In the current pilot study, we analyse the Rusyn minority language (or po-našomu ‘our way of speaking’, as its speakers usually call it) from the perspective of non-expert vernacular speakers of the Zakarpattia region in Western Ukraine. As an addition to traditional dialectological studies, the paper aims at investigating attitudes and folk beliefs towards the mother tongue. Using different methods from the area of perceptual dialectology, we compare the individual representations of speech areas in Zakarpattia. To explore what ordinary people believe about the geographical distribution of linguistic varieties, we make use of, among others, draw-a-map tasks. Additionally, we conducted interviews and applied methods such as correct or pleasant ratings in order to measure the speakers’ regard on the previously identified regional varieties. The results show a mainly negative concept of language perception and of Rusyn self-identification within it. Gradual language shift towards Standard Ukrainian occurs, since Rusyn speakers are afraid of being stigmatised as uneducated and rurally conservative. Nonetheless, there is no clear division between language use in official and non-official domains, i.e., speakers continue to use po-našomu even in semi-official domains. Rusyn can, thus, be classified as still vital in Zakarpattia. One of the crucial variables for perception as well as production of and regard on the native variety is the educational background of the test persons.