Incorect spelling of name for a place/city (Kyiv/Kiev)

So Kyiv is official spelling of Ukrainian capital, while “Kiev” is transliteration from Russian that was used in USSR. Kyiv is used in Google Maps, Wikipedia, etc, so how it’s “Kiev” here? And I’m almost sure that till recently it was displaying correctly as Kyiv in these places, it feels like a recent change:
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/kiev-city
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/kiev
Is there a way to correct it?
It’s the same as using Peking instead of Beijing.
Such spelling will antagonize most observers from Ukraine.

Likely because of this:

Kyiv is the Ukrainian name for the city,[25] and it is used for legislative and official acts.[26] Kiev is the English name for the city

If we’re using the ‘correct’ names for places then it should be Ки́їв, Beijing should be 北京 (with the Romanization Bĕijīng, not Beijing), the Indonesian portion of Borneo should be Kalimantan, Cambodia should be Kampuchea (but really កម្ពុជា), India could be Bharata, Bhārat, Hindustān depending on the context of the conversation and who you’re talking with (but using a different script), Germany should be Deutschland, etc, etc, etc.

The truth of the matter is that each language often has its own name for a particular place. Sometimes we get lucky and the name a certain language uses for that place matches well with what the local people call it, other times it doesn’t at all (eg. China, which may be of Persian origin vs a number of other names, of which Zhōngguó, 中國 or 中国 depending on your writing style preference, is only one of the most recent, and even that isn’t “official” as Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó - 中华人民共和国 or 中華人民共和國 is the “official” name of the country).

Names are, unfortunately, complicated, culturally dependent, and have all kinds of awkward historical baggage entrained with them.

7 Likes

this was probably never brought up when they were last reviewing country administrative areas. see https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/ukraine-inaturalist-world-tour/5715. this should probably be merged into that topic.

iso codes: UA - Ukraine (iso.org)

2 Likes

It even contradicts to the map that displays in place’s description.

For other Ukrainian cities official Ukrainian names used on iN, while there are also other Russian or “international English” names:
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/zhytomyr
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/kharkiv
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/chernivtsi
etc
So it’s an inconsistency and odd at best.
You may also check this rather good material on topic from Euronews: https://www.euronews.com/2019/06/21/kyiv-or-kiev-why-does-it-matter-so-much-to-ukrainians

2 Likes

just to clarify, the basemap with the label that you’ve drawn arrows pointing to comes from Google. the place polygons and names for the polygons are defined in iNaturalist, taken more or less directly from GADM (which is not always accurate).

since these are standard administrative places, the iNaturalist staff will have to deal with these, if they determine that the names should be changed. again, the naming issue was just never brought up when they were adding these last. so this probably just needs to be brought to the iNaturalist staff (@loarie?), and they can take action, as needed. let’s give them some time to look at it and respond.

for those who don’t know, the Kyiv is the English transliteration that the Ukrainian people have chosen for themselves, whereas Kiev is from the old days of the USSR. this can be a touchy subject. so please respond with extra care.

as i noted earlier, the ISO standards reflect Kyiv. in addition:

4 Likes