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Poll: more than half of Ukrainians do not consider language issue pressing

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Nov. 25, 2009, 4:09 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine
More than half of Ukrainians - 54.7% - believe the language issue in the country is irrelevant, that each person can speak the language he or she prefers and that a lot more important problems exist in the country, a poll of 1,200 respondents conducted by the Ukrainian Democratic Circle on November 12-18, 2009 found. In the view of 14.7% of those polled, the language issue is an urgent problem that cannot be postponed and that calls for immediate resolution. Another 28.3% believe that, while the language issue needs to be resolved, this can be postponed, and 2.3% were undecided.

Nearly half of those polled - 41.2% - believe the Ukrainian language should be the only state language in the country, while the Russian language should have guarantees of free development. In the view of 35.8%, both the Russian and Ukrainian language should be state languages all over the country, and 20.4% want Ukrainian to be the only state language, while Russian may be given official status in the regions where a lot of Russian-speaking people live.

Another 2.6% were undecided.
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Anonymous Nov. 25, 2009, 4:33 p.m.    

Why not let each oblast decide separately on whether Russian gets official status? Russian is already a de facto official language in the nine southeastern oblasts, as laws on the use of Ukrainian are not enforced.

In the other 15 oblasts, Ukrainian would remain the only official language.

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Anonymous Nov. 26, 2009, 2:16 a.m.    

Not true. There is Hutzal and Hungarian spoken in Western Ukraine. You should try visiting their communities. The issue is not what language is spoken but the decree of repression that is applied in the process. More and more Ukrainians are speaking English. Then fact that Ukraine's constitution has a subjective qualification on what language is spoken by the president is anther example of the misuse and abuse of the language issue. Language is a living entity, it is about communication even the Ukrainian language borrows words from other nations. Yes it should not be an issue why is it? All sides are to blame and are at fault.

I was once asked by a Ukrianain student to name a country where the native language is not spoken. My reply was the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and even the UK. All do n not have their native language as an official language. UK does no longer uses teh language of Shakespeare

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Anonymous Nov. 26, 2009, 9:02 a.m.    

None of the countries you mention have a legacy of genocide against the Ukrainian nation and so your analogy is off base.

Tutu makes more sense than you-"Ukraine can have a hundred official languages but every government employee must show proficiency in Ukrainian! and conduct Official Business in Ukrainian. Even though this modest proposal does NOT address the justice that is needed to level the playing field and remedy the centuries of FORCED Russification from the EMS ukaz to the reversal of Ukrainization in favor of Russification begun during the Holodomor and intensified during the Great Terror when using the language was grounds for execution or GULAG and continued in more modest repression eversince until Independence. Now there are those promoting a repeat of the genocidal legacy under the not so clever subtrefuge that Switzerland, Canada, USA,UK also engaged in anti-Ukrainian EMS ukaz heritage which they did NOT but Russia did! Historical justice demands that the evil legacy of past forced Russification be remedied without compromise!"

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Anonymous Nov. 25, 2009, 5:02 p.m.    

Fairly pointless arguement really. Put all official state documentation in Ukrainian as it now is.......but be aware that much will have to be translated for many people into Russian.......so you may as well save time and effort by putting it into Ukrainian with an automatic translation into Russian.

As for the actual speaking of a particular language.....maybe today I want to speak French in Odessa, German in Kyiv, Ukrainian in Donetsk and Russian in Mykoliev......if I cross the invisible line from Mykoliev to Odessa, who is going to make me switch from Russian to French? People will speak whichever language they want to speak as their first language.

The only real arguement is what official documents should be written in and that of course should be Ukrainian......with any necessary translations which are deemed necessary, be it Russian, English or Outer Mongolian depending upon demgraphic demand and the person expected to sign the official document.

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Anonymous Nov. 26, 2009, 6:06 p.m.    

