5.1 New language
Let’s start by listening to two friends greeting each other.
Transcript: Audio 30
|Таня Привіт, Софіє!||Tania Pryvit, Sofiie!|
|Софія Привіт, Таню!||Sofiia Pryvit, Taniu!|
|Таня Як справи?||Tania Yak spravy?|
|Софія Дякую, добре, а як ти?||Sofiia Diakuiu, dobre, a yak ty?|
|Таня Непогано.||Tania Nepohano.|
Transcript: Audio 31
Take a closer look (Audio 31 transcript)
Let’s look at the dialogue in detail. Two friends meet and greet each other informally saying Pryvit (‘Hello’). They address each other by names but you might have noticed that they changed last letter in their names: Sofiie instead of Sofiia and Taniu instead of Tania. This is a special grammar form which you shouldn’t worry about. Ukrainians often ignore it (although teachers, including me, disagree with this), so you can just say person’s name as it is.
As Sofiia and Tania are friends, they ask each other how they are doing. First person asks Yak spravy? which means ‘How are you?’. Let’s repeat it together: Yak spravy? The other person replies: Diakuiu, dobre (which means ‘Thank you, good’) and asks a yak ty? (which means ‘and how are you?’). The answer is nepohano – ‘not bad’).
As you can see, there are two ways of asking how someone is doing. The simplest way is to say Yak vy? (‘polite’ or ordinary plural) and Yak ty? (singular). This literally means ‘How are you?’ Let’s repeat this together: Yak ty?, Yak vy? Another way of asking this is by saying Yak spravy? which literally means ‘How are things (going)?’ Let’s repeat this again: Yak spravy?
And a cultural note: Ukrainians ask other people how they are doing only when they are friends and when they are really interested to know the answer.
Now listen to the dialogue again.
|Як справи?||Yak spravy?||How are you?|
|Як ти?||Yak ty?||How are you? (informal)|
|Як ви?||Yak vy?||How are you? (‘polite’ or plural)|
Now listen to another dialogue. This time, the people don’t know each other so well, so they use the more formal як ви Yak vy? instead of Yak ty? for ‘And you?’
Transcript: Audio 32
|Мартa Доброго ранку, Віро!||Marta Dobroho ranku, Viro!|
|Вірa Доброго ранку, Марто!||Vira Dobroho ranku, Marto!|
|Мартa Як справи?||Marta Yak spravy?|
|Вірa Добре, дякую, а як Ви?||Vira Dobre, diakuiu, a yak vy?|
|Мартa Теж непогано.||Marta Tezh nepohano.|