So I’ve been learning to read the Cyrillic alphabet. OMG it is fascinating! Having a grounding in spoken Polish; the sounding of Ukrainian words was easier and there are many similarities. The big obstacle was reading it, because let’s face it, if I can’t read a street sign then I’m screwed lol. So I went to call on Mama Zombie who, as someone educated in Poland, could read Cyrillic. My first reminder of how the Soviets oppressed my ancestral home was that in schools, Russian was a requirement (obviously) but those who were patriotic learnt only the bare minimum to scrape a pass. American school kids get beaten up for being top of science, in Soviet ruled Poland it was the kids top of Russian class. But together we started working through it and then I realised a few other issues.
For a start a few letters weren’t there and then I realised that we all have slight alphabet variants and so their alphabet should also be different.
My moans are that these letters in Ukrainian А Е О М Т К are more or less the same but then you have these Р В І Х Н У which look like ours but have different sounds (you really want to know? Oh ok: Р-R, В-V, I-Ee, X-Ha, H-N and У-Oo). So you see вітаю at the top and try to read “bitario” when it’s “Vee-tai-you”.
Funny thing tho… The Spanish pronounce the letter V as a B.. Coincidence?
So the alphabet then throws you some fun; the one everyone seems to remember is the backwards R or Я. Now this makes a ‘Ya’ sound, in the word for thank you (dya-koy-oo) we find it: Дякую.
That crazy thing at the start Д is the D and in its cursive form looks much like ours.
I’ll do one more because I like it. In the the word ‘leisure’ we have the ‘zhu’ sound. In Ukrainian they have letter for it Ж.
So to say thank you very much you add the word for big (Doozheh) at the start: Дуже Дякую.
I’ve come to start finishing these blogs with “Don’t forget to be awesome” (Thanks John & Hank Green). But given the nature of this blog I’ll end it with