Translations and Other Language Solutions in Ukrainian Language
Looking for a language solution in Ukrainian? We will prepare a tailored solution and consult you on your subject of interest.
HOW MUCH DOES TRANSLATION IN UKRAINIAN COST?
The cost of each translation from/to Ukrainian is determined separately, various elements are considered – the volume of the material to be translated, deadlines, specifics of the content, repetitions in the text, graphical processing, text formatting, correction, as well as additional services chosen by the client (notarised certificate and other services).
IS THE PRICE LIST AVAILABLE?
Of course, in order to determine the exact costs of the translation, we will wait for your material to be sent to our e-mail. Our translation project managers will contact you and inform you about the translation costs before starting the project. The translation cost is determined in accordance with the currently effective Skrivanek price list, based on the number of words in the text, duplication of text in the translation, and other parameters. We provide 100% confidentiality and take full responsibility for the text processing quality and completion of every project, disregarding its volume or difficulty level.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE UKRAINIAN LANGUAGE
The Ukrainian language (native name: украї́нська мо́ва, romanised: ukrainska mova), historically also called Ruthenian, is a Slavic language of the Indo-European language family. It is the official language in Ukraine and one of the official languages in the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic. Most Ukrainian speakers live in Ukraine. It is the second or third largest Slavic language after Russian and Polish with around 45 million Ukrainian speakers. The Ukrainian writing system uses Cyrillic. Similar languages to Ukrainian are Rusyn, which some linguists consider to be a Ukrainian dialect, Belarusian and Russian.
Standard Ukrainian is regulated by the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, particularly its Institute of Ukrainian Language, Ukrainian Language Information Foundation, and Potebnia Institute of Linguistics.
The origins of the Ukrainian language can be traced to the Old East Slavic Language, which was spoken by inhabitants of Kievan Rus from the 10th to 13th centuries.
When Eastern Ukraine was part of the Russian Empire from 1804 to the Russian Revolution of 1917, it was forbidden to speak Ukrainian at schools since it was considered to be part of Russian as the Little Russian dialect (малороссийское наречие русского языка).
Whereas in Western Ukraine, which initially was part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and later the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ukrainian language, called the Ruthenian language (русинська мова), was never banned and there was a more favourable environment for its development.
Ukrainian dialects are traditionally categorised into three groups: southwestern (has distinct dialect dissemination, which is related to the influence of Polish, Slovakian and Hungarian), northern (the features of the northern dialects were formed under the influence of the neighbouring Belarusian dialects) and southeast dialect, which is the basis for the modern literary language.
In the eastern and southeastern regions of Ukraine, mostly in cities (Zaporizhzhia, Donbas, Kryvyi Rih, Odesa), as well as in the Crimea, since the 17th and 18th centuries exists the so-called суржик ‘Surzhyk’ (original meaning: mix of rye, wheat, and oats) – a colloquial language that was formed by mechanically combining the phonetics of Ukrainian dialects and mostly Russian vocabulary.
The Ukrainian vocabulary is primarily made up of Slavic lexicon and the common East Slavic lexicon.
Old (Slavic, East Slavic, Ukrainian) lexicon makes up about 90% of Ukrainian vocabulary. The most significant borrowed lexicon groups are Graecisms, Latinisms, Polonisms, Russianisms, and borrowings from other languages via Russian, as well as Russian calques, borrowings from Turkish, and modern borrowings from Western European languages: German, English, French, Italian, and others.
During the seven-decade-long soviet period, Ukrainian held a formal official local language status in the Ukrainian SSR. In reality, however, it was often not the case – Ukrainians always had to compete with the Russian language, and soviet authorities had various attitudes towards Ukrainian, ranging from encouragement and tolerance to actual denial.
Ukrainian has been the official language in Ukraine since 1991, and the government implemented an administrative policy to expand the use of Ukrainian.
The Ukrainian education system was reformed from partially using Ukrainian at schools to using it fully within the first decade of independence. Gradually the use of Ukrainian in mass media and trade was expanded. There were situations when the sudden change of the study language at higher education institutions angered the Russian-speaking citizens.
In the course of time most of the population, including ethnic Russians, people of mixed ethnicity, and Russian-speaking Ukrainians, started identifying as Ukrainian citizens.
