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Statute on the usage of minority languages in Ukraine

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In June 2012 the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian Parliament, passed the law "On the principles of the state language policy", a measure relative to the the usage of minority languages, provoking much controversy.
Source: wikipedia

A statute eroding national identity

Anastasiia Kondratuk | 2013. June 05. 13:14

The language question per se is in many respects far fetched, provoked by the authorities, who want to exploit the conflict to their own interests. This law is an exceptionally negative measure exerting its destructive influence on society.

The statute "On the principles of the state language policy"; concerns 18 regional languages in Ukraine, whose usage was significantly expanded. This statutory act was voted to solve the "language problem"; first of all to ease the confrontation between Russian and Ukrainian languages – the eternal cause for antagonisms in Ukrainian society and governmental circles. But did this law really managed to serve its function?

The language question per se is in many respects far fetched, provoked by the authorities, who want to exploit the conflict to their own interests. Exasperating enmity between Russian- and Ukrainian-speaking people, political forces try to attract as many voters as possible.

This statute is an exceptionally negative measure exerting its destructive influence on society.

*Educational multilingualism: good or evil?

One of the most dangerous aspects of the language law is the opportunity to choose a language of education: instead of Ukrainian, it could be Russian, Tatar, Romanian, Hungarian etc. (if native speakers of a certain language amount to 10% of region's population). Therefore, young generations studying in their native languages will probably not speak and use state language properly. Consequently, such people could not be considered full-fledged Ukrainian citizens. Such a linguistic disorder could not only effect the communication inside the country, but also the Ukrainian nation's unity and lead to total disconnection. After all, language is a string base for national consolidation.

*Problems at the workplace

The statute could also potentially clutter Ukrainians'; everyday life, when they are using different regional languages in the workplace. Great amounts of documentation written in Ukrainian so far must now be translated into regional languages. Lets imagine the situation: two organizations located in two different regions with different languages need to execute a transaction. What confusion there will be! Each document must be written and signed in two variants; it means – extra time, money and energy for translation. Ukrainian businessmen, in addition to high taxes and different economic cataclysms, will be obliged to charge themselves with this bureaucratic load. Social incandescence will rise dramatically: business sphere's representatives will hardly make up with such unpleasant inconveniences in the work process. Undoubtedly, this innovation is going to affect also state institutions, which do not fulfill their duties adequately even without such complications. It is not hard to guess, that after the changes their work will become impossibly slow and disorganized.

*Russian and Ukrainian: the eternal fight

It should be noted, that the forementioned law is certainly an attempt to raise the Russian language's status, the first step to making it a state language. For example, Russian is officially recognized as one of the three required languages of informatics and software in the state machinery together with Ukrainian and English. The party in power (Party of Regions) obviously came forward to promote the interests of the Russian-speaking people who form the lion's share of its electorate. The bill passed by the majority party divided the country into two warring camps – the measure's antagonists and protagonists, Ukrainian- and Russian-oriented. This conflict in which some try to save their native – and state(!) - language, while others make attempts to strengthen the position of theirs to the maximum, begins to ruin the state building from the foundation. The main consolidation factor of Ukraine as a country and a nation is going to occupy secondary position and in the prospect –become a dead language. This outrageous law is a threat to our biggest national value. It should be revised as soon as possible in view to save the Ukrainian society from an antagonistic conflict and definitive dissidence, save our country from weakening, its national signs vanishing and – as a result – the country's total destruction.

 

A statute "On the principles of the state language policy", a necessity indeed

Yuriy Shokot’ko | 2013. June 05. 13:14

It is obvious, that the statute "On the principles of the state language policy"” is a positive measure reflecting on the present reality of our country. This law is a step forward in developing Ukrainian democracy and civil society.

It is obvious, that the statute "On the principles of the state language policy"” is a positive measure reflecting on the present reality of our country. The improvement of the current situation of human and civil rights in Ukraine is now an issue of first importance.

This law is a step forward in developing Ukrainian democracy and civil society. Today, there is no doubt that there are several strongly formed minorities of people in our country, who use another language in their everyday lives than Ukrainian and it is inadmissible to force this population to use a language they really do not need.

*Lack of equality

The problem is not just to push the entire population to learn the official language of the state (Ukrainian) but that those who have to learn it would never admit it as their native language. First of all, not each person is supposed to show equal results in self-expression when communicating in a non-native language. This measure might be able to limit the personal development of the part of the population, whose native language is not Ukrainian and as a result impoverish the common level of cultural development of the whole state.

On the other hand, the language minority groups in Ukraine pay their taxes just like the Ukrainian speaking group does. For that reason, they rightfully expect to be provided with proper support and services in their cultural, education and all other citizens' needs.

 

*Language deversity

Once upon a time, the powerful leader of the international proletariat Vladimir Lenin said that it was the economy which set the state's language. Today, we understand that it is necessary to be multilingual in order to better understand people surrounding us to understand the world and as a result, ourselves. Moreover, the modern world is changing rapidly and we need to be up-to-date in the contemporary information society. "United in diversity" is the official motto of the European Union. It would also be a really good idea for Ukraine to apply that for today's Ukrainian reality. It would be better indeed, if every minority in our country had the appropriate conditions for peace, prosperity of its culture, traditions and language within our borders.

All things considered, hopefully the statute will provoke a further spread of effective changes in the Ukrainian legal system and lead to the development of the rule of law and civil society in our country.

 

This article convinced me.

This article deliberately presents only one of the many existing points of views of this contorversial subject. Its content is not necessarily representative of its author's personal opinion. Please have a look at Duel Amical's philosophy.

This article convinced me.

This article deliberately presents only one of the many existing points of views of this contorversial subject. Its content is not necessarily representative of its author's personal opinion. Please have a look at Duel Amical's philosophy.

The state of votes

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A statute eroding national identity

Anastasiia Kondratuk

A statute "On the principles of the state language policy", a necessity indeed

Yuriy Shokot’ko

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