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Dear megamole (and any other linguists or students of cyrillic)… - almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea
if I had to explain, you wouldn't understand
dakegra
dakegra
Dear megamole (and any other linguists or students of cyrillic)

A discussion elsewhere is raging* on how "царь" is spelled in a Western alphabet. Current options are Czar, Csar, Tzar or Tsar.

I know which my preferred option is, but I believe that you are well-placed to proffer an opinion?




* for a given value of 'rage'
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Comments
nalsa From: nalsa Date: January 16th, 2009 09:47 am (UTC) (linky)
Where "rage" is as close to null as one can get :)
dakegra From: dakegra Date: January 16th, 2009 09:48 am (UTC) (linky)
hush! I was playing it for the drama!

:-)
kaiserdad From: kaiserdad Date: January 16th, 2009 09:57 am (UTC) (linky)

"царь"

for 9 years I was the Tsar (International Dance Theatre)
miss_next From: miss_next Date: January 16th, 2009 10:14 am (UTC) (linky)
"Tsar" is the closest transliteration, but the others are all perfectly acceptable.
dakegra From: dakegra Date: January 16th, 2009 11:50 am (UTC) (linky)
I've always gone with Tsar, given that's how the letter is said. Can't quite see where the Cs/Cz comes from though.
miss_next From: miss_next Date: January 16th, 2009 12:00 pm (UTC) (linky)
Apart from the one Mole mentioned, I think there is another factor operating with the Cs/Cz spellings that's rather more technical-linguistic. It's probably easier to understand if you look at it the other way and see how "k" can evolve to "t", but it does work both ways. Try saying "copper" and feeling where you articulate the "k" sound in your mouth. Now say "keep". Feel the difference? They're both "k" sounds, but the second is articulated much further forward than the second.

In English, the forward-sounding "k" can often morph into "t" before another consonant; in other words, it's not uncommon for people to say things like "tlock" for "clock". (Try saying "tlock" yourself and you will realise there is not a massive difference.) This can happen in other languages as well. Conversely, it can just as easily go the other way; in Sheffield you will commonly hear words like "keckle" and "ospickle" for "kettle" and "hospital" (and the tendency extrapolates itself into words with -dl- too, so you will also hear "angle" for "handle", which can be confusing). I don't know if this is also the case in Leeds.

Anyway, I suspect this slight fuzziness between t and forward-k, especially before another consonant, may have some part to play in the variation.
megamole From: megamole Date: January 16th, 2009 12:13 pm (UTC) (linky)
"keckle"

It's also a feature of Jamaican dialect/patois.
miss_next From: miss_next Date: January 16th, 2009 12:17 pm (UTC) (linky)
That I didn't know, but I am not surprised; it's one of those things that slips quite easily.
megamole From: megamole Date: January 16th, 2009 10:31 am (UTC) (linky)
ц = "ts". IPA agrees - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPA_chart_for_Russian .

The C spellings attempt to link the word "Tsar" to "Caesar", its ultimate derivation. "Tzar" is flat out wrong.
dakegra From: dakegra Date: January 16th, 2009 11:50 am (UTC) (linky)
jolly good, that's what I thought. :-)
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