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Thread: What about the letter H?

  1. #1
    Увлечённый спикер GreenLarry's Avatar
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    What about the letter H?

    After years of half hearted studying of the Russian language I noticed that there is no russian equivalent to the letter H.
    What do we do? And my partner is called Helen-doubly important
    Do I just omit the H and use Elen (Елен)?
    Я плохо говорю по-русски.

  2. #2
    Почтенный гражданин dtrq's Avatar
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    Ussualy it casted to Х.
    Helen - Хелен, e.g. Миррен, Хелен — Википедия

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    Завсегдатай maxmixiv's Avatar
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    Indeed, it is a major inconvenience.
    Usually we substitute with Г, I believe:
    Генриетта, Генри, Гук, Гарри Поттер, гуманоид, газгольдер, Гастингс etc
    But sometimes Х is applied:
    "Харриер", Хелен, хост (computer term), ...
    Antonio1986 likes this.
    "Невозможно передать смысл иностранной фразы, не разрушив при этом её первоначальную структуру."

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    Подающий надежды оратор
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    Why г, х is waaaaay closer by a long shot.
    *Your Favorite Brand Name Chip!*

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    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    Historically "Г" was used, but nowadays "Х" is a standard. Sitll many words and names introduced to Russian before, use "Г".
    Antonio1986 likes this.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Увлечённый спикер GreenLarry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtrq View Post
    Ussualy it casted to Х.
    Helen - Хелен, e.g. Миррен, Хелен — Википедия
    Spacibo tovariche!
    Now how is the Х pronounced?
    Я плохо говорю по-русски.

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    Moderator Lampada's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenLarry View Post
    Spacibo tovariche!
    Now how is the Х pronounced?


    Буква Х - 3:22
    Throbert McGee likes this.
    "...Важно, чтобы форум оставался местом, объединяющим людей, для которых интересны русский язык и культура. ..." - MasterАdmin (из переписки)



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    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenLarry View Post
    Spacibo tovariche!
    Now how is the Х pronounced?
    It's pronounced like Darth Vader breathing, more or less. Or, if you prefer, like the Spanish "j" in jalapeño.

    In other words, it's a very "back-of-the-throat" H-sound. But don't make the mistake -- as many English speakers do when learning Russian -- of pronouncing it too "wet and rough," like you're trying to bring up phlegm. It's a "dry and smooth" sound.

    By the way, in Russian translations of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, the character we call Helen of Troy became Елена (pronounced "Yelena"), yet for some reason Helen's daughter Hermione became Гермиона -- which is also the spelling used in the Harry Potter translations. (Yet in the original Greek, both Helen and Hermione start with the same sound.)
    Говорит Бегемот: "Dear citizens of MR -- please correct my Russian mistakes!"

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    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lampada View Post


    Буква Х - 3:22
    OMG, the Russian lady said a totally bad word at 4:00!

    Seriously, thanks for linking that -- it's really cute, and perfect for beginners.

    Although I did think it was a bit repetitive (and confusing to foreigners) to use удав (a "snake" of the boa/python/anaconda type) as an example for У, after already using змея (a "snake" in general) for the letter З. I mean, there are lots of other simple, concrete nouns that start with У in Russian -- coal, smiles, oysters, ears, mustaches...

  10. #10
    Почтенный гражданин Suobig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Throbert McGee View Post
    By the way, in Russian translations of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, the character we call Helen of Troy became Елена (pronounced "Yelena"), yet for some reason Helen's daughter Hermione became Гермиона -- which is also the spelling used in the Harry Potter translations. (Yet in the original Greek, both Helen and Hermione start with the same sound.)
    In russian translations Hudson river would be "река Гудзон", but Mr. Holmes' houseowner Mrs. Hudson would be "миссис Хадсон". As it's said in one russian joke - "понять нельзя, надо запомнить".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suobig View Post
    In russian translations Hudson river would be "река Гудзон", but Mr. Holmes' houseowner Mrs. Hudson would be "миссис Хадсон". As it's said in one russian joke - "понять нельзя, надо запомнить".
    Интересно, что река Гудзон названа в честь английского мореплавателя по фамилии Hudson (в Википедии пишут Хадсон - в скобках Гудзон), т.е. человека с той же фамилией, что и у героини, "игравшей мебель" в известном фильме.

    Путаница с этой транслитерацией (Вильям-Уильям, Харри-Гарри, Гумбольдт - Хумбольдт) возникла в результате изменений её правил (в разное время использовались разные правила - поэтому ОДНО и ТО ЖЕ имя в разное время и в разных источниках может иметь различную транслитерацию - как Гудзон/Хадсон передает ОДНО и то ЖЕ имя Hudson).

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    Завсегдатай maxmixiv's Avatar
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    Также не менее интересно, что немецкое "herr" на русский переводится как "герр", но один известный российский комментатор таки произносит через "х", когда говорит об одном известном немецком тренере.
    "Невозможно передать смысл иностранной фразы, не разрушив при этом её первоначальную структуру."

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    Почтенный гражданин Suobig's Avatar
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    Oh, I have a funny trivia for you.
    In early 90-s russian markets were piled with videotapes with western films. Most of them were illegaly copied and translated by amateurs. Films were being translated aurally and it was taking as much time as the film lasted. So you can imagine what the quality was. And there was a film, which title was translated as "Дорогой Гюнтер". Please, guess the original title of this film.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Throbert McGee View Post
    By the way, in Russian translations of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, the character we call Helen of Troy became Елена (pronounced "Yelena"), yet for some reason Helen's daughter Hermione became Гермиона -- which is also the spelling used in the Harry Potter translations. (Yet in the original Greek, both Helen and Hermione start with the same sound.)
    Ἑλένη and Ἑρμιόνη. As far as I know this 'inverted comma letter' in the beginning is always H in LATIN(IZED) tradition. In Russian it can be either "Г" (old Greek transliteration system used to sound as in Ancient Greek for classical names as Геракл, Гераклит, Геродот и т.п., LATIN tradition also uses it) or 'no sound at all' (new system, close to new Greek tradition, and used in Russian for contemporary names).

    So in Russian, as Елена is a contemporary name (and a popular one), it falls into the second category ('no sound at all').

    Other classic examples would be: Hellenistic vs Эллинистический, Helio- vs Гелио- (all things related to sun). You always have H in English, but in Russian 2 cases are possible.

    The historic development of Greek and changes in Greek pronunciation resulted in such intricacies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suobig View Post
    Oh, I have a funny trivia for you.
    In early 90-s russian markets were piled with videotapes with western films. Most of them were illegaly copied and translated by amateurs. Films were being translated aurally and it was taking as much time as the film lasted. So you can imagine what the quality was. And there was a film, which title was translated as "Дорогой Гюнтер". Please, guess the original title of this film.
    Deer hunter? )))

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    Почтенный гражданин dtrq's Avatar
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenLarry View Post
    Spacibo tovariche!
    Now how is the Х pronounced?
    as Throbert said close to 'j' in Spanish. Example: Spanish San Jose = Сан Хосе (but softer than Spanish). Or as in German 'Bach, achtung, etc.' but softer.

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