2021 is a new stage in the enactment of the Law on language

15 січня 2021 року

From January 16, service in Ukrainian and exams for officials. By the decision of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on April 25, 2019, the Law № 2704-VIII on ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state language was ratified. It was signed by the President of Ukraine on May 15. On May 16, the text of the Law was published in the official publication of the Verkhovna Rada – the newspaper "Voice of Ukraine". On July 16, 2019, the Law came into force, but it stipulates that not all articles and provisions of the Law will be applied immediately.

     Since July 16, there have been no radical changes in the language sphere in Ukraine. Although this day was the start for their gradual implementation, which lasts for several years.

The state language as an opportunity to acquire Ukrainian citizenship

     The law stipulates that a person who intends to acquire the citizenship of Ukraine is obliged to certify the appropriate level of proficiency in the state language (Article 7). It takes 2 years to develop the Requirements for the level of proficiency in the state language, as well as the procedure for conducting the relevant exam, i.e. certification of the level of proficiency in the state language is provided by the Law of July 16, 2021.

 Who must know and use the state language?

     According to Article 9 of the Law, the highest state leadership, civil servants, judges, police officers, pedagogical workers, etc. are obliged to speak the state language and use it in the performance of their official duties.
   According to this article of the Law, the list of these persons can be divided into two categories – those that are sufficient to prove proficiency in the state language, for example, a school certificate certifying the study of the Ukrainian language at school and those who must obtain a state certificate from the National Commission. state language standards. The latter include: senior government, civil servants, heads of local state administrations and their deputies, middle and senior management of the National Police and other law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, judges, heads of educational institutions of all forms of ownership. Moreover, this does not apply to those officials who at the time of entry into force of this rule already held the relevant position. And this rule comes into force on July 16, 2021.

Law enforcement agencies and the Border Guard Service

     Representatives of border or customs services often address non-state language to Ukrainian citizens when crossing the border. Article 17 of the Law makes this impossible, as it unequivocally states that if a citizen of Ukraine passes a border or customs inspection, officials are obliged to communicate with him in the state language, if a citizen of another state or a stateless person, communication must take place in the state or other language the official.
     With regard to the activities of law enforcement officers, representatives of intelligence agencies, state special purpose bodies with law enforcement functions, they may communicate with persons who do not understand the state language in a language acceptable to both parties or through an interpreter (Article 16).

Education and science

      The law provides for the possibility of publishing scientific publications in the state, English and/or other official languages of the European Union, and dissertations, monographs, abstracts – in the state language or English. The language of public scientific events can be both state language and English. If it is a linguistic event on a certain foreign language or literature, it can take place in the specified language and without translation. The organizers are only obliged to inform the participants in advance. The above rules on language in the field of science came into force on July 16, 2020.

The state language in the virtual world

    From the first day of entry into force, the Law obliges public authorities to use computer programs with a user interface in the state language; Local Government; enterprises, institutions and organizations; educational institutions of state and communal forms of ownership for educational needs. If the corresponding program does not yet have an interface in Ukrainian, it is allowed to use programs with an interface in English.
   Ukrainian-language versions of the interface should also have mobile applications of public authorities and local governments, media registered in Ukraine and businesses that sell goods and services in Ukraine.
   Websites of foreign companies operating in Ukraine and having their branches, representative offices or subsidiaries here must contain sufficient information in the state language to navigate and disclose the purpose of such a resource. The official language version for users in Ukraine should also be downloaded here by default.

Public events

     The law stipulates that the language of public events is the state language. However, this applies only to those events (meetings, conferences, exhibitions, forums, etc.) that are fully or partially organized by public authorities or local governments, state bodies or economic entities owned by the state or local community, regardless of the share of this property. If a language other than the state language is used during the public event, the organizers must provide simultaneous or consecutive translation into the state language at the request of at least one participant of the event.
   In fact, the same applies to the language in the sports (sporting events), which is included in a separate article of the Law – 34. However, there is already a requirement to hold sports events in Ukraine in the state language, regardless of whether public authorities or local governments are involved in its organization or not.

Customer service

     From January 16, 2021, certain provisions of the law "On ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state language" come into force. Innovations can affect every Ukrainian who uses any services or buys any goods. After all, from this date, all service providers will be required to service and provide information in Ukraine in Ukrainian.
   Article 30 of the Law on Language enters into force. It says that the language of customer service in Ukraine is the state language. Therefore, information on goods and services on the territory of Ukraine is provided in Ukrainian.


