Ukraine, the second-largest country in Europe, is home to the Ukrainian language. Ukrainian is one of the most beautiful languages in the world. It’s spoken by over 39 million people worldwide.
If you want to read Ukrainian literature, speak Ukrainian and know more about the culture, then you have to learn the Ukrainian language. One interesting fact is that the majority of Ukrainians are fluent in Russian, which is very similar to Ukrainian.
To study Ukrainian, there are a lot of resources available online. There are audio, video courses, tutors, and reading resources to help you start your journey to becoming fluent in Ukrainian. Some of these language apps and courses are preply, glossika, mondly, utalk, yabla,lingoda, Pimsleur, and Babbel.
This article will help you know where to get started, and what you need to learn in order to start any conversation in Ukrainian.
Image from Max Kukurudziak on Unsplash
Start by learning the Ukrainian alphabet
To start learning Ukrainian effectively, learning the alphabet is crucial. It’s written in Cyrillic alphabet which resembles Russian with differences in some letters. Learning these alphabets and characters is very easy since the majority resemble the Latin alphabet.
An excellent place to start learning this alphabet is on youtube. There are various channels teaching the Cyrillic alphabet for free. For example, check a detailed lesson on all the characters here.
After mastering the alphabet, you should be able to read and spell Ukrainian words easily. With self-paced practice, you can as well start writing these characters. A good way to do this is to create a worksheet to guide you on writing individual characters.
write each letter slowly and clearly, then proceed to pronounce it aloud. If you repeat this for a couple of days, you’ll be amazed at how fast you’ll become fluent. All it needs is more and more practice until you become fluent.
Starting with the basics of pronunciation
After mastering the alphabet, it’s time to start with pronunciations. To achieve this within a short period of time, audio courses such as Pimsleur are great.
Pimsleur is a slow-paced learning process that focuses on correct pronunciation and grammar. It’s an excellent place to start language learning. The instructor guides you through the language fundamentals. After listening for a couple of lessons, you will be able to pronounce your first Ukrainian words with ease.
After mastering basic pronunciation, you can opt for additional training on the same. one -on-one tutoring works best here. A good place to find tutors who are native speakers is at Preply. They will help you improve your tone and accent.
Learning Ukrainian by taking a basic course
Having learned the alphabet and pronunciation, you now need to get a good course to ensure you become fluent. You should enroll in a beginner’s Ukrainian course and establish a daily study schedule. A good course to start with is Mondly Ukrainian course.
Mondly is a language learning app available on mobile and also on the website. Mondly uses a different approach to teach the Ukrainian language. For example, they have chatbots, voice recording and checking software, and exercises to review what you learn every day. They have all the critical aspects of the language learning process.
Mondly is excellent, especially when it comes to its chatbot and conversational exercises. I recommend you to start chatting in Ukrainian every day to master the characters. Whether traveling or just having coffee with friends, you can learn using the chatbot by responding to questions.
Want to become conversational? You can start listening to audio recordings from native speakers. You can go through each of the Ukrainian words, pausing and repeating them aloud. Doing this repeatedly will help you master Ukrainian letters. What is the relationship between the letters and the pronunciation? Which one is it?
Then go over the grammar explanations and make a list of what you’ve learned. But don’t get too worked up over it. If grammar gives you a headache, concentrating on the conversations will help you a lot.
For each new class, I recommend revising 5-10 of your previously completed classes. Simply listen to the recording and repeat the spoken words aloud.
Learning a foreign language can be hectic because no single course covers everything possible. I always advocate you learn from more than one course in order to be fluent and learn new experiences as you progress. This way, you can make sense of things you learned in the previous course.
So, why is this so successful? When you recognize a word or a grammar point, you create a positive link with that term, which helps you remember it better. The brain is unaffected by learning words from a book. It’s information, but it’s not particularly interesting. It’s a small win to see it somewhere else. Your brain will get happier, and it will adore that term, even more, making it much more difficult to forget.
Other Language learning courses
In addition to Pimsleur and mondly courses, which other courses should you take? Yabla is one of my favorites. Its primary method of instruction is videos. Yabla helps you move away from the listening skills of your target language.
I love their library which has a lot of resources. The videos are arranged according to topics. They focus on grammar, vocabulary, and composing sentences. All videos have English subtitles for explanations.
If you get bored with listening to audio from Pimsleur or chatting with chatbots at moldy, then you can make your day better by studying Ukrainian through videos from Yabla.
How Glossika can help you learn Ukrainian phrases
Are you done with the Mondly course? It’s time to immerse yourself deeper into the Ukrainian language.
