Sie sind auf Seite 1von 9



These are those languages that are not spoken widely in a country; languages that
need more attention to be placed on them in order to reach and help more people who need
access to them. The definition of an LLDs is not global, but relative. The limited diffusion
of any given language depends on the geographical area where its speakers are located in
relation to speakers of languages of more common diffusion. In other words, the limited
diffusion of a language in Indiana, for example, is not the same as in Oklahoma, London or
Some people call them “minority languages,”, but these two notions are not the
same. The character features of minority languages: 1) are recognized as the official ones in
particular states; 2) have their own statehood. Example of minority l-ge is the Hungarian
language. It is one of the minority languages in Ukraine; however, there is a state named
Hungary with the official Hungarian language.
Example of LLD: the Crimean Tatar language. There is an Autonomous Republic
named Crimea but it exists only in the limits of Ukraine. Languages of Limited Diffusion
exist only within the limits of another alien country.


The question of what is considered to be minority language was not once discussed
in connection with The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
(Європейська хартія регіональних мов або мов меншин), which was ratified by Ukraine
in 2003. This document is applied to languages, which significantly differ from the majority
or official language and that either have a territorial basis or are used by linguistic minorities
within the State as a whole. The main principles of the Charter include:

 Recognition of regional or minority languages as an expression of cultural wealth.

 Respect for the geographical area of each regional or minority language.
 The need for resolute action to promote such languages.

 The facilitation and/or encouragement of the use of such languages, in speech and
writing, in public and private life.
 The provision of appropriate forms and means for the teaching and study of such
languages at all appropriate stages.
 The promotion of relevant transnational exchanges.
 The prohibition of all forms of unjustified distinction, exclusion, restriction or
preference relating to the use of a regional or minority language and intended to
discourage or endanger its maintenance or development.
 The promotion by states of mutual understanding between all the country’s linguistic
In accordance with the very Charter, Ukraine is obliged to protect and promote
historical regional and minority languages. There are two levels of protection — the
government must apply the lower level of protection to minority languages. And then the
government may further declare that minority languages will benefit from the higher level
of protection, which lists a range of actions from which states must agree to undertake at
least 35. The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages defines the
following languages spoken in Ukraine as minority ones and demands their protection and
 Armenian
 Belarusian
 Bulgarian
 German
 Hungarian
 Yiddish
 Moldavian/Romanian
 Polish
 Russian
 Czech

The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages was largely criticized as in
fact it imposes on the state the excessive obligations to protect those languages that do not
need protection actually and on the contrary it leaves beyond its focus a number of languages
that really need special protection and support.

The languages of limited diffusion that are spoken exclusively on the territory of
Ukraine need the highest level of attention, as they are not spoken nowhere except for our
 The Crimean Tatar language
 The Languages of Pryazovian Greeks (i.e. Urum and Rumaiica)
 The Gagauz language
 The Karaim language


Crimean Tatar is one of Turkic languages. There are about 300,000 speakers of this
language in Crimea, Central Asia, mainly in Uzbekistan, and also in Turkey, Romania and
Crimean Tatar is a unique language in the post-Soviet area. Mass deportation of the
Crimean Tatars in May 1944 inflicted considerable damage to the language. Crimean Tatar
language appeared on Ukraine’s linguistic map in the early 90s. The Crimean
Tatars, nearly 70% of whom lived in Uzbekistan, started repatriating to Crimea. Almost half
a century has passed since the deportation.Then, on May 18, 1944, in an instant,
the language lost all of its social functions, except for the everyday one. Whereas before the
deportation, the Crimean Tatar was used at school (elementary, secondary and high), on
the radio, in record-keeping, in jurisprudence, science, journalism, literature. For those,
who were far away from home, the only thing left was to hold together and communicate
with each other. Half a century exile inflicted tremendous damage on
the language. It was ‘banished’ even from the geographical map of Crimea: under the 1945
decree, hundreds of original Crimean Tatar names, each of them telling something about a

city or village, were replaced by the common

Soviet ones: Plodovoe, Yagodnoe, Solnechnoe. Therefore, many Crimean
Tatar children actually have to learn their national language.
Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 also played a significant role. Before the
annexation, there were less that 10 trainees at Kyiv-based Crimean Tatar Cultural
and Education center. Now there are more than 50 of them. They get much attention and
assistance from the ordinary citizens and activists.


