News / Europe

Euro 2012 Prompts Ukrainians to Learn English

Euro 2012 Prompts Ukrainians to Learn Englishi
|| 0:00:00
X
Anna Podulenko
June 20, 2012
While members of the Ukrainian parliament are fighting over the status of the Russian language in Ukraine, English is becoming more popular in the country - without any government directive. Market forces - in which supply dictates demand - as well as the Euro 2012 football (soccer) championship, co-hosted by Ukraine and Poland, are having an impact on Ukrainians becoming trilingual. Anna Podulenko has more.
TEXT SIZE - +
Anna Podulenko
KYIV - While members of the Ukrainian parliament are fighting over the status of the Russian language in Ukraine, English is becoming more popular in the country - without any government directive.  Market forces - in which supply dictates demand - as well as the Euro 2012 football (soccer) championship, co-hosted by Ukraine and Poland, are having an impact on Ukrainians becoming trilingual. 
 
Euro 2012 has changed Ukrainians’ daily routine, especially those who live in the host-cities.  The championship has attracted many tourists to the country, who remind Ukrainians that while the national parliament struggles to decide which language they should speak - Russian or Ukrainian - more and more people around the world are turning to English, especially in international business.

With that in mind, some Ukrainians, on their own, have begun speaking and running their businesses using several languages.

“We organize many tours with English-speaking guides, but most of them are still ordered by some self-organized travel groups that are coming here to Kyiv," said Arseniy Finberg, project coordinator for Interesting Kyiv.
            
The Ukrainian capital is also switching to English. The names of subway stations are now announced in Ukrainian and English, and all the signs are in both languages. And restaurant owners have added a few extra menus in English to those they already have.
    
“Last year when I was here, everything was in Ukrainian. Now everywhere, in the subway for example, all the signs are in English, and also the speaker voice is in Ukrainian and in English," said Swedish tourist Katerina.  "And you can really tell that the town has prepared to welcome the tourists because now all the signs are in two languages and so on.”
            
Ukrainians are sometimes surprised by how well soccer fans from abroad speak English - even though it is not their national language. Those who have had a chance to take part in Euro 2012, have seen that market forces are in effect, with those knowing at least three languages in demand among employers.
 
“English language is a must these days," said Euro 2012 volunteer Tetiana. "It doesn’t matter in which field you work, you can find it connected with English."
    
“The quantity of people speaking English is increasing with a speed of a sound. I know people who don’t speak English they start attending language schools. Almost everyone now speaks English," said Kateryna, another Euro 2012 volunteer.
 
With the flow of tourists to Kyiv, local residents are seeing the important role the English language plays - even in the course of watching soccer games in their home country.  As a result, Ukrainians are finding they are going back to their school years, trying to come up with a few English phrases - if only to explain to foreign fans why the Ukrainian team they are cheering for will win.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: oldfogie1 from: Sydney Australia
June 21, 2012 6:42 PM
When in Ukraine, I found most of the younger people spoke English to varying degrees, particularly in the cities. Older people, generally only knew Ukrainian, particularly in the villages.

English is being taught in Russia. One of my friends has been recruited to teach English there. Russia is aware of the importance of this language. It is not only useful for trade and tourism, but also as a way to access Western technology. Most of this technology is either written in the English language, or translated into English from other languages. This makes it essential for study purposes, particularly at University level. The Russian language is not widely known outside of the former USSR states. In any case, Russia also lags the West in developing new technology and the English language is essential to keep up to date with the rest of the world..


by: sergeyovitch from: Canada
June 21, 2012 5:24 PM
No doubt knowing English is great. The more languages one knows - the more opportunities. Unfortunately, in Ukraine, the Russian language was shoved down everyones throat for over 300 years. It is time that Ukrainians appreciate, know, use and protect their own language first.


by: davidjules from: Philippines
June 20, 2012 9:51 PM
Ukrainians should start learning English or should speak English for that language is very necessary in the business world.
Here in my country Philippines I am proud to say that most probably 90% of the people here can speak English and because of that a lot of American & European investors put up BPO companies here, that gives thousands of jobs for Filipinos & that helps our economy to grow. Apart from that, our tourism boost because a lot foreigners visit our country because there's no language barrier. English is no doubt very important. See? How beneficial English is!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid