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February 28, 2014



I don't know where the "colonial 'the'" comes from - there is no definite article in Russian (or Ukrainian). The Ukraine, The Lebanon, The Gambia - is there any one thing going on in all three cases (and no others)?


Also the Sudan.

While there is no definite article in Russian, there is, on the other hand, the issue of when to use v or na to mean "in"- as in "in Ukraine," with v being obviously another country and na for places in Russia (and places like Alaska). Using "na" for Ukraine would be a bit like the "colonial 'the'" whereas using v is more respectful, according to my Russian teacher. Disclaimer that my Russian is far from fluent, though good enough to read Isaac Babel, which really is a treat.


Last year the Ukrainian National Bank issued a commemorative coin of old Nestor, with a tachanka (the "technical" referred to above) on it:



The Argentine.

Is the the a hangover from the time when French was the diplomatic lingua franca?

Chris Williams

OT: Kunming attack. WTF? Anyone got any informed speculation?


it's overnight in China now, so I'm going to save a post till tomorrow. The government has blamed 'terrorists' for now without further specification. But 'terrorists' is code for 'uighurs'


the Argentine

It's because Argentine is a modifier in the Spanish; la Republica Argentina.

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