Russia » Politics
Author`s name zamiralov tech

Official: Russia's A Tongue to Shun in Ukraine

A war of words is waging between the Russian and Ukrainian languages in Russia's neighbor state. Despite traditional Slav ties binding the two nations ethnically and historically, state officials in Ukraine seem bent on proving the two peoples are far from sharing the same communications cultureThe linguistic landscape has darkened, Russia's language getting the cold shoulder. Ukrainian nationals' perceptions are being massaged to regard Russian as a tongue to shun.

"Bolsheviks have been propagating the Russian language for 70 years. Now it’s time to reclaim historical justice," folk are being told. "The Soviet Union was an empire, of which Russian was the official language," they're urged to swallow. "It's easy to learn Ukrainian, so there's no language problem. There are lazy people who don't want to learn it." Likewise, "since there are no Ukrainian schools in Russia, why should Ukraine have Russian schools?".

Psychological tuning like this is fuelling a favorable climate for anti-Russian language policy in Ukraine.

Relations between Ukrainian and Russian have been uneasy over many decades. A dual language system has existed for years. Now, the authorities want to push Russian back over the border. The two languages have much in common, so it won't be hard for non-speakers to learn Ukrainian, runs the campaign rhetoric. But that's simpler said than done.

A Russian friend of mine has been living in the Ukrainian town of Galichina for 30 years. People there speak only Ukrainian, so the fellow remains an outsider. No matter how hard he tries to learn Ukrainian, he still has a Russian accent. He can never be not Russian.

It's not hard for a Russian in Ukraine to understand the lingo, but enjoying the experience is another matter as a foreign mind still has to grapple with non-native words. Russians living in the Ukrainian language find this total immersion far different from just using it as a communications tool.

I've led much of my life in the Russian city of Norilsk, in Krasnoyarsk region, alongside many local Ukrainians. Official statistics put the community at around 25-30 percent, no doubt natives of Ukraine's Russian areas.

I've never heard those people speaking the Ukrainian language, and no-one's ever thought of opening a Ukrainian language school there. One such school opened in Moscow, but closed quickly for lack of students.

Ukraine should have two working languages, one of them Russian. If the government there suddenly ruled Russian the only state language, pronouncing Ukrainian the national minority tongue, I'd be first to oppose.

Today, only in print production is Russian not oppressed in Ukraine. Most newspapers and books here are printed in the Russian language. Still, official statistics claim the Russian-speaking population in Ukraine is a meagre 29.3 percent.

Either Ukrainians don't like to read, or there's another reason to explain a paradox in which the discrepancy is clear. One becomes concerned about the fate of Ukraine and its peoples when pseudo-patriots lay the foundations of future national conflicts.

Roman Melnikov
Kiev
Ukraine

More than 5.8 million people voted for Nicholas Maduro at the presidential election in Venezuela. This is more than a quarter of registered voters. Why did those people vote for the man, who, as Western media write, took Venezuela to the brink of collapse?

Venezuela may expect another Panama scenario from 1989
Comments
Russian air defences ready to shoot down NATO drones and reconnaissance aircraft over Crimea
Ukraine's exit from Commonwealth of Independent States will affect common Ukrainians most
Russian air defences ready to shoot down NATO drones and reconnaissance aircraft over Crimea
Russian air defences ready to shoot down NATO drones and reconnaissance aircraft over Crimea
Russian air defences ready to shoot down NATO drones and reconnaissance aircraft over Crimea
British football fans spineless to unleash World War Three in Russia during World Cup
Russian air defences ready to shoot down NATO drones and reconnaissance aircraft over Crimea
British football fans spineless to unleash World War Three in Russia during World Cup
Beautiful and terrifying: Russia shows video of Bulava ICBM underwater salvo launch
Kremlin on failed nuclear missile tests: 'Listen to President Putin and believe him!'
Kremlin wants foreign invaders out of Syria
Kremlin on failed nuclear missile tests: 'Listen to President Putin and believe him!'
What may happen to foreign tourists traveling for 2018 World Cup in Russia
Kremlin on failed nuclear missile tests: 'Listen to President Putin and believe him!'
Russian special services detain Hizb ut-Tahrir members in Crimea
Russian special services detain Hizb ut-Tahrir members in Crimea
Foreign Ministry official explains why Russia had to sell Alaska to US
Russian air defences ready to shoot down NATO drones and reconnaissance aircraft over Crimea
Just Words on Scraps of Paper
Just Words on Scraps of Paper
SWIFT refuses to cut Russia off, even if Washington insists