Thank you in Ukrainian

The 11th of January – one of the most «polite» dates in the whole year – this day people all over the world celebrate the “International Thank You Day”. We all understand perfectly well the importance of words of gratitude, their need for daily life. Not by chance, it is often indicated in many travel advisories: the word «thank you», especially if it is pronounced with an accent in language of the host country, improves speed, quality of service and helps to establish a quiet and pleasant holiday. So, let’s find out how to say “thank you” in Ukrainian.

How do Ukrainians express gratitude

Nowadays, Ukrainians use two words to express gratitude:

  • dyakuyu (pronounce with an emphasis on the first syllable, write in cyrillic — дякую);
  • spasybi (pronounce with an emphasis on the second syllable, spelling is — спасибi) .

“Dyakuyu” is the main word to show an appreciation in Ukrainian language. By the way, almost all Europeans understand this word. To intensify the semantics of the word “dyakuyu”, Ukrainians combine it with such words and phrases:

  • “krasno + dyakuyu”, which can be rough translated “to thank eloquently”;
  • “shchyro + dyakuyu”  — “to thank sincerely”;
  • “duzhe Vam + dyakuyu” – “thank you very much” (or ”so much”) ;
  • “dyakuyu + vid us’ogo sertsya”, which means “thank you with all my heart” and so on.

“Spasybi” is another way to say “thank you”. It is traditionally believed that this word is more used in the South and East of Ukraine. If you want to underscore the importance of your gratitude, you can say “shchyre spasybi”, which means “sincere gratitude” or “serdechne spasybi” – “heartfelt thanks”. The phrase “velyke spasybi” will be Russianism.

By the way, according to etiquette experts, the average polite Ukrainian says thank you about 50 times a day.

What to say in response

There are answers for all occasions: “proshu” (pronounce it with an emphasis on the first syllable) and “bud’ laska”, both words mean “you are welcome”. Also, it is possible to say “Nema za shcho”, it can be translated as “not at all”.

There are also answers in specific situations, for example, if you say thank you for food, then Ukrainians usually answer: “Na zdorov’ya!”, which can be translated “for a good health” or “be healthy”. If you thank for clothes, then they say: “Nosy na zdorov’ya”, which means “Wear and be healthy”.

Words of gratitude origin

The origin and meaning of the word «Spasybi» is more or less clear. This word dates back to times of pagan beliefs, it sounded like “spasy, Big” and meant «save God», it was a kind of appeal to a pagan God. These two words in the process of use became one. Ukrainians began to express their gratitude with the word «spasybi» in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

But the word «Dyakuyu» has a much older and more complicated history. Some linguists deduce his origin from the German «danke» through the Polish language. But territory of its origin is extremely wide. It covers almost all Germanic languages:

  • German “danke”;
  • Dutch “dank”;
  • English “thank”.

The same word is used in following Slavic languages: Polish “dziękuję”, Czech “děkuji”, Slovak “ďakujem” and Belarusian “dzyakuy”.

Read also about ways to say «hello» in Ukrainian

More than that, as it appears from the «Dictionary of Russian folk tales», the word “dyaka” in the sense of “gratitude” occurs in the southwest dialects of the Russian language. Most probably, these words originate from one common root, from one more ancient language, but made different ways of evolution.

Well, it does not matter which of these two words you will choose. Said from a true heart, these words help us to become closer to each other, to send the energy of goodness and light from one person to another.

And thank you for reading this article.

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