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What is YOUR Name? (Russian Names)


I have been recently asked a lot about my daughter’s name and why we call her Саша (sA-sha) while her official name is Алексанра (a-lek-sAn-dra).

In Russian it is very traditional to have an official name and a family-freinds names that have many variations are are used interchangeably.

Russian full name consists of a first name, a last or family name and a patronymic (an adjective  formed from the first name of the father). In the official documents or when you fill out a form, last name goes first, then first name and patronymic. So it looks like this: Ivanova (family name) Lidya (first name) Nikolaevna (patronymic) – Иванова (family name) Лидия (first name) Николаевна (patronymic).

For example for Sasha it will be: Алекса́ндра (a-lek-sAn-dra) Са́ша (sA-sha), Са́шенька (sA-shen-ka), Са́шечка (sA-shech-ka), Сашу́лька (sA-shul-ka), Са́шка (sAsh-ka), Шу́ра (shU-ra), Шу́рочка (shU-roch-ka), Шу́рка (shUr-ka), Шуро́к (shu-rOk) and I am sure there are more.

Sasha can also be a boy or a girl – this name is equally common for both in Russian-speaking countires.

I always feel like I have a very easy and international name. When I introduce myslef these days I  always start with the way my name is pronounced in Russian, but if that slides into the American way of pronoucing it – I no longer correct it. This is what me introducing myslef usually sounds like:

“What is your name?”

“My name is Anna ( Ahn-nah)”

“Welcome Anna (Eah-nah)!”

Or my favourtie (I really love this one every time!) I think I spend too much time aroudn children these days:

 “What is your name?”

“My name is Anna ( Ahn-nah)”

“Oh, like the sister in Frozen?”

“Yes, exactly (wide grins on both faces).”

My daughter’s name is pretty much always pronounced correctly. Some people take a couple of tries, but so far it seems to be easy and common sounding in the USA.

My full given name is Anna (Ahn-nah) but usually I will be called that only in the official situation and most commonly this version of my name will be followed by my patronymic. My friends and family will most frequntly call me Аня (Anya). Here are other variations of my name: Анечка ( A-nech-ka), А́ннушка (An-nush-ka), Аню́та (a-niU-ta), Аню́тка ( a-niUt-ka).

If you want to know more about Russian names you can check out this post on Russian Names

Do you know what your name sounds like in Russian? What will be your full official name in Russian?

About the Author


AnnaOriginally from Russia, Anna has a Bachelor’s in Education and Linguistics from Moscow State Pedagogical University in Moscow, and a Master’s Degree in International and Interactive Communication from University of Lille 1, IAE Business School in Lille, France. Anna speaks fluent Russian, English and French and also knows some Spanish, German, Japanese and Italian. Her education, work experience and many years of teaching and tutoring both in the actual classroom and online helps her understand the needs of students as well as the design, management and promotion of language courses, textbooks and learning materials. As a voice actor Anna has contributed many tracks to the audio components of this course and you can see her on the videos as the lead teacher. Anna is very interested is supporting and promoting the study of the Russian language, as well as introducing Russia’s language and culture to a variety of people world-wide. If you notice any issues or mistakes in the digital or audio components, are interested in reviewing Russian Step By Step Series or in purchasing large quantities, please contact Anna.View all posts by Anna →

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