The history of Pryaovian Greeks is also connected with Crimea. As you probably
remember from the course of history in school, Crimea was Greek-speaking for more than
a thousand years as a part of the Byzantine Empire. Then in 15th century the state became
subject to the Ottoman. The beginning of large-scale settlement of Greeks in
the steppe region north of the Sea of Azov dates to the 18TH century when Catherine the
Great of Russia invited Greeks of the Crimea to resettle to recently conquered lands
(including founding Mariupol) to escape persecution in then Muslim dominated Crimea.
Due to the centuries of living under the Tatar and Turkish rule, many of the Greeks did not
speak the Greek language anymore; thus the community was divided into the Greek-
speaking Romeiis and the Turkic speaking Urums.
There are Literature in both of the languages The founder of Romaiica literature
is Heorhiy Kostoprav from village Maloyanysol not far from Mariupol, who worked in the
1920s-1930s . He was the first to start writing artistic works in a language that had no written
system before. Kostoprav translated Shevchenko's "Testament" into Greek, published in
1933, and included in a textbook for Greek schools (then they still existed in all Greek
villages and in Mariupol as well).

Leontiy Nesterovich KIRYAKOV (1919-2008) - a prominent Greek poet, he has been

fond of the poetry of T. Shevchenko, and in the age of twenty he translated into Greek a
passage from the poem «Причинна» («Реве та стогне Дніпр широкий...»)

According to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

(UNESCO), both Urum and Rumaiica languages may disappear in the nearest future. The
total number of speakers of these two languages is 20,000 (the latest data for 1989).
Unfortunately, there are no more recent data, but since then, many Greeks of Pryazovia have
left Ukraine, and moved mainly to Greece and Cyprus. Therefore, we can say that this figure
has decreased much. Another problem is that young generation does not want to learn
Rumaiica and Urum, because they found it more useful to study Modern Greek.
Some people are speculating much on the necessity to protect the Russian language
in Donetsk region but in fact these are Urum and Rumaiica languages that need protection
and support. However, the protection and preservation of these languages have never
received much publicity, as, for example, the situation with the Russian language, although
nobody recognized Russian the disappearing language in Ukraine.


It is a Turkic language spoken by the Gagauz people in Odessa region and as well it
is spoken in Moldova in the Autonomous Region of Gagauzia. It is very similar to Turkish.
Gagauz was not used in curriculum until 1959, when even then it was not used officially or
in everyday life. About 30, 000 representatives of Gagauz live in Odessa region.
What is the Current situation with Gagauz language?
A study in 2012 was conducted on the Gagauz community to assess the current
situation and sociocultural context. The findings show that within Gagauzia in Moldova,
official documents, printed publications, and official web sites are only in Russian. The
National Passport System in Moldova does not allow the spelling of names in Gagauz.
Signposts in Gagauzia are mostly in Romanian, and the names of squares and streets have
not changed since the time of the Soviet Union.
The situation is very similar in Ukraine. Because of the lack of teachers in schools,
there is a possibility of cultural assimilation.



Karaim is an endangered language spoken mainly in Ukraine, Lithuania and Poland.

The Karaim language originates from the Crimean Peninsula, and is still used by some 300
persons in the three countries, as well as by some unverified number of speakers in the
Ukrainian Crimea. Karaim belongs to Turkic languages. It has not developed a uniform
standard, but functioned in the following dialectal varieties:
 Crimean – or eastern, spoken in the Crimean Peninsula, considered extinct by now:
 Trakai-Vilnius – used within the Karaim communities in Lithuania and Poland.
 Lutsk-Halych – in the past spoken in the two towns in Ukraine, by now used by the
last speakers; not transmitted to next generations.

The Karaim dialects differ significantly in vocabulary and phonetics. The Karaims are
the smallest officially recognized ethnic minority in Poland (no more than 300 persons) and
Lithuania and Ukraine.

Unless current trends are reversed, these endangered languages will become extinct
within the next century. Many other languages are no longer being learned by new
generations of children or by new adult speakers; these languages will become extinct when
their last speaker dies. In fact, dozens of languages today have only one native speaker still
living, and that person's death will mean the extinction of the language: It will no longer be
spoken, or known, by anyone.


Most linguists agree that there are over 5,000 languages in the world. A century from
now, however, many of these languages may dissapear at all. Some linguists believe the
number may decrease by half; some say the total could fall to mere hundreds as the majority
of the world's languages - most spoken by a few thousand people or less - give way to
languages like English, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Indonesian,
Arabic, Swahili, and Hindi. By some estimates, 80% of the world's languages may vanish
within the next century.

