5 interesting facts about Ukrainian
As a professional translation agency, it is important to understand and appreciate different languages and cultures, and learning about interesting facts can help deepen our insight and respect for these languages and people.
Translating Ukrainian into Portuguese and Portuguese into Ukrainian has become increasingly important because of the current conflict with Russia.
As a result of the war, there has been a significant increase in demand for translation services involving Ukrainian language in such fields as diplomacy, defence, and humanitarian aid.
Diplomatic communication between Ukraine and other countries involved in the conflict, as well as with international organisations such as the United Nations and the European Union, requires precise and reliable translation services to ensure the communication is effective.
Humanitarian organisations working in Ukraine need these services to be able to communicate with communities affected by the conflict and to provide aid and assistance: in these contexts, such services are essential.
Ukrainian is a language with a rich history and culture. It is the official language of Ukraine and is also spoken by large numbers of people in neighbouring countries and in the Ukrainian diaspora. In this article we share five interesting facts about the Ukrainian language.
5 Facts about Ukrainian Language
1. It is the second-most spoken Slavic language
Ukrainian is the second-most spoken Slavic language after Russian, with around 45 million native speakers worldwide. While it is mainly spoken in Ukraine, it can also be heard in neighbouring countries like Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary. Ukrainian is also recognised as a minority language in several countries, including Serbia, Kazakhstan, and Croatia.
2. The Ukrainian alphabet is unique
Ukrainian language is written in the Cyrillic alphabet, which is also used for Russian, Bulgarian and several other Slavic languages. However, the Ukrainian alphabet has certain unique characteristics. It is composed of 33 letters, including the letter “i”, which is not present in the Russian alphabet. It also has several letters than are not used in any other Cyrillic alphabet, such as “ґ” and “є”.
3. The language boasts an extensive vocabulary
The dictionary of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences contains a vocabulary of more than 250,000 words. This is partly due to the fact Ukrainian language has used loan words from many different languages through its history, including words from Polish, Russian, German, and Turkish. Also, there are many regional dialects of Ukrainian, which has led to variations in vocabulary and pronunciation.
4. Ukrainian is rich in proverbs and sayings
Ukrainian culture has a rich tradition of proverbs and sayings, and the language reflects this. A lot of common proverbs and sayings are used in daily conversation, often with a humorous or ironic slant.
One example is “Краще один раз побачити, ніж сто разів почути”. Translated literally, it means: “it is better to see one thing once than to hear about it one hundred times”, which is the equivalent to “a picture is worth a thousand words”.
Another interesting example is “Голодний вовк сильніший за ситу собаку”, which means “a starving wolf is stronger than a satiated dog”. This expression emphasises that it is better to seek progress than to be satisfied with stagnation and conformity. Although making mistakes and failing is part of the process, this should not prevent us from plotting our own course and achieving success.
There is also “Забагато кухарів псують бульйон”, or “too many cooks spoil the broth”. While the work of a team may be fantastic, it doesn’t suit every situation! Sometimes, it is better to have the right amount of people working on specific tasks than to spread a thousand and one tasks among a team that is too big.
5. Ukrainian is grammatically complex
Ukrainian language is characterised by its complex grammatical structure, with seven cases for nouns, pronouns, and adjectives (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, instrumental, locative, and vocative) and a vast system of verb conjugation.
This fact makes Ukrainian a difficult language to learn for non-native speakers, but also means it is highly expressive and full of nuance.
Moreover, Ukrainian has a characteristic that is not found in all languages – “aspect”, which refers to how an action is seen in relation to completion or duration. This means different forms of the same verb are used depending on whether the action has been completed or is in progress (similar to our imperfect tense – e.g. “estava” – which refers to an event occurring in the past, but which is not fully completed).
In summary, Ukrainian is a rich and complex language with a unique alphabet, an extensive vocabulary, a rich tradition of proverbs and sayings and a complex grammatical structure.
Its expressive nature and nuances make it a fascinating language to explore and enjoy. Contact us and request a quote today if you need a translation into or from Ukrainian language.