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9

Definitely not Ukrainian If you know Russian AND English you will be able to communicate with the vast majority of people. Now choosing the language to try first is a little bit tricky. I would say that with people who are definitely under 30 try English first. With people over 40 try Russian first. In Riga (not sure about the rest of Latvia) almost ...


8

Don't focus on either language because you are unlikely to achieve reasonable proficiency in either considering a few hours per week for a few weeks. What you should focus on is reading, especially place names. Both the Russian and Ukrainian alphabets are similar to each other and not very different from the Latin script that you are familiar with. Learn ...


8

So then, let's look to official statistics. Lithuania - According to the Lithuanian population census of 2001, about 84% of the country's population speak Lithuanian as their native language, 8.2% are native speakers of Russian and 5.8% of Polish. More than 60% are fluent in Russian, while only about 16% say they can speak English. Latvia - In the 2000 ...


7

That is true that relationships are a little cold, but I didn't notice any open hostility while traveling to Baltic countries. Since people there have different attitude to Russian language (some may consider it as language of their oppressors), I try by default to start conversation in English (it is spoken at sufficient level by many people), if the person ...


5

Russian, no contest. Not quite where you mention (presumably thankfully!) but not far off: The Russian language in Ukraine is the most common first language in the Donbass and Crimea regions, and the predominant language in large cities in the East and South of the country. In Ukraine the ratio may be nearer 50/50 but there are approximately five ...


2

Russian and Ukranian are not so very close languages. But the locals used to practice funny type of conversations when one interlocutor speaks Russian (Ukranian) and receives and understands an answer in Ukranian (Russian). May be this not the case now... If I were you, I would concentrate on Cyrillic alphabet, so that I would be able to understand simple ...


1

pnuts' answer is mostly correct but he uses a bit outdated sources. There were never U/R 50/50 ratio in Ukraine. I would say 70/30 and Russian usage is decreasing since most of the young population learns only Ukrainian. Unfortunately I have to agree with pnuts that if you want to travel to post soviet countries frequently you should better learn Russian ...


1

Five to ten hours a week for a for weeks is enough to understand a little bit of the basics of either Ukrainian or Russian. The languages are very similar, so in that sense it doesn't matter too much which language you pick. That said, if you're going to western Ukraine, it'd be more sensible to try your luck with Ukrainian as Russian is more common in the ...


1

It actually varies by region. Most people you will encounter will understand Russian but not necessarily respond to you in the same language for various reasons. So depending on where you will be visiting you may need to be able to do both and a few weeks crash course in either one will be insufficient unless you are familiar with other languages in the ...


1

In Russia, there are still a lot of people who don't understand English for good. Ukrainian language is better here, but also not perfect. In Baltic, Russian may be problematic inside youth. ">30" people mostly can to use this language. I think best choice is Russian language. English as a second.



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