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Russian Friends - Pls. Explain Russian Last Names  
User currently offlinevio From Canada, joined Feb 2004, 1401 posts, RR: 10
Posted (10 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2076 times:

Hello my Russian friends,

I need help in understanding how Russian names are structured. More specifically, how a man / woman's last name is.

Take a famous Russian name, that of President Valdimir Putin. His last name is PUTIN but his (ex)wife's name is (or was) Lyudmila PutinA. So am I to understand that if the last name of the man is MASCULINE, the same last name of his female counter part is added transformed into a feminine "version"?

So say we have a family (example):

Mr. Aleksei Ivanov
Mrs. Irina IvanovA

Kid boy: Nicolai Ivanov
Kid girl: Maria IvanovA

Forgive me for the crude question, but I am a bit confused.

Thanks

Vio


Superior decisions reduce the need for superior skills.
15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineIADCA From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 1256 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (10 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2035 times:

That's basically right. Further, typically the child's middle name will be the patronymic, which is also gender specific. So in your example, it would be Nikolai Alekseyevich Ivanov and Maria Alekseyevna Ivanova.

For a current famous example, the tennis player Maria Sharapova's full name is Мари́я Ю́рьевна Шара́пова (Maria Yureyevna Sharapova), which tells you that her father is Yuri Sharapov.

(Note: I'm not Russian, but am decent enough with the language to help with this, I hope.)

[Edited 2013-09-13 14:50:30]

User currently offlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2598 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (10 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2007 times:

The feminine version of last name Ivanov would be Ivanovova, not Ivanova. That suffix -ova means " belonging to" and it's use is not limited to Russian by any means. It can be found in many Slavic languages, including my native Slovak. Mrs. Wildcat has a different last name than me due to this too. Now, if we would get married now and not 25 years ago, she could choose not having the suffix, since my last name is Hungarian. But it wasn't possible then.

User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7693 posts, RR: 21
Reply 3, posted (10 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 1998 times:
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You basically guessed right.


✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlinetu204 From Russia, joined Mar 2006, 1166 posts, RR: 18
Reply 4, posted (10 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 1931 times:

Above posters are 100% correct.
Just want to add that there are some last names that DO NOT fall under this rule.
Let's take for example hockey player Ilya Kovalchuk. His wife's last name will also be Kovalchuk. Same goes for my last name which ends in "-ko", or one that would end in "-ich" as those have a Ukranian backround that do not fall under this rule.



I do not dream about movie stars, they must dream about me for I am real and they are not. - Alexander Popov
User currently offlinevio From Canada, joined Feb 2004, 1401 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (10 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 1915 times:

Thanks everyone for the good answers. That clarifies it!!!!


Superior decisions reduce the need for superior skills.
User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9780 posts, RR: 26
Reply 6, posted (10 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 1894 times:
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Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 2):
The feminine version of last name Ivanov would be Ivanovova, not Ivanova. That suffix -ova means " belonging to" and it's use is not limited to Russian by any means

Interesting - how does that apply to, for example, Sharapov/Sharapova? I think Sharapov is her father's name, and not Sharap.

I had always thought it was simply adding an "A" to names ending in "-OV". But I'm no expert!

And now that I look it up, it appears that Martina Navratilova's (step)father's last name was Navratil, so there you go. How do you know whether to add just an "A" or an "OVA"?



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlinevio From Canada, joined Feb 2004, 1401 posts, RR: 10
Reply 7, posted (10 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 1891 times:

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 6):
And now that I look it up, it appears that Martina Navratilova's (step)father's last name was Navratil, so there you go. How do you know whether to add just an "A" or an "OVA"?

You bring up a good point. Of course languages can seem confusing to non speakers. A lot of times I have a hard time explaining Romanian grammar to my English speaking friends (who believe it or not do ask me these sort of things)



Superior decisions reduce the need for superior skills.
User currently offlineIADCA From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 1256 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (10 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 1808 times:

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 6):
And now that I look it up, it appears that Martina Navratilova's (step)father's last name was Navratil, so there you go. How do you know whether to add just an "A" or an "OVA"?

I think it's a difference between Russian and other Slavic languages. I'm 99% sure that in Russian at least, it is Ivanova, but I'm also pretty confident that both Czech and Slovak are different in this regard. Ivanov/Ivanova is an extremely common Russian family name.


User currently offlinetu204 From Russia, joined Mar 2006, 1166 posts, RR: 18
Reply 9, posted (10 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 1781 times:

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 6):

Not quite. Lets take Maria Yurievna Sharapova.
Sharapova is the family name (last name)
Yurievna is the patronymic (middle name). By this we can tell that her father's name is Yuri. To get the patronymic, we take the father's name and add "-evna" for female and "-evich" for men. So if she has a brother his patronymic would be "Yurivich". i.e. Alexander Yurievich Sharapov.

Also interesting to note, that atleast in Russia you adress somebody by their first and middle name, i.e. Maria Yurievna and not Sharapova. It is considered rude if you adress somebody by their last name, just as it would be if you adress somebody in the English language by their first name.



I do not dream about movie stars, they must dream about me for I am real and they are not. - Alexander Popov
User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7693 posts, RR: 21
Reply 10, posted (10 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 1741 times:
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Quoting tu204 (Reply 9):
Yurievna is the patronymic (middle name). By this we can tell that her father's name is Yuri. To get the patronymic, we take the father's name and add "-evna" for female and "-evich" for men. So if she has a brother his patronymic would be "Yurivich". i.e. Alexander Yurievich Sharapov.

Indeed - although sometimes of course there is '-ovich' and '-ovna', such as 'Aleksandrovich' and 'Aleksandrovna'. This tends to depend on whether the father's name ends in a soft or a hard sound, a vowel or a consonant.



✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlinetu204 From Russia, joined Mar 2006, 1166 posts, RR: 18
Reply 11, posted (10 months 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 1592 times:

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 10):

I stand corrected)) forgot about that.



I do not dream about movie stars, they must dream about me for I am real and they are not. - Alexander Popov
User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9780 posts, RR: 26
Reply 12, posted (10 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 1573 times:
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Quoting tu204 (Reply 9):
Not quite. Lets take Maria Yurievna Sharapova.
Sharapova is the family name (last name)
Yurievna is the patronymic (middle name). By this we can tell that her father's name is Yuri. To get the patronymic, we take the father's name and add "-evna" for female and "-evich" for men. So if she has a brother his patronymic would be "Yurivich". i.e. Alexander Yurievich Sharapov.

Right, I'm (somewhat) familiar with patronymics, but I was asking specifically about last names / family names.



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 5970 posts, RR: 14
Reply 13, posted (10 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 1494 times:

Whenever I think about Russian last names, I can't help but to think of this one scene from the animated show Road Rovers where they're being interrogated.


Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlineyowza From Canada, joined exactly 9 years ago today! , 4865 posts, RR: 15
Reply 14, posted (10 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 1376 times:

Addressing last names specifically we've covered the run of the mill names so generally speaking it's as simple as adding an A: *ov -> *ova, *in -> *ina. Then there's the less common names that - if I'm not mistaken - simple take on the female endings such as Rousetski becoming Rousetskaya, right?

YOWza



12A whenever possible.
User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7693 posts, RR: 21
Reply 15, posted (10 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1347 times:
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Quoting yowza (Reply 14):
such as Rousetski becoming Rousetskaya, right?

Exactly. Those are in fact adjectival endings: -ii/-iy for masculine, -aya for feminine.



✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
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