Results 1 to 15 of 15
Like Tree5Likes
  • 1 Post By Боб Уайтман
  • 1 Post By Боб Уайтман
  • 1 Post By Doomer
  • 1 Post By MISSFOXYSWEETCHERRY
  • 1 Post By it-ogo

Thread: Ukrainian vs. Belarusian

  1. #1
    zxc
    zxc is offline
    Почтенный гражданин
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    151
    Rep Power
    8

    Ukrainian vs. Belarusian

    For someone with an intermediate to advanced skill level with Russian (for the purposes of this, let's say someone who understands 80-90% of Russian news broadcasts without watching/using the visual aids on screen that provide context clues), would it be easier to learn Ukrainian or Belarusian and reach the same skill level?

  2. #2
    Почтенный гражданин LXNDR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Eukraine
    Posts
    261
    Rep Power
    5
    i'd say absolutely, although i can't attest for this from my own experience cause i've been exposed to both Russian and Ukrainian in parallel

    i'm not speaking about the skill level, but knowing English quite helped me in learning German, which differ far more than these three languages

  3. #3
    zxc
    zxc is offline
    Почтенный гражданин
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    151
    Rep Power
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by LXNDR View Post
    i'd say absolutely, although i can't attest for this from my own experience cause i've been exposed to both Russian and Ukrainian in parallel

    i'm not speaking about the skill level, but knowing English quite helped me in learning German, which differ far more than these three languages
    Sorry, I wasn't quite clear. I meant to ask whether it would be easier for a person who natively speaks English, but knows Russian, to learn Ukrainian, or would it be easier for him to learn Belarusian? I'm trying to decide which one to start with.

  4. #4
    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ukraine
    Posts
    3,049
    Rep Power
    26
    In short term I think Belarusian will provide more problems because of its very specific spelling which is very phonetic but very different from Russian and Ukrainian spelling. In long term you will find that Belarusian has less available materials and speakers than Ukrainian.

    Though in my feeling Belarusian is a bit closer to Russian than Ukrainian.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

  5. #5
    Почтенный гражданин LXNDR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Eukraine
    Posts
    261
    Rep Power
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by zxc View Post
    Sorry, I wasn't quite clear. I meant to ask whether it would be easier for a person who natively speaks English, but knows Russian, to learn Ukrainian, or would it be easier for him to learn Belarusian? I'm trying to decide which one to start with.
    if so, echoing what it-ogo said in my opinion Belarusian is a tad closer to Russian lexically but Ukrainian is closer sonically

    i'd start with Ukrainian, cause if you plan to continue on to Belarusian after that, knowing Ukrainian will help you tremendously on the lexical front

    Belarusian is somewhere in the middle between the two other languages (totally subjective), so knowing the extremes you'll be able to crossbreed them

  6. #6
    Почтенный гражданин
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    295
    Rep Power
    6
    Certainly, Belorussian is much easier than Ukrainian for those who speaks Russian.

  7. #7
    Hanna
    Guest
    Both these languages are just very confusing for anyone trying to learn Russian.
    Different but with many similiarities. Russian is hard enough without this extra complication, I think!

    The whole point of learning Russian, is that it is such a big language, and gives you access to so many different countries - so why distract yourself with Ukrainian or Belarussian when everyone in those countries speak Russian already?

    Unless you are interested in the languages for a linguistic or cultural or family reasons of course, that would be a different story.

  8. #8
    Увлечённый спикер
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    47
    Rep Power
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    Both these languages are just very confusing for anyone trying to learn Russian.
    Different but with many similiarities. Russian is hard enough without this extra complication, I think!

    The whole point of learning Russian, is that it is such a big language, and gives you access to so many different countries - so why distract yourself with Ukrainian or Belarussian when everyone in those countries speak Russian already?

    Unless you are interested in the languages for a linguistic or cultural or family reasons of course, that would be a different story.
    ok for Belarusians, but can all Ukranians speak Russian? really?! Are you sure of this?

  9. #9
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    904
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by klopp View Post
    ok for Belarusians, but can all Ukranians speak Russian? really?! Are you sure of this?
    No, not all
    But decent amount of Ukrainians speak Russian

  10. #10
    Старший оракул
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Russia
    Posts
    865
    Rep Power
    26
    Quote Originally Posted by klopp View Post
    ok for Belarusians, but can all Ukranians speak Russian? really?! Are you sure of this?
    The Eastern and Southern Ukraine are mostly Russian-speaking. Although Ukrainian is official throughout the country, and many street signs are in Ukrainian, the people use Russian there in their daily conversations. I visited Donetsk region, Kharkiv, Crimea, Odessa and Kiev. All those places are mainly Russian-speaking. Even in the streets of Kiev I was surprised to hear Russian speech more frequently than Ukrainian speech.

    As far as I know, the majority of Ukrainian-speaking population are in Western reqions of Ukraine. Lviv is the well-know example.

  11. #11
    Старший оракул
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Russia
    Posts
    865
    Rep Power
    26
    Quote Originally Posted by Doomer View Post
    No, not all
    But decent amount of Ukrainians speak Russian
    I hardly believe there are some Ukrainians who do not speak any Russian at all.
    Well, maybe there are very few of them in Ukrainian-speaking parts, mostly younger generation who got their education after the USSR dissolution. But I am not sure.

