"United by one state language" says the print on a T-shirt seen in the Verkhovna Rada session hall / Photo from UNIAN

Commissioner for the Protection of the State Language. The so-called Language Ombudsman Taras Kremen has explained the norms of the newly adopted legislation on state language set to be enforced from January 16, 2021.

On January 16, Article 30 of the law "On ensuring the functioning of Ukrainian as state language" comes into force, which envisages the final transition of the service sector to the single state language, the ombudsman's press service recalled.

All service providers, regardless of their form of ownership, are obliged to serve consumers and provide information about goods and services in Ukrainian.

"In practice, this means that the Ukrainian consumer will finally enjoy the right to receive services in the state language by default – be it supermarkets or online stores, cafes or restaurants, banks or pharmacies, gas stations or train stations, gyms or libraries, etc. There are few exceptions: only at a customer's request can they be personally serviced in another language acceptable to both parties," he said.

"It should be kept in mind that the requirement for services to be rendered in the state language applies not only to trade. We are also talking about educational services, medical services, social services, etc.," the Ombudsman said.

Price tags, manuals, specifications, markings, tickets, menus, etc. shall be printed in Ukrainian, Kremen added. At the same time, the official noted, such information about goods and services can be duplicated in other languages.

"In case of violation of the right to receive information and services in Ukrainian, consumers are advised, first of all, to ask the employee of the relevant institution to serve them in Ukrainian, ask the manager or senior executive officer to fix the issue, or to record the violation in the complaints book," the statement says, adding that any citizens are welcome to file a relevant complaint with the language ombudsman's office.

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