The use of Ukrainian is growing after a long period of decline. Even though there are almost fifty million ethnic Ukrainians in the whole world, including 37.5 million in Ukraine (77.8% of the population), Ukrainian is most common in western and central Ukraine. Both Ukrainian and Russian are spoken in Kyiv, which is a noticeable difference from recent history when Russian was most commonly spoken in the city. It is considered that these changes were largely caused by an influx of immigrants from Ukraine’s western regions, as well as a handful of Kyivan citizens that chose to speak the language they speak at home in public places. Public advertisements and announcements in Kyiv were put out in Ukrainian. Russian is the most common language in most cities and towns of south and east Ukraine.
On 25 April 2019, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine passed the law on the obligatory use of Ukrainian in state and local authority institutes.
Ukraine is putting in an effort to decrease the influence of Russian in the country. The main goal of the passed law is to completely secure the use of Ukrainian in the public sphere. From now on, businesses are required to provide information about their products and services in Ukrainian. The discussions of politicians were heated and opinions were radically opposite. The law stated that the following professionals shall speak Ukrainian fluently: politicians, including the president, teachers, medical staff, lawyers, and notaries. Ukrainian is required to be used almost everywhere: in television and radio, the press, sports events, advertisements, and political party activities. The law does not apply to the sphere of private communication and religious ceremonies. Knowledge of the Ukrainian language is a requirement for acquiring citizenship.
In Western Ukraine, where the Russian language is hardly heard, answering in Ukrainian to a question spoken in Russian is an age-old practice, that has not changed significantly since 1993, when this region got annexed by the Soviet Union after its invasion of Poland.
Based on the results of a language competition that took place in Paris in 1934, Ukrainian is the third most beautiful language after French and Persian in terms of phonetics, vocabulary, phraseology, and sentence structure. Additionally, it is officially the second most melodic language in the world after Italian. Therefore, it is not surprising that many admit to noticing a resemblance between Ukrainian and bird songs.
In order to make sure it is true, one should listen to George Gershwins’s world-famous Summertime in its original language, which is… Ukrainian! Summertime was inspired by the old Ukrainian lullaby Oi Hodyt’ Son Kolo Vikon.
Ukrainian has a unique alphabet that has two letters not found in any other language: ґ and ї.
There are seven UNESCO World Heritage sites in the country, including the Saint-Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv, the Ancient City of Tauric Chersonese, and the Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians.
Ukrainian citizens are bilingual, speaking both Russian and Ukrainian.
Ukrainians are proud of their beautiful language. If you speak to them in Russian, they will most likely answer you in Ukrainian.
Those who love McDonald’s would find it interesting that the McDonald’s restaurant in Kyiv’s biggest railway station is the third most visited in the world. Arsenalna metro station in Kyiv is known as the deepest metro station in the world (105.5 meters underground).
THE UKRAINIAN ALPHABET
The Ukrainian alphabet is used for writing in Ukrainian. The Ukrainian alphabet uses modified Cyrillic. There are 33 letters in the alphabet which represent 38 phonemes (sounds). 21 of those represent consonants (б, в, г, ґ, д, ж, з, к, л, м, н, п, р, с, т, ф, х, ц, ч, ш, щ), 10 – vowels (а, е, є, и, і, ї, о, у, ю, я), 1 – partial vowel (й). The diacritical mark ь does not represent a phoneme but points to the palatalisation of the previous consonant.
Cyrillic writing or the Cyrillic alphabet is one of the two Old Slavic writing variants. It was developed based on the alphabet created by Saint Cyril and Methodius and the Greek Byzantine alphabet. Six Slavic languages use alphabets based on the Early Cyrillic alphabet – Belarussian, Bulgarian, Russian, Macedonian, Serbian, and Ukrainian, as well as several other non-Slavic languages mostly in former Soviet territories.
The Ukrainian alphabet has existed in its current form since the end of the 19th century. Unlike the Russian alphabet, it does not have the letters Ёё, ъ, ы, Ээ, but it does include Ґґ, Єє, Іі, and Її (in the time period between 1932 and 1990 the letter Ґ did not exist, meanwhile the last letter in the alphabet was the diacritical mark). Similarly, numerous words exist that use the Ukrainian apostrophe, which is an analog of the Russian Ъ and Ь, by not palatalising the preceding consonant. Written Ukrainian used the Latin alphabet throughout different time periods. At the moment there is no standardised or regulated Ukrainian Latin alphabet (only rules regarding Latin transliteration of Cyrillic letters have been passed). Its scope is quite limited (most often they are publications dedicated to the Ukrainian Latin alphabet itself). Discussions on the unification and use of the Ukrainian Latin alphabet took place in Galicia and Bukovina in the 1830s and 1850s and then continued in the 1920s during the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.
