Kyiv, a transliteration of the Ukrainian Київ, has long been the city's official name. Kiev is a transliteration of the Russian Киeв, and is a common alternative English name for the region. In English-language guidebooks, the spelling of the city name is debatable.
The city was built on the banks of the Dnipro River. The city's name in Ukrainian is transliterated as "Kiev," and this variant is used in official English language materials in Ukraine, major English-speaking countries, and foreign organizations. For many Ukrainians, the spelling of the city's name is a sensitive political issue since the obsolete "Kiev" spelling is based on the Russian transliteration that was prevalent during the Soviet occupation and thus recalls Russian control over Ukraine. To avoid hurting anyone's feelings, it's best to use Kyiv while in Ukraine. The same is true for using "Ukraine" instead of the archaic "the Ukraine."
People in Kyiv are generally friendly and willing to assist you. However, if you don't speak Ukrainian or Russian, you may have difficulty getting service in restaurants and shops, though this is slowly changing among younger generations who have had more exposure to English.
Though 85 percent of residents claim Ukrainian ancestry, the majority of Kyivans speak Russian (though all Kyivans can understand and speak Ukrainian); Ukrainian is mainly spoken by immigrants from Western or Central Ukraine. Kyiv, like many former Soviet cities, is a multicultural city where you will undoubtedly encounter ethnic Russians (who make up about 13% of the city's population), as well as Armenians, Azeris, Belarusians, Georgians, and Tatars. There are also those who claim Jewish, Polish, Romanian, and Hungarian ancestry.
Officially, all signals are only in Ukrainian. Since 2011, signs with Latin transliteration have begun to appear throughout Ukraine.
Last modified on 04/25/2021 - 11:12
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