Ukrainian Parliament approves English language bill amid cinema industry backlash

Ukraine's parliament
Ukraine's parliament

The Ukrainian Parliament has approved Bill No. 9432, which aims to elevate the status of English in Ukraine, MP Oleksiy Honcharenko announced on Telegram on June 4. 

Initiated by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on June 28, 2023, the bill designates English as one of the languages of international communication within the country.

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The legislation, supported by 236 deputies, seeks to bolster Ukraine’s appeal for investment and tourism by expanding the use of English in public services, including the military, medical, and transportation sectors, as well as cultural fields. The bill also mandates English proficiency for candidates in various official capacities, positioning the language as a strategic asset toward EU integration.

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However, the bill's provision to limit the dubbing of foreign films, promoting screenings in original languages with Ukrainian subtitles, has ignited considerable backlash. The Ukrainian Cinema Union has expressed significant concerns, arguing that these changes could undermine the domestic dubbing industry and inadvertently encourage audiences to seek content on illegal platforms, potentially dominated by Russian-language offerings.

In a letter to President Zelenskyy, Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko, and Parliament Chairman Ruslan Stefanchuk, the Cinema Union urged a revision of the bill, warning of potential job losses and the disappearance of professional dubbing studios in Ukraine.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine