Ukrainian 101

Ukrainian Peace Corps Course

Ukrainian Peace Corps CourseЗдравствуйте! This Ukrainian course was developed by the U.S. Peace Corps for its volunteers going to Ukrainian. It can be useful as a primer for learning the basics of the Ukrainian language. You can listen and follow along to each lesson or download the whole course directly.

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Lesson 1 – Introduction

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Welcome to the Peace Corps Ukraine language lessons!

Ukrainian is the national language of Ukraine, and these “Survival Ukrainian” files will help you get a head start in learning the language and using colloquial phrases that will help you get by your first weeks in Ukraine.

We recommend that you listen to the audio files and repeat while reading the language script. It will be useful if you use these files for 10-15 minute a day.

In the language script we use the transliteration system which will help you to pronounce Ukrainian, even without any background in Slavic languages.

The letters are transliterated from the Ukrainian alphabet in accordance to its sound in English. The letter ь (soft sign) has no sound and will be represented in the transliteration as an apostrophe [’].

Unlike English the Ukrainian alphabet is absolutely phonetic: each letter has a single pronunciation in every usage.

The lessons do not have to be in any particular order. After you complete the first lesson, you may choose any topic of interest or importance to you. We won’t discuss grammatical topics in these lessons. You will learn grammar during the language classes in Pre-Service Training in Ukraine.

Ukrainian in a Nutshell

It belongs to the Slavic group of the Indo-European language family.

The Ukrainians use the Cyrillic alphabet. There are differences between the Cyrillic and Latin sounds and letters, but they are small and you will learn to recognize them quickly.

The Ukrainian alphabet is comprised of 33 letters.

Stress in Ukrainian can fall on any syllable in a word. The stressed part of the word will be marked in bold in transliteration and the word itself. One word has only one stressed syllable which is no longer that others. Usually the stress is indicated in dictionaries.

We hope you will enjoy the Ukrainian language lessons and wish you good luck with your learning

Lesson 2 – Ukrainian Alphabet and Pronunciation

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Ukrainian letter Approximate English Sound Equivalent As In
А а a in bar
Б б b in book
В в v in voice
Г г h in how
Ґ ґ g in get
Д д d in dot
Е е e in ten
Є є ye in yes
Ж ж zh in pleasure
З з z in zone
И и y in byte
І і ee in meet
Ї ї yee in yeast
Й й y in boy
К к k in key
Л л l in lamp
М м m in man
Н н n in nose
О о o in port
П п p in spoon
Р р r in roof
С с s in small
Т т t in tart
У у oo in moon
Ф ф f in fine
Х х kh in Loch Ness
Ц ц ts in cats
Ч ч ch in chair
Ш ш sh in shine
Щ щ shch in rash choice
Ь no sound apostrophe ’ in transliteration it softens the previous consonant
Ю ю yoo in youth
Я я ya in yard
As you can see and hear, some Ukrainian letters have equivalent sound in English but look quite different:
Ukrainian letter Corresponding Sound English Letter
Б [b] В
Г [h] H
П [p] P
Ф [f] F
Д [d] D
З [z] Z
Л [l] L
Perhaps  the  most  confusing  are  the  letters  that  look  like  Latin  but  in  Cyrillic represent different sounds.
Ukrainian “False Friend” Letter Corresponding Sound English Letter/Sound
В [v] V
P [r] R
C [s] S
H [n] N
Х [kh] – [kh] as in Loch Ness
У [oo] – [oo] as in moon

Lesson 3 – Greetings and Farewells

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English Transliteration Ukrainian
Good morning. dobryy ranok Добрий ранок.
Good afternoon. dobryy den’ Добрий день.
Good evening. dobryy vecheer Добрий вечір.
Hi. pryveet Привіт.
How are you? yak spravy Як справи?
I am good, thank you. dobre dyakooyoo Добре, дякую.
And you? a oo vas А у вас?
Fine. normal’no Нормально.


English Transliteration Ukrainian
Good bye. do pobachennya До побачення.
Bye. poka Пока.
See you tomorrow. do zavtra До завтра.
Good luck. shchaslyvo Щасливо.

