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Expressions for Family and Relationships in Ukrainian

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Learning a new language often involves understanding the cultural nuances and expressions that are part of everyday communication. When it comes to family and relationships, each language has its own unique vocabulary. In Ukrainian, these words and phrases are rich with Slavic heritage and are vital for anyone looking to navigate social situations in Ukraine. Here are some essential Ukrainian expressions for talking about family and relationships:

Родина (rodyna) – Family
This is a general term for family, used to refer to the entire family unit or household.
Моя родина велика і дружня. (My family is big and friendly.)

Батьки (bat’ky) – Parents
The word for parents in Ukrainian is used to collectively mention your mother and father.
Мої батьки зараз на роботі. (My parents are at work right now.)

Мати (maty) – Mother
The Ukrainian word for mother is “mati”, a term of respect and endearment.
Моя мати найкраща кухарка. (My mother is the best cook.)

Батько (bat’ko) – Father
“Bat’ko” is the Ukrainian word for father, and it’s often used in a formal context.
Мій батько дуже мудрий. (My father is very wise.)

Брат (brat) – Brother
A male sibling is called a “brat” in Ukrainian.
Мій брат старший за мене на два роки. (My brother is two years older than me.)

Сестра (sestra) – Sister
The Ukrainian word for sister is “sestra”, used for a female sibling.
У мене є молодша сестра. (I have a younger sister.)

Діти (dity) – Children
This word refers to children, either your own or someone else’s.
Їхні діти дуже виховані. (Their children are very well-behaved.)

Хлопець (khopec’) – Boyfriend
A casual or serious male romantic partner is referred to as a “khopec'”.
Мій хлопець приготував вечерю. (My boyfriend cooked dinner.)

Дівчина (divchyna) – Girlfriend
This term is used for a female romantic partner, whether casually dating or in a committed relationship.
Моя дівчина вчителька. (My girlfriend is a teacher.)

Дружина (druzhyna) – Wife
A legally married female partner is known as a “druzhyna” in Ukrainian.
Моя дружина любить подорожувати. (My wife loves to travel.)

Чоловік (cholovik) – Husband
The Ukrainian word for a legally married male partner is “cholovik”.
Мій чоловік працює в лікарні. (My husband works at the hospital.)

Бабуся (babusya) – Grandmother
A warm term for grandmother, “babusya” is used with endearment in Ukrainian families.
Моя бабуся готує смачну їжу. (My grandmother cooks delicious food.)

Дідусь (didus’) – Grandfather
The Ukrainian word for grandfather, “didus'”, conveys respect and affection.
Мій дідусь був шахтарем. (My grandfather was a miner.)

Вуйко (vuyko) – Uncle
An uncle from either side of the family is referred to as “vuyko”.
Мій вуйко чудово співає. (My uncle sings wonderfully.)

Тітка (titka) – Aunt
This is the word for the sister of either parent, known as “titka”.
Моя тітка лікарка. (My aunt is a doctor.)

Племінник (pleminnyk) – Nephew
A son of one’s sibling or spouse’s sibling is called a “pleminnyk”.
Мій племінник їде в університет. (My nephew is going off to university.)

Племінниця (pleminnytsya) – Niece
The daughter of one’s sibling or spouse’s sibling is a “pleminnytsya”.
Моя племінниця ще в школі. (My niece is still in school.)

Understanding and using these expressions for family and relationships will not only help you communicate more effectively in Ukrainian but will also provide a deeper insight into the cultural values and social dynamics of Ukrainian-speaking societies. As in any language, these terms are often accompanied by a rich set of cultural customs and expectations, so getting familiar with them is a valuable part of your language learning journey.

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