Is it very common to name a son/daughter after their father? How about naming after their mother, grandfather, or grandmother?
Also, if you use such small number of firstnames, how do you distinguish between two people with the same name? Like, when there are four Ivans in the same class, family, etc. Use nicknames or family names? If so, is it acceptable to call someone you're not very close to (say your boss or your friend's friend) by their nickname?
Sorry for many questions, but I'm very curious because these kind of things (father/son/people having the same name) almost never happen in my country (Japan).
In Russia people should have a middle name, this is the rule. To give a middle name after father is a tradition, but it is not necessary. You can name after mother, grandmother, grandfather, anyone, but this is not common, and, in fact, a very rare situation.
If there are several people with the same name in the class, then you specify who you are calling. You can call a person by a full name (Иван Иванович), or use a nickname or surname. Or you can just point to the right person. Any clarification, that does not offend a person, will be acceptable.
Calling a boss by his nickname possible only if you are on very good terms. However, at work - this is a violation of subordination, so it is not welcome. Even the use of the first name or surname will not be acceptable, only the full name.
You should call someone you are not very close follows the way you were presented to him (or as he himself introduced himself). This is the preferred option, but much depends on the circumstances. For example, if it is a friend's friend, and everyone calls him by his nickname, then you can also call him by the nickname.
Hope this helps. Sorry for bad english.
In Russia, there are no middle names but rather "othestva" (a specific type of patronyms). By definition, an "otchestvo" can only be based on the father's first name (a patronym in general can be based on the given name of male ancestor, according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patronymic). As far as I know about foreigners in Russia (including citizens), they are not required to have a patronym and they are allowed to have their extra names as part of their first name or family name (based on the nature of the extra names).
Your other "shoulds" seem to be a bit too broad. However, you are right that any name clarification is generally acceptable. For example, in the department where I worked, both the head and his deputy had "Mikhail" as their "full" first name. To distinguish between them, the deputy was simply called "Misha" (which is a diminutive). In fact, I doubt that anyone (younger than say 40 years old) in the company would be offended by a common diminutive. The tricky part is that only the most common names have such diminutives. So, "Misha" is much more acceptable than say "Kirya" because "Mikhail" is more common than "Kirill" and therefore has to be disambiguated more often.
I've found just two cases since at least 1991:
the 2012 case with a "matro-patronym" as a patronym: https://newizv.ru/news/society/26-11-2012/173596-pervyj-zhitel-rossii-zaregistriroval-otchestvo-po-imeni-materi
the 2018 case with a pure matronym as a patronym: https://rg.ru/2018/04/12/rossiianka-dala-dochke-otchestvo-po-matushke.html (as stated in the news report, registrators thought that the patronym is based not on the mother's first name but on a similar male's name, so the thing was registered not as a matronym)
"Я Иванович Чернов" is, "I am Ivan Ivanovich Chernov." "Меня зовут Иван Иванович Чернов" is, "My name is [I am called] Ivan Ivanovich Chernov."
Wrapping my head around this; I'm used to the French, "Je m'appelle Ivan / I am called Ivan" and used to not trying to say, "Je suis Ivan / I am Ivan."
I wonder, is there a situation where you would use Я... versus Меня зовут... or are they completely interchangeable?
Thanks in advance!
Pronunciation of иванович seems quite idiosyncratic - it varies from person to person, if the various pronunciations found on forfo.com are any indication:
The audio here almost complete elides the ов in the middle of иванович, making it sound like иван'ич = "Ivan'ich". The various recordings at the link
range from a complete articulation of the entire word, syllable by syllable, while others drop the ов, just like the audio.
Anyone know what is happening here?
Your observations are correct. Abbreviation of patronymic names is pretty common in spoken language, since such names are too long for many situations where they are obligatory. (Imagine that you have to say "Ivan Ivanovich" instead of "John" in everyday phrases like "John, how are you?" and "This is what John thinks".) Moreover, older people sometimes call their peers by abbreviated patronymic names alone (e.g., "Ivanych" and "Ivanna" instead of "Pyotr Ivanovich" or "Ivanovich" or "Maria Ivanovna" or "Ivanovna").
To abbreviate, just drop the "ov"/"ev" unless it's accented ("BorIs(ov)ych", "ArkAd(ev)ich", but "PetrOvich"). For common yet long patronymic names ("AleksAndrovich" and perhaps other cases), keep the main part of the accented syllable (which is not necessarily the first in the word) and of the final syllable. So "Aleksandrovich" is abbreviated to "Sanych" -- and I wouldn't call it informal or familiar for spoken language. (I can say that people call me "Kirill Sanych" more often than "Kirill Aleksandrovich".) But "San Sanych" (instead of "Aleksandr Aleksandrovich") is a bit informal.
My two cents: Ivanovic is a correct transliteration if it comes from South Slavic languages ( Croatian, Serbian ). In Serbian, for example, it is written Ивановић ( Ivanović) and transliterated Ivanovic, because the last letter Ć is "soft" (like in italian Ciao). In Russian however, it is written Иванович, and transliterated Ivanovich, because the last letter is "hard C" (like in the word "bench").