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Russian Language/Making a Russian diminutive form of a non-Russian name

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Dear Maria Kuruskina,

Would you be kind enough to help me? I'm a writer, and I'd like to know how to turn an English name into a Russian diminutive form. What I mean is, Russians have very cute, distinctive diminutive forms (like Vanechka for Ivan, or Dimochka for Dmitri), and I'd like to know how a Russian would make a diminutive for a name that isn't a Russian name.

The name of my character is Issachar (it's actually a biblical name, and it's pronounced Iss-uh-car). He has an English father, and a Russian mother. I think it's likely that his mother would make a Russian diminutive form of his name (for instance, if an English woman married a Russian and they called their child a Russian name, like Pavel, the mother would very likely put a Y on the end of his name, which is the common English way of turning a name into a diminutive form so she'd call him Pavely to be affectionate). However, I'm not sure how to make a Russian diminutive of Issachar. Would it be something like Issachka?

I'd be extremely grateful for your advice, and I hope I have explained my question clearly enough! Thank you very much for your time.

Very best wishes,

Bella

Answer
Hi, Bella!

Sorry for the delay, holiday time :)

Well, regarding your question, there is quite a lot of options. Russian diminutive forms are sometimes derived indirectly, so that the final name has little in common with the full form of the name. And it also depends on the cultural origin of the mother. For example, if she is Jewish, possible variants can be Isya (Izya), Izechka (this one is way too douchy:)). If she is not Jewish, I see Sasha as a possible short form. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask, or better contact me by email zentaura@gmail.com, I check it quite often during the day, and allexperts letters sometimes end up in junk mail for no reason.

Maria

Russian Language

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Maria Kuruskina

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Education. Linguistics.

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PhD in Linguistics

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