Ukraine Continues International Tradition of Language Day Celebration

November 9, 2011

Kyiv, November 9, 2011. Following the worldwide adopted tradition of promoting literacy and language proficiency by holding spelling bees, language days and literacy festivals, Ukraine celebrates its national language Day. Europe began celebrating the European Day of Languages in 2001 while UNESCO established the International Mother Language Day back in 1999.

The International Petro Yatsyk Contest of the Ukrainian Language Mastership draws significant international attention with around 5 million entrants from 20 countries competing in the tournament annually. The first Petro Yatsyk Contest took place in 2000. The winners receive money prizes of around one thousand dollars.

The highlight of the Ukrainian event is the pan-Ukrainian dictation (written test) offered to anyone interested to take it. Customarily, a celebrity reads out a text during a radio broadcast. Consequently, the National Radio Company of Ukraine receives over 12 thousand texts for proofing.

The dictation is an annual event aimed at promoting the Ukrainian language proficiency including the knowledge of spelling and punctuation among the residents of the country. Today the pan-Ukrainian dictation will happen at 13:10 GMT +02:00, reports Segodnya. It may be listened to online at the official Web site of the National Radio Company of Ukraine. A known Ukrainian teacher, linguist and a radio host Oleksandr Avramenko will read out this year’s text.
The listeners write the dictation and send it for proofing to the address of the National Radio Company of Ukraine: 26 Khreshchatyk St., Kyiv 01001 Ukraine. The written tests submitted by November 10th will be eligible for the prize draw; they will also be proofed and sent back to the senders. The entrants of the linguistic challenge who will demonstrate the top level of knowledge of the Ukrainian language will receive prizes – books and money.

Several VIP guests will gather at the press center of the National Radio Company of Ukraine to write the dictation with the rest of the nation – the members of the Ukrainian parliament Olha Herasymiuk, Iryna Gerashchenko, and Oleksandr Holub will test their language skills. Last year the Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine Dmytro Tabachnyk wrote the dictation.

The Ukrainian Language Day has been established on November 9, 1997, to commemorate the outstanding historical personality Nestor Litopysets (Saint Nestor the Chronicler), a monk at the Kyiv monastery. Nestor Litopysets is known for compiling a history of the Kyiv Rus – the Primary Chronicle in 1113. Interestingly, the English Language Day at the UN is celebrated on April 23 – the birthday of William Shakespeare.

Traditionally, the Ukrainian Language Day is celebrated by putting flowers to the monument of Nestor Litopysets in Kyiv, awarding the most prominent promoters of the Ukrainian language, further encouraging the publishing houses who publish in Ukrainian, and holding the International Petro Yatsyk Contest of the Ukrainian Language Mastership.

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