Author Topic: Loooong Russian words and names you have trouble remembering  (Read 13366 times)

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Offline Превед

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Loooong Russian words and names you have trouble remembering
« on: February 14, 2014, 09:52:04 AM »
Some Russian words and names (Romanov-related and others) are really difficult to remember, because they are so long. Do you have any examples and good tricks to remember them?

I always have trouble remembering these ones:
The name of the late Tsarist eminence grise, the Procurator of the Holy Synod: Победоносцев / Pobyedonostsyev. It became easier when I found out that it is derived from победa, victory.
The same with the Romanov film: Венценосная семья / Ventsenosnaya sem'ya. I always remember the beginning of the word because I know that венок is wreath, diadem, but the adjectival ending is hard. And if I remember it correctly I usually misspell it, because I can't seem to get used to "ts" being one letter: ц! (The same with "ya" / я BTW.)
And Aнглийская набережная / Angliyskaya naberezhnaya / English Embankment was also hard untill I discovered that берег is shore, then it makes more sense! OMG, as I write this I see that it's probably a cognate to bridge, Brücke, bryggja! Thank Wothan for Indo-European cognates!

I am also trying to remember the correct full form of CCCR: Союз Социалистических Советских Республик. I am improving, but get some little detail wrong every time!
The same with KGB: Комитет Государственной Безопасности. Bezopasnosti.....hard!

Do you have entertaining and informative examples?
« Last Edit: February 14, 2014, 10:05:53 AM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Превед

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Re: Loooong Russian words and names you have trouble remembering
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2014, 10:33:06 AM »
And in these days of focus on the Олимпийская деревня / Olympic village, why couldn't the standard Russian word for village be село as in dear, old Царское Село instead of деревня, which is confusingly similar to дерево, tree. (Was Derevenko a Mr. "Hamlet" or Mr. "Treeman"?)

Speaking of treees I was quite surprised when I was trying to locate the spot in the Kremlin where Grand Duke Sergey Aleksandrovich had been killed and came across the fact that the Palace of Congresses every winter had been the venue for ёлка / yolka festivities. I immediately thought it had something to do with Yule / jul, i.e. Christmas, which I thought was strange in a Communist regime. And it turns out that ёлка is Russian for Christmas tree (or New Years tree, Новогодняя ёлка, as it was and is called), but not because of any Yule cognate, but because it's the diminutive of eль, yel', which is spruce in Russian!
« Last Edit: February 14, 2014, 11:02:34 AM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline edubs31

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Re: Loooong Russian words and names you have trouble remembering
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2014, 11:50:50 AM »
Interesting thread. I have to agree that the sheer length of many Russian names makes them often times harder to remember. 'Pobedonostsev' being one of the better examples you could have used. At the same time there is a lot of commonality with first and last names in Russia - much more so than in a melting pot like the United States - so the hard part is not always remember the actual name but in telling two people apart.

The prevalence of patronyms in Russian culture helps with this however. In most western societies if you had two famous women named Olga Romanov, for example, you'd have to refer to them each by their professions. "Olga Romanov the Princess?" "No, Olga Romanov the famous actress", etc. This is what happens in societies where middle names aren't prevalent. In Russia however this is made much easier by the patronymic. We know to refer to Nicholas II's sister as Olga Alexandrovna and his daughter by Olga Nikolaevna, and so on. Only in instances where two famous Olga's with the same last name and a name shared by their fathers would you have to use something else to decipher the two.

What's interesting is that in spite of this we still manage to run into identification problems at times. Maria Pavlovna a good example of this. We refer to the one who married GD Vladimir Alexandrovich as "the elder" and the one who was the daughter of GD Paul Alexandrovich as "the younger". Does anyone know why Maria of Mecklenburg-Schwerin chose to name herself 'Maria Pavlovna' upon marrying Vladimir and coming to Russia? The "younger" had no choice in the matter since she was born Russian and her father's name was 'Paul'. But Miechen could have chosen any number of names, yes?
« Last Edit: February 14, 2014, 11:53:05 AM by edubs31 »
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

Offline Превед

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Re: Loooong Russian words and names you have trouble remembering
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2014, 12:40:23 PM »
Does anyone know why Maria of Mecklenburg-Schwerin chose to name herself 'Maria Pavlovna' upon marrying Vladimir and coming to Russia? The "younger" had no choice in the matter since she was born Russian and her father's name was 'Paul'. But Miechen could have chosen any number of names, yes?

Her father was called Friedrich Franz, so not much Orthodox name material there, unless you equate Friedrich with Fyodor. But her paternal grandfather was Paul Friedrich and as he was married to Grand Duchess Yelena Pavlovna, Paul was thus the only Orthodox male name and also the most Russian-linked among her immediate ancestors.

It's funny that in the Low German Platt patois of her native Mecklenburg, her patronymic name would have been something like Mieken / Minken Franke / Franzen or Fritschke / Feddersen.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2014, 01:11:40 PM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Превед

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Re: Loooong Russian words and names you have trouble remembering
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2014, 01:14:32 PM »
But her paternal grandfather was Paul Friedrich and as he was married to Grand Duchess Yelena Pavlovna

Correction: Grand Duchess Yelena Pavlovna was his mother. His wife was Alexandrine of Prussia, the sister of Empress Alexandra Fyodororovna (Прусская / Старшая).
« Last Edit: February 14, 2014, 01:25:29 PM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline edubs31

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Re: Loooong Russian words and names you have trouble remembering
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2014, 02:06:10 PM »
Quote
Her father was called Friedrich Franz, so not much Orthodox name material there, unless you equate Friedrich with Fyodor.

