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Thread: So, how would you write...

  1. #1
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    So, how would you write...

    ... the Scottish name "Menzies" in Russian then?

    (for those who know the answer, or for those who wonder why the hell I can't figure it out for myself, this is leading somewhere, I just want to see how people respond first)

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    Мензис
    Menzies castle is one of my favourite!

    under eddition: yes, it should be Мензис then

    I've found in the encyclopedia Robert Gordon Menzies (1894-197 - the primeminister of Australia
    Я так думаю.

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    Re: So, how would you write...

    Quote Originally Posted by scotcher
    ... the Scottish name "Menzies" in Russian then?

    (for those who know the answer, or for those who wonder why the hell I can't figure it out for myself, this is leading somewhere, I just want to see how people respond first)
    That's a tricky one.
    Well, seing that many English-speaking people in US and Australia pronounce it as mEn-ziz (ref: Random House Unabridged Dictionary), it is hardly surprising that the accepted Russian spelling is Менсис. (See the Big Soviet Encyclopedia, for example). If I was writing about a real Scotsman, however (real as in "living in Scotland"), I would probably spell it as Миниз. It all depends.

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    Re: So, how would you write...

    Quote Originally Posted by scotcher
    ... the Scottish name "Menzies" in Russian then?

    (for those who know the answer, or for those who wonder why the hell I can't figure it out for myself, this is leading somewhere, I just want to see how people respond first)
    i have no idea. how?

    maybe мэнзиз
    Каждый Дусик желает знать где сидит Унифон (с)

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    translations.nm.ru got the idea.

    The name Menzies is actually pronounced Mingis (close enough to, anyway). The pronunciation "Men-zis" (which is certainly more common nowadays) came about purely as a result of the eccentric spelling.

    The reason I posted this little whimsy is that I've been forced to think about how Brit names are transposed into Russian. I know that the traditional custom is to use the Cyrillic alphabet to best represent the sound of a loanword or name with no regard to the spelling (John/ Джон, Jane/Джейн etc), but the question has now occurred to me: what if the person doing the transposing has never heard the name before?

    The reason it interests me is that my wife is about to apply for a Russian passport for oor wee laddie, (so that she can take him to visit her folks without getting him a visa). Since our surname isn't pronounced how one would assume it was pronounced having only ever seen it written down, or anything like how it is spelt, and since it is highly unlikely that any of the bods at the Russian Embassy will have heard it before (I've yet to meet even an English person who pronounces it correctly), I'm concerned that the wee fella will get stuck with totally the wrong surname on his Russian passport, since I think it's the Embassy who do the transposition (from the birth certificate), we won't get a say.

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    At the risk of sounding like an egotistical buffoon, I think it best to simply say "tough luck." The bottom line is that when you start talking about going into "someone else's" language, you are effectively at their linguistic mercy (the same goes for the much more controversial Tallin(n), na/b Ukraine, etc.) and their are apt to neither know/care about the way your name is really pronounced at the governmental level. Ultimately, keep in mind, you are being translated into THEIR language for THEIR purposes and THEIR convenience. You are certainly welcome to ask them to take into account the pronunciation, but I think you'll be out of luck -- it doesn't make any sense on their end to let you "pick" your name. They are the ones using it to identify your son/you/your family. Assume for a second, that they allowed your son to have a different name on hispassport than you and your wife -- that could be a real problem, if some cop/airport official sees you trying to lug around some kid with, what in their minds, is a TOTALLY different name. Now apply this to someone they really dislike -- what if you are actually Menzies, the Chechen terrorist overlord, who wants to change his name to get around the authorities and their watch list of some sort? Obviously, this sounds absurd, but as far as they're concerned it's not. They want you in THEIR system to be treated as convenient as possible for THEM. Consider for a moment, the joys of the American watch lists -- Arab names play totally havoc on them b/c of the variety of transliteration schemes/corrupt translations/etc. No country is going to willingly add to the confusion of such things if they don't have to. I think that ultimately, your quest for linguistic veracity is doomed, but good luck! I think your solution really just rests in making a careful introduction of you and your family. Ivan Ruskii doesn't really care whether he calls you John Menzies or John Mengis (or even William Wallace for that matter ) -- as they say, it's Greek to him! It's going to sound really cool and exotic or foreign and unappealing, depending on the person.
    Заранее благодарю всех за исправление ошибок в моём русском.

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    Indeed, I am certainly not going to lose any sleep over it. It ammused me rather than irritated me. I guess I've gotten used to it through my wife having the opposite problem here (Should that be Evgenevna or Yevgyenyevna? etc etc).

    I am still hoping to be able to influence matters somehow, not because I want to 'interfere' in the way 'they' do things, but because I simply do not believe they have any sort of coherent system in the first place. I have 6 Visas issued by the London embassy in my current (UK) passport. Between those, I have 3 different Cyrillic spellings of my first name, 2 of my middle name, and 4 of my surname, in spite of the fact that each of those Visas was still there each time a new one was added (I wonder whether I have gone down on their system as several different people! ). I just figure, if my kid's name is going to be transposed at random, it may as well be randomly correct.

    As for the different name thing, that is going to be a problem in any event. Thanks to the oh-so-predictable bureaucratic difficulties involved in changing the name on her overseas passport (she'd need to be in Russia for at least a couple of months while she got first her internal passport and then her overseas passport changed, which isn't practical), my wife's passport still contains her maiden name, but the kid's UK birth certificate has my name.

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    Well I have kinda similar problem. My surname is Логвинов (with first syllable stressed), but where I live the surname Логинов is by far more common so I often end up being written as Логинов even if I spell my surname clearly several times. Or, when someone tries to read my correctly written surname, they always read it as ЛогвИнов (I cannot explain this because in Логинов the stress is also on the first syllable).

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    It's not convenient to stress 'o'.
    «И всё, что сейчас происходит внутре — тоже является частью вселенной».

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    On your visa form, write your name in Latin in the English bit, and write it how you want it in the Russian bit next to it. Simple as.

    My friend Johan (pronounced Yohan), applied for a visa at the Russian embassey in London. Because they don't understand foreign names they put

    Джохан. The second time he went to Russia he put Йохан in brackets and it came back with Йохан.
    Ingenting kan stoppa mig
    In Post-Soviet Russia internet porn downloads YOU!

  11. #11
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    I'm not applying for a visa, I'm applying for a passport for my son, but the suggestion is a good one anyway.

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