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Thread: Dmitri vs. Dmitry - why and which one

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    Dmitri vs. Dmitry - why and which one

    Hello,

    This is my first posting so please try to be nice to the newbie

    Also, please answer in English.

    At the request of my teenage daughter, I have been writing a fictional novel. I am at chapter 18 and each chapter is about 8,000-9,000 words long.

    The main male character's name is Dmitri and he is of Russian decent.

    I have seen the name spelled both as Dmitri and Dmitry and I am curious as to which spelling is more common or popular in Russia.

    Is there a reason for the “i” vs “y”?

    Also, I have seen the nickname Dimas. How is that arrived at? Why not just “D”?

    I thank you in advance for your help - Rockzmom
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    Re: Dmitri vs. Dmitry - why and which one

    Speaking of spelling, we don’t write in Latin, so neither of your variants is legible. The problem of transliteration is seen in that that Russians pronounce the name with the semi-vowel in the end, which is close to Y in English, like in “coy”, for example. To be accurate, it is “Dmitrii” or “Dmitriy”. And now that the English language isn't “familiar” with the sound combination, it is spellt “Dmitri” oftentimes. I think either variant, “Dmitri” or “Dmitry”, is possible, but I’m not sure which is preferrable. The Y-variant can stand for -ий/-ей in any name, be it first or last.

    As for nicknames, I’ve never heard “Dimas” in my life. However, I see it on the Internet. Maybe, it’s a modern thing... It sounds like a street name, and rather rude. And this is what young people could call a Dmitri/Dmitry by. If you’d like to have a pet name mentioned, “Dimas” is to be avoided for certain. Erm... I don’t understand what you mean by saying “why not just ‘D’”.
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    Re: Dmitri vs. Dmitry - why and which one

    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom
    I have seen the name spelled both as Dmitri and Dmitry and I am curious as to which spelling is more common or popular in Russia.
    Neither, since we use cyrillics . The final sillable in Russian actually sounds somewhat like "iy", or like "ille" in "fille", if you know French.

    Russian names ending in that "iy" sound (Dmitri as in Dmitri Shostakovich, Yuri as in Yuri Gagarin) used to be traditionally spelled with an "i", and only rarely with a "y"; but that trend seems to have been reversed and now more and more English speakers start spelling them with a "y" (Yury, Dmitry, etc.)

    Some people even regard the "i" spelling as French, and the "y" spelling as English. Personally, I think either way is fine as long as you stay consistent.

    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom
    I have seen the nickname Dimas. How is that arrived at?
    Dima (DEE-mah) is the most common diminutive/familiar form of Dmitri. Dimas is a relatively recent form, mostly used by teens who probably think that by adding "s" the name sounds more "foreign" or cool.

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    Re: Dmitri vs. Dmitry - why and which one

    Quote Originally Posted by Rtyom
    Erm... I don’t understand what you mean by saying “why not just ‘D’”.
    What I meant was just the "Dee" sound as a nickname or as you might say diminutive/familiar name.

    It might just be a thing that we do over here in the states; however, it would seem natural to me if I had a son named Dmitri to call him "D" as nickname. Possibly because we would put a stress on the "Dee" part of the name.

    How Dima came out of Dmitri, I don't understand; but, then again I don't get how Jack came out of John either (as in John F. Kennedy's nickname was Jack)

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    Re: Dmitri vs. Dmitry - why and which one

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=& ... tnG=Search

    10:8, so they are both popular spellings.

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    Re: Dmitri vs. Dmitry - why and which one

    Also, I have seen the nickname Dimas. How is that arrived at? Why not just “D”?
    Because Russians never ever use a single letter as a nickname/diminutive form of their names. Some are not even familiar with that concept.
    Well, nowadays some teens use it parroting foreighn names, but even as a street nickname it's highly uncommon.

    PS. I don't think Dimas is rude. It's infantile, but that's it.

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    Re: Dmitri vs. Dmitry - why and which one

    Моя жена иногда называет одного нашего знакомого Димасик. (с ударением на а)
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    Re: Dmitri vs. Dmitry - why and which one

    Rtyom, translationsnmru, chaika, gRomoZeka & Ramil,

    Thank you all so very much for your comments and explainations.

