Ukrainian language

spoken in: Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Moldavia, the USA, Canada, Poland, white Russia, Slowakei, Argentina, Kirgisistan, Lettland, Romania, Western Europe, Tschechien
speaker: >50 million
rank: 24
official status
office language in: Ukraine
language code
ISO 639 -1: uk
ISO 639 -2: ukr

Ukrainian (self-designation: українська (мова), wiss. Transliteration ukrajins'ka mova) is a language from the ostslawischen Sub-group of the slawischen branch of the indogermanischen languages.

The second largest slawische language as well as exclusive office language of the Ukraine are Ukrainian and of 37 million humans than native language are spoken there. Most not Ukrainer uses it as secondary language. Altogether it hands over50 million speaker.

Ukrainian with the cyrillic alphabet is written, whereby the Ukrainian version in some letters deviates from the Russian.

Table of contents


Ukrainian belongs together with the Russian one and the Byelorussian one to the ostslawischen language's group. The three languagesbecame in the area of the Kiewer Rus (9. Jh. n. Chr.) spoken. The name for the entire ostslawische territory led regularly to mistakes, because „Rus was equated “with Russia. Thus it came for example to the language designations „largeRussian “for Russian, „smallRussian “for Ukrainian, with which Ukrainian was often arranged as dialect or subspecies of the Russian one.

In the oldest epoch (approximate up to 14. ) All Ostslawen a common writing language (Altostslawisch) had century, in the middle (approx. 15. to 18. Jh.) usedthe ancestors of the today's Ukrainer and white Russians together the ruthenische language.

Toward end 18. Century developed beside the up to then common a Kirchenslawi Ukrainian writing language and literature coming from the people language. In 19. Century experienced the UkrainianCulture and concomitantly its literature language a bloom time; the development concentrated less on political than on scientific topics.

1876 became nevertheless from fear of separatist efforts of Zar Alexander II. on operation of the tsarist censorship authority in bath Emsextensive prohibition of ukrainischsprachiger publications expressed (Emser decree). To 1906 were subject Ukrainian scientific publications, readings, exhibitions and concerts to this dictation. The most important Ukrainian poet Taras Schewtschenko (1814-1861) was sent for its texts and poems into turkmenische banishing.

In the Karpatoukraine and in the area of the Slowakei there were already in 19. Century efforts to its own writing language, which was based also on the local Ukrainian dialects, however of the Ukrainian Standardsprache differed. These efforts have offthe end of the eighties 20. Century again increased, their result was the Kodifikation of the karpato russinischen language on the basis of the dialect of Zemplin. More strongly deviating the jugoslawo russinische language is original in the Vojvodina, in addition,on a Ukrainian dialect is based.

With the establishment of a Ukrainian People's Republic 1918 Ukrainian became for the first time the state language, later also in the Ukrainian Soviet republic. While the Soviet time was thus not Ukrainian forbidden, however the Russian language dominated all as traffic languagescientific and literary work as well as the media. Therefore the colloquial language until to today is subject strong Russian influences. This is particularly noticeable if a comparison with the vocabulary of the strong Ukrainian Diaspora in Canada is made: here dip substantially lessUnderstands Russian origin up, while „Canadian-Ukrainian “words in the native-Ukrainian linguistic usage are used rarely or in the colloquial language become outdated and exotically to work.

With the independence of the Ukraine 1991 Ukrainian became the office language of the new state. There were concerning this violent debates, thereon the national territory of the Ukraine on the one hand according to different data approx. 22 to 40 per cent of the population Russian is, on the other hand also many Ukrainer, particularly in the east of the country, exclusively Russian speaks. One generally speaking country spread (since independence with more fallingTendency), only verbally used combination of the Ukrainian one and Russian one is the Surschyk.

Due to this historical development the topic is language for many Ukrainer to today high-political topic, which can be discussed vehement.


the today's UkrainianAlphabet with the scientific transliteration and the German Transkription:

