What are the best resources available to help me learn the Ukrainian language?

Materials suitable for self-study

This category mainly includes books that are accompanied by audio cassettes and/or CDs. These materials could be used by an adult learner for the self-study of Ukrainian or to supplement knowledge gained through classroom instruction.

Olena Bekh, James Dingley. Teach Yourself Ukrainian: A Complete Course for Beginners. London: Teach Yourself Books, 1997.

This book is highly recommended for self-instruction and classroom use. The main emphasis of the book is on the development of oral communicational skills and, as such, the text covers lexical and grammatical topics that are essential for everyday communication in Ukraine. The book is divided into eighteen units, each containing realistic dialogues, grammar and cultural notes, as well as various exercises. Basic rules of reading and pronunciation are also discussed. Keys to the exercises and a Ukrainian-English glossary are included. The information presented in the glossary is derived from the most recent orthographical dictionary published in Kyiv in 1994. Two tapes (recorded by native speakers of Ukrainian) provide an excellent opportunity to master the language as it is spoken in Ukraine. The book can be purchased on its own or as a package that includes the cassettes.

Stefan Pugh and Ian Press. Colloquial Ukrainian: A Complete Language Course. London & New York: Routledge, 1994.

This textbook is recommended for students with a limited background in the Ukrainian language or for self-instruction. The lessons contain dialogues that introduce the student to contemporary conversational Ukrainian. Grammar notes are used to explain major structural patterns in colloquial Ukrainian; however, vocabulary and grammar exercises are not extensive. Two 60-minute cassettes/CDs are available to accompany the textbook. The cassettes/CDs contain recordings of native speakers of Ukrainian and are extremely helpful for mastering communicative skills in contemporary Ukrainian.

Zirka Derlycia. Everyday Ukrainian: A Practical Basic Course. Guiford: Audio-Forum, 1993.

This textbook is designed for beginners and is recommended for those who wish to learn Ukrainian for business, travel, and other activities. The textbook contains 10 lessons that focus on a particular theme and a specific grammar concept, a grammar appendix, and an English-Ukrainian glossary. Dialogues, exercises, and drills are used to demonstrate the proper usage of vocabulary and to illustrate issues of grammar. Answer keys are provided for the exercises and drills. Although the emphasis of the book is on developing oral proficiency, the spoken language of contemporary Ukraine is not presented. Dialectical words, expressions, and patterns of speech that are commonly used by Ukrainian speakers in North America are presented alongside terminology from standard literary Ukrainian. Ten 60-minutes cassettes accompany the textbook, although the speakers that are recorded are affected by a slight English accent.


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