What is more important for learning a language: grammar or vocabulary?
I am 100% confident about my answer. Imagine you have a fire in your hotel room in Ukraine…
What would you cry out in Ukrainian to get people’s attention? Maybe:
Допоможіть! – Help! (formal or plural)
Допоможи! – Help! (informal)
Допомогти! – To help!
Допомо-о-о-ога! – Heeeeelp! (noun)
Or maybe you know this one:
Вогонь! – Fire!
Every one of those will work. Even though, one all of the mentioned forms is not natural (Допомогти).
No one would care about the correct imperative form, the tense, the case, or the gender.
Because we pass the message by vocabulary, and grammar just helps to make the sequence of words sound nice like natives would say.
So, in language learning, you always start with words, and everything else follows.
How many words do I need to start speaking Ukrainian?
In Ukrainian, there are 256,000 words!
Stop. Do not get discouraged.
Language teachers estimate that with around 1,000 words you will have enough to ask people simple questions and talk about the everyday life situations like shopping and transportation.
Then, of course, you will learn more words and understand the grammar as you practice the language, but you need to start with that thousand!
So, how do I know which words to learn first?
Some good textbooks or dictionaries could tell you that.
Also, I have created a resource that focuses only on those most useful Ukrainian words and their usage. It is an ebook and a set of flashcards.
- 1000 Ukrainian words with the English translation;
- Examples of using them in simple sentences with English translation;
- Each word has a stress mark;
- Masculine – Feminine pairs (актор – акторка);
- Irregular plural forms (хлопець – хлопці);
- All the verbs in two forms – imperfective and perfective aspects (допомагати – допомогти). Two example sentences to see the difference of aspects;
- PDF format that can be used on any device or printed out.
- Made to be utilized in the Anki app, this application is free for Windows, Android, Mac, and online use. It is for sale for the iOS devices.
- Based on the Spaced repetition method of learning words;
- Great way to memorize, review, and practice pronouncing 1000 Ukrainian words from the ebook;
- Pictures to remember the word visually;
- Voice recording for each word;
- The examples from the book;
- The full instructional video of how to use the Anki flashcards is available here:
Привіт! Мене звати Анна Огойко 🙂
My name is Anna Ohoiko, I am the creator of 1000 Most Useful Ukrainian words and the founder of Ukrainian Lessons.
I am passionate about learning and teaching languages. On my path to learning English, Polish, French, and Spanish I have discovered different language learning tricks and techniques to start speaking and understanding a foreign language faster, in the most efficient way.
Also, teaching Ukrainian one-to-one and at the University of Pennsylvania has been a genuine experience for me to realize what works the best in language learning, especially for Ukrainian learners.
That is why I have created this website, the Ukrainian Lessons Podcast, and the 1000 Most Useful Ukrainian words – to help you learn Ukrainian using the methods that have proven to be effective for me and my students.
1000 words resource is for you if you want to:
- get the active knowledge of more than 1000 common words in Ukrainian (plus some synonyms, verb forms, and new words from the examples);
- build the essential vocabulary to go beyond greetings and with practice be able to have an actual basic conversation with Ukrainians;
- check your understanding of each of the 1000 common words in the context of simple everyday sentences;
- learn the imperfective/perfective forms of the most useful Ukrainian verbs and to see the difference of using them in sentences;
- drill the basic Ukrainian vocabulary with the interactive Anki flashcards;
- learn the stresses and master your pronunciation of the 1000 words by actually listening to the author saying them in flashcards as much as you need;
- have a good foundation and feel more comfortable in speaking, writing, reading, and understanding Ukrainian.
What people are saying about the book & flashcards
Дякую за вашу роботу! Дуже чудові флеш-карти…
Я дуже люблю флеш-карти. Я їх вивчаю щодня. Вони дуже корисні.
