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Author Topic: The History of Bilingualism in Ukraine and Its Role in the Present Day Political Crisis  (Read 169 times)

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Offline Wiz

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My point is that they never outlawed Russian language

Minority languages including Russian remain explicitly protected under article
10 of the Ukrainian Constitution.

Article 10
The state language of Ukraine is the Ukrainian language. The   State   ensures   the   comprehensive   development   and   functioning   of   the Ukrainian  language  in  all  spheres  of  social  life  throughout  the  entire  territory  of Ukraine. In  Ukraine,  the  free  development,  use  and  protection  of  Russian,  and  other languages of national minorities of Ukraine, is guaranteed. The State promotes the learning of languages of international communication. The use of languages in Ukraine is guaranteed by the Constitution of Ukraine and is determined by law.

Historically Ukraine was part of USSR and the majority of its people spoke Russian as main language especially on the South and East from Kiev country Donbass, Lyhansk, Odessa, Crimea etc.

After their independence the west of Ukraine around Lviv and surroundings insisted learning and speaking Ukrainian.....but as the Russian speaking were more in the population, most of their Governments were  run by Russian speaking persons from Donbas area.

"In 1989 Ukrainian once again became the country's official language, and its status as the sole official language was confirmed in the 1996 Ukrainian constitution. In 2012 a law was passed that granted local authorities the power to confer official status upon minority languages."

Ukraine - Languages | Britannicahttps://www.britannica.com

Read also this long article:

The History of Bilingualism in Ukraine and Its Role in the Present Day Political Crisis

https://www.cairn-int.info/article-E_CSP_017_0203--the-history-of-bilingualism-in-ukraine.htm









Offline Contrarian

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My point is that they never outlawed Russian language

Minority languages including Russian remain explicitly protected under article
10 of the Ukrainian Constitution.

Article 10
The state language of Ukraine is the Ukrainian language. The   State   ensures   the   comprehensive   development   and   functioning   of   the Ukrainian  language  in  all  spheres  of  social  life  throughout  the  entire  territory  of Ukraine. In  Ukraine,  the  free  development,  use  and  protection  of  Russian,  and  other languages of national minorities of Ukraine, is guaranteed. The State promotes the learning of languages of international communication. The use of languages in Ukraine is guaranteed by the Constitution of Ukraine and is determined by law.

Historically Ukraine was part of USSR and the majority of its people spoke Russian as main language especially on the South and East from Kiev country Donbass, Lyhansk, Odessa, Crimea etc.

After their independence the west of Ukraine around Lviv and surroundings insisted learning and speaking Ukrainian.....but as the Russian speaking were more in the population, most of their Governments were  run by Russian speaking persons from Donbas area.

"In 1989 Ukrainian once again became the country's official language, and its status as the sole official language was confirmed in the 1996 Ukrainian constitution. In 2012 a law was passed that granted local authorities the power to confer official status upon minority languages."

Ukraine - Languages | Britannicahttps://www.britannica.com

Read also this long article:

The History of Bilingualism in Ukraine and Its Role in the Present Day Political Crisis

https://www.cairn-int.info/article-E_CSP_017_0203--the-history-of-bilingualism-in-ukraine.htm

https://www.cairn-int.info/article-E_CSP_017_0203--the-history-of-bilingualism-in-ukraine.htm

(Wiz for some reason your link did not work so I reposted one which works)
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Offline Wiz

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https://www.cairn-int.info/article-E_CSP_017_0203--the-history-of-bilingualism-in-ukraine.htm

(Wiz for some reason your link did not work so I reposted one which works)

Thanks very much for your help.... it has been a long time since I posted here and honestly early in the morning......wasn't remembering how to do it!

I hope this works now!

The History of Bilingualism in Ukraine and Its Role in the Present Day Political Crisis

 :)


Online AvHdB

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My point is that they never outlawed Russian language

Minority languages including Russian remain explicitly protected under article
10 of the Ukrainian Constitution.

Article 10
The state language of Ukraine is the Ukrainian language. The   State   ensures   the   comprehensive   development   and   functioning   of   the Ukrainian  language  in  all  spheres  of  social  life  throughout  the  entire  territory  of Ukraine. In  Ukraine,  the  free  development,  use  and  protection  of  Russian,  and  other languages of national minorities of Ukraine, is guaranteed. The State promotes the learning of languages of international communication. The use of languages in Ukraine is guaranteed by the Constitution of Ukraine and is determined by law.

