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Michael2005
13-06-2009, 16:14
I am Dutch, living and working in Russia since 2005. I recently married my Russian girlfriend. She chose to take my Dutch name and received a new Russian internal passport with my name spelled in Russian. But when she has applied for a new international passport, the name is incorrectly translated back to Latin characters! The authorities say they can not change this because the computer translates and there is nothing they can do.

My wife having an incorrectly spelled name on her international passport is NOT something that we want. I believe it spells disaster for possible future official events abroad (children, insurance, housing, pension etc.) not to mention travel.

We have stopped the application for a new international passport, because I fear that if we get a passport with the wrong name, we'll never get it right again. But we need it soon as in August there is a wedding party in The Netherlands, and the visa in the old international passport is about to expire.

Is anyone familiar with this situation? How can we get the correct family name on the international passport of my wife? If we would now get a passport with wrong spelling, can we change it later?

Advise is appreciated!

Michael.

Matt24
13-06-2009, 17:06
My wife's international passport has been misspelt for all the 12 years we've been married, as have been my surname in the latin script at the bottom of all my Russian visa's, the issue we have is an Irish Y, that sounds like the Russian letter that looks like a backwards N, which transcribes as an i back into Latin - It's never ever caused us a problem, I think a good test is if you can get passed the morons at INS/Homeland security in San Francisco, you'll never have a problem anywhere. One thing we did do, was to make sure that the authorities included all the double letters in our surname, if the name sounds similar and has the right number of letters you should be good.

We pretty much gave up trying to change the spelling after about two years.

Hope this helps

Matt

IGIT
13-06-2009, 21:48
do all you can but you MUST change it. Don't listen to all the rubbish excuse they give about their system's automatic translation. Absolute RUBBISH.
Any system can be tweaked if only they want to. russians can't stand it when their names are wrongly written. . .
Tell them how it is correctly written, if possible, go and translate her local passport (which I believe bears your Dutch Last name) and show it to them.

under no circumstances should you accept a name that is NOT yours.

Good Luck.

My 0.2 cents.

Larry Paradine
13-06-2009, 22:22
My wife and I had this problem shortly after we got married ten years ago. It happened because our marriage certificate had my surname spelled in Russian in a way that is phonetically different from the English spelling (I've related the circumstances and the innumerable problems this caused in another thread, so I won't repeat it all here). My wife applied for a загран паспорт and, anticipating the problem, attached a photocopy of my British passport to the application form. The result should surprise nobody who's had dealings with the bureaucracy here: the English spelling of her (our) surname on the загран паспорт was noticeably different from the version on my passport. When she complained, she was told that the spelling chosen was in accordance with accepted norms of translation from Russian into French (!!).

We didn't travel abroad, in fact have never travelled abroad in ten years of marriage, and her загран паспорт expired five years ago, so I can't comment on the likely reception a misspelled passport would get from immigration officials abroad but, knowing the mindset of British border officials and assuming that they're not alone in possessing an ineradicable dislike of foreigners and utilising every opportunity to refuse entry on any and every excuse, I would advise you to make every effort to get the spelling on the passport changed: don't meekly give up, as we did.

SV1973a
13-06-2009, 23:19
Hi Michael,
It has always been a big mystery to me why on earth Russian wives change their family names after marriage. Like if they don`t have to deal with bureaucracy enough as it is.
My wife and I got married over 10 years ago, and she did not take my family name as we knew this would mean changing lots of other documents as well. I did not take this as an offence, as in my country it is not the custome anyway.
Anyway, about the uncorrected transcription of the family name in the passport. I now it sucks, but there is nothing you can do, as they make the transcription with some kind of computer program.
We had a similar problem with the first names of our children. They misspelled it, but then on the second page of the passport, they wrote a remark stating what the correct spelling of the name is.

crom
13-06-2009, 23:28
if it is phonetically correct but with no more than 2 letter errors in either translation. It is only a matter of what you repeat on any offical applications.

a Dyke can easily be a Dick :neiner:

Michael2005
14-06-2009, 11:47
Mmm. Thanks for the replies so far. Looks like not much choice but to accept the computer spelling and get some sort of official note about the correct spelling. Great.

