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

Reply Sep 29th, 2014

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

Reply Jan 5th, 2012

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 :

Reply May 18th, 2013
United States

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.

Reply Dec 25th, 2010

wonderful language..sounds so nice and pronounciation is great

Reply Feb 16th, 2010
United Kingdom

I want to see your stamps!

Reply Aug 3rd, 2009
United States

Nice work guys! Useful stuff.

Reply Dec 3rd, 2008
daniel agboka

i want to learn the language ukrine or any second language

Reply Dec 19th, 2007

it is good but need more useful words and updation

Reply Dec 17th, 2007
United Kingdom

Those pronounciations are great!

Reply Nov 20th, 2007