Monday, November 09, 2009


In my post on Samizdata about visiting Chernobyl, I use the Latinised form of Russian rather than Ukrainian spellings of place names - for instance Chernobyl and Kiev rather than Chornobyl and Kyiv - as these were the forms in use at the time of the disaster and these remain the names most commonly used outside the Ukraine and are hence likely to be the forms most familiar to my readers. Since the Chernobyl disaster, Ukraine has become an independent nation and has adopted Ukrainian rather than Russian as its official language, and this change has included encouragement of foreigners to use Latin transliterations of Ukrainian rather than Russian spellings of local place names. When a Latin script is used locally, one now sees Chornobyl and Kyiv. However, the world outside still tends to use the Russian forms.

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