Add Russian name as the Name or Alternate Name?

lchoqu
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Add Russian name as the Name or Alternate Name?

Postby lchoqu » Sun Oct 01, 2017 5:47 pm

I'm trying to decide whether to add my Russian ancestors to FamilySearch with:
  • the main name at the top of the entry in both Cyrillic and Roman (i.e. in both the Russian and Latin alphabets), or with
  • the main name in Roman only, and adding the Cyrillic name as an alternate name.

On the one hand, the first way seems to reflect reality best, since when these people were alive they would have written their names only in Cyrillic (those who were literate anyway), and to call their Cyrillic name an "alternate" name implies that it wasn't the name they used continuously from birth to death.

On the other hand, experimentation shows that when I do it the first way, and my children (who don't know any Russian) log in to FamilySearch, they see the Cyrillic names in their family tree, and have to click through to the "Person" page to see the Roman name.

Anyone with ancestors who wrote their names in a non-Latin script, what do you do?

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Re: Add Russian name as the Name or Alternate Name?

Postby sbradshaw » Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:01 pm

I don't know if there's an official recommendation, and I've never had to deal with this myself, but my instinct would be to try to put their birth name, as it was originally spelled (i.e. with Cyrillic) as their authoritative name. There may be more than one possible Roman transliteration of the Cyrillic name, so it's hard to consider any one transliteration as "authoritative." Also, I would love to think that maybe someday someone in Russia (who will have an advantage in researching that branch of the family) would start working on their family history and connect their work into my section of the tree (which they'll only be able to do if they can find the person's name).
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Re: Add Russian name as the Name or Alternate Name?

Postby russellhltn » Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:54 pm

Interesting dilemma. I know FamilySearch has locations set up such that the same location can be rendered in different languages. (That's why we have "standardized places".) So, if someone was born in Russia and died in New York city, an American would see the Roman spelling while someone in Russia would see the Cyrillic spelling of those locations.

It seems what's needed is the equivalent at the name field. That is, the system would select which one is the "primary" based on the user's language. It might be there, I just don't know.
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Re: Add Russian name as the Name or Alternate Name?

Postby lchoqu » Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:24 pm

Thanks for the replies.

sbradshaw wrote:I would love to think that maybe someday someone in Russia (who will have an advantage in researching that branch of the family) would start working on their family history and connect their work into my section of the tree (which they'll only be able to do if they can find the person's name).


I would love to think so too. That's why I'm leaning toward the first bullet point I listed, although I would hope that alternate names also show up in searches. It will be interesting to see what prints out on the temple cards when I get that far, especially since my wife (who is proxy for the females) doesn't read Cyrillic.

russellhltn wrote:I know FamilySearch has locations set up such that the same location can be rendered in different languages. (That's why we have "standardized places".)


The system has the same thing for names as you describe for locations, even though names aren't "standardized". (Click on the name near the top of the Person screen, click Edit, then a Language dropdown appears, and if you change it to Russian you have fields for both Cyrillic and Roman. You can cancel the name change at this point if you're just looking.)

I agree that it would be helpful to show names in the user's script as long as the ancestor has a name in that script, or in the alternative, for there to be a user preference for whether to show names in their original script or in a particular script.

I'm glad you brought that up, because the locations I have are much more specific (in this case a named village) than the options given for standard location (in this case a 9000 square mile district). So if I enter the complete non-standard location I have to choose only one script and I don't get the automatic functionality of displaying the location in the user's script. Would it be better therefore to use the standard location, i.e. the 9000 square mile district, and put the complete location (in both Cyrillic and Roman) in the Notes?

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Re: Add Russian name as the Name or Alternate Name?

Postby russellhltn » Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:39 pm

I think when you edit a place, you can have a non-standardized location, but can also select a standardized one so the computer has some grasp about the location.

If I'm not mistaken, the important thing is to match "place". The historically accurate name as it was called at the time of the event - not so much. Places change names quite a bit. Especially when country borders move.
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Re: Add Russian name as the Name or Alternate Name?

Postby davesudweeks » Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:21 am

You can enter the exact location, villiage, etc. and accept that. You will see a flag the it is not a standardized location. Then you can edit the place, and click the yellow box to select a standardized location. That identifies the standard without changing what is written for the exact place.

One way to change what is written to the standard: again edit the place, click on the text for the place and press the Home button to move the cursor to the front of the text - standardized places will then show up that will change what is written to the standard place when you select one.

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Re: Add Russian name as the Name or Alternate Name?

Postby lchoqu » Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:37 am

davesudweeks wrote:That identifies the standard without changing what is written for the exact place.


Thanks! That does indeed. I didn't realize that it wouldn't erase the exact location. That's what I'm doing now for all these ancestors. I'm still adding the exact location in both Cyrillic and Roman into the person's Notes so future researchers can see it both ways.

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Re: Add Russian name as the Name or Alternate Name?

Postby sbradshaw » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:12 pm

lchoqu wrote:The system has the same thing for names as you describe for locations, even though names aren't "standardized". (Click on the name near the top of the Person screen, click Edit, then a Language dropdown appears, and if you change it to Russian you have fields for both Cyrillic and Roman. You can cancel the name change at this point if you're just looking.)

I didn't know that existed – awesome!

lchoqu wrote:It will be interesting to see what prints out on the temple cards when I get that far, especially since my wife (who is proxy for the females) doesn't read Cyrillic.

Good question. I would hope they'd print in the default character set of your computer/browser, if both names are recorded. If it doesn't do that, I'd file it as a bug.
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Re: Add Russian name as the Name or Alternate Name?

Postby aebrown » Thu Oct 19, 2017 4:00 pm

lchoqu wrote:
sbradshaw wrote:I would love to think that maybe someday someone in Russia (who will have an advantage in researching that branch of the family) would start working on their family history and connect their work into my section of the tree (which they'll only be able to do if they can find the person's name).


I would love to think so too. That's why I'm leaning toward the first bullet point I listed, although I would hope that alternate names also show up in searches.

When you enter a name in FamilySearch, you specify the language, and then you fill in each of the scripts that are included with that language. For each script, there are multiple name parts (title, given name, surname, suffix -- although not all scripts include all 4 possible name parts). I don't think your first bullet point option ("the main name at the top of the entry in both Cyrillic and Roman") is a good idea. I say this because there's no good way to enter Cyrillic and Roman names into just the Roman name parts. That would require you to enter the first name as something like "Пётр Ильич or Pyotr Ilich" and the last name like "Чайкoвский or Tchaikovsky"; that would then be displayed in many places as "Пётр Ильич or Pyotr Ilich Чайкoвский or Tchaikovsky". That's less than clear.

It's much better to do something like you suggested in your second bullet point: "enter the main name in Roman only, and add the Cyrillic name as an alternate name." Or you can set the language for the main name as Russian (which allows you to enter both Cyrillic and Roman scripts), but the Cyrillic version will be the primary display name, which may not be readable for most users.

Regardless of which language you choose for the main name, you should enter the other language as an alternate name. If you choose to use Russian for the main name, then you would use an alternate name in English of type "Also Known As"; if you choose to use English for the main name, then you would use an alternate name in Russian of type "Birth Name".

How do you choose which language to use for the main name? You have to decide, but some criteria you might consider would be:
  • How was the person known predominantly throughout his or her life?
  • With which language will most users of FamilySearch expect to find this person?

Note that both the main name and all the alternate names will be used in searching, and by searching I mean both the name matching used in suggesting record hints and also the searching used in Family Tree > Find (or Search > Family Tree, which is the exact same feature). That's one big reason why it is important to enter names like this in both scripts, using alternate names as appropriate.

lchoqu wrote:It will be interesting to see what prints out on the temple cards when I get that far, especially since my wife (who is proxy for the females) doesn't read Cyrillic.

If you choose to enter the main name in Russian, then both the Cyrillic and the Roman scripts will appear on the temple cards. It's important to include the Roman scripts, not just because the patron (your wife in this case) may not be able to read Cyrillic, but it's highly likely that others officiating in ordinances will also not be able to read Cyrillic either (except perhaps in the Ukraine Kyiv Temple).

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Re: Add Russian name as the Name or Alternate Name?

Postby lchoqu » Tue Oct 24, 2017 2:15 pm

aebrown wrote:I don't think your first bullet point option ("the main name at the top of the entry in both Cyrillic and Roman") is a good idea. I say this because there's no good way to enter Cyrillic and Roman names into just the Roman name parts. That would require you to enter the first name as something like "Пётр Ильич or Pyotr Ilich" and the last name like "Чайкoвский or Tchaikovsky"; that would then be displayed in many places as "Пётр Ильич or Pyotr Ilich Чайкoвский or Tchaikovsky". That's less than clear.

I agree that's not a good way to do it. That's not what I intended to mean with my first bullet point, which I should have fleshed out a little more. For my first bullet point what I actually meant is what you write here:
aebrown wrote:Or you can set the language for the main name as Russian (which allows you to enter both Cyrillic and Roman scripts), but the Cyrillic version will be the primary display name, which may not be readable for most users.

That would be my preferred way, but I have one concern, and that is the same as yours, that on screens where only one format is displayed (such as the tree), it's the Cyrillic.

aebrown wrote:Regardless of which language you choose for the main name, you should enter the other language as an alternate name. If you choose to use Russian for the main name, then you would use an alternate name in English of type "Also Known As";

Would this be necessary if I enter the main name in both Cyrillic and Roman scripts, as I am prompted to do when I set the language for main name as Russian?


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