UKRAINE TRAVEL

UKRAINE TRAVEL GUIDE

UKRAINE LANGUAGES

The language question in Ukraine is a burning topic. People in Ukraine are considered to be bilingual that is everyone can fluently speak both languages Russian and Ukrainian. According to the polls 67 % of people named Ukrainian as their native language but at the average 75% of people who live in East and Southern Ukraine speak Russian. In fact the situation is much deeper. Among other Ukraine languages are Bulgarian, Romanian, Hungarian, Crimean Tartar and other ones which are native for some ethnic minorities who live on the territory of Ukraine. In 1991 Ukrainian language became the only state language in Ukraine while the real situation is that people in the eastern and southern regions speak Russian language. It means that all the documentation, movies in cinema, and banners on the streets have to be in Ukrainian. Even the teaching in schools and universities are held in Ukrainian while Russian language is taught as a foreign language. Such situation led to the displease of people who consider Russian their native language. They believe that the rights of Russian speaking population are violated and want Russian to be the second state language. Their main argument is that in some countries there are several state languages like for example in Switzerland where 5 languages are state ones.

It was expected that after the adoption of Ukrainian language as the official one, Russian will be soon ejected and Ukrainian will get greater importance but it is paradoxical that after that Ukrainian has lost a lot of positions. Of course language in Ukraine is mainly a political question. Every new president has a different opinion concerning this topic and try to solve this problem in accordance with their own beliefs and benefits. As the natural result it widens the split between East and West Ukraine. So in fact Ukrainian bilingualism is just a myth, we can see some traces of it only in West Ukraine where Ukrainian speaking people fluently speak and understand Russian while the majority of people in the eastern part don't know the state language of their country.

After Ukraine travel even a foreigner can easily see the difference in eastern and western parts. The only way out of this difficult situation is the wisdom of the government, otherwise in 10 years Ukrainian language will seem something odd and incomprehensible. 

 

 

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