The situations with endangered LLDs is not unique for Ukraine, there are some other
languages in other countries that do exist in a similar conditions. You may look upon the
statistics on ten countries with the largest amount of endangered languages. As you see,
India is on the top of the rating with almost 200 languages of limited diffusion that are
strongly endangered.

Due to Yu. O. Zhluktenko, Ukrainian translated literature was enriched by works of
Frisian and Flemish poets and writers. These l-ges are rarely used as a source for translation,
esp. in Ukrainian. Zhluktenko interested in this l-ge as by that time it was the only Germanic
l-ges that were almost not studied by Ukrainian scholars. Frisian and Flemish cultures also
struggled to preserve itheir identity.

The dialogue btw Ukrainian and Frisian literatures started in 1983 (short novel “The
Trap” by Rink van der Velde tr bu Zhluktenko)
A book on the Frisian l-ge publ in Kyiv 1984 with Olekasandr Dvukhzhylov. (initiated
a course on studying Frisian l-ge in Kyiv University)
Fragments were publ in Vsesvit and Literaturna Ukrayina.
Frisian poet Freark Dam publ in 1987 an article about T. Shevchenko with his translation of
the Testament and The Dream. + prepared the Dutch translation.
Flemish literature
(West Germanic l-ge, related to Dutch and regarded as Belgian variant of Dutch)
Zhluktenko tr: Jos Vandeloo The Danger (Vsesvit. 1987) – about victims of nuclear
A community that wants to preserve or revive its language has a number of options.
Perhaps the most dramatic story is that of Modern Hebrew, which was revived as a mother
tongue after centuries of being learned and studied only in its ancient written form. Irish has
had considerable institutional and political support as the national language of Ireland,

despite major inroads by English. In New Zealand, Maori communities established nursery
schools staffed by elders and conducted entirely in Maori, called kohanga reo, 'language
nests'. There, and in Alaska, Hawaii, and elsewhere, this model is being extended to primary
and in some cases secondary school. And in California, younger adults have become
language apprentices to older adult speakers in communities where only a few older
speakers are still living. A growing number of conferences, workshops, and publications
now offer support for individuals, schools, and communities trying to preserve languages.

Because so many languages are in danger of disappearing, linguists are trying to learn
as much about them as possible, so that even if the language disappears, all knowledge of
the language won't disappear at the same time. Researchers make videotapes, audiotapes,
and written records of language use in both formal and informal settings, along with

In addition, they analyze the vocabulary and rules of the language and write dictionaries
and grammars. Linguists also work with communities around the world that want to preserve
their languages, offering both technical and practical help with language teaching,
maintenance, and revival. This help is based in part on the dictionaries and grammars that
they write. But linguists can help in other ways, too, using their experience in teaching and
studying a wide variety of languages. They can use what they've learned about other
endangered languages to help a community preserve its own language, and they can take
advantage of the latest technology for recording and studying languages.


When a community loses its language, it often loses a great deal of its cultural identity
at the same time. Although language loss may be voluntary or involuntary, it always
involves pressure of some kind, and it is often felt as a loss of social identity or as a symbol
of defeat. That doesn't mean that a group's social identity is always lost when its language
is lost; for example, Manx on the Isle of Man have lost their native languages, but not their
identity as Manx.

But language is a powerful symbol of a group's identity. Much of the cultural,

spiritual, and intellectual life of a people is experienced through language. This ranges from
prayers, myths, ceremonies, poetry, oratory, and technical vocabulary to everyday greetings,
leave- takings, conversational styles, humor, ways of speaking to children, and terms for
habits, behaviors, and emotions. When a language is lost, all of this must be refashioned in
the new language-with different words, sounds, and grammar - if it is to be kept at all.
Frequently traditions are lost in the process and replaced by the cultural habits of the more
powerful group.
Much is lost from a scientific point of view as well when a language disappears. A
people's history is passed down through its language, so when the language disappears, it
may take with it important information about the early history of the community. The loss
of human languages also severely limits what linguists can learn about human cognition. By
studying what all of the world's languages have in common, we can find out what is and
isn't possible in a human language. This in turn tells us important things about the human
mind and how it is that children are able to learn a complex system like language so quickly
and easily. The fewer languages there are to study, the less we will be able to learn about
the human mind.

Юліан Дзерович: «Мова – це кров, що оббігає тіло нації. Виточи кров – умре нація.»