Ukrainian and Russian: Two Separate Languages and Peoples

Filed under: riflessioni — Paolo Porsia @ 11:36 AM

Ukrainian Institute of America

Nations are dying not from a heart attack. First their language is taken away.
Lina Kostenko
Ukrainian poetess

There are people who say that Ukrainian is a dialect of Russian, or that the two languages are very similar. When traveling in Poland or Slovakia, Ukrainian speakers have no problem understanding the locals and they in turn tend to understand spoken Ukrainian. On the other hand, in Russia if you speak Ukrainian, you will not be understood. So the question is: are the two languages really similar?

Ukrainian is the national language of Ukraine. It belongs to the Eastern Slavic languages, and is therefore part of the Indo-European group of languages. It includes 46 million speakers, which makes it the second (after Russian) most widely spoken Slavic language.

Kostyantyn Tyshchenko, a professor of linguistics at Kyiv Taras Shevchenko National University, made a list of 82 specific features of Ukrainian grammar and…

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