Ukrainian dialects

Ukrainian dialects

Ukrainian dialects

A dialect is a territorial, professional or social variant of a standard literary language. In Ukrainian there are 3 major dialectical groups according to territory: the south-western group, south-eastern group and the northern group of dialects.

Several modern dialects of Ukrainian: exist [ [ Діалект. Діалектизм. Українська мова. Енциклопедія ] ] [ [ Інтерактивна мапа говорів. Українська мова. Енциклопедія ] ]

The North-western group

** "Volynian" is spoken in Rivne and Volyn, as well as in parts of Zhytomyr and Ternopil. It is also used in Chełm in Poland.
** "Upper Dniestrian" is considered to be the main Galician dialect, spoken in the Lviv, Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk Oblasts. Its distinguishing characteristics are the influence of Polish and the German vocabulary, which is reminiscent of the Austro-Hungarian rule. Some of the distinct words used in this dialect can be found here. [ [ Короткий словник львівської ґвари ] ]

The South-western group

* Southwestern dialects: [ [ Південно-західне наріччя. Українська мова. Енциклопедія ] ]
** "Boyko" is spoken by the Boyko people on the northern side of the Carpathian Mountains in the Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk Oblasts. It can also be heard across the border in the Subcarpathian Voivodeship of Poland.
** "Hutsul" is spoken by the Hutsul people on the northern slopes of the Carpathian Mountains, in the extreme southern parts of the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, as well as in parts of the Chernivtsi and Transcarpathian Oblasts.
** "Lemko" is spoken by the Lemko people, most of whose homeland rests outside the current political borders of Ukraine in the Prešov Region of Slovakia along the southern side of the Carpathian Mountains, and in the southeast of modern Poland, along the northern sides of the Carpathians.
** "Podillian" is spoken in the southern parts of the Vinnytsia and Khmelnytskyi Oblasts, in the northern part of the Odessa Oblast, and in the adjacent districts of the Cherkasy Oblast, the Kirovohrad Oblast and the Mykolaiv Oblast. [ [ Подільський говір. Українська мова. Енциклопедія ] ]
** "Pokuttia (Bukovynian)" is spoken in the Chernivtsi Oblast of Ukraine. This dialect has some distinct vocabulary borrowed from Romanian.
** "Rusyn" is spoken by the Rusyn people, whose live in Transcarpathia around Uzhhorod. It is similar to the Lemko dialect spoken by Ukrainians outside the borders of Ukraine in the Prešov Region of Slovakia along the southern side of the Carpathian Mountains but differs from them by the active use of Russian and Hungarian elements. There is an active movement to make this dialect a separate language distinct from Ukrainian.

The South-eastern group

* Southeastern dialects: [ [ Південно-східне наріччя. Українська мова. Енциклопедія ] ]
** "Middle Dnieprian" is the basis of the Standard Literary Ukrainian. It is spoken in the central part of Ukraine, primarily in the southern and eastern part of the Kiev Oblast). In addition, the dialects spoken in Cherkasy, Poltava and Kiev regions are considered to be close to "standard" Ukrainian.
** "Slobozhan" is spoken in Kharkiv, Sumy, Luhansk, and the northern part of Donetsk, as well as in the Voronezh and Belgorod regions of Russia. [ [ Слобожанський говір. Українська мова. Енциклопедія ] ] This dialect is formed from a gradual mixture of Russian and Ukrainian, with progressively more Russian in the northern and eastern parts of the region. Thus, there is no linguistic border between Russian and Ukrainian, and, thus, both grammar sets can be applied. This dialect is considered a transitional dialect between Ukrainian and Russian.]
** A "Steppe" dialect is spoken in southern and southeastern Ukraine. This dialect was originally the main language of the Zaporozhian Cossacks. [ [ Степовий говір. Українська мова. Енциклопедія ] ]

