In a recent post, I talked about the status that Russian had as an official language in the UE, focusing in the country of Latvia. Today, as I read more on the topic, I find and overflow of stories surrounding this controversial “languages bill” in Ukraine.
If this bill would to become a law in Ukraine, it would mean that minority languages such as Tatar, Romanian, Hungarian and off course Russian, would be accepted as an official language; natives to these languages would be able to study, receive information, watch movies and file documents in their mother tongue.
The idea for this bill was conceived in 1990, and it is making international headlines now because it was not until 2012 that it became a reality. Over the past two days, dangerous riots erupted in Ukraine, where hundreds of people protested the bill forcing the police to get involved and dozens of people were injured. Eventhough passing this bill would not change the status of Ukrainian as the only official, state language, patiotric Ukranians fear for their language and identity as a culture in general.
Russian Translation of All Documents
Deputy Kolesnichenko, the person behind the creation of this bill, said “As a person born in a Russian-speaking family, I would certainly have been happy to see the Russian installed as Ukraine’s second state language, but we all understand this is NOT possible in Ukraine. That’s why we created this bill without a condition of changing the constitutional status of Ukraine’s language as the only state language. This bill is meant to respect the rights of minorities in our country, and everyone who stands against it either didn’t read it or uses his stance to gain political points”.
For the community of translators all over the world, these type of news are received with open arms. Passing a law that would assure all government documents, healthcare information, books and most literature, to be available in Russian and Romanian, among other languages, would mean that translators all over the world would have the opportunity to take on these projects, and have a constant stream of work.