briyerrose (briyerrose) wrote in little_details,

Russian Diminutives, Endearments, and other words...

Hello, hello, hello! I’m hoping someone can help me on a few details of my story. I have been trying to figure this out for the past few months and I think this may be my best option. My story takes place in present day between Russia and America. My main character’s name is Svetlana and she was born and raised in Russia until an unfortunate event (around 10/12 years) causes her to go to America to live with her father.

  1. Svetlana…between native Russian speakers, what form would more likely be used? Sveta, Svetochka, Svetyushka, or Svetka?

  1. I understand that Sveta means “light” and her grandfather is going to call her “firefly”. I have figured out that Svetlyak is the literal translation and I have stumbled upon Svetlyachok as a way of using firefly as a nickname. Is this correct: Grandfather saying to granddaughter: “My firefly” = “Moya Svetlyachok”?

  1. Am I using the correct endearments for Grandfather and Grandmother? Dedulya and  Baboulya or should I just stick with Dedushka and Babushka?

  1. How would a native speaker refer to an older woman (60+ years) she doesn’t know? Example: “Here, grandmother, let me help you.”

  1. How would you address a college professor (Yakov Dimitrovich Vozenesenskaya)? How would this appear on a name plate (such as on his door)?

  1. Finally…hardest question. I’m trying to figure out how to turn a normal noun into a diminutive or endearment and I am completely lost. Basically Svetlana is going to come across a male and the two of them are going to be thrown into some pretty horrible situations together. The male doesn’t speak, is more wild than man actually, and so Svetlana basically has to name him. She is going to go off of words that come to mind. Here are some possibilities: Solntse (sun), Shtorm (storm), Volk (wolf), Voin (warrior), Boec (warrior), or Voitel (warrior) ((And as an aside, what is the difference between Voin, Boec, and Voitel?)). How would you turn this into an endearment, something used to comfort? “My warrior” “My storm” “My Wolf” Svetlana is going to name him around the time she thinks he is dying, so yes…something that would be used to comfort but it needs to be a name that sounds fierce, powerful, uncertain, strong…can this even be done?
Tags: russia (misc), russia: education, ~languages: russian
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