Yatsenyuk Wants Ukrainian to Be an Official EU Language. Has He Lost His Mind?

For starters, Ukraine is not even an EU member...We'll stop there. 

Mon, May 18, 2015
MORE: Politics
This guy. Again.
This guy. Again.

A fortnight or so ago, Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, while addressing the plenary session between Kiev and the EU, left his audience just a little bit open-mouthed. That was when he was explaining “why they had gathered that day.” “I am convinced”, he announced, “that there is a significant prospect that the Ukrainian language will become an official language of the EU, and that is why we've gathered here today." Wait...what?

Yatsenyuk’s pronouncement was, undoubtedly, a piece of very good news, because the Ukrainian language is beautiful and so melodious! On the other hand, English and French, for you to remember, are not that bad, too. For that reason and as if his Prime Minister’s language manifest was not inspiring enough, President Petro Poroshenko, addressing the same audience, also went linguistic, announcing that those two, i.e. English and French, will soon become the working languages in the Ukrainian government, to be spoken “as good as Ukrainian.”

So far so good. In the meantime…

At the beginning of May, an independent educational evaluation was conducted at Ukraine’s schools to look into how well the grads had mastered the Ukrainian language and literature. Fully qualified were 158 teens (0.06%) out of 300,000, with only 12 of them hitting the highest result possible. 19% passed the test “at the primary school level.” 23.000 altogether failed.

Yury Nickulichev is a professor at the Russian Academy for National Economy and Civil Service

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