How Promova highlights Ukrainian culture through a new language course

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  • Promova, a one-stop solution for all language learning needs, recently released an updated Ukrainian course that contains cultural context.
  • The course was released on the occasion of  the Independence Day of Ukraine and contains 48 bite-sized lessons. 
  • This project is the company’s tribute to its Ukrainian roots. With this course Promova is demonstrating both the distinctiveness of Ukrainian language and its commonalities with English to show that it is easier to learn than it may seem at first glance. 
  • With this course, Promova is upholding their commitment to advancing cultural understanding through language learning.

August  18, 2023 – On the occasion of the Independence Day of Ukraine, which is celebrated on August 24th, Promova, a one-stop solution for all language learning needs, released an updated Ukrainian course, making it more well-crafted and adding more cultural context. 

Over the last year and a half, due to the resilience and bravery that Ukraine has shown in defending its territories, dignity, and cultural heritage, there has been a worldwide rise in interest in its language and culture, which have been suppressed by Russia for centuries. The search term "learn Ukrainian" has received increased interest. It peaked between February 13, 2022, and April 9, 2022 when the number of Google searches smashed the previous monthly record by more than 500%. Since then, the trend for the Ukrainian language has continued globally, with 3,000 to 5,000 searches for "learn Ukrainian" every month. Before Russia began the full-scale war, the record figure for the preceding 5 years was 3,000 per month.

As a company with Ukrainian roots, Promova has always offered Ukrainian as a language option. But after noticing the growing global interest in the Ukrainian language, our e-learning team decided to update our Ukrainian course, making it well-crafted and more culturally informative. 

“As a company with Ukrainian roots, we see this project as our way to honor everyone who has been supporting Ukraine in its fight for freedom, to our defenders, to our colleagues and friends, to every Ukrainian in the world who remains in the country, or who had to leave their homes. We believe that learning more about Ukrainian language and culture is crucial for improving cultural understanding worldwide,” says Andrew Skrypnyk, the CEO and co-founder of Promova. 

The course was developed by Promova’s language courses supervisor, Olena Demydenko, who is a professional linguist and native Ukrainian speaker. While developing the course, she conducted thorough research on teaching Ukrainian to English speakers, including collaborating with a linguist who has taught Ukrainian to foreigners for several years. Olena also contributed the native voiceover for every sound and word in the course.

The course includes 48 bite-sized lessons and was released to Promova’s 11 million users worldwide before the Independence Day of Ukraine on August 24th. It starts by familiarizing learners with the Cyrillic alphabet and Ukrainian sounds, explained through their similarities and differences with English. Once they’re comfortable with the basics, users then learn the most common words for daily interactions. The course provides a great base to begin learning the language from scratch.

“To make Ukrainian language learning easier, I decided to go with the words that are similar to ones that already exist in English. In terms of vocabulary, we concentrated on simple words that don’t include difficult Ukrainian letters. Also, we are enlightening users in the basics of Ukrainian grammar such as genders and singular and plural of the words. Our aim is to make the learning fun and easy, yet effective. That is why we plan to add more complicated lessons to further levels of the course in the future,” says Olena Demydenko, the language courses supervisor at Promova. 

One of the things that sets Promova’s Ukrainian course apart is the cultural context presented with special cards. After completing certain lessons, users receive cultural context cards that offer more specifics.

“Lots of people adore the moment from the Home Alone movie where Kevin sits in the church listening to the choir singing “Carol of the Bells.” Nonetheless, only a few of them know that it is actually based on the Ukrainian song called “Shchedryk.” “Carol of the Bells” uses the original melody created by the Ukrainian composer and music teacher Mykola Leontovych. The English lyrics were written by Peter J. Wilhousky, an American composer, music educator, and choral conductor of Ukrainian descent. This is only one example of the interesting facts about Ukrainian culture that we share in our course,” added Olena.

About Promova

Founded in 2019 as a simple flashcard app, Promova is now a one-stop solution for all language learning needs. 

Promova (/prɔˈmɔvʌ/) translates from Ukrainian as "speech." It’s also wordplay. When it’s spoken with a slightly different stress in Ukrainian, “Pro Mova” also means "about language." So, we’re all about language learning — in more ways than one!

Promova offers a variety of tools, such as bite-sized lessons, a community of learners, tutoring, conversation clubs, and progress tracking. Using artificial intelligence and machine learning to create custom learning plans, Promova helps over 11 million people worldwide live their best lives by achieving their language learning goals.  

The Promova team is made up of 100+ lifelong learners who are passionate about languages, from philologists to professional educators and language learning advocates. They work from Ukraine, Europe, and the US and employ best-in-class teaching methodologies to make language learning accessible to people everywhere.