I was a beginner-level learner. Finding materials in Ukrainian was difficult so I found your podcasts very helpful. I started taking Ukrainian courses and used your flash cards to help build my vocabulary. I’ve learned so much using them and am now at an intermediate level. I speak regularly with my friend in Ukraine and he comments on the difference
I actually have recommended 1000 Most useful Ukrainian words to others and will continue to! Making your own flash cards for Anki takes a lot of time. You’ve done a really good job picking frequently used words which also makes it easier. I can tell you put a lot of effort into making these – having sentences, images, sound recordings, as well as док/недок.
It is perfect for my current elementary level. I use the flashcards on a regular basis (approximately 4 times a week) to increase my understanding of new words and cement my understanding and pronunciation of words that I have already learnt. I find that it works well in parallel to the podcast lessons.
I got through every word of your book…
Anna, I just wanted to thank you for your amazing book, I got through every word and have studied your book very carefully and now starting to listen to your podcasts) thank you very much, really. As soon as I get free time, I go onto your website and check every resource there! Thank you very much!!
Why did I not find you sooner!
I grew up wanting, desperately, to learn Ukrainian – my grandfather’s native language. It was not spoken at home, so I only had a few basic words, and was familiar with the alphabet.
For the longest time – quality learning resources were just not there!
Since my grandfather’s passing I have been working to refresh and improve my very limited vocabulary, and bad grammar – when I stumbled upon the Ukrainian Lessons website, and Anna’s language course.
I immediately recognised the that she has constructed an excellent course in everyday Ukrainian – precisely what I need!
I also instantly noticed Anna’s ebook and Anki flashcard pack. She was extremely helpful with my (many, and probably annoying) questions. She kindly also offered me the option at a full refund, if I didn’t think it would be useful to me.
Once I used the flashcards, which function both to, and from, the target language – and are complete with sound file and images – I knew I would be keeping it.
I’ll be listening to the podcast.
And when I need a live tutor – I know where I will be coming!
I use the flash cards and find they are very helpful
I only knew a few Ukrainian words when I started out. Before purchasing your 1000 Most useful Ukrainian words book, I had completed the Ukrainian language course on Duolingo. I bought your book to supplement the course. I use the flash cards and find they are very helpful. Having a picture along with the words is a good memory aid. I haven’t gone through all of the flash cards yet but I will continue working at it. I would definitely recommend your book to others. It has helped to improve my Ukrainian. I also listen to your podcasts which is another helpful resource.
Love the flashcards!
I love the flash cards! I highly recommend them. The pictures that accompany the new vocabulary are also charming and funny.
I recommend 1000 Ukrainian words book
I keep the book as a PDF on my phone for now, I browse through it daily, while queuing, etc. The most useful thing – is the example sentences – I feel it boosts up my reading skills.
So yes, I recommend this book, it’s concise, it’s a good supplementary to the podcast, and a way to support the podcast.
Take a sneak peek
Want a little taste of the book before buying? That’s okay with me! Here are the first pages to show you what is there.
What about the flashcards?
On Ukrainian Lessons, we have another word list with flashcards - 100 most common Ukrainian words. You can download the list of those first 100 words plus the digital & paper flashcards on this page for free!
Are you ready to learn 1000 most useful Ukrainian words with me?
I will be thrilled to teach you your first Ukrainian words 🙂
Frequently Asked Questions
How were the words selected?
- Frequency Dictionaries of Ukrainian journalism and fiction (the only Ukrainian frequency dictionaries available for now).
- The Base Vocabulary of 625 words for starting to learn any language from Gabriel Wyner, the author of Fluent Forever.
- The words I decided to include based on my experience of teaching and speaking Ukrainian.
Which part of Ukraine do the words represent?
What is the package I get?
- The ebook in PDF: a list of 1000 most used Ukrainian words with translation to English, special forms, and the example sentences to each word.
- A deck of digital flashcards you can use with the Anki app. There are 1000 flashcards there with the words, translation, pronunciation audio, pictures, and examples. You can also edit the cards and add your own ones.
How do Anki flashcards work?
Can I get a refund?
Do you have any questions or payment issues? Please, let us know below.
Taxpayer Identification Number in Ukraine: ФОП ОГОЙКО А. В. №2 663 000 0000 006076