    I can see that I need to make some changes and add a couple of dialogue sentances as I have Dmitri's mom call him "DD" as his last name also starts with a "D" and you all have clearly said that this would NOT be the case.

    I also have the American main female character call him "D" and I can either keep that as it would be something an American would do and have him eventually correct her and have him ask her to call him Dima or other people can call him Dima and it would just be her who calls him "D" so that there that special connection between them.

    Thanks again,
    Rockzmom
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    Re: Dmitri vs. Dmitry - why and which one

    Calling someone "D" is highly Americanised, i.e. it's not common even in other English-speaking countries.
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    Re: Dmitri vs. Dmitry - why and which one

    It's so highly stylized that it is barely ever used. Possibly as a sign-off in email. The only common use of initials as a nickname is when the middle name starts with J. Then you can have AJ. I worked with a lawyer who everyone called AJ because of his first two initials (last name started with K). I also had a friend called TJ, last name started with D.

    d

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    Re: Dmitri vs. Dmitry - why and which one

    I read a story once about a Welsh guy whose name was R.B. Jones. RB wasn't an abbreviation, that was his given name. He kept getting letters from a utility company demanding that he give his full name for their records and he kept responding that R.B. was his full name. Eventually in one of his letters he wrote 'for God's sake it's not difficult: my name is R(only!). B(only!). Jones!'

    The next letter he got was addressed to Mr Ronly Bonly Jones.

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    Re: Dmitri vs. Dmitry - why and which one

    Quote Originally Posted by scotcher
    The next letter he got was addressed to Mr Ronly Bonly Jones.

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    Re: Dmitri vs. Dmitry - why and which one

    Quote Originally Posted by scotcher
    I read a story once about a Welsh guy whose name was R.B. Jones. RB wasn't an abbreviation, that was his given name. He kept getting letters from a utility company demanding that he give his full name for their records and he kept responding that R.B. was his full name. Eventually in one of his letters he wrote 'for God's sake it's not difficult: my name is R(only!). B(only!). Jones!'

    The next letter he got was addressed to Mr Ronly Bonly Jones.
    An unlikely story, who names their children initials? Maybe they named him Arby, but being Welsh, he wanted to be different?
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    Re: Dmitri vs. Dmitry - why and which one

    I think it's probably apocryphal, but not because of that detail. When parents are free to name their sprogs as they please it's inevitable that some of them will make weird choices. R.B. would be a strange given name for sure, but it would hardly be less believable than Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii which certainly exists. I knew a guy at uni called J Dee, his first name being simply "J" (I never did find out whether Mr and Mrs Dee were whisky drinkers).

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    Re: Dmitri vs. Dmitry - why and which one

    Quote Originally Posted by scotcher
    I think it's probably apocryphal,
    Scott, dude--- Please, no using of words that you have to Google to find out what they mean! Just say fictitious. I'll still respect you and think you're smart in the morning.
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    Re: Dmitri vs. Dmitry - why and which one

    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom
    Quote Originally Posted by scotcher
    I think it's probably apocryphal,
    Scott, dude--- Please, no using of words that I have to Google to find out what they mean! Just say fictitious. I'll still respect you and think you're smart in the morning.
    Correct my mistakes and I will give you +1 internets.

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    Re: Dmitri vs. Dmitry - why and which one

    Quote Originally Posted by xRoosterx
    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom
    Quote Originally Posted by scotcher
    I think it's probably apocryphal,
    Scott, dude--- Please, no using of words that I have to Google to find out what they mean! Just say fictitious. I'll still respect you and think you're smart in the morning.
    Rooster...
    Hey, I'm from the South what do ya want from me???
    Ya'll are lucky I can actually make a complete sentence... especially after he had my mind spinning with a word like apocryphal !!!
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    Re: Dmitri vs. Dmitry - why and which one

    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom
    Rooster...
    Hey, I'm from the South what do ya want from me???
    Ya'll are lucky I can actually make a complete sentence... especially after he had my mind spinning with a word like apocryphal !!!
    I've lived the majority of my life in the South, so dis ain't no excuse.) I admit, however, that it's not a common word.
    Correct my mistakes and I will give you +1 internets.

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    Re: Dmitri vs. Dmitry - why and which one

    I didn't realise that 'apocryphal' was obscure, sorry. I just used it because it means precisely what I wanted to say.

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