Rhubard Geoff
14-06-2009, 12:08
I had the same feelings as you when my name(Smith) came out on my wife's passport as Smit. But we've travelled abroad, done other official things, no problems. good luck!

Dada
15-06-2009, 11:15
I don't know how you can "not give up" as you cannot force any official to type what is correct... Plus the authorities used the French transcription and now it seems they use the English one so you can end up with more than one wrong spelling... I got 3 different ones so far...

To avoid problems abroad I got a declaration from the Russian Embassy or Consulate in every foreign country I needed saying that "The transliterations XXX, YYY and THE CORRECT SPELLING are equal and refer to the same Russian name NAME IN CYRILLIC CHARACTERS". This one is usually accepted by sympathetic officials abroad.

Take a deep breath and good luck

SV1973a
15-06-2009, 11:46
The FMS is using something they came up with themselves, so not the English and not the French system.
This produces such stupidities like : JAMES --> джеймс --> DZHEIMS !
Apparently FMS officials know better than the English how to spell proper English names.
Unbelieveable that they are always creating problems. A friend of mine did have problems at passport control. He is French, and when they transcribed his family name it turned out that out of 6 letters, the spelling of the original name has only 2 letters in common with the spelling of the transcribed name.

tgma
15-06-2009, 16:16
I've had the same situation with my wife for 10 years, and to be honest, we haven't had any problems. My kids got UK passports when they were born, but it was all done based on my name and birth certificate, so the spelling was correct, and their Russian passports were based on their mother's spelling. The only thing we have to be a little careful with is airline tickets, to make sure that the spelling on the ticket is the same as the passport. But in these days of online booking, it's not a problem.

By the way, the GAI uses a completely different spelling algorithm, so the transliteration of my name on my Russian drivers' license is completely different from what I normally get on my visas, and is completely different from my wife's surname (ie the normal transliteration of my name). I've had gaishniki point this out, but they don't labour the point, and it's never been an issue.

And you have to have some sympathy for the Russians - remember, it's not just the Latin alphabet that they have to deal with, but also the Arabic, and the Chinese etc. Yes, they are pigheaded about changing things, but given the problems of tracking foreigners, they have to make some choices. I think a number of the 9/11 terrorists slipped through the INS and the FBI systems because of differing transliterations, so it's not an entirely Russian problem.

But honestly, whenever I've had problems with the transliteration, I just show my passport which has visas with multiple different transliterations of my name, and tell the official to tell me which one is the right one.

Larry Paradine
15-06-2009, 19:11
I think tgma is generally right to point out that mistranslations and poor transliterations aren't just a Russian specialty, and I wouldn't disagree with his view that Russian officials themselves can sometimes be more flexible and helpful than the system they have to apply, but (if I understand him correctly) he hasn't opted to apply for residence and so hasn't encountered the additional obstacles that can throw up. When the official at the мигслуж in Cheboksary raised the matter of different spellings, I did as tgma suggests: I showed her five visas with five different spellings and said "пожалуиста, выьерите как хотите, мне все равно." She pointed out that the spelling on our marriage certificate was difficult from any of them and told me that was the only spelling she could use (and there were other discrepancies in the spelling of my first name and my place of birth).

I tend to share the pessimistic, or at any rate resigned, view that transliteration mistakes gain a sort of legitimacy with the passage of time, and that I will never really succeed in persuading Russian officials to synchronise the Russian and English spelling of my and my wife's name. With the benefit of hindsight I realise that it might have been better for my wife to have kept her maiden name after we got married. It may be too late for those of us who've meekly accepted whatever spelling consulate officials and translators have chosen to use, but I advise new visitors to Russia to check the spelling on their first visas, with the help of Russian speakers if necessary, and take the time and trouble to ask the consulate visa officials to change anything that's obviously out of synch with the standard pronunciation of their names; all future visas, and Russian translations of any documents entrusted to consulate translators, should be carefully checked to ensure that names are transliterated in the same form as on the original visa.

