|The Ukrainian release is titled Star Trek: Retribution|
We saw the new Star Trek film this weekend. Almost all incoming foreign films are dubbed into Ukrainian, not Russian, which means I usually spend 2 hours floundering along, trying to catch the odd word. This time, though, maybe because of our recent trip to Ukrainian-speaking Poltava?, it was comfortable to listen along. In fact, it felt pretty awesome... until the movie ended and my friends started talking about all these sub-plots I never caught :p At least I figured out who the bad guy was!
Every now and then I start feeling bad for not knowing much Ukrainian. Never mind the fact that any leftover non-teaching/non-blogging time is spent studying Russian or that most of my friends never use Ukrainian, there's something guilt-inducing about not learning a country's language. Locally the case could be made that Russian is just as much an "official" language as Ukrainian, but Russian is still seen as the-language-of-the-invaders in much of the country. And honestly, it's just awkward to be out of the loop when it comes to Ukrainian. The language on the street may be Russian around here, but the metro and street signs, movies, TV, advertising, and official documents are all in Ukrainian.
To those who scratch their heads and say- isn't it pretty much the same language??- you're kind of right.
Oh, let's not forget surzhik, a third (psuedo?)language which is actually a mixture of Ukrainian and Russian.
|Russian language to Ukrainian language: Girl, move over, you're discriminating against me!|
|Don't let it burn out! Keep the flame of the mother tongue alive.|
Like them? Hate them? Drop me a line in the comments! (Especially if you don't understand a word of Ukrainian. It would be interesting to get your take on the songs.)
Another cool way to get in some Ukrainian practice* is by watching Великі перегони, the heavily-advertised Ukrainian version of The Amazing Race, a game show in which contestants race around the world and- if the US show is anything to go off of- scream and yell at each other most of the time. (*One note about Ukrainian reality tv though- often the host will speak Ukrainian and the contestants will speak Russian.)
Several other helpful resources are:
- Free, online Ukrainian Language for Beginners from a university in Kiev
- Short on time? Try One Minute Ukrainian from the RadioLingua Network
- 23 pages of Survival Ukrainian from the Peace Corps
- Some language background and audio files from BBC
- For cultural tips, try You Know You've Been in Ukraine Too Long When... at From Blue to Yellow
- Livemocha offers a Basic Ukrainian course. I found it a bit tedious when I last used it but they have recently made a lot of site improvements, might be worth another shot.
- Funky Ukrainian offers recordings by native speakers covering 14 different vocabulary topics!
Happy studying!! I'd better get to it as well if I want to see another movie on the big screen : )