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Thread: Famous names once and for all

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    Подающий надежды оратор miloserdie's Avatar
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    Famous names once and for all

    Let's lay these names to rest.

    Юлия Тимошенко
    Геннадий Зюганов
    Михаил Горбачёв
    Михаил Ходорковский
    Фёдор Емельяненко
    Лев Давидович Троцкий

    Александр Бородин
    Пётр Ильич Чайковский
    Фёдор Достоевский
    Михаил Ломоносов
    Лев Николаевич Толстой
    Владимир Набоков
    Дмитрий Шостакович
    Станислав Маркелов
    милосердие

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    Подающий надежды оратор miloserdie's Avatar
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    I'm tired of arguing with Americans about native pronunciation of these people. So let's hear it.
    милосердие

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    Старший оракул Seraph's Avatar
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    Владимир Наумович Вапник

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    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miloserdie View Post
    Let's lay these names to rest.
    What's the question here? Are you wondering mainly about syllable stress?

    As a general rule, I think, surnames ending in -овский or -евский are stressed on the -ов-/-ев syllable, while those ending in -ой are ending-stressed (but not necessarily the final syllable -- the feminine of Толстой is Толстая, for instance). And the vowel ё is always stressed -- hence, Горбачёв.

    Also, of course, the letter в is always pronounced like ф when it's the final letter in a word, while unstressed о is reduced to а or "schwa". So old Splotchy's surname is said гəр-ба-ЧОФ, but his wife (Раиса) was гəр-ба-ЧО-ва.

    Many (not all) masculine given names have different stress in their native and anglicized forms -- often with the stress shifted one syllable to the left in English. Thus, Ivan but Иван; Mikhail but Михаил; Vladimir but Владимир; Boris but Борис.

    With those general guidelines aside, most or all of these people can be found on English-wikipedia along with the stress-marked Russian spelling and IPA pronunciation of their names. So if you look up Nabokov, for instance, you'll find:

    Влади́мир Влади́мирович Набо́ков, pronounced [vlɐˈdʲimʲɪr nɐˈbokəf]

    (Hmm, for some reason the vowel-stress marks got shifted onto the consonants! No worries, though -- they display correctly in the wiki article, and the Nabokov entry even has an audio recording of a native Russian speaker pronouncing the name, though not all of the articles necessarily do.)

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    As Throbert pointed out all(most) of the names of the above can be found on wiki, with pronunciation and transcription
    However the hardest part is not to find/listen to the pronunciation but understanding and pronouncing it
    For example: my name will be written in Russian as Артём. But for native English-speaker this name is basically impossible to pronounce, mostly because of two things:
    1. There is no ё sound in English. I had to write my name either as Artyom or as Artem. Both are incorrect
    2. Stress goes on letter ё but for English speakers it's weird and unnatural

    So if I write my name as Artyom it will be pronounce something like Артиом
    If I write as Artem it will be Артэм
    Even if I pronounce my name to English speakers - most of them can't repeat it and some who can forget it in a day

    So unless all names of the above will be written in Cyrillic all the time, I don't think it will be a way to force people to pronounce them correctly

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Throbert McGee View Post
    What's the question here? Are you wondering mainly about syllable stress?

    As a general rule, I think, surnames ending in -овский or -евский are stressed on the -ов-/-ев syllable, while those ending in -ой are ending-stressed (but not necessarily the final syllable -- the feminine of Толстой is Толстая, for instance). And the vowel ё is always stressed -- hence, Горбачёв.

    Also, of course, the letter в is always pronounced like ф when it's the final letter in a word, while unstressed о is reduced to а or "schwa". So old Splotchy's surname is said гəр-ба-ЧОФ, but his wife (Раиса) was гəр-ба-ЧО-ва.

    Many (not all) masculine given names have different stress in their native and anglicized forms -- often with the stress shifted one syllable to the left in English. Thus, Ivan but Иван; Mikhail but Михаил; Vladimir but Владимир; Boris but Борис.
    I wonder why the stress shift happens. Is it difficult to pronounce those words with the stress on the correct syllable? But how do you manage to pronounce begin, for example? Germanic languages tend to have the stress on the first root syllable, but how could the word "machine" survive with the second syllable stressed?