Historically Ukraine was part of USSR and the majority of its people spoke Russian as main language especially on the South and East from Kiev country Donbass, Lyhansk, Odessa, Crimea etc.

After their independence the west of Ukraine around Lviv and surroundings insisted learning and speaking Ukrainian.....but as the Russian speaking were more in the population, most of their Governments were  run by Russian speaking persons from Donbas area.

"In 1989 Ukrainian once again became the country's official language, and its status as the sole official language was confirmed in the 1996 Ukrainian constitution. In 2012 a law was passed that granted local authorities the power to confer official status upon minority languages."

Ukraine - Languages | Britannicahttps://www.britannica.com

Read also this long article:

The History of Bilingualism in Ukraine and Its Role in the Present Day Political Crisis

https://www.cairn-int.info/article-E_CSP_017_0203--the-history-of-bilingualism-in-ukraine.htm

https://www.cairn-int.info/article-E_CSP_017_0203--the-history-of-bilingualism-in-ukraine.htm

(Wiz for some reason your link did not work so I reposted one which works)

Indeed it is an interesting paper.  tiphat Would be curious to hear what Halo thinks of the accuracy and assumptions from a Ukrainian standpoint.

Worth noting in België/Belgique/Belgien what most of us refer to as Belgium (or Brussels) there are in fact three official languages.

What the paper touches on the attempts by the Russians/Soviet Empire to diminish or destroy the Ukraine language. Normally with what appears on RUA I can read from the computer but this I wish to study on paper. In fact it is worthy of its own stand alone thread unrelated from the person who on a regular basis barely manages English from the White House.
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Online AvHdB

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From the above noted paper is an almost astonishing statement.

Possession of a single, common language is considered the main requirement for forming and consolidating a nation. Until recently, Ukrainian national consciousness was based primarily on the nation’s linguistic and cultural characteristics. The events of 2013 and 2014 have strengthened and highlighted Ukrainians’ political consciousness, as they are now forced to fight for their country’s independence and territorial integrity.

It is almost sad to see Russia reverting to Soviet and earlier Russian attempts to destroy the Ukraine language.

It makes you wonder what are the Russian's afraid of?
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Online Markje

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Worth noting in België/Belgique/Belgien what most of us refer to as Belgium (or Brussels) there are in fact three official languages.

https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talen_in_Belgi%C3%AB#Duits

From the stats, they'd be better off scrapping German as an official language and making Italian one  :o
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Offline Halo

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My point is that they never outlawed Russian language

Minority languages including Russian remain explicitly protected under article
10 of the Ukrainian Constitution.

Article 10
The state language of Ukraine is the Ukrainian language. The   State   ensures   the   comprehensive   development   and   functioning   of   the Ukrainian  language  in  all  spheres  of  social  life  throughout  the  entire  territory  of Ukraine. In  Ukraine,  the  free  development,  use  and  protection  of  Russian,  and  other languages of national minorities of Ukraine, is guaranteed. The State promotes the learning of languages of international communication. The use of languages in Ukraine is guaranteed by the Constitution of Ukraine and is determined by law.

Historically Ukraine was part of USSR and the majority of its people spoke Russian as main language especially on the South and East from Kiev country Donbass, Lyhansk, Odessa, Crimea etc.

After their independence the west of Ukraine around Lviv and surroundings insisted learning and speaking Ukrainian.....but as the Russian speaking were more in the population, most of their Governments were  run by Russian speaking persons from Donbas area.

"In 1989 Ukrainian once again became the country's official language, and its status as the sole official language was confirmed in the 1996 Ukrainian constitution. In 2012 a law was passed that granted local authorities the power to confer official status upon minority languages."

Ukraine - Languages | Britannicahttps://www.britannica.com

Read also this long article:

The History of Bilingualism in Ukraine and Its Role in the Present Day Political Crisis

https://www.cairn-int.info/article-E_CSP_017_0203--the-history-of-bilingualism-in-ukraine.htm

That's not exactly accurate.

Historically (I mean 19th century), the cities of Ukraine in the Russian Empire were Russian speaking.  The surrounding villages were 100% Ukrainian speaking.  The cities of the Austrian Empire, and, in the interwar period, Poland, were predominantly Polish speaking, and the countryside was Ukrainian speaking. 

