Do you speak Ukrainian?

Hi everyone,

It is widely agreed that speaking fluently Ukrainian is essential for a successful integration in Ukraine. Do you agree? Share your experience!

Do you speak Ukrainian? If so, where did you learn this language? Where can one attend a language course in Ukraine?

If not, how do you cope with daily activities? Is it easy to communicate in a different language with Ukrainians?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


"It is widely agreed that speaking Ukrainian is essential for a successful integration in Ukraine"

"Widely agreed" by who?
By a fist of Ukrainian nationalists?
The fact is that the propaganda, supported by the mainstream european and US american medias, would like to make us believe that in Ukraine the people speak ukrainian, but it is false.
In Ukraine 95% of the people speak ukrainian and russian.

In the west it’s mostly Ukrainian but in the east where we are (Zaporozhye) it’s Russian.
I’m open to correction here but I would suggest that in either case it’s probably better to learn Russian as it is more widely understood throughout Eastern Europe.

As a South African I’m battling to learn Russian and have decided that it will be easier to teach 45 million Ukrainians to speak English :) and to this end we’ve started a (free!) English/Russian social club and meet up at the Bulldog Café every Wednesday at 1pm. Anyone in the area is most welcome to come along.

I live in Odesa, for the past 5 years, and I have met exactly 2 people who speak fluent Ukrainian.
To come back the question, I speak very little Russian. Russian lessons here are expensive , but I could say that about everything, which usually doubles in price when people see that you are a foreigner.

I'd certainly like to learn more, but have just picked up a little from an old Pimsleur cd course I bought.


As a fellow South African, I fully get what you are saying.  :)

I speak Russian though

I am Ukrainian, speaking Russian, Ukrainian, English, French and Spanish. I think it's essential to learn Ukrainian and Russian to integrate into community in Ukraine. Plus it's fun to study languages !

I've been living in Ukraine for the past 4.5 years, I'd say that it's important to learn both. Where I live, they speak Ukrainian more than Russian but when I was in Kyiv they spoke fluent Russian. I'd recommend learning Russian first then Ukrainian. You don't have be a professional just know the basics of each then dig deeper.

To integrate a country it is necessary to learn the local language  but what I have experienced all over the world that the younger generation  is learning English buy let us not forget with old communist regime people was able to study English
So I find it not too hard to communicate with the Ukrsine people.I am learning the Russian language because I cannot get Ukraine literature in Australia or in any other countries.

The main thing is to speak some Russian.My wife is from western Ukraine where they mostly use Ukrainian. She says I dont need to know Ukrainian. I think if I did learn some Ukrainian, people would respect that, but learning Russian is not so easy and I think it might confuse things throwing Ukrainian into the mix.

Hi Keith,
I think the best is to learn Russian because all Ukrainians knows the Russian language.I started a few years ago but because I am not a resident of Ukr I forget what I have learned.
I have some good friends in Odessa and hope to find a lovely woman that will share my life with me.I love Odessa.I live in Brisbane (Australia) but would happily move to Odessa or any place in Europe.
Take care.
Mike Leonard.

Hello Priscilla ;)
I think it is still  better to speak the language of the country you plan to stay for a moment..but of course if you think just about holidays then the englisk will be enough to exchange with local people.
Personnaly l went to Kharkov in Ukraine and l plan to buy a flat over there to stay longer and maybe start a business...See you:)

kharkov is predominantly  speaking Russian and so is the whole of East Ukraine.

you are totally right Michel...поэтому я говорб по русски,,,:)

Привет, Танья
Я прочитал что вы говорите по французскому...тогда я буду рад общаться с вами.
В котором городе вы живете в Украине?
                      Извините за ошибки,,:)

I live in Poltava a city where people speak both Ukrainian & Russian. Which I find confusing as I don't automatically know which (it takes hearing the first sentence to be sure). As a general guide I use age - younger people speak Ukrainian, older people Russian. Not a rock solid rule but it does help me as I approach someone. And yes most young sub 30 speak or at least understand some English.
So yes I am trying to learn Ukrainian but not finding it easy.
One of the best things about Ukraine is how friendly and helpful people are. So your never stuck.

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