JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Records in Cyrillic #general


Irene K. <impromptus2002@...>
 

I will try to answer the question inquired by Sam
Schleman concerning a possibility to learn Cyrillic in
order to read records written in Russian. I think
there is no problem for English speaker to learn
Cyrillic alphabet, many letters are similar. The
problem is to *decipher* old Russian handwriting that
had slightly different >from the modern Russian
orthography and unintelligible script. Russian is my
mother tongue and I am working with nineteenth century
documents for ten years; sometimes I have difficulties
to decipher some words. Another problem that occurs
while reading these records is misspelling. Not all
clerks knew Russian well, and quite often a researcher
should guess what misspelled word means. It applies to
surnames, towns and most often to professions. And
finally the most difficult task for foreigners is to
learn Russian grammar: in English we write
"petit-bourgeois >from Vilna" when in Russian it is
"vilenskiy meschanin". In the word "vilenskiy" you
have to unravel
a root "vilna" to understand the meaning of the word.
This is only one rather easy example.

As I menioned in my previous e-mails knowledge of
Hebrew is additional advantage since many birth,
marriage, and death records were completed in both
languages (Russian and Yiddish or so called Ashkinazy
Hebrew).
My compliments to all English speakers who managed to
overpass these obstacles and learned the most
difficult language.

Irene Kudish
Tel-Aviv

Researching LIBKIND/LIPKIND (Belarus, Lithuania),
GLIKIN (Belarus)

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