Publication details [#387]

Mathis, Sylvia. 1997. Irinachen und andere Kinderfrauchen: Überlegungen zu deutschen Übersetzungen russischer Koseformen in den Dramen A. P. Čechovs ['Sweet Irina' and other nannies: considerations on the German translation of Russian pet names in the plays of A. P. Čechovs]. Babel 43 (1) : 28–59.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language
Source language
Target language
Person as a subject
Journal DOI


By examining German translations of Čechov's dramas, the article looks at how the diverse system of using names of the Russian language can be interpreted into German. The Russian names and name variations (e.g. Olečka for Ol’ga) are considered as socio-linguistic and cultural specifics, informing in a very subtle manner about the kind of relationship between the persons. Given the fact that in German no forms can be constructed which are equivalent in all areas to the Russian ones, the above-mentioned translations are examined for strategies of interpreting strangeness. The scientific categories 'equivalence' and 'adequacy' are obtaining a new quality against this background and have to be redefined. Looking at the various translations, dated from 1902 up to 1988, the author found that the translators did not consider the different name-systems as a problem of cultural difference, since they renamed all persons by German name forms (Elena ->Helene) and omitted the Russian name variations.
Source : Based on abstract in journal