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Tobias, I think you're an anti-oblast maniac :)). It is obvious that the ""provinces"" in the countries you have renamed are essentially the oblasts. However, your latest edits are entirely up to the Belarusian and Central Asian Wikifellows. I wish you all the best outside Ukrainian oblast pages. AlexPU 12:02, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)


User:Markussep claims that proper singular is "oblys", not oblysy. I find it unusual that "oblysy" in "Pavlodar oblysy" (article title "Павлодар облысы" in Kazakh wikipedia) is not singular. I know quite a few languages, starting from Russian, in which words in singuar in "neutral" declension have an ending, which is lost in some declensions: "река" (river)-> "рек". On the other hand I know some languages, such as Bulgarian, that have a counterpart of the definite article appended to the word: "республиката" = "the respublic" and "республика" = "a respublic". I don't know KAzakh language, so I have no definite opinion. But unless you claim the actual knowledge of Kazakh language, the spelling must be reverted to the initial one. It lived here and in Provinces of Kazakhstan for quite some time. (And if it is indeed incorrect, it must be changed in several places, not only here.) mikka (t) 05:48, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I'm sure it's oblys, like it's oblast for Kyrgyzstan. Try for instance the online dictionary Russian-Kazakh. Kazakh is a Turkic language, in which the possessed object has a possessive suffix. See this Kazakh grammar course. It's -y in the 3rd person singular (of the owner) for words ending with a consonant, and -sy for words ending with a vowel. It's the similar for most Turkic languages (-i and -si for Uzbek, -ı, -i, -u, -ü, -sı, -si, -su and -sü for Turkish, see [1]). Russian, German, Latin and other Indo-european languages that have noun cases indicate possession only with the genitive case of the owner, e.g. Haus des Mannes (house of the man). Markussep 09:25, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Thank you. Very interesting. That's what blind transliteration may lead to. Just a day ago I fixed a problem of similar kind with Shah (money). mikka (t) 19:51, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)


i've learned some russian over the years, and i'm a native speaker of slovenian (they dont differ that much) from slovenian to english oblast would mean something similar to control Tyriel 10:12, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Belarusian: vobłaść or vobłasć?[edit]

Belarusian: is it vobłaść or vobłasć (вобласць) in Łacinka/Лацінка? I've seen both. --Anatoli (talk) 19:24, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

What was Russian America?[edit]

I know it was its own adminsitrative unit, but not sure of its status in Russian legal terms; it was considered as much part of the Russian Empire as Siberia or Armenia, but was it an oblast or what was it? Would like to know the correct term for use in Alaska purchase and in related articles.....Skookum1 (talk) 00:15, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

