Times article on DWJ/Conrad's Fate

Dorian E. Gray israfel at eircom.net
Tue Mar 15 19:00:05 EST 2005

Deborah said...
> Don't even get me started on countries with patronymics.  Or worse,
> patronymics and surnames, both.  I'm sorry, any Russians that are here.
> *hangs head in monlinguistic shame*

Russian names, unless I've utterly misunderstood my Russian-speaking friend, 
are relatively easy.  The first name is the first (Christian) name; the 
second name is the patronymic; the third name is the surname.  You address a 
Russian you don't know or don't know well as "[title] + surname".  When you 
get to know him well, you may address him as "firstname + patronymic".  So 
in the case of Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov, if you don't know him well 
you call him Mr. Molotov (or, given who we're talking about, Comrade 
Molotov).  If you're Stalin and thus do know him well, you call him 
Vyacheslav Mikhailovich.

Hence, for indexing purposes, the Comrade Foreign Commissar would be 
"Molotov, Vyacheslav Mikhailovich".

(Molotov being chosen for example purposes because my current reading matter 
features him as a character, and provides all three of his names.)

(As far as I can tell, patronymics seem usually to end in "ovna" (for women) 
or "vich" (for men).)


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