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    Скачать имена.wav с WebFile.RU
    That's my pronunciation of all these names.

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    Почтенный гражданин LXNDR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    but how could the word "machine" survive with the second syllable stressed?
    maybe cause it's French? CH pronounced as SH isn't typical English phonetics, just a guess

  9. #9
    Hanna
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    There is no ё sound in English. I had to write my name either as Artyom or as Artem. Both are incorrect
    Hmmm how interesting! Which did you settle for in the end? It's one of my favourite Russian names, it has a cool sound to it. Of course you could just make people call you "Art" which I think is a nickname for Arthur. In Scandinavia and Germany, the spelling is always Artjom. Assuming the person uses a rolling r, you get exactly the same pronunciation as in Russian.

    I got tired of people abusing my name in English and simply adopted an English nickname. English people liked using the nickname, so it wored fine.

    When I was travelling in some Russian speaking countries recently I was irritated that they routinely transcribed my name into Cyrillic letters as if it was an English name. So I got to hear the incorrect version of my name in English, pronunced with a Russian accent - that is too much. If I ever go to Russia for any extended period i will insist on the transliteration that I decide!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    In Scandinavia and Germany, the spelling is always Artjom. Assuming the person uses a rolling r, you get exactly the same pronunciation as in Russian.
    It is unlikely. The t is different in Germanic languages and a soft "t" won't be easy to pronounce for them. Than [j] is an extra sound here.
    When I was travelling in some Russian speaking countries recently I was irritated that they routinely transcribed my name into Cyrillic letters as if it was an English name. So I got to hear the incorrect version of my name in English, pronunced with a Russian accent - that is too much. If I ever go to Russia for any extended period i will insist on the transliteration that I decide!
    They started your name with дж? In books normal transliterations of Scandinavian names are used.
    It's interesting that Russians use letters ю, ё for sounds [y], [œ].

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    Почтенный гражданин Dmitry Khomichuk's Avatar
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    In Belarussian Hanna/Anna is Ганна.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    Hmmm how interesting! Which did you settle for in the end?
    I stopped on Artem and I don't care how others pronounce it anymore
    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    Of course you could just make people call you "Art"
    Yeah, people tried to do that but I think I'm not that big of a masterpiece to be called "art"

  13. #13
    Hanna
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    It is unlikely. The t is different in Germanic languages and a soft "t" won't be easy to pronounce for them. Than [j] is an extra sound hear.
    You are a perfectionist! It is as close as you can get without being Russian.
    I bet you I could pronounce the name "Артём" without you hearing that I am not Russian. There is absolutely no difficulty with any of those letters.
    I realise of course that most Germans use the throaty R, and therefore would not pronounce it correctly, but other than that my point holds up. A Finnish person could pronounce it absolutely fine too.

    They started your name with дж? In books normal transliterations of Scandinavian names are used. It's interesting that Russians use letters ю, ё for sounds [y], [œ].
    No, my name is Johanna, so it's the first letter that is pronounced differently.

    I had a think about it a few years back and decided that I prefer the spelling Юханна.
    But I noticed that some German women who have the same name, transliterate it as Йоганна.
    I think I prefer the x sound rather than the g sound as a replacement for "h".

    Which option looks better to you, as native speakers of Russian, in writing?

    By the way, how true is it that "Russians can't say "H" CAN you say it, or is it really hard?

    When I am back in the UK and pick up my Russian studies again, I'll post something of me reading in Russian.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dmitry
    In Belarussian Hanna/Anna is Ганна.
    Yeah, I heard that and that's pretty!
    I think in Ukraine they have this name tool, right?

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    You are a perfectionist! It is as close as you can get without being Russian.
    I bet you I could pronounce the name "Артём" without you hearing that I am not Russian. There is absolutely no difficulty with any of those letters.
    Could you make a recording please?
    If there was no difficulty with soft consonants, foreigners would pronounce them correctly. Yet Germans have big problems with them. The problem is that Russian has phonemic distinction between a soft consonant and a consonant plus [j].
    Russians clearly hear the difference between:
    hard t + o (то)
    soft t + o (тё)
    hard t + j + o (тъё)
    soft t + j + o (тьё)
    No, my name is Johanna, so it's the first letter that is pronounced differently.
    How did those people in Belorussia transliterate your name?
    But I noticed that some German women who have the same name, transliterate it as Йоганна.
    I think I prefer the x sound rather than the g sound as a replacement for "h".

