Planet News Views

Friday, October 20, 2006

Kyiv is the Capital of Ukraine

By Scott McLean

Kyiv is the capital of Ukraine, and that's the way the U.S. Department of State will now spell the Ukrainian city.

Tom Casey, Deputy Spokesman for the U.S. Department of State explained the spelling change Thursday in the Daily Press Briefing, which is on the U.S. Department of State web site.

"Now, this decision was made to change the spelling of the capital of Ukraine to what is now currently spelled K-y-i-v. The reasons for this as I understand the board's decision making was that this is more in keeping with how the Ukrainians themselves pronounce the name of their capital. It is also now in keeping with how a number of international organizations, including NATO and the UN, are now spelling it. So basically it was a change designed to be more consistent both with local pronunciation standards as well as to ensure some consistency with what other international organizations as well as the Ukrainians themselves are doing," said Casey in response to a reporter's question.

However, if you write and say Kiev, you are not alone.

Kiev is the spelling Americans learned in school, it's spelled this way on maps and the pronunciation is from the Russian language. Kyiv is a spelling in English letters that when said sound like the Ukrainian pronunciation of the capital.


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