WHERE AND HOW MANY PEOPLE SPEAK UKRAINIAN?
Around 45 million people speak the Ukrainian language. Ukrainian is the only official language in Ukraine, and it is one of the three official languages in the unrecognised Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic as well.
It has the recognised minority or regional language status in Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Ukrainian also has certain official functions on a regional level in the United States of America and Poland.
The Ukrainian diaspora is the third largest Ukrainian community in the world after Ukraine and Russia and the fifth largest ethnic group in Canada. Canada has more than a million people who one way or another identify themselves with the Ukrainian ethnos. During the first two immigration waves, immigrants spoke in modern Western Ukrainian dialects, but over time Canadian Ukrainian developed differently from Western Ukrainian dialects due to the long distance and influence of English. At the moment, the number of Ukrainian speakers in Canada is decreasing but there are Ukrainian schools and opportunities to learn Ukrainian at universities in Canada. The Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (Канадський iнститут українських студiй), established in 1976, publishes scientific literature and runs projects in the field of Ukrainian language studies, for example, the Journal of Ukrainian Studies or the Encyclopedia of Ukraine (Енциклопедія українознавства).
Poland has the second largest Ukrainian diaspora of 1.2 million people, followed by the USA with 1 million and then Brazil, Argentina, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Germany, Czechia, Romania, Portugal, and Latvia.
HOW DIFFICULT IS THE UKRAINIAN LANGUAGE?
Learning vocabulary is usually the most difficult part of studying any language. This is because vocabulary recall requires repetition and frequent use, and Ukrainian vocabulary is no exception.
One of the most valuable reasons for learning Ukrainian is that it will allow you to get a little closer to Ukrainian culture and speak to Ukrainian people’s hearts, not their minds. Language has been very important and significant for Ukrainians ever since ancient times.
A person who is motivated to learn Ukrainian and does not have previous experience in language learning, and consistently studies one hour a day, will probably need 3.5 or 4 years to reach the intermediate level in Ukrainian.
The pronunciation of Ukrainian is also quite difficult for most European language speakers. Most consonants have palatalised and non-palatalised versions, which one should be able to differentiate, and the language has many sounds which do not exist in other languages, as well as a few letter combinations (consonant combinations in particular) that can be difficult to pronounce.
Lastly, Ukrainian writing is in Cyrillic. It is possibly the biggest challenge when learning to write in Ukrainian.
The Foreign Service Institute in the USA classifies Ukrainian as a difficult language, which takes up 1100 studying hours for the learner (in optimal situations). That is almost two times more than the learning time for Dutch and two times less than Chinese.
Studies in Ukrainian universities are considered to be high-level studies.
The state is quite welcoming to foreign students. Universities provide tens of study programs and scholarships for potential students from abroad.
Education in Ukraine is popular among students from African and Asian countries, for example, Libya, Bangladesh, India, China, Nigeria, Egypt, Jordan, etc. Study program variety and relatively low study costs in Ukraine appeal to students who want to get an education in medicine or engineering abroad.
Education institutes offer four different learning languages: Ukrainian, Russian, English, and French (for study programs in medicine).
It is possible to understand Polish, Czech, Belarussian, and other Slavic languages if one has learned Ukrainian as they are quite similar.
UKRAINIAN INTERPRETER AND TRANSLATOR
The Skrivanek Baltic translation agency usually prepares typical written and oral translations by finding the most appropriate solution for the client’s request. We do regular and also notarised translations. We also offer proofreading and stylistic improvement of texts in Ukrainian; text correction and terminology check-ups are done if requested. We will guarantee that the text is effective, stylistically appropriate, and complies with the cultural context in regard to both the language and the country.
We most often do the following translations from and to Ukrainian for business clients – SEO content, e-commerce and website content, advertisement slogans, marketing, and product labels in accordance with EU standards. For private individuals, we offer translations of personal identification documents, marriage certificates, birth certificates, education documents, passports, medical documents, etc. It is possible to notarise the translations.
UKRAINIAN LANGUAGE IN BUSINESS
On 16 July 2019, the law to ensure the functioning of the Ukrainian language as a state language was passed. The law stated that all foreign entrepreneurs planning to expand their business within Ukrainian territories should ensure the availability of all legal documents, product information, websites, and other business-related documents in Ukrainian.
