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  • Originally posted by Mainshow View Post

    It is indeed "just linguistics" - "The Ukraine" is wrong (especially in Russian and English). It is used (also by the Kremlin) to highlight the fact that itīs just a "region" in another countrry.. .like "Die Pfalz", "Die sächsische Schweiz" oder "Die Walachei" - in English, "Ukraine" should be used and thatīs the official and grammatically correct term since the 1990īs.
    In German, as youīve correctly pointed out, itīs a different case since the definite article still applies to some countries (der Iran, die Schweiz, die Türkei and so on).
    However, itīs a different story in English and "ordinary people" speaking English are also (somehow) aware of it, e.g. itīs also just "Ukraine" in sports, the Eurovision Song Contest or politics (also newspaper articles).

    Thanks for noticing and I donīt mean it in a bad way - I just think itīs a very important information to know (especially whilst talking about the war and Ukraine as a sovereign country) but "the Ukraine" - even said with good intentions or without knowing the context - is hurtful/grammatically incorrect and implicitly shares the thought of Ukraine not being a real country.
    This is interesting linguistic info but I believe it matters the most to Russians for the known reasons. As theMathematician said, speakers in other languages are more likely not aware of this situation. I think such things are a matter of culture for particular nations. For example, in greek one can (or not) apply the definite article to every country without implying something. Most people in my country do not even care for the latin derived "Greece" being used frequently in english instead of the official name which is Hellas.
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    • Not sure if appropriate here but the MH17 that was shot down in 2014 verdict just released,

      Two Russians And One Ukrainian Found Guilty Of Downing Flight, Killing Nearly 300 People

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/tylerro...h=9a2770025be4
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      • Mainshow thank you for pointing out and starting this discussion. I’m actually really into language construction and I’ve done some reading up on it, and I understand why it’s ‘Ukraine’ and will use it going forward.

        I agree with others where they comment that it’s probably not something widely known (in terms of the ‘why’). From my own point of view, I used ‘the’ because grammatically it feels and sounds correct - and I haven’t come across a solid grammatical reason as to the rule behind why that is.

        My initial thought was that it it has something to do with the fact it began with a ‘U’, such as “I’m going to the USA” rather than “I’m going to USA”. More locally, I would always use ‘the’ when referring to the United Kingdom. But this idea falls flat as I’d never say ‘The Uganda’ or ‘The Uruguay’.

        So then I wondered if it has something to do with singular vs plural. For example I would always call them ‘The Bahamas’ and never ‘Bahamas’, and ‘London’ is not ‘The London’ - yet it’s always ‘The Thames’ and never ‘Thames’, and there’s only one of those. Plus Ukraine is singular so that doesn’t explain it.

        English is my first language and all I can do is tell you that (without any political history) using ‘the’ feels grammatically correct in English. It’s possible that I’ve finally come across one of those English language grammar curiosities even a native speaker just has to accept (then forget about it anyway because it’s not The Ukraine).
        I have a bad feeling about this.

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        • For Ukrainians it matters aswell. We do not understand why anyone says Poland, Germany, Estonia, Russia but 'the Ukraine'. Why Ukraine is so special in this case? We are not The United States of Ukraine or neither The United Ukraine or neither the Ukrainian Islands.

          In Dutch Ukraine is Oekraïne, which is quite strange for us, but that is ok. It happens when name misses a letter or has a completely different word. Like Deutschland and Germany.

          same with: Kyiv (ukr)/ Kiev (rus), odesa (ukr) / Odessa (rus) and so on... Russia renamed many cities and areas during its era.
          Last edited by franklex; Thu November 17, 2022, 16:33.
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          • Originally posted by GreekGeek View Post
            Most people in my country do not even care for the latin derived "Greece" being used frequently in english instead of the official name which is Hellas.
            As a native English speaker, I’ve honestly never heard of Hellas. I quite like it. So much of the English language is routed in Latin, French, and Old English (not forgetting individual Celtic languages), it’s a history lesson in itself just learning about individual words - we were invaded so many times you never quite know where you’ll end up if you dig into the origins of an English word.
            I have a bad feeling about this.

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            • While there are surely language historically reasons for each linguistic exception, there are so many exceptions in my mother tongue that you'd go crazy thinking about them all - unless you're a linguist, of course. So we pretty much grow up learning them, accept that the German grammar system is like it is and make the best out of it.

