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Thread: Transliterating english names?

  1. #21
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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    Speaking only for myself, it does not bother me that people in another country might prefer to call me Джина, instead of Джин. It doesn't bother me to make adjustments like this to more easily fit into another culture's standards.
    sun rat

  2. #22
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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    Quote Originally Posted by sun_rat
    Speaking only for myself, it does not bother me that people in another country might prefer to call me Джина, instead of Джин. It doesn't bother me to make adjustments like this to more easily fit into another culture's standards.
    Sorry, but it is not the best example. Джин and Джина are practically the same, and it is your name after all (I don't care if anybody calls me Maria instead of Mariya either). It's just a slight modification of pronunciation to make it easier (and more familiar) for non-Russian speakers. But these people generally don't try to invent a russified name for you and don't call you Женя, or Гена or something.

  3. #23
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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    I think the main point here is a tradition. Yes, such an insignificant thing...

    The 'problem' is that our Russian names are too very Russian maybe, but when we hear such names as Михаил, Саша, Георгий, Геннадий, and so on, we have a strong association that the owner of this name is Russian, and only Russian. We never not only translate, but even never adopt foreign names so that they sound Russian and 'comfortable' for us. Actually, pronouncing Джим, Джек, Франсуа, Билл, Карл, whatever is not hard for Russians at all. If a guy's name is George, he is Джордж. Never Георгий or Жора. NEVER. It would sound very strange and comical, indeed. A foreigner always should have a name which would sound foreign. Otherwise he's a Russian.
    So there is a tradition here, you see?...
    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
    Quote Originally Posted by sun_rat
    Speaking only for myself, it does not bother me that people in another country might prefer to call me Джина, instead of Джин. It doesn't bother me to make adjustments like this to more easily fit into another culture's standards.
    Sorry, but it is not the best example. Джин and Джина are practically the same, and it is your name after all (I don't care if anybody calls me Maria instead of Mariya either). It's just a slight modification of pronunciation to make it easier (and more familiar) for non-Russian speakers. But these people generally don't try to invent a russified name for you and don't call you Женя, or Гена or something.
    actually, since i am the original poster, and i was asking concerning how russians view foreign names based on MY experience with russians who i know personally, MY experience is the example one would use.
    and while gina and jean seem similar enough to you based on the phonetics, they are very dissimilar because they do not have the same etymological origins...
    sun rat

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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    Quote Originally Posted by sun_rat
    and while gina and jean seem similar enough to you based on the phonetics, they are very dissimilar because they do not have the same etymological origins...
    Aha! I see now.
    But still it's not Russian (I mean they don't try to call you by a Russian equivalent of your name). And that's the point. People tend not to call Michael Mikhail (for example), because it seems weird for most Russians ( ) A request to do so may also seem weird.

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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    no- you see, thats not true, certain things are pan cultural and are unrestricted by boundaries of nationality. i dont see how its offensive at all to translate someones name, my name is not particularly russian- Daniel, but russians call me Danya or Danichka as a form of affection. here in america- we give immigrants american names ALL the time, like i said about the dagestani boy named Kenaan- we called him Ken which is an american name. in peru my friend reggie was called reynaldo, in china- my own name has been modified to a phoenetic equivalent. so you see these things are not restricted specific cultures, its pan cultural and not insulting at all if someone from another culture decided to give you a local name equivalent of your original birth name. in fact, the way i see it, its imperialistic and obnoxious to insist your original name when in a foreign country. sometimes its impossible as there is no equivalent, in which case the original name should be used.

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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tamerlane
    no- you see, thats not true, certain things are pan cultural and are unrestricted by boundaries of nationality.
    And this certain thing is NOT pan cultural. Generalisations don't always work.
    Your friends may call you whatever they want as a sign of affection or as a nickname, but if you start introducing yourself to strangers as Danya, you'll confuse them.
    And those people who change their names and even surnames when imigrating to different countries are trying to assimilate and to blend, and to be as "less" a foreigner as possible. I can't see what it has to do with a tourist.

    What Olya said is true. Whatever the reason, many Russians view Russian names almost as a sign of ethnicity: you have a Russian name, ergo you're Russian. Maybe it happened because Russian names are not so popular in the world, and in most cases you really have to be Russian (or to have Slav ancestors) to have it. Also you'd hardly ever meet Russian who's name is Tom, or Mike, or Jack (again, a name is a sign of ethnic identity), so there's a strong differentiation between "foreign" names and "Russian" names.

    Phew.. I'll stop arguing now,. You've made up your mind anyway, whatever we say.

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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    why would i confuse them if russians already call me "Danya" you forget sirah- ethnically i am russian even if i am american born.

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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tamerlane
    why would i confuse them...
    Tamerlane, obviously you don't read what we write or don't understand anything of it. What you're asking now, has been explained several times already. If you think you understand Russian realities better than Russians - as you wish.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    I'll try to outline another aspect of deference between Russians and Americans concerning people names.

    My chief always introduced himself to foreign people as Misha.
    I was wondered why he used diminutive (hypocoristic) even in formal atmosphere. And even in scientific articles. He explained this to me. Americans ALWAYS call everyone with the same name as it was introduced to them.
    If William Jefferson Blythe III decided to introduce himself always as Bill Clinton nobody will call him William.

    If chief introduced himself as Misha everyone will call him as Misha.
    Everyone but only not Russian
    Russians change the name according to situation.
    For example in official documents Миша is impossible. It should be Михаил only. And moreover Михаил Владимирович.
    I never call him Misha because he was 20 years older than me. Михаил Владимирович only.

    After Leo Tolstoi's "War and Peace" woman name Natasha become very popular around the world. But it sounds very strange for Russians when Natasha is used as the only form of the name and CANNOT be converted to Natalya.
    Moreover most of these Natashas not know and not understand name Natalya.

  11. #31
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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    I did met several times in literature name Джин as female English name so no surprise to me. But I did not now its original spelling and I was surprised that it has the same English spelling as male French name Jean=Жан.

    I feel like there is much international confusion around this inter-language word transitions. Sometimes word written in latin alphabet is like a hieroglyph: one knows its meaning but the pronunciation can be different in the different languages. And if a word is loan how to know which pronunciation is correct?
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    Quote Originally Posted by it-ogo
    I feel like there is much international confusion around this inter-language word transitions. Sometimes word written in latin alphabet is like a hieroglyph: one knows its meaning but the pronunciation can be different in the different languages. And if a word is loan how to know which pronunciation is correct?
    That never happens in Russian: the English name George we write as Джордж (as it's pronounced in English), and the French name George we write Жорж (as it's pronounced in French). The English Daniel is Дэниел, the French Daniel is Даниэль. And so on.
    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 it-ogo
    I did met several times in literature name Джин as female English name so no surprise to me. But I did not now its original spelling and I was surprised that it has the same English spelling as male French name Jean=Жан.

    I feel like there is much international confusion around this inter-language word transitions. Sometimes word written in latin alphabet is like a hieroglyph: one knows its meaning but the pronunciation can be different in the different languages. And if a word is loan how to know which pronunciation is correct?
    we who speak english have the same confusion.

    for example: Gina comes from the name Regina, or Georgina and therefore is latin.
    Jean comes from non-english Scotland, IIRC, by way of France. even with the different pronunciation.
    another version of Jean comes from the greek Eugenia.

    the fact that english is a melting pot of several root languages makes for a very tangled mess for non-english speakers to try to sort out. good luck with that!
    sun rat

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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    That never happens in Russian: the English name George we write as Джордж (as it's pronounced in English), and the French name George we write Жорж (as it's pronounced in French).
    Yeah, we have different confusions. For example (about Georges), we write British king George as король Георг (as if it were different name than Джордж).
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

  15. #35
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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    I apologize, I did not read everything in this thread.There were far too many directions taken. So, my question is simple:

    My name is Michelle - Who is like God. Is going by a pet name of Mischa a negative thing, or acceptable? I know how to write my full name in Russian, but I always like Mischa...I just don't want to be in poor taste.

    Thanks.

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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chelle
    I apologize, I did not read everything in this thread.There were far too many directions taken. So, my question is simple:

    My name is Michelle - Who is like God. Is going by a pet name of Mischa a negative thing, or acceptable? I know how to write my full name in Russian, but I always like Mischa...I just don't want to be in poor taste.

    Thanks.
    There's nothing bad about the name Mischa, even if you're an American, but want people to call you like that. But to be honest, your question is not quite clear to me. Do you mean you want to use this pet name when visiting Russia?..
    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 Chelle
    I apologize, I did not read everything in this thread.There were far too many directions taken. So, my question is simple:

    My name is Michelle - Who is like God. Is going by a pet name of Mischa a negative thing, or acceptable? I know how to write my full name in Russian, but I always like Mischa...I just don't want to be in poor taste.

    Thanks.
    AFAIK this name is originally French and is well known in Russian as Мишель. It is OK as it is. Of course you can recommend yourself as you like... But if you are a woman you should know that Misha (Миша) in Russian is a male only name.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chelle
    I apologize, I did not read everything in this thread.There were far too many directions taken. So, my question is simple:

    My name is Michelle - Who is like God. Is going by a pet name of Mischa a negative thing, or acceptable? I know how to write my full name in Russian, but I always like Mischa...I just don't want to be in poor taste.

    Thanks.
    Despite everything you might have heard about it Mischa is a male name in Russia. I doubt there is a single female Mischa in Russia. It's a shortening from Michael (or Mikhail spelled in Russian manner). So your name is derived from Michael, but Russians don't call their daughters Mischa. It's ok, I suppose, but Микаэлла would suit you better in Russia. Not to mention that to my ear it sounds prettier.
    Send me a PM if you need me.

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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    If you're a female, Mischa is not good, of course. I think just Мишель would work perfectly. The name is not Russian, but very well-known and easy to pronounce. As for Микаэла, it sounds more foreign and "clumsy" to me
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

  20. #40
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    Re: Transliterating english names?

    Thanks to all three of you. I'm not the only one who thinks Misha is a girls name. In the Hannibal Lecter movies, most importantly, the Hannibal Rising movie, about his childhood and what caused him to become the cannibal he is. It's set in Nazi time Ukraine and he has a baby sister named Misha. So this is where I got my reference to Misha being a female version of my name, in your language. To my ears, Misha sounds decidedly feminine, but then there are a LOT of people in my country who name their daughters Sasha... and don't have a clue.

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