I've also heard the 'Lukashenka' pronunciation in Italian TV news and I found it very strange. In the press I only see 'Lukashenko', ie the transcription of the Russian form and it should then be pronounced in Italian [ lukaˈʃɛŋko] (Italian never respects 'akaniye' or 'ikanie' for Italian-adapted Russian proper names).
The official English site of the president of Belarus uses the Ukrainian/Russian variant Lukashenko
. The name and patronym are written as Alexander Grigoryevich,
that is the first is in English (the Russian name is Aleksandr
), the second in Russian.
I wonder why Italian does not write Lucascenco,
without any English mediation.
Maybe Belarus at some point communicated to journalists that it prefers that the Belarusian pronunciation be used? Unlikely.Maybe Belarus at some point communicated to journalists that it prefers that the Belarusian pronunciation be used? Unlikely.
Actually that may be true. Belarus in the recent decades has had several waves of official nativization: for example, Russian has been expelled from street signs, metro stations and city inscriptions (like on railway stations). Instead, when a second variant is provided, it is either English of transliterated Belarusian.
So, for example, 99% of passengers in the Minsk metro think and speak a different language than that of the announcements and signs. That's human rights, you know.
BTW, I've noticed Лукашенко is declined as a masculine noun in Ukrainian and Belarusian (and also in Czech and Serbo-Croatian, I think), while it is undeclinable in Russian and Polish. Of course it must be the same for all surnames ending in -o.
Russian dialects are divided as to which variant is used for diminutives: some dialects from the very beginning of the literacy used a
), others use o
). The standard language has generalized the former, and most modern speakers are simply unaware that the masculine o
-nouns of either origin can be declined. To the extent that in the anti-Ukrainian Internet posts the -enko
-surnames are proclaimed Caucasian loans.
P. S. Concerning the numbering of the declensions. Traditional grammars and school manuals (at least at the time I studied) use the Greek and Latin system with a
-stems called the 1st declension and o
-stems the 2nd. University books and manuals for foreigners tend to reverse that — for unknown reasons. As a result you're never quite sure which is which.