How to begin to speak Ukrainian

“Language disappears not because nobody wants learning it, but because, those who know it, don’t speak it” – these words belong to Spanish politician Jose Maria Aznar Lopez. It is great that nowadays many citizens of Ukraine have a wish to know and to speak native language. There are also foreigners that arrive to the country and want to study one of the most beautiful languages in a world (It is a well-known fact that Ukrainian is melodic and occupies a second place by its beauty) or just people from different countries who want to get speak it.

Is it easy to learn Ukrainian

Ukrainian is easy to learn if a person speaks Russian, Polish, Belorussian or another Slavic language. They have a lot in common as for vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation. As for vocabulary, the closest languages to Ukrainian are:

  • Belorussian (around 83% of common vocabulary),
  • Polish (70%);
  • Russian (62%).

Ukrainian is a native language for 37 million of people and is widely spoken in Canada, USA, Russia, Poland, Belarus, Moldova, Brazil. Modern Ukrainian language contains around 250 000 words and is in a list of rapidly developing languages.

For those who don’t speak any Slavic language, it is not easy to study Ukrainian.

Studying may take years to start speaking Ukrainian fluently, especially if you choose self-study. Process of acquiring Slavic language for foreigners is simply impossible without a tutor. Video lessons or tones of literature can’t substitute a person who can correct mistakes and explain what difficulties you are facing while mastering Ukrainian. More than that, tutor is not only a teacher, but a motivator and supervisor.

The ideal schedule of studying Ukrainian for foreigners will be two-three times per week. One lesson should last one or two hours.

If you want to speak Ukrainian fluently, then have a look at following advice.

How to learn to speak Ukrainian language

Forget about fears

There are many people, who are afraid of speaking Ukrainian because they can make mistakes or are afraid to be laughed at. Imagine a situation, you moved to a foreign country, Egypt, for example, will you continue speaking your native language or will you try to learn a local one? An answer is obvious, right? Nobody makes you use Ukrainian with your family and friends, you can continue speaking the most comfortable language for everybody, but try to speak Ukrainian with those who already speak it, as if you can’t do otherwise.

Speak out loud

Another tip is to speak out loud. Start doing it from the very first day, when you decided learning Ukrainian. Don’t think about possible mistakes and don’t be shy, the most important is to begin and to practice speaking. Even if no one listens to you.

Talk to native speakers

Try to be in the native surrounding as much, as possible. Communicate in Ukrainian in social media, visit exhibitions and concerts of famous Ukrainians. If you are visiting Ukraine, use Ukrainian language when you go shopping, communicate in public transport and make an order in a café or restaurant. The more you talk with native speakers, the more copious vocabulary you will have.

Watch TV and listen to local radio

One of the best ways to learn new words is watching TV and listening to the radio. When you drive in a car, give preference to Ukrainian radio stations, watch movies in Ukrainian. It will help to enrich your vocabulary and improve pronunciation. If you don’t have TV, you can find movies or listen to Ukrainian songs online.

Be persistent

If you want not only to speak but to think in Ukrainian language, you will need more than one year. Don’t be afraid to take some breaks while studying, you will need them to rest and then to continue learning even with the stronger wish. Process of learning is quite difficult and the more persistent you are, the better result you will get. Even don’t think about quitting studying Ukrainian!

Find experienced interlocutors

It is really important not only to speak, but to do it without mistakes. So, try to find an experienced interlocutor, an individual who knows the language better than you and can correct your mistakes. Don’t hesitate to ask, if you don’t know anything.

Attend linguistic courses

If you wish to learn Ukrainian language and to do it faster, then find some language courses. They can be free or fee-paying, offline and online.  You will have lessons two or three times a week with native speakers, who will not only teach you and tell about main rules of pronunciation and grammar, but also will motivate to continue learning one of the most beautiful languages in the world.

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