At the risk of boring readers by repeating something I may have said elsewhere in this forum, I think the importance of making it clear to officials how names are pronounced can't be stressed too strongly. Although my surname has been rendered in five different ways, the only important difference stems from the fact that the final syllable ("dine") can be pronounced in two different ways ("deen" as in "dean of studies" and "dine' as iin "dine out at the taxpayer's expence") without affecting the English spelling, but drastically changing the Russian (from "дин" to "дайн"). If I'd made a point of telling the visa clerk and the translator that I use the "deen" variant, many of my subsequent difficulties would have been averted.

It may be advisable to invest in a good English-Russian dictionary with a list of common names at the back. If I'd had my trusty Oxford with me at the consulate, I could at least have pointed out that "Laurence" is translated phonetically as "Лоренс" and not as Лауренс, Лоуренс, Лаурэнс, Лоурэнс.... Anyone whose place of birth is susceptible to multiple transliterations could benefit from buying an English-Russian Geographical Dictionary. I did this last autumn when it seemed that, even after the difficulties over the spelling of my first and surnames had at last been sorted out, my hopes might be thwarted by multiple versions of how to transliterate Weymouth into Russian (Уеймут, Уеймус, Уэймут, Уэймус, Веймус, Вэймус, Веймут, Веймут.... the dictionary plumped for the last version, I showed it to the girl at the мигслуж, she sighed with relief at being given something authoritative and signed my TRP.)

Judge
15-06-2009, 21:10
Someone on another forum had the same problem with their kids name and got the correct spelling done.
Here's the place to go.




УФМС по г.Москвы
Отдел Адресно-Справочной Работы
Ulitsa Kransoproletarskaya 10
Tel: 8 499 978 1340

Good luck.

IGIT
16-06-2009, 23:47
Don't EVER give up. Corrections can definitely be made. Speaking from experience.

krasnosielskaya2
29-08-2009, 20:57
Hi,

We have had the same issue. Although we have now been married for 12 years, we never had any problem related to this issue. As soon as you go out of Russia, you anyway uses the Western passport.

Good luck,

O

waves
09-09-2009, 15:55
IGIT,

I would be very grateful for practical advise on how to obtain a correction. My wife obtained her RF Intl passport today from SPB with the incorrect spelling of our family name. We are about to apply for a spouse visa to the UK. FMS are stonewalling and only offering to hand write the correct spelling on a second page. Not terribly useful having a different spelling to me and our son!

Thanks

waves
09-09-2009, 16:01
Judge,

Do you know if the location that you gave will work for passports issued outside of Moscow?

annakuznetsova
11-09-2009, 19:26
Hi Michael,
It has always been a big mystery to me why on earth Russian wives change their family names after marriage. Like if they don`t have to deal with bureaucracy enough as it is.
My wife and I got married over 10 years ago, and she did not take my family name as we knew this would mean changing lots of other documents as well. I did not take this as an offence, as in my country it is not the custome anyway.
Anyway, about the uncorrected transcription of the family name in the passport. I now it sucks, but there is nothing you can do, as they make the transcription with some kind of computer program.
We had a similar problem with the first names of our children. They misspelled it, but then on the second page of the passport, they wrote a remark stating what the correct spelling of the name is.

Same here. I married and kept my name on my Russian documents. But in the U.S., I use my husband's name. It really makes life so much simpler!!! Why wish the extra headache on yourself or your spouse? I encourage all husbands and fiances not to ask your spouse or fiancee to change their name on their Russian documents! Do whatever you like in a place with less bureaucracy! :rant:

Judge
11-09-2009, 19:35
Judge,

Do you know if the location that you gave will work for passports issued outside of Moscow?

