On November 9, 1997, with the support of the initiative of public organizations and taking into account the important role of the Ukrainian language in the consolidation of the Ukrainian society, the President of Ukraine issued Decree No. 1241/97 “On the Day of Ukrainian Writing and Language”.
According to the Orthodox calendar, this is the day of commemoration of the venerable Nestor the chronicler. Researchers believe that the written Ukrainian language began with Reverend Nestor the chronicler, the founder of Old Russian historiography, the first historian of Kyivan Rus. It was Nestor who brought the history of Russia into the stream of world history.
Over the centuries, the Ukrainian language, as well as its speakers – the Ukrainian people, has been subjected to significant oppression and prohibitions by various states. However, despite this, the Ukrainian language flourishes every year: there are more and more native speakers, young people increasingly popularize Ukrainian in social networks and encourage its use in speech. Today, more than 45 million people speak Ukrainian.
Interesting facts about the Ukrainian language:
The most translated literary work is Taras Shevchenko’s “Testament”. It was translated into 147 languages of the nations of the world.
It is difficult to say exactly when the Ukrainian language was born. According to the scientist Vasyl Kobylyukh, Ukrainian was formed in the 10th-4th millennia BC and comes from Sanskrit.
The first Ukrainian words were written down in 448 AD. At that time, the Byzantine historian Priscus of Panii was in the territory of modern Ukraine in the camp of the ruler Attila, who later defeated the Roman Empire and wrote down the words “honey” and “food”.
A peculiarity of the Ukrainian language is that it is rich in diminutive forms. Oddly enough, even the word “enemies” – “fortune tellers” has a diminutive and caressing form.
The most used letter in the Ukrainian alphabet is the letter “p”; it also starts with the largest number of words. The letter “f” is the least used.
Ukrainian was officially recognized as literary after the publication of “Aeneid” by Ivan Kotlyarevsky. So Kotlyarevskyi is considered the founder of the new Ukrainian language.
The names of all baby animals in the Ukrainian language belong to the neuter gender.
The modern Ukrainian language has approximately 256,000 words and is included in the list of languages that are successfully developing at this time.
The song “Danube, Danube, why are you flowing restlessly?” The work is a monument, the oldest example of a living folk language and a sample of the oldest Ukrainian book epic poetry.
During the full-scale war launched by Russia against Ukraine, the Ukrainian language is not only a sign of national identity and citizenship, but also a tool to fight the enemy. You can defend your country from an aggressor not only with weapons, but also with words. The word “burnt” has already become one of the linguistic symbols of this war. Palyanytsia is not only flat bread made of wheat flour, it is also shibboleth. That is, such a linguistic term, which means a characteristic language feature, by which you can recognize a person for whom this or that language is not his native language.
The establishment of the Day of the Ukrainian Language is not only the declaration of a noble goal, but also a real instruction to us, Ukrainians, to respect our native language, love our native language and study it throughout our lives!
For the Day of Ukrainian Writing and Language, the library offers two virtual exhibitions, one of which is dedicated to rare editions published in Ukrainian.
The language of our people is its most important spiritual treasure. Let’s take care, nurture and appreciate our “nightingale” language!