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Ukraine – Counties (Oblasts) and Autonomous Republics

Last modified: 2024-04-27 by martin karner
Keywords: ukraine | gonfalon | cyrillic |
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First Order Subdivisions (Counties [Oblasts], Cities with special status and Autonomous Republics)

(Ordered in the usual Cyrillic alphabetic order; in brackets, where appropriate, the capital’s name in the original Ukrainian spelling, you'll need a Cyrillic font in encoding Win1251 to see them correctly.)

List edited by Victor Lomantsov

Overview – Names in Ukrainian

Ukrainian uses the Cyrillic alphabet but (like Serbian or Bulgarian) with some differences respective to Russian (and unlike linguistically unrelated languages of the former Soviet Union, whose more recent orthography was set in such way that it includes most of the spelling rules or Russian, even when they don't make any sense): The main one is in the value the letters "i", "y" and "i"".

  1. Russian "y", which looks like "bI", doesn't exist in Ukrainian. It's (equivalent) sound is represented by Russian "i", which looks like flipped "N".
  2. The sound of Russian "i" (which looks like flipped "N") is represented by a Cyrillic letter unused in the current Russian orthography that looks exactly like Latin alphabet "i".
  3. This letter that looks exactly like Latin alphabet "i" sometimes occurs with a "dieresis sign" – in that case it sounds like Russian "i-kratkoe plus regular i", i.e. "eey".
  4. Finally, Russian "i-kratkoe" (short "i", looks like a flipped "N" with a breve diacritical), is identical in Ukrainian, both in sound and looks.

Now, usual transcription to English gives "y" for letter #1, "i" for #2, either "yi", "i"" or "ji" for #3, and either "y" or "j" for #4 (yes, there are inconsistencies here!); however "scientific" script-to-script transliteration (one-to-one, regardless of phonetics) gives "i" for #1, some variation of it to #2, and the previous plus the dieresis sign to #3.

To make things worse, there are separate Russian names for most Ukrainian toponyms, that may differ more than just in orthography: and good example is the capital Kiev, spelt "KNEB" in Russian (with "kee-yev" sound) and spelt "KNIB" in Ukrainian (with "k*yeev" sound – "*" is an accented schwa) – in what would be spelt "KbIN~NB" in Russian, if instead of a assimilated name it would be a simple transcription.

António Martins, 8 July 1999