Russian and Ukranian differences
Thread poster: Edward Potter

Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:49
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
May 11, 2005

Just a quick question, which I'm sure has a very simple answer: how big is the difference between Russian and Ukranian? Does it look the same in writing? Talking?

Cheers!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Larissa Dinsley  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:49
Member (2003)
English to Russian
+ ...
Cyrillic based May 11, 2005

Hi Edward,

They are both based on the Cyrillic alphabet with a couple of different letters in each language. The Grammar is slightly different, pronunciation is even more different, and vocabulary is very different.

I would say that the difference may be similar to that between Spanish and Portugese. (I have to admit thought that I do not know either Spanish nor Protugese:))!

Cheers!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Yuri Dubrov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 21:49
English to Russian
+ ...
Like German and Dutch May 11, 2005

I would say so
A QUITE ENOUGH DIFFERENCES


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 12:49
English to Russian
+ ...
Two different languages May 11, 2005

I can't structure a single phrase in Ukrainian even though I would be able to understand some of what I hear or read, as Larissa explained. But that "some" will be a "smaller half", and a bigger part of that smaller half will come from just knowing what the word means from books or very similar yet quite different "sound" of words.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:49
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
2 separate languages May 11, 2005

So we are not dealing with dialects but rather completely different languages. Could it be one of those cases that the definitions of "dialect" and "language" are kind of fuzzy?

[Edited at 2005-05-11 11:59]

[Edited at 2005-05-11 12:52]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 20:49
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
No dialects! May 11, 2005

Edward Potter wrote:
So we are not dealing with dialects but rather a completely different languages. Could it be one of those cases that the definitions of "dialect" and "language" are kind of fuzzy?


These are two different languages, for sure They have their commom roots, still Russian and Ukrainian are different languages, not just `dialects'


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:49
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Bilingualism May 11, 2005

I understand that most Ukranians are completely bilingual in the two languages. Is that true? Are they taught both languages in school?

Direct link Reply with quote
 
mathdan
Russian Federation
Local time: 21:49
English to Russian
+ ...
You shoud also consider the difference that exist between Western and Eastern Ukrainian. May 11, 2005

Edward Potter wrote:

I understand that most Ukranians are completely bilingual in the two languages. Is that true? Are they taught both languages in school?


Direct link Reply with quote
 
John Bowden  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:49
German to English
There's a discussion of this topic at: May 11, 2005

http://studyrussian.com/bbs/messages/1477.html

There's an example of Ukranian (showing a couple of leters not found in Russian Cyrillic) at: http://www.omniglot.com/writing/ukrainian.htm

Russian speakers would be able to understand the sentence given, but practically every word is diiferent from its Russian equivalent, in spelling, ending, root of the word etc.

Here's a brief ecplanation of the connection between Russian, Ukranian and Belarussian:

"LINGUISTIC AFFILIATION
Ukrainian belongs, with Belarusian and Russian, to the East Slavic group of the Slavic branch of the Indo-European language family. The Slavic group has three main subdivisions: South Slavic, West Slavic, and East Slavic. The South and West Slavic divisions are not indigenous to the former USSR, although some, like Bulgaria, have quite a large number of speakers in the Republics of the former USSR. The three East Slavic languages (Russian, Ukrainian, and Belarusian) are very close to one another and in certain cases have a high degree of mutual intelligibility. There is, in fact, a continuum of language varieties from Russian to Belarusian to Ukrainian. While there are no dialects of Russian and Ukrainian that are mutually intelligible, there are mutually intelligible dialects between Belarusian and Ukrainian, and Belarusian and Russian".

http://www.lmp.ucla.edu/profiles/profu01.htm

Cheers!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Larissa Dinsley  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:49
Member (2003)
English to Russian
+ ...
it was the case May 11, 2005

Edward Potter wrote:

I understand that most Ukranians are completely bilingual in the two languages. Is that true? Are they taught both languages in school?


It is a Soviet legacy. Everybody was speaking Russian in the Soviet Union.

