shocked?

Not a bit. Why?

To answer Nathan fully: Polish is a pretty uniform language all over Poland and we do not experience similar problems as the Ukrainians with their language.

We don't have problems with having multiple "gwary" of Ukrainian language. It makes it more attractive and diverse.
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,441
16 Jun 2011 #166
Sorry, Aphrodisiac, but I do :)

my ear must be really failing me;). I am not a specialist, but you told me once that my Ukrainian is pretty good - so I am happy:)

Thanks a lot, Aphro

I didn't really contribute that much, on the other hand Language Buff and Woo did- those are great posts.

Nope. You will be skinned alive and smoked for a kabanos :)

I have a feeling that Antek can make it anywhere, so he will be fine in (the) Ukraine too;). Sausage or not;P

NOW: going back on topic. Here is a video of Haydamky and VooVoo singing a song together. See for yourself if Polish and Ukrainian are similar;)

oops, here is a better version with the text in both languages.

Nathan 18 | 1,363
17 Jun 2011 #167
but you told me once that my Ukrainian is pretty good

And it absolutely is :)

I have a feeling that Antek can make it anywhere

Me too. He seems like a great guy.
Chicago Pollock 7 | 504
23 Jun 2011 #168
although I am Ukrainian and I speak 3;P

Curious, why are you living in Poland?
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,441
23 Jun 2011 #169
immediate family here:), born and raised in Poland.
30 Jun 2011 #170
Well, biespłAtnyj (not biesplAtnyj), żOwteń (not żOvten') and ssawtsI (not ssavtsI). Re-read that a hundred times, and still made those minor mistakes. And of course, in Russian щ is rather close to ś+ś.

I've found an informative article instead)):

(In Ukrainian there are pjat' & pjAtyj, not piat' & piatyj as he wrote; and in Polish it's krowa, not krowe).

And I transcribe it for you, Antek Stalich:
Ja bażAju vam szczAstia, kochAnnia... (reads kochAńnia) - I wish you happiness, love...
Rain33 14 | 19
19 Jul 2011 #171
I to this day cannot find a software program that would teach me the Ukrainian language. I usually have no trouble finding Russian, Hungarian, Polish or even Latvian software programs that teach the language. I found byki, but do not know if there is a Teach Yourself series on Ukrainian, if there is not, there should be. Ukrainian needs to be learned.
Nathan 18 | 1,363
19 Jul 2011 #172
I am very excited about your interest in learning Ukrainian. Here are some sites that can be of help. Some of them are directly language related, the other are Ukrainian radio stations or poetry:

Indeed, there is not as much necessary materials, but it slowly changes.
Rain33 14 | 19
20 Jul 2011 #173
I've always wanted to learn Ukrainian but couldn't find a program or an individual that could teach me it. Thank you, Nathan.
30 Jul 2011 #174
Here is fine albeit very short online tutorial with a small dictionary and all. At least it's informative, interesting and entertaining!

Here are the interesting (re)views on it all:
2 Aug 2011 #175
Sorry, Nathan - I didn't want to steal your link. Just was hurrying, didn't mention your ones at the time of my writing...
30 Nov 2011 #176
Ok guys. Check out this. You can read Polish as-if-it-was Russian, or as-if-it-was Ukrainian etc. with this plugin or by copy and pasting text at and you'll see that all of the Slavic languages are similar. So much so, that without any learning you'll be able to read Czech newspapers if you are Russian.

The only big difference is this: people pronounce things in a different way and also the different scripts. Get away from that and its basically one language.
ShAlEyNsTfOh 4 | 161
30 Nov 2011 #177
I've noticed those ukrainians living near the polish border speak a more polish-influenced dialect than those living in Kyiv, for example.
16 Mar 2012 #178
For sure. And Ukrainians living near the boundary of Slovakia speak the Slovak-influenced Ukrainian.

Concerning ...

As the demonstration of some technical, graphical moments really rules!

Contents-wise, sense-wise, knowledge-wise that site is a pure bullthis, though!

It doesn't give even slightly correct translations even for closely related languages of the same subgroup!

Believe me, the Slavic tongues are not that similar as you wrote of.

Thus, being fluent in Russian and Ukrainian, as a Ukrainian citizen, I can understand up to 80 percents of written Polish, yet less than one third of the written Czech. Not to even mention the fast speaking of the native people.
16 Mar 2012 #179
Is it accurate to say that most names ending in "-enko", for instance, are of Ukrainian origin?
19 Mar 2012 #180
Yes, for all I know, -enko is the most typical Ukrainian ending of the surnames. Others may include -ko (Boyko, Rafko, Klychko), -uk (Tkachuk, Myronchuk), -yshyn (Stefanyshyn, Ivanyshyn), -iv (Tymkiv).

Yushchenko, Tymoshenko, Poroshenko, Lazarenko... Almost always, the accent falls on e of enko in such surnames, though with Yushchenko it is different: yUshchenko, not yushchEnko as Poles say :-).

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