Lesson 4 – Useful Phrases

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English Transliteration Ukrainian
Yes. tak Так.
No. nee Ні.
Thank you. dyakooyoo Дякую.
Please. bood’ laska Будь ласка.
You are welcome. proshoo Прошу.
Excuse me/I’m sorry. vybachte Вибачте.
Never mind. neechoho Нічого.
What a shame! shkoda Шкода!
Just a minute. khvylynkoo Хвилинку!
May I? mozhna Можна?
It’s important. tse vazhlyvo Це важливо.
I’m sorry, I don’t understand. vybachte ya ne rozoomeeyoo Вибачте, я не розумію.
I study Ukrainian ya oochoo ookrayeens’koo Я учу українську.
Repeat, please. povtoreet’ bood’ laska Повторіть, будь ласка.
Translate, please. perekladeet’ bood’ laska Перекладіть, будь ласка.
What is the Ukrainian for bread? yak ookrayeens’koyoo … Як українською bread?
What? shcho Що?

Lesson 5 – Getting Acquainted

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English Transliteration Ukrainian
Who is it? Khto tse Хто це?
It is Oksana. tse oksana Це Оксана.
It is John. tse dzhon Це Джон.
What is your name? yak vas zvaty Як вас звати?
My name is Sasha. mene zvaty sasha Мене звати Саша.
Nice to meet you. duzhe pryyemno Дуже приємно.
Nice to meet you too. menee tezh Мені теж.
How old are you? skeel’ky vam rokeev Скільки вам років?
I am 25. menee dvadtsyat’ pyat’ Мені 25.
Who are you? khto vy Хто ви?
I am an American (male). ya amerykanets’ Я американець.
I am an American (female). ya amerykanka Я американка.
I am a Peace Corps Volunteer. ya dobrovolets’ korpoosoo myroo Я доброволець Корпусу Миру.
Where are you from? zveedky vy Звідки ви?
I am from America, the state of California. ya z ameryky shtat kaleeforneeya Я з Америки, штат Каліфорнія.

Lesson 6 – Family

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English Transliteration Ukrainian
father tato тато
mother mama мама
son syn син
daughter dochka дочка
brother brat брат
sister sestra сестра
grandfather deedoos’ дідусь
grandmother baboosya бабуся
grandson onook онук
granddaughter onooka онука
children deety діти
husbаnd choloveek чоловік
wife droozhyna дружина
friend drooh друг
girlfriend podrooha подруга
and ee і
I have …. oo mene ye У мене є …
I have a brother and a sister. u mene ye brat ee sestra У мене є брат і сестра.
This is my family. tse moya seem’ya Це моя сім’я.
This is my mother. tse mama Це мама.
This is my brother. tse brat Це брат.

Lesson 7 – Talking About Yourself

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English Transliteration Ukrainian
My name is Kelsey. mene zvaty kelsee Мене звати Келсі.
I am 27 years old. menee dvadtsyat’ seem. Мені 27 років.
I am from America, the state of Minnesota. ya z ameryky shtat meenesota Я з Америки, штат Мінесота.
I am a teacher. ya oochytel’ Я учитель.
I am a Peace Corps Volunteer. ya dobrovolets’ korpoosoo myroo Я доброволець Корпусу Миру.
I have a family. u mene ye seemya У мене є сім’я.
I have a brother and a sister. u mene ye brat ee sestra У мене є брат і сестра.
I like to read. ya lyooblyoo chytaty Я люблю читати.
I study Ukrainian. ya oochoo ookrayeens’koo Я учу українську.

Lesson 8 – Food

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English Transliteration Ukrainian
borshch borshch борщ
soup soop суп
salad salat салат
potato kartoplya картопля
meat myaso м’ясо
fish ryba риба
dumplings/varenyky varenyky вареники
macaroni makarony макарони
rice rys рис
vegetables ovochee овочі
fruit frookty фрукти
water voda вода
non-carbonated water voda bez hazoo вода без газу
tea chay чай
coffee kava кава
juice seek сік
milk moloko молоко
It is delicious! smachno Смачно!
I am a vegetarian (female). ya vehetareeanka Я вегетаріанка.
I am a vegetarian (male). ya vehetareeanets’ Я вегетаріанець.
I am not allowed. menee ne mozhna Мені не можна.
I like fruits. ya lyooblyoo frookty Я люблю фрукти.
I don’t like meat. ya ne lyooblyoo myaso Я не люблю м’ясо.

