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In Ukrainian, please — a law is coming into force that obliges websites and programs to be translated into the state language


Sites, programs and interface — in Ukrainian

In 2019, the Verkhovna Rada adopted the Law of Ukraine "On Ensuring the Functioning of the Ukrainian Language as the State Language" . Most of its articles became effective on the day of publication, i.e., July 16, 2019, and for some, a later date of implementation was set, which will allow Ukrainians to prepare for the implementation of the new norms.

Article 30 entered into force 18 months after the adoption of this law, i.e. from January 16, 2021, companies were supposed to switch to customer service in Ukrainian. It also states that information about goods in online stores and commercial electronic messages (simply speaking, marketing mailings ) must also be in the state language.

And after three years, that is, on July 16, 2022, the second and sixth parts of Article 27 will enter into force, which contain the following provisions:

  • Computer interfaces of all goods sold in Ukraine must be in Ukrainian. This applies to washing machines, slow cookers, refrigerators, smartphones, laptops and any other equipment that is imported into the country or manufactured in it for domestic use.

  • Internet representations of enterprises of any form of business (municipal or private) and mass media must be presented in Ukrainian. These include not only websites, but also pages in social networks or channels in messengers.

Let's put it more simply: if you have any business in Ukraine, then all your goods or services must be presented in Ukrainian at all levels, starting from the label and the user interface and ending with the description in the online store.

All sites must have a full-fledged Ukrainian default version. The use of other languages on the site is allowed, but only as secondary languages. The Ukrainian version should be displayed first, the volume of information presented in it should not be less than in versions in other languages.

On the same day, July 16, the Commissioner for the Protection of the State Language gets the right to impose fines on everyone who violates the law — officials, entrepreneurs, mass media owners, etc.

Violators will pay for non-compliance with the law:

  • From 3,400 to 8,500 hryvnias for the first time;

  • From 8,500 to 11,900 hryvnias if the violation is repeated or not corrected.

How to quickly translate your site?

If your business is represented on the network (and most likely it is), there is less than a month left to add the Ukrainian language. In order to make the update in time, you can hire several freelance translators on the copywriting exchange or contact a translation agency (bureau). This way you will get fast and professional translations made "by hand".

Read also: " Overview of foreign freelance exchanges: Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr "

There is another option, cheaper and faster - automatic translators for sites. There are special plugins for CMS ( Joomla , WordPress , PrestaShop and others). On the plus side, such modules are inexpensive, you can connect them yourself, and they will automatically translate the entire site into as many languages as you need.

Another fast and budget option: Cloud Translation from Google. It also allows you to immediately connect a wide range of language versions to the site. This is a cloud translation, payment for the service is made monthly and only for the amount of text that was actually translated during this period. The fee for the first 500,000 characters is not waived. If you have a small project, it can be translated practically for free.

The disadvantage of machine translation is the low quality of the texts. From year to year, developers increase the level of translations, but still, automatic translation consistently loses to professional translation. If you have a site with a lot of texts (blog, mass media), then you should think about manual translations, but for an online store, an automatic one is quite suitable.

Why is it important to translate websites into Ukrainian?

Despite the fact that we are already in the fourth month of the war, there are still people for whom such measures are oppression, injustice and distortion. We want to share with you our thoughts on why the transition of the Ukrainian Internet to the state language is so important.

In the discussion of this topic on the forum, one of the commentators expressed a very interesting conclusion. Large Western companies, focusing on the "average language temperature" in the countries of the former CIS, have always chosen Russian as the most widespread. Therefore, it was logical to open a representative office in Moscow, as the center of Russian-speaking culture. Western business invested in the development of the branch, paid staff salaries and thus supported the Russian economy. And so we ourselves, reading Russian-language sites, indirectly financed the war with Ukraine.

Let's develop the idea further. By passively using what was provided — that is, Russian-language sites — we allowed ourselves to be identified as representatives of Russian culture. Because language is not only a dictionary and grammar, it is one of the ethnic components that reflects a certain mentality. We not only read texts and watched videos in Russian, but also consumed humor, facts, cultural phenomena and a whole range of components that form the national egregor. Therefore, it is not surprising that the occupiers, we, and many countries of the world did not distinguish Russians from Ukrainians too much until the full-scale war.

Read also: " How to remove Russian sites from Google search "

In fact, our ethnic groups are very different, and this has been proven many times. When we ourselves choose the Ukrainian version of the site and consume Ukrainian content, the whole world will understand that we are a separate country. And then no one will come to us "to save us from oppression."

The roots of this phenomenon go very deep, and it is necessary to create a default Ukrainian version on the website not only because they can be fined. And also because the Russian language carries with it the dominance of the Russian mentality, and Russian missiles are flying in its wake.

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Author: Bohdana Haivoronska

Journalist (since 2003), IT copywriter (since 2013), content marketer at Specializes in articles about technology, creation and promotion of sites.