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Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Anglicise Russian names! Anglicise them all!

European languages, you see, can have different variants of the same names, like Natasha in Russian is Natalie in French, Pyotr in Russian is Peter in English and Pierre in French, Katherine in English is Katerina in Russian...*
And we've got Leo Tolstoy**. So I'm thinking, what if we replace the names of some Russian authors with their English equivalents, just for fun?***
Consider Theodore Dostoyevsky
Michael Lermontov
Nicholas Gogol
John Turgenev
Anthony Chekhov
Nicholas Leskov
John Goncharov
John Bunin
Michael Bulgakov
Michael Sholokhov
Andrew Platonov
...
Ridiculous? 





*: Personally I don't like the Maudes' decision to change Nikolai into Nicholas, Andrei into Andrew, Marya into Mary, etc. Why should anyone do that? Just to make the names easier? Luckily they keep Natasha. Don't you dare to replace Natasha with anything! Don't you dare! 
**: You probably have noticed my stubborn insistence on saying Lev Tolstoy. I do so out of habit- in VN, because of the relations with the Soviet Union, people translated Russian works directly from the Russian originals and nobody ever called him Leo Tolstoy. Also, the name Leo makes me think of Leonardo da Vinci and Leonardo DiCaprio. And who knows if there's any other reason. 
***: I'm not really questioning the use of the name Leo Tolstoy as some people do here and there in the internet. It's his choice. I'm just being silly. 

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