The Ukrainian language in the world

ukrainian

Part 2

Read in French

It is interesting to know that there is the boulevard de Sébastopol in Paris. It is located in the 1st-4th arrondissement. The boulevard is 1,3 kilometers long. There are lots of shops and restaurants. It is also one of the main roads in Paris. Originally, Sebastopol is an Ukrainian city in Crimea. In the years of 1854-55, there was a war between France, Britain and Russia. As the result, Napoleon III occupied Sebastopol. The 8th of September 1855, after the end of the war, the long road in Paris was renamed as the boulevard de Sébastopol.

Not only the names of the streets and boulevards connect Ukraine and France. We can also speak about famous French writers. Let’s take Honoré de Balzac. He visited Ukraine and had nice memories about this country. At the age of 33, he received a letter from Odessa. It was a Polish woman who had a rich estate in Ukraine. Her name was Ewelina Hanska. The letter was about his roman “La femme de trente ans”. They started to correspond to each other. And after some time, their friendship transformed into a real love. Balzac visited Kiev six times. One of that times was to get married with Ewelina. Balzac spent almost two years of his life in Ukraine. He was amazed by the Ukrainian fields and the rich soil.

Of course, we have to mention French borrowings in the Ukrainian language. Borrowing are the words that came to a language from another one, in the result of language contacts. The borrowing word doesn’t change its meaning and it exists in every modern language. The most popular borrowed word is “café”. There are 9 percent of borrowed words from French in the Ukrainian language. Usually, these words come from the literature, art or historically. The meaning of the word also doesn’t change. There are some examples of the borrowed words:

élégant, chaussée, chaise longue, chef d’œuvre, paquet, omelette, narcotique, meuble, maquillage, magazin, courrier, confus, compote, douche, divan, déjà vu, gardine, garde-robe, boulevard, asphalte, ensemble.

You can read Part 1 here

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4 Comments

  1. That’s very interesting! Especially the part about borrowings! Dutch has so many borrowings from English and French, that you can practically understand 40% of the language without knowing any Dutch words (that was a totally made-up percentage, to be honest).

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