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  • Rossen Keegan posted an update 5 months, 2 weeks ago

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

    Given past Russian domination, both through the Soviet period and before, it’s understandable that language has changed into a big issue in the country. One obvious demonstration of this is actually the Western practice of discussing the united states as "the Ukraine" instead of "Ukraine." You’ll find myriad reasons that this is wrong and offensive, but perhaps the most convincing is the word Ukraine arises from the existing Slavic word "Ukraina," which roughly meant "borderland." Many Ukrainians believe the "the" implies they’re only a a part of Russia – "little Russia," as is also sometimes referred to by their neighbors – and not a true country. The Western habit of using "the Ukraine" to refer to the country – even by those sympathetic towards the protesters, including Senator John McCain- can be considered ignorant at best.

    On top, the Kiev/Kyiv debate seems similar, community . is a lot less heated. A state language of the nation is Ukrainian. The location, from the predominantly Ukrainian-speaking west of the country, had its name standardized to Kyiv in Roman letters with the Ukrainian government in 1995, just 4 years as soon as they formally asked the world to thrill stop saying ‘the Ukraine.’ The entire world listened, for an extent – the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) approved the spelling ‘Kyiv’ in 2006 after a request from the Ukrainian government (and subsequent endorsement by the State Department).

    It is not so easy, however. For instance, in the past there has been many different different spellings with the English names for the city; Wikipedia lists a minimum of nine. In 1995, Andrew Gregorovich in the FORUM Ukrainian Review argued that as "Kiev" was based on a vintage Ukrainian-language name for the location, and that Kyiv and other potential Roman transliterations – like Kyjiv and Kyyiv – were confusing for English speakers, Kiev was simply fine. The BGN still allows Kiev to be utilized, arguing that ‘Kyiv’ is just a "an exception towards the BGN-approved romanization system which is used on Ukrainian geographic names in Ukrainian Cyrillic script."

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