There was a "Ukrainization" of Soviet Ukraine during NEP.  Literature and literary criticism flourished, as did use of Ukrainian language in literary circles.  But that ceased in 1927.  Writers were arrested and executed, and, by 1932-33, they were all dead.  A policy of "Russification" was imposed on Ukraine, which resulted in Ukrainian lands being de facto ethnically cleansed, and the population replaced with ethnic Russians.  This policy remained in place until the collapse of the USSR.

Ukrainians in Western Ukraine always spoke Ukrainian more, partly because they were still more rural.  If you visited the villages around Kyiv, or Poltava, or Lu'hansk, you would hear Ukrainian spoken, not Russian.

It was the Ukrainian diaspora that cemented Ukrainian as the language of Ukraine, in Ukraine's constitution.  They were the ones who drafted that constitution, and they were the ones who funded it.  But, they also cemented minority language rights in the constitution, and that has been in place since its enactment in 1996.  Russian has always had minority language rights in independent Ukraine.  The only difference, is that all official documents are printed in Ukrainian.  Why is this so shocking?  The UK's official documents are printed in English (with some in Welsh within Wales).  France's official documents are printed in French.  Greece prints its official documents in Greek.  Russians in Ukraine still had the right to attend Russian language publicly funded language schools, and people still speak Russian on the streets.  The difference now is that, unlike in Soviet times, it is not considered "quaint" to speak Ukrainian openly.

https://ruadventures.com/forum/index.php/topic,29402.msg522678.html#msg522678

I think it makes some good points, and most of what I posted above is also posted in the article, although the restrictions on Ukrainian language in the Russian Empire are a little overstated.  The reality is that both the Russian Empire and the Poles who administered the Austro-Hungarian Empire in Ukraine banned Ukrainian language at different times.  Ukrainian survived because when the Russian Empire invoked an Emz Ukaz, intellectuals moved to Western Ukraine, and when Ukrainian was under threat by the Poles, Ukrainian writers and activists moved to the Russian Empire.

I think the constitution gives a good balance - minority language rights, be they Russian, or Hungarian, or Polish, or Slovak (13 minority languages are recognized officially in Ukraine) are constitutionally protected, but Ukrainian in the official language of the country.  That makes sense, given that over 80% of the inhabitants of Ukraine are ethnically Ukrainian.

Online AvHdB

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Thank you Halo, this is pretty much my understanding as well.

 What is interesting is the larger degree of unity in Ukraine brought about by Russian actions there. I guess Putin can do some things well.
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Offline Halo

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A slight correction - Western Ukraine was ruled by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, although it was really the Austrians that "ruled" things.  In Ukraine, all the administration was Polish.

The other thing to keep in mind is that parts of the Russian Empire on Ukrainian territory, particularly in the south, were populated by other ethnic groups, predominantly, Germans, and their primary language was German. 

Online AvHdB

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The other thing to keep in mind is that parts of the Russian Empire on Ukrainian territory, particularly in the south, were populated by other ethnic groups, predominantly, Germans, and their primary language was German.

Perhaps I am mistaken but I believe you are referring the 'Volga Germans' that Catherine the Great enticed to settle in Russian and some of Ukraine though I did not think the area's they colonized were so far West.
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Offline Texan77

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My point is that they never outlawed Russian language

Minority languages including Russian remain explicitly protected under article
10 of the Ukrainian Constitution.

Article 10
The state language of Ukraine is the Ukrainian language. The   State   ensures   the   comprehensive   development   and   functioning   of   the Ukrainian  language  in  all  spheres  of  social  life  throughout  the  entire  territory  of Ukraine. In  Ukraine,  the  free  development,  use  and  protection  of  Russian,  and  other languages of national minorities of Ukraine, is guaranteed. The State promotes the learning of languages of international communication. The use of languages in Ukraine is guaranteed by the Constitution of Ukraine and is determined by law.

Historically Ukraine was part of USSR and the majority of its people spoke Russian as main language especially on the South and East from Kiev country Donbass, Lyhansk, Odessa, Crimea etc.

After their independence the west of Ukraine around Lviv and surroundings insisted learning and speaking Ukrainian.....but as the Russian speaking were more in the population, most of their Governments were  run by Russian speaking persons from Donbas area.

