McFaul: trump could offend Ukrainians, using the word “Ukraine” with the article
WASHINGTON, 21 Feb — RIA Novosti, Alexei Bogdanovsky. The US President Donald trump could hurt the Ukrainians, using the name “Ukraine” has the definite article, according to a former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul.
Trump took on Tuesday at the White house of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. During the welcoming statements, he said the word “Ukraine” in English has the definite article (The Ukraine).
“Good pre-briefing of his (trump’s) assistant, I would teach him why the name is so offensive The Ukraine for Ukrainians”, — wrote McFaul on Twitter.
A good prebrief from a staffer could have coached him on why “the Ukraine” is so insulting to Ukrainians. He is the President after all https://t.co/jdR3VhDZjz
— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) 20 Jun 2017
However, he did not explain why the article should offend Ukrainians.
An expert on the etymology of the American University of Minnesota Anatoly Liberman previously explained bi-Bi-si that the use of The Ukraine refers to the historical meaning of the word “Ukraine” as “suburb”. According to him, after the collapse of the Soviet Union “the Ukrainians probably decided that the use of the article demeans their country.”
The name of the Ukraine for many decades were periodically used with the definite article. Where does the article not entirely clear. It is known that the article is used in complex names of countries and organizations (e.g. the United Kingdom — the United Kingdom or the Unites States — United States). Only the Gambia and the Bahamas are officially called in English The Gambia and The Bahamas, and the name of the article is part of the name of the country spelled with a capital letter. Several names are often used with the definite article in the speech, for example the Netherlands.
There is a theory that the word “wormed” in the name of Ukraine’s former name USSR — republics in the USSR, in the complex whose name, the article must be present (the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic — Ukrainian Soviet socialist Republic).
Anyway, in the official documents of the current government of Ukraine called the country without the article.