Currenty, a lot of schools in Ukraine do not teach Russian any more which is a shame, in my view - it is so beneficial to have an easy knowledge of another language, and Ukraine had it all - teachers, programmes, curriculums, methods.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 12:49
English to Russian
+ ...
Edward, a lot depends on the goal of your question May 11, 2005

During Soviet Union times Russian was a compulsory state language to be taught in all schools throughout all 15 republics. Many ethnic Russians resided permanently in different republics, lots of mixed marriages took place and yes, you can say that in everyday live a vast majority of Ukranians, especially of older generations, are completely bilingual. Same as in Europe, no difference here, I guess these days it's hard to find a secretarial job in Europe with one language only. The picture in Ukraine may be changing nowadays though. So were other nationals, just like many Russians picked the language of the republic of their residence. I must admit though, Russians could get by perfectly well without learning local language to a serious extent but to hold any serious job position in any intellectual field without knowledge of Russian language would have been utterly impossible. Language-wise, Soviet Union was predominantly Russian when it came to jobs and services. It was a common language for all USSR citizens and one should have had found himself in a really remote corner of any republic not to be able to find a single Russian-speaking person.

Now, if your interest is professional, then to assume that any Ukranian, even educated one, can be a translator into Russian, or visa versa, would be a dreadful mistake. Is it possible? Of course it is. You, for example, can trust many Ukranians who would read general Russian text and give you a brief description of the content. In a few cases you could even trust me to read a simple passage in Ukranian. Does it make a person a native proofreader or any proofreader for that matter? I believe you should exercise regular criteria for picking a translator into a specific language and do not rely on" OK, Russian, Ukranian, all the same". Bilingual does not mean translator. This is just as obvious to you as it is to me.

Regards,
Irina

Also, quite often even in Soviet times the gap between colloquial and written skills was drastic.




[Edited at 2005-05-11 13:33]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Yelena Kurashova  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:49
English to Russian
+ ...
There are many translators bilingual in Russian and Ukrainian... May 11, 2005

I can just add that I personally know a lot of translators truly bilingual in Russian and Ukrainian - mainly born in Ukraine to mixed families (e.g. father/mother speaking Russian and grandparents speaking Ukrainian). These translators DO have enough experience and expertise for doing translations to both languages - though these languages are two different languages and not just dialects as my colleagues have already noted.

If you need to select a translator, you should make your choice judging by the work record mainly - say, if a translator has enough experience of doing both English-Russian and English-Ukrainian translations, is certified and has appropriate references (for both language combinations), there is a great chance this translator is right speaking about his/her being bilingual.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:49
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks to all May 11, 2005

Thanks to everyone who gave their input. I had a customer who asked me about this and answered with what I knew, but I figured I'd get the input of professionals who actually work in and out of these two languages. I can now talk more intellently on the subject now. Irene, you were very helpful.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
iopq
English
oh really? Sep 14, 2005

xxxIreneN wrote:

During Soviet Union times Russian was a compulsory state language to be taught in all schools throughout all 15 republics. Many ethnic Russians resided permanently in different republics, lots of mixed marriages took place and yes, you can say that in everyday live a vast majority of Ukranians, especially of older generations, are completely bilingual. Same as in Europe, no difference here, I guess these days it's hard to find a secretarial job in Europe with one language only. The picture in Ukraine may be changing nowadays though. So were other nationals, just like many Russians picked the language of the republic of their residence. I must admit though, Russians could get by perfectly well without learning local language to a serious extent but to hold any serious job position in any intellectual field without knowledge of Russian language would have been utterly impossible. Language-wise, Soviet Union was predominantly Russian when it came to jobs and services. It was a common language for all USSR citizens and one should have had found himself in a really remote corner of any republic not to be able to find a single Russian-speaking person.

Now, if your interest is professional, then to assume that any Ukranian, even educated one, can be a translator into Russian, or visa versa, would be a dreadful mistake. Is it possible? Of course it is. You, for example, can trust many Ukranians who would read general Russian text and give you a brief description of the content. In a few cases you could even trust me to read a simple passage in Ukranian. Does it make a person a native proofreader or any proofreader for that matter? I believe you should exercise regular criteria for picking a translator into a specific language and do not rely on" OK, Russian, Ukranian, all the same". Bilingual does not mean translator. This is just as obvious to you as it is to me.

Regards,
Irina

Also, quite often even in Soviet times the gap between colloquial and written skills was drastic.




[Edited at 2005-05-11 13:33]
Any Ukranian outside the Western Ukraine is perfectly fluent in Russian. Half the people in the capital speak Russian exclusively. So how can you NOT be fluent in Russian? You're forced to know it. I'm a Ukranian but my parents speak Russian. Living in America I forgot Ukrainian


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Russian and Ukranian differences

Advanced search






Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2017 helps translators increase translation productivity whilst ensuring quality. Combining translation memory, terminology management and machine translation in one simple and easy-to-use environment.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search