What's in a name?

Or how do I pronounce and spell

The simple answer, of course, is given above, spell it in Russian!!!

That's fine for the more than 250 million people who know Russian. The problems arise for the rest of us. There are several transliteration systems-ways in which you can convert Cyrrilic (Russian) characters into English ones. Some are based primarily on letters, other systems pay more attention to sound.

Almost everyone agrees on the beginning of the name, but there are two middles and four endings.













That makes for eight spellings not including variations in other languages:

Dostoevsky, Dostoevski, Dostoevskij, Dostoevskii

Dostoyevsky, Dostoyevski, Dostoyevskij, Dostoyevskii.

I have used here what seems to be the prevailing English form: Dostoevsky.

An approximate pronunciation of the Russian is [dastaYEfskee]