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Thread: Tchaïkovski or Tchaikovsky?

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    Tchaïkovski or Tchaikovsky?

    I speak both french and english.

    What would be the more correct way to write his name in other langage that russian?
    Tchaïkovski?
    Tchaïkovsky?
    Tchaikovsky?

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    Re: Tchaïkovski or Tchaikovsky?

    The one and only correct way is Чайковский (in Cyrillic letters). All other ways in Latin letters are optional and neither of them is "correct".
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Re: Tchaïkovski or Tchaikovsky?

    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    The one and only correct way is Чайковский (in Cyrillic letters). All other ways in Latin letters are optional and neither of them is "correct".
    That's right. It's impossible to fully imitate Russian pronunciation with the means of Latin alphabet, moreover non-natives find it very hard to pronounce some "Russian" sounds.

    So we can speak only of more common (traditional) or less common ways of transliterating a Russian surname into foreign language. Neither of these versions is perfect, but Tchaikovsky seems to be widely accepted among English speakers, so I would say in English it's more "correct" than others.
    Don't know anything about French, it can be spelled differently there.

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    Re: Tchaïkovski or Tchaikovsky?

    Quote Originally Posted by snorkyller
    I speak both french and english.

    What would be the more correct way to write his name in other langage that russian?
    Tchaïkovski?
    Tchaïkovsky?
    Tchaikovsky?
    If that guy gained a Russian foreign passport nowadays, the latin transliteration of his surname were "Chajkovskij".
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Re: Tchaïkovski or Tchaikovsky?

    But I only know latin caracters and I woundn't know if Чайковский means "Tchaikovsky" or Mussgosky, for example.

    I can read name like, Puccini, Pavarotti, even if it's from an another language because it's in latin caracters. I don't think that russian newspapers write "Pavarotti" in latin caracters.

    Sometimes I see "Tchaïkovksi", sometimes it's "Tchaikovsky". I don't know which is the best way to write it in latin caracters. I thought that russians should have the best opinion on that...

    But, I udertstand what you mean. I speak french and I don't like it when english medias don't put the accents (´¨`^) on letters...

    A+

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    Re: Tchaïkovski or Tchaikovsky?

    Quote Originally Posted by snorkyller
    I can read name like, Puccini, Pavarotti, even if it's from an another language because it's in latin caracters.
    But if you read aloud "Puccini" according to French, English and Italian phonetic rules in fact you will have three rather different words.

    So the "correct" way of transliterating may depend on a language. For example, "Tchaikovski" is clearly made for French because sound "Tch" is transliterated according to French rules. In English it should be "Ch", in Italian "Ci" (Ciajkovskij ?)
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Re: Tchaïkovski or Tchaikovsky?

    I'd write "Chajkovskij" (according to translit.ru)
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    Re: Tchaïkovski or Tchaikovsky?

    Quote Originally Posted by blacky
    I'd write "Chajkovskij" (according to translit.ru)
    That would be giving preference to a proprietary format (translit.ru) which is not standard.

    The Russian wiki entry for "Чайковский" redirects to English "Tchaikovsky" [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyotr_Ilyich_Tchaikovsky]. I think we can rely on Wikipedia (as it's been publicly scrutinized enough) to believe they got the English transliteration correct.

    In my personal view, "Tchaikovsky" is weird as it doesn't convey Russian sounds good enough, but I guess nothing can be done at this point.

    In English guys' defense, Russian transliteration for English words is at times even worse. For example, "Sir" is being transliterated as "Сэр", which is apparently wrong.

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    Re: Tchaïkovski or Tchaikovsky?

    Can you tell me if the pronunciation is correct in this web page: http://forvo.com/word/tchaikovsky/
    To me it sounds like Cheykovsky, Cheekovsky in english or Tchékovski, Tchikovski in french.
    I may also hear a й that would make it : Chaiyekovsky, Cheeyekovsky in english, Tchéïkovski (Tchëkovskï) or Tchïkovski in french. But it's really not clear and you have to hear it 10 times or more to hear it.

    About "Chajkovskij": according to wikipedia, й is kinda like a french ï or an english y. But you use j instead.
    Don't you think that "j" would make you say "ДЖ" in english


    About Puccini: Actually, when your first langage is french (like me), you know pretty well how to pronounce a name from other latin langage. Any persons around me would know that Puccini is an italian name an dhow to pronunce it.

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    Re: Tchaïkovski or Tchaikovsky?

    Quote Originally Posted by snorkyller
    Can you tell me if the pronunciation is correct in this web page: http://forvo.com/word/tchaikovsky/
    It's acceptable, looks like it was pronounced by native speakers (but not by professional actors). For the example stronger articulation can be used.

    About "Chajkovskij": according to wikipedia, й is kinda like a french ï or an english y. But you use j instead.
    Don't you think that "j" would make you say "ДЖ" in english
    I can explain the logic. Official transliteration is a formal standard to convert letter-by-letter cyrillic to the basic latin alphabet ("basic" means 26 letters, no national accents etc). So the equivalent for each cyrillic letter is needed. For the sound "й" in different European languages the following letters can be used: "i", "j", "y". "i" is the best for "и", "y" is the best for "ы" because in Polish letter "y" is used for same sound. "j" is free because in Russian no letter "ДЖ". Finally, "j" was accepted.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Re: Tchaïkovski or Tchaikovsky?