The Northern dialects

* Northern (Polissian) dialects: [ [ Північне наріччя. Українська мова. Енциклопедія ] ]
** "Eastern Polissian" is spoken in Chernihiv (excluding the southeastern districts), in the northern part of Sumy, and in the southeastern portion of the Kiev Oblast as well as in the adjacent areas of Russia, which include the southwestern part of the Bryansk Oblast (the area around Starodub), as well as in some areas in the Kursk, Voronezh and Belgorod Oblasts. [] No linguistic border can be defined. The vocabulary approaches Russian as the language approaches the Russian Federation. Both Ukrainian and Russian grammar sets can be applied to this dialect. Thus, this dialect can be considered a transitional dialect between Ukrainian and Russian.
** "Central Polissian" is spoken in the northwestern part of the Kiev Oblast, in the northern part of Zhytomyr and the northeastern part of the Rivne Oblast. [ [ Середньополіський говір. Українська мова. Енциклопедія ] ]
** "West Polissian" is spoken in the northern part of the Volyn Oblast, the northwestern part of the Rivne Oblast as well as in the adjacent districts of the Brest Voblast in Belarus. The dialect spoken in Belarus uses Belarusian grammar, and thus is considered by some to be a dialect of Belarusian. [ [ Maps of Belarus: Dialects on Belarusian territory ] ] To others it is a dialect of Polish.

Dialects outside of Ukraine

** "Upper Sannian" is spoken in the border area between Ukraine and Poland in the San river valley. Othen called Lemko or Lyshak.
* The Rusyn language is considered by Ukrainian linguists to be a dialect of Ukrainian:
** "Dolinian Rusyn or Subcarpathian Rusyn" is spoken in the Transcarpathian Oblast.
** "Pannonian or Bačka Rusyn" is spoken in northwestern Serbia and eastern Croatia. Rusin language of the Bačka dialect has been recodnised as one of the official languages of the Serbian Autonomous Province of Vojvodina).
** "Pryashiv Rusyn" is the Ukrainian dialect spoken in the Prešov (in Ukrainian: Pryashiv) region of Slovakia, as well as by some émigré communities, primarily in the United States of America.
* A "Kuban" dialect known locally by the term "Balachka" is spoken in the Kuban region of Russia, by the Kuban Cossacks, descendants of the Zaporozhian Cossacks who resettled in that area in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This dialect ia based on Middle Dnieprian but features the use of Russian vocabulary. It varies somewhat from one area to another.

Emigre dialects

Ukrainian is also spoken by a large émigré population, particularly in Canada (see Canadian Ukrainian), United States and several countries of South America like Argentina and Australia. The founders of this population primarily emigrated from Galicia, which used to be part of Austro-Hungary before World War I, and belonged to Poland between the World Wars. The language spoken by most of them is based on the Galician dialect of Ukrainian from the first half of the twentieth century. Compared with modern Ukrainian, the vocabulary of Ukrainians outside Ukraine reflects less influence of Russian, yet may contain Polish or German words. It often contains many loan words from the local language.

Recent trends

In recent times there have been attempts to catagorise some of the Ukrainian dialects into separate languages. This has been happening primarily in the Carpathian regions of Ukraine, but also with the speakers of the Polissian dialect, the Kuban dialect and Rusyn. The debates as to independence of these dialects-languages has promoted inflamed discussions which are often stoked by various political POVs.

See also




’* [ Dialects of Ukrainian language]
*. Ukrainian translation is partially available [ online] .
*, (in Ukrainian). Available [ online] .
* Василь Німчук. Періодизація як напрямок дослідження генези та історії української мови. Мовознавство. 1997.- Ч.6.-С.3-14; 1998.
* Микола Лесюк [ "Різнотрактування історії української мови"] .
* [ "What language is spoken in Ukraine"] , in "Welcome to Ukraine", 2003, 1.
* [ All-Ukrainian population census 2001]
* [ Конституція України (Constitution of Ukraine)] (in Ukrainian), 1996, [ English translation (excerpts)] .
* [ 1897 census]

* [ Literaturnyy Forum] (Ukrainian language)
* [ Ukrainian dictionary (from/to English and Russian)]
* [ Ukrainian-English Dictionary]
* [ English-Ukrainian Dictionary]
* [ Ukrainian–English Dictionary]
* [ Radio Canada International daily Ukrainian language news broadcasts and transcripts]
* [ Ukrainian Linguistic Portal]
* [ Ethnologue report for Ukrainian]
* [ Dialects of Ukrainian language]
* [ Ukrainian language - the third official?] - "Ukrayinska Pravda", 28 November 2005

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