What is the most preferable: "Andrey" or "Andrei" for the Russian name "Андрей"? Wikipedia gives both variants.

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  • I'm not sure if this is on topic, but I posted an answer anyway :P – James Webster Nov 20 '13 at 10:09
  • Both variants are possible. Truth be told, in our passports the same name if often written in different ways, especially since I'm Belarusian. My name is "Dmitry" ("Dzmitry" in Belarusian), but it is sometimes written as "Dmitri", "Dmitriy", "Dmitrij", "Dmitrii". For "Андрей" I would go with the second variant "Andrei" if you look for the more common one (my brother is Andrei). Or go for "Andrew" if it's intended for informal use. – Vilmar Nov 20 '13 at 10:49
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    There is no such thing as "correct" in this instance. – Colin Fine Nov 20 '13 at 11:38
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    The correct name is the one in your passport. No matter what you say or think. Transliteration of names is decided by politicians, not linguists. I used to have an "iou" in my family name. Then the authorities suddenly decided that they no longer liked the so-called "French transliteration", so millions of people had to get new passports, and the romanized name in mine is now spelled with a "yu". Fast forward fifteen years, and I still often misspell my own signature. – RegDwigнt Dec 20 '13 at 10:49
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    Anyway, I think this is a better fit for our Russian Language site. Because again, it's the Russian authorities that decide this. English has no say in it. – RegDwigнt Dec 20 '13 at 11:01

Both seem like valid options, but a third if offered using the Scientific Transliteration of Cyrillic: "Andrej".

The Romanization of Russian page suggests a more modern transliteration is i.

Knowing quite a few Russians though, the j option really doesn't seem right. I don't know many people called Андрей, but I do know quite a few called Сергей and all of these people transliterate their name as "Sergei" suggesting that i is a more common transliteration of й, especially at the end of a name.

Although neither of these sources suggest y as a valid option, I've definitely seen it before. Ultimately I'd say it's up to the person in question how they want to transliterate their name.

  • And in Belarussian: Andrjej to show the soft "r" – mplungjan Nov 20 '13 at 10:32
  • Admittedly I didn't look at the Belarussian columns since the question mentions "Russian name" – James Webster Nov 20 '13 at 10:36
  • @JamesWebster Yes, j is rare in russian names. Strange that at school we learned y -variant. Good links! – drobnbobn Nov 20 '13 at 10:48
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    The 'j' version is natural to speakers of most languages east of France, but is likely to confuse English (French, Spanish, Portuguese ...) speakers unless they are linguistically savvy. – Colin Fine Nov 20 '13 at 11:39

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