Jaroslav Rudnyckyj

Jaroslav Rudnyckyj bigraphy, stories - Ukrainian Canadian linguist, lexicographer and author

Jaroslav Rudnyckyj : biography

1910-110-18 – October 19, 1995

Jaroslav Bohdan Rudnyckyj, OC (*November 18, 1910 — †October 19, 1995) was a Ukrainian Canadian linguist, lexicographer with a specialty in etymology and onomastics, folklorist, bibliographer, travel writer, and publicist. He was one of the pioneers of Slavic Studies in Canada and one of the founding fathers of Canadian "Multiculturalism". In scholarship, he is best known for his incomplete two volume Etymological Dictionary of the Ukrainian Language (1962–82), his Ukrainian-German Dictionary (1943), and his extensive study of the term and name "Ukraine" (1951).


From 1963 to 1971, Rudnyckyj was a member of the Canadian Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism and with others promoted the idea of a multilingual Canada which recognized the importance of regional languages. His contribution to the Fourth Book of the Report of the Royal Commission, which dealt with the needs and contributions of "other ethnic groups" to Canadian society, was substantial and directly led to the promulgation of the new policy of "Multiculturalism" by the federal government of Canada, and thereafter, by several provinces as well.

In 1992, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.


Category:1910 births Category:1995 deaths Category:Canadian linguists Category:Linguists from Ukraine Category:Etymologists Category:Officers of the Order of Canada Category:People from Winnipeg Category:University of Manitoba faculty Category:Ukrainian emigrants to Canada Category:Canadian people of Ukrainian descent Category:Ukrainian Austro-Hungarians Category:University of Lviv alumni Category:Canadian folklorists Category:Ukrainian lexicographers


Rudnyckyj’s work in Ukrainian dialect studies, etymology, and onomastics naturally led to interests in folklore, and during his Canadian period, he published numerous works on Ukrainian Canadian folklore. The source collection titled Ukrainian-Canadian Folklore and Dialectological Texts was published in Ukrainian in several volumes beginning in 1956. One volume even appeared in English translation.

Travel writer

During the Cold War era, Rudnyckyj published a series of books which chronicled his visits to various libraries and centres of Ukrainian cultural life and scholarship in the West. Among these his Ukrainian language books on his "Travels Across Half the World" (1955), "Travels Through America" (1956), and "Travels Through Canada" (1959?) are especially notable.

His reports on various North American libraries, including the American "Library of Congress", which contained substantial Slavic and Ukrainian holdings, are also worthy of mention. These reports formed a supplement to his annual bibliographic reports on the progress of Slavic and Ukrainian scholarship and literature in Canada which he published throughout the 1950s and 1960s.


His books include The Ukrainian Language and Its Dialects, in Ukrainian, (1937; 5th revised ed. 1978), a German-language textbook of Ukrainian (1940; 4th ed. 1964), A Modern Ukrainian Grammar for English speakers (1949; reprinted seven times),The last (Seventh Printing) of Luckyj, G., Rudnyckyj, J. B. A modern Ukrainian grammar was in 1979, by the Ukrainian Language Association, Winnipeg, Ottawa. The 1949 (Second Printing) of the book is available in PDF format . and a pioneering but incomplete English-language Etymological Dictionary of the Ukrainian Language (2 volumes in 22 fascicles, 1962–1982).Available online in DJVU format . He also produced several smaller Ukrainian language books on the origins of various Ukrainian placenames including "Galicia", "Volhynia", and, in most detail, "Ukraine". As well, he wrote on Canadian, especially Manitoban, placenames of Ukrainian origin.

During the Second World War, he published a short Ukrainian-German Dictionary which quickly went through four editions: (1940; 1941; 1942; and 1943). Together with Zenon Kuzelia, he also published a much larger Ukrainian-German Dictionary (1943; reprinted 1983) which was a pioneering effort in its day. (It contained over 100,000 words.)Available as a pdf online [https://docs.google.com/uc?export=download&confirm=no_antivirus&id=0B66WsjksySpuNmQzYThmMzMtYWZjNS00NWM4LWJiOGMtMWRmNTVmODJkYTVk here] (44 MB)