When purchasing a flight ticket from New York to Ukraine, I jumped for joy! Finally the air flight company made a change in the spelling in their drop-down list of cities on their website. Now you will never find “Kiev”. It is left in the past. Today it is KYIV. I decided to write a short post on this to track back what is behind the change of one small letter.
History Behind Kiev
At the time of the Soviet Union, Russian language was dominant. All the capitals of republics which were part of the USSR, were transliterated into English based on the sounds of the Russian language. Therefore, the capital of Ukraine was Kiev for many years. Even since the Independence in 1991, the city was spelled like Kiev worldwide.
For some time, the international community decided at the UN level that both KIEV or KYIV are acceptable. This decision was officially fixed in the standards of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
The Right Way To Spell The Ukrainian Capital Name Today
Since the US slapped sanctions on Russia, from now on you will have to choose KYIV from the drop-down menus on the web, or just order “Kyiv chicken” instead of “Kiev chicken”.
Though Ukrainian and Russian languages and cultures have got many things in common. There is a big difference between them. Unfortunately the war between the countries has intensified these difference. And it is natural that people tend to demonstate this with the language.
Ukraine has its own version of Cyrrilic with a few additional letters. One of these letters appear in the capital name that does not exist in the Russian version of Cyrrilic. Therefore, the right way to spell the capital of Ukraine is KYIV.
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