On September 26, 2017, in the Mirror Hall of Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, a meeting of the Xth All-Ukrainian Scientific and Practical Seminar “Ukrainianophobia as a Phenomenon and Political Technology” was held. Participation in the event was taken by scientists, students, journalists and representatives of the public.
As part of the workshop, the report was delivered by well-known Austrian scholar, this year’s winner of the Ivan Franko International Prize Michael Moser. In his speech, the Professor of linguistics at the Institute of Slavic Studies at the University of Vienna stressed the dynamics of language policy in Ukraine, analyzed the latest legislative initiatives aimed at supporting the Ukrainian language and shared his own vision of the prospects for the development of Ukrainian studies.
Analyzing language processes in Ukraine, Michael Moser stressed that “the language law of Kivalov-Kolesnichenko” is shameful for our state and simply has no right to operate. And so, the researcher noted that “all kinds of initiatives aimed at a new, beautiful, relevant language law are very necessary for Ukraine”.
One of the main factors that determine the dynamics of the development of the Ukrainian language, Michael Moser called the linguistic life of Kyiv.
“The linguistic life of the capital will continue to have a huge impact on the situation in the country as a whole. Therefore, the support of the Ukrainian language in Kyiv is very important”, said the scientist, adding that positive changes have already taken place in recent times, and now in Kyiv, Ukrainian sounds much more often, and Russians began to be used less in the service sector and at the official level.
The researcher also shared his observations on the number of media products in Ukrainian. According to him, now there are many musical compositions that belong to both high and popular culture.
In the context of changing the legislation on state language policy, Michael Moser noted that he is favorably involved with draft law 5670, which, according to him, contributes to the development and consolidation of the Ukrainian language while protecting the rights of national minorities in Ukraine.
Despite the numerous difficulties, according to the Austrian scholar, the Ukrainian language is still actively developing. To confirm his opinion, he provided statistical data that shows that more and more Ukrainian citizens call Ukrainian as their native language and much more people use it in their everyday lives.
In addition, Michael Moser assured that often Ukrainians themselves do not fully understand how popular the Ukrainian language is. The linguist noted that in all the countries of the world which he visited, he always met people whom he spoke with in Ukrainian.
“It is necessary to continue to work in order to develop the Ukrainian language to become even more popular in Ukraine and in the world. We are already an optimistic about that”, said Michael Moser.
Subsequently, all participants of the meeting had an opportunity to take an active part in the discussion on the principles of state language policy, the specifics of protecting the languages of national minorities in Ukraine and in the world, and other issues.