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Thread: Transliterating english names?

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    Transliterating english names?

    Is it common to just transliterate one's english name into russian? Or should one look for a reasonable facsimile if possible?

    One of my russian friends seems to have a little issue with direct transliteration of my name. It is masculine in Russian, but obviously I am not a man...
    Of course the solution was simple enough in the case of my name, but I wondered what the general practice is?
    sun rat

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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    Usually foreign names are trancribed, not transliterated. It means that Cyrillic equivalent of foreign name should reproduce original pronunciation rather then original spelling. Now more or less common English names have historically accepted ways of translation. Sometimes even more then one way per name. For example, Evelyn usually translated as Ивлин (masculine) and Эвелин (feminine).

    Replacement of the original name by the equivalent Russian name is considered inacceptable nowadays.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    what do you mean unacceptable?

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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tamerlane
    what do you mean unacceptable?
    That means we won't call John Иван. We will call him Джон and we will write his name like that, not Иван.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    Quote Originally Posted by sun_rat
    Is it common to just transliterate one's english name into russian? Or should one look for a reasonable facsimile if possible?

    One of my russian friends seems to have a little issue with direct transliteration of my name. It is masculine in Russian, but obviously I am not a man...
    Of course the solution was simple enough in the case of my name, but I wondered what the general practice is?
    I'm just wondering what a name being transliterated in Russian would be a masculine
    By the way in the last time in Russian it has a tendency not to transliterate foreign names at all. For instance, in many of scientific articles which I met all names stays written with Latin letters, names of musical bands and performers usually keep of its original spelling as well. Also, names of artists and movie titles often get written now in both Cyrillic and English (or another languige).

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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    Quote Originally Posted by alexone
    Quote Originally Posted by sun_rat
    Is it common to just transliterate one's english name into russian? Or should one look for a reasonable facsimile if possible?

    One of my russian friends seems to have a little issue with direct transliteration of my name. It is masculine in Russian, but obviously I am not a man...
    Of course the solution was simple enough in the case of my name, but I wondered what the general practice is?
    I'm just wondering what a name being transliterated in Russian would be a masculine
    By the way in the last time in Russian it has a tendency not to transliterate foreign names at all. For instance, in many of scientific articles which I met all names stays written with Latin letters, names of musical bands and performers usually keep of its original spelling as well. Also, names of artists and movie titles often get written now in both Cyrillic and English (or another languige).
    a woman's name that is masculine? Jean, Джин.
    sun rat

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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    Quote Originally Posted by Tamerlane
    what do you mean unacceptable?
    That means we won't call John Иван. We will call him Джон and we will write his name like that, not Иван.
    well that is a little stupid- no offence, since alot of russian names have a clear and definitive translation to english counterparts such as

    Mikhail-Michael
    Kiril-Carl
    Sergey-Sergio (italian)
    Nikolai-Nicholas
    Stepan-Stephen
    Katya(diminutive of ?)=Catherine
    Andrei-Andrew

    and there are more of course. but anways, yes i understand some names have only rough translations- and therefore kept as the original, but if an american is named michael, why not call him mikhail?

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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tamerlane
    Kiril-Carl

    Это что, мы карловкой пишем?
    Kiril (Кирил) — Cyrillus or Cyril or Cyryl

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyril

    And

    Karl (Карл) — Carl

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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tamerlane
    well that is a little stupid- no offence, since alot of russian names have a clear and definitive translation to english counterparts such as
    Mikhail-Michael
    Kiril-Carl
    [...]
    Some ancient and "international" names have rough (or even exact) equivalents in different countries, simply because they had time to spread all over tthe world and were changing according to the phonetics of different languages, but THESE ARE NOT TRANSLATIONS.
    Seriously... Take more care with the words you're using.

    And FYI, Mikhail is translated as "godlike", Kirill as "Master", etc.
    but if an american is named michael, why not call him mikhail?
    Because it sounds comical.

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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    i dont think its comical.

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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tamerlane
    i dont think its comical.
    It is.

    How could you judge if something sounds comical in a language or not when you are not a native?
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka
    Mikhail is translated as "godlike" ...
    Whoa.. "mi-cha-il" = "who [could ever be] compared to God?"

    Perhaps, Achilles might have been called "godlike", but nothing like that could ever had happen in the Bible...

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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    Quote Originally Posted by Tamerlane
    i dont think its comical.
    It is.

    How could you judge if something sounds comical in a language or not when you are not a native?

    because i have been around alot of people who belong to cultures that differ from my own, and no matter where they are from, they give me a name which is a translation of my name into their language as a sign of affection. in america we do it too- i once knew a dagestani boy named Kenaan in highschool, but all the americans called him by his american name- Ken. even though that isnt his real name, we steal translated to a close sounding name of American origin. my name (yes the one i was born with) IS russian so i cant really say that russians do the same for me, lol. but even chinese people have translated my name so that it sounds chinese! and that language is COMPLETELY different. there is nothing comical about it, to translates someones name into a name more familiar sounding for your respective culture is a sign of affection- not of mockery.

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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    Tamerlane, don’t be so naïve. Do you really think that we could name George Bush as Georgy Kustov just because it can be translated? I would rather advise you to read some articles on translation of proper names to resolve your doubts.

    What you call translation is not translation at all. People living much time in a foreign country are likely to get their names adapted to the native speakers’ ears, especially if the names sound odd and unusual, and people can’t pronounce them properly. Of course, there are countries like Ukraine that tend to give their own equivalents to the personal names, but this is not common practice. Naming a person is its direct indentification, and if you call him or her another name, you tend to split it into two different persons.
    «И всё, что сейчас происходит внутре — тоже является частью вселенной».

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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    i sincerely didn't mean to start a big argument.


    sun rat

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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    Quote Originally Posted by sun_rat
    i sincerely didn't mean to start a big argument.


    dont worry about it, this is what forums are for.

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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rtyom
    Tamerlane, don’t be so naïve. Do you really think that we could name George Bush as Georgy Kustov just because it can be translated? I would rather advise you to read some articles on translation of proper names to resolve your doubts.

    What you call translation is not translation at all. People living much time in a foreign country are likely to get their names adapted to the native speakers’ ears, especially if the names sound odd and unusual, and people can’t pronounce them properly. Of course, there are countries like Ukraine that tend to give their own equivalents to the personal names, but this is not common practice. Naming a person is its direct indentification, and if you call him or her another name, you tend to split it into two different persons.
    if a guy named george were in some student exchange program living in russia or ukraine with a local family, there is not a doubt in my mind that at least the mother of the household would affectionately call him by the russian "georgi". and it happens EVERYWHERE, when i was staying in peru to learn spanish, i was with a fellow american friend of mine named reginald- (We called him reggie in america) but over in peru, everyone, the locals, the family taking care of us, etc. called him by his spanish equivalent name- REYNALDO. and i am not sure where you get "kustov" from. and splitting people in half? dont be ridiculus, everyone acts a different way for every person they know, you act different with your mother than you do with a friend of yours, we are splitting OURSELVES not in half but in hundreds all the time! for every different person- we put on a different mask! if you think you know a person, think again, you only know the side of that person that they are willing to show you, and you can see another side of that person when they interact with OTHER people! when people name a person in a different language, it means that the person from the local culture has accepted the foreigner into their heart- and endears them with affection by giving them a local name. its like, come here, your one of us! (so they give them a name like one of them!)

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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    Quote Originally Posted by sun_rat
    i sincerely didn't mean to start a big argument.
    Don't worry, we do it all the time. And we like it.

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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tamerlane
    if a guy named george were in some student exchange program living in russia or ukraine with a local family, there is not a doubt in my mind that at least the mother of the household would affectionately call him by the russian "georgi".
    Never.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tamerlane
    and it happens EVERYWHERE
    Well, Peru is not EVERYWHERE...

    And then again, if the names sound similar, maybe it could happen sometimes in Russia, too. But "the mother of the household" would NEVER "affectionately" call John by "Иван".
    Tamerlane, try to understand that things in the world do not always go like you think they should do. Cultures of different countries is not something "easy".
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    If someone called me not by my name, but by some English equivalent (or even incorrect equivalent), my first thought would be that this person doesn't care to remember my real name (and it's slightly offensive, really), or doesn't bother to pronounce it (which is not endearing all the same). I wouldn't think that this is "a sign of affection". And I imagine Kyrill wouldn't appreciate it if someone called him Carl.

    When we are talking about close friends the things may be different, but even then this substitute name is regarded as a nickname, and it isn't used by everyone, only by those friends. It's just an inner joke, so to speak.

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