Ukrainian Tutorial written by Ivan Karmin


Basic Information

The infinitive of a verb ends in –ти (робити, жити) unlike Russian –ть (делать, жить).

Ukrainian uses Cyrillic alphabet with 33 letters. The unique letters are ї, є, ґ.

 

Ukrainian has a vocative case, e.g. Петре, йди-но сюди! Petre, jdy-no sjudy! (Peter, come here!) - but Petro in nominative. 

Україно моя мила. Ukrajino moja myla. (My fair Ukraine.) - but Ukrajina.

 

It’s important that all letters are pronounced precisely as they are written.

 

Another difference with Russian lies in such Ukrainian words as voroh (means enemy), polon (imprisonment of war), holova (head, director). In Russian they are short vrag, plen, glava because of the Bulgarian tradition. When in 11-12th centuries Bulgarian religious texts written in Old Bulgarian language made their way to Russian lands they carried many new words and influenced the tongue. 

 

Ukrainian for the long time has been a language of the village (selo). In 1654 Ukraine joined the Moscovy tsarstvo. Since that time and until the Soviet reign the Russian government issued barely 20 laws to forbid the usage of the Ukrainian language at schools, theatres, establishments. The publishing of books in Ukrainian was also under prohibition. While Russian flourished and became more rich and modern, Ukrainian was left to be a poor relative. The same policy was represented toward Belarus. This was made to forge one Eastern-Slavic nation with one language and one identity. The position of Ukrainian language was miserable. Taras Shevchenko (Тарас Шевченко) was an outstanding Ukrainian poet of the 19th century who opposed the colonial regime and made a lot of work to standardize the language. However, Kotlarevsky founded the basis of modern Ukrainian.

 

When in 1991 Ukraine declared independence Ukrainian was announced the language of the state.

 

Ukrainian is very melodious and beautiful. Thus it’s often called solovjina mova (the nightingales’ tongue). 

 

I am not trying to teach you all the Ukrainian but maybe this little work will sparkle your interest and move you to continue to learn this wonderful language. 

 

  

THE LANGUAGE

 

 

Ukrainian alphabet Український алфавіт [Ukrajinskyj alfavit]

 

А

a

car

І

i

doing, leak

Т

t

tender

Б

b

book

Ї

ji

yield

У

u

mood

В

v

vine

Й

j

yes, envoy

Ф

f

fake

Г

g

h

К

k

car

Х

h

like Scottish loch or German Bach

Ґ

g

go

Л

l

love

Ц

ts

 its

Д

d

dig 

М

m

milk

Ч

ch

chips

Е

e

pet

Н

n

nose

Ш

sh

ship

Є

je

yes

О

o

just o  

Щ

shch

fresh cheese

Ж

zh

azure

П

p

pierce

Ь

soft sign

З

z

zip

Р

r

rolled/trilled 

Ю

ju

you, beauty

И

y

bit

С

s

so

Я

ja

yankee

|

hard sign

 

 

 

The names of the months are of Slavic origin, not Roman as in Russian, i.e.

 

 

 

January

Січень

 [Sichen’]

February

Лютий

 [Ljutyj]

March

Березень

 [Berezen’]

April

Квітень

 [Kviten’]

May

Травень

 [Traven’]

June

Червень

 [Cherven’]

July

Липень

 [Lypen’]

August

Серпень

 [Serpen’]

September

Вересень

 [Veresen’]

October

Жовтень

 [Zhovten’]

November

Листопад

 [Lystopad] 

December

Грудень

 [Gruden’]

 

 

Words:

 

Земля --- zemlja --- Earth, Land, Soil

Вітер --- viter --- wind

Вогонь --- vogon’ --- fire

Вода --- voda --- water

 

 

 

Людина --- ljudyna  --- a human-being

Чоловік --- cholovik --- a male, a husband

Жінка --- zhinka --- a woman 

Жіночка --- zhinochka --- diminutive-affectionate for a woman

Хлопець --- chlopets’ --- a boy

Дівчина --- divchyna --- a girl

Син --- syn --- a son

Донька --- don’ka --- a daughter

 

