I know that the title is a little weird, sorry about that. The thing is that one day I asked my russian instructor, who's russian, how to pronounce Kolmogorov in russian (because it has too many o's) and she told me that is Холмогóров, but in the wiki article says that his name is Колмогóров, why is this?

  • 3
    That's just a mistake, the real last name of the famous Soviet mathematician is Колмогóров.
    – Yellow Sky
    May 2, 2014 at 2:54
  • Check that you can pronounce Чебыщев and Чеботарев correctly too. At least in English these mathematician names are not close to the native pronunciation.
    – KCd
    May 2, 2014 at 4:20
  • 2
    @KCd did you mean Чебышев?
    – Anixx
    May 2, 2014 at 8:35
  • @Anixx: yes, I did.
    – KCd
    May 2, 2014 at 10:02
  • 1
    By the way, the correct spelling of Чебышев is Чебышёв, so it is pronounced "chee-bih-SHOFF".
    – Yellow Sky
    May 2, 2014 at 14:49

2 Answers 2


Your Russian teacher was not a mathematician, so she probably guessed that the name is "kholmogorov", as there is a Russian word "kholm" meaning a hill.

The correct name is Kolmogorov, and you pronounce it roughly as "Kalmagoraf"

  • Among the population in Russia outside of science, would you say that Kolmogorov is not widely known?
    – KCd
    May 2, 2014 at 16:31
  • 4
    @KCd - No, he isn't.
    – Yellow Sky
    May 2, 2014 at 20:39
  • 1
    I guess he's not, which is amusing, because he wrote the high school calculus textbook. Now, in Russia teachers can't use any textbook they wish, they have to use approved ones, AND calculus is compulsory. So, there must be a generation of people who must have read his textbook, yet they don't know him. May 2, 2014 at 20:47
  • 2
    @KCd: In my experience, most well-educated people in Russia know Kolmogorov. Perhaps, Lobachevsky, Chebyshev and Kovalevskaya are even more widely known but other Russian mathematicians are less known than Kolmogorov. (I would say that Kolmogorov is more widely known in Russia than Richard Feynman is in the US.)
    – Yury
    May 4, 2014 at 23:47
  • 1
    I think that Kovalevskaya is definitely known more, as well as Lobachevsky. The deal with Kovalevskaya was that she fit the communist feminism narrative, in my opinion. The fact that she did some cool stuff didn't hurt her recognition either, while both her and Kolmogorov's bodies of work are well beyond high school curriculum. Functional analysis and measure theoretic probability is taught in college for math majors. May 5, 2014 at 19:54

Происхождение фамилии «Колмогоров» связано с топонимом «Колмогоры», а он, вероятно, происходит от финского kolme «три» (т. е. «Трехгорка»), или от kalma, «могила», и kari, «утес». «Холмогоры» – русификация Происхождение от топонима Кроме Колмогор (Холмогор) в Архангельской области, топоним известен в Кемеровской. Деревни Колмогорово также существуют в Сибири Женская форма фамилии - Колмогорова.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.