Ukrainian phrasebook

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Ukrainian (українська) is spoken by over 40 million people in Ukraine and other countries. Among Ukrainian citizens there are a very few who speak only Ukrainian, a very few who speak only Russian, while virtually everyone speaks both. In general the Western part of Ukraine speaks mostly Ukrainian, while Russian is more commonly used in the Eastern part of Ukraine and Crimea. In the capital Kiev, Russian is still the most commonly used language, while most signage tends to be in Ukrainian. The usage of Ukrainian is gradually increasing in Ukraine, as it is more popular with the younger post-Soviet generation who grew up with the Ukrainian language in school.
Ukrainian is an East Slavic language most similar to Belarusian, with strong similarities with Polish and Slovak. Ukrainian is, to a lesser extent, lexically similar to other Slavic languages such as Czech, Russian and so on. It uses a variation of Cyrillic alphabet.


Unfortunately, stress in Ukrainian is not fixed; The stress can fall anywhere within a word, either at the beginning, end or in the middle of a particular word. The good news is that, in most learning material for Ukrainian, the stress is always indicated by a diacritic mark above a vowel. Note that in all forms of Ukrainian media, either newspapers, books, etc. the diacritic never appears. However, they may appear on the names of places and people where necessary.


Ukrainian has three grammatical genders: Masculine, Feminine and Neuter. Indicating the gender of a word is generally very simple: Masculine nouns end in a consonant, the Feminine nouns end in -а or -я, and neuter nouns end in -о, -е and -мя. Note that indicating a gender is very simple, but nouns that end in a 'soft sign' (See Below) can either be masculine or feminine. These nouns will have to be memorized, if you are seriously considering studying Ukrainian.


Ukrainian has seven grammatical cases for both nouns and adjectives, which in turn makes Ukrainian a slightly more complicated language than Russian.

Pronunciation guide

Phrase list