Is there an accepted Russian transliteration of the given name "Keith"? It appears θ is often transliterated as ф, but it doesn't feel correct in this case (of course I don't know). Кит, Кис, Киз? Something different?

  • 6
    This should be Кит.
    – Dmitry
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 3:09
  • 3
    Gilbert Keith Chesterton = Гилберт Кит Честертон
    – Yellow Sky
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 3:13
  • 1
    In Santa Barbara series it was translated as Кейт.
    – Anixx
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 7:16
  • 2
    @YellowSky "Гилберт Кийт" was used in some Soviet editions too, presumably to avoid the association with the word for whale — an extension of the practice of plausibly altering foreign names that sound unintentionally risqué, such as "Хуэй" for the Chinese Hui or "доктор Моуди" for the afterlife researcher Dr Moody. Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 19:54
  • 3
    @Anixx, the problem with Кейт is that this is more properly the Russian translation of Kate -- a woman's name. And Кейт doesn't even sound like Keith since the vowel part is totally different. I have had to deal with this problem for some years on Russian visas: an organization inviting me there regularly uses Кейт for the visa invitation instead of Кит, and sometimes in Russia I have gotten weird looks when showing my visa (e.g., to buy a train ticket) because I am not a woman. People who see my name as Кейт have asked me how to pronounce it, since it is strange for a guy to have that name.
    – KCd
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 23:36

1 Answer 1


Yep, as already is told in comments, "т" is usually standing for t[θ] in modern Russian (though we have Фёдор vs. Theodor, Коринф vs. Corinth). But behold, here I present you a universal algorithm for resolving issues of this kind:

  1. Choose one celebrity with this name. In our case, let's go with Keith Richards.
  2. Find an article about this person in English wikipedia.
  3. Choose the same article in other language. In our case, in Russian.
  4. Check out how the name is translated.
  5. If still not sure (no irony, for historical reasons name of particular person could be transliterated differently), repeat starting from step 1 with choosing some different celebrity.

As a sidenode, word algorithm itself is a nice example of how "ф"-tradition was changed by "т"-tradition. No that long ago there was alternative spelling for алгоритм, алгорифм, but now it is completely obsolete.

  • 1
    No worries, this is a completely valid question for this Stack ;)
    – shabunc
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 3:33
  • 2
    English th was always transliterated as т. The ф was used only for Greek.
    – Anixx
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 7:18
  • 1
    @Anixx yes - but English also had Greek words, which caused doublets like algorithm. Also, there is the word "stealth" which was "translated" "стелс".
    – Viridianus
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 20:27

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