The speaker explains how he learned Ukrainian and how it has helped him understand the country and its people. He recommends that others use a tutor to help them learn the language.
00:00:00 Steve Kaufmann tells the story of how he learned Ukrainian, starting with learning Russian so he could read Russian classics in their original language. He then became interested in Ukraine and decided to learn the language in order to better understand the country. He found books and audio material in both Russian and Ukrainian, and gradually began to learn the language. His current vocabulary count in Ukrainian on LingQ proves his dedication.
00:05:00 This individual learned Ukrainian by listening to Radio Free Europe, following events in the Donbas, and studying Ukrainian language materials. This allowed them to understand the content of Russian-language podcasts and follow the events in Crimea. The Ukrainian army was poorly organized and fought back against separatist fighters, resulting in a 15,000 death toll.
00:10:00 The speaker explains how he learned Ukrainian by gradually working up to speaking the language with different tutors. He also mentions how Ukrainian history is intertwined with that of other Slavic languages, and that the language is closer to Polish than Russian. He recounts various cultural interactions between Ukrainians and Poles, and how the language is not necessarily determined by one's DNA. The speaker explains that the current situation in Ukraine is caused by Russian interference, and that Ukrainians will identify as Ukrainians regardless of their genetic heritage.
00:15:00 The speaker talks about how he became interested in Ukrainian and how he has found that learning the language is a way to learn about the culture and history of Ukraine. He recommends that others use a tutor to help them learn the language.