  12. #12
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    904
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Боб Уайтман View Post
    I hardly believe there are some Ukrainians who do not speak any Russian at all.
    Well, maybe there are very few of them in Ukrainian-speaking parts, mostly younger generation who got their education after the USSR dissolution. But I am not sure.
    Western part of Ukraine doesn't speak Russian. Even if some people there might understand Russian they will not speak it. That's what essentially matters
    There are Ukrainians here in Chicago who don't speak Russian but only Ukrainian and English (well, maybe Polish too), the cities you mentioned are all from the Russian-speaking part of Ukraine (except maybe Kiev, which is half Russian)

  13. #13
    Почтенный гражданин MISSFOXYSWEETCHERRY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    The Cherry Orchard
    Posts
    189
    Rep Power
    9
    As Doomer perfectly explained, a lot of Ukrainians are able to speak normal Russian. But in some parts (Western Ukr) thanks to the russophobic propaganda some are embarrassed to speak it (while they actually CAN) as well as there are some that are embarrassed to speak pure Ukrainian... so they begin to "russify" Ukrainian words which is called "surzhik" (Brainwashing effects).
    But if you as a tourist visit even western parts of Ukraine and speak Russian, Most of them will understand you. They have a lot of visitors/tourists and in order to not lose them, they usually hide their a bit "nationalistic" sentiments. I mean if you are a foreigner, that's ok. National tensions exist only between Ukrainian citizens themselves. It has no connection with tourists. Also they are hospitable.
    Lampada likes this.
    Let's Live By The Moment... Cause Together Ain't Promised Forever
    Жить надо так, чтобы тебя помнили и сволочи
    Du Vet Inte Vad Som Kan Hända Innan Aftonen!

  14. #14
    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ukraine
    Posts
    3,049
    Rep Power
    26
    Quote Originally Posted by MISSFOXYSWEETCHERRY View Post
    As Doomer perfectly explained, a lot of Ukrainians are able to speak normal Russian. But in some parts (Western Ukr) thanks to the russophobic propaganda some are embarrassed to speak it (while they actually CAN) as well as there are some that are embarrassed to speak pure Ukrainian... so they begin to "russify" Ukrainian words which is called "surzhik" (Brainwashing effects).
    But if you as a tourist visit even western parts of Ukraine and speak Russian, Most of them will understand you. They have a lot of visitors/tourists and in order to not lose them, they usually hide their a bit "nationalistic" sentiments. I mean if you are a foreigner, that's ok. National tensions exist only between Ukrainian citizens themselves. It has no connection with tourists. Also they are hospitable.
    OMG. How did you come to that?

    In Ukraine de-facto works an ethical norm that everybody speaks the language he likes more and gets respond in a language interlocutor likes more. For locals it is not a problem to understand any of them. But if a person with a "far" foreign accent speaks Russian (s)he most probably will be responded in Russian even if interlocutor likes Ukrainian more.

    Situation when someone speaks Ukrainian instead of Russian just to make you problems is extreme and rare.

    "Surzhik" in fact is a great number of quite different local dialects which are used mainly in rural areas. Plus sometimes a person from an area with mixed language practice can mix words and constructions from languages.

    All of the above is quite natural and mostly has nothing to do with "embarrassing" or "brainwashing" of any kind.
    Marcus likes this.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

  15. #15
    Hanna
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by klopp View Post
    ok for Belarusians, but can all Ukranians speak Russian? really?! Are you sure of this?
    Well - From the perspective of a foreigner:
    I was there and there certainly wasn't anyone who wasn't able to understand my (bad!) Russian. Everyone was 100% up for speaking Russian with me.
    Rather, it was me who was totally confused by the signs and writing in Ukrainian.
    Admittedly I didn't go to the countryside, I only visited Odessa and Kiev. But I hardly even HEARD anyone speaking Ukrainian, apart from on TV.

    However - almost all official signs etc, are in Ukrainian, particularly in Kiev. So for that reason it's not a brilliant place to go to learn Russian. But as for actual interaction between people, it seemed to be Russian, in those places I mentioned. I hadn't given this any thought whatsoever, so I was a bit surprised. I wanted to do "Russian immersion", and Ukraine is not ideal for that, because the Ukrainian language is always present to some extent. My mistake for not informing myself properly.
    I think the Black Sea coast of Ukraine is more or less fully Russian speaking.

    I spent quite a long time in Belarus and I was very much listening out for anyone speaking Belarussian. I only heard it a couple of times, in a rural place. Some other people in the same village (old ladies) were speaking Polish between them.
    I asked lots of people about Belarussian, and older people said they'd love to use it, but they just didn't know it very well. Younger people had done it in school and could use it, but essentially didn't. Some signs are in Belarussian, for example metro stations, and street signs. But almost everything else is in Russian, and all the streets have an alternative Russian name. Some Belarussians have a bit of an accent when speaking Russian, which makes it sound a bit different. They are quite nationalistic about it and WANT to preserve the language. But in reality it's more convenient to speak Russian, so that's what happens. Belarus has only 9 million inhabitants and for books and films Russian has much more to offer - same thing as for all smaller languages.

Similar Threads

  1. Help with Ukrainian
    By jesteren in forum Ukrainian
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: February 23rd, 2010, 02:09 PM
  2. Hi - I need some help with Ukrainian
    By jesteren in forum Ukrainian
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: January 24th, 2010, 04:37 PM
  3. Ukrainian и
    By Оля in forum Ukrainian
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: December 18th, 2008, 03:44 PM
  4. Ukrainian pop
    By TATY in forum Ukrainian
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: September 5th, 2006, 01:16 AM
  5. Ukrainian
    By Holopegozheni in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: October 18th, 2005, 11:17 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


Russian Lessons                           

Russian Tests and Quizzes            

Russian Vocabulary