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Thread: отчество and middle names

  1. #1
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    отчество and middle names

    I have a question, is otchestvo equivalent to a middle name?

    for example, if a Russian citizen becomes an American citizen, does their otchestvo become their middle name?

    or if a Russian woman marries a western man (America, Australia etc.) and has children, would her children receive an otchestvo if their father had a name like Jerry, Alfred, Christopher etc (names that don't really exist in the former CCCP)

    or if two Russians had children in a western country, would the child take the otchestvo as his middle name?

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    Hmm, I've never heard of patronymics turning into middle names. To my understanding these 2 are different things that exist as unique cultural entities to all involved, so it'd make no sense to mix them up. Patrominics just get dropped for Russians and only ever matter to them personally, but not officially.

    As for a mixed couple that live in Russia. Yes, their children will receive patronymics derived from their father's name. If anything, that information is required to get properly registered as a citizen. There are exception to it though, various peoples that haven't historically developed a custom of giving a patronymic can request no patronymic name. I'm not sure if it extends to a mixed couple, where the father belongs to such a people. In depth examination of the law is needed here, but it looks logical to allow this.

    As for a Russian couple in a "western" (never liked the term) country, well, see above. Patronymic would most likely only exist for them.
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    Well I don't know anything about laws, but I was born in Russia by Russian mother and Italian father and I've never had the patronymic, it is not in my born certificate, not in my Russian passport nor in my mother's internal passport, so I guess isn't (or wasn't) mandatory, cause I'm pretty sure in that case my parents wouldn't have cared at all to make a special request so to not give me patronymic.

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    Welll... 5 minutes of google says that patronym for newborn is mandatory except foreign father case where parents can make special request.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anna_ View Post
    ...
    And what is name of your father? It can explain why your parents really could want to make such a request.

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    It is Alberto. Later I will ask my mother if they made some particular request, but it just sounds strange to me as I know them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anna_ View Post
    It is Alberto. Later I will ask my mother if they made some particular request, but it just sounds strange to me as I know them.
    It might be just that the clerks decided not to put in a patronymic for you when they examined your father's documents. It might also be that your parents did ask for no patronymic and the fact that you don't know about how it went is pretty understandable, because why would a parent just started talking about a patronymic or in your case its abscense out of the blue, especially to law-related details? And it looks like you didn't care enough about it to ask yourself
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anna_ View Post
    It is Alberto.
    Well, russians had adopted this kind of name as "Альберт" long ago, so there is absolutely nothing wrong with patronym "Альбертовна (Albertovna)" (female grammatic case) for you. It's 100% organic. Even last letter '-o' is just melted into suffix like it always was there (Albert-ovna).

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    Она сказала, что думает в свидетельстве о рождении есть Альбертовна, но она не помнит... У меня в паспорте ненаписанно.

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    Middle name and Отчество are different things.

    It's possible that to issue a birth certificate they require an отчество, but probably not necessary for passport (person can choose any name, even change names when applying for a passport). I know an American citizen who married a Russian woman citizen, they adopted an infant, and they required the отчество for the birth certificate, even though he was not the biological father. So they used his American name for отчество (though there's no Russian equivalent for his Anglo-Saxon name, they just added -ович to the name, and it was OK for everyone). So in such cases it looks like a legal formality (at least, in today's legislation). It's probably possible to make almost any name take a Russian patronymic ending, or find a close equivalent.

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    that's good information to know, but I feel like most of my original questions remain unanswered...

    I asked if a Russian moved to America and get's American citizenship, or any other Anglophone country, would their new citizenship write their patronymic as their middle name or would their new citizenship not reflect the patronymic at all?

    and if a Russian couple had a child in the United States or another Anglophone country, (and this I understand is totally discretionary from the parents) would they make the child's middle name to be the same as his otchestvo?

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    I think it Has been answered if I understood correctly.

    no, the patronymic doesn't change into middle name, in other countries documents it just doesn't appear, and I think if the child will have double nationality they will register the patronymic in the Russian documents, and if they want to give the child a middle name can be whichever they want.

    My mother and I don't fit you in your American related example, but in any case No patronymic figures as a middle name in our Italian documents (she has double citizenship as well and she 100% has the patronymic). Outside Russia and Russian speaking country it just doesn't figure.

    I think would sound really weird a Ivanovna or Lvovna as middle name in an English speaking country but hey, people call their children apple so I guess everything is possible.

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    but in western countries, the middle name doesn't mean anything, so If a kid had duel nationalities, It seems perfectly logical to me to use the person's patronymic as his middle name.

    are you saying on your Italian documents (ESPECIALLY your mother's Italian documents)

    her patronymic doesn't show AT ALL?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Funanori View Post
    but in western countries, the middle name doesn't mean anything...
    Maybe problem is in what does patronym mean in Russia.
    It is required as part of full name in cases where identity is important - documents, contracts and so on.
    It can be used in official speeches or meetings (and so on) as part of full name, but this is not requred - name+surname raises no questions also.
    It can be substitute for name in informal speech only. This causes special "informal" forms of names, for example: Михалыч which is derived from patronym Михайлович.
    It can be paired with name (without surname) to show respect or formal tone. This is almost required for cases such as: student talks to teacher, worker talks to boss (especially boss of boss and higher), formal addressing where surname is omitted.

    I think there is no chance that russian patronym written in documents as middle name will be used properly, so... Maybe this really doesn't make sense.
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    Exactly, I am telling that in absolutely any Italian documents there isn't any trace of patronymic, not for me (that now I am not even sure if I have it or not ) not for her.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Funanori View Post
    but in western countries, the middle name doesn't mean anything, so If a kid had duel nationalities, It seems perfectly logical to me to use the person's patronymic as his middle name.
    some Russians may have dual citizenships (or more than 2). In that case they use ФИО (фамилия имя отчество) in the Russian passport, and I guess just name and surname in a foreign passport (because the Russian patronymic doesn't look like a middle name, both functionally and formally, and it's pretty non-standard to invent a middle name for an ethnic Russian). Better think of a female name here as a pattern: ex. Anna Maria Schmidt - middle name usually says nothing of a father and is not like a Russian patronymic.

    It's worth mentioning that when a Russian national gets a travelling foreign passport the patronymic is omitted in it, they just use name and surname (in English transliteration).

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    I just found my birth certificate, I officially do not have patronymic, and my parents confirmed that they didn't ask specially for it, simply it hadn't been written.

    So apparently it is not, or was not, mandatory for children with a foreigner father!

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