"In 1989 Ukrainian once again became the country's official language, and its status as the sole official language was confirmed in the 1996 Ukrainian constitution. In 2012 a law was passed that granted local authorities the power to confer official status upon minority languages."

Ukraine - Languages | Britannicahttps://www.britannica.com

Read also this long article:

The History of Bilingualism in Ukraine and Its Role in the Present Day Political Crisis

https://www.cairn-int.info/article-E_CSP_017_0203--the-history-of-bilingualism-in-ukraine.htm

Yea In Ivano Frankivsk they barely speak Russian. It is amazing how quickly they forgot Russian. It was a real shock to my girl when she move there from Lugansk the cultural and language differences. It was difficult for her son to go to school in Ivano Frankivsk because of these difference also. After about four years she still speaks Ukrainian with enough accent that Ukrainians can tell she is from far eastern Ukraine. There are very big difference in pollical attitudes and identification as Ukrainian. Look at how different Markje and my writings are and that is the difference between pro Russians in eastern Ukraine and pro western Ukrainians in western Ukraine. My girls son was faced with problems over my being from the USA in Eastern Ukraine but that is not a problem in western Ukraine at all. I can assure not all people or close to it in eastern Ukraine are pro Russian though the number is higher. 

Online BillyB

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Yea In Ivano Frankivsk they barely speak Russian.


That city used to be part of Poland. Ukrainian is their primary language though. My MIL is from there. We were in a shop in Kiev and she asked a question to a worker. The worker said something and she turned around and walked out. I asked what the guy said. She responded he spoke to her in Russian. She's bitter about Russia's influence in her country. We went to a church in far Western Ukraine near the border of Poland. They did the service in the Polish language. She said more and more Ukrainian people prefer to speak Polish as you move closer to the Polish border.
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Offline Contrarian

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Yea In Ivano Frankivsk they barely speak Russian.


That city used to be part of Poland. Ukrainian is their primary language though. My MIL is from there. We were in a shop in Kiev and she asked a question to a worker. The worker said something and she turned around and walked out. I asked what the guy said. She responded he spoke to her in Russian. She's bitter about Russia's influence in her country. We went to a church in far Western Ukraine near the border of Poland. They did the service in the Polish language. She said more and more Ukrainian people prefer to speak Polish as you move closer to the Polish border.

It could very well be that the guy in the shop was much more comfortable in Russian so he answered her in Russian.

Because of the media whipping up controversy and negative vibes your MIL reacted.

Just like in the USA where the media constantly causes trouble and poors gas on anything they can.
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Offline Halo

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Perhaps I am mistaken but I believe you are referring the 'Volga Germans' that Catherine the Great enticed to settle in Russian and some of Ukraine though I did not think the area's they colonized were so far West.

That was as period of significant emigration from Germany to Ukraine, but Germans have been settling in Ukraine since before Catherine's reign.  There were German colonies all over Ukraine, both Right Bank and Left Bank.  Ukraine had a significant Mennonite German population, for example.  Before WWI, Germans comprised just under 2% of Ukraine's total population. 

On a separate note, even during the Soviet period, if you wanted to hear Ukrainian spoken, you were told to go to Ivano Frankivsk (the oblast, not the city), as that is where "real Ukrainian" was still spoken.  That is where my family is from, and the better half often commented on my Grandmother's "pure" Ukrainian, unmixed with Polish words (common among diaspora Ukrainians).  During Polonization, this region refused to speak Polish, and they resisted Russification as well. 

It could very well be that the guy in the shop was much more comfortable in Russian so he answered her in Russian.

Because of the media whipping up controversy and negative vibes your MIL reacted. 

Perhaps, although anyone under fifty in Kyiv, if they were born and raised in Ukraine, can speak Ukrainian, even if they choose not to do so.

It could also be a reaction to the past.  I remember people being mocked in the streets for speaking Ukrainian during so called "glasnost'".  This was a time when the Ukrainian writers the commies executed were being "rediscovered" (their works had been banned for sixty years, though they were all known in the West).  There were daily protests on Khreshchatyk in front of government buildings, and I remember well seeing Ukrainian activists being openly mocked.  That was always the case in Soviet times, and anyone who grew up during that time would remember that.


Offline Texan77

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People on this site will often say something about how Ukrainians are stupid and incapable reflecting the present Russian feelings then wonder why Ukraine does not want to be part of Russia. You do not have to be all that smart it to figure it out.