A dialect is a territorial, professional or social variant of a standard literary language.
In the Ukrainian language there are 3 major dialectical groups according to territory: the south-western group, the south-eastern group and the northern group of dialects.
|Podillian||spoken in the southern parts of the Vinnytsia and Khmelnytskyi Oblasts, in the northern part of the Odessa Oblast, and in the adjacent districts of the Cherkasy Oblast, the Kirovohrad Oblast and the Mykolaiv Oblast.|
|Volynian||spoken in Rivne and Volyn, as well as in parts of Zhytomyr and Ternopil. It is also used in Chełm in Poland.|
|Upper Dniestrian||considered to be the main Galician dialect, spoken in the Lviv, Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk Oblasts. Its distinguishing characteristics are the influence of Polish and the German vocabulary, which is reminiscent of the Austro-Hungarian rule.|
|Pokuttia (Bukovynian)||spoken in the Chernivtsi Oblast of Ukraine. This dialect has some distinct vocabulary borrowed from Romanian.|
|Hutsul||spoken by the Hutsul people on the northern slopes of the Carpathian Mountains, in the extreme southern parts of the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, as well as in parts of the Chernivtsi and Transcarpathian Oblasts.|
|Boyko||spoken by the Boyko people on the northern side of the Carpathian Mountains in the Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk Oblasts. It can also be heard across the border in the Subcarpathian Voivodeship of Poland.|
|Lemko||spoken by the Lemko people, most of whose homeland rests outside the current political borders of Ukraine in the Prešov Region of Slovakia along the southern side of the Carpathian Mountains, and in the southeast of modern Poland, along the northern sides of the Carpathians.|
|Rusyn||spoken by the Rusyn people, who live in Transcarpathia around Uzhhorod. It is similar to the Lemko dialect but differs from them by the active use of Russian and Hungarian elements. There is an active movement to make this dialect a separate language distinct from Ukrainian.|
|Middle Dnieprian||the basis of the Standard Literary Ukrainian. It is spoken in the central part of Ukraine, primarily in the southern and eastern part of the Kiev Oblast). In addition, the dialects spoken in Cherkasy, Poltava and Kiev regions are considered to be close to "standard" Ukrainian.|
|Slobozhan||spoken in Kharkiv, Sumy, Luhansk, and the northern part of Donetsk, as well as in the Voronezh and Belgorod regions of Russia. This dialect is formed from a gradual mixture of Russian and Ukrainian, with progressively more Russian in the northern and eastern parts of the region. Thus, there is no linguistic border between Russian and Ukrainian, and thus, both grammar sets can be applied. This dialect is considered a transitional dialect between Ukrainian and Russian.|
|Steppe||is spoken in southern and southeastern Ukraine. This dialect was originally the main language of the Zaporozhian Cossacks.|
|Eastern Polissian||spoken in Chernihiv (excluding the southeastern districts), in the northern part of Sumy, and in the southeastern portion of the Kiev Oblast as well as in the adjacent areas of Russia, which include the southwestern part of the Bryansk Oblast (the area around Starodub), as well as in some areas in the Kursk, Voronezh and Belgorod Oblasts. No linguistic border can be defined. The vocabulary approaches Russian as the language approaches the Russian Federation. Both Ukrainian and Russian grammar sets can be applied to this dialect. Thus, this dialect can be considered a transitional dialect between Ukrainian and Russian.|
|Central Polissian||spoken in the northwestern part of the Kiev Oblast, in the northern part of Zhytomyr and the northeastern part of the Rivne Oblast.|
|West Polissian||spoken in the northern part of the Volyn Oblast, the northwestern part of the Rivne Oblast as well as in the adjacent districts of the Brest Voblast in Belarus. The dialect spoken in Belarus uses Belarusian grammar, and thus is considered by some to be a dialect of Belarusian.|
Dialects outside of Ukraine
|Upper Sannian||spoken in the border area between Ukraine and Poland in the San river valley. Often confused as Lemko or Lyshak.|
|Balachka||spoken in the Kuban region of Russia, by the Kuban Cossacks. The Kuban Cossacks being descendants of the Zaporozhian Cossacks are beginning to consider themselves as a separate ethnic identity. Their dialect is based on Middle Dnieprian with the Ukrainian grammar. It includes dialectical words of central Ukrainian with frequent inclusion of Russian vocabulary, in particular for modern concepts and items. It varies somewhat from one area to another.|
Rusyn is considered by some Rusyn linguists and Rusyns to be a separate language:
- Rusyn has only been recently considered a Slavic literary language, and was codified only recently in Slovakia in 1995. Rusyn has been spoken for several hundred years by over 1100 Rusyn Villages in the Carpathian Mountains and surrounding areas. The Rusyn however varies from location to location and is influenced by the languages that are spoken nearby which can include Polish, Slovakian, Hungarian, Romanian and literary Ukrainian.
The Rusyn language is considered to be a dialect of Ukrainian by Ukrainian linguists:
- Dolinian Rusyn or Subcarpathian Rusyn is spoken in the Transcarpathian Oblast.
- Pannonian or Bačka Rusyn is spoken in northwestern Serbia and eastern Croatia. Rusin language of the Bačka dialect has been recognised as one of the official languages of the Serbian Autonomous Province of Vojvodina).
- Pryashiv Rusyn is the Ukrainian dialect spoken in the Prešov (in Ukrainian: Pryashiv) region of Slovakia, as well as by some émigré communities, primarily in the United States of America.
Ukrainian is also spoken by a large émigré population, particularly in Canada, The United States, Brazil, Argentina, and Australia. The founders of this population primarily emigrated from Galicia, which used to be part of Austro-Hungary before World War I, and belonged to Poland between the World Wars. The language spoken by most of them is based on the Galician dialect of Ukrainian from the first half of the twentieth century. Compared with modern Ukrainian, the vocabulary of Ukrainians outside Ukraine reflects less influence of Russian, yet may contain Polish or German loanwords. It often contains many loanwords from the local language as well (e.g. снікерси sneekersy, for "sneakers" in the United States).
In recent times there have been attempts to categorise some of the Ukrainian dialects into separate languages. This has been happening primarily in the Carpathian regions of Ukraine, but also with the speakers of the Polissian dialect, the Kuban dialect and Rusyn. The debates as to independence of these dialects-languages has promoted inflamed discussions.
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