Russian names came up in class today. I still find it very strange that everyone seems to have the same names. In each class of students you will usually have a Nastya, a Sonya, a Sasha and a Misha.
The thing I find most strange though, is that Russian names usually have a formal version and then a familiar version – like a nickname. But unlike English, where it’s usually an obvious shortened form of the name; like Alexander is Alex, or Katherine is Kate, their names seem to completely change.
I think some are quite similar like Mikhail to Misha, but still..Natalia and Natasha are completely different names. My class even agreed, that we have no idea how they get Sasha from Alexander..
The other strange thing is their two surnames. They have:
First Name, Patronymic, Surname
The Patronymic is made of their Father’s name. So if I was Russian my name would be Alica Stevenovna Lucas. Which means daughter of Steven. In formal situations people call each other by their first name and Patronymic rather than Mr/Mrs – which they don’t have. All the children in school have to call their teachers this, for example ‘Maria Alexandrovna.’ Such a long name to have to say all the time! To me it sounds like they’re saying their full name like AliceCatherineLucas..?