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C’est la vie

Hey, Marcovna!

When Marc and I lived in Russia we had funny situations when he was asked his «otchestvo» – father’s name million times. And we had to explain that there is no such thing in France. Some people understood it and tried to help, some could not get how it can be. But in both cases the system did not let go further without it. Even when the service was built specially for foreigners. Because of it we had to «create» otchestvo from Marc’s father’s name – Luigevich.

When Alice was born some friends in Austria told us that she would not have father’s name in her papers. Because of course there is no such a thing in Austrian birth certificate as otchestvo. Ok, we decided if no – then no. We understood she would have the same problems as her father in Russia. But maybe it is better for Europe. 

And then they called me from Magistrate and asked if my daughter supposed to have Russian citizenship. I answered that yes, of course. And they explain me that there is special line for Russians at the birth certificate «father’s name». «Let me check. You can use Marcovich or Marcovna» for your daughter. Which one do you want?». I was so happy to such news. I even had an idea to ask them to use Marcovich (being used for men only in Russia). But I imagined how our daughter would be «happy» with it after. I asked twice the lady called me if she was sure it is the line for father’s name, not the second name. She confirmed. 

But it was not as simple with French. When we applied for French citizenship they told they need to use her father’s name as her second name. Since this information is at her birth certificate it cannot be missed. And voila! Our petite mademoiselle became Alice Marcovna! How French pronounce it will sound like Aliiiiiiiice Marcovnaaaaaaaa. Similar with Russian «marcovnaya» means «made from carrot». My carrot Alice. It is funny and stupid in the same time. 

I have heard it is common to call children by their full name at school in Europe. Like, for instance, if the name of the girl is Anna Maria, to call her like this, no Anna. Then how it will be with our girl? Alice Marcovna, please come up to the board. We had tv series in Russia when they called one smart girl only by her full name. But normally it is very strange and used only for old or really respectable people. Strange situation, but not as rare. I have a friend. She is French, her name is Emilie DurnovO. Somebody from relatives moved long time ago from Russia to France. And Russian surname normally ending with A or _ (Durnova for women and Durnov for men) was changed for the one with O in the end. Finally, now she lives in Russia. And of course quite often people do not pay attention and write her surname with A in the end. We even went to the bank with her to fix the problem with her credit card. We expected they again wrote this A in the end of her surname. But that time it was even worse. Since in Russian passport number we have only numbers, but not letters, letter O from her passport was entered in the system as zero. So, back to my daughter. My little MarcovnA probably all her life will explain her name is Alice, and Marc is her father. And in Russia they will try to call her by Russian name Alisa, I guess. Oh, we are awful parents. We probably had to call her by simple name sounds the same everywhere as Anna, for example. And do not use her otchestvo at all. But we decided to make her life more interesting. Let’s add some fun to your life, my sweet carrot girl! 

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