    Quote Originally Posted by snorkyller
    About Puccini: Actually, when your first langage is french (like me), you know pretty well how to pronounce a name from other latin langage. Any persons around me would know that Puccini is an italian name an dhow to pronunce it.
    You miss the point. For English speakers to read "Puccini" correctly they need to know IN ADVANCE how to read it, they need to know about Puccini (a composer). Personally I think that it's unacceptable. The language is supposed to be a stable, even if flexible, system, not a quiz on general knowledge.

    And I always was amased why on Earth English just adopts foreign words that are supposed to be read not according to, but AGAINST any rules of the language. Probably it's a downfall of using the same alphabet.
    Russians don't have to worry about it. "Пуччини" sounds the same as "Puccini" and can't be read in any other way. The worst thing ignoramus could do is to mess the stress.

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    Re: Tchaïkovski or Tchaikovsky?

    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka
    "Пуччини" sounds the same as "Puccini" and can't be read in any other way. The worst thing ignoramus could do is to mess the stress.
    Once talking to a french-speaking girl in English I used Russian word "пюре" which as I know is transliterated from French "purée". She did not understand me until I explained in English the meaning.

    So, transliteration by itself does not guarantee phonetic correctness.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Re: Tchaïkovski or Tchaikovsky?

    Quote Originally Posted by it-ogo
    Once talking to a french-speaking girl in English I used Russian word "пюре" which as I know is transliterated from French "purée". She did not understand me until I explained in English the meaning.

    So, transliteration by itself does not guarantee phonetic correctness.
    I was talking about the last names in the first place, not about the words adopted and "digested" by Russians long ago, some of which even changed their meaning.

    But you are right, some languages are harder to transliterate than others simply because Russian phonetics differ significantly from theirs. For many words and surnames there's just no perfect transliteration, others are victims of traditional spelling (like "Ватсон", "Темза", etc.).

    Even then it's more sensible to write the word according to the spelling rules of the language in question, than to make native speakers to guess (the language exists for THEM, isn't it?).

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    Re: Tchaïkovski or Tchaikovsky?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crocodile
    That would be giving preference to a proprietary format (translit.ru) which is not standard.

    The Russian wiki entry for "Чайковский" redirects to English "Tchaikovsky" [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyotr_Ilyich_Tchaikovsky]. I think we can rely on Wikipedia (as it's been publicly scrutinized enough) to believe they got the English transliteration correct.

    In my personal view, "Tchaikovsky" is weird as it doesn't convey Russian sounds good enough, but I guess nothing can be done at this point.

    In English guys' defense, Russian transliteration for English words is at times even worse. For example, "Sir" is being transliterated as "Сэр", which is apparently wrong.
    I don't believe Wikipedia, sorry.
    If not to touch translit.ru, I'd write Чайковский like "Chaykovskiy". My name is Виталий and I always write it as (or like? Which right?) Vitaliy.
    By the way, yesterday I watched a soccer match (PFC CSCA vs FC Shakhter). CSCA is a russian club, and many russians do play in it. So there're two brothers Березутских. In English their last name was written as Berezutskiy. =)
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    Re: Tchaïkovski or Tchaikovsky?

    Quote Originally Posted by blacky
    I don't believe Wikipedia, sorry.
    Tchaikovsky is a widely accepted traditional spelling. If you change it some people won't understand who are you talking about. It's like someone suddenly would decided that he should write "Фройт" instead of "Фрейд". People know who Фрейд is, but they'll hardly make a connection with this Фройт guy.

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    Re: Tchaïkovski or Tchaikovsky?

    I think it's difficult to write russian in a way that people who speak english will pronunce it correctly.

    At the opposite, it seems to me very easy to write any russian word in latin caracter for the french langage (except for the P)
    So I don't understand why both in Québec and in France, people write it "Tchaïkovski" because it really not make us pronunce it correctly (we pronunce it like Чайовски with the "a" pronunced kinda like in the english world "chat". It should have been written instead: Tchéïkovskï ; which would have make us pronunced it exactly like what I heard in the web site http://forvo.com/word/tchaikovsky/.

    Quote Originally Posted by it-ogo
    Once talking to a french-speaking girl in English I used Russian word "пюре" which as I know is transliterated from French "purée". She did not understand me until I explained in English the meaning.
    It's because the french sound "u" doesn't exist in the russian langage. Ю is really not the same sound. "u" sounds like pronuncing Y and И at the same time, not one after the other as with Ю(YИ). SHe may have understand you if you have said "пyре".

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    Re: Tchaïkovski or Tchaikovsky?

    Quote Originally Posted by snorkyller
    It's because the french sound "u" doesn't exist in the russian langage. Ю is really not the same sound. "u" sounds like pronuncing Y and И at the same time, not one after the other as with Ю(YИ). SHe may have understand you if you have said "пyре".
    After she finally recognized what I was talking about she pronounced something like "пухи".
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Re: Tchaïkovski or Tchaikovsky?

    Quote Originally Posted by it-ogo
    Quote Originally Posted by snorkyller
    It's because the french sound "u" doesn't exist in the russian langage. Ю is really not the same sound. "u" sounds like pronuncing Y and И at the same time, not one after the other as with Ю(YИ). SHe may have understand you if you have said "пyре".
    After she finally recognized what I was talking about she pronounced something like "пухи".
    "пухи". Yes, you're right! x is really like the r ! Thank you, I was searching the last week a way to right r with russian alphabet.

    In french, we don't have a russian x (or a spanish j, or an arabe kh, etc). So we usually pronunce "r" like x, but in some places, the pronunciation is more close to p. Pronuncing p correctly has been my nightmare in my spanish and russian courses.

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