"Oekraïne is een groot land."
Translation:Ukraine is a big country.
I typed "the ukraine" instead of "ukraine" and got it wrong...do we not call it that any more?
I don't know how it is in English, but in Dutch, we normally include the article for regions and leave it out for countries. Since the Ukraine used to be a region in the Soviet Union that turned into the country Ukraine you can still have references including the article and people using it that way.
In English, some countries take an article (The Gambia, The Philipines, The Netherlands, The Bahamas, &c.), but most do not. Ukraine originally took an article, but the Ukrainian government have been strongly discouraging its use in English since independence.
Mostly, 'the' is avoided when the name of the country is a proper noun, but is used when it's plural. The Gambia and, formerly, The Ukraine being notable exceptions. IIRC, Yemen and Sudan also once took the definite article in English, and officially I think Sudan still does, but it fell out of use.
So now only we have to convince you guys to use Nederland or Netherland for our country and the low countries for Nederland and Belgium together. ;) In Dutch we use de lage landen for that. (Actually I guess there hardly is anyone who cares about that, it's Holland which annoys the people who are not Hollanders.)
By the way, Ukraine had some sort of similar situation once. When it struggled for independence after the WWI, there were two different meanings - Ukraine as a Ukrainian-populated region, and Ukraine as a state of Ukrainians. I guess, the region used to have the article in its name, and the state didn't.
Well, sorry Ukraine government, but I'll be getting it wrong for a while! (out of sheer habit).