Ukrainian 101

A different language is a different vision of life. ~Federico Fellini

Several modern dialects of Ukrainian exist:

* Northern (Polissian) dialects:
o Eastern Polissian is spoken in Chernihiv (excluding the southeastern districts), in the northern part of Sumy, and in the southeastern portion of the Kiev Oblast as well as in the adjacent areas of Russia, which include the southwestern part of the Bryansk Oblast (the area around Starodub), as well as in some places in the Kursk, Voronezh and Belgorod Oblasts. No linguistic border can be defined. The vocabulary approaches Russian as the language approaches the Russian Federation. Both Ukrainian and Russian grammar sets can be applied to this dialect. Thus, this dialect can be considered a transitional dialect between Ukrainian and Russian.
o Central Polissian is spoken in the northwestern part of the Kiev Oblast, in the northern part of Zhytomyr and the northeastern part of the Rivne Oblast.
o West Polissian is spoken in the northern part of the Volyn Oblast, the northwestern part of the Rivne Oblast as well as in the adjacent districts of the Brest Voblast in Belarus. The dialect spoken in Belarus uses Belarusian grammar, and thus is considered by some to be a dialect of Belarusian.


* Southeastern dialects:
o Middle Dnieprian is the basis of the Standard Literary Ukrainian. It is spoken in the central part of Ukraine, primarily in the southern and eastern part of the Kiev Oblast). In addition, the dialects spoken in Cherkasy, Poltava and Kiev regions are considered to be close to "standard" Ukrainian.
o Slobodan dialect is spoken in Kharkiv, Sumy, Luhansk, and the northern part of Donetsk, as well as in the Voronezh and Belgorod regions of Russia. This dialect is formed from a gradual mixture of Russian and Ukrainian, with progressively more Russian in the northern and eastern parts of the region. Thus, there is no linguistic border between Russian and Ukrainian, and, thus, both grammar sets can be applied. This dialect is a transistional dialect between Ukrainian and Russian.
o Steppe dialect is spoken in southern and southeastern Ukraine. This dialect was originally the main language of the Zaporozhian Cossacks.
o Kuban (known locally as Balachka) is spoken in the Kuban region of Russia, by the Kuban Cossacks, descendants of the original Zaporozhian host, which had migrated here. This dialect features a predominant Russian vocabulary and grammar. It varies greatly from one area to another.

* Southwestern dialects:
o Podillian is spoken in the southern parts of the Vinnytsia and Khmelnytskyi Oblasts, in the northern part of the Odessa Oblast, and in the adjacent districts of the Cherkasy Oblast, the Kirovohrad Oblast and the Mykolaiv Oblast.
o Volynian is spoken in Rivne and Volyn, as well as in parts of Zhytomyr and Ternopil. It is also used in Chelm in Poland.
o Pokuttia (Bukovynian) is spoken in the Chernivtsi Oblast of Ukraine. This dialect has some distinct volcabulary borrowed from Romanian.
o Upper Dniestrian is considered to be the main Galician dialect, spoken in the Lviv Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk Oblasts. Its distinguishing characteristics are the influence of Polish and the German vocabulary, which is reminiscent of the Austro-Hungarian rule. Some of the distinct words used in this dialect can be found here
o Upper Sannian is spoken in the border area between Ukraine and Poland in the San river valley.

* The Rusyn language is considered by Ukrainian linguists to be a dialect of Ukrainian:
o Hutsul is spoken in the extreme southern parts of the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast (as well as in parts of the Chernivtsi and Transcarpathian Oblasts, and on the northern slopes of the Carpathian Mountains.
o Boyko is spoken on the northern side of the Carpathian Mountains in the Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk Oblasts. It can also be heard across the border in the Subcarpathian Voivodship of Poland
o Lemko is spoken outside Ukraine in the Prešov Region of Slovakia along the southern side of the Carpathian Mountains.
o Dolinian Rusyn or Subcarpathian Rusyn is spoken in the Transcarpathian Oblast.
o Pryashiv Rusyn is the Rusyn spoken in the Prešov (in Ukrainian: Pryashiv) region of Slovakia, as well as by some émigré communities, primarily in the United States of America.
o Bačka Rusyn is spoken in northwestern Serbia and eastern Croatia. Rusin language of the Bačka dialect is one of the official languages of the Serbian Autonomous Province of Vojvodina).

Ukrainian is also spoken by a large émigré population, particularly in Canada (see Canadian Ukrainian), United States and several countries of South America like Argentina and Brazil. The founders of this population primarily emigrated from Galicia, which used to be part of Austro-Hungary before World War I, and belonged to Poland between the World Wars. The language spoken by most of them is the Galician dialect of Ukrainian from the first half of the twentieth century. Compared with modern Ukrainian, the vocabulary of Ukrainians outside Ukraine reflects less influence of Russian, but often contains many loan words from the local language.

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