4). The names.

The same name in Russian usually can have several forms, reflecting the attitude of the one who pronounces the name to the one named. The number of these forms is as far as I can judge, much bigger than in English. That's why in my translation I preferred to retain the original rules of forming such names and to provide this note. Another important reason is that the Russian name changed according to the rules of doing so in English would sound ridiculous (maybe for me only, as I'm Russian… ;-) ), not mentioning that it's not always possible to do this with Russian names at all. Example: John – Johnny. Now try to do the same with, say, my name: Yuri. Yup… My point exactly. Below is the example of how the first name of the main character can be 'bent'. The same often happens to other names in the book. For inexperienced reader it might be confusing, so I apologize… Russia *is* confusing by definition, so bear with it. :-)

Leonid – the complete name.

Lenia (should be read roughly as Lyo-nee-aa; don't pronounce 'double lettered' sounds as too long ones though) – this is slightly diminutive, friendly form used by relatives and friends.

Lenechka (Lyo-nee-chka) – a "pet-name" form, sometimes also used with sarcasm, depending on the context.

Len'chik – "pet-name"/unceremonious address.

Len'ka ( here ' means softening of the previous sound, 'n' in this name sounds like 'n' in the word 'change') – Unceremonious address, a bit slighting. Often used by close friends without any offensive context.

… and so on. No more forms are used in the book, so I'd better not confuse you any more.

Another trick is how the names are formed in general. In particular, the concept of the middle name in Russia. It is not 'given', but rather is the father's name. To be used as a middle name, special endings are attached:

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