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The Kiev Major Or The Kyiv Major?

Just something interesting about Ukraine's capital

Izo Lopez

With the Kiev Major starting on Monday, maybe it's time to get to know the capital of Ukraine a little better so you have more than just cyka blyat (сука блять) to spam on Twitch.

You can perhaps add to your dictionary of appropriation the correct spelling of Kiev: apparently, Kiev should actually be Kyiv.

To be fair, the offical actual spelling of Kiev, as it is written in Ukrainian, is Київ. When it is transliterated, it is spelled "Kyiv".

Transliterated here means to translate a word's sounds into another language's alphabet or spelling style. For us Filipinos, some common examples of this are eksperto, opisyal, and keyk. In fact, the word Pilipinas is also transliterated from the Spanish-era name Filipinas (from Las Islas Filipinas). It's been adopted as the official Tagalog word for our country, while Philippines is the English (American) name.

That said, when Ukrainians want to mention their country in the Roman alphabet (as opposed to the muscular-looking Cyrillic script) they actually spell it out as Kyiv. Kyiv is actually all they use locally, if not Київ.

So where does "Kiev" come from? Well, Kiev is a transliteration of the Russian word for Kiev, which is Киев. To use Kiev is to use Russia's name for Ukraine's capital, and not Ukraine's word for it.

It's the equivalent of using Filipeens from the American name Philippines. Sounds like the name of a misguided streetwear brand. It doesn't quite sit right, does it? Wonder how the Ukrainians feel.

To be fair, Ukrainians are used to (though not always happy with) their capital being called Kiev internationally, as are most countries that are more often called by their American names. Still, with Ukraine's recent heavy tensions with Russia over Crimea (and on a bigger scale, how the world choosing sides on this conflict is still affecting how lines are drawn in the Syria conflict), forgetting all about Kyiv is more than a little bit insensitive.

The Kiev Major is set on its branding, and is really just using the American name for the city anyway, Russian or Ukrainian versions notwithstanding. It's a hand-me-down from Ukraine's pre-independence days with the USSR. It's not deliberately ignorant; just American, as usual.

As fans however, maybe we can show a little support for the gracious hosts of this next Major by saying their name right. They're about to give us one hell of a show – it's the least we can do.

So what do you say: game to be smug and spam Kyiv Major instead? Щасти, удачі!