It’s funny when people try to use Cyrillic letters as Roman ones. I understand why they do it — for English speakers, Russian has acquired connotations of militarism and toughness. And people have been tossing in the odd Cyrillic character for a long time.
But when you actually know how to read Cyrillic script, it’s a little jarring. Here’s a movie poster that sidled up next to me at a traffic light this morning.
See, the Д that they have standing in for an ‘A’ is actually a /d/ sound, and the Я is a vowel that sounds like ‘ya’. Also, that Ц covering for the ‘U’ is the sound of /ts/ in ‘tsar’.
So really, the movie’s title should be pronounced ‘The Ddyakest Hotsr’. Or ‘Notsr’ if the ‘H’ has an /n/ sound, as Cyrillic Н does.
But let’s not be pedantic. We’re stuck with it now. We’ll be seeing posters, ads, and maybe even action figures in Toys ‘Ya’ Us.