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BY J.M Lazarenko, Q.C.
It was encouraging to read THE JOURNAL editorial of June 19th, 1965, commending the Ukrainians on their efforts in learning the English language. This is doubtless a recognition to them of no mean importance.
Need one repeat the fact that for many years the Ukrainian labored under a terrific handicap? From the very beginning the odds were stacked sky-high against him. Generally speaking, the English language was entirely different from his own; the phrases and idioms ran counter to his; the alphabet was of a different kind; its grammatical construction was strange. Above everything else the spelling was doubly irregular, odd and peculiar. It followed no such rule as his language, where every letter is sounded as written. Despite it all, the Ukrainian plodded along slowly but surely. He kept his sights high, aiming into the future.
Now he can truthfully say that within 75 years of this first appearance, he has literally mastered the English language to the fullest. He has even acquired the Canadian accent - if there is such a thing as "Canadian" anymore. Perhaps he has to change his accent again. Who knows? The hyphen had made its appearance in the sky and it impact can hardly be ignored.
In any event, this is one ethnic group which will always fix the English language as its first goal in Canadian citizenship. The English language is in fact its "daily bread and butter"; that ends the argument.
The Edmonton Journal July 8, 1965