Dostoy? Dostoe?

22 Jul

The book: Crime and Punishment

The author: Fyodor Dostoyevsky
or is it Fyodor Dostoevsky

There seems to be a debate about how to translate the author’s name from Russian into English.

The recommended translation of the novel spells it Dostoevsky.
In The Well-Educated Mind, SWB uses the spelling Dostoyevsky.

Maybe we should learn to spell it in Russian.


Posted by on July 22, 2012 in Crime and Punishment



7 responses to “Dostoy? Dostoe?

  1. Adriana @ Classical Quest

    July 22, 2012 at 8:53 am

    I’m listening to this one on my Kindle while reading along. I’m using two different translations and I LOVE IT. I ADORE the sound of the Russian language — when the narrator reads the names it sounds like music. I’m really enjoying two versions at once. I can’t explain why this is working this time; I tried this w/ Madame B and it frustrated me.

    It’s going to take 25 hours altogether.

    • Christine

      July 24, 2012 at 11:30 am

      Maybe I need to hear a little of C & P to get into it. It’s hard for me to take notes when I’m continually checking the names.

  2. jeanlp

    July 24, 2012 at 10:41 am

    In Russian, the E comes with a y-ish sound attached. So you wouldn’t say Dos-toe-ev-sky, you’d say Dos-to-YEV-sky. 🙂 Here it is in Russian: Фёдор Миха́йлович Достое́вский

    • Christine

      July 24, 2012 at 11:31 am

      Interesting! I’ve also seen it spelled Dostoyevski and Dostoyevskii. His name looks like art when written in Russian. Thanks for sharing.

      • jeanlp

        July 24, 2012 at 11:48 am

        Yep. See the two letters that look like backwards N’s at the end of his name? Those are I’s. So if you do a letter-by-letter transliteration, it comes out -skii. But that looks weird to us, so it became more usual to use -ski or -sky.

        I don’t know any Russian any more, but I took some in college and I can still sound things out. I so wish I was fluent so I could enjoy Russian literature properly! But all I have left is uncontrollable fury when English titles try to look Russian by sticking in the wrong letters. Not really a useful talent. 😉 (But! Dude! That is not an R! It’s a vowel!)


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