While an app such as yabla immerses, glossika comes in handy too when it comes to learning languages. It’s quickly become one of my favorite courses for students in the lower intermediate and advanced levels.
Glossika archives contain tons of Ukrainian sentences to get you started. The primary method used to teach is easy to follow. All vocabulary and grammar concepts are introduced through context. All learning is by identifying patterns, which is an excellent way to learn new words.
Glossika’s approach to language learning is very simple. The lessons are well structured and are linked to each other. This way, all Ukrainian phrases will be connected. This repetition approach is excellent since glossika doesn’t use random sentences.
How to Learn Ukrainian using Glossika
If using glossika for the first time, you’ll realize learning follows a particular pattern for all languages. First, you are provided with an English sentence, and in your desired language.
The English sentence is read out loud, a pause, and the Ukrainian language tutor reads it in Ukrainian twice. All you have to do is read the Ukrainian sentence out loud. You have limited time to complete this task.
The method is simple, imitation at its best! All you have to do is repeat it using the same tempo, intonation, and rhythm. This can be tough when starting out, but with time, you will get used to it. To make it easier for you, you can reduce the audio speed. To progress smoothly, I don’t recommend this at all.
For each lesson, you’ll have a batch of five sentences to repeat 25 times. If you’re fast enough, you can write as many as 20 sentences a day. However, while this might seem to be more, it still needs to be reviewed several times.
How to use Glossika repetitions and revisions effectively.
After writing the sentences, Glossika will schedule them for review. Feedback is provided within a day, after which you can write more sentences.
Glossika will schedule the sentence a little further into the future each time you perform your reviews. This is accomplished using a mathematical approach based on the forgetting curve. The program attempts to forecast how long you will recall a term you have recently learned. The sentence will then be scheduled for review just before that. The sentence will be scheduled a little further into the future each time you evaluate it.
Using Babbel to learn Ukrainian
Babbel is one of the most popular language-learning apps available. It has courses in over 13 languages. It has some of the best learning features and resources available to its students- whether beginner, intermediate or advanced.
The Ukrainian language is not one of the languages available on Babbel, however, its sister languages-Russian and polish are available. The grammar for both languages is similar, and with most Ukrainians masters of both their language and Russian, it’s pretty simple to conclude that learning Russian will aid in learning Ukrainian in return.
Using Babbel’s resources, you will easily understand Ukrainian within no time. The resources are comprehensive on various topics and vocabulary. I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy the lessons.
Learning Ukrainian from YouTube
I always advise any language beginner student to start with free resources. There is n better place to get such resources apart from youtube. Here, you’ll have access to tons of content ranging from Ukrainian alphabet, Ukrainian vocabulary as well as Ukrainian lessons on how to compose sentences.
Furthermore, most of the videos available have subtitles. You can easily find a translation to enable you to understand whatever is taught easily. Some good youtube channels to look at include learning phrases with Chris and friends and learn 50 languages.
To enhance your Ukrainian, start reading every day
When learning languages, reading is one of the essential tasks. The Ukrainian language is no exception. However, this can be scary. So, where can you find the resources to practice reading before engaging in more advanced levels?
A tempting way of reading a foreign language is reading a book while using a dictionary to check for unknown words or their translation. This is prevalent with beginners. However, I can’t recommend this.
Using a dictionary has its disadvantages. You will forget about the word as soon as you close the dictionary. Furthermore, there is no chance of immersing in this important language. You’ll also get demotivated due to a lack of flow.
If Chrome browser is your favorite, then you can install extensions such as google dictionary. All this will help you translate any word on the internet to any language, for this case, to Ukrainian. All you have to do is click on the word you want to be translated. However, you won’t necessarily remember the word even though it will help you comprehend whatever you are reading hence making it more enjoyable to read.
Where to get Ukrainian reading materials?
If you don’t know where to find content in Ukrainian, the best guess is to use google translate to get a translation of the words and thensearch for the resources in Ukrainian. You can find content ranging from the history of Ukraine, Ukrainian literature, Ukrainian culture, politics, or any topic that you find interesting.
Another interesting place to find reading resources is from the courses you are taking. Some of them have both English and Ukrainian transcripts for all videos and audio. For example, all Yabla videos are subtitled in both English and Ukrainian. You can read the text as you enjoy the videos.
If you find the content too deep to grasp in English, then avoid reading it Ukrainian. This can either be due to a lack of Ukrainian vocabulary or a difficult subject matter. Keep it simple by reading basic resources that are easier to comprehend.
