I've ben discussing this with the other moderators/administrators. As for me, I would include both Kyiv and Kiev as acceptable translations, and keep Kyiv as the main displayed version because this spelling reflects the Ukrainian pronunciation better. I think this course is about language, not about politics. And no matter whether you typed in Kyiv or Kiev, I understand that you learned the word Київ and understand what it means. However, the opinion of the administrator is different, and it's to do with politics.
Since technically I have control of the exercises, I think I will just add Kiev everywhere by myself :) I think it will reduce the amount of frustrated Duolingo users, reduce the amount of comments and reports saying "On Wikipedia Kiev is an alternative spelling" and so on, and in general I think it will be fair. Again, as I said, it's about language, not politics.
And Holand should be an acceptable name for the Netherlands because just so many people think it's the same thing.
"Kyiv" represents the pronunciation of the word. "Kiev" is a leftover of the Soviet times. Yes, I agree with you that it has more hits, but this is exactly what is sad about it.
It's not the same at all. Kiev is the widely-accepted English name for the city, it's not simply the case that "so many people think it's the same thing". There are many similar examples around the world, where city names in English are not transliterations of the native names. Examples include Moscow (not Moskva), Jerusalem (not Yerushalayim), Athens (not Athina), Cairo (not al-Qahira), etc. In some cases the native names are not taken into account at all, like with Bangkok or Hebron. So yeah, Kiev it should be, or at the very least it should be one of the accepted answers.
Oh well, come on, China is special ;) Because there's no one "Chinese" language...
Well, this is the historical thing because of different dialects, like, we say "чай" because it sounds like "cha" in Mandarin, but in most of the other languages it's similar to "te" which comes from the dialect of some province... Also "Китай" (Cathay pacific, right?) VS "China" - same story :)
'Kyiv" doesn't really represent the pronunciation of the word (but neither does Kiev), it's simply the transliterated letters from Ukrainian, but no English speaker is going to see that and pronounce it correctly. They're going to say something like /kʲɪv/ if the "ky" (an illegal initial combination in English) doesn't through them off. You would have to maybe write it like Keyyiv to come close to the Ukrainian pronunciation.
Well, you know, "Hsinchu" doesn't really represent the pronunciation of the city that I live in, but it is the official one and I don't like it (that would be the equivalent of "Kiev"), but now I do have to agree with you that writing it with a commonly adopted English spelling as Xinzhu doesn't help people who don't know the transliteration system (equivalent "Kyiv").
So then, it's just a matter of preference :)
In October 2006, the United States federal government changed its official spelling of the city name to Kyiv, upon the recommendation of the US Board of Geographic Names. The British government has also started using Kyiv. The alternate romanizations Kyyiv (BGN/PCGN transliteration) and Kyjiv (scholarly) are also in use in English-language atlases.
For those moderators who keep foiling the efforts of those who don't want politiki to be in this course, just please, for the love of peace at least, accept both Kiev and Kyiv. Odessa is accepted, please accept Kiev too? If I'm speaking Ukrainian, I use Kyiv, but when I'm speaking English or Russian, it's Kiev. Why? Because that's how it is. It's not sad. It's not bad. It's just what it is. Forcing Kiev is like forcing "Moskva" on languages that don't render nor pronounce the city as that.
I am totally voting for accepting Kiev too.
It's the most common official spelling in English. People spell it that way not because they don't think Ukraine is an independent country, or that Ukrainian is a language different from Russian, but because it's just the spelling. We also spell "Rome" and not "Roma". Yes, this spelling comes from the Russian word "Киев". But. It used to be spelled as "Кыѥвъ", so there is indeed connection with "Kiev" which is deeper than just the Russian language. Also, since nobody knows how to pronounce "y" and since short "i" in English sounds quite similar to "и", spelling it as "Kiev" makes sense. Yes, there is #KyivNotKiev. And yes, several countries have already made it their official spelling. And some media are using it in support of the campaign. However, that does NOT yet make "Kiev" wrong. Especially if we're talking language and NOT politics.
The other mods and the admin do not share my opinion. Or rather, the admin told me that they had a vote and decided to abolish "Kiev". I haven't heard from other mods.
The "reasons" listed in the Incubator are just links to media following the #KyivNotKiev movement, and links to Duolingo forum discussions about it, not really the actual final reasons that decided the outcome.
I'm sorry that it's like this :/
Yes, I'm well aware Kyiv is the "official" translation. That means nothing other than that a bunch of Ukrainian politicians insist that people who don't even live in the country they control insist that it be spelled that way. It has no bearing on actual practice. Kiev is not only the universally used transliteration, it more accurately reflects the original Cyrillic.
Kyiv reflects the original Cyrillic (Ukrainian) spelling more, y represents the и sound while.
Before my idea was to keep only Kyiv to sort of spread awareness of this spelling of the word since technically Kiev comes from the Russian pronunciation.
However, I've changed my mind and decided that this course is not about politics but about language, and both Kyiv and Kiev are good enough to show a user's comprehension.
So I will go through the exercises with the word Київ and add Kiev everywhere :)
If other moderators disagree, they might change this though :D