Ukrainian

Ballons in the colors of Ukraine at Mykolaiv Zoo.
Ballons in the colors of Ukraine at Mykolaiv Zoo.

I have always been interested in Slavic languages since school, but Ukrainian had not been on my agenda until 2017. What happened then? Well, that year, I got to know an Ukrainian woman from my city via Internet. We met, became friends, and she offered to help me with my Russian. I became interested in her mother tongue which appeared to me as being both somehow similiar to and somehow different from Russian. Being part of the Slavic department and already knowing our Ukrainian language teacher beforehand, it was not hard for me to take the chance to study Ukrainian. However, my journey first led me to three different cities.

Petro Mohyla on the university's emblem, taken in one of the classrooms inside university
Petro Mohyla on the university's emblem, taken in one of the classrooms inside university

In August 2017, I took part in the Greifswalder Ukrainicum, themed "Euromaidan's Dead End?" this year, which is a summer school that aims at introducing people to Ukrainian culture and its language. I took classes in politics and poetry as well as an A1 language course. Only a month later, I flew to Ukraine to attend a DAAD Go East summer school at  Petro Mohyla Black Sea State University in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, called Jewish history in Southern Ukraine”, where I also took a language class and had the amazing opportunity to experience Ukraine myself. During that stay, I have been to Mykolaiv, Odessa, and a village called Plyushchivka. In all these places, I received a wonderful impression of Ukraine and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Mykolaiv's city hall at night, illuminated in yellow and blue
Mykolaiv's city hall at night, illuminated in yellow and blue

Back in Germany, I decided to study Ukrainian at my university in order to improve my language skills even more. I underwent an entry-level test with our Ukrainian teacher and was granted the opportunity to join the B1 course which I completed with successfully and with a pretty good grade on top of that. In August 2018, I returned to Greifswald for another Ukrainicum and completed a B1 course this time. Although I repeated a lot of stuff I already knew, I learned a lot of new grammar and vocabulary. Plus, I really needed that repetition. In October 2018, I'll take part in an excursion to L'viv and Kyiv.