Dear forUm English Editor,

On my return from Kyiv this week, my first reaction to the number of comments about the transliteration issue was surprise. But on second thought I realized that the interest in this matter is not restricted to Canada. From those who gave an indication of their home base, the feedback came from Australia, Brazil, Canada, continental Europe, Ukraine, United Kingdom, the USA and it would appear other countries. But that is not, exclusively, the measure for you or for the rest of us to go by, in choosing to use normal English, normal Ukrainian, and normal transliteration practices.

And I agree completely that save and except for a few of the intemperate or mischievous remarks of some of those who wrote in, the comments by the majority was in the spirit of goodwill. They are trying to be helpful and constructive, and demonstrated a desire to make forUm’s website a first class publication by respecting both English and Ukrainian languages and transliteration.

And so, where to from here? Few have the time to send their comments about language on a daily basis. But the periodic constructive criticism should be heeded by forum and incorporated into your publishing practices. Just as the English language Newspapers have their language guidelines; forUm should begin to compile a transliteration guidelines binder. And it is not just the question of individual letters, pronunciations or grammar in the headlines or topics. Publishing as you very well know is an art as well as a grammar test each time one sits down in front of the computer to write a story or a headline.

I believe forUm can be a first class publication in English, and your unbiased approach to your reporting is to be commended. Congratulations.

But please stop mimicking your neighbour to the north. Continuing with Stalinist language practices, is not worthy of emulation. And stop repeating your neighbour’s new inventions. When the Europeans adopted the common currency it was the European Euro. Europeans pronounce it Evro or Euro, not Yevro. If you want to join the club, listen. They coined the word not your neighbour.

We in the West know the practices of The Times of London or the New York Times who, sometimes, return to Czarist & Soviet era language practices & transliteration. Some of us have written to them, about this. The fact that they are slow to adapt to normal language practices is a reflection of their publishers biases and of their attachment to the recently coined “Duranty’s Rules for Publications”. But in the end normal practices will prevail.

We will continue to read your interesting publication, and hopefully see you incorporate some of the constructive suggestions.

Emmy Arnold once wrote”There have been enough words, enough sermons and books. What matters now are deeds.”

Lead the way in English language publications based in Ukraine by writing from your home base using language & transliteration which reflects a proud people, with a proud tradition, which predates the dictates of dictators, invaders; and Durantyisms.

Good Luck!

Ihor Bardyn

Toronto Canada.


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