Сонце --- sontse --- sun

Зірка, Зорі --- zirka, zori --- a star, stars

Місяць --- misjats’ --- moon, a month

Хмари --- chmary --- clouds

Небо --- nebo --- sky

Річка --- a river

 

Хліб --- bread

Молоко --- milk

Цукор --- sugar

Тістечко --- a cookie

Пиво --- beer

 

Родина --- a family

Вітчизна --- Vitchyzna --- Motherland

 

Дружба --- friendship

Ворожнеча --- hostility

 

Цей, ця, це, ці --- this (m, f, n, pl)

Той, та, те, ті --- that (m, f, n, pl)

 

Adjectives

 

Добрий --- good, kind

Поганий --- bad

Чудовий --- wonderful

Жахливий --- terrible

Цікавий --- interesting

Далекий --- far

Близький --- near

 

Солодкий --- sweat

Гіркий --- bitter

П’янкий --- intoxicating

 

Білий -- white

Червоний --- red

Чорний --- black

Жовтий --- yellow

Синій --- blue

Зелений --- green

 

Numerals

 

Один --- odyn --- 1

Два --- dva --- 2

Три --- try --- 3

Чотири --- chotyry --- 4

Пять --- p| jat’ --- 5

Шість --- shist’ --- 6

Сім --- sim --- 7

Вісім --- visim --- 8

Девять --- dev|jat’ --- 9

Десять --- desjat’ --- 10

Одинадцять --- odynadtsjat’ --- 11

Дванадцять --- dvanadtsjat’ --- 12

Тринадцять --- trynadtsjat’ --- 13

Чотирнадцять --- chotyrnadtsjat’ --- 14

Двадцять --- dvadtsjat’ --- 20

Двадцять один --- 21

Двадцять три… --- 23

Тридцять --- trydtsjat’ --- 30

Сорок --- sorok --- 40

Пятдесят --- pjatdesjat --- 50

Шістдесят --- 60

Сімдесят --- 70

Сто --- 100

 

year 1984 --- тисяча девятсот вісімдесят четвертий рік

 

DAYS OF A WEEK

Понеділок  Monday

Вівторок  Tuesday

Середа  Wednesday

Четвер  Thursday

Пятниця  Friday

Субота  Saturday

Неділя  Sunday

 

Verbs

 

Писати  to write

Заперечувати to protest

Працювати to work

Створювати to create

Грати to play (both a game or an instrument)

Ходити to walk

Полювати to hunt

Шукати to look for

Здобувати to gain

Спілкуватись  to communicate

Займатись коханням to make love

Руйнувати to ruin

Зустрічати to meet

Будувати to build

Вміти to be able to

 

CASES

There are seven cases in Ukrainian: Nominative, Genitive, Dative, Accusative, Instrumental, Locative, and Vocative.

 

N. хто, що? час – time, masculine [chas]

G. кого, чого? час|у

D. кому, чому? час|у

A. кого, що? час

I. ким, чим? час|ом

L. на кому, на чому? час|і

 

N. хто, що? вол|я – freedom, feminine [volja]

G. кого, чого? вол|і

D. кому, чому? вол|і

A. кого, що? вол|ю

I. ким, чим? вол|ею

L. на кому, на чому? на вол|і

 

N. хто, що? свят|о – a holiday, neuter [svjato]

G. кого, чого? свят|а

D. кому, чому? свят|у

A. кого, що? свят|о

I. ким, чим? свят|ом

L. на кому, на чому? на свят|і

 

Verb conjugation

 

 

1) Чита|ти – to read:

 

Singular

Plural

1st person

чита|ю

чита|ємо

2nd person

чита|єш

чита|єте

3rd person

чита|є

чита|ють

Other verbs that are conjugated like that: вміти, думати, будувати, працювати, мріяти, зустрічати, кохати, грати

 

 

2) Пис|ати – to write:

 

Singular

Plural

1st person

пиш|у

пиш|емо

2nd person

пиш|еш

пиш|ете

3rd person

пиш|е

пиш|уть

 

 

3) Бач|ити – to see:

 

