I would like to know how different these two languages are since I will need to learn both. Can someone help me with this?
Hi) Lexical similarity between English and German 51%, between Ukrainian and Russian 62% ) There are a some word which similar spelling, but usually they sound very differently. So, first of all, the difference between the two languages in phonetics. The Ukrainian language has open sounds, Russian language often sounds more reduced (stressed).
For example, we write the word "молоко"(milk) in both languages similarly. But in Ukrainian it is sounds like [moloko], in Russian [mlako] or [malako]. In the Ukrainian language the words sound as written, in Russian the words often don`t sound as written. There are many exceptions in Russian. Therefore, it is more and more easier to learn Ukrainian. Especially for English-speaker (because of open vowels).
Often there are mistakes in pronunciation of Cyrillic letters "e", "i", "и" and "ы". These letters have a different sound in Ukrainian and Russian language.
All the words vary according to voice, mood, tense, number, and person. In many cases, they are not identical in Ukrainian and Russian. Also, very often the sentence isn't built the same way. These languages have different phraseology, constant expressions, proverb and sayings. But the Cyrillic symbols and similar spelling of words makes an impression similarity of these languages.
Kuba Some of my friends told me who speak Ukrainian and Russian can understand Polish and Belarussian even if they can't speak. I share the opinion of mix languages it's horrible, it's ugly, in my opinion.
I studied boths one month but I needed stop and I still without understand how people can say they are similar, ok I need admit they are a little similar but just a little have different accent, the Ukrainian have letters the Russian don't have etc. I think if you study the basic but juut the basic of boths you will discover the differences. I like more Ukrainian but Russian it's more easy because have some similarities with the Portuguese.
Kuba About what you told about the languages in Ukraine who spoke what. After X (I don't know but was after 2000) year in Ukraine they just put Ukrainian as a official language but you can use the Russian in official places like courts, hospitals etc but in school they speak in Ukraine. I met a lot of Ukrainians and I've also some friends and even if they are from the east they refuse speak Russian but they know speak, now the new generation it's a little difference I met few people with less than 15 years and they are probably B1/ B2 in Russian.