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 some 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 at between 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 does the morning finish and добрий день begins? It’s up to you but I wouldn’t say Доброго ранку! after 12 pm.
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 in Ukraine Chirstmas carol starts with “Добрий вечір тобі, пане господарю” – “Good evening, the host of this house”:
Learn and sing other popular Christmas song in Ukraine 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 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, railways, 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!’
Well, that’s all for today. Don’t forget to check out our podcast episode about greetings in Ukrainian. Stay tuned as we’ll talk about saying goodbye in the near future! Small preview: до побачення! 🙂
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