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How Different Are Russian and Ukrainian???

100 Replies to “How Different Are Russian and Ukrainian???”

  • Не знаю от куда берется информация, но в Украине на украинском говорит 10% населения страны, если не меньше )))))))))

  • As a Russian I really don't understand a majority of Ukraine language, but when I had started learning Polish it was better.
    P. S. Have I made mistakes?

  • My favorite example of just how different the two languages can be is this very simple, everyday sentence:
    English: This dish is very tasty.
    Ukrainian: Ця страва дуже смачна.
    Russian: Ето блюдо очень вкусно.
    No cognates, no variations. Just completely different. Apparently Ukrainian and Russian are as different as Portuguese and Italian (not Portuguese and Spanish)…

  • im puzeled ..what native language have to do with ethnicity ?
    second they are both slavic ..the only difference is some small % of mixed bloodlines with different ethnic groups and thats all ..political things are artificial ones and rly are just an excuse of finding difference nothing else..and language part ..well those are dialects from same language ..

  • Thanks Longfocus…and Paul
    If I want to do language diploma in Norwegian so how will I do.
    like Delf A1 in French which I did
    please help me..
    thanks Paul

  • I can make some additions.
    In russian is also possible to hear:
    "Женщина, что сидит на стуле". It 's not being consodered as a standard russian, but in common language it's not something unusual.

    Also I think the russian word "нет" (it means "no", or less frequently as "don't have") is a significant difference.

  • Не пытался учить польский/украинский. Понимаю украинский на 30% а то и меньше. Думаю для многих русских результат будет схож…

  • OMG, only now realized that there is an image made on the bridge in Zhytomyr on the background when Paul is speaking about grammar

  • Thank you for clarifying that Crimea has a Russian speaking majority. Americans are especially ignorant of what Russian are, and what is not Russian. Bye the way; Russia could be the best friend America ever had, if Americans could only get over their ignorance, and hatred!

  • My late Ukrainian friend, when asked: Aren't Russian and Ukrainian the same language, his reply was:
    Yes,just like a Yiddish speaking housewife in Brooklyn and a Mexican-American Spanish -speaking housewife in South Texas.

  • Perfect! Thank you! Still, several unnecessary corrections may be made to this video above. 1) Pluperfect conjugation may be used in Russian in exactly the same way: "Ya chital byl etu knigu", simply it's much more unusual in modern Russian than in modern Ukrainian. It's all because the modern Ukrainian is more of a language in development, you can hardly find any Ukrainian person that speaks according to the grammar rules, the rules in casual Ukrainian speech are very broad and very vague. But anything that sounds different than in Russian, is immediately being promoted exclusively for geopolitical reasons. 2) Actually, apart from the very western regions, 90% of native urban population speak Russian with slight additions of Ukrainian here and there. Ukrainian is strongly associated both in mentality and reality with peasants, nothing derogatory about it, but it is quite so.

  • Guys I want to study Russian or Ukrainian.
    I know polish on a fluent level ( not very advanced, but daily life conversations are fluent)
    I am more interested linguistically in Ukrainian, and I understand more of it knowing polish, I already see that but russian would be probably more helpful….

  • I hate people who think, they have the right to call both the same. I am Half-German Half-Ukraine.
    I hate Russians doing like they didnt do anything to us.

  • Я русский и смотрю видео, как иностранец объясняет разницу между двумя почти схожими языками.
    Що цей хлопець собі дозволяє?!)
    Ладно-ладно. Все круто. Годный контент.

  • I don't think it's a good presentation. First of all, the Ukrainian language existed as a spoken language (there's examples of it on the wall of St. Sophia cathedral!j) many centuries before Russian even started to form itself due to colonization of the finno-hungarian tribes living around the Kievan Rus. The most striking difference between two languages is the absence of phonetic reduction in Ukrainian where the prononciation is very clear, like in Spanish or Italian: for example, 'o' is always [o], whether it is stressed or not, when in Russian it can be pronounced [o] and [a], and so on.
    Secondary, for a linguist, it was stupid to compare these languages using words borrowed from foreign languages. A serious linguist would tend to use the native words.
    The vocabulary of the Ukrainian language is far richer than Russian, even though Moscow for centuries was forbidding to publish in Ukrainian, or even forcibly cleansing the Ukrainian vocabulary, especially after Holodomor, the mass killing of the Ukrainian peasantry by artificially engineered famine. To help create the so-called "one nation"…
    The most striking in Ukrainian is its richesse in diminutives that is a vehicle of a whole spectrum of emotional evaluation. No one other language can even come close to it, even Russian that is also rich in diminutives. Just take only one song to see it.
    Ukrainian is more ancient and closer to the prahistorical european language that has a lot in common with Sanscrit, example:
    Prana ( in Sanscrit a substance of Vishnu, meaning 'clean' ) and the whole family of the Ukrainian verb"praty", wich means "to wash": vypraniy (cleaned by washing), prachka (lady who is busy washing, or profession), prannia (the process of washing}, pranyk (a wooden tool used for washing), the name of the old Kievan god of Perun..
    Ukrainian, as well as Russian has dialects, so it is advisable not to use one dialectal construction or word and compare it with a literary norm of another language. Unless the goal is the study of history of the given language.
    The closest, by vocabulary, to Ukrainian, in my view, is Belorussian, Slovak and Polish languages. Russian is very rich in vocabulary borrowed from Tartaria and basically is more distant from Ukrainian.
    In Linguistics, like in History, many Westerners are munching, so to say, the old Imperial and Soviet myths, and it is a problem for understanding the genuine situation in the countries that became independent. Just for using the Ukrainian, let alone making a research and publishing something about the genuine Ukrainian language, it was qualified as a "bourgeois nationalism" and was punishable. Sometime it was equal to a death penalty, especially for poets, writers and the ambulant troubadours known in Ukraine as "kobzary," or "lirnyky"…

