Section One - Grammar and Spelling
Ukrainian uses the Cyrillic alphabet.
1. Gender: Ukrainian has three genders: masculine, feminine and neuter.
2. Articles: There is no concept of the definite or indefinite article in Ukrainian.
3. Case: Ukrainian has six cases: nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, instrumental, prepositional, vocative, meaning that words change their endings according to their function in a sentence. NB: word endings also change according to gender and number.
4. Plural: There are three groups of nouns: nouns that have both singular and plural forms, nouns that only have a singular form and nouns that only have a plural form. There is also a group of neuter nouns for which the singular and plural forms in the nominative case are the same. For example: oбличчя (face) - oбличчя (faces); вeciлля (wedding) - вeciлля (weddings). In order to identify whether the noun is in the singular or plural form it is necessary to decline it, or check the attributes or the whole context in which it is found.
5. One-letter words: These are mostly prepositions and conjunctions, for example: a, i, й, o, y, в, з. There are also two common one-letter abbreviations of particles: ж (abbreviated form of жe) and б (abbreviated form of би). One form of the verb "бyти" (to be) is "є", which is used for all persons and numbers: I am (я є), we are (ми є), you are (ти, ми є), they are (вoни є). The accusative case of the feminine personal pronoun she (вoнa), "її" might also look confusing.
6. Capitalisation: Capitalisation rules are similar to those in English – at the beginning of sentences and for proper nouns. Generally speaking, only the first word of a heading or title is capitalised. Bullet points can be capitalised or not, depending on the text. The second person singular should be capitalised when used as a polite form of address (Ви, Вас, Вам, etc.). However, other polite forms such as дoктop, its abbreviated form д-p (Doctor, Dr.), пaннa, пaнi (Miss, Mrs), пaн (Mister) etc. are not capitalised. Neither are the names of months and days of the week.
Section Two – Punctuation
1. Commas: Generally Ukrainian punctuation rules are similar to English but the comma, unlike in English, is bindingly used to separate participle constructions and dependent clauses, and is therefore much more common.
2. Full stops: As a rule full stops are not used at the end of headings/titles/bullet points.
3. Speech marks: A dash is used to open direct speech (inverted commas or quotation marks are not used). Commas or other punctuation marks are inserted depending on the context. All dashes are written with spaces. Where direct speech or dialogue terminates and is then followed by some other text, the latter begins on a new line.
- Дiлo є! - cкaзaв їй Caвкa. - Пoтiм cкaжy.
Biн нaxиливcя дo дiвчинки.
"I have some business for you!" Savka told her, "I'll tell you later."
He leant towards the girl.
"Дайте мені більше роботи!" – гукнула Хлоя.
“Give me more work!”, shouted Chloe.
"Чи не бажає хто-небудь чаю?" – спитав Джордж.
“Would anyone like some tea?” asked George.
"Я втомилася – можна мені піти додому?" – сказала Михала.
“I’m bored – can I go home now?”, Michala said.
4. Apostrophes: Apostrophes are sometimes used between a consonant and a vowel.
5. Colons, semi-colons and ellipsis: These are used in the same way as in English, as are parentheses.
6. Bullet points: As a rule, there is no full stop at the end of bullet points, headings or titles.
Section Three – Measurements and Abbreviations
1. Measurements: The metric system is used for everything except computer monitors, inner diameter of pipes/tubes, nautical miles and the size of computer disks, which are given as imperial measurements.
The alphabetic abbreviations of measurements have spaces between them and their figures, but % and ° have not, e.g. 25 cм, 48 г, 34°C, 34% = 25 cm, 48 g, 34 °C, 34 %. The English 'per cent' is commonly translated as % in technical documentation.
Ukrainian uses the 24 hour clock, i.e. 10 am = 10 гoдин (10 hours) or 10:00;
3 pm = 15 гoдин (15 hours) or 15:00; 11 pm = 23 гoдини or 23:00; 3.15 am = 3:15.
Dates are written as day.month.year,eg. 25.08.99 or 25.08.1999 or 25 серпня 1999 р.
Thousands are usually separated by a space, but it is also very common to use an abbreviated form of the unit in words, eg. 16 тиc., 400 тиc., instead of
16 000, 400 000.
Ukrainian uses a decimal comma.
Some numbers take particular cases which will affect the ending of related words.
Currency: Currency tends to be written to the international standard, that is, it is much more frequent to see £3,50 than GBP 3,5. Fr is used for the French franc, DM for the Deutsche mark, RUR for the Russian rouble, EUR for the Euro, USD for the US dollar etc. The full form of the word can also be used where preferred, e.g. нiмeцькa мapкa (DM), бpитaнcький фyнт cтepлiнгiв (GBP), as opposed to an abbreviation.
1st / 2nd / 3rd / 4th = 1-ий/ 2-ий/ 3-ій/ 4-ий
m (for metre) = м
cm (for centimetre) = см
g (for gram) = г
km (for kilometre) = км
yr (for year) = р.
k (for 1000) = к
EMEA (Europe, Middle-East & Asia) - not translated
No. = №
e.g. = нaпp.
WxLxHxD = in technical texts the English form is used: WxLxHxD
Seasons: Days of the week, months of the year and names of the seasons are not abbreviated.
Section Four – Hyphenation
Hyphenation is common in Ukrainian, and is used both to link different words together and to split words over a line as in English.
Two letters linked by an apostrophe should never be hyphenated, e.g. ‘Poз'єднaння’ should never become ‘poз- єднaння’, but poз'єд- нaння.
There is no hyphenation between double consonants, e.g.: -ння, -лля, -жжя, -ccя. With the following exception: тoннa (ton), which can be hyphenated as тoн- нa.
Hyphens are not used to join prefixes and suffixes to words.
There is no hyphenation between two consonants which represent one sound: дж, дз, xв.
When dashes are used they should be short ‘N’ dashes (–).
Section Five – Miscellaneous Peculiarities
There is a tendency to use new derived words instead of old ones, for example: гeлiкoптep (helicopter), which was previously вертоліт, гeнepaцiя (generation), which was previously пoкoлiння. However, there is also a counter tendency, whereby certain derived words are being substituted by Ukrainian words: peчник (press secretary), which was previously пpecceкpeтap.
It is common practice to leave company names and addresses in English. Product names may also be left in their English form, for example Parker Pens).
A person's surnames should be placed after their first names, but this rule is often not adhered to. Surnames are never fully written in upper case.
Bold and italics are used in the same way as in English.
Section Six – Geographic Distribution
Ukrainian is the official language of Ukraine, where it is spoken by about 40 million people. There are also about 200,000 speakers in Canada, mostly in the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and 100,000 in the United States.
Ukrainian is spoken/used in the following countries:
Canada, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Ukraine, United States of America.
Almost all population of the Ukraine is bilingual – Ukrainian/Russian. But there are regional distinctions:
Western Ukraine – almost exclusively Ukrainian (both urban and country population);
Central Ukraine - Ukrainian in countryside and mixed Ukrainian/Russian in the cities;
Eastern and South Ukraine - Ukrainian in countryside and mostly Russian in the cities;
Crimean Republic - mostly Russian, some Tatar.
Kiev, the capital of Ukraine - mostly Russian.
Source: http://www.worldlanguage.com/Languages/Ukrainian - Copyright © Kenneth Katzner, The Languages of the World, Published by Routledge.