Western Ukrainian Dialects

western ukraine dialect

This article is a part of a series of articles about Ukrainian dialects and sociolects.

Today we will tell you about The South-Western dialect group (Південно–західне наріччя). These dialects are spoken in Halychyna (Галичина), Volyn (Волинь), Zakarpattia (Закарпаття), and Bukovyna (Буковина).

Such ethnic groups as hutsuly (гуцули), lemky (лемки), and boiky (бойки) live there.

western ukraine dialect

The South-Western dialect group (Південно–західне наріччя) is red and pink

Photo credit

It might be challenging to understand some speakers of this dialect because they live in the mountain villages and don’t interact with others very much. This part of Ukraine was also split by different countries: Poland, the Austro–Hungarian Empire, and the Kingdom of Romania.


  1. Unstressed /o/ will become /y/:

Гоулу́бка – голубка ( dove, female pigeon)

Воуда́ – вода (water)

  1. /е/ and /и/ might be mixed (especially in Bukovyna):

Жиеве́ – живе (lives)

Же́то – жито (wheat)

western ukraine dialect

Wheat. Жи́то.

  1. In the Carpathian dialect, there is a sound /ы/:

Сы́ны – сини́ (sons)

Бы́лы – були́ (were)

  1. In Halychyna and Bukovyna, after soft and hissing consonants, the sound /а/ turns into /е/, /і/, /и/:

Чіс – час (time)

Ши́пка – ша́пка (hat)

Hutsul hat. Гуцу́льська ша́пка.

 The stress is often different from standard Ukrainian:

Бу́ла – була́ (was for female)

То́бі – тобі́ (to you)

Мо́я – моя́ (my)

Не́сти – нести́ (to carry)


  1. Old forms of dative and instrumental cases of singular pronouns:

мі, ми – мені, ті, ти – тобі, си – собі, м’а – мене, т’а – тебе, с’а – себе

Як т’а зва́ти? Як тебе звати?

What is your name?

Що ти купи́ти? Що тобі купити?

What do you want me to buy for you?

  1. Multiple forms of Future tense:

бýду писáти, бýду писáв, писáтиму, му писáти – I will write

Му писа́ти ти за́втра. – I will text you tomorrow.

  1. Multiple forms of Subjunctive mood:

ходив бих, ходив бим, був бим ходив – went

Був бим ходи́в на ри́нок вчо́ра. I went to the market yesterday.

Market in Transcarpatian (Zakarpattia). Ри́нок на Закарпа́тті.


  1. Нас бу́ло двох – instead of нас було двоє

There were two of us.

Ма́ю ді́ти – instead of маю дітей

I have kids.

Ма́ю ко́ні – instead of маю коней

I have horses.

Ма́ю фа́йні ко́ні. I have good horses.

  1. Reflexive postfix ся might be used before or after reflexive word:

Їм ся хоті́ло – їм хотілось

They wanted.

Та як ся не се́рдити? – Та як не сердитись?

How not to anger?

Я ся весе́лий. – Я веселюся.

I have fun.

  1. Numerous conjunctions:

же, ож, жеби, коб, коби, кобись, кедь, заки, заким, закля

За́ки при́йде ма́ти. – Поки прийде мати.

Until mother comes.


Фа́йно – гарно

good, nice

Ва́тра – вогнище


western ukraine dialect

Ва́тра. Fire.

Ґа́зда – господар, хазяїн


Дє́дьо – тато


Горня́тко – чашка


Ву́йко – дядько


You can find more words in this dictionary.

Listen to riddles in the Hutsul dialect here.

Listen to the Carpathian dialect here.

Now you can impress your Western Ukrainian friends with your knowledge of the western dialect.

Have you ever heard these dialects before? What are your favourite dialect words?

Please share with us in the comments.

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