Learning Ukrainian and Russian together...?

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jonc275

Learning Ukrainian and Russian together...?

Postby jonc275 » 2013-03-01, 6:33

Hi everyone (Всiм привiт)!

I've been studying Russian for nearly 6 months now. Lately, I've had a growing interest in Ukrainian. I've heard and understand that they're very similar to each other, both being East Slavic languages. However, I looked into the very basics, and it seems to me that they are a lot more different than I expected. I've also heard the grammar is more confusing. I'm at a beginner to early intermediate level with Russian, but I know next to zero Ukrainian (aside fom the alphabet and maybe a few phrases).

My main concern is that if I try to learn both at the same time (not being very advanced in Russian yet) I could easily confuse the vocabulary and grammar and should wait until I'm better at Russian. But I also wonder if learning Ukrainian now would make both easier for me.

Would it be a bad idea for me to try to learn both at once, or is this okay? Also, would you say Ukrainian is harder or easier than Russian?

Thanks for the help,
Jon

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dorenda
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Re: Learning Ukrainian and Russian together...?

Postby dorenda » 2013-03-04, 15:20

Hi Jon! Welcome on Unilang!

I learned Ukrainian first, and only a few years later, when I already had a solid basis, I picked up Russian. Of course it sometimes happened that I mixed up things, and sometimes I probably also said something the Ukrainian simply because I hadn't learned yet that it was said differently in Russian, but in general I would say mixing things up was not a big problem. On the other hand, they are similar enough that knowing one surely helps learning the other. Of course, it could be different for you, since you're probably less advanced in Russian than I was in Ukrainian when I started Russian. You can just try it. If you find it too confusing, you can always quit Ukrainian and try again in a year or two years' time. In any case, them most important thing, in my opinion, is that if you learn several (similar) languages, is that you keep all of them active. I didn't do that in the last two years, when I've been speaking Polish all the time and hardly any Russian and Ukrainian, and as a result I now speak Russian/Ukrainian full of Polonisms. :(

About which one is easier: I don't think the difference is very big, but if anything, I would say Ukrainian is easier. Especially the pronunciation, but that might be very different for an English speaker, of course. Back when I started learning, it was rather difficult to find materials for learning Ukrainian, so in that respect learning Russian was easier, but nowadays there is much more and it's also possible to find Ukrainians on the internet in case you need help/practice, so that isn't a problem anymore.
нехай мій гаманець порожній
моя дорога невідома
я стану вільним, подорожнім
найголовніше вийти з дому

jonc275

Re: Learning Ukrainian and Russian together...?

Postby jonc275 » 2013-03-17, 2:55

Thank you for your response! :)

I think I will dabble a little bit with Ukrainian. I agree with you about the pronunciation -- Ukrainian sounds to me like the consonants are harder so you don't have to worry about as many soft pronunciations as you do in Russian!! :D The only things that I have trouble with so far are letters Г (compared to Х), and to a less extent И (but this sounds kinda like Russian Ы to me).

I think I'll dabble a little bit and if it doesn't work for me right now, I'll wait a while and try again later. So far I've only learned a few phrases, so I'll have to make sure when I start to study it more in-depth that I practice it and do my best to avoid mixing it up with Russian! (I already have found a few words that could lead to this problem, though.) But I'm glad it will be worth at least a try for now. Thanks again!!

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Re: Learning Ukrainian and Russian together...?

Postby TheStrayCat » 2013-03-23, 13:06

jonc275 wrote::D The only things that I have trouble with so far are letters Г (compared to Х), and to a less extent И (but this sounds kinda like Russian Ы to me).


Don't they sound to you like the respective sounds in behind (at least where it's pronounced as voiced) and bit (a bit leaning towards Russian "ы")? :)

jonc275

Re: Learning Ukrainian and Russian together...?

Postby jonc275 » 2013-03-24, 2:36

TheStrayCat wrote:Don't they sound to you like the respective sounds in behind (at least where it's pronounced as voiced) and bit (a bit leaning towards Russian "ы")? :)


"Г" is a tough letter for me to pronounce properly, and usually I end up saying it like English "h" and hearing it that way as well. I'm not really sure how to voice that sound. (To my knowledge, I don't voice the H in "behind")

"И" is definitely easier now, though.

Thanks for the help! :)

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Re: Learning Ukrainian and Russian together...?

Postby zamolxis » 2015-06-13, 8:53

Hello Jon,

I am Mihai, and I intend to do exactly the same thing like you.
Learned the really basics of Russian for a while, switched to Ukrainian for six months and now I am thinking to reactivate Russian, too. How is your experience with both languages so far ?
B.t.w. My first post here, so
Hi all !

Regards,
Mihai
[flag=]ro[/flag] native
[flag=]de[/flag] [flag=]en[/flag] fluent
[flag=]hu[/flag] intermediate
[flag=]fr[/flag] [flag=]uk[/flag] [flag=]ru[/flag] beginner -> learning

הענט

Re: Learning Ukrainian and Russian together...?

Postby הענט » 2017-05-29, 6:30

I have a strong wanderlust for Ukrainian, but it'll have to wait, because I don't want any interference with my intermediate Russian. So far it sounds to me like accented Russian with a bunch of Polish, Czech and some unique (IMHO) Ukrainian words like майбутнє.

G becomes h. O stays o even unstressed maskva vs moskva. Ščo is šč and not šš as in Russian, sometime o becomes i - vojna > vijna. And many more differences in pronunciation and vocab.
I especially like the Ukrainian pronunciation of один, because it sounds a lot like the Norse god.

I know some of what I just said are plain stereotypes, but I'm really starting to like the language. Hopefully in the future.


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