Expatriate Life > Learning a new language

Language - Lesson 1 - Greetings!


Glyn Thomas.:
Nov Mova - our Language partner - have kindly agreed to post a language lesson each week for members.

This week we start softly... with "Greetings!"

Greetings! How do we greet each other here, in Ukraine?

Which situations do we use the following expressions to address people? Check yourself:
1. "gospodin"+surname (for a male), "gospozha"+surname (for a female) in Rus or corresponding in Ukr "pan"{pΛn}+ surname, "pani"{pΛni}+surname

2. "tovarishch", "grazhdanin"

3. "drug" (for a male), "podruga" (for a female)

4. "chouvak" (for a male), "chouvikha" (for a female)

5. "muzchina" (for a male), "zhenshchina" (for a lady), "molodoi chelovek" (for a male up to 30-35 visually) "devoushka" (for a young lady), "paren" (for a young male)

6. "baby!", "boy!" (Eng, Am.)


1.   Very official options. To be used at official meetings, for business correspondence. The address + surname is the most official option; the address + name is the most polite option, less official. Addressing just with "pan"/"pani" (without name) to an unknown person is the best option for the good-mannered communication style.

2.   Ex-Soviet official addressing. Nowadays is acceptable in very particular situations and to be used very carefully (e.g. while addressing the retired people of Soviet epoch and you are sure your interlocutor is not a Ukrainian nationalism addict).

3.   Informal, to be applied for addressing buddies or even unknown people of the same age (by males predominantly). In the second case it is used for setting informal friendly communication.

4.   The youth slang.

5.   The most widely spread common addressing to an unknown person both in Ukraine and Russia, though is not recommended to use by the good-mannered ones. The situation is similar to the current dispute as regards using "Madame" and "Mademoiselle" in France. The correct option choice depends on the age of the addressee. Are you sure you can evaluate it correctly by sight? For an appropriate decision have a look at Point 1.

6.    Very popular options by some foreigners for addressing a young lady or a guy (or service staff) in Ukraine. Never use those words here. They are insulting.
Our next lesson topic is informal common business expressions. Can you think of any? Post it and we will discuss it next time.

This is Ukrainian, right?

Either it's in Rus. or in Ukr. - is noticed. Some words in Rus. and Ukr. (e.g. 'drug') have similar spelling and pronunciation.


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