Posts in Language
English mistranslations on Ukrainian clothes

Learning a second language is tough.

I've lived in Ukraine for seven months, taking language lessons two to three times per week. And my skills are nowhere near where I want them to be. I usually just resort to the friendly smile and nod, smile and nod.

I've met countless people in Ukraine who speak multiple languages Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, German, and English are a few common ones. And each time I hear the number of languages they speak, I am amazed.

When we (attempt to) speak Ukrainian or when the Ukrainians speak English, sometimes there are funny mistranslations. In Kyiv, a friend once said she had a "raining" nose instead of a "runny" nose. And there have been many times we've mispronounced Ukrainian words, saying foul words instead of what we meant.

Read More
Living in Ukraine and not knowing the language

I walk the walk but I don't talk the talk.

While walking the streets, ordering in restaurants, and buying groceries people have mistaken me and the other Canadians/Americans as locals. We just smile and shake our heads or offer a "Я не знаю" (I don't know) or "Я не розумію" (I don't understand).

I do my best to keep up at dance, and at times (very few times, that is) I even blend in with the other 40 dancers, if I do say so myself.

But the language, I'm not quite there yet.

Read More
Kyiv vs. Kiev, Ukraine vs. the Ukraine, Katya vs. Kaitlin

It's Kyiv.

OK, maybe it's not that straightforward.

In Ukrainian, it's Київ, or Kyiv. In Russian, it's Киев, or Kiev.

So using Kyiv separates Ukraine from Russia, though some say Kiev isn't necessarily Russian, but rather the English/international spelling.

Read More