A Rose By Any Other Name…

You know what’s challenging?

Looking up an author in Latvian to see if their book is available in a translated edition.

It’s almost as bad as trying to transliterate Cyrillic to English.  (On a semi-related tangent, this is what makes doing any kind of genealogy on my mother’s family interesting. My great-grandparents were Ukrainian and when they came over to America, their last name was transliterated in various ways. A very common occurrence back then for immigrants.)

However, looking for an author in Latvian is difficult because names are changed to conform to Latvian spelling rules.  For instance, my first name, Cori, doesn’t conform to any singular nominative noun declension, so it gets changed. Since Latvians try to keep names as close as possible, my name would probably change to something like “Korija” so that it keeps all of the sounds.

I don’t really like Korija, so I go by “Kora” in Latvia, as 1) I like it and 2) it’s the original Greek version that my name is derived from. (Just like in America, when meeting new people over there, I just introduce myself as Kora. If we move back to Latvia, I will have to apply to the Language Board for an official ruling on my name and I’m not sure how much input I get.)

Here’s some changed author names that I’ve come across.

  • Dž. K. Roulinga (J. K. Rowling)
  • Nīls Geimens (Neil Gaiman)
  • Duglass Prestons (Douglas Preston)
  • Linkolns Čailds (Lincoln Child)
  • Stefanija Meire (Stephenie Meyer)
  • Pīters S. Bīgls (Peter S. Beagle)
  • Dž. R. R. Tolkīns (J.R.R. Tolkein)
  • Dženifera Krūzija (Jennifer Crusie)
  • Čaks Palanjuks (Chuck Palahniuk)
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