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              • Originally posted by franklex View Post
                For Ukrainians it matters aswell. We do not understand why anyone says Poland, Germany, Estonia, Russia but 'the Ukraine'. Why Ukraine is so special in this case? We are not The United States of Ukraine or neither The United Ukraine or neither the Ukrainian Islands.
                It has to be a grammatical quirk in English, I just don’t know what it is. If it was ‘Ukraina’ it wouldn’t grammatically require ‘the’ (‘I’m going to Ukraina’ sounds and feels correct), but I can’t explain that one any better either.

                I have a bad feeling about this.

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                • Originally posted by GreekGeek View Post

                  This is interesting linguistic info but I believe it matters the most to Russians for the known reasons. As theMathematician said, speakers in other languages are more likely not aware of this situation. I think such things are a matter of culture for particular nations. For example, in greek one can (or not) apply the definite article to every country without implying something. Most people in my country do not even care for the latin derived "Greece" being used frequently in english instead of the official name which is Hellas.
                  Hellas is such a cool name.
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                  • The first time I heard someone say "the Ukraine" was on a US talk show and it sounded so weird to me, in my language we say Ucraïna, without any article. It makes sense that Ukrainians wouldn't want people to call their country by a name that was modified by the empire that colonized them. Ukraine sounds better anyway.
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                    • Originally posted by Artoo View Post

                      It has to be a grammatical quirk in English, I just don’t know what it is. If it was ‘Ukraina’ it wouldn’t grammatically require ‘the’ (‘I’m going to Ukraina’ sounds and feels correct), but I can’t explain that one any better either.
                      I'm going to Ukraine sounds great as it is, to me at least.
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                      • Originally posted by jordi_89 View Post

                        I'm going to Ukraine sounds great as it is, to me at least.
                        I still think grammatically it needs the article, but I’ve stopped thinking about it because I don’t know the answer
                        I have a bad feeling about this.

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                        • My prof in university always insisted we use ''the'' before Ukraine. But he was Australian so idk what's proper English.

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                          • Originally posted by jordi_89 View Post
                            It makes sense that Ukrainians wouldn't want people to call their country by a name that was modified by the empire that colonized them.
                            It reminds me of the discussion whether Belarus is supposed to to be called Belarus or White Russia. Or when Erdogan announced that he preferred his country to be called Turkye rather than Turkey as that would remind him of the animal.
                            I always feel like too many people try to find social/historical/political logic behind words when in most cases, it's just linguistic logic. In my language, the 'girl' is grammatically neutral. The 'sun' is feminine, the 'moon' masculine. 'Money' can be neutral, feminine or masculine depending on the synonyme you use.
                            'Scissors' is a singular word and 'billion' is a different number than the German 'Billion'.

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                            • Thank you for understanding the importance of this dinstinction.
                              Of course, we can all have some preferences but we should be sticking to the official name of the country. Ukrainian authorities, officials and ambassadors have confirmed that itīs only "Ukraine" in English.

                              The people saying "The Ukraine" on US or Australian TV shows simply didnīt know how to say it, correctly.
                              Longman Dictionary:
                              U‧kraine /juːˈkreɪn/ a country in eastern Europe, between Poland and Russia. Population: 43,734,000 (2020). Capital: Kyiv. It was formerly part of the Soviet Union. Formerly, it was sometimes referred to as ‘the Ukraine’.
                              Past tense is crucial here - "The Ukraine" refers back to colonialisation/Soviet times.

                              Itīs like German TV presenters and politicians keep on saying "UkrEine" instead of "Uk-ra-i-ne" - But thatīs a different case because "the" in front of "Ukraine" is a colonial relic and it is important to make that difference. Words do have meanings (itīs not only "just linguistics") - Itīs semantics (but now Iīm getting all nerdy because I like to think of and be aware of such stuff).
                              Last edited by Mainshow; Thu November 17, 2022, 18:58.
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                              • Some "positive UK/Ukraine-related news": The Princess of Wales visits some Ukrainian refugees/children:

                                Princess of Wales visits Reading Ukrainian Community Centre - BBC News
                                Mainshow Goes Diva: Kylie Minogue

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                                • Originally posted by Rihab View Post
                                  My prof in university always insisted we use ''the'' before Ukraine. But he was Australian so idk what's proper English.
                                  Ukraine made a request back in the 1990s for people to stop using ‘the’ and thus it is what it is, but was commonly referred to as ‘The Ukraine’ for about ninety years beforehand apparently.
                                  I have a bad feeling about this.