  • Most informative! Thank you.
    As a non speaker, I can still see how the two are not really mutually intelligible. Obviously very closely related, perhaps with some significant degree of intelligibility at a simple level, but still simply not intelligible at standard, fluent level. Almost, but not quite.

  • Ok… Let's make this simple: can a person that speaks Ukrainian understand Russian without studying the language (and vice-versa)?

  • Hi, I live in Prague. We all here are familiar with the similitudes – differences – between the Czech and Slovak languages. It seems to me that the "distance" between Ukrainian and Russian stands in about the same distant relationship. Most of us – mainly the older generations – can understand Slovakian without significant problems.

  • Я читал эту книжку, да содержание забыл. Абсолютно легитимная русская формулировка.
    Женщина, которая/что сидит на стуле. – та же история. И таких моментов в этом видео полно.
    Парень, конечно, постарался, но в рамках собственных возможностей.
    Я вообще не понимаю, как можно не понимать русский, белорусский, польский и хорватский.

  • This guy forgot to mention that Russian language was born in Kyiv and has evolved in Kyiv for 250 years. He also forgot to mention that the modern Ukrainian is quite different from the vernacular language of Kyivan Rus. And in many ways actually the modern Russian is closer to it than the modern Ukrainian. So the popular argument in Ukraine that the modern Russian has nothing to do with Kyivan Rus is a total lie.

  • I and my mum (Ukrainians) can speak with a Polish without any problem. We speak in ukrainian and he speak in polish. We understand all

  • Hell bent for turning dialects into new languages. Isn't it clear after five years of civil war that Ukraine, meaning Borderland, should be divided into West Catholic, and East Orthodox states. Then the Eastern side will form the Russian Ukraine (borderland), and the Western side to form the Polish Ukraine (borderland). What kind of country would like to be called Borderland anyway? So, DO NOT TURN A BORDERLAND DIALECT INTO A NEW LANGUAGE!

  • Thanks to Paul and all people created the video.
    Here my Ukrainian version of Speak Softly Love(

    Кохана, слово скажи ніжне й обійми.
    У цілім світі ми одні лиш, лише ми.
    І цілий світ належить нам.
    Даруй любов, якої ще ніхто не знав.

    Які п'янкі, зігріті сонцем, дні!
    Чарівні ночі… Й ми одні…

    Зітхань гарячих наших неземна краса.
    Ніхто не чує нас – одні лиш небеса.
    Живу для тебе я – й тому
    Твою любов і ніжність в світ я свій візьму.


    Які п'янкі, зігріті сонцем, дні!
    Чарівні ночі… Й ми одні…

    Кохана, слово скажи ніжне й обійми.
    У цілім світі ми одні лиш, лише ми.
    І цілий світ належить нам.
    Даруй любов, якої ще ніхто не знав.

  • Here's an example of the similarity between Russian and Ukrainian:

    🇷🇺: Сука блять
    🇺🇦: Сука блять


    🇬🇧: Bridge
    🇷🇺: Мост
    🇺🇦: Міст

  • Your good analysis lacks the most fundamental thing: both languages are Ukrainian. The 'Russian' language started to have anything to do with the Russians only after they had conquered Ukraine where they had to pick the local language and soon renamed it into 'Russian'. Initially the Russians come from the Ugro-Finnish family of languages.

  • As a Polish and Russian native speaker who has been largely exposed to Ukrainian and (unfortunately) has acquired a linguistical background, I am surprised by the accuracy of this video!

