19:25 9/11/2017
To popularize Ukrainian language, capital’s civil activists are planning an advertising campaign to “make people want to speak Ukrainian”.

The upcoming campaign is a part of language initiatives worked out by civil activists from the “Ukrainian-speaking Kyiv” civil network. Deputy Director of the Social Communication Department of Kyiv City State Administration Tetyana Huzenko says there is a “problem concerning the language of materials read online, as the highest ranking web-sites in Ukraine are in Russian”.

The project is currently 90% ready and its activities will include outdoor advertisement, banners in public transport, targeted advertisement in social media and audio broadcasts in trade centers. Further plans also include radio broadcasts, brief TV clips, round tables and printed materials to be spread through the city.

Already designed 30 ads contain slogans beginning with the phrase “Living in Kyiv is” followed by different conclusions, such as “reading/speaking in Ukrainian”, “Google-searching in Ukrainian”, “using Facebook in Ukrainian”, “switching your devices to Ukrainian” etc. One of them suggests to use only Ukrainian transliteration of the city’s name instead of the widespread russified version “Kiev”.

Examples of newly designed advertisements

One of project co-founders claims “there are two reasons one chooses to speak Ukrainian – either to compel, or by his or her free will. It is easier to make others want to. This is exactly the aim of such advertisement”. The initiative’s official web-site says the campaign is called to “harmonize the capital’s information space by developing its natural and historically justified (Ukrainian) language aspects and all-European values”.

On November 9 (Day of Ukrainian writing and language), a “Dictation of National Unity” was held at the City Administration. The text contained 100-120 words was read out by a local university teacher and author of Ukrainian textbooks. Participants who made no mistakes were honored with prizes. Everyone wishing to write in other places could do it listening to a radio broadcast.