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    Re: Mid XIX century Nav
    From: Herbert Prinz
    Date: 2005 Nov 29, 08:33 -0500

    I had said about Krusenstern:
    
    After a few more iterations of forth and back transliterations,
    the poor guy might end up being called "Crusiks"
    again. (That's apparently what the family started out with before one of
    them became a nobleman and adopted a more distinguished name.)
    
    and
    
    Alexandre E Eremenko replied:
    
    >This I doubt. "Stern" is clearly from "star", what "Kruse" or "Cruse"
    >means, I don't know. "Kreuz" is "cross".
    >
    >
    
    Alexandre,
    
    You are quite right to be skeptical. That was a silly copy-error. Please
    change that "Crusiks" into "Crusius".
    
    The full story is actually quite entertaining. It's a nice example of
    how upward mobility expressed itself in the olden times. Today, we may
    move into a better neighborhood as we climb the social ladder, but we
    keep our assigned social security numbers and names. It was not always
    like that.
    
    The oldest known member of the Krusenstern family was a certain Nicolaus
    Krause. The last name is fairly common. Some say that it refers to curly
    hair. Nothing really is known about Herrn Krause, except that some
    official records in a German town suggest that he was a respectable
    (wealthy) citizen. He had a son Johannes, who studied theology in
    Wittenberg. As it was the custom of the time to latinize one's name when
    joining academia, Krause became Crusius. ('Crusius' does not mean
    anything, as far as I can tell) Johannes had a son Philip, who studied
    law and became an envoy. On a mission to Russia and Persia he got
    shipwrecked near the coast of Estonia. There he entered into the service
    for the Swedish king who later knighted him. At this occasion another
    name change was called for:  Crusius became Crusius von Krusenstiern. It
    stands to reason that Krusen- is, again, derived from Krause and has no
    deeper meaning besides that. -stern means star and might carry some
    hidden symbolic. Later generations dropped the 'Crusius' and were not
    quite consistent in the spelling of the -stiern (-stern, stjern,
    -stierna, etc.). Where our circumnavigator is concerned, it goes without
    saying that the adopted patronym Fedorovich is a Russian thing and we
    don't need to call Adam Johann by the name of Friedrichson in German.
    
    The family is still around and many members are figures of public life.
    One of them, Ewert von Krusenstjern, wrote a biography of Adam Johann
    and also a genealogy of the family.
    
    Herbert Prinz
    
    P.S.
    
    On transliteration
    
    I am probably guilty for having created some confusion with my remark
    about "linguistics not being a science". This was tongue in cheeks. Of
    course, linguistics is a science and scientific transliteration by all
    means is supposed to provide a bijective mapping between sequences of
    characters.
    
    Transliteration is not meant to be a translation from one language into
    another and it has nothing to do with pronunciation. Rather, it's a
    translation from one alphabet into another. The whole point of
    transliteration is that the original word (i.e. sequence of characters
    of the source alphabet) can be unambiguously restored from its
    representation in the target alphabet. The trick that makes it work
    despite different cardinality of alphabets is not to map individual
    letters onto each other, but sequences of letters.
    
    The problem is not that such a system is not possible (there are even
    established ISO standards for transliteration in place, so we don't need
    to resort to imperialism or totalitarism to implement them). The truth
    is that it is too cumbersome to follow through in everyday life. And of
    course, we can't apply current standards retroactively to stuff that
    happened centuries ago. Instead, we will make our search engines more
    intelligent.
    
    Having said all that, in the case of Krusenstern none of it comes into
    play. Here is an author with a German name, writing a book in German,
    and giving it a German title. What reason could an English speaking
    librarian have to spell the author's name in the catalog any different
    from how it appears on the title page of the book?
    
    
    

       
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