Yes you are quite right to state that you should be able to speak whatever language you wish where ever you are.. but its usual to have a national language, England has English.. France French and so on... but at least you have a choice.. what of the thousands who had no choice and had to speak Russian on pain of death.. this is the problem.. how do you right a wrong that was done not just in living memory.. but over much time.

and its not just in Ukraine.. look at all the other countries in the former soviet union, what of all their cultures corrupted and destroyed just as has happened in Ukraine.

so you can on one hand say as you have done.. but on the other.. where is the justice for those that gave their lives by refusing to speak the language of the invader??.

For too long now the Kremlin long the problem of all these countries justifies what it has done how?.. by re-writing the history books so that they as white as new snow.

People of Ukraine regain your heritage regain your culture.. its your birthright.. all that was taken away from you at the point of a gun

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Anonymous Nov. 26, 2009, 1:58 a.m.    

Ukraine should put an end to the this divisive issue and adopt two or even more languages as official languages with Ukrainian being the first language that is taught in schools Switzerland and Canada have more then one official language.

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Anonymous Nov. 26, 2009, 8:52 a.m.    

Ukraine can have a hundred official languages but every government employee must show proficiency in Ukrainian! and conduct official business in Ukrainian even though this modest proposal does NOT address the justice that is needed to level the playing field and remedy the centuries of forcrd Russification from the EMS ukaz to the reversal of Ukrainization in favor of Russification begun during the Holodomor and intensified during the Great Terror when using the language was grounds for execution or GULAG and continued in more modest repression eversince until Independence. Now there are those promoting a repeat of the genocidal legacy under the not so clever subtrefuge that Switzerland, Canada, USA,UK also engaged in anti-Ukrainian EMS ukaz heritage which they did NOT but Russia did! Historical justice demands that the evil legacy of past forced Russification be remedied without compromise!

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Anonymous Nov. 27, 2009, 12:22 a.m.    

>> 1708 muscovy changes their name to russian empire.

>>1710 Pacta et Constitutiones Legum Libertatumque Exercitus Zaporoviensis) was a 1710 constitutional document written by Hetman Pylyp Orlyk. It established a democratic standard for the separation of powers in government between the legislative, executive, and judiciary branches, well before the publication of Montesquieu's Spirit of the Laws. The Constitution also limited the executive authority of the hetman, and established a democratically elected Cossack parliament called the General Council.

Pylyp Orlyk's Constitution was unique for its historic period, and was one of the first state constitutions in Europe.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_Pylyp_Orlyk

Orlyk’s basic law never entered into force, and is, by contemporary standards, a simplistic text. Yet, in its time, this document gained recognition as a serious document, and served as a blueprint for future constitutional designs.

Articles 1-3 dealt with general Ukrainian affairs. They proclaimed the Orthodox faith to be the faith of Ukraine, and independent of the patriarch of Moscow. The articles also recognized the need for an anti-Russian alliance between Ukraine and the Crimean Khanate.

>> 1720. Peter I’s ukase banning the publication and printing of books in Ukrainian.

It began centuries earlier when Peter the First - I will not call him Great - decided to create an Empire by inventing the Myth of Russia. In order to turn his frozen back woods outposts into a credible empire, he needed a history, and a church to bless it.

Ukraine had all that -- so he conquered it. Ukrainian history became Russian history. The head of the Ukrainian Church was arrested, marched off to Moscow and declared to be to head of the Russian Church. Suddenly, Russia had an empire, a history and a church to bless it all.

The only problem was those pesky Ukrainians who just wouldn't cooperate and become Russian. That began a centuries long effort by Russia to destroy the Ukrainian nation and Ukrainian national identity.

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Anonymous Nov. 28, 2009, 4:23 p.m.    

Here is an interesting comment from another web site:

This is laughable that the poor Russians are complaining about the discriminatory policies of Latvia re-instating Latvian as the official national language after 50 years of the Russian occupiers making Russian the offical language in Latvia! Oh dear, now the Russians, who were moved to Latvia to take the place of the murdered and deported Latvians and happily moved into the missing people’s homes, furnished with their personal effects, have to be treated as equal to the Latvians rather than as superior. My, that must be difficult! What a human rights abuse!

And why didn’t they complain when Latvian human rights were seriously being abused for those 50 years, with deportations continuing until the late 1950s, the best jobs and housing going to the Russians, major repressions etc?

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