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Ukrainian vs Russian

 Language Learning Forum : Specific Languages Post Reply
Poll Question: Is Ukrainian a dialect of Russian
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
4 [14.81%]
23 [85.19%]
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44 messages over 6 pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6  Next >>
paparaciii
Diglot
Senior Member
Latvia
Joined 4693 days ago

204 posts - 223 votes 
Speaks: Latvian*, Russian
Studies: English

 
 Message 1 of 44
11 June 2009 at 10:05pm | IP Logged 
Just very quick question.
Can these two be considered dialects of the same language?

I'm having quite heated discussion with one guy on this subject and he is trying to convince me that Ukrainian isn't separate language, that it is just a dialect of Russian.
Personally I couldn't disagree more.
5 persons have voted this message useful



chelovek
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4444 days ago

413 posts - 461 votes 
5 sounds
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 2 of 44
11 June 2009 at 11:34pm | IP Logged 
I think that's basically a pretty simple matter of whether Ukrainian was the offspring of Russian, or whether they just have a shared "ancestor" language.
1 person has voted this message useful



Russianbear
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5132 days ago

358 posts - 422 votes 
1 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, Ukrainian
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 3 of 44
12 June 2009 at 12:05am | IP Logged 
It depends on how you look at it. Ukrainian isn't a dialect of Russian, but there is some dialectical continuity: Russian-->Ukrainized Russian-->Russianized Ukrainian-->Ukrainian: it is hard to draw a line where on of those ends and the other begins. One can go west from a village in south Russia towards Ukraine, and while every village's language would be mutually intelligible with neighbor villages, the very easternmost and the westernmost villages will not understand one another -at least not too well- at some point. So if those intermediate forms were considered the "standard", a case could be made that both Russian and Ukrainian are dialects of this intermediate language. But since noone - neither Russian nor Ukrainian language authorities- considers these so called intermediate forms the standard, Russian and Ukrainian are usually considered to be separate languages.

P.S. Besides, they HAVE to be separate languages, otherwise, I'd be demoted from a triglot to a diglot :)

Edited by Russianbear on 12 June 2009 at 12:19am

11 persons have voted this message useful



paparaciii
Diglot
Senior Member
Latvia
Joined 4693 days ago

204 posts - 223 votes 
Speaks: Latvian*, Russian
Studies: English

 
 Message 4 of 44
12 June 2009 at 11:45pm | IP Logged 
Is your native language Ukrainian or Russian?
1 person has voted this message useful



Nadav3
Newbie
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4672 days ago

13 posts - 12 votes
Studies: Ukrainian*, English

 
 Message 5 of 44
26 April 2010 at 11:05am | IP Logged 
No! Ukrainian IS a language! I am proud of my language, though forgot most of it and replaced it with Russian, but still it is a language and not dialect of russian.

1 person has voted this message useful



Fazla
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Italy
Joined 4619 days ago

166 posts - 255 votes 
Speaks: Italian, Serbo-Croatian*, English, Russian, Portuguese, French
Studies: Arabic (classical), German, Turkish, Mandarin

 
 Message 6 of 44
26 April 2010 at 12:23pm | IP Logged 
It is a language... and there really is no dispute about it. Besides it seems most people don't get what makes a language, a language. Many think it's having different rules, different grammars, different words etc... but no, the truth is there is a language when enough people say they speak that language, no matter how similiar it is to another existing language. And that's it, case closed, it really is that simple. Considering there are millions of people saying they speak Ukrainian, I don't see why should outsiders decide how should they view and treat their language.
3 persons have voted this message useful



Chung
Diglot
Senior Member
Joined 5513 days ago

4228 posts - 8256 votes 
20 sounds
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Polish, Slovak, Uzbek, Turkish, Korean, Finnish

 
 Message 7 of 44
26 April 2010 at 5:01pm | IP Logged 
Fazla wrote:
It is a language... and there really is no dispute about it. Besides it seems most people don't get what makes a language, a language. Many think it's having different rules, different grammars, different words etc... but no, the truth is there is a language when enough people say they speak that language, no matter how similiar it is to another existing language. And that's it, case closed, it really is that simple. Considering there are millions of people saying they speak Ukrainian, I don't see why should outsiders decide how should they view and treat their language.


It is indeed a language but it actually DOES have much to do with the differences in vocabulary, phonology and morphology. The differences present observable or testable barriers to mutual intelligibility and both Russians and Ukrainians admit that to learn each other's language requires at least some effort or even classes. There's also some indirect demonstration of this conclusion when you notice that both Russians and Ukrainians are ambiguous about the status of "Surzhyk" which tends to be even deprecated by both groups because of its "impure" or "mixed" characteristics.

What we CAN say however is that both Old Russian and Old Ukrainian likely arose as dialects of "Old East Slavic". In that sense BOTH languages in their modern forms are ultimately dialects but it's dubious or perhaps even chauvinistic when stating that one of these modern languages is the dialect of the other.

On Fazla's assertion: If the most important criterion were merely the feelings or beliefs of the speech community involved, then for example Americans could perversely overturn / reject professional linguists' findings that American and British English are variants of English rather than separate languages just because they've lobbied or claimed to speak different languages for reasons of: "just because we Americans say so" or even more foolishly "just because we're native-speakers and so we're automatically correct in our judgment". This example would also work if it were Britons rather than Americans who would perform such lobbying. Leaving things to the feelings of native speakers, regardless of their degree of understanding/grasping of linguistics seems similar to allowing the figurative patients to run the asylum, and takes out a good deal of the scientific rigour from linguistics and its analysis. A speech community's strong feelings or political will related to the classification or definition of languages does not mean that it is necessarily correct nor has it reached practical conclusions for itself or outsiders who wish to study these languages/variants/dialects/idiolects.

However it's because of the capriciousness of politics or emotions that leads to the striking instances where Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, Serbian are deemed to be separate languages (despite the trivial linguistic differences and virtual lack of mutual unintelligibility) while Cantonese, Hakka, Mandarin, Min and Wu are considered dialects of a Chinese language (despite the significant linguistic differences and substantial degree of mutual unintelligibility).

Edited by Chung on 26 April 2010 at 10:16pm

6 persons have voted this message useful



Rycerz
Newbie
Poland
Joined 4112 days ago

33 posts - 33 votes
Studies: Ukrainian, Polish*
Studies: English

 
 Message 8 of 44
26 April 2010 at 9:03pm | IP Logged 
The situation with Ukrainian is very similar like with Afrikaans. There are quite young
languages with snarl history. Ukrainian it is a language but it's a mix of Polish,
Russian, Dutch and German languages.


1 person has voted this message useful



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