Lesson 9 – Apartment

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English Transliteration Ukrainian
my room moya keemnata моя кімната
kitchen kookhnya кухня
bathroom vana ванна
toilet tooalet туалет
corridor korydor коридор
balcony balkon балкон
door dveree двері
key klyooch ключ
window veekno вікно
table steel стіл
chair steelets’ стілець
wardrobe shafa шафа
sofa dyvan диван
lamp lampa лампа
telephone telefon телефон
to smoke palyty палити
Where is my room? de moya keemnata Де моя кімната?
Here it is. os’ Ось.
Where can I smoke? de mozhna palyty Де можна палити?
Here. toot Тут.
There. tam Там.

Lesson 10 – Numbers

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English Transliteration Ukrainian
one odyn 1 – один
two dva 2 – два
three try 3 – три
four chotyry 4 – чотири
five pyat’ 5 – п’ять
six sheest’ 6 – шість
seven seem 7 – сім
eight veeseem 8 – вісім
nine devyat’ 9 – дев’ять
ten desyat’ 10 – десять
eleven odynadtsyat’ 11 – одинадцять
twelve dvanadtsyat’ 12 – дванадцять
thirteen trynadtsyat’ 13 – тринадцять
fourteen chotyrnadtsyat’ 14 – чотирнадцять
fifteen pyatnadtsyat’ 15 – п’ятнадцять
sixteen sheestnadtsyat’ 16 – шістнадцять
seventeen seemnadtsyat’ 17 – сімнадцять
eighteen veeseemnadtsyat’ 18 – вісімнадцять
nineteen devyatnadtsyat’ 19 – дев’ятнадцять
twenty dvadtsyat’ 20 – двадцять
twenty-one dvadtsyat’ odyn 21 – двадцять один
twenty-two dvadtsyat’ dva 22 – двадцять два
twenty-three dvadtsyat’ try 23 – двадцять три
twenty-four dvadtsyat’ chotyry 24 – двадцять чотири
twenty-five dvadtsyat’ pyat’ 25 – двадцять п’ять
twenty-six dvadtsyat’ sheest’ 26 – двадцять шість
twenty-seven dvadtsyat’ seem 27 – двадцять сім
twenty-eight dvadtsyat’ veeseem 28 – двадцять вісім
twenty-nine dvadtsyat’ devyat’ 29 – двадцять дев’ять
thirty trydtsyat’ 30 – тридцять
forty sorok 40 – сорок
fifty pyatdesyat 50 – п’ятдесят
sixty sheestdesyat 60 – шістдесят
seventy seemdesyat 70 – сімдесят
eighty veeseemdesyat 80 – вісімдесят
ninety devyanosto 90 – дев’яносто
one hundred sto 100 – сто

Lesson 11 – At the Store

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English Transliteration Ukrainian
costume kostyoom костюм
sweater svetr светр
coat pal’to пальто
jeans dzhynsy джинси
shampoo shampoon’ шампунь
cream (lotion) krem крем
soap mylo мило
tooth paste zoobna pasta зубна паста
tooth brush zoobna shcheetka зубна щітка
hryvnia/hryvnias hryvnya/hryvnee гривня/гривні
kopeck/kopecks kopeeyka/kopeeyky копійка/копійки
dollar/dollars dolar/dolary долар/долари
How much does it cost? skeel’ky tse koshtooye Скільки це коштує?
3 hryvnias. try hryvnee Три гривні.
It is expensive. tse doroho Це дорого.
It is not expensive. tse nedoroho Це недорого.
Can you give me … dayte bood’ laska Дайте, будь ласка.

Lesson 12 – Transport

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English Transliteration Ukrainian
bus avtoboos автобус
trolley-bus troleyboos тролейбус
tram tramvay трамвай
taxi taksee таксі
car masheena машина
metro metro метро
bus stop zoopynka зупинка
passenger pasazhyr пасажир
ticket kvytok квиток
How much does the ticket cost? skeel’ky koshtooye kvytok Скільки коштує квиток?
50 kopecks. p’yatdesyat kopeeyok 50 копійок.
Can you stop here, please. zoopyneet’ toot bood’ Зупиніть тут, будь

Lesson 13 – In the City

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English Transliteration Ukrainian
center tsentr центр
street voolytsya вулиця
building boodynok будинок
post office poshta пошта
bank bank банк
hotel hotel’ готель
store mahazyn магазин
pharmacy apteka аптека
hospital leekarnya лікарня
school shkola школа
institute eenstytoot інститут
university ooneeversytet університет
theater teatr театр
movie theater keenoteatr кінотеатр
museum moozey музей
stadium stadeeon стадіон
park park парк
straight pryamo прямо
to the right napravo направо
to the left naleevo наліво
backwards nazad назад
far away daleko далеко
not far away. nedaleko недалеко
Where is the park? de park Де парк?
The park is over there. park tam Парк там.
I got lost (male) ya zablookav Я заблукав.
I got lost (female) ya zablookala Я заблукала.

