Привіт! 🙂 Every Ukrainian language learner begins with greetings in Ukrainian. No doubt you’ll need them every day. Of course, you probably know quite a few by now, but today I’ll tell you a couple more. One can never know too much!
1. Добрий день! – [dobryi den’] – Hello! (formal)
Добридень! – [dobryden’] – Hello! (shorten form of “добрий день”)
This greeting is the most common and the most universal. You may use it in many situations: in a shop, in a railway station, at work… Добрий день literally means ‘a good day’, but time on the clock isn’t very important. Feel free to say it from 9 am to 6 pm, when it’s not dark outside.
2. Доброго ранку! [dobroho ranku] – Good morning!
Добрий ранок! [dobryi ranok] – Good morning!
This one literally means ‘good morning,’ and it’s used in all the same situations. You can say it to your loved one who has just woken up, to the bus driver on your commute, or to your colleague who starts a working day with you.
When do the morning finish and добрий день begin? It’s up to you, but I wouldn’t say Доброго ранку! after 12 pm.
The correct phrase is Доброго ранку, but you can hear Добрий ранок too 🙂
3. Добрий вечір! [dobryi vechir] – Good evening!
This greeting is also time-limited. Say Добрий вечір! when it is dark outside. It’s neutral, so you may use it in both formal and informal situations.
Cultural fact! Probably, the most known Christmas carol in Ukraine starts with “Добрий вечір тобі, пане господарю” – “Good evening, the host of this house”:
Learn and sing another popular Christmas song in Ukraine with us: Нова радість стала.
4. Привіт! [pryvit] – Hi! (informal)
This is another popular greeting in Ukrainian. You can use it with your peers, friends, or even some friendly shop assistants. It’s helpful at any time of the day. Listen to it in this romantic song by Lama:
Because of its frequency, some speakers stand out of the crowd and use its changed forms: привітик [pryvityk] or привітулі [pryvituli]. You are sure to impress your Ukrainian friends if you text them a casual привітик 😉
Find Ukrainian songs with translation in the category Songs.
5. Ласкаво просимо! [laskavo prosymo] – Welcome!
You will definitely see these two words when you come to Ukraine. They are written in airports, railway, and bus stations. People use it when someone comes somewhere for the very first time.
6. Вітаю! / Вітаємо! [vitaju / vitajemo] – Welcome! / Greetings! / Congratulations!
These words are actually part of a sentence:
|Я вітаю вас. Ya vitayu vas.||I welcome you.|
|Ми вітаємо вас. My vitayemo vas.||We welcome you.|
Once again, these are used to greet newcomers. Sometimes, it may also replace a regular Добрий день! And on a special occasion, use Вітаю! / Вітаємо! to congratulate someone on their accomplishment.
7. Слава Богу / Слава Ісусу Христу! [slava bohu / slava isusu khrystu] – Glory to God / Jesus Christ!
These are quite peculiar greetings in Ukrainian. As you can see, they are religious; hence they are mostly used in Western Ukraine.
Слава Ісусу Христу! is more common in Halychyna. The traditional answer is Навіки слава! [naviky slava] – Glory forever.
Слава Богу is common in Polissia. You may hear it in other regions as well, but there it is likely to express relief, similar to ‘Thank God!’
Are you just starting to learn Ukrainian? Check our Ukrainian Lessons Podcast! It’s a free series of audio lessons that take you step by step through your Ukrainian language journey! If you would like to receive weekly emails with the latest blog posts and podcast episodes, subscribe here.