Begin communicating in Ukrainian
When done with various online reading resources, and mastered reading Ukrainian every day, it’s time to start speaking and writing Ukrainian.
Where should you start?
A good place to start is by looking for a Ukrainian tutor. Tutors offer services for a charge and can be found on online language learning platforms.
Which are the best places to find tutors?
A good place to start is at Preply. They have over 84 Ukrainian tutors ready to teach you from the basics to advanced. The pricing is per hour. You can choose your tutor depending on your pocket, the country, and the time you want to learn. A very flexible method of studying Ukrainian.
Another excellent place to start is Lingoda. Lingoda is a platform full of enthusiastic teachers. Whether an intermediate or advanced learner, you’ll find the material available here challenging and appropriate.
How can you get the best from these tutors?
First, select a tutor you can get along with. Make contact and discuss what and how you want to learn. This way, you can be able to know if the tutor is good for you.
While many tutors have their preset books, exercises, and programs, it’s advisable you agree on a topic before any Ukrainian lessons. This time should be spent solely on improving your spoken Ukrainian. You can always request adjustments to the classes. If the tutor likes them, he/she can factor them into the lessons.
One of the advantages of these platforms is you have a choice on the tutor. If he/she doesn’t fit what you wanted, you can always find another one. After all, you are the one paying.
After every lesson, write a brief story in your own words about the lessons. Forward this lesson to the tutor, who will review and revise it and send it back to you. All you have to do is keep reading through the corrections every time.
You’ll be well on your way to obtaining an advanced level of Ukrainian if you do discussion sessions and writing assignments like this 3-4 times each week.
Find a language exchange partner
Hiring any language tutor can be expensive if you factor in the money and time spent learning. There are easier ways of finding someone to have a conversation in any language without incurring any cost. However, this is no substitute for professional tutors.
The best alternative is to find someone who can speak Ukrainian and is learning one of your native languages. This way, both of you can teach each other. To get the best out of this, apply all methods discussed for hiring a tutor.
One of the best places to find language exchange partners is on social media sites such as Facebook and Reddit. All you have to do is search for groups or communities in your desired language. You can go through the posts to find the most suitable, or rather, you can request for one too.
With all this, you should be willing to put in the time to learn. You’ll need time to teach as well as time to learn Ukrainian, which might be tiresome if you already have a busy schedule.
Understanding and improving on spoken language takes time and Ukrainian is no different. As a learner, you will want to learn within the shortest time possible. Furthermore, you want to learn all aspects of foreign languages.
A good way to gain skills and assess your spoken language is by enrolling in courses. Audio courses like Pimsleur will help with your listening skills, Utalk will help you with games to play when bored, Mondly has chatbots to help you practice reading by typing while Preply and Lingoda provide flexible lessons through tutors. Babbel and Yabla will keep you entertained with engaging content.
As said earlier, to achieve the best, you can enroll in different courses at the same time.
How To Learn Ukrainian?
There are various ways to learn Ukrainian. This article discusses the following ways;
- Enroll in a free or premium course.
- Learn basics by reading books and online articles and their Ukrainian translations.
- Hiring Ukrainian tutors to teach you.
- Finding a Ukrainian language exchange partner with who you can talk frequently.
How Hard Is It To Learn Ukrainian?
Learning and understanding a new language depends on a number of things. The primary one being your willingness to learn. All this can be deduced from the fact that children learn a new language faster because they’re willing to. The same can be said if you put in the effort.
Comparing Ukrainian to other languages, it’s hard to learn. Its grammar is different from languages such as Polish and german. Words are also pronounced differently.
Compared to Spanish, and French, it’s difficult to learn because there are no similar words in English.
Why Learn Ukrainian?
If you are planning to visit Ukraine, then you should consider learning Ukrainian. It’s the widely spoken language in that country. However, if you are fluent in Russian, you can easily get along with the natives since both languages are similar.
How To Learn Ukrainian Fast?
Learning an important language takes time, and Ukrainian is no different. To learn it fast, you first need to learn the Cyrillic alphabet, to help you read and write words and letters. To accelerate this, you should enroll in premium courses such as Pimsleur, Mondly, Utalk, or Babbel. To shorten this time further, you can hire a tutor at Yabla or Preply to take you through all Ukrainian vocabulary and phrases, how to create sentences, start a conversation as well as speak Ukrainian fluently.
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Author: J Maver
Passionate in tech, software and gadgets. I enjoy reviewing and comparing products & services, uncovering new trends and digging up little known products that deserve an audience.