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Ukrainian language translation products and services
Transliteration is usually somewhat of a strange thing, yet it's 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 numerous of the protesters inside the capital are Ukrainian-speaking, taking for the streets
last November when President Viktor Yanukovych - a Russian-speaker from Ukraine's east -
averted from E.U. membership toward a deal with Russia's Eurasian Union.
Russian domination, both in the Soviet period and before, it's obvious that language has turned
into a big problem in the country. One obvious demonstration of this can be the Western
practice of talking about the country as "the Ukraine" rather than "Ukraine." There are myriad
reasons until this is wrong and offensive, but maybe the most convincing could be that the word
Ukraine comes from the previous Slavic word "Ukraina," which roughly meant "borderland." Many
Ukrainians feel that the "the" implies they may be simply a part of Russia - "little Russia,"
as they are sometimes referred to by their neighbors - rather than a true country. The Western
practice of using "the Ukraine" to refer to the country - even by those sympathetic on the
protesters, including Senator John McCain- is viewed as ignorant at best.
On the outside,
the Kiev/Kyiv debate seems similar, though it is a lot less heated. The official language of
the nation is Ukrainian. The location, from the predominantly Ukrainian-speaking west of the
us, had its name standardized to Kyiv in Roman letters through the Ukrainian government in
1995, just four years after they formally asked the globe 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 2006 following a request with the Ukrainian government (and subsequent
endorsement from the State Department).
It isn't so easy, however. For instance, in
the past there was a variety of different spellings in the English names for your city;
Wikipedia lists no less than nine. Last 1995, Andrew Gregorovich of the FORUM Ukrainian Review
argued that as "Kiev" took it's origin from an old Ukrainian-language reputation for the
location, knowning that Kyiv and also other potential Roman transliterations - like Kyjiv and
Kyyiv - were confusing for English speakers, Kiev was only fine. The BGN still allows Kiev to
be used, arguing that 'Kyiv' is simply a "an exception on the BGN-approved romanization system
that's put on Ukrainian geographic names in Ukrainian Cyrillic script."
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