    Which option looks better to you, as native speakers of Russian, in writing?
    The variant with г came from Ukrainian language, for a nothern Russian х is the closest sound, that's why they usually use x now, sometimes two variants coexist.
    By the way, how true is it that "Russians can't say "H" CAN you say it, or is it really hard?
    It is more than true. We do not hear the difference between our x and [h]. I can pronounce it now, but I still sometimes can't distinguish between them.
    However voicing is well heard by Russians. So, a voiced h will be completely different for a Russian from an unvoiced one.

  15. #15
    Hanna
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    Could you make a recording please?
    No, because I don't have a microphone handy and I can't be fussed with it right now. I'll a recording of Russian in the autumn though when I start my Russian studies again.

    How did those people in Belorussia transliterate your name?
    They translated it Джоанна which would have been absolutely fine if I had been British or American with the name "Joanne or Joanna". I don't mind massively being called that in the UK.
    But there is no difficulty with pronouncing my actual name, in Russian. The Jo bit is exactly like Ю, and if you go a bit easy on the x it sounds like a Swedish h.

    For English people it is not easy at all, it sounds really wrong, so it's ok that they pronounce it in the way that is familiar to them. It's the mispronounciation that is annoying.

    I think that both Belarus and Ukraine have the letter "h" in their languages, at least in the spoken form. They can say it.

    Many people in Belarus actually replaced x or g with h when speaking Russian. We talked about it here before - apparently Alexander Lukashenko to some extent speaks in this way.
    I was not keen on this dialact because it made it much harder for me to understand what they were saying. The Belarussians were funny in that although everyone loved the Belarussian language, very few could actually speak it, you could just sence its influence in the dialect and see it on signs. A bit like Irish which I know you like, Marcus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    By the way, how true is it that "Russians can't say "H" CAN you say it, or is it really hard?
    Per my understanding English "H" sound is pronounced "in a mouth" but Russian "Х" sound comes partially as throat sound
    Russians probably can say English "H" but only if concentrate on it very hard.
    The root of this problem is there is no difference in Russian language between English "H" and Russian "Х" thus most of the Russians don't even know they speak "H" incorrectly
    For example it's "known" that Russian accent consists of: over-accented "r" sounds, incorrect using of "a" sound when the "æ" or "ə" or "ʌ" sound supposed to be used, incorrect using of "s" or "z" sounds when the "θ" or "ð" sounds supposed to be used, muting of voiced consonants at the end and the beginning of words (God becomes Got and Zebra becomes Sebra), incorrect using of "v" sound when the "w" sound supposed to be used and "famous" stretching of vowels when they supposed to sound short
    Heavy Russian accent will also include changes of "e" sound to actual Russian "Е" pronunciation, thus "very" becomes "vyery", replacement of letter "U" with "ju" sound to actual Russian "У" with "u" sound in the middle of some words

    I don't think the "H" sound is among the "truly Russian accent" sounds I would probably put it along with "l" sound - replaced by Russian "Л" (curve your tongue more to the back when you speak it, it supposed to sound harder and deeper than the "l")
    IMHO

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    Which option looks better to you, as native speakers of Russian, in writing?
    I like Ханна more

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    If I was in Germany I would write it as "Artöm".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doomer View Post
    Zebra becomes Sebra
    I doubt. This word is pronounced with clear "z" in Russian. I cannot imagine a reasoning that can make a Russian to pronounce it with "s".

    replacement of letter "U" with "ju" sound to actual Russian "У" with "u" sound in the middle of some words
    Is not it pronounced as "yu" in some words in English like in "fusion"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anixx View Post
    I doubt. This word is pronounced with clear "z" in Russian. I cannot imagine a reasoning that can make a Russian to pronounce it with "s".
    Russians pronounced it with "з" not "z", try to say зибра an you'll notice that "з" sound transforms to "сз"

    Quote Originally Posted by Anixx View Post
    Is not it pronounced as "yu" in some words in English like in "fusion"?
    fusion - ['fjuːʒ(ə)n] with heavy Russian accent could become foosion ['fuːʒ(ə)n]

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