Maynard Keegan posted an update 6 months, 1 week ago
Transliteration is obviously a bit of a strange thing, however it is especially complicated in Ukraine, where roughly one-sixth of the population is ethnic Russian, speaking Russian, and the other sixth are ethnic Ukrainian, but speak Russian too. It’s become especially difficult recently, numerous of the protesters within the capital are Ukrainian-speaking, taking on the streets last November when President Viktor Yanukovych – a Russian-speaker from Ukraine’s east – turned away from E.U. membership toward a deal with Russia’s Eurasian Union.
Given past Russian domination, both during the Soviet period and before, it’s understandable that language has developed into a serious problem in the nation. One obvious illustration of this can be the Western habit of discussing the united states as "the Ukraine" rather than "Ukraine." There are myriad reasons until this is wrong and offensive, but probably the most convincing would be that the word Ukraine comes from that old Slavic word "Ukraina," which roughly meant "borderland." Many Ukrainians think that the "the" implies they may be simply a part of Russia – "little Russia," since they are sometimes known by their neighbors – rather than a genuine country. The Western habit of using "the Ukraine" to consult the continent – even by those sympathetic for the protesters, like Senator John McCain- can be considered ignorant at the best.
On the surface, the Kiev/Kyiv debate seems similar, even though it is a lot less heated. The state language of the nation is Ukrainian. The location, within the predominantly Ukrainian-speaking west of the nation, had its name standardized to Kyiv in Roman letters with the Ukrainian government in 1995, just 4 years after they formally asked the globe to thrill stop saying ‘the Ukraine.’ The globe listened, for an extent – the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) approved the spelling ‘Kyiv’ in 2006 after having a request from the Ukrainian government (and subsequent endorsement from the State Department).
It isn’t so simple, however. For starters, over time there is many different different spellings from the English names to the city; Wikipedia lists a minimum of nine. Last 1995, Andrew Gregorovich from the FORUM Ukrainian Review argued that as "Kiev" took it’s origin from a vintage Ukrainian-language name for town, and that Kyiv as well as other potential Roman transliterations – such as Kyjiv and Kyyiv – were confusing for English speakers, Kiev was only fine. The BGN still allows Kiev to be utilized, arguing that ‘Kyiv’ is simply a "an exception on the BGN-approved romanization system which is placed on Ukrainian geographic names in Ukrainian Cyrillic script."
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