Thursday, August 20, 2009

RE: Ukraine studies Russian, but not the reverse.

Michael Kuznetsov posted a response , "Ukraine studies Russian, but not the reverse"


I would like to emphasize one simple fact that the recently emerged separate country in question – the Ukraine – has had no historical proper name of its own.
The matter is that in all of the Slavic languages the word "ukraine" means one and the same thing – "a borderland" or "a rimland".

This meaning is absolutely obvious and pellucid for all of the Slavic peoples in Eastern, Western and Southern Europe indiscriminately, all of them having had the same common ancient word-stem "krai" in their vocabularies with the following meaning: "border", "rim", "part", "a part of the land", etc.
Since the prefix "u" means "at" (like the French preposition "chez"), so the world "ukraine" means nothing else but "a part of the land at the border," or in short: "a borderland."

Which is why the correct English form of the country's name must be THE Ukraine, with the definite article, because there exist a great many of various "ukraines" or "borderlands" in the world, yet it is only one of them that has become a separate state, and which has assumed the name Borderland or the Ukraine as its official name.

At the present time, the Ukraine is being a mini-empire, consisting of seven parts: 1. Malorossia (Little Russia), 2. Novorossia (New Russia), 3. the Crimea, 4. Slobozhanshchina (Sloboda), 5. Volhynia-Podolia, 6. Galicia, and 7. Ruthenia (Red Russia). Of which only numbers 5 and 6 are inhabited by the native speakers of the so-called Ukrainian language, the latter being a cross between Polish and Russian.

I have lived for 25 years -- a significant part of my lifetime -- in what is now a separate state called the Ukraine. Not only have I lived there, but also I did extensively travel across the Ukraine. I have been to the following cities and towns there in the Ukraine: Odessa, Ilyichevsk, Nikolayev, Kherson, Ochakov, Zaporozhye, Dniepropetrovsk, Simferopol, Sevastopol, Yalta, Kerch, Donetsk, Makeyevka, Mariupol, and many other smaller places.
Everywhere only the Russian language is being spoken, both in the street, or at home, or at any public or governmental office. For all of the 25 years I have heard the so-called Ukrainian dialect spoken in the street only once – it occurred when I visited Lvov.

This GALLOP website will show you that about 83 percent of the Ukrainian citizens regard the Russian language as their true Mother Tongue:

Except for the rabid russophobic Galicians from Lvov, we are one nation, temporarily devided.

That is that, whether you like it or not.


The study of "names" and "labels" is interesting. We saw that recently here in the U.S. in regard to the "Neoconservatives." This term was not created by the Neoconservatives themselves but by their critics.

Also, The American Indian was so named as a result of an error made by early explorers, imagined that they had sailed to India and not to a hitherto unexplored (by Europeans) continent. And yet today, American Indians refer to themselves as "Indian."

Also, the use of a common language doesn't necessarily imply oneness. We in the US share a common language with Britain and yet were anxious to obtain our own independence in the 18th century.

As to reasons The Ukraine might think of itself as an independent "nation" consider the following from Wikipedia:

Ukraine's modern history began with the East Slavs. From at least the 9th century, Ukraine was a center of the medieval living area of the East Slavs. This state, known as Kievan Rus' became the largest and most powerful nation in Europe, but disintegrated in the 12th century. Ukraine was the home of the first modern democracy, which exhibited republican form, during the Khmelnytsky uprising in the 17th century.[5] After the Great Northern War, Ukraine was divided among a number of regional powers, and by the 19th century, the largest part of Ukraine was integrated into the Russian Empire, with the rest under Austro-Hungarian control. After a chaotic period of incessant warfare and several attempts at independence (1917–21) following World War I and the Russian Civil War, Ukraine emerged in 1922 as one of the founding republics of the Soviet Union. The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic's territory was enlarged westward shortly before and after World War II, and again in 1954 with the Crimea transfer. In 1945, the Ukrainian SSR became one of the co-founding members of the United Nations.[6] Ukraine became independent again after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. This began a period of transition to a market economy, in which Ukraine was stricken with an eight year recession.[7] But since then, the economy has been experiencing a stable increase with GDP growth averaging 24 percent annually.

Ukraine is a unitary state composed of 24 oblasts (provinces), one autonomous republic (Crimea), and two cities with special status: Kiev, its capital, and Sevastopol, which houses the Russian Black Sea Fleet under a leasing agreement. Ukraine is a republic under a semi-presidential system with separate legislative, executive, and judicial branches. Since the collapse of the USSR, Ukraine continues to maintain the second largest military in Europe, after that of Russia. The country is home to 46.2 million people, 77.8 percent of whom are ethnic Ukrainians, with sizable minorities of Russians, Belarusians and Romanians. The Ukrainian language is the only official language in Ukraine, while Russian is also widely spoken. The dominant religion in the country is Eastern Orthodox Christianity, which has heavily influenced Ukrainian architecture, literature and music.

No comments: