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How to read Ukrainian


А а [a]

[a] as in “father” так [tak] (yes)

Б б [be]

[b] банка [‘banka] (a can)

В в [ve]

[v] вода [vо’da] (water) він [veen] (he) вона [vo’na] (she)

Г г [ghe]

no equivalent in English, similar to [h] with strong friction and loud sound гривня [‘ghrivnia] (a grivnya) грати [‘ghrati] (to play)

Ґ ґ [ge]

a rare letter, [g] (as in “go”) ґрунт [‘groont] (soil)

Д д [de]

[d] де [de] (where) дома [‘doma] (at home)

Е е [e]

[e] as in “pet” мене [me’ne] (me)

Є є [ye]

[ye] (like “yes”) грає [‘ghraye] (he plays)

Ж ж [ӡe]

[ӡ] as the “s” in “peasure” Париж [pa’riʒ] (Paris)

З з [ze]

[z] зараз [‘zaraz] (now)

И и [i]

[i] like in “it” (with your tongue more back) ви [vi] (you) сидіти [si’deeti] (to sit)

І і [ee]

[ee] таксі [tak’see] (taxi)

Ї ї [yee]

[yee] їсти [‘yeesti] (to eat)

Й й [yot]

[y] (like in “yes”) дайте [‘dayte] (give) добрий [‘dobriy] (good)

К к [ka]

[k] кока-кола [koka-kola] (coke) квиток [kvi’tok] (a ticket)

Л л [el]

[l] ласка [‘laska] (tenderness)

М м [em]

[m] мама [‘mama] (mum) мене [me’ne] (me) мені [me’nee] (to me)

Н н [en]

[n] ні [nee] (no) немає [ne’maye] (there isn't) вікно [veek’no] (window)

О о [o ]

[o] as “al” in “walk” ось [osi] (here) вода [vo’da] (water)

П п [pe]

[p] паспорт [‘pasport] (passport) пиво [‘pivo] (beer)

Р р [er]

[r] as in “red” (rolled as in Spanish) рідко [‘reedko] (rarely)

С с [es]

[s] стіл [steel] (a table) субота [soo’bota] (Saturday)

Т т [te]

[t] студент [stoo’dent] (a student)

У у [oo]

[oo] as in “book” ручка [‘roochka] (a pen) буду [‘boodoo] (I will)

Ф ф [ef]

[f] телефон [tele’fon] (phone)

Х х [ha]

[h] as “ch” in Scottish “loch” хороший [ho’roshiy] (good)

Ц ц [tse]

[ts] as in “itsце [tse] (this is) піца [pizza] (pizza) цукор [‘tsookor] (sugar)

Ч ч [che]

[ch] ручка [‘roochka] (pen) чаcто [‘chasto] (often) чай [chay] (tea)

Ш ш [sha]

[sh] Ваш [vash] (your) дошка [‘doshka] (board)

Щ щ [shia]

[shi] very close to the “sh” in “sheep” Що [shio] (what) борщ [borshi] (borshch)

Ь м’який знак (soft sign)

almost silent, makes consonants soft, which means that the sound is followed by a very weak sound [i]: олівець [olee’vetsi] (a pensil) стілець [stee’letsi] (a chair) будь [boodi] (be)

Ю ю [yoo]

1. [oo] makes consonants soft: люблю [lioob’lioo] (I like)

2. [yoo] in the beginning of a word, after other vowels: п’ю [p yoo] (I drink) читаю [chi’tayoo] (I read)

Я я [ya]

1. [a] after consonants, makes the consonants soft: гуляти [ghoo’liati] (to walk) гуляю (I walk)[ghoo’liayoo]

2. [ya] (like in “yahoo”) in the beginning of a word, after other vowels: яблуко [‘yablooko] (an apple)

апостроф (apostrophe)

After apostrophe the letters «є», «ю», «я» are read as [ye], [yoo], [ya]

п’є [p ye] (he drinks) комп’ютер [komp ‘yooter] (computer) п’ять [p yati] (five)

дев’ять [‘dev yati] (nine)

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