Japanese support for Ukraine took a linguistic turn last Friday when the government officially changed the transliteration of the country’s capital to キーウ (Kīu, Kyiv) from the Russian-derived キエフ (Kiefu, Kiev). Other new pronunciations include チョルノービリ (Chorunōbiri, Chernobyl), オデーサ (Odēsa, Odessa), ハルキウ (Harukiu, Kharkiv) and ルハンシク (Ruhanshiku, Luhansk).
The move came just over a week after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy gave an 演説 (enzetsu, speech) to Japan’s parliament, one of many he has given to governments around the world.
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