  • I am a Russian born Ukrainian, I speak both languages natively and this video is surprisingly intelligent. I have to point out though, Russian did not evolve from old Slavic. It was artificially designed by the Russian church (it was not called that at the time) on orders from Peter the 1st, and it is based on Bulgarian (because that's what they used).

  • Good job. See people everything east of Poland is not Russia. Ethnicity, language, culture. The people's that reside here were brutally conquered, and culturally subjugated by empire, 1st muscovite then soviet.

  • There's also intonation. These languages have different intonational models (contours). To a Russian speaker a Ukrainian people sound somewhat surprised. Even when they speak Russian, the intonation remains.

  • I don't know why they say that Active Participles in Russian are common for formal speech only. No. It's widely used in informal speech too. And there are cases when you just can't do without it (I mean substitute it with a clause)

  • Thank you for the video! But I have to say, as a Russian native speaker:
    1) practically – When I see news on Ukrainian TV or read Ukrainian text – I understand about 80% of the words and 99% of the meaning from the context.
    2) Linguistically You may be correct (Im not a linguist), but most of the Ukrainian words you've mentioned in the example of difference, are Russian as well. Every Russian understands them and uses them, which means that they are part of the Russian language (regardless when they became part of it, as language is a permanently developing organism).
    As an example – "Flyashka" is a Russian word as well, same as "Groshi" (Eto stoit GROSHI – it costs nothing, small money), "Ranok" – Rano is early in Russian (Vstal spozoRANOK – woke up early morning), so Its also clear, "Chas" is also used as "Time" in Russian (more in a literature language – Chas nastal – The time has come), "Svet" is also used as "World" many times (Est na svete odno mesto – there is a place in this world), so in fact, half (if not more) of the "difference" examples are actually examples for similarity…
    3) Things like "G" in Russian vs "H" in Ukrainian: same you can say about Italian "G" vs Fiorentino dialect "H" (Casa – Hasa), but we don't say that people in Florence don't speak Italian, right?
    In fact, as an Italian speaker (I've studied singing in Italy) I can say that to my ears, Sicilian dialect is more distant from "official" Italian then Ukrainian from Russian, which is more close to the different between Italian and Neapolitan, if not even less. Neapolitan and Sicilian are considered "dialects" of Italian, while Ukrainian considered as a different language.
    What I want to say is, that this topic (decision of what is "dialect" and what is "language") sounds to me more political at the end of the day, then linguistic…
    Thanks again for the video 🙂

  • Ukrainian is like mix between Russian and Polish.
    I’m native Polish speaker of Ukrainian roots, and I understand 95% or more of Ukrainian and about around 70% of Russian while we speaking about daily topics.

    The biggest difference which makes the languages sounds a bit different is g is pronounced as h in Ukrainian: a mountain Polish “góra” and Ukr. “Hora”
    As well and Polish “rz” in Ukrainian is replaced by “r”.
    For example (tree)Polish “drzevo”” > Ukr. “derevo”
    But small tree “drevko” in Polish so the “rz” exchanges to “r” in Ukrainian or even within Polish language.

    It makes the languages sound a bit different.

  • Ага, только половина из 60% считающих украинский родным, сами русскоязычные))

  • I'm from Belarus and live in Ukraine, and I understand and speak belarusian, ukrainian, polish, and russian is my native language. I can say that belarusian is 90% similar to polish, only uses cyrillyc and has other words endings, and is less similar to ukranian, and much less to russian. Polacks understand belarusians and ukrainians, everyone understands each other – PL-BY-UA, but only russians dont understand neither belarusian, nor polish, nor ukrainian.

  • As a native American English speaker who can speak Russian, this video was extremely helpful for drawing differences in grammar cases and pronunciations. Really great stuff here!

  • As a native Russian from Siberia, I wasn't exposed to Ukrainian at all. I only saw some comic intsertions of Ukranian words/phrases on TV. After 2004 revolution I got interested, and tuned out some friends and contacts from other parts of Russia or exUSS actually knew it, and gave some hints.

    I travelled to Ukraine last year, right into the Western part, where as the myth says, they hate us. I spoke only Russian, and had not a single incident, question or whatever. They were actually curious and very welcoming when I told where I am from.

    Those who lived in Ukraine, say 1-2 months there are enough to comprehend the language.

    Recently I got more knowledge of Belarussian, where my ancestors came from, and noticed that a lot of "vernacular" or "village" language are not ugly or strange words, or wrong declensions, but simply ukrainisms or belarusisms.

