Top 11 points of Ukraine's new language law

Author : News Agency

Source : 112 Ukraine

The Verkhovna Rada has adopted the bill on ensuring the functioning of Ukrainian as a state language
11:00, 26 April 2019

The Verkhovna Rada has adopted the bill on ensuring the functioning of Ukrainian as a state language. has analyzed the final document submitted by the relevant committee to the session hall and highlighted the main points.

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  1. The only state and official language in Ukraine is Ukrainian. For public disrespect of the language and ignoring the law, you most likely will not be harshly punished. MPs removed the norm, which would equate public disrespect of the language to the abuse of state symbols and would impose a fine of up to 242 USD and up to imprisonment of up to 3 years.
  2. According to the draft law, all representatives of the central executive authorities of Ukraine and Crimea, MPs should speak Ukrainian (but before the second reading, the MPs made an exception for the speaker, first vice speaker and vice speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, removing them from the list) judges, prosecutors, lawyers, notaries, medical workers, teachers. All meetings, events, working communication in government, including Crimea, in government and community events should be held in Ukrainian. If the event organizer deems it necessary to apply another language, he will provide a translation into the state language. However, the MPs removed the provision on punishing violators (fines).
  3. Language requirements for members of the government, high-ranking officials, and MPs will be determined by the National Commission for Standards of the State Language, and the Ukrainian Language Center will test them for compliance. In addition to these two institutions, the Terminology Center of the Ukrainian language will be created. One of its tasks is to develop the standards of the Ukrainian sign language.
  4. In public kindergartens, the official language is Ukrainian, while the private might have the other options. The same situation is with school education. As for universities, the teaching should be in Ukrainian, but lectures in one of the EU languages are allowed. Russian is not included in the list.
  5. The Ukrainian language should sound in theaters, cinemas. Performances and films in a foreign language must be accompanied by subtitles. Cinemas can show foreign films in the original language, accompanying the subtitling in Ukrainian. The total number of demonstration sessions of such films cannot exceed 10% of the total number of film demonstrations in the cinema per month.
  6. Media are also covered by the Ukrainian language law. At the same time, the MPs have deferred the norm, which would impose print publishers to publish 50% of the circulation in the Ukrainian language for national and for regional outlets. Speaking about the television, the total duration of foreign language on television and radio programs is governed by the law “On Television and Radio Broadcasting.” The quota for national broadcasters is 75% of the Ukrainian language and 60% for regional and local broadcasters.
  7. The bookstores should have at least 50% of the products in the Ukrainian language.
  8. Sites and pages in the social media of companies selling goods in Ukraine and registered in Ukraine must be in Ukrainian. There might be other versions, but the Ukrainian version should contain no less content. The same applies to websites of state and public utilities, as well as media registered in Ukraine. On the websites of foreign companies that sell goods in Ukraine, the Ukrainian version should also be loaded by default. A computer program sold in Ukraine must have an interface in Ukrainian and/or in English and other official languages of the EU. Software with a user interface installed on products that are sold in Ukraine should have a Ukrainian version.
  9. A new position is being introduced - a language ombudsman. The language inspector will be able to request documents or their copies and other information, including those with limited access, to freely visit state authorities, attend their meetings, receive documents or their copies upon request.
  10. The draft law also provides for the creation of an institution of language inspectors, who will observe the purity of speech in their region. It is assumed that there should be 27 language inspectors.
  11. Anyone wishing to obtain Ukrainian citizenship must pass the exam on the knowledge of the Ukrainian language.

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