Kiev or Kyiv: how to spell?


If you plan to visit Ukraine and guess what is the correct name of its capital – Kiev or Kyiv, here is the answer. To translate personal names into another language, we usually make a copy from the original. In Soviet times, the Ukrainian name KYIV was transferred to Russian as KIEV. Other countries mostly associated the Soviet Union with Russia, so the name of the Ukrainian capital was translated into English from its Russian version KIEV.

Today, the official language of the country is Ukrainian, and the original name of its capital is KYIV, which is the most correct English spelling.

Nevertheless, KIEV is more often used worldwide, as there are no specific Ukrainian sounds in some languages. The majority of names get the most convenient pronunciation to be understandable primarily to people speaking this or that language. Therefore, the international community decided at the UN level that both KIEV or KYIV are acceptable. This decision is officially fixed in the standards of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Facts about Kyiv:

  • Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine. It is located in the north of the central part of the country and is the seventh largest city in Europe.

 

  • Kyiv was named after Prince Kyi, who founded the city together with his brothers Shchek, Khoryv and his sister Lybid.

 

  • The exact year of Kyiv’s foundation is unknown, but 482 is considered to be the official date.

 

  • In the 11th century, the area of ​​Kyiv was many times larger than of ​​other European capitals. Its territory was 10 times the size of Paris and 50 times the size of London.

 

  • The most ancient Kyiv street is Volodymyrska Street which is more than 1,000 years old.

 

  • Kyiv features the deepest metro station in the world. It’s Arsenalna Station.

 

  • The most visited Kyiv museum (that you can visit if you choose one of Kyiv tours) hosting about a million tourists a year is the National Historical and Cultural Reserve “Kyiv-Pecherska Lavra”.

 

 

  • The most popular Kyiv souvenir is the Kyiv Cake.
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