What is the correct pronunciation of Dyedushka Vodyanoy?
May 19, 2009 12:46 PM   Subscribe

What is the correct pronunciation of the mythological character Dyedushka Vodyanoy?
posted by Izner Myletze to Writing & Language (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Based on my one year of Russian class, it's spelled Дедушка водяно́й and pronounced a lot like the transliteration looks. D'yeh-DOOSH-ka vod-yah-NOY. (The only non-obvious part is that the first syllable isn't pronounced like the english word "dye".)
posted by Plutor at 12:57 PM on May 19, 2009

The wikipedia article just says he's called vodyanoy, but does mention that locals often call him "grandfather".
posted by Plutor at 12:59 PM on May 19, 2009

(I'm russian)

DE-dush-ka vod'-ya-NOY

Means something like "grandfather water spirit"
posted by zavulon at 1:29 PM on May 19, 2009

zavulon is right, but in the first syllable the D is palatalized, which means it has a very noticeable -y- glide. You know how if you're speaking quickly "Do you know..." turns into "D'ye know..."? Sort of like that, but with an -eh- vowel following. Dedushka is the affectionate diminutive of ded 'grandfather,' and the stress is on the first syllable, contrary to what Plutor said. (N.b.: If you have to prefix your answer with "Based on my one year of Russian class," it might be better to wait and see if a more knowledgeable answerer comes along.)

The Russian Wikipedia article gives the variants водяной дедушка [vodyanoi dedushka, 'water-grandfather'], водяной шут [vodyanoi shut, 'water-fool'], and водовик [vodovik, not really translatable but sort of 'water-creature']; it does not give дедушка водяной in that order, and I wouldn't assume Campbell knew what he was talking about.
posted by languagehat at 2:45 PM on May 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

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