• Rossen Crouch posted an update 1 month, 1 week ago

    Transliteration is obviously something of a strange thing, but it’s especially complicated in Ukraine, where roughly one-sixth of the population is ethnic Russian, speaking Russian, and yet another sixth are ethnic Ukrainian, but speak Russian too. It’s become especially difficult recently, as much with the protesters from the capital are Ukrainian-speaking, taking to the streets last November when President Viktor Yanukovych – a Russian-speaker from Ukraine’s east – beaten down from E.U. membership toward an arrangement with Russia’s Eurasian Union.

    Given a history of Russian domination, both in the Soviet period and before, it’s understandable that language has changed into a major problem in the united kingdom. One obvious instance of here is the Western habit of speaking about the united states as "the Ukraine" as an alternative to "Ukraine." You’ll find myriad reasons that is wrong and offensive, but possibly the most convincing could be that the word Ukraine comes from the previous Slavic word "Ukraina," which roughly meant "borderland." Many Ukrainians believe the "the" implies they’re just a a part of Russia – "little Russia," as they are sometimes known by their neighbors – rather than a real country. The Western habit of using "the Ukraine" to consult the continent – even by those sympathetic on the protesters, for example Senator John McCain- is viewed as ignorant at best.

    On the surface, the Kiev/Kyiv debate seems similar, though it is a lot less heated. A state language of the country is Ukrainian. The town, from the predominantly Ukrainian-speaking west of the country, had its name standardized to Kyiv in Roman letters through the Ukrainian government way back in 1995, just four years as soon as they formally asked the entire world to impress stop saying ‘the Ukraine.’ The globe listened, to a extent – the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) approved the spelling ‘Kyiv’ in the year 2006 from a request from the Ukrainian government (and subsequent endorsement with the State Department).

    It is not so easy, however. For instance, over the years there’s been a number of different spellings in the English names for your city; Wikipedia lists at the very least nine. Back in 1995, Andrew Gregorovich from the FORUM Ukrainian Review argued that as "Kiev" scaled like a vintage Ukrainian-language term for the city, and that Kyiv as well as other potential Roman transliterations – for example Kyjiv and Kyyiv – were confusing for English speakers, Kiev was just fine. The BGN still allows Kiev to be used, arguing that ‘Kyiv’ is simply "an exception to the BGN-approved romanization system that is applied to Ukrainian geographic names in Ukrainian Cyrillic script."

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