Well, everybody knows that there exist pairings between names. For example, Александра - Александр, Виктория - Виктор etc. However, sometimes these pairs can be confusing.

It is generally accepted that official female name equivalent of Иван is Жанна ( or Иоанна,Ивана). But what about the name Яна? Is this a variant of Жанна? In some countries it is a pair for Jan (Ян), which is another variant of Jean (Жан). So can Яна also be a pair for Иван?

4 Answers 4


Жанна (Jeanne) is a transliteration of the Western (French) name, similar to Джон (Jon/John) or Жан (Jean). Яна feels very Slavic but although it does seem to be derived from Иванна (Joanna), it's IMO unlikely to be considered to be a pair of Иван by a native speaker.

Here's how I see the pairs for these names:

Жан - Жанна
Ян - Яна (Янина)
Иван (Иоанн) - Иванна (Иоанна)

See also here.


Жанна is a French name borrowed into Russian, Яна is a Polish name.

Although they derive from the same source, they are distinct names in modern Russian.


I believe Яна is borrowed from some western language, most probably from Polish. In some decades foreign names were very popular among "new parents". So there is no reason to search for the equivalent in Russian. The equivalent should be Polish Jan.


Often in russian the names are changed Александра - Александр, which is Alessandra and Alexandre can change, for Александра, you might use Саша and Александр you can use Саш. You cannot always literally translate the names from one langage to another.

  • Саша is both Alexander and Alexandra. Саш is an unofficial vocative case of Саша, just like мама and мам.
    – petajamaja
    Apr 30, 2013 at 17:27

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