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Ukrainian is a fascinating language with a long history of foreign influences. Due to it being profoundly different from English, many people consider learning Ukrainian a personal triumph. And so should you. Here’s everything you need to know if you want to learn Ukrainian fast.
The Ukrainian language in a nutshell
Ukrainian, known as украї́нська мо́ва (romanized: Ukraïns’ka mova) to Ukrainians, is the official language of Ukraine and the descendant of the colloquial language used in Kievan Rus between the 10th and the 13th century. From there on, the language developed into what was called ‘the Ruthenian language’. As a result of Ukraine’s long political subordination, Ukrainian had almost no literary expression until de 18th century when the modern literary Ukrainian language was born.
The Ukrainian language is closely related to Russian and Belarusian. What many people don’t know is that Ukrainian resembles Belarusian more than it does Russian. However, all three languages are in part mutually intelligible, and already knowing one can help a lot if you want to learn one of the others.
Additionally, Ukrainian’s vocabulary also includes a large number of words borrowed from Polish during the Polish rule from the 13th to the 17th centuries.
Is Ukrainian hard to learn?
Due to being a Slavic language, Ukrainian is one of the hardest languages to learn by native English speakers. In fact, according to the FSI (Foreign Service Institute) of the US government, an English speaker would need about 1100 class hours or 44 weeks of practice to become fluent in Ukrainian. This makes Ukrainian as hard to learn as Polish, Icelandic or Finnish. However, you don’t have to get discouraged. Japanese, Chinese and Korean are still much harder to learn than Ukrainian.
Besides, choosing the right Ukrainian course can work wonders. Read on to discover what is the best way to learn Ukrainian fast.
Start with the Ukrainian alphabet
One of the reasons why Ukrainian is a little bit harder to learn is its alphabet. As you probably already know, the Ukrainian language uses the same alphabet as Russian – the Cyrillic alphabet.
Although it may seem a bit daunting in the beginning, the Cyrillic alphabet is not the hardest alphabet in existence (I’m looking at you, Japanese). Consisting of 33 letters – just 7 more than the Latin alphabet, the Cyrillic script is closely based on the Greek alphabet, augmented with letters from the older Glagolitic alphabet. If you want to learn more about how the Cyrillic alphabet is written and pronounced, you can do so by reading more about its usage in Russian.
The truth is that there’s no way around it. If you want to learn Ukrainian, you should master the Ukrainian alphabet first. But don’t worry. Many letters look similar to the Latin letters you already know, so you should be able to master it in a couple of days.
And you know what’s the best thing about it? Almost all the words in Ukrainian can be pronounced the same way they are written. As soon as you will know how to pronounce each individual Ukrainian letter, you will also be able to read out loud in Ukrainian.
10 basic Ukrainian words and phrases you can learn right now
Are you excited to learn Ukrainian? Let’s start small. Here are the top 10 basic Ukrainian words and phrases that everyone should know:
- Доброго дня! (Dobrogo dnya!) – Hello!
- так (tak) – yes
- ні (ni) – no
- Дякую. (Dyakuyu.) – Thanks.
- Я перепрошую. (Ya pereproshuyu.) – I’m sorry.
- Як вас звуть? (Yak vas zvut?) – What’s your name?
- Мене звуть… (Mene zvut…) – My name is…
- Як ти? (Yak ty?) – How are you?
- Чудово! (Chudovo) – Great!
- До побачення! (Do pobachennya!) – Goodbye!
Here’s a glimpse of how some of these Ukrainian words sound when spoken by a native:
How to learn Ukrainian fast with Mondly
Now let’s discuss the real reason why you’re here: how to learn Ukrainian fast.
As complex as the Ukrainian language may be, Mondly can make it fun and quite easy to learn. Say goodbye to dry memorization techniques and notebook pages full of verb conjugations that lack context. Mondly replaces tutors, dictionaries and textbooks. The award-winning app uses a fast and highly efficient learning method that will almost literally glue the Ukrainian language into your brain.
Moreover, while most language learning apps will only let you learn Ukrainian from English, Mondly adapts to your needs. Do you speak native Polish and want to learn Ukrainian? No problem! Mondly allows you to learn Ukrainian from 33 native languages and vice-versa.
Give Mondly a try and see how you can learn Ukrainian fast with:
- practical topics;
- hands-on, interactive language lessons;
- real-life conversations and so much more.
Start using Mondly for free on your computer or download the app and learn Ukrainian anytime, anywhere.