Ukraine passes new language law

Ukraine passes new language law

The #Ukrainian #Parliament passed a new #language #law providing for a #mandatory use of the Ukrainian language in the public sector, #business, #media, #education and a range of other spheres. However, the bill has not yet been signed by the President.

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On 26 April 2019, the Verkhovna Rada passed a new language law, which will require that the Ukrainian language be used in the public sector, business, media, education and a range of other spheres. The persons subject to this requirement will include politicians, judges and other public officers, military, doctors, teachers, etc.

Pro-Ukrainian politicians, activists and representatives of culture have already called the law on the state language epoch-making and historic. Their opponents, however, are less enthusiastic about it.

The law provides that the state shall guarantee every citizen the opportunity to learn Ukrainian. The Ukrainian passport applicants must pass a Ukrainian language exam before obtaining citizenship. All public officials except for 450 members of the Ukrainian Parliament will be required to demonstrate their command of the state language – from the president and prime minister to army officers, notaries and medical staff.

At least 50% of books sold in bookstores shall be in Ukrainian. Moreover, Ukrainian-language printed books shall make up at least 50% of the total output.

100% of the printed media must be published in the state language. It should be noted that this does not apply to editions published in English or in one of the official languages of the EU.

The new law also requires that 100% of websites, mobile applications and sites in the social networks of public authorities or companies and media registered in Ukraine have a version in Ukrainian, which must be set as default version.

Furthermore, 90% of TV and film content shall be in Ukrainian. 10% of the performances in cinemas may consist of films shown in the original language with subtitles. At festivals, films can be shown in the original language with subtitles.

However, there are certain exceptions provided for by the law when it comes to the use of languages of the indigenous peoples and national minorities.

It should be noted that the law has not yet been signed by the President.

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