Word of the Day

Friday, June 22, 2012

(The) Ukraine

Excerpts from this text.

"The Ukraine" is incorrect both grammatically and politically, says Oksana Kyzyma of the Embassy of Ukraine in London.


"Ukraine is both the conventional short and long name of the country," she says. "This name is stated in the Ukrainian Declaration of Independence and Constitution."

Is the constitution in English?

There is no definite article in the Ukrainian or Russian languages and there is another theory why it crept into the English language.

There is no definite article in Czech either, but we say the Czech Republic in English. But many Ukrainians fail to use the definite article when speaking English as well, as in There is cat under table. So what? They should tell English speakers how to speak English?

"After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukrainians probably decided that the article denigrated their country [by identifying it as a part of Russia] and abolished 'the' while speaking English, so now it is simply Ukraine.

This is preposterous. What about other languages that use the definite article to name this country, like Portuguese, French, and Italian? Are they unknowingly denigrating the country as well?

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