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Thread: How you translate 'Moscow' in Russian letters?

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by TATY
    Firstly, Americans tend to pronounce Moscow, like the Germans do Moss-cow. But the most common way to pronoucne the English word Moscow is Moss-ko. That's how it is in British English.

    I believe Moscow comes from Московский (the adjectival form of Moscow) or something. It has the root Moscov, and in Polish and German and other languages, v = w, like Krakow (pronounce Crack-off), therefore you get Moscow.

    The root of Moskva is Moskv, and from this the adjective Moskovskiy is formed with the help of the fill vowel o between the k and v.

    So to conclude, if you take into account that an Eastern European W = an English V, you get Moskwa (this is just as much a valid transliteration as Moskva).

    Moskowskiy ---> Moskow ---> Moscow

    So the Enlgish word didn't come from nowhere.

    Why do we say Rome when it's Roma in Italian, why do we say Hungary when it's Magyarország in Hungarian?

    The genitive plural of Москва would be Москов I think aswell.

    There are many hypotheses about etymology of 'Moscow'. But no one of them is definitive.

    First of all most common viewpoint is the capital of Russia takes its name from the river Moskva on which it sits.
    Short historical excursus:
    Moscow (Moskva) itself was founded in 1147 as one of the outward posts of the Old Russian kingdoms in the forests occupied by native Finno-Ugric tribes, the ancestors of modern Russians (80% of the topographic names in the modern central Russia have the Finno-Ugric roots).
    III millenium B.C.

    quote from (The Lost World of Meshchera)
    see the link for more details

    A thousand years ago the political and ethnical map was very different. The forest plains of the North-East of Europe, from the Urals to the Lapland was populated by the Finno-Ugrian peoples, the ancestors of modern Finns, Hungarians, Estonians, Mordvins, Mari, Udmurts and many others, including those living in the Russian North and Western Siberia.

    The earliest written mention - а church document "Tolcovaya Paleya" ( с 13 AD) [7] listed Meshchera with the other nations, populating the territory which would become Russia [8]. Later the chroniclers specified its exact habitat as "along Oka river where it flows to Volga" [11], side by side with Mari, Merja, Mordvin and Murom people. All of them made the Volgo-Finnish tribal union [2] which not later than the first half of the 1st millennium AD considerably diverged culturally and linguistically.

    The Meshchera were not as big in number as their neighbors, but they also consisted of few relating tribes. They occupied both banks of Oka river from the mouth of Pronya to Moksha river and neighboring with the Mordvins and Mourom on the low Oka. Some tribes lived far down South, to the modern Tambov region and up North, bordering with the lands of Merya on Klyazma river.

    The great Volga trade route (Upper Volga - Klyazma - Moscow - Oka) went via lands of Meshchera. The trade and craftsmanship grew up and required a big deal of row materials, especially copper. Some Oka nations, for instance The Mordvins, had develop the feudal society. Meshchera, being at the lower stage of its development, went through the gradual disintegration of its tribal structure. The coming Slavs accelerated all these processes from the c 8-9 AD along Oka to c 10 - 11 AD in the Oka - Klyazma plains.

    At the beginning the Slavs settled apart from Finns, but soon the population started to mix. The Meshcherian burials of c 11-12 AD demonstrate this thought the cultural contacts occurred long before, especially between Baltic, Slavic and Finnish (including Meshchera) tribes along Oka water way. To the 11-12th centuries the aboriginal tribes of the Volga-Oka plains such as Merja and Murom have been disintegrated and assimilated by Slavs. The most part of the Meshchera also has been russified, but its remaining settlements had been surviving long after in the virgin forests of the left low bank of Oka, from Tsna in the West to Gous' in the East. Soon the Old Russian princedoms were organized. The towns of Ryazan, Pereslavl' Ryazansky (the end of c 11 AD) and Kolomna (c 12 AD) were built. In 1152 Gorodets (later called Gorodets Meshchersky and Kasymov) has been built just amidst the lands of Meshchera. The town had mixed population [12]. The Meshchera of the right bank of Oka also was assimilated, not only by Slavs but also by Mordins and from c 13 AD by Tatars.

    Meshchera is a bit of eastwards from Moscow.
    Moscow territory was territory of other Finno-Ugrian tribe: Merja.
    Merja assimilated with Slavs long ago and Merja language was lost.
    Most likely "moskva" is from Merja or Meshchera language.

    Explanation of the word “Moskva” from Finno-Ugrian languages has more then century old tradition.
    The clearest part of the word is “va” meaning “water”, “river”. In Komi-Zyryan and Komi-Permyak languages till now word “water” has this form “va”. It is easy to recognize the same root in other Finno-Ugrian languages: Mordvin – “vad,ved’ “, Mari – “vud”, Udmurt – “vu”. (This root is common Indo-European by birth.
    But the main part (“mosk”) which is the most essntial for the name causes variety interpretations. In the written down in the end of the XIX century Mari legend the name “moskva” was concluded from two Mari words: “maska” – “bear” and “ava” – “mother” and was explained that there were many bears in the place in the old time.
    Its weakness side contains Mari linguists long ago proved that Mari word “maska” was borrowed in XVI century Russian word “mechka” – “bear” (Fem).
    Also Finnish word “musta” (“black”, “dirty” was attracted to make explanation. In this way it would be “black dirty water”. This explanation was rejected because of hypothesis did not take into account that first and second parts of the word were taken from practically different languages: Finnish which is belong to Baltic-Finnic group and Komi which is belong to Permian languages.

    Eventually there is one more Komi-Zyryan word that is more close then others to the mysterious root “mosk”. The word “mosk” means “a cow”. Thus it presents one more translation variant is “cow’s river”.
    An adherent of the explanation was famous historian Klyuchevskiy.
    This variant is supported by the most weight arguments then all others because of archaeological facts confirm this linguistic hypothesis.

  2. #42
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    Haven't read the whole thread but I think, the trend is to spell and pronounce the words as in the original language, not just in English. If the originial speling can't be used (different writing system), then the transliteration is used.

    Peking is no longer Beijing.

    In airports they write: Moskva, Roma, Lisboa, Warszawa, Praha, Bucuresti and Beograd as in original languages, not Moscow, Rome, Lisbon, Warsaw, Prague, Bucharest and Belgrade.

    It also the matter of how Russians present Moscow to foreigners. There is a big sign MOSKVA in some Moscow airports but apart from that nobody knows that Moscow is called "Moskva" in Russian. Chinese always called their capital Beijing and trained foreigners to pronounce it properly and nobody thinks it's awkward ot unusual any more.

    I am not from Moskva but I'd like to promote Moskva as the name of the Russian capital and Sankt-Peterburg, not St Petersburg as the name of the famous city on the Neva.
    Anatoli - Анатолий - أناتولي - 阿纳托利 - アナトーリー - 아나톨리

  3. #43
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    Re: Another of my commentaries on the English language :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ядерное лицо
    It's not that English-speakers can't say the -kv- sound, just that it's very unusual, so at some point in history, the pronunciation of Maskva was changed in our language to suit our ways of pronunciation.
    Also, it's been changing in Russian over time as well, so "Moscow" may well be a very close transcription of some earlier pronunciation. An 'o' surely was there at some point: московский, Московия. Consider also a similar pair "церква"/"церковь".
    The above may contain Siberian words, idioms, usages, and ideas. Take care.

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