The national language of Ukraine is one that closely mirrors both Russian and Belarusian. It is considered to be an Eastern Slavonic language and is spoken by approximately 51 million people in the Ukraine and abroad. Other countries that hold a strong command over the Ukrainian language includes; Slovakia, Belarus, Armenia, Argentina, Canada, Brazil, Georgia, Hungary, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Moldova, Lithuania, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Romania, Poland, and Paraguay.
The Ukrainian language dates back to the year 988 when Kiev (the Ukrainian capital) was forcibly converted to Christianity. Missionaries to spread the message of Christianity to the Slavic peoples used old Slavonic translations of Ukrainian religious material.
By the 13th century, Ukraine became included in the Grand Duchy of Lithuanian and Ruthenian. It is here that Ukrainian became the main spoken-language. As the 16th century progressed, parts of Ukraine were taken over by Poland. Because of this, Latin and Polish began to take precedent in certain areas of the country. At this point, Ruthenian began to divide Ukrainian and Belarusian languages.
During the 17th century, the Cossacks moved into eastern Ukrainian territory as their leader, Bohdan Khmelnystky, invited Russians to aid ward off Polish domination. It was during the rule of Catherine the Great that the Cossacks had moved to the eastern borders of Russia, although Ukraine remained under Russian control. At this time, Russians considered the Ukrainian language to be nothing more than a separate dialect of the Russian language.
By 1876, a ban was implemented regarding the importation of Ukrainian books. However, at this time there was resurgence in the revival of Ukrainian historiography and poetry that lead into the 19th century.
For one brief year, Ukraine enjoyed a independent period but was then taken over by the USSR and declared a part of the Soviet Republic. At this time, the Russian language infiltrated the country and became the main language of both educational and employment sectors.
In 1991, Ukraine finally declared independence. Since then, many Ukraine émigrés have flocked back to their homeland, particularly descending from Asia and Siberia.
Ukrainian language (українськаабетка)…
Sample text in Ukrainian
Всілюдинароджуютьсявільними і рівними у своїйгідностітаправах.Вонинаділенірозумом і совістю і повиннідіяти у відношенніодиндоодного в дусібратерства.
Vsiljudynarodžujut’sjavil’nymyirivnymy u svojijhidnosti ta pravax. Vonynadilenirozumomisovistjuipovynnidijaty u vidnošenniodyn do odnoho v dusibraterstva.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
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