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                                  • Originally posted by Artoo View Post

                                    Ukraine made a request back in the 1990s for people to stop using ‘the’ and thus it is what it is, but was commonly referred to as ‘The Ukraine’ for about ninety years beforehand apparently.
                                    Thatīs right. "The Ukraine" refers back to a region/landscape in a colonial empire and "Ukraine" is the right and correct term for the independent and sovereign state which borders Poland, Slovakia, etc.

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                                    • Originally posted by Artoo View Post
                                      As a native English speaker, I’ve honestly never heard of Hellas. I quite like it. So much of the English language is routed in Latin, French, and Old English (not forgetting individual Celtic languages), it’s a history lesson in itself just learning about individual words - we were invaded so many times you never quite know where you’ll end up if you dig into the origins of an English word.
                                      Originally posted by jordi_89 View Post
                                      Hellas is such a cool name.
                                      "Greece" had also a negative implication because the Romans conquered these lands in ancient times. However, after all these centuries the word lost its negative meaning. Next time just take a little closer look to our athletes in international competitions, "Greece" is nowhere to be seen. You can have a look below of two well known athletes, Katerina Stefanidi (pole vault) and Lefteris Petrounias (rings). I hid them in spoiler tags because we are off-topic.

                                      Spoiler!


                                      Originally posted by jordi_89 View Post
                                      I'm going to Ukraine sounds great as it is, to me at least.
                                      Count me in too! I'm not a native speaker of English but my teacher never told me that we must use "the" before Ukraine, only with Netherlands.
                                      Last edited by GreekGeek; Thu November 17, 2022, 20:47.
                                      And the 8th day God created KYLIE!!! <3

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                                      • Originally posted by Rihab View Post
                                        My prof in university always insisted we use ''the'' before Ukraine. But he was Australian so idk what's proper English.
                                        I remember someone recently talking to me
                                        about his trip to RUMANIA and I was thinking….that’s not right?! But I have seen it written that way before, is it the Romanian spelling?
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                                        • Originally posted by GreekGeek View Post
                                          "Greece" had also a negative implication because the Romans conquered these lands in ancient times.
                                          They conquered England too. Roman influence is everywhere still - we still use Roman roads, name places, and the odd wall here and there.
                                          I have a bad feeling about this.

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                                          • Originally posted by SholasBoy View Post

                                            I remember someone recently talking to me
                                            about his trip to RUMANIA and I was thinking….that’s not right?! But I have seen it written that way before, is it the Romanian spelling?
                                            It's România in Romanian (just checked), and it's also Romania in Latin. So your friend is probably Spanish, as it's spelled Rumanía.
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                                            • Originally posted by GreekGeek View Post


                                              "Greece" had also a negative implication because the Romans conquered these lands in ancient times. However, after all these centuries the word lost its negative meaning. Next time just take a little closer look to our athletes in international competitions, "Greece" is nowhere to be seen. You can have a look below of two well known athletes, Katerina Stefanidi (pole vault) and Lefteris Petrounias (rings). I hid them in spoiler tags because we are off-topic.

                                              Spoiler!



                                              Count me in too! I'm not a native speaker of English but my teacher never told me that we must use "the" before Ukraine, only with Netherlands.
                                              Same here.

                                              Btw didn't know Greece had a negative connotation in the past.
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                                              • Originally posted by jordi_89 View Post

                                                It's România in Romanian (just checked), and it's also Romania in Latin. So your friend is probably Spanish, as it's spelled Rumanía.
                                                In German, it's also with a 'u'.

                                                I personally wouldn't interpret too much into grammatical articles. In German, we also say 'the Brittany' (as in the French region), while I would skip the 'the' in English when referring to Brittany.

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                                                • It's interesting that USA came to Russia's "defense" immediately when the bombing in Poland occurred and reiterated that the bomb is indeed from Ukrainian forces when Zelensky tried to deny it

                                                  Comment


                                                  • Russia is still ultimately to blame.

                                                    Selenskyj didnīt "deny" it - Russia had been bombing several Ukrainian cities and that type of missiles have been used by both - Ukraine (air defense system) and the invading colonisers (as rockets). Selenskyj clarified that his "top commenders" assured him that it was not their [Ukrainian] missile - which somehow made sense at that time because Ukraine didnīt send any rockets into Polandīs territory. He surely shouldnīt have said that it was Russiaīs missile, though.
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