That's exactly was I was equating it to. Thanks for the clear up.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

Offline Превед

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Re: Loooong Russian words and names you have trouble remembering
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2014, 03:12:12 PM »
I also think железная дорога, railway (litterally: iron road) is quite hard to remember.
Транссибирская железнодорожная магистраль = Transsiberian Railway Mainline.

What turned out to be much easier than expected in Russian is the names of WW1 and WW2:
Первая мировая воына
вторая мировая воына
Well, apart from the fact that мир means both "world" and "peace", so it may sound like First / Second Peace War, if you don't know that the adjective corresponding to мир / peace is мирный.

I am sure the Russians can make a very loooong adjective out of it, though, something like первомирововоенний ^^
« Last Edit: February 14, 2014, 03:34:48 PM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Georgiy

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Re: Loooong Russian words and names you have trouble remembering
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2014, 01:52:34 AM »
Derevnya and Selo are different types of village. I think it has something to do with the type of Church in the village, or lack of Church. Derevnya is perhaps more like a hamlet in English.

Offline Georgiy

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Re: Loooong Russian words and names you have trouble remembering
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2014, 01:53:49 AM »
In Japanese, too the railway, 鉄道 or tetsudo is literally iron road.

Offline Превед

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Re: Loooong Russian words and names you have trouble remembering
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2014, 09:21:01 AM »
Derevnya and Selo are different types of village. I think it has something to do with the type of Church in the village, or lack of Church. Derevnya is perhaps more like a hamlet in English.

Ah, yes, so it seems to be. Cело has a church, деревеня doesn't. Like it's put so nicely in Swedish, Georgiy: By och kyrkoby. :-) I wouldn't be surprised if Tsarskoe Selo was referred to as Saarenkylä kyrkoby on old Swedish maps of Ingermanland. (Saarenkylä itself meaning "Island Village" in Finnish.)

In Japanese, too the railway, 鉄道 or tetsudo is literally iron road.

Yes, as far as I know, English and Dutch (spoorweg, a direct calque from "railway") are the only (?) languages in which this mode of transportation is referred to without reference to iron.

Other difficult Russian terms:
Черта оседлости - Pale of Settlement
Содружество Независимых Государств - Commonwealth of Independent States

Соединённые Штаты Америки (USA) shouldnt be too difficult. You can remember that "united" is based on один, one, and Wothan / Óšinn - the one-eyed! :-)
« Last Edit: February 15, 2014, 09:44:29 AM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Превед

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Re: Loooong Russian words and names you have trouble remembering
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2014, 03:38:50 PM »
What's interesting is that in spite of this we still manage to run into identification problems at times. Maria Pavlovna a good example of this. We refer to the one who married GD Vladimir Alexandrovich as "the elder" and the one who was the daughter of GD Paul Alexandrovich as "the younger".

For their scrupulous contemporaries this was only a problem after MP the Younger's divorce in 1913. Before that MP the Elder was великая княгиня Мария Павловна in Russian and la grande-duchesse Wladimir abroad (of course this could also get confusing when there were several grand dukes with the same first name), while MP the Younger was великая княжна Мария Павловна in Russian and la grande-duchesse Marie abroad while still unmarried. When MP the Younger no longer was prinsessan Wilhelm, hertiginnan af Södermanland, she also, as a divorcée, became великая княгиня Мария Павловна.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2014, 03:42:13 PM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Превед

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Re: Loooong Russian words and names you have trouble remembering
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2014, 04:52:34 PM »
BTW when I saw that the Russian translation of Kennedy's famous statement in Berlin is "Я — берлинец" and that the old Reichsstraße 1 /Reichsautobahn Königsberg / Kaliningrad - Berlin is called Берлинка in Russian I am tempted to give MP the Elder the sobriquet Шверинка - Schwerinka :-)

Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Превед

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Re: Loooong Russian words and names you have trouble remembering
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2014, 06:52:28 PM »
The same with KGB: Комитет Государственной Безопасности. Bezopasnosti.....hard!

Gospodi bozhe moy, it's quite simple:

Без - without + опасность - danger = Безопасность - Security

Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Превед

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Re: Loooong Russian words and names you have trouble remembering
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2014, 07:30:11 PM »
Interesting that Russian has three different words for "imperial":
императорскиы
империальный
имперский
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline nena

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Re: Loooong Russian words and names you have trouble remembering
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2014, 03:42:42 PM »
Interesting that Russian has three different words for "imperial":
императорскиы
империальный
имперский

I've most often seen the form 'императорскиы'. :-) Is it just me, or the three forms of 'imperial' you mentioned were used in different times of Russian language's development? Or they are all in use today? Georgiy would know, I guess.
Since I belong to Slavic branch of people, I do not have problems with remembering Russian words, since it is similar to my maternal language, so I almost can read it. I rather have problem when it comes to remembering  German words, like 'Schmetterlinge' or 'Mitfahrgelegenheit ', there are many. ;-)
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