The Three Sisters

Professor Maia Kipp, a native Russian and Chekhov scholar, speaks the place and people names from the play. For instruction in the Russian accent of English, see Paul Meier’s Website.

Recorded by Professor Maia Kipp, edited by Paul Meier, November 3, 2007; a revision of an earlier file made March 27, 2001. Running time 00:03:15.  

Prozorov Andrey Sergeyevich  (Andryusha short/familiar, Andryushanchik idiotically endearing))
Natalya Ivanovna (Natasha short/familiar)
Olga (Olya short/familiar; Olyushka, Olechka, both endearing)
Masha ( Maria full first name, Maria Sergeyevna full first and patronymic name, Mashka derogative; Marya* colloquial rendering of Maria; Mashenka endearing))
Irina  (Arisha folksy/endearing)
Kulygin Fyodor Ilyich
Vershinin Aleksandr Ignatyevich (Aleksandr Ignatyichcolloquial)
Tuzenbakh Nikolay Lvovich  (Tusenbach-Krone-Altschauer full last name, pronouncedly German)
Solyony Vasily Vasilyevich (Vasily Vasilyich* colloquial pronunciation)
Chebutykin Ivan Romanovich (Ivan Romanychcolloquial pronunciation)
Fedotik Aleksey Petrovich
Rode Vladimir Karlovich
Ferapont (Ferapont Spiridonychcolloquial pronunciation of his patronymic name)

Other names, to which the characters refer in the play
Protopopov Mikhail Ivanych (Mikhail Potapych  sarcastic. Mikhaylo Ivanych or Potapych are alternate names for bear in Russian folklore. When applied to people, implies physical or moral clumsiness)
Bobik  (here endearing from Boris. It sounds somewhat silly, because Russians usually refer to very small lapdogs as bobik)
Aleko (reference to the male lead in Pushkin’s dramatic poem Gypsies)
Sofochka  (endearing from Sofya)

Geographic names and places
Staraya Basmannaya ( a street in  pre-revolutionary Moscow)
Nemetskaya  (a suburb of  pre-revolutionary Moscow)
Krasnye Kazarmy (Krasnye Barracks)
Novo-Devichye  (cemetery in Moscow where Chekhov himself would later be buried)
Testov ( reference to Testov’s restaurant in Moscow)
Bolshoy Moskovsky (a famous restaurant in Moscow)
Kirsanovsky Lane

* Chekhov is not consistent throughout in terms of  rendering patronymic names of his characters. Most of those on the character lists, as well as in the dialogues, are rendered in their full literary form with the endings –ovich, -yevich. However, some names on the character lists and in dialogues are rendered in their colloquial pronunciation/contracted form, with the endings of –ych, -yich. Asterisks (*) indicate each instance of the use of such a form.

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