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Vio
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Russian Friends - Pls. Explain Russian Last Names

Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:13 pm

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
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IADCA
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RE: Russian Friends - Pls. Explain Russian Last Names

Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:42 pm

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]
 
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WildcatYXU
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RE: Russian Friends - Pls. Explain Russian Last Names

Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:57 pm

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.
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RussianJet
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RE: Russian Friends - Pls. Explain Russian Last Names

Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:00 pm

You basically guessed right.
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tu204
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RE: Russian Friends - Pls. Explain Russian Last Names

Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:29 pm

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.
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Vio
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RE: Russian Friends - Pls. Explain Russian Last Names

Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:54 pm

Thanks everyone for the good answers. That clarifies it!!!!
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vikkyvik
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RE: Russian Friends - Pls. Explain Russian Last Names

Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:26 am

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"?
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Vio
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RE: Russian Friends - Pls. Explain Russian Last Names

Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:28 am

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)
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RE: Russian Friends - Pls. Explain Russian Last Names

Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:39 am

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.
 
tu204
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RE: Russian Friends - Pls. Explain Russian Last Names

Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:54 am

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.
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RussianJet
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RE: Russian Friends - Pls. Explain Russian Last Names

Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:43 am

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.
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tu204
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RE: Russian Friends - Pls. Explain Russian Last Names

Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:15 am

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 10):

I stand corrected)) forgot about that.
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vikkyvik
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RE: Russian Friends - Pls. Explain Russian Last Names

Sun Sep 15, 2013 2:11 am

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.
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Goldenshield
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RE: Russian Friends - Pls. Explain Russian Last Names

Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:35 am

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.
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yowza
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RE: Russian Friends - Pls. Explain Russian Last Names

Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:22 pm

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
 
RussianJet
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RE: Russian Friends - Pls. Explain Russian Last Names

Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:29 pm

Quoting yowza (Reply 14):
such as Rousetski becoming Rousetskaya, right?

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