Largely (HTML Entity) small (HTML Entity) scientific
А (А) а (а) A A A A
Б (Б) б (б) B b B b
В (В) в (в) V v W w
Г (Г) г (г) H h H h
Ґ (Ґ) ґ (ґ) G g G g
Д (Д) д (д) D D D D
Е (Е) е (е) E e E e
Є (Є) є (є) Ever ever ever for each
Ж (Ж) ж (ж) Ž ž Sch (sports club) sch (sports club)
З (З) з (з) Z z S s
И (И) и (и) Y y Y y
І (І) і (і) I i I i
Ї (Ї) ї (ї) Ji ji Ji ji
Й (Й) й (й) J j 1 J j
К (К) к (к) K k K k (instead of ks also x)
Л (Л) л (л) L l L l
М (М) м (м) M m M m
Н (Н) н (н) N n N n
О (О) о (о) O o O o
П (П) п (п) P p P p
Р (Р) р (р) R r R r
С (С) с (с) S s S s (between vowels also ss)
Т (Т) т (т) Partially partially
У (У) у (у) U u U u
Ф (Ф) ф (ф) F f F f
Х (Х) х (х) CH CH CH CH
Ц (Ц) ц (ц) C C Z z
Ч (Ч) ч (ч) Č č Tsch tsch
Ш (Ш) ш (ш) Š š Sch sch
Щ (Щ) щ (щ) Šč šč Schtsch schtsch (Stsch stsch)
ь (ь) ' and/or.j 2 (softness characters) (-) and/or. j
Ю (Ю) ю (ю) Ju Ju Ju ju
Я (Я) я (я)
' ' (Apostrophe) 3 (-)

1: comes only before o before
2: only after consonants;a capital letter does not exist; palatisiert the preceding consonants; „j “forwards „o “, otherwise (in the Auslaut and before consonants) „' “; not shown in the Transkription „j “forwards „o “, otherwise
3: only between labialem consonant and „j “+ vowel; in the Transkriptionusually not shown

vocabulary and discussion

due to the relatively late differentiation of the individual slawischen languages from the common origin Urslawisch the common vocabulary is comparatively large, it amounts to about two thirds. Ukrainian differs in vocabulary, Sound formation and Satzbau of the Russian one somewhat more strongly than Byelorussian and have beyond that many leaning words from the Polish one.

In the direct comparison with the Russian language J. calls. B. Rudnyckyj (text book of the Ukrainian language, Wiesbaden 1964) among other thingsthe following sound shifts (in each case the first word Russian and second Ukrainian):

  • Itavismus: the vowels e and o become in closed syllables i
    ex.s: Львов (Lwow) - Львів (Lwiw), кошка (koschka - cat) - кішка (kíschka)
  • Ikavismus: „jat “- sound ever becomes i
    ex.: месяц (mjesjaz - month, moon) - місяць (misjaz), медь (Mjed' - copper) - мідь (avoided')
  • hard consonants before the e
    ex.: весна (vjesná - spring) - весна (vesna), перед (pjered - forwards)- перед (pered)
  • fusion of the altslawischen sounds i and ы too и
    ex.s: пиво (pívo - beer) - пиво (pývo), нитка (nítka) - нитка (nýtka)
  • development of the g - sound to h
    ex.: голова (galavá) - head - голова (holová), горло(górlo throat, neck) - горло (hórlo)
  • the Vokalisierung of the l - sound, written в
    ex.s: пил (pil - he drank) - пив (pýu), брал (bral - it took) - брав (bráu)

still numerous other differences between these two ostlawischen existLanguages, which clarify partially also interesting culture-historical characteristics - an example:

  • marry
    Russian: жениться (for the man; Word trunk жена - woman), выходитьзамуж (for the woman; literally: behind the man step)
    Ukrainian: одружуватися (for both sexes; Word trunk дружба -Friendship)


characteristics of the morphology

the Ukrainian language differentiates between seven cases (відмінки):

  • Nominativ (називнийвідмінок)
  • genitive (родовийвідмінок)
  • dative (давалнийвідмінок)
  • accusative (знахіднийвідмінок)
  • Instrumentalis (оруднийвідмінок)
  • Lokativ (місцевийвідмінок)
  • Vokativ (кличнийвідмінок)

with itthe Vokativ is a pure Ansprech or call form and arises not as sentence addition.

With the inflection of the nouns one differentiates declination “„the declination classes in such a way specified “(відміна) apart from the term „, whereby these additionally to the grammatical Genus the inflectiondetermine. Beyond that within some declination classes groups are differentiated, which by the kind of their endings (hard, softly, mixed) to characterize itself.

A peculiarity of Ukrainian adjectives is the formation of forms, which mark an emotional attitude to persons and articles; this can making smaller, liebkosend, increasing or vergröbernd its. Thus for example the adjective becomes „beautifully “(гарний) by the form гарненький „tender light “(see Diminutiv with nouns). The adjectives are likewise DEK-lined in two groups (hard and soft).

