My first ever blog entry last April noted my efforts not to be discouraged when I attempted to speak Ukrainian and people burst out laughing.  In a later entry, I noted learning the invaluable phrases "I completely agree", "I share your opinion", and "You're totally wrong". 

Last week I made some new MP3 files of useful Ukrainian words and phrases, which I listened to for the first time today while walking down to and onto the frozen Dnipr (see photo).  My excellent Ukrainian teacher always tries to look out vocab from articles and broadcasts which will be useful to me in my contacts with politicians, officials and journalists; so I was intrigued to see how the phrases had evolved over the time I've been learning.  Here are a few:

December 2008: "The political crisis has been overcome" (possibly a bit premature - Ed). January 2009: "To cut off the gas supply"; "unreliable"; and "Europe is today without gas".  March 2009: "In Ukraine no-one is seeking a way out of the crisis".  May 2009: "What can rescue the country?"  June 2009: "Global Financial Crisis".  September 2009: "I feel tired".  October 2009: "It is impermissible to remain indifferent".  January 2010: "[The politician] is accused of trying to disrupt the elections"; and "Each must be responsible for their choice".

It's all splendid stuff, and there are several phrases here I've used often (guess which).  The question is, what phrases will I be learning from the Ukrainian media over the months after the second round of the presidential elections on 7 February?  Any suggestions?

Leigh Turner
British Ambassador to Ukraine

NOTE:  You can read all of Ambassador Turner's blogs by visiting:

Ukrayinska Dumka


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