Semen Demydchuk lecture

Mykola Francuzenko
Date created: 
After 1959 but before 1964

Lecture by noted Ukrainian-American lawyer, journalist, and community activist Semen Demydchuk recorded at an unknown live event. His speech is mostly concerned with the history of Ukrainian immigrants to the United States. He recounts the founding of the first Ukrainian churches in the "coal country" of Pennsylvania, issues with "latinization" in the Ukrainian Catholic Church, the origins of Ukrainian fraternal organizations, Ukrainian language schools, Ukrainian-American assemblies (one of which he himself was instrumental in organizing), post-WWI and post-WWII community activities, the current state of the Ukrainian-American community, and prospects for the future.

Semen Demydchuk (1884-1965) was born in the city of Bus'k in the L'viv region of what was then the Austro-Hungarian province of Galicia. He graduated secondary school in 1905, and completed his law degree at L'viv University. He came to the US first on a trip to raise funds for the Galician "Ridna Shkola" (Ukrainian schools), and then on a permanent basis in 1914. He was active in the Ukrainian National Association, the editorial board of "Svoboda", and numerous other Ukrainian-American community organizations.

While the lecture is interesting for its content, it is also a fascinating linguistic document. Demydchuk speaks with a very strong dialect characteristic of early 20th century Galicia, an accent which has practically vanished in Ukraine, but which can still be heard occasionally in a more diluted form among descendants of some Ukrainian immigrants in the US and Canada. Notable phonological features include the substitution of "e" for "y" and the addition of "w" to the genitive adjectival ending "-oho" (so that "syn'oho" - "[of the] blue [one]" - would sound like "sen'ohow").

Доповідь правника, журналіста та громадського діяча Семена Демидчука на тему історії української еміграції до Америки, сучасний стан українських громадських організацій, та перспективи на майбутьнє.

Physical format: 
1/4" open reel

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