I don't know,best thing to do is go down and ask them.

SV1973a
11-09-2009, 19:41
Our secretary recently got married and took her husbands name. We changed her e-mail address accordingly. She says she changed the name because she now belongs to her husband`s family, and no longer to her father`s family.
The other one got married a year ago, and divorced two months later... Change to the husband`s name and then back to the maiden`s name of all documents. She claims she took her husband`s name because it is easier for life in Russia. Otherwise you apparently need to show your marriage certificate a lot.
I think it is total idiocy. Especially in this country, where all such things take an awful lot of time.

pjw
11-09-2009, 20:07
...I encourage all husbands and fiances not to ask your spouse or fiancee to change their name on their Russian documents! ....It's definitely something to think about. Thanks for the enlightenment. I'll keep it in mind when the moment comes. I'm sure it saves alot of time and bureaucratical hassling round.

tukiva
14-09-2009, 12:09
at least they started to have these probs when they married. And me, poor girl, have all these problems even i am not ! For example, in my passport for foreign trips they spelled my surname which starts from "Gai" as GAY,same with driving license. The broke all my life!!!! I need to urgently marry and change my surname which will be spelt EASILY AND CORRECTLY here, in Russia!

OlgaT
14-09-2009, 12:30
Tukiva, I understand you perfectly - I have the same issue... At least now I see how to correct it.
Is there anybody with an easy-spelling name and who is ready to share it with me? :rofl:

pjw
14-09-2009, 12:53
.........and change my surname which will be spelt EASILY AND CORRECTLY here, in Russia!A surname with 4 letters would be perfect.

It's not too long, but also not too short. It should be simple, clear and straightforward but it also needs to have character, identity and direction. :sunny: It's your new name afterall!

tukiva
14-09-2009, 13:20
depends..
for example,let's take in consideration usual english surname West. In Russian spelling they can say УЭСТ which is more phonetically correct or ВЭСТ. In first case when someone needs to make translation of documents back from Russian into English their surname УЭСТ can be correctly converted into West, but not always. They can write UEST or OUEST ,too....
ВЭСТ which is originally West will be simply changed to Vest. So, it is aways a lottery

pjw
14-09-2009, 21:17
..............depends........... for example,let's take in consideration usual english surname West............Let's stay with your example. It would be written as BECT which, to the untrained eye, reads BEST which isn't too bad in fact, nothing better than becoming BEST of the WEST:D

annakuznetsova
16-09-2009, 08:08
depends..
for example,let's take in consideration usual english surname West. In Russian spelling they can say УЭСТ which is more phonetically correct or ВЭСТ. In first case when someone needs to make translation of documents back from Russian into English their surname УЭСТ can be correctly converted into West, but not always. They can write UEST or OUEST ,too....
ВЭСТ which is originally West will be simply changed to Vest. So, it is aways a lottery

And the transliteration rules even change with time. Once upon a time, I was Kouznetsova in my passport. Now I get to be Kuznetsova. Nice. :1306:

Unfortunately, this orthographic irresolution means I now have different email addresses with both spellings. :Loco:

OlgaT
16-09-2009, 10:29
And the transliteration rules even change with time. Once upon a time, I was Kouznetsova in my passport. Now I get to be Kuznetsova. Nice. :1306:

Unfortunately, this orthographic irresolution means I now have different email addresses with both spellings. :Loco:
Exactly the same! Ou/u and different emails... :rant:

What is more funny - when I studied in the Institute I wrote my surname with ou, when they asked me how I wish it would be written in the certificate, I said with u (as in the passport). And seems like I completely pissed them off with my last name.

P.S. I still don't know how to write it correctly...

3uropa
16-09-2009, 13:50
Out of interest, does anyone know of a link to a website or anywhere which has this Russian -> English translator for names (using the French "rules")?

Might be useful as a lookup for anyone in the future.

I'm, guessing that places like online-translator.com aren't much help in this regard?