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Ukrainians Celebrate Their National Language

 Every year Ukraine Celebrates its national language day on November 9 by holding spelling bees, literacy festivals, and even a nationwide radio dictation. This year, however, the written Pan-Ukrainian test will take place on November 11, while Lviv residents will write the test on November 8. Anybody interested can test their language skills, including Ukrainians residing abroad and foreigners of non-Ukrainian origin.

The radio dictation is an annual event aimed at promoting the Ukrainian language proficiency including the knowledge of spelling and punctuation among the residents of the country as well as some 20 million Ukrainians living abroad. It may also be listened to online at the official website of the National Radio Company of Ukraine.

As usually, the listeners will write the dictation and send it for proofing to the address of the National Radio Company of Ukraine: 26 Khreshchatyk St., Kyiv 01001 Ukraine (for Lviv residents: Lviv, 24 Zelena St., 1st Floor). The rules of the radio dictation will be repeated at 13:10 GMT +02:00, while the reading of the text will begin at 13:30, reports Segodnya. The written tests submitted by November 12th will be eligible for the prize draw; they will also be proofed and returned to senders. The entrants of the linguistic challenge who will demonstrate the top level of knowledge of Ukrainian language will receive prizes – books and money (up to USD 1,000).

The dictation is a part of the International Petro Yatsyk Contest of the Ukrainian Language Mastership. Customarily, a celebrity reads out a text during a radio broadcast. For the second year in a row, known Ukrainian teacher, linguist and radio host Oleksandr Avramenko will do the honor.

The contest attracts significant international attention with around five million entrants from 20 countries competing in the tournament each year. The first Petro Yatsyk Contest took place in 2000. Traditionally, the Ukrainian Language Day is celebrated by laying flowers to the monument of Nestor Litopysets in Kyiv, awarding the most prominent promoters of the Ukrainian language, further encouraging the publishing houses which publish in Ukrainian, and holding the International Petro Yatsyk Contest.

The Ukrainian Language Day was established on November 9, 1997, to commemorate the outstanding historical personality – Nestor Litopysets (Saint Nestor the Chronicler), a monk at the Kyiv monastery. Nestor Litopysets is known for compiling a history of the Kyivan Rus – the Primary Chronicle in 1113. Interestingly, the English Language Day at the UN is celebrated on April 23 – the birthday of William Shakespeare.

Europe began celebrating the European Day of Languages in 2001 while UNESCO established the International Mother Language Day back in 1999.
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