It is all about the personal name

Disclaimer: My name is Artyom. I was born in Belarus. Nowadays I use and speak several languages in daily life every day but for the purpose of the article it’s enough to know that I’m native in Belarusian and Russian and understand and read Ukrainian on advanced level.

Yes, Artyom is the correct spelling of the name in English.

In my mother language(s) it is spelled Арцём (in Belarusian) and Артём (in Russian).

You see that “ё” letter? This is where the fun begins.

Let’s take a look at what’s written in Wikipedia.

Artyom (also Artiom) is a male given name common in Russia and other Slavic-speaking countries. The name uses the “ё” letter, which can be transcribed to English as “e” but still has the “yo” sound. Pronunciation is [ɐrˈtʲɵm].

Almost nobody I met throughout my currently 26 years old life could pronounce it right either from the first try or at all if that person is not native in Slavic (most notable East Slavic) languages from my experience.

The people who were the most close to correct pronunciation on the first try were Portuguese people with European Portuguese language which really surprised me.

They are definitely not the only ones but I can’t remember anyone else.

Here is the first thing. Yes, it can be transcribed as “e” but it’s completely wrong in the sense that everyone starts to call you Artem like [ˈɐrtəm], [ɐrˈtəm], [ɐrˈtem] or other similar variations.

Many Russian speakers disregard the letter “ё” in written language and use the letter “e” instead, although the sound of this letter, the “yo” sound, exists completely intact.

I doubted this situation but still I didn’t pay much attention to it when I was younger. Today I believe that we should always use “ё” when it’s placed in the word and not disregard it in the favour of “e”, but that’s a whole another story.

Please don’t call Artyoms like Artems, unless they explicitly use the spelling Artem themselves or ask you to call them like this which means they’re okay with it (I’m personally not).

The Belarusian spelling is Арцём (Artsiom).

Now we need to head to the article for the Belarusian variant of the name. To be exact and honest I believe it is wrong to distinguish the name based on spellings like this because it is still the same name, although it is good and nowadays important to understand where it comes from (loosely related to another article of mine about what country to name when somebody asks you where you’re from).

Artsyom (Belarusian: Арцём), also transliterated as Artsiom, is a popular masculine name in Belarus.

I have never ever in my life seen the spelling Artsyom anywhere. Please don’t use it.

The spelling Artsiom is much more common among the people of Belarus (not sure about Ukraine), we also have it written in our passports.

I don’t know if there ever was another spelling for the name to be used in official documents and passports but that is what we live with now. I won’t go into the details of the standards for romanizing Belarusian language because it’s confusing and complex but according to some of them the only spelling that is used in Belarus for the name Artyom is Artsiom. I have it written in my passport and other documents and I hate it since then. Fortunately, I had the ability to change it to Artyom in newer documents for other countries not so long ago.

The thing is I would love to leave the Belarusian spelling in any of the forms to have that connection with the motherland and be able to show it to others which is another emotional and psychological part of our today’s history but to me it looks ugly, and sounds awful, and makes it even more complicated for non-Slavic languages speakers (first of all for English speakers for me).

A common diminutive form of the name is Tyoma (Цёма in Belarusian, Тёма in Russian, Тьома in Ukrainian).

No doubts about that. I think there’re no more diminutive forms except for diminutive form of a diminutive form. A lot of people call me like that, earlier I would allow only parents and some close friends to call me like that but looks like other people like it and like using it, so it became kind of a habit.

Usually we call children by the name Tyoma, not adults but I’m fine and do also like it, so almost don’t care if somebody uses it to me right after we met for the first time.

However, there is also a problem with that “yo” sound as you can spot.

What options do we have?

We can spell it Tyoma or Tioma, but there’re a few others: Tema, Theme, Tim.

I saw Tema a lot in my childhood but now I don’t, and I want to say not to use it as it’s the same case as with Artem.

Theme is a nickname I once came up with for myself and used it for quite along time, although not in real life. It’s not directly related but Theme also causes difficulties with pronunciation for non-native English speakers, and I don’t want to become Teme, Tem, Tim, or something else. I no longer use it even as a nickname on the internet (for other reasons).

Tim could be a solution to all the problems with spelling and pronunciation above. I saw some Artyoms on the internet and a few in real life who use the name Tim when communicating in English.

I tried to also use it. Sadly or happily, I’m not Tim because I’m not Timothy, not Timothée, not Timur, and not someone else. I can’t relate to it and I don’t feel the connection, and it only has t and m (two letters) from my full actual name. So I don’t use Tim anymore.

Let’s get to the article for the Ukrainian variant of the name.

Artem (Ukrainian: Арте́м, romanized: Artém, pronounced [ɐrˈtɛm]) is a male given name of Greek origin. It is also used in Armenian with the variant of Ardem in Western Armenian. Artyom (Артём), the Russian version of the name, is often romanized as Artem although the letter “ё” gives a [-tʲɵm] ending sound.

We’ll not talk about Armenian variant, but look what we’ve got here, both Artem and Artyom.

Artyom is mentioned as the Russian version of the name, and that’s true, but it’s the Belarusian version at the same time that is often gets discarded for some reason.

If we look at Ukrainian then Artem is the only correct and proper spelling of the name, and it doesn’t result in using the “yo” sound!

Now that we know that Artem is the name on its own, I’m fine to say that both Artyom and Artem are correct spelling, but please pay attention and take into account that this depends on the person, his language, country of origin, and perception.

At last, we need to visit one more form of the name.

Artemy (Russian: Артемий), sometimes romanized as Artemiy, Artemi, or Artemij, is a full unique form of the Russian short male Artyom.

I also know and saw a few people who have this name and use the spelling Artemii.

I want to stress here that Artyom (Арцём, Артём, Артем) and Artemy (Арцемій, Артемий, Артемій) are two distinct names. Artyom can be used as a short version of Artemy (Арцемій -> Арцём, Артемий -> Артём, Артемій -> Артем) in our languages but the statement stays still.

There are also Artemius and Artemas, but we’ll not talk about them.

Anyways, all of these names have common ancestor.

The name means “dedicated to Artemis” (Greek Αρτέμιος: safe, healthy, strong, thriving, bright, shiny).

The name is derived from the Ancient Greek name Artemios (Greek: Αρτέμιος), the name of the saint Artemius.

Now, what is the solution to proper pronunciation of “yo” sound in -tyom ([-tʲɵm] ending sound)?

It is up to you if you have the name Artyom like me, but after some hours of trying to come up with some short variant and even find something useful on the internet to choose a preferred name I found out Arty to be the most accurate and appealing to me.

Arty ([ˈarti]) has almost all of the letters of the full name Artyom, Arty starts on A and is written in the same way, and, most importantly, Arty sounds similar to Artyom.

I looked up that there is Arty (stylized as ARTY) the musician, DJ, record producer, and I haven’t heard about him and haven’t known anything, but I did like his music after listening to some random tracks (I like house and trance genres for a long time).

I put this paragraph here to state that I don’t have any relations to ARTY and have nothing to do with him.

I didn’t find anything else about Arty as a word (except treating it like related to arts, which I do like) or anyone else who uses this name (to not be confused with someone that I don’t wish to), so we’re done with this.

I’ve used the name Arty for presenting myself and talking to a group of more than ten people for longer than a week so far, and it went smooth and pleasant for both sides (first and foremost for myself).


I hope these extensive explanations based on experience and life made it clear and will help diminish the ambiguity.


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