Initiatives for Teaching Ukrainian Language on Rise in Japan


Tokyo, April 19 (Jiji Press)--Amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, efforts to boost people's interest in the Ukrainian language are spreading online in Japan.

Nataliya Gudziy, a Ukrainian musician in Tokyo who plays the bandura, a folk instrument, has been making daily posts about the language on Twitter since March 22, roughly a month after the invasion started Feb. 24.

Using the hashtag "katteni Ukrainago kaiwa," or "Ukrainian conversation lessons on my own," 42-year-old Gudziy has been tweeting everyday Ukrainian phrases such as "dyakuyu" and "bud laska," which mean "thank you" and "you're welcome," respectively. The phrases are transliterated in "katakana" Japanese characters.

According to her office, Gudziy, who wants people in Japan to feel closer to Ukraine, has been posting between practice sessions.

The operator of the Duolingo language-learning app released an introductory guide to the Ukrainian language online in mid-March. The guide includes unique pronunciation and grammatical features compared to Russian, a similar language.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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