Just how similar are the Ukrainian and Russian languages? Having served my mission in Ukraine, I get asked that question a lot. And like most people who served there or were born there, the answer is always the same – Very similar, like Spanish and Portuguese.
Well, my old friend Lilia has shed some new light on the subject:
The summary: these languages are almost as different as Spanish and Italian (38% VS 33% see below for details)! (My guess what Spanish and Portuguese)
“Ukrainian and Russian are both East Slavic languages, and share many grammatical and lexical features (see Bilaniuk, 2005: 203208 for a brief comparison). In lexicon, Ukrainian and Russian differ by 38%; the 62% of the lexicon that these languages have in common consists of 44% morphemically identical and 18% morphemically similar terms (Radchuk, 2002, citing research by Tyshchenko, 2000: 266267). In comparison, Spanish and Portuguese differ by 25%, Spanish and Italian by 33%, and German and Dutch by 25% (ibid).
Continue reading, since you’re so very interested!