Ukrainian entrepreneurs usually speak fluent Russian, Polish and English, therefore it is possible to arrange business meetings in these languages. But in any case, every Ukrainian person would highly appreciate it if their business partner respected their native language and traditions and knew at least a few polite phrases in Ukrainian.
LATVIA AND UKRAINE COOPERATION
The Ukrainian population in Latvia increased rapidly after the Second World War when thousands of Ukrainians were sent to work in the Latvian SSR, and it is considered an ethnic minority formed through recent migration. The number of Ukrainians decreased almost by half after Latvia regained its independence.
In 1897 there were thousands Ukrainian soldiers and Riga Polytechnic Institute students living in Latvia. The rest of them moved here during Soviet times. At the moment, there are 62 thousand Ukrainians living in Latvia. It is the youngest ethnic minority in terms of age. In terms of education level, Ukrainians are second in the country (after Jewish people); they start strong families and adapt to new social environments quite easily – there are fewer unemployed people among Ukrainians than any other ethnic minority group. Ukrainians are characterised by their loyalty to authority, cordiality, sense of responsibility and discipline. These resolutions are based on research conducted by Днiпро, Ukrainian Society of Culture and Education, within the framework of the Ukrainians in Latvia conference with the funding of the Latvian Society Integration Foundation. 452 Ukrainian minority representatives from Rīga, Ventspils, Liepāja, Rēzekne, Tukums, and Rīga district participated in the survey.
Most of the Ukrainian community lives in Rīga. There is a Ukrainian high school in the capital city whose graduates fluently speak Ukrainian and Latvian. Latvian Ukrainians are the second biggest community after Latvian Jews, but their level of naturalisation is the lowest. Most Latvian Ukrainians live in mixed Ukrainian and Russian families.
Interest in Latvian Ukrainian culture is promoted by the Latvian Ukrainian Union public organisations and the Днiпро cultural society (named after the biggest river in Ukraine). The Ukrainian children’s choir is also named Днiпро. Ukrainian culture centres are located in Ventspils, Rēzekne, Liepāja, Daugavpils, and Vangaži.
Compared to other ethnic minorities in Latvia, Ukrainians have the lowest naturalisation level. Even though surveys suggest that half of Ukrainians practically support integration, most of them think that it hasn’t even started. Integration structures are formalised, separated from the needs and interests of the Ukrainian ethnic minority.
The Ukrainian ethnic minority has a special place in Latvia’s multinational society. It was formed after the Second World War, during the sovietisation of the Baltics. Therefore it can be considered a minority formed through migration, unlike other ethnic minorities that have historically lived in Latvian territories, for example, Belarusians, Poles, Germans, and Jews.
The Ukrainian ethnic minority is going through the integration process very slowly. The most important measurement in this situation – the level of naturalisation – is the lowest compared to other minorities.
Most Ukrainians consider the knowledge of the official language to be the most important requirement for integration. Even though Ukrainians have considerably improved their Latvian skills since 1993, only 11% speak it fluently. Free Latvian lessons, organised by Ukrainian culture and education associations and schools, could be used as an effective method by trying to relate it to the native language environment and Ukrainian culture.
Considering the recent political situation in Ukraine, Latvia has been a huge support to Ukraine and its citizens.
With the help of the Ministry of Defence and Elmārs Pļaviņš, chief chaplain of the Latvian National Armed Forces, Latvia has transported more than 400 tonnes of humanitarian aid to citizens of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions since 2014. By 18 January 2021, 21 humanitarian aid shipments had already been delivered.
On 20 January 2021, the Latvian National Armed Forces handed over 7 vehicles to the Armed Forces of Ukraine to strengthen military medical skills.
Since 2014, a total of 75 victims of the conflict in Ukraine (Ukrainian soldiers, political prisoners freed by Russia, and their family members) have been admitted to Latvia for treatment within the framework of the state support program. They have received medical help, and physical and psychological rehabilitation in the amount of 181 000 EUR.
Excellent cooperation has also been established in the field of education.
In 2020, 65 Ukrainian students studied remotely in the European Union Studies – Internal and Foreign Policy study program at the University of Latvia in the area of young professionals in order to strengthen great management capacity. More than 150 Ukrainian students have graduated from the program since 2015.
In 2020, studies continued in the Online Intensive Programme in European Law and Economics at the Riga Graduate School of Law. Seven Ukrainian students graduated from the school in 2020. In total, 54 Ukrainian professionals have graduated from the programs at the Riga Graduate School of Law since 2014.
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