Pronunciation of Donetsk

imwitty imwitty at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jun 2 00:59:27 UTC 2014

Great comprehensive summary! And I'm glad you mentioned Lugansk. Its
Ukrainian pronunciation differs from Russian at the very end: in Ukrainian
there is a soft sign after "s" (like in the Ukrainian version of
"Donetsk"). As for "g", in Russian it's as in "got", and in Ukrainian it's
a little bit softer, with SOME HINT of "h", BUT the transliteration
"Luhansk" may point in the wrong direction and make you pronounce that "h"
like in "honey." One more note for non-Russian/Ukrainian speakers: the
stress is on the 2nd syllable, and "u" in the 1st syllable should be
pronounced as "oo" in "loop".

On Sun, Jun 1, 2014 at 7:43 AM, victor steinbok <aardvark66 at>

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       victor steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Pronunciation of Donetsk
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> I'm going to second the schwa pronunciation of Donetsk, although it can
> occasionally be "colored" (rounded). But I agree that only the north of
> Russia would pronounce it with a full [o], as if every syllable is
> stressed. The same goes for Slavianks/Sloviansk. Although I doubt there is
> anyone at all who would pronounce it with an [o] (up North, they'd be using
> the Russian spelling).
> There are other city names that have commonly be used with their
> traditional Russian antecedents, such as Kiev, Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk,
> Nikolaev, Lugansk, while Ukranian demand Kiyv, Dniepropetrovsk, Kharkiv,
> Mikolaiv, Luhansk (IIRC--going from memory and might be a touch off).
> Luhansk is one exception--I've seen a lot more reports with the "h" rather
> than "g". Dnepropetrovsk is another oddity--many news stories, particularly
> before the conflict, use "Dniepropetrovsk". Another name that has multiple
> interpretations is "Transnistria", which I've seen as "Transdnistria",
> "Transniestria", and several others.
> As for transliteration, there may be some confusion between the standard
> (LOC) set and AP guidelines that used to deviate (but I don't think they do
> now). The standard LOC uses "i" everywhere and "y" only for the vowel
> that's between the two "signs" in the alphabet. So "ia", "iu" are standard,
> "ya" and "yu" are not. There are some exceptions for traditional names that
> have been used for decades, like Yuzovka, Yuzhnyi, etc. But in LOC catalog
> (and other library materials) they will show up as "IUzovka" and
> ""IUzhnyi". Similarly, the German/French transliterations are still
> commonly used for older names of "famous" people (Tchaikovsky), while LOC
> would demand a different spelling (Chaikovskii). As I recall, the
> "ia"'/"iu" vowels demand a ligature in LOC and "e" (at end of alphabet) and
> terminal "i" (in names and adjectives) get a diacritic mark (dot and caret,
> respectively) to distinguish them from normal "e" (sixth letter) and "i"
> (the penultimate one in Chaikovskii, but not the other two). Much of this
> was demanded by use of typewriters and remained unchanged for electronic
> records.
> VS-)
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