[tz] Kyiv

Philip Paeps philip at trouble.is
Fri Dec 15 10:32:03 UTC 2017

On 2017-12-15 09:14:08 (+0000), gocdoms gocdoms wrote:
> 2017-12-08 17:50 GMT+00:00 Philip Paeps <philip at trouble.is>:
>> On 2017-12-07 22:07:19 (+0200), gocdoms gocdoms wrote:
>>> City Kyiv is not Kiev.
>>> The *founder* of Kyiv is *Kyi*. Not Kie!
>>> Please see attached picture.
>> This already came up this week.
>> http://mm.icann.org/pipermail/tz/2017-December/025680.html
>> Just as "København" is called "Copenhagen" in English and "Warszawa" 
>> is called "Warsaw", the English name for "Київ" is "Kiev".  The 
>> tz database is not the right place to campaign for changing the names 
>> of cities in English.
> This is a mistake!
> In polish Warszawa, English - Warsaw - OK. In Poland Latin letters (a, 
> b, c, d, e...). No need to transliterate for international 
> presentation.  In Ukraine Cyrillic letters (а, б, в, г, ґ, д, 
> е, є, ж, з, ...) It is different. For international presentation 
> You need transliterate Cyrillic letters to Latin letters.

Some cities have different names in English than in their native 
language.  Warsaw is an example.  So are Copenhagen (København), Rome 
(Roma), Brussels (Brussel/Bruxelles), Delhi (दिल्ली), Moscow 
(Москва), Nicosia (Λευκωσία/Lefkoşa) and many others.  It 
is not merely a matter of script but also a matter of language.

> In Russian (Cyrillic) - Киев, English transliterate - *Kiev - NOT 

Kiev is not a transliteration.  It is the English name of the city 
according to the authoritative references we are able to find.

Just as "Moscow" or the other examples above are not transliterations 
but English names.

> For international presentation. It is Russian version. This is not an 
> official international name of the capital of Ukraine! It is Russian 
> name.

Do you have authoritative references to international usage of "Kyiv" as 
the recognised English name?

> In Ukraine the Ukrainian language. It`s different! It is not Russian!

Nobody is disputing that.  But the names of the cities we use as 
timezone identifiers are not Ukrainian names (or Russian names) but 
English names.  In this case, it happens that the English name (as far 
as we are able to tell) is the same as the Russian name.  While this may 
be upsetting to Ukrainians, the tzdb is not the place to fix the English 

> In Ukrainian (Cyrillic) - Київ, official English transliterate - 
> *Kyiv -
> Kyiv - this name used by NATO

A search on nato.int gives me an approximately equal number of 
Kyiv/Kiev.  No mention of which spelling they consider correct in 

> UN


"(c) capital cities given in the orthography or Romanized form generally 
used on United Nations maps": Kiev.

"(d) commonly found alternative forms of capital cities; and": Kyiv

> Council of US Geographic Names

"Gazetteer Name" Kiev ("Language Name (Code)" English (en)).

They do point out that "Kiev" is "conventional" and "Kyiv" is 

> US government, Canada government, English-speaking diplomatic 
> institutions and other....


Searches on US/Canadian/UK government websites yield an equal mix of 
"Kiev" (name in English) and "Kyiv" (transliteration of the name in 
Ukrainian).  I was not able to find a US/UK/Canadian government source 
that specifies "Kyiv" as the correct spelling of the name of the city in 

> You cat see:
> *official page MFA*
> http://mfa.gov.ua/en/about-ukraine/info/regions
> *Parliament of Ukraine:*
> http://zakon0.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/55-2010-%D0%BF
> *Try translit:*
> https://pasport.org.ua/vazhlivo/transliteratsiya
> You can make a official request to Ukraine (MFA): http://mfa.gov.ua/en
> e-mail MFA: public.info at mfa.gov.ua

All of these are Ukrainian websites and I would expect them to use the 
Ukrainian name for the city.  As far as I know, they are not authorities 
on the English language.

> *Correctly write KYIV*

If you can point to authoritative references that state that "Kyiv" is 
the name of the city in English, then that's the way we should spell it.

Most of the sources I was able to find in ten minutes of searching call 
the city "Kiev" in English but point out that "Kyiv" is the correct 
transliteration of the Ukrainian name.

As far as I can tell the UN and the Council of US Geographic names (two 
sources you cite as using "Kyiv") call the city "Kiev" in English.

Note that we do not have a "Europe/Koebenhavn" or a "Europe/Lefkosia" - 
to pick two examples of transliterations of local names that are 
different from the names of the cities in English.  We have a 
"Europe/Copenhagen" and the "Europe/Nicosia".

Please provide references to Kyiv being the name of the city in English 
and not only the correct transliteration of the name in Ukrainian.  
Everybody agrees that Kyiv is the correct transliteration of the 
Ukrainian name.


Philip Paeps
Senior Reality Engineer
Ministry of Information

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