Ukrainian language

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The spoken language in Ukraine is Ukrainian. Ukrainian language a language of TV in the country and all the types of law documents. Despite this for majority Ukrainians colloquial language in Ukraine is Russian.

The history of Ukrainian language

Beginning of Ukrainian Language history dates back to Kievan Rus period. During the thousands of years the language was modified and provided the basis for the other Slavic languages.

In different periods of time Ukrainian lands were divided between the Russian and the Austrian Empires. Both states prohibited usage of Ukrainian language in their countries. This situation slowed down the development of Ukrainian literature and Ukrainian language as an official one. The impact of the Russian and Austrian Empires was the reason for modern official language in Ukraine being very similar to Russian language and Polish. Literary Ukrainian language appeared at the beginning of the XVIII century. It’s founder name is Ivan Kotlyarevsky. He is the author of the first book written in Ukrainian language “Eneida”

For a long time Ukrainian language remained unacknowledged. Towards the end of October 1989, 2 years before the collapse of the USSR, this language became an official language in Ukraine.

Interesting facts about Ukrainian language

  • The dictionary, published by the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, contains 256,000 words. If you want to compare: English contains about 1 million words, and Russian – 257 thousands.
  • Language of Ukraine takes the second place in the world in terms of euphony. The first place takes Italian.
  • Ukrainian alphabet is a variant of the Cyrillic alphabet, the number of letters in it equals 33.
  • Compared with the Russian language, Ukrainian language does not contain a large number of Church Slavonic words. In terms of vocabulary it is closer to Ukrainian Belarusian (84%) and Poland (70%) languages.
  • The most commonly used alphabet letter in Ukrainian official language is “н” letter most often. The biggest part of Ukrainian words start from this letter. Less often is used letter “ф”. Most of the words which start from this letter are borrowed.

How many people speak Ukrainian and other languages in Ukraine

Ukrainian language is included in to top-20 list of the most popular languages in the world. Nearly 43 million people in the world consider it their native language. The main part of these people live in Ukraine (around 32 million). However, the question is: How many people speak Ukrainian in other counties? It’s about 16 million. International Ukrainian-speakers live in Georgia, Poland, Belarus, Russia, Hungary, Romania, Germany, Brazil, Canada and other countries.

The other spoken languages in Ukraine are Russian (known by almost all the population) and Belorussian (about 250 thousand of speakers). Also, among the other languages spoken in Ukraine we can point out English, Rumanian, Polish, Hungarian.

A few more interesting facts about official language in Ukraine

  1. Ukrainian language is mostly similar to Belarusian language – 84 percent common vocabulary, followed by Serbian and Polish (70%) and then Russian (60%).
  2. The national language of Ukraine is only one from East Slavic languages, which has 7 plagues for the nouns. The seventh of which is the “vocative plague”.
  3. The first mention about Ukrainian language dates back to 448 AD. These were the words “med” (honey) and “bludo” (meal). These words were written by Byzantine historic Priscus Panikiysky, when he was in the territory of the modern Ukraine.
  4. National language of Ukraine in the different historical periods had different names among people. Ukrainian language was called plain language, Moscowian, Russenian, Cossack, and the others. Historically, the most popular way called the national language of Ukraine in the middle of the XIX century was “Russian Language”.
  5. The national language of Ukraine has a lot of diminutive form. There is diminutive form even for the word “enemies”

Ukrainian Literature

Original phenomenon of middle Ukrainian literature was a polemical works of Ivan Vyshensky, Maleta Smotritsky, Feofan Prokopovich, etc. The top of the old Ukrainian literature of the Baroque period is a poet and philosopher Gregory Skovoroda (1722-1794).

The history of Ukrainian official language starts at the end of the XVIII century with poem by Ivan Kotlyarevsky “Eneida”. It signified the emergence of modern literary Ukrainian language and the beginning of modern Ukrainian literature. A humorous and satiric tone of the Kotlyarevsky works was taken up by the other writers, primarily members of the so-called Kharkov community (Peter Gulak-Artyomovsk, Eugene Hrebinka). Another famous Ukrainian language writer of this period is Gregory Kvitka-Osnovyanenko

The most famous writer of Ukraine is the world-famous Taras Shevchenko. His work “Kobzar”, printed in 1840, is almost a national symbol.

To conclude

National language of Ukraine is similar to many others but has its own interesting lexicon and literature. Ukrainian diasporas spread all over the world promotes learning of Ukrainian language all over the world.