Is that an “r” in “worship” in a text from 1591?

I was trying to see how the Spanish word merced was translated into English in the 16th century, when I found this entry in a dictionary from 1591 by Richard Percyvall: I understand that the second English word is worship, but that “r” is written in a different way from the r‘s in curtesie and … Read more

How to write name ‘Jonas’ to force /j/ sound?

In Poland and many European countries Jonas is a popular name, spelled slightly differently in each language (Jonasz, Jonàs, Jonáš, Joonas). In most of Europe and Africa it is pronounced with initial /j/ sound (as in yes). But native English speakers use /d͡ʒ/ (joy). Polish people named Jonasz hate it when their name is pronounced … Read more

Should the first h in Nehemiah be silent? If so, why?

I hear many native speakers do not pronounce the first h in Nehemiah. However, I also found a video pronouncing this h. I am wondering about the correct pronunciation of Nehemiah in English. This word is transliterated from the Hebrew word נְחֶמְיָה‎. If we try to pronounce it in the Hebrew way, the first h … Read more

How to translate my name

I have seen many types of translation/transliteration of my Russian first and last names to English by different people. At the current moment I don’t know what to choose when I want to introduce myself. So, my first name is Вячеслав Vyacheslav Viacheslav Vjacheslav My last name is Карбовничий Karbovnichii Karbovnichiy Karbovnichij Karbovnichy What is … Read more

Is “fatah” an alternative spelling of “fatwa”?

I’ve occasionally seen “fatah” being used instead of “fatwa” to mean Islamic religious ruling. For example, from Fear and Loathing of Sharks in Western Australia by Paul Watson (in an article which elsewhere complained about halal slaughter): This week, this same premier of Western Australia issued a shark-hating Fatah, calling for their total annihilation. You … Read more

Why do Russian names transliterated into English have unpronounceable ‘k’s before ‘h’s (e.g. ‘Mikhail’ instead of just ‘Mihail’)?

Why can’t it be just ‘Mihail’? I guess the ‘k’ is inserted to ensure correct pronunciation, but I don’t see how ‘Mikhail’ and ‘Mihail’ are pronounced differently. Answer Since the differences in pronunciation have been thoroughly discussed, I’d like to point one the consistency of transliteration. The spelling Mikhail simply follows the common convention “х=kh”. … Read more

Why are the same words translated differently into English depending on their meaning?

I’ve seen it several times before, but only have one example at hand right now. This Forbes article mentions Russia as country’s name, but Rossiya as the bank’s name, despite that these words are exactly the same in Russian, where they are translated from. Is there some kind of rule for this? Answer It’s a … Read more

What is the difference between translation and transliteration

It’s always intrigued me what the difference is between these two terms. I can guess that translation is a contextual translation whereby the original foreign text is maintained with any language idiosyncrasies intact, whereas transliteration is translating the text verbatim, during which any context may be lost. Any help clearing up this would be appreciated, … Read more

Where does the anglicisation “Ottoman” come from?

Wikipedia on Ottoman Empire gives its naming as coming from the Ottoman Turkish language, but on that very page, the name of the language is transliterated as Lisân-ı Osmânî. In Russian we call the empire and language “Османская”/-ий, also transliterating as “Osman[suffix]”. The trail vanishes there… Were telephones that bad that the Turks said “Os” … Read more