Language Tips!

Russian is actually the language you'll hear most when you wander the streets of Kiev, and it seems Ukrainian nationalism doesn't stretch so far as to demand any radical changes in this respect. However this being Kyiv (see our page on 'Kyiv or Kiev?'), capital of the great Ukrainian nation we thought we'd eschew Russian and give you an introduction to the nation's mother tongue, and official state language, with all its romantic follies.

Here are some more handy Ukrainian words that could get you out of a tight spot - or at least make sure you don't go hungry or thirsty ! The wise traveller goes prepared... Vokzal - Station
Autovokzal - Bus station
Marshrutka - Minibus
Poizd - Train
Tramvaj - Tram
Voda - Water
Seek - Juice
Pyvo - Beer
Vyno - Wine
Tuar 'let - Toilet
Apteka - Chemist
Leekarnia - Hospital
Knyzhkovyj magazyn- Bookshop
Miyasnyj magazyn - Butchers
Dopomo'zhit - Help!

Of course throwing a whole load of Cyrillic letters in the direction of an absolute beginner would probably be as sensible as awarding the winner of Miss World 2006 a complete set of Britannica encyclopedias. That's why we've come up with this fully anglicized version of basic words and phrases for you to mangle to your heart's content... You never know, with a little help from a lovely local, you might get enough of the lingo under your belt to shine in first encounters! More serious dialectologists should sign up for a course at one of Kiev's language schools.


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Sally from Australia Reply Sep 29th, 2014

I am looking to study Ukrainian in Kyiv. Can anyone recommend a good Ukrainian language school in Kyiv? Thanks

Anna from Ukraine Reply Jan 5th, 2012

I'm a Russian language tutor. Experience - 2, 5 years. Master degree - Shevchenko Kiev National University . Let's make it cheap and easy!

Shahram from Iran May 18th, 2013

Hi. I am in Kiev and i am going to stay here 5 months more. I am so interesting to study Russian Language so please send me an email or contact number to talk more about this matter. My email address is :

Shona from United States Reply Dec 25th, 2010

Um, Ukrainian is the 2nd most spoken Slavic language, after Russian, so why is that a romantic folly? Forgive the Ukrainian people for attempting to assert some hegemony after the dissolution of the USSR, Jackass.

yiðit from Turkey Reply Feb 16th, 2010

wonderful language..sounds so nice and pronounciation is great

stamp from United Kingdom Reply Aug 3rd, 2009

I want to see your stamps!

Odenan from United States Reply Dec 3rd, 2008

Nice work guys! Useful stuff.

daniel agboka from Ghana Reply Dec 19th, 2007

i want to learn the language ukrine or any second language

SEN from India Reply Dec 17th, 2007

it is good but need more useful words and updation

Michael from United Kingdom Reply Nov 20th, 2007

Those pronounciations are great!