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Why is the English name of the country “Russia” not spelled “Rossia” (with the letter o)?

Why is the English name of the country “Russia” not spelled “Rossia” (with the letter o)?


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Russkoje tsarstvo later changed to Rossiyskoye tsarstvo.

Why is the English name of the country "Russia" not spelled "Rossia"?


And in general, the Russians pronounce their country as RAssia.

This is true, but (unlike English) they put the stress on the second syllable, so the first vowel becomes a schwa-like sound. 'rasSIa' would be a better representation for those of us (myself included) who don't regular use IPA.

English is a rather unique language in many senses, one of them being that all vowels can reduce to a schwa. In this case, the u. Also, what @Spencer says: "Why do you expect anything about English spelling to make sense?"


What you have here is one instance of a larger question: why do English speakers (and I presume speakers of other languages*) often use different names for foreign countries than the inhabitants of those countries do? For instance: Spain/España, Germany/Deutschland, Finland/Suomi, Japan/Nihon…

"Russia" is in fact exactly how (most) English speakers pronounce the name of the country.

  • Just for curiosity, what do Russians call England?


Watch the video: IELTS Listening: English Names (May 2022).


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