Singular

Plural

1st person

бач|у

бач|имо

2nd person

бач|иш

бач|ите

3rd person

бач|ить

бач|уть

Other verbs that are conjugated like that: ходити (but 1st person sing. ходжу 3rd person pl. ходять)

 

Сид|іти – to sit:

 

Singular

Plural

1st person

сиджу

сид|имо

2nd person

сид|иш

сид|ите

3rd person

сид|ить

сид|ять

 

 

4) Пити – to drink:

 

Singular

Plural

1st person

п’ю

п’ємо

2nd person

п’єш

п’єте

3rd person

п’є

п’ють

 

 

5) Їсти – to eat:

 

Singular

Plural

1st person

їм

їмо

2nd person

їси

їсте

3rd person

їсть

їдять

 

PHRASES

 

Examples of Ukrainian sentences:

 

Ласкаво просимо, дорогі гості! 

Welcome, dear guests

 

Добрий день, шановний колега

Good day, respected colleague

 

Будь ласка, допоможіть мені в цьому

Please, help me with this

 

Я бачу, що це буде не важко зробити

I see that this will be not difficult to do

 

Ми думаємо, що ситуація зайшла вкрай далеко

We think that the situation has come way too far

 

На добраніч, солодких снів!

Good night, sweat dreams

 

Я люблю пити каву з вершками

I like to drink coffee with cream. Кава – coffee, f.

 

Діти – це майбутнє

Children are the future

 

Я вивчаю англійську мову

I study English language. Я вивчу ~ / I will study English. Я вивчив ~ / I have learnt English.

 

Завтра ми з подругою йдемо в кіно

Tomorrow we with a girlfriend go to the cinema (My girlfriend and I are going to the cinema tomorrow)

 

Вона дуже вродлива дівчина

She is a very beautiful girl. You may have alredy noticed that in Ukrainian there is no ‘am/is/are’ articles in sentences. Due to the presence of the genders, cases, declensions and conjugations there is no need of them.

 

Тієї ж ночі ми втекли звідти

That night we escaped from there. ‘Ж in here is to emphasize ‘exactly that night’. Звідти – from there, звідси – from here.

 

Я не їстиму цього

 I won’t eat this. Note that in Ukrainian the future tense of the verb may be formed by adding –ме –му –мусь –мемо. Я не буду їсти цього is also possible.

 

- Що ти робитимеш завтра?

- Дивитимусь телевізор

- What are you doing tomorrow?

- I will watch TV

 

Я писатиму, він робитиме, вона гратиме, я не заперечуватиму, ми не працюватимемо

I will write, he will do/work, she will play, I will not object, we will not work

 

 

 

It may be that your system does not show Cyrillic letters correctly but there is a solution.

 

  1. Download the fonts.zip file to the Desktop.
  2. Unzip it to a new fonts folder (for instance, you can press and hold the right mouse button on the fonts.zip; choose WinZip (Extract to folder ...fonts\)).
  3. Click on the Start button, choose Settings and click on the Control Panel tab; a Control Panel window will open.
  4. In the Control Panel window, click on the Fonts icon.
  5. In the Fonts window, go to the File menu and choose Install New Font.
  6. For Drives, choose C:\; for Folders, choose C:\Windows\Desktop\fonts.
  7. Mark the Copy fonts to Fonts folder checkbox; you should see a list of four ER Univers 1251 fonts in the List of fonts listbox.
  8. Press Select All and then OK buttons. The installation has been completed.
  9. Now you need to tell your browser which font to use.

If you're using Netscape 4*, go to the Edit drop-down menu, select Preferences; click on the Fonts tab. In the For the Encoding drop-down list box, select Cyrillic; for Variable Width Font and Fixed Width Font choose ER Univers 1251. In the bottom part of the window select Use page-specified fonts, including Dynamic Fonts. Click OK. You may need to reload the page to see Cyrillic letters.

If you're using Microsoft Explorer 4,5*, go to the Tools drop-down menu, then Internet Options; click on the Font button (in the bottom row). Select Cyrillic in the Language script drop-down list box and ER Univers 1251 in the Web page font box. Click OK. You may need to reload the page to see Cyrillic characters.



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