As far as I know, it never had an officially assigned status. The territory was referred to as simply "Russian possessions in America", or "Russian settlements in America", or just "Russian America", but it never was made a part of any guberniya or an oblast.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 15:07, December 10, 2008 (UTC) 15:07, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, it certainly had a governor (Baranof....) and now that I see guberniya I think in one of the books I've found (googlebooks has lots!) maybe I saw the term "governate", which would be I think the English equivalent of guberniya. I'll try and find that book again; it was an academic publication so had references to Russian-language publications; as i recall the book was on relations between the Russian local government and the Tlingit...and was quite explicit about it not being a colony but part of the territorial Russian Empire...this gets a bit more urgent to finalize ss someone just created a Category:Russian colony of Alaska, which I feel is mis-titled.....Skookum1 (talk) 15:06, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
I dont' have time to re-read it right now, but I think it was in this book, by Andrei Val'terovich Grinev....perhaps you know it in the Russian? There are some other googlebooks - I remember it was in a googlebook preview that I read it - perhaps the one on Aboriginal Slavery on the Northwest Doast but it could have been in something on relations with the Hudson's Bay Company; I'll check when I get a chance...and try and think of other places I may have seen something...Skookum1 (talk) 15:36, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
The sources I based my opinion on include the books on the administrative divisions of Russia during that period (some of which were published in the 1800s). None of those books (and I happen to have quite a few) refers to Russian America as anything but "territories", "possessions", or "settlements". I was unable to find anything on assigning Russian America any official status (and it definitely, positively never was a guberniya—those are all well-documented and accounted for). Baranov is normally referred as "управляющий" or "правитель", which would routinely be translated into English as "governor". Still, "управляющий" is definitely not the same as "губернатор" ("governor" proper, the official title of governors). There are some mentions that commerce in Russian America was conducted under the auspices and with the help of Siberian administration, and, of course, quite a few mentions of the Russian American Company, but that's about as far as it goes. On the flip side, the territory was never referred to as "colony" either.
In any case, I'll keep my eyes open for any additional information. As far as the name of Category:Russian colony of Alaska goes, that definitely needs to be renamed to something more neutral (Category:Russian America you suggested should be perfect). Cheers,—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 15:42, December 15, 2008 (UTC) 15:42, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
The creator of the category concurs so after the procedural machinations are done that will be the new category name. Re Baranof's title, it's true that I've only seen English-language accounts; older BC historians like Begg and Howay refer to him as Governor Baranof but also in the translation of Grinev's book, but again as you note that would seem to be a "convention" of translation, and not a direct translation; perhaps to rank him equally with Gov. Simpson of the HBC, or Gov. Douglas once the Island Colony was constituted (1843); a "complimentary title" as there is no even remotely English/Western European term like "pravitel"...(sorry for the romanization, don't mean to be impolite). Maybe the closer meaning is Chief Factor, which was the highest-ranking regional position in the HBC...thanks for your input. Grinev's book, the parts I read, was very interesting by the way.....Skookum1 (talk) 16:07, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I only wish I had time to read all of the interesting books that I get to see :) Sorry that I couldn't find you anything more definite than derivative conclusions and speculation, but if anything turns up in that department in the future, I'll make sure to let you know. Cheers,—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 17:51, December 15, 2008 (UTC) 17:51, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
In this context "управляющий" is adequately translated as administrator. "pravitel" is nothing special either; a yet another polysemantical term. It quite well matches "ruler" (and covers king, governor, warlord, administrator, etc.). `'Míkka>t 18:32, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
As for the official status of Alaska, please see ru:Русская Америка. `'Míkka>t 18:35, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, I would if I could understand Russian....I can read Cyrillic but just don't have the vocubulary/grammar....Skookum1 (talk) 18:56, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
The problem with the statements in ru_wiki is that they are not referenced. None of the books I have mention Russian America as being a part of Siberian/East-Siberian Governorates General. I wouldn't call this a flat out lie or misinformation (I just don't have enough specific information to go on to make such bold statements), but I was unable to verify this statement either (at most, I was able to find a reference to the Russian American Company reporting to the administration of the Siberian Governorate, which is not the same as Alaska/Russian America being a part of the Governorate). Konstantin Arsenyev, in his Statisticheskiye Ocherki Rossii (published in 1848), for example, in discussing the 1822 division of Siberia into Eastern and Western (when, according to the Russian Wikipedia, Russian America became a part of the former), describes Eastern Siberia as composed of Yenisei and Irkutsk Governorates, Yakutsk Oblast, Okhotsk Okrug, and Kamchatka Peninsula (as well as a special Troitsko-Savskoye Department on the Chinese border). I would imagine such an important act as inclusion of a huge territory of Russian America would deserve a mention in a work this specialized? Anyhoo, my best guess, regarding the ru_wiki statements, is that they confused the Russian American Company with the territory in which it operated, and adjusted the wordage accordingly. I'd be glad to be proved wrong, though; using appropriate sources, of course.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 18:59, December 15, 2008 (UTC) 18:59, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

