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“German is a funny and friendly language!”

In September, Kyiv will host a large-scale festival with a foreign accent
22 August, 2017 - 15:17
Photo by Mykola TYMCHENKO, The Day

Even if you do not know German, you will have fun at this event. The opening ceremony of the Ukrainian-German Language Year will be held in Kontraktova Square on September 9-10. Ukrainian and German musicians will perform, the most massive German lesson ever will be held, and there will be quests and other amusements. Entrance to the festival will be free.

The organizers are preparing a lot of interesting activities for children. For example, guests of the event will be able to see 45-minute performances by the legendary puppet theater which is led by actor and director Olaf Moeller. The festival will also host the launch of a German online university that will open in Ukraine soon. This is a program for 8-12-year-olds which offers 45 game-like lectures on natural sciences. As the organizers explain, lectures will be offered both in Ukrainian and German.

Further on that education note, teachers of the Goethe-Institut in Ukraine will hold a mass lesson in Kontraktova Square on September 9, where everyone will be able to learn some basic rules of the German language. In this way, they plan to set a record for the most massive German lesson in Ukraine. As the organizers of the festival promise, the Teleport360 quest will allow its participants to go on some kind of time travel to get acquainted with the inventions of German scientists. These include the motorcycle, the vacuum pump, the thermos and even the jelly bear. According to director of the Goethe-Institut in Ukraine Beate Koehler, more than 500,000 Ukrainian schoolchildren and more than 250,000 adults are currently studying German. “German really offers many advantages, ranging from studying in Germany, which, unlike most European countries, is free of charge, to employment in leading German companies represented in Ukraine,” Koehler added. “However, the key objective of the Language Year is not only to help Ukrainians make the next step in learning the language, but also to show that German, despite the stereotypes of its seriousness and complexity, is an interesting, funny and very friendly language.”

The decision to hold the Ukrainian-German Language year was made in 2016 by the foreign ministers of both countries, the Goethe-Institut in Ukraine’s website reminds us. It aims to deepen mutual trust and friendship between Germany and Ukraine, as well as to further develop cooperation in the fields of education and culture.

The organizers of the 2017/2018 Ukrainian-German Language Year are the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Embassy of Germany in Ukraine, and the Goethe-Institut in Ukraine, which coordinates the project. Everything happens according to an agreement with the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. According to the Goethe-Institut in Ukraine’s website, numerous events are planned throughout the country between the summer of 2017 and the summer of 2018, including a music tour and a number of book readings with their authors, summer camps for schoolchildren, specialized symposia, youth exchange projects, etc. Germany will also host a powerful program of events dedicated to the Ukrainian language. It all will conclude in the summer of 2018 with a major educational congress dealing with the future of the school, university, and private education.

By Maria PROKOPENKO, The Day