During one in Ukrainian only three, Plays the category „of the internal message type “(aspect ) a large role differentiates between time categories (past, present, future) of the verb (as also in other slawischen languages). Each verb exists in two aspects, the unfinished and the completed aspect. In its lexikologischenMeaning are identical these pairs of aspects. The verb form imperfekte in each case expresses an unfinished, in the time not limited action in past, present or future. The perfect seems to verb form against it only in the Präteritum and present, whereby the present the grammaticalFuture expresses. This characteristic of the verb can accept many different functions and characteristics, which are to be mediated to the non--native speaker with difficulty; sometimes the meaning difference can be understood only from the context or erspürt.

Ukrainian literature

work on []

Beginnings to 18. Century

already since that 11. Of the Kiewer Rus chronicles and Heldenepen developed for century like the Ihorlied in the area, which can be compared with the Nibelungenlied. Essentially form however only after the fallthe Kiewer of realm separate literatures for the three languages out. In 18. Century is the philosopher and poet Hryhorij Skoworoda the most important representative of the baroque literature.

19. Century - Ukrainian romance

with the development of a purely UkrainianWriting language (contrary to Kirchenslawi and to not specifically Ukrainian Rutheni, written up to then) developed its own Ukrainian literature only comparatively late. Wegbereiter was Iwan Kotljarewskyj with its work Aeneis (Enejida) 1798, a popular Travestie upthe classical work of Vergil.

The poet Taras Schewtschenko, which is admired in the Ukraine by the majority as the most important historical and literary shape, contributed considerably to the further training of the writing language. Poems such as legacy (Sapowit) from its poem collection Kobsar, are embodied until today in the consciousness of all generations and social classes deeply. Beside Schewtschenko, 19 stands „for the crystallization point “(literature Brockhaus) of the Ukrainian national romance in. Century poet such as A. L. Metlynskyj, M. I. Kostomarow, M. S. Schaschkewytsch.

Duringthe strict prohibition of Ukrainian literature on the soil of the Russian Zarenreichs, from which Schewtschenko had to suffer, the cultural life and the literature concentrated at that time on the state area of Austria Hungary, to that the western Ukraine starting from 1876 (Lemberg, Galizien, Karpaten) belonged. To the most important poets and writers to this period Lesja Ukrainka and Iwan Franko belong.

20. Century

lyric poetry

the Ukrainian literature of the past century is coined/shaped by the Soviet time,their chances and restrictions. One can differentiate between four currents, which must be regarded in each case in their time: the poets and of the 30's 20's, like Wolodymyr Swidsynskyj, Pawlo Tytschyna and Jewhen Pluschnyk; „the thaw “- period under Khrushchev brought in the 60's Years Lina Kostenko, Mykola Winhranowskyj, Wasyl Stus out. As „chanceless “the poet generation of the stagnating 70's under Brezhnev was considered, under it the Kiewer in such a way specified school as well as Ihor Kalynez and Hryhorij Tschubaj from Lwiw. Into the 80ern are poetslike Wassyl Herassymjuk, Ihor Rymaruk, Oksana Sabuschko and Iwan Malkowytsch admits become.

book market

the Lemberger book forum is up-to-date the largest book fair in the Ukraine in September. German books are for most visitors of the Lemberger book fair stillexorbitantly, nevertheless recently more at present: a Kiewer agency, which sells language books of the Hueber of publishing house in the Ukraine, offers in the meantime beside inexpensive rem CCIT ends also all available books from Germany for orders.

The book selling functions there altogether very badly. But has nowthe book trade chain Bukwa (the letter) already 22 large book shops in the entire Ukraine opens and expands. Nevertheless the competition of the strong Russian market in the own country overwhelms nearly. Still many books in Ukrainian language appear only with national promotion.But the number rises: The association of publishers counts approximately 350 publishing houses, which publish regularly books. 2004 was registered 14,970 new publications, the total circulation amounted to thereby 52.8 million copies. Outside of the quite lucrative school book business however the average circulation of a title amounts to 300 copies. Despiteall difficulties grows also the Ukrainian community conditions on the Frankfurt book fair and in the forum dialogue of this fair come Ukrainian authors to word.


realm me the stony sounds. Ukrainian lyric poetry 20. Century. Brodina publishing house, 1996. ISBN 3-931180-05-0

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