[undent]I'll try and find the time to re-read and find the passage in Grinev, and then provide a page/chapter number - maybe on Russian-language googlebooks or something of the kind it's online (?). I remember him saying it was an integral part of the Empire, which by reading and in usual English-language conceptions wouldnt' mean a possession and only secondarily as a colony; I'm sure he - or the translators - said "province" but again what the original word in the Russian version was I can't say; he does mention taht the Tlingit and other indigenous peoples were formally subjects of the Russian Tsar, though that's a somewhat different issue.Skookum1 (talk) 19:05, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

A hint from [2] ((См. 'Русскую Старину', изд. 1886 г., том XLIX, март, стр. 549 - 560.)): "в своде законов Российской империи существовали узаконения о колониях российско-американской компании в с.-з. Америке," : "The Code of Law of the Russian Empire contained regulations about the colonies of the Russian American Company in the Northwestern America" `'Míkka>t 22:50, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Well, yes, the word колониях is in there - but does it mean in Russian what it means in English? Because the original Greek meaning is simply a city/settlement/outpost, not a "constituted colony" like the Colony of British Columbia or British East Africa. Is the connotation in Russian the same as it is in English? i.e. what is the context of that usage; to me, since it's plural, it clearly doesn't mean that Russian America was a colony in the cosntituted-colony sense, but more like "the settlements" in a non-constituted sense of colony. There's a big difference in terms of Wiki nomenclature; "not a capital-C Colony" was the sense of part of my problem with Category:Russian colony of Alaska. Your example says colonies NOT "colony" (and also doesn't mention Alaska by name either...). Fort Ross was a "colony" in the small-c sense of a settlement-outpost, similar to the Greek meaning; it wasn't a colony in the formal-colony sense; what Russian America was remains to be determined, and isn't answered by the "hint" in your example.Skookum1 (talk) 15:30, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
BTW a better title for the other article might be Russian imperialism in North America, unless there were intrigues in Peru, Panama, Chile (which maybe there were) such that Russian imperialism in the Americas might make sense; the reason for "imperialism" is it can refer to the diplomatic "dance" and elements such as the Russian show of force at San Francisco during the Trent Affair - "colonization" is only one aspect of "imperialism" and Russian diplomatic and military manoeuvring in the area was ongoing (as it was also with the other powers intriguing in the region).
Regarding the Code of Law of the Russian Empire, I only have volume two electronically, and it does not mention Russian America at all. The whole code, however, is available online, although, unfortunately, only as unsearchable images. If someone has time and is willing to go through it, please let us know here. There is also a CD published by Consultant last year (?), but I don't know whether it contains full text or only images as well.
As far as "colonies" go, in addition to the traditional meaning, another one was "settlements established by foreign migrants in Russia" (primarily between the Don and the Volga). Whether the settlements in Alaska were referred to as "colonies" in the traditional sense or as "Russian settlements in [the foreign land of] America", I don't know, but it may be a possibility (especially considering that plural).
Regarding "Russian imperialism in North America", it may logically seem a fit title, but I doubt it is something widely used in academic works (same goes for the current title, by the way). We should stick to conventional names whenever possible, not to invent new ones. I just don't see any better name than "Russian America", considering how widely that term is known.
On an unrelated note, should we move this discussion to Talk:Russian colonization of the Americas? It most certainly has nothing to do with oblasts at this point.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 17:09, December 16, 2008 (UTC)

"The word "oblast" is a loanword in English"[edit]

Does anyone have another source for this specious claim? Because the Merriam-Webster entry cited DOES NOT ACTUALLY SAY THAT. (talk) 08:11, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Unless I'm misunderstanding what the author of that clause is trying to say... (talk) 08:13, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Merriam-Webster would not explicitly say a loanword is a loanword, no matter what the word is (cf. coup de grace). The very fact that it is listed as an English word and is given Russian etymology is sufficient. I am not aware of any major English dictionaries which would explicitly mark some words as "loanwords"—if you do, you are more than welcome to add a new reference.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 14:34, July 14, 2009 (UTC)