2004-08-31T16:52:32+03:00 Philippe Caquant <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> --- Andreas Johansson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>> _Gitler_ and _Xitler_* in WWII stuff.

> My wife (Ukrainian) says 'Gitler', and 'Gyugo', for
> Hugo (Victor) (and 'Gavr' for the French port of Le
> Havre).

I thought your wife is Russian. At least you seemed to be implying

Philip Newtons explanation about modern borrowings in Russian is
completely correct with some exclusions though: Hugo Boss is still
Hyugo Boss in Russia despite the well-known Victor Hugo (Viktor

Also, older borrowings are tending to have lesser influence on modern
ones. G.M.Hopkins and F.G.Hopkins (both born in 19th century) used
to be Gopkins, while people are laughing when I (on purpose) make
Anton Gopkin out of Antony Hopkins (tell your wife about Anton Gopkin
and see her reaction).

> True, I sometimes told her that she pronounces
> "havarit'" rather than "govorit'" when we speak
> Russian, but it seems that she is not really aware of
> it, she *thinks* she pronounces it the Russian way.
> And I *think* this is not quite true.

I'm on your side, Philippe.

>> Judging from my atlas, Ukrainian has something spelt
>> transliterated as 'h' where
>> Russian has 'g' - Chernihiv for Chernigov, and so
>> on. The little voices in my
>> head say this is probably relevant.

> It's really a mistery to, how such different sounds as
> 'i' and 'o' can be used alternatively in similar words
> between Russian and Ukrainian. Kiev airport, Borispol,
> is Borispil in Ukrainian. If, as I believe, '-pol'
> comes from Greek 'polis' (city), than I wonder why the
> Ukrainian changed that 'o' into 'i'. Or maybe it comes
> from Russian 'polje' (field, ground) ? (but, same
> remark).

Well, its not a mistery, IIRC. There was a common sound in those
words in Church Slavonic and in Old Slavo. Im not an expert, but I
can guess that word was written as  (Borispl - compare with
modern Bulgarian). The hard sign had its own pronounciation. Later,
it changed to o in Russian and to i in Ukrainian.

Some words are especially exciting because of those transformations.
Imagine the word  (kt). With time, in Russian it became  (kot,
which stands for cat) while in Ukrainian it became  (kit). But kit
means whale in Russian! Then, guess, what is whale in Ukrainian? No,
not kot. Its  (kyt).

Thats just one of the reasons why a lot of people here think of
Ukrainian as a broken variant of Russian. ;-)


Midnight typos are hopefully corrected. Gosh, I just read Isaacs
letter... Isaacs letters!.. Sending anyway.

  Alexander Savenkov                  
  [log in to unmask]