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Quoting Philippe Caquant <[log in to unmask]>:

> --- 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).

'Gyugo'? Why not simply 'Yugo'?

> > 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.

Well, it's not too hard to imagine a sound change o>u>y>i or o>@>I>i.

> > * I'm not sure about how the Russians pronounce the
> > 'i', but I'm hoping for near
> > cardinal, to maximize the similarity of the initial
> > syllable to Swedish _skit_
> > [xi:t] "shit (n)"!
> >
> To me, Russian, German, Spanish, Italian and French
> 'i' are all the same, usually. I'm not sure for
> Swedish, but I think it's the same too.

Unfortunately, to my ears, German and Swedish has each two quite distinct 'i'
sounds, as does English. The vowels in the initial syllables of _Ihre_ and
_Irre_ differ as much by quality as by quantity ([i:] vs [I]; approximately the
same as English "feel" vs "fill"). If the Russian vowel is closer to the vowel
of _Irre_, the connection doesn't really work at all.

                                                        Andreas