Russians do have a way with names

As some will know, I spent some years working in Russia. One of the things I noted was that the way they named a company was pretty straightforward. If you were the Nabrezny Chelny Ferroconcrete Plant (to use a completely made up name, it\’s actually Kamaz in that town) then as like as not your company name would be \”Nabrezny Chelny Ferroconcrete Plant\” or a contraction of it.

Atomenergoexport for example was the company that dealt with the export of atomic energy equipment.

Simple enough but this can cause minor problems when no one properly thinks through what the contraction is going to look like in other languages.

For example, If Gazprom were to sign a deal to extract gas in Nigeria one might get Niprom. Or Gazeria. Or, as was actually chosen:

Russia\’s energy giant Gazprom has signed a $2.5bn (£1.53bn) deal with Nigeria\’s state operated NNPC, to invest in a new joint venture.

The new firm, to be called Nigaz, is set to build refineries, pipelines and gas power stations in Nigeria.*

You know gentlemen? I think you might want to change that, preferably before you get the letterheads printed. Only advice mind, something offered to you for free.

To check just grab any random American who happens to be hanging around your offices.

On the other hand, this might be the very bestest company name since Wang Computers decided to use the same name it did in the US  for the UK market for its service arm.

\”Wang Cares\”

* Thanks to Mark Tinker for the tip off.

5 thoughts on “Russians do have a way with names”

  1. My favourite is that back in the 1980s/1990s when The Next Big Thing was bio-technology and genetic stuff and GM and so on (and the fashion for contracting long names had already caught on), the Italian government wanted to spin off its university research department into a new company called GenItalia (but they were tipped off and called it something else in the nick of time).

    For the life of me, I cannot track this down as it happened in pre-Internet days. Although I swear it is true.

  2. The trend in Russian company names is continued on Sakhalin:

    SakhalinMorNeftoMontazh = Sakhalin Offshore Oil Works

    DalMostStroy = Far (eastern) Bridge Construction

    etc.

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