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Russian Language/Translation of Last name

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Question
Hi. I would like to know how to translate the "Michelis" last name to Russian. I have received opinions:
- about taking into account it's an italian name (sounds like Микелис)
- about translating from the origin of the person (the person named Michelis is Argentinian, so it would sound like Мичелис in Spanish)
- about making the name confortable to the Russian's eye and more familiar (МИШЕЛИС)
- about leaving the name in latin alphabet.
I would like to know if there's a rule on this matter.
thanks in advance

Answer
Dear Ariel,

Normally names and surnames are not translated. If you mean transliteration, it all depends on purpose of this transliteration. In most cases phonetic principle is preferable. You should write the name in Russian the way it is pronounced it in the language of origin. In your case - Мичелис - because the person is Argentinian.


Maria

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