Lesson 14 – Post Office

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English Transliteration Ukrainian
envelope konvert конверт
letter lyst лист
post card lysteevka листівка
postage stamp marka марка
address adresa адреса
envelope to America konvert v amerykoo конверт в Америку
Where is the post office? de poshta Де пошта?
The post office is in the center. poshta oo tsentree Пошта у центрі.
How much does the envelope to America cost? skeel’ky koshtooye konvert v amerykoo Скільки коштує конверт в Америку?
How much does the post card cost? skeel’ky koshtooye lysteevka Скільки коштує листівка?

Lesson 15 – Signs

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English Transliteration Ukrainian
Closed zachyneno Зачинено
Open veedchyneno Відчинено
Entrance vheed Вхід
Exit vyheed Вихід
No smoking! ne kooryty/ne palyty Не курити!/Не палити!
Lunch obeed Обід
Crosswalk perekheed Перехід
Pull Push do sebe veed sebe До себе Від себе
Break pererva Перерва
Toilet for men choloveechyy tooalet М (чоловічий туалет)
Toilet for women zheenochyy tooalet Ж (жіночий туалет)
Be careful! oberezhno Обережно!
Attention! oovaha Увага!

Lesson 16 – Emergencies

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English Transliteration Ukrainian
Fire! pozhezha Пожежа!
Help! dopomozheet’ Допоможіть!
I am not feeling well! menee pohano Мені погано!
Stop it! perestan’te Перестаньте!
Militia! (Police!) meeleetseeya Міліція!
Hold your dog! zabereet’ sobakoo Заберіть собаку!

Lesson 17 – Personal Pronouns

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English Transliteration Ukrainian
I ya я
you (informal singular form) ty ти
he veen він
she vona вона
it vono воно
we my ми
you (formal singular and plural form) vy ви
they vony вони

Lesson 18 – Professions

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English Transliteration Ukrainian
teacher oochytel’ учитель
businessman beeznesmen бізнесмен
businesswoman beeznes ledee бізнес-леді
doctor leekar лікар
engineer eenzhener інженер
journalist zhoornaleest журналіст
director dyrektor директор
secretary sekretar секретар
student (male) stoodent студент
student (female) stoodentka студентка
athlete (male) sportsmen спортсмен
athlete (female) sportsmenka спортсменка
manager menedzher менеджер
banker bankeer банкір
police officer meeleetseeoner міліціонер
pensioner (male) penseeoner пенсіонер
pensioner (female) penseeonerka пенсіонерка
farmer fermer фермер
economist ekonomeest економіст
lawyer yooryst юрист
Who is she? (her profession) khto vona Хто вона?
She is an economist. vona ekonomeest Вона – економіст.
What is your profession? yaka vasha profeseeya Яка ваша професія?
I am a teacher. ya oochytel’ Я – учитель.

Lesson 19 – Days of the Week and Months

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English Transliteration Ukrainian
Monday ponedeelok понеділок
Tuesday veevtorok вівторок
Wednesday sereda середа
Thursday chetver четвер
Friday pyatnytsya п’ятниця
Saturday soobota субота
Sunday nedeelya неділя
today s’ohodnee сьогодні
yesterday oochora учора
tomorrow zavtra завтра
English Transliteration Ukrainian
December hrooden’ грудень
January seechen’ cічень
February lyootyy лютий
March berezen’ березень
April kveeten’ квітень
May traven’ травень
June cherven’ червень
July lypen’ липень
August serpen’ серпень
September veresen’ вересень
October zhovten’ жовтень
November lystopad листопад

Lesson 20 – Question Words

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English Transliteration Ukrainian
Who? khto Хто?
What? shcho Що?
Where? de Де?
Where to? (with directions) koody Куди?
When? koly Коли?
How? yak Як?
Why? chomoo Чому?
How much? skeel’ky Cкільки?

Original Course Text

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