20 Essential Phrases to Feel at Home in Kiev

Spoken by over 40 million people, the Ukrainian language was recognized as the second most melodic language in the world by a competition in Italy and was declared as the third most beautiful language according to phonetics, vocabulary, phraseology and sentence structure in 1934 during a Paris contest. That probably explains the high popularity of Ukrainian songs in international contests like Eurovision, where Ukraine regularly takes top places and recently became the first Eastern European country to win the contest twice.

Quick facts about Ukrainian:

  • 41–45 million people in the world speak Ukrainian.
  • According to various sources, it is between the 25th and 32nd most-spoken language in the world.
  • The closest language to Ukrainian is Belarusian, which shares about 84% of its vocabulary. Next come Polish, Serbian and Russian (which shares nearly 62%).
  • Practically everyone in Kiev speaks both Ukrainian and Russian. Of the two, the usage of Ukrainian is gradually increasing.
  • Ukrainian varies by region, especially between east and west. The dialects can be quite complicated, but they help to feel the local color deeply.
  • 20 Essential Phrases

    While traveling to a foreign country, it’s always important to learn some basic expressions. Even 20 phrases can help you not get lost in the unfamiliar environment, get your point across to locals, make friends and just have the real “local” experience.

    In that spirit, here are some choice phrases we’ve assembled to help ease your stay and meet new people.Try a few, and you’ll be amazed how much people appreciate the effort.

    Stuff for Football fans:

    Here are a few Ukrainian words and concepts you’ll particularly want to know for your trip: