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I'm writing a paper on orthogonal polynomials and I have to cite results by Chebyshev and Cholesky. I found several and different transliterations from Russian. I wonder if there is a standard and accepted way to spell them. Thanks

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    $\begingroup$ Why not ask Wikipedia? Cholesky was not a Russian, as far as I know. $\endgroup$ – Piotr Achinger May 22 '14 at 8:54
  • $\begingroup$ Of course I looked up Wikipedia, but I found on other sources (books, papers...) other spellings. So the question is what is more accepted, is there a rule? $\endgroup$ – Marco May 22 '14 at 9:01
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    $\begingroup$ Cholesky is French with Polish heritage. Given that he spelled his name in French as written here, you shouldn't change it to anything else. $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong May 22 '14 at 11:09
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    $\begingroup$ Transliteration is a complicated topic and may lack standardization. For example, Mandarin has pinyin and Wade-Giles, while Cantonese has several of its own systems. If an author has published in an English-language journal at least once, then I would use whatever spelling that author chose. $\endgroup$ – Ben Crowell May 22 '14 at 15:36
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    $\begingroup$ The current standard transliteration of Чебышёв is, in English, Chebyshev, in French, Tchebychev. At least for the 1st and 3rd consonants, there's no ambiguity, although "Chebychev" is a frequent (incoherent) error and most French mathematicians/teachers mispronounce the third consonant as "tch" instead of "sh". According to Zentrallblatt, he published with as many spellings as: Chebyshev (English), Tchebichef, Tchebycheff, Tchebycheff,Tchébycheff, Tchébycheff (French), Tschebychew, Tschebyscheff, Tschebyscheff, Tschebyschew, Tschebyschew, (German) Čebišev (?). $\endgroup$ – YCor Nov 30 '18 at 22:05
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Here you can hear the pronounce by a Russian speaking person.

As to the romanization, which usually does have a standard form in any language, I'd use the one of the language you are writing in your paper. In English it is Chebyshev (not Cheby_ch_ev). You can see the corresponding versions switching to other languages from the linked article in en.wikipedia (list of languages on the left).

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  • $\begingroup$ I think this can be a good motivation for the choice 'Chebyshev', I wish to thank also all the other users for their constructive comments. $\endgroup$ – Marco May 22 '14 at 10:20
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    $\begingroup$ Cheybshev is better than Chebychev (in my view) also because the latter form transliterates two different consonant sounds to the same letter combination /ch/. $\endgroup$ – Federico Poloni May 22 '14 at 14:28
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According to ISO 9 (see also wikipedia), Чебышëв must be spelled Čebyšëv. Sometimes this spelling is used, cf. google.

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    $\begingroup$ Actually many countries adopt the International Standard for transliterating Slavic names, e.g. Italy, at least since the '70s, and "Čebyšëv" is customary in Italian maths texts. In English, the traditional form "Chebyshev" is preferred. $\endgroup$ – Pietro Majer May 22 '14 at 10:12
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    $\begingroup$ The letters Č, š, and ë don't belong to English, so that is not the practical way to spell it for a paper in English. Similarly, Chebotarev is far more common in the literature than the more accurate Chebotaryov. I've never seen the name with the ending -yov in a math book citing his famous density theorem. $\endgroup$ – KConrad May 22 '14 at 15:18
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    $\begingroup$ Well, I can only say that English can't be a model example of "how to spell". It's more of "how to spell so that no-one without insider info will be able to pronounce correctly". :–) $\endgroup$ – Dima Pasechnik May 22 '14 at 21:06
  • $\begingroup$ @DimaPasechnik: adme.ru/vdohnovenie-919705/… $\endgroup$ – KConrad May 25 '14 at 20:26
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    $\begingroup$ @KConrad, but surely you would speak of, for example, Čech cohomology rather than Cech cohomology, despite 'Č' not "belong"ing to English? $\endgroup$ – LSpice Nov 30 '18 at 22:09
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Why not use the Cyrillic script? That is the canonical way of writing I would guess. (Leaving aside that Cholesky was French; his parents moved from Poland to France, according to wiki.)

All transcriptions are non-canonical, but equivalent up to (canonical?) isomorphism.

To quote wiki on Чебышёв:

Pafnuty Lvovich Chebyshev (Russian: Пафну́тий Льво́вич Чебышёв, IPA: [pɐf'n̪utʲɪ(j) 'lʲvovʲɪt͡ɕ t͡ɕɪbɨ'ʂof]) (May 16 [O.S. May 4] 1821 – December 8 [O.S. November 26] 1894)[1] was a Russian mathematician. His name can be alternatively transliterated as Chebychev, Chebysheff, Chebyshov, Tchebychev or Tchebycheff, or Tschebyschev or Tschebyscheff (the latter two pairs are French and German transcriptions).


Finally, using non-roman script in LaTeX is not so hard anymore, these days.

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    $\begingroup$ @Marco, it's the third word of the shaded area. $\endgroup$ – Fred Kline May 22 '14 at 9:24
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    $\begingroup$ there can't be any conclusive answer, as for different languages using Latin alphabet you get different spelling. In different times in Russia/USSR different rules regarding transliteration were in place; it used to be German, French, English (presently). Then there is a en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_9 which stipulates the transliteration "Čebyšëv". $\endgroup$ – Dima Pasechnik May 22 '14 at 9:47
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    $\begingroup$ Assuming a somehwat typical context (paper in English and so on) it would make omprehending who is referred to for the typical reader considerably more difficult if only a version in Cyrilic was given. This is especially relevant in this case were the name is extremely well known. If one then adds a transliteration the problem persists. Thus this answer does in my opinin not make a useful suggestion, which is why I downvoted it. (And on the final phrase, the point of transliteration is really not only or even mainly ease of typesetting.) $\endgroup$ – user9072 May 22 '14 at 9:49
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    $\begingroup$ @Marco: in English the letter combination sh is much better than ch to reflect the pronunciation of the name. The letters ch reflect the right sound in French, but not in English. I think Chebyshev is a better choice. $\endgroup$ – KConrad May 22 '14 at 15:21
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    $\begingroup$ @KConrad, perhaps they should be? $\endgroup$ – LSpice Nov 30 '18 at 22:07

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