One of the drawbacks of knowing Russian is constantly hearing Russian names butchered by English speakers. It doesn’t bother me so much to hear KROOSH-chef for Khrushchev; let’s face it, khroo-SHCHOF is hard for English speakers to say. But when the correct form is as easy as the wrong one, I get annoyed. The artist Rodchenko isn’t road-CHENko but ROAD-chenko. The director Kozintsev is KOH-zintsef. And the recently deceased mathematician Olga Ladyzhenskaya (more math details here) is lah-DEE-zhenskaya, not (as I just heard a radio announcer say) ladee-ZHEN-skaya.
Addendum. A native Russian speaker informs me in a comment that the family name
s Kozintsev and Ladyzhenski have has an alternate pronunciation s with penultimate stress (koZINtsef, ladyZHENski), so I withdraw a large portion of my indignation; those particular people used the pronunciations I indicate, but if a native Russian speaker wouldn’t automatically know how to pronounce the names, I can’t really expect American announcers to (although it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that whoever’s in charge of telling them how to say things might be able to use the same references I do to find out).
Further addendum. I happened to open my collection of Bella Akhmadulina at a poem called Цветений очерёдность (Tsvetenii ocheryodnost’) ‘Sequence of flowering’ and found a mention of ладыжинский овраг (ladyzhinskii ovrag), the Ladyzhino ravine.
This confirmed the stress and indicated that the family name is geographical in origin. [I learn from Tatyana that the name is not in fact geographical, but comes from lodyzhka ‘ankle.’] And how do I know the name of the village is Ladyzhino rather than Ladyzhin or Ladyzhinka (both in southwestern Ukraine)? Because she’s written a more recent poem, Окаём и луна (Okayom i luna) ‘Nogoodnik and moon,’ in a sequence of new poems published in Znamya 1999, No. 7, wherein she revisits the name (I quote the third, fifth, and half the eighth stanzas of a long poem):
Ему родней — околыш, околоток.
Воспомню, окаянью вопреки,
окно во снег и журавель–колодец
в Ладыжине, в деревне близ Оки…
Моей исповедальною зимою
стремглав одолевала я овраг
Ладыжинский, давно воспетый мною —
подобострастно, а не кое–как…
Что мне до них! От октября до мая
в Ладыжино мой силуэт сновал…
For kin he had a hatband and a precinct.
In spite of sinfulness I recollect
a window on the snow and a well-crane
in Ladyzhino, a village near the Oka…
In my confessional winter
headlong I conquered the ravine
of Ladyzhino, which I long since hymned —
obsequiously, but not carelessly…
What did they matter to me! From October to May
my silhouette rushed to Ladyzhino…
(Incidentally, in a former life I was a math major, but the kind of math Ladyzhenskaya did—partial differential equations, with a great deal of importance for fluid dynamics—was of absolutely no interest to me. All my life I’ve tried to avoid anything with practical applications.)