Please go to my new website Forgotten Galicia to read this post. Click here.
The vocabulary (which I wrote about here and more recently here) and accent of the diaspora community in North
America (specifically the community that descended from the third wave of
immigration (1940s-50s), many of which came from Galicia) differs somewhat from
the vocabulary and accent heard today in western Ukraine. In the diaspora this vocabulary
and accent remained rather stagnant while in Ukraine due to various factors
(such as Russification and just due to the natural evolution of languages), the
language, both its vocabulary and the sound, has changed. Thus the language
spoken in Galicia before WWII has been better preserved in the diaspora than it
has in Ukraine (in western Ukraine it can be heard only a little in rural
areas/from the oldest generation.)
The Ukrainian Historical and Educational Center of New
Jersey has on its website historical audio recordings where the early 20th
There are several differences in the Ukrainian alphabets used in the diaspora and in Ukraine, in particular, what we call the alphabet, the way we pronounce the letters, the melody we use when singing the alphabet (or the lack there of a song), as well as the difference I only recently discovered - the placement of the soft sign. In Ukraine the soft sign "ь" doesn't come at the end of the alphabet as I learned, but third to last. It was quite a big shock for me to discover. However, this was a relatively recent change. In 1990, the soft sign was moved from the end of the alphabet to the place after the letter "щ" as it is in the Russian alphabet. I'm surprised it wasn't moved back a year later when Ukraine gained its independence.
First of all, we usually say "азбука" or "абетка" while in Ukraine it is more common to say "aлфавіт" or "абетка" (for children).
When we (at least my Chicago diaspora community) sing/sa…
The makeup of the population of Galicia changed drastically after WWII, one reason being the Soviet-Polish population exchanges in the years right after war, during which most of the Poles that lived in Eastern Galicia moved or were deported to the territory of current day Poland.
The traces of these Polish communities can be found in the countryside, where abandoned Roman Catholic churches (kościół in Polish or kostel in Ukrainian) can be found in many villages.
Under the Soviets, churches and synagogues were re-purposed, used often as warehouses, stables, museums, etc. While some of the Greek Catholic churches were renovated and today are used by the communities for worship, very few kościółs were resurrected as there are few practicing Roman Catholics in the villages.
A kościół in a village near Zolochiv St. Maria Magdalena Kościół (built in 1924) in Vovkiv
During Soviet times the church served as a mineral fertilizer warehouse. In 1993 the first Ukrainian detective series "Zloc…