Ukraine and language

Before Russians started pressing the "language button" 10+ years ago, nobody here gave a damn whether you spoke Ukrainian or Russian.
But Ukrainian designated the country's only official language in 1989, so even if a culture of day-to-day bilingualism was widely accepted in practice, it's pretty clear that the Ukranian government would prefer that it's citizens spoke Ukranian, and pursued policies to that effect. It would be a strange if not unique situation for two languages to enjoy perfect equality in every respect, except in law.
Not really - those three are all independent - if related - languages.
Thanks. The article does say that Ukranian language uses Cyrillic alphabet/script, which I believe Russia does as well. It makes sense to me that the languages would be related, indeed it has been my observation, that the languages of regions, like the ethnicities of the people, tend to blend as you move from region to region. So I am curious how similar Ukrainian language is to Russian. Shared/similar language (along with ethnicity) can sometimes help neighboring states get along with each other. Obviously this does not prevent all conflict as we are seeing in the current war. Again thanks for the link.
How would it be a "combination"? It's an East Slavic language, like Russian also is, so they are close. Polish as West Slavic a further removed from both.
I don't know. That's why I was asking. Many languages, American English, for example contains words, grammar, concept from multiple different languages, and that is without even getting into all the different regional dialects that you get, the geographically larger/diverse a country is and the more populous it is. I was wondering, since folks here would have some insight, what makes up the Ukrainian language.
I think this would be roughly like describing Dutch as a combination of German and English?
I don't know... Is it? Dutch I mean?
I don't know... Is it? Dutch I mean?
You could say Ukrainian sounds like a mix of the two.

But considering that Ukraine is currently being attacked by Russia, whereas propaganda of the latter attempts to cancel entire Ukrainian culture, claiming Ukrainians are essentially just Russians gone astray who need to be brought back into the Empire for re-education, you might want to phrase this a bit more carefully :)
I wonder if the difference between Ukrainian and Russian would be like Azeri and Turkish from Turkey.
Very possible, yes. But as much as I know about the difference between the two (and I know very little) I'd say that Ukrainian and Russian are less similar. As I said before, a Russian who never been exposed to Ukrainian language environment won't understand much because many essential words are plain different as well as some aspects of grammar. And it's not only my guess, I've seen that myself when Russians from Russia didn't have a damn clue what was spoken to them when they heard proper Ukrainian. And I mean proper, not "surzhyk"
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I don't know... Is it? Dutch I mean?

Nah languages branch off and diverge into different forms over time when separated from each other. Then, with all those forked off local varieties, modern states and institutions established standard forms from among the many that exist locally (typically the version spoken by the rich people in the capital).

So German, Dutch, English and Swedish and many others in the area are Germanic languages in a single family tree. Those forked off at different points in the last couple thousand years, local people generally communicated easily enough with their near neighbours.

Dutch and English are closer to each other than modern German. However, all three are standardised/prestigious ideals of a variety of dialect forms. There was/is a continuum of dialects and languages between standard Dutch and standard German. If you were to go from village to village between Amsterdam and Berlin or Munich, you wouldn't find two adjacent local varieties that were fully unintelligible from each other, but gradually Dutch would be turning into German as you travelled. If you went north from Amsterdam you'd instead move into areas where the local dialect is closer to English (called Frisian)

Slavic languages have similar forked tree relationships, Ukrainian and Russian and Polish are all different points in the branches of Slavic languages, and all three are standardisation established from different locations there (you'll be shocked to learn that the Kyiv and Moscow varieties form a lot of the modern standard versions there, though I think Polish is a bit harder to pin down on that front due no doubt to its very complex and fragmented process of state formation). Belarusian is another that's close to Russian and Ukrainian while Polish is closer to Czech and the languages in former Yugoslavia are another group. They're all versions of Slavic languages that developed over time from earlier ancestors, though.

Going back far enough the Slavic and the Germanic languages and others (like Romance) themselves are forked off from Indo-European, so there's ultimately a distant commonality between most (but not all) languages stretching from England to Persia and Northern India. The relationship is all modern languages developing simultaneously, though, rather than some modern languages being descended from other modern languages.

Languages rarely combine with each other, except in cases of forced prolonged contact in an isolated situation between groups with nothing in common language-wise. When this does occur, it happens through stages of pidgins and then creoles - basically people make do and construct a way to communicate simply with regularised and reduced versions of their languages. Then later on their kids inherit the result as a mother tongue, and turn it into a full new language. Most examples of contemporary languages that originally developed that way are the result of colonialism and slavery. Think of Haitian Kreyol or Jamaican Patois which are the majority languages in those countries and have official status alongside French and English, respectively. There's dozens of such examples around Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.
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I believe Russian and Ukrainian (Belorussian too) are more similar. If you know Russian, you can understand people speaking Ukrainian pretty well without learning it, and vice versa. Difference between Spanish and Portuguese is probably closer to the difference between Russian and Czech or Polish. If I hear people speaking Polish, I can make out some words, but generally cannot understand what they are talking about. Ukrainian doesn't take much effort to understand for me, even though I never learned it.

The difference between Russian and Polish sounds closer to the difference between Portuguese and French or Italian. The only way for a Portuguese-speaker to not understand Spanish speech to at least some extent would be if they had practically zero contact with the Spanish language in their life, or if it's a particularly difficult dialect of Spanish (e.g. I have a much easier time understanding Buenos Aires Spanish than Madrid Spanish), which sounds closer to the difference between Russian and Ukrainian. That being said, Spanish-speakers do have a noticeably harder time understanding Portuguese speech, especially if its from the other side of the Atlantic. As a rule, written intelligibility is also much easier than spoken intelligibility between Romance languages and dialects
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