  • The point is , that Ukrainian more Slavic than Russian, Russian language is less Slavic than any other Slavic languages because of Mongols and Tatars, a lot of Russian words become from Turkish and Mongolian , because Russia almost did not fight back the Mongols , while Ukraine was fighting them almost always, ofc they didn't beat them, but there was a Ukrainian tagline "Ми краще помремо, але вільними, ніж будемо жити рабами" wich means "We rather die than be slaves" , and there is a lot of words in Ukrabian that absolutely or almost similar to other Slavic languages for example word breakfast:
    Ukranian: Snidanok
    Czech: Snídaně
    Polish: Sniadanie
    Belorus: Sniadanak
    And then Russian: Zavtrak

  • Great job! But you forgot some commas in russian text. Before “but (но)" there must be a comma and in the sentence “woman sitting on the chair” a comma is placed after the word “woman (женщина)”

  • I'm, as a native speaker of both, fully understand them, and because of that i sometimes use Ukrainian words while speaking Russian and other way around. As far as i can tell languages are pretty similar, but for a Russian person it's difficult to understand Ukrainian, while every Ukrainian speaker i know can understand Russian. And as i see it, it's not because language similarities, but because there are many Russian in everyday life of an Ukrainian. I'm living in Lviv, which considered as "fully" Ukrainian speaking city, but even there there is a big number of Russian speakers, so that is the problem with Russian-Ukrainian co-understanding, as i think.

  • 15:46 – Sometimes in Russian, we change tense in present, I would rather say, "…потому что я завтра работаю" – which literally means, "…because I work tomorrow".

  • As a turk born in Germany and learning Russian I have to say that Ukrainian seems a lot harder than Russian)) European Languages are such different as turkic languages. This perfektive/imperfektive Form of verbs is the issue I mostly struggle with.
    Great video!
    Молодец, так держать!

  • С самого начала вранье. У 80% украинцев на первом месте русский, на нем говорят дома, с детьми, на улицах сел и городов. Украинский во многом навязывается искусственно. Кстати , карта выглядит совсем по другому. Большая часть Украины русскоговорящая и только несколько западных областей, где на 1-м месте украинский.

  • Wbrew pozorom, rosyjski i ukraiński, to dwa różne języki. Są do siebie podobne z powodu podobnych liter i akcentów, ale absolutnie nie są takie same. Bardzo dobry filmik!!

  • In Ukrianian and Bialorus language have a many words look like Polish language.
    In Russian l. some words from Bulgarian language.

  • Смотрю видео и думаю, на каком языке написать комментарий. Тому обидва. Файне вiдео, хоча розмовляю англiйською не дуже, але зрозумiв майже все. Украинский язык очень хорошо поется и много карсивых песен на нем, так как очень много гласных букв и открытх слогов в нем. Зазвичай думаю та говорю росiйською мовою, але вiльно володiю українською. Вивчати технiчнi документи, або щось наукове для мене легше росiйською. А вот песни приятнее слушать украинские. Впрочем оба языка хороши и оба языка интересны.

  • 1, WHY EXCLUDE THE DONBASS AND CRIMEA? Ukraine screams that these heavily populated regions are part of Ukraine, so why not include them?
    Why? Because these Russian speaking regions will increase the Ukrainian `lexical similarity' with Russian.

    If you check – 90% of Belarusians speak RUSSIAN at home!

    These statistics don't make sense.

  • Русскоговорящие не понимают украинцев, и это довольно странно для славянских народов 🙂

  • Видео хорошее, для иностранцев особенно, объяснения воспринимаются достаточно легко. Но есть некоторые замечания. Звуки "Щ" и "Ч" в украинском языке не должны звучать так, как озвучивают их в видео, так звучит похоже на белорусский. Украинские звуки "Щ" и "Ч" такие же, как и русские.
    Потом, слово "Стул" также есть в украинском языке; не обязательно использовать слово "Стілець" (тем более, что его используют реже, по моему мнению). Неясно, почему русскую букву "Г" озвучили нормально, а украинскую "ГА" – ГА это буква, а звук Г. Также стремно озвучили украинскую букву "И". И почему такая разница в качестве озвучек русского и украинского? Вы не вместе записывали?

  • They sound over 70% the same to my ear, less than I expected. And Ukrainian sounds 'sloppier' (less crisp in the sense of precise) than Russian but waaay sloppier than Sanskrit. But the center of both Ukrainian and Russian seems to be in the throat rather than the nose like Cantonese and Vietnamese. Both sound like they have mostly simple vowels rather dipthongs like in Portuguese and unlike the triple and quadruple ones of Khmer. And the inflection (is that the word?) seems 'downward' like Korean. I am not a linguist, I just mean to my ear.

  • Я не могу пойти, потому что завтра я буду работать
    не могу я пойти, потому что я работать буду завтра
    пойти я не могу, потому что буду завтра я работать
    все три нормальных варианта и используются в разговоре.

    и Йода вариант
    Пойти не могу я, работать потому что завтра буду я. 🙂

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