How to Say Really Silly Things in Ukraine

Kiev in Ukraine with city centre architecture
Hell yeah!

Right, so we were in Ukraine recently after an alien abduction went wrong. And whilst in the country we got some of the lingo down.

Not to a tee, more of a… z. As in, not very well. But that hasn’t stopped us compiling this exhilarating guide to basic Ukrainian terms and phrases.

It’s like Lost in Translation, but with more borsch.

Non-Essential Terms For Use in Ukraine

So here they are. You don’t need to be in Ukraine to use them, of course, just ensure you’re able to spout them at your nearest human being. Enjoy!

Is it absolutely necessary to insert that there?

Чи це абсолютно необхідно вставити туди? Pronunciation: Chy tse absolyutno neobkhidno vstavyty tudy?

Where did you obtain those onions from?

Звідки ви взяли цю цибулю? Pronunciation: Zvidky vy vzyaly tsyu tsybulyu?

No I will not ingest that turnip in the street! It would disrupt traffic!

Ні, я не буду ковтати цю ріпу на вулиці! Це порушило б рух транспорту! Pronunciation: Ni, ya ne budu kovtaty tsyu ripu na vulytsi! Tse porushylo b rukh transportu!

What do you mean I’m vomiting too much? I think this amount is perfectly adequate!

Що ви маєте на увазі, що я занадто рвота? Я вважаю, що ця сума цілком адекватна! Pronunciation: Shcho vy mayete na uvazi, shcho ya zanadto rvota? YA vvazhayu, shcho tsya suma tsilkom adekvatna!

What? No! I am fine with sprinting instead of walking in this walking only area. Back off!

Що? Немає! У мене все добре зі спринтом замість того, щоб ходити в цій зоні, де є тільки прогулянки. Відступаємо! Pronunciation: Shcho? Nemaye! U mene vse dobre zi spryntom zamistʹ toho, shchob khodyty v tsiy zoni, de ye tilʹky prohulyanky. Vidstupayemo!

Seriously, there aren’t enough sandwiches in the world!

Серйозно, у світі недостатньо бутербродів! Pronunciation: Seryozno, u sviti nedostatnʹo buterbrodiv!

I created a new sandwich shop called An Excellent Sandwich Shop but customers thought the sandwiches weren’t at all excellent. This is ironic.

Я створив новий магазин бутербродів під назвою An Excellent Sandwich Shop. Це іронія. Pronunciation: YA stvoryv novyy mahazyn buterbrodiv pid nazvoyu An Excellent Sandwich Shop. Tse ironiya.

I went to rob a bank but bought a bagel instead. It was a nice bagel.

Я пішов пограбувати банк, але замість цього купив бублик. Це був гарний бублик. Pronunciation: YA pishov pohrabuvaty bank, ale zamistʹ tsʹoho kupyv bublyk. Tse buv harnyy bublyk.

I don’t think murdering everyone with an axe will solve anything!

Я не думаю, що вбивство всіх сокирою нічого не вирішить! Pronunciation: YA ne dumayu, shcho vbyvstvo vsikh sokyroyu nichoho ne vyrishyt!

Perhaps today I will eat cheese with a cheesecake.

Я не пам’ятаю, коли востаннє їв ріпу, покриту варенням
Можливо, сьогодні я з’їм сир з чізкейком. Pronunciation: YA ne pamʺyatayu, koly vostannye yiv ripu, pokrytu varennyam Mozhlyvo, sʹohodni ya z’yim syr z chizkeykom.


  1. Oh, man, that translation for “I went to rob a bank but bought a bagel instead. It was a nice bagel.” could have really come in handy the last time I was in Ukraine. Too bad this guide came too late.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Kiev International Airport is, at once, highly sophisticated and a bit all over the place. It was fun. But I didn’t spot any turnips. I did have a lot of borsch during the trip, though.


  2. So naturally I had to run your Ukrainian through the translation plug-in on my web browser, which mostly agreed with your translations. I was already laughing before I got to the last one, which didn’t match quite so much. I’m crying now

    “I don’t remember the last time I ate turnips covered in jam
    Maybe I’ll have cheesecake today.”

    Liked by 2 people

Dispense with some gibberish!

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