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patchouli1216Thursday 16th of June 2005 03:06:28 PM
gotta learn some russian quick - i know i'm signed up to learn Romanian but i woke up this morning and noticed 'holy crap! in a week, I'm gonna be leaving for the Ukraine!' and so I start looking into Ukrainian, but no, they speak Russian in the region of the Ukraine I'm going, the Crimea, so learning Ukrainian would only be useful for about 6 hours out of 2 weeks, since i will at least land in Kyiv. But anyways, I decided that I should scramble to learn as much Russian as I can since I'm going there on a mission trip with my church and i dont want the language barrier to be a huge problem. so if anyone can help me cram in as much as i can and hang onto it, that would be wonderful beyond words! The extent of my knowlege on Russian is how to say hello formaly and informaly, thank you, yes, no, please, coffee, and goodbye. I dont know anything about the Russian alphabet except that it isn't the English one and that they write in cursive a lot. I knew the Russian alphabet at one point a couple years ago, but because you don't use it in French class i forgot it completely!

sorry for the rambling, i'm so excited that I'm going!
Bradley326Thursday 16th of June 2005 07:25:11 PM
- I went to Ukraine a few years ago. At the time I knew virtually no Russian (about the same amount that you know) and I was able to get along just fine, as almost every single person I ran into spoke relatively good English. And this was in the city of Kharkov, which I don't believe is a very big area for foreign travellers. So I imagine in a place like Crimea that is at least somewhat famous outside of Ukraine you'll find that English should get you quite far.

As for learning Russian in a week...my suggestion would be to purchase a good phrasebook/tape from a local bookstore and study the most useful phrases in relation to what you'll be doing in Ukraine. Also read through the, "How to speak" stickied thread at the top of this discuss, as it also has many useful phrases. It also contains sections about the alphabet and pronunciation.

I think you're wise not to worry too much about Ukrainian. When I was there I never met someone who actually spoke Ukrainian in a normal setting. Russian was the common language that people used to communicate, and Ukrainian was used more for official/formal settings.

Have fun in Ukraine and enjoy the experience. It's always fun to see the look on peoples' faces when they ask you where you've travelled and you reply with "Ukraine." :) Most Americans don't even know where Ukraine is, so they're usually pretty amazed that you've actually been there. ;)