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The Ukrainian language
Ukraine, which can be translated as «borderland», is in fact located in a geographical crossroads which throughout history has made it the scene of violent tensions, disintegration and repression until the declaration of independence just 20 years ago.
As a result of this, a considerable number of its inhabitants have different origins and backgrounds and speak more than one language; Russian, Romanian, Polish and Hungary being among the most widespread.
The official language of Ukraine is Ukrainian, one of the Slavic languages of the Indo-European family, like Russian and Belarusian, mutually intelligible languages with which it has certain affinities. Modern Ukrainian, however, is an amalgam of various regional dialects which also shows the influence of other languages due to the successive partitions suffered by the country. In particular, it has adopted many loanwords from Polish.
In recent times, the migratory movements of the region and the incentives of the Ukrainian authorities have promoted the spread of the language, which for a long time suffered the suppression of the Soviets; this spread has affected the development of art and culture. It is currently estimated to have approximately 50 million speakers, most of whom live in Ukraine and the neighboring regions, while the largest foreign communities are in United States and Canada. In Spain there are almost 100 thousand.
And speaking of international relations, the Ukrainian parliament recently proposed (May 2011) the signing of a Free Trade Agreement to promote Ukraine’s accession to the European Union.
The economic forecasts of various organizations, such as the IMF, predict modest growth in the Ukrainian economy in 2011, based on exports and the favorable climate for foreign investment.