Saturday, December 25, 2010

Shahtar or Shakhtar

Why it is that the Russian and Ukrainian sound /h/ (like in Hull or Harvard) is (mis)represented in English by the letters "kh"?
It's been bugging me somewhat.

So, it should be Shahtar, not Shakhtar; also, Harkov, not Kharkov (or Harkiv, as the name is in Ukrainian).

Even funnier, some geniuses determined that the Ukrainian sound /g/ (almost like in Galloway or Glasgow, just a bit softer) should be transcribed into English with the letter "h"!

Thus, English transcribes the Ukrainian word Liga (League) as
Liha (!), but Shahtar as Shakhtar. And naturally, 99.9% of English
speakers will mispronounce both words... So weird.

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