NABOKV-L post 0019391, Thu, 11 Feb 2010 07:47:30 -0800

Re: golova, Golovin, Veen
letter H comes from the Ancient Greek  and was formed by puttings together (густое и тонкое придыхания) that would give an indication how should  initial E be pronounced - say, Xелен или Гелен.
Vladimir Mylnikov

From: Alexey Sklyarenko <skylark05@MAIL.RU>
Sent: Thu, February 11, 2010 1:59:50 AM
Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] golova, Golovin, Veen

VF: there is a precious comical Greek/Russian pseudohomophony, holo- /golo-, Greek ‘h’ (like German) again is Russian ‘g’, bringing in discussion of weird Russian transliterations (Gomer, Gamlet,  Golokost)
One remembers Gamlet, a half-Russian hamlet near Ardis. Btw., the Danish prince's "real" name (in Saxo Grammaticus) was Amlet.
Except for English names (Hugo, Hugh) and some Greek words (holocaust*), the initial Latin H always becomes G in the beginning of Russian words/names. Heinrich Heine becomes Genrikh Geyne, Victor Hugo, Viktor Gyugo, homo sapiens, gomo sapiens, Homo, the tame wolf in Hugo's L'homme qui rit, Gomo, homosexual, gomoseksual'nyi, etc.
*Golokost exist only in Ukrainian (na derzhavnoy move), the correct Russian spelling is kholokost.
Alexey Sklyarenko 
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