"Вас звати Віктор?"

Translation:Is your name Victor?

May 31, 2015

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In languages like Russian and Ukrainian, when you speak to a stranger, you refer to him in plural to show respect.


Like in French or German.


would this be pronounced 'vaZ zvati victor'? (voicing assimilation of the 'c' before 'з') A lot of languages do this (including Russian), I just don't like to assume


Is Віктор a common name in Ukraine?


Not for newborns, but quite a lot of adults in their 40-60s have this name


What do you mean by "Not for newborns"


Meaning it's probably not a popular name for this recent generation.


Yep, that's what I meant


So this would literally translate to "You are called Victor?" but I don't understand why you use the accusative form "вас" when, in the translation, it is clear that "you" is the subject of the sentence. What makes it the object in Ukrainian?


In the English sentence "You are called..." you is indeed the subject.

In Ukrainian grammar this sentence does't have a subject at all. "Звати" is the infinitive form of "to call". To call whom? - you. "You" is not a subject here but an object in Akkusativ position.

"Вас звати Віктор?" = (literally) "You to call Victor?" = Are you called Victor?

P.S. Come on, same as in Spanish: ¿Cómo te llamas? - it's "te" and not "vos" or "tu" :)


Not to be argumentative, but in the Spanish "llamar" is conjugated to "tu" and "te" is acting as the reflexive pronoun. :P Anyways, thanks for this answer, it does make sense now. It sounds a bit odd to my ears but I can see it :)


Yes, it is indeed conjugated to "tú", direct translation of the Ukrainian grammar would have been "¿Cómo te llamar?" or "¿Cómo te llaman?" (Як вас звуть?), and well, actually ви = usted or ustedes

What I meant is that it's not ¿Cómo tú [something] ?, it is reflexive in Spanish (te) as well as in Ukrainian (вас, тебе), exactly what you said too, I didn't focus on the verb form :)

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The Spanish reflexive "¿Cómo te llamas?" (French "Comment t'appelles-tu ?", Italian "Come ti chiami?") translates directly to Ukrainian "Як ти звешся?", however in Ukrainian it sounds more like "What's your nickname?", nevertheless is absolutely legal.
The English equivalent "How are you called?" uses the passive voice, which can be said backwards in Ukrainian "Як тебе/вас звати?" with an infinitive and "Як тебе/вас звуть?" (="How do they call you?")


Maybe there is an implied "I'm supposed to/Shall I"

so then "(am I supposed to/shall I) call you Victor?"


You are right on. "Shall I/Shall we (call you Victor) is indeed implied.


English sentence uses passive, so "you" actually "does" nothing, it's somebody else who does the action with you. Hence, passive sentences require accusative in Ukrainian


Ukranian (like Russian) makes a sentence a question by stressing the verb


As ilmolleggi wrote in this discussion, the literal translation is "(Should we/Should I ) call you Victor?" with the "should we" being implied or understood.

In this structure, "you" is a direct object and "call" takes the infinitive form in Ukrainian.

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