The word “Ukraine” article the President of the United States Donald trump could be perceived by the Ukrainians as a reminder of the Soviet Union. This opinion was expressed to RIA Novosti assistant Professor of English translation at Moscow state linguistic University (MSLU) Alex Maganov.
According to experts, the use of the definite article in this case “stretches back to Soviet times”, and several British editions continued to write “the Ukraine” until today.
“When Ukraine started to fight for independence, they began to insist that it is impossible to use the definite article. The word “Germany” is used without the article, and they want the same, although there are, for example, The Netherlands (the Netherlands), and Dutch this article is not particularly outraged,” said Maganov.
He recalled that the Ukraine originally had a connotation of “outskirts”. “Probably, Ukrainians perceive it as a reference to the Soviet past,” says the linguist. According to him, it is difficult to assess, especially if the trump turned up the article.
On 20 June, in particular, The Washington Post drew attention to a mistake trump made during a meeting with Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko. Then the White house told reporters in the oval office: “I have the honour to be President of Ukraine Poroshenko” (It’s a great honor to be with President Poroshenko of the Ukraine).
Author Adam Taylor suggested that this mistake can piss off the Ukrainians. The journalist explained that in English the use of the Ukraine was normal for decades. He suggested that the article could “attach” to the Ukraine because it was part of the Soviet Union and was known as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (in front of geographical names with the word “Republic” is the definite article). Based on another version, says Taylor, is the etymology: is it the same as Maganov, remembered by a number of scholars support the theory about the origin of the name “Ukraine” comes from the word “Okraina” (the borderland).
Mistake, as the author believes, may mean that Ukraine is considered only in relation to its larger neighbor, Russia, as well as determine how the state, which long was under Moscow’s influence in the Soviet Union, and before that Russian Empire. “The name of the Ukraine seem to cast doubt on its sovereignty,” added the journalist.