Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

English should be Ukraine's second language -- not Russian

By Aussiegirl

Sadly, the language issue is still a sore point in Ukraine. The author makes a good point that if Ukrainians are to learn a second language, they would do better to learn English if they mean to join the EU and the West. Clinging to Russian merely prolongs and cements the imperialist tie to the old Big Brother mentality and drags Ukraine backwards rather than carrying it forward into the future. Hat tip to Pawlina and Nash Holos.


On January 29 Dmytro Pavlychko again warned Ukrainians about the threat of Russian becoming the official second language. At a time when the educated in every country in the world, including China and Russia, are learning English as a second language, because English is the de facto world-language, Ukraine's neo-soviet Russophile politicians threaten to isolate the country from the rest of the world with their Russian language legislation and throw Ukraine back culturally 100 years.

Continued use of Russian for business and in the public sphere would send the message that 'capitalism speaks Russian;' it would reinforce Russophile orientations and the notion that Ukrainian is only suitable for domestic use. Russian as a second language would mean educated Ukrainians who want contact with the world would have to learn a third language.

Fifteen years after independence public life, business and the media is still Russian-speaking outside Ukraine's three westernmost provinces.


Post a Comment

<< Home