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Why - 'The Ukraine' - why do people say that?

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Old 21st May 2003, 18:03
GB GB is offline
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Many people say 'The Ukraine' when writing or prenouncing Ukraine. Why do they say 'the'
Why does the BBC say ?The Ukraine??

The name of the country is UKRAINE.
People never say:The Uganda,The Uruguay,The Russia,The France,The Scotland
So, why do they say ?The Ukraine?

I find this very difficult to understand. I visit Ukraine many times each year and many people there ask me why it is that English people call their country ?The Ukraine?

I even heard a British Airways pilot refer to ?The Ukraine? just before landing a few months ago. When I brought this to his attention, he said this is how the BBC says it, so it must be the correct way.

Any offers from anyone?
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Old 22nd May 2003, 10:46
forest forest is offline
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The Ukraine

It goes back to soviet times were the soviets wanted Ukraine to be looked on as some Geographical area of Russia . Like we say in Britain The Cotswolds or The north Ridings .So when the Beeb would interview some Russian Diplomat he would say The Ukraine and the Beeb correspondents would parrot it evermore.
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Old 4th June 2003, 18:43
Freedom1 Freedom1 is offline
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Would have to agree. I mean until recent times, Ukraine was independent for what, two to three years of the last century or two? I'm being sarcastic, but you get my drift.

THE, I believe, was adopted to refer to a region , rather than a country. By Soviets and many others.

[Edited by Freedom1 on 5th June 2003 at 05:36]
Slava Ukrainu * Heroyam Slava
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Old 8th June 2003, 23:06
Charlie998 Charlie998 is offline
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on the brink

I remember that my russian teacher (himself an ex-soviet) told me that Ukraine came from "u", meaning by and "krai" meaning edge, brim or brink, so literally "by the edge", i.e. (as he so sovietly put it) "out in the sticks". He also said that now Ukraine has its independence, in order to display full political and grammatical correctness, one should use the phrase "v Ukraine..." instead of the previously used form "na Ukraine..." when saying "in Ukraine".
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Old 1st July 2003, 16:35
Volodya987 Volodya987 is offline
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"The" is a facist, Nazi term for "land on which we are in the process of exterminating the natives so that we can loot everything from it and then move on to the next "borderland" we label "The", a la Ookrayina. Check a map eg "The North West Frontier Province" of a Pakistan,
or a "The Yukon Territory" of a was it "the" Us#A or catdog?
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Old 20th October 2003, 15:45
Amanda-Sasha Amanda-Sasha is offline
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Smile "The" Ukraine

Wow! What an interesting analysis... I was reading all the postings and couldn't find a point of view that I agreed with. I'm English, the beeb do supposedly speak 'the queens english' and maybe THE comes from that. Initially I thought it was just because of the way it sounds, Ukraine beginning with U; so it slips off the tongue easier. Like the way the language changes before a vowel. Yet, that can't be it because as you've quite rightly said no-one says "The England" or "The Africa". I say The Ukraine because that's what I'm used to hearing. so from now on I'll change that and think more about what THE actually suggests.
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Old 22nd October 2003, 05:25
BLap BLap is offline
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I actually prefer THE UKRAINE because it does seem to flow better in terms of discussion, but of course I refrain from saying this because I understand it is not viewed as positive by native Ukrainians
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