It’s a Slavic language, and uses the Cyrillic alphabet. It’s the second most common Slavic language. Its origin dates back to the Kievan Rus’, from the 9th century. It still exists today, even though the Russian tsar banned it twice, and its speakers were persecuted between the 19th and the 20th century. It remained thanks to its popular folk songs and great poets (Shevchenko, Ukrainka). There are 37 million native Ukrainian speakers worldwide, most of them are from Ukraine, Russia, Brazil and the US. Its alphabet has 33 letters. Foreigners might find this phrase surprising: „Ta ni, ne znaju”. It means “Yes no, I don’t know”. A sentence, which means no, contains yes. Although no one officially acknowledged it, it’s a well-known fact that George Gershwin’s Summertime song is from the remake of a Ukrainian folk song.
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