What is changing?

      From January 16 this year, enterprises, institutions and organizations of all forms of ownership, entrepreneurs and other business entities must provide services and provide information about goods and services, in particular through online stores and online catalogs, in Ukrainian.
   All manufacturers, as well as performers and sellers are obliged to provide consumers with information about their products, works or services in the state language.
   Information on price tags, instructions, technical characteristics, markings, tickets, menus, etc. must be provided in Ukrainian.
   In addition, e-commerce entities registered in Ukraine will now be required to ensure that all information specified by law, including the subject of the electronic contract, is provided in the state language.
   At the same time, information in the state language about goods and services may be duplicated in other languages. In this case, the amount of information in Ukrainian may not be less than the mandatory amount established by the law on consumer protection.
   The client may also be served in a non-state language if the client insists on it and a language of communication acceptable to both parties is found.
In information on goods, works or services provided in the state language, the law allows the use of words, abbreviations, acronyms and symbols in English and / or with the use of letters of the Latin and / or Greek alphabets.

How will violators be punished?

     There will be no language "commissioners" or any special commissioners for compliance with language legislation. However, the Secretariat of the Commissioner for the Protection of the State Language may carry out unscheduled measures to control violations of the language law.
   To begin with, owners or managers of service establishments should carry out explanatory work for their employees on the provisions of Article 30 of the Law on Language.
   If the consumer still finds himself in a situation where his rights to receive information and services in Ukrainian are violated, he must first record the violation in the complaint book and ask the manager or senior management of the institution to rectify the situation.
   Also, every citizen can file a complaint to the Commissioner for the Protection of the State Language, send it in writing or by e-mail.

Advertising and information for general acquaintance

     All information for general reference (advertisements, signs, signs, etc.) is provided in the state language. However, it may be duplicated in other languages, in cases established by law.
   The article on the language of advertising, which clearly states that the language of advertising is the state language (exceptions are possible only for advertising in media published or broadcast in one of the languages of the European Union), comes into force on January 16, 2020.

Proper names and designations

     A separate section of the Law (Section VI, Articles 39-42) is devoted to the use of the Ukrainian language as the state language in proper names. It is clear that it states that the names of authorities and local governments, geographical names and objects of toponymy should be in the state language. In addition to the state language, the English language or the Latin alphabet equivalent (for indexes of geographical objects and objects of toponymy) can be used.
   As for the name, surname and patronymic of citizens of Ukraine, they are displayed in accordance with the rules of Ukrainian spelling, are not translated, but are transliterated using the letters of the alphabet in accordance with the sound of the state language. It is also stipulated that an individual has the right to a transcribed record of his / her surname, name and patronymic in accordance with his / her national tradition.
   Trademarks are used in the form in which they were registered.

National Commission and the Commissioner

    In accordance with the Law of Ukraine "On Ensuring the Functioning of the Ukrainian Language as the State Language", the National Commission on State Language Standards (hereinafter – the Commission) develops and approves standards of the Ukrainian language as the state language, develops methods for verifying its proficiency.
The task of the Commission is to preserve and develop the state language by establishing standards of the state language and methods of checking the level of proficiency in the state language required for acquiring citizenship or holding positions specified by law.
   The Commission is a central executive body with a special status, the activities of which are directed and coordinated by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine through the Minister, who heads the central executive body in the field of education and science.
   The Commissioner for the Protection of the State Language is an official in Ukraine whose status is determined by the Law of Ukraine “On ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state language”.
   On September 4, 2019, the Secretariat of the VRU Commissioner for human rights held an open competition for the position of the commissioner for the Protection of the State Language for submission to the Government for approval. Based on the results of the open competition, the commission by a majority of votes recommended the candidacy of Taras Dmytrovych Kremin, who is a co-author of the laws "On education", "On professional higher education", "On complete general secondary education", and "On ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state language".

Kremin Taras Dmytrovych

     The task of the commissioner for the protection of the state language is (Article 49):

  1.  Protection of the Ukrainian language as the state language.
  2.  Protection of the right of citizens of Ukraine to receive in the state language information and services in the spheres of public life, defined by this Law, on the whole territory of Ukraine and elimination of obstacles and restrictions in the use of the state language.

Chumak Tetiana,
senior instructor of the department
of journalism and language communication


To Applicants (синій)Press-centreRegional Educational Institutions (синій)

Натисніть «Подобається», щоб читати
новини НУБіП України в Facebook