Re: Latin digraph characters

From: Antoine Leca (
Date: Wed Feb 28 2001 - 14:41:26 EST


William Overington wrote:
> >Germans transliterate a single cyrillic letter with TSCH, shouldn't
> >Unicode have also this tetragraph encoded? (ducking...)
> Is this the Cyrillic letter that is transliterated into English as CH
> pronounced as CH in church?


> There are in mathematics some polynomials called Chebyshev polynomials after
> a mathematician whose name was written in Cyrillic characters. I think that
> he was Russian, but I am not congruently certain of that.

Neither do I. But see below.

> I remember seeing once that his name is sometimes expressed in roman
> characters as Chebyshev and sometimes in another way that I do not precisely
> remember and will not guess at but it began with the letter T.

Perhaps "Tchébicheff", i.e. the French way. It happens that the international
way to spell Russian names is to use the French way of translating. This is
important for passports, for example.

The German way would be "Tschebyscheff", or something like that.

Incidentally, I gave a look at Don Knuth's site (he has a long list of
non-Latin names of famous mathematicians), at
And Don Knuth gave Chebyshev and Tschebyscheff, and not the French
Tchébicheff. Also it appears that "Tchébicheff" is not very common on
the web, much less than is "Tschebyscheff", which is itself much more
uncommon than Chebyshev is (resp. 65, 1100 and 31000 in Google).

Also, Don Knuth gives Пафнутий for his first name, which does not
sounds very Russian to me. So it might happen that Chebyshev came from
a region later dominated by Germany, hence had his name changed toward
the German orthographic rules. Just a thought.

> It is an interesting circumstance that Chebyshev polynomials are represented
> as
> y = T0(x)

Curiously, I do not remember using T, but rather the more usual P, to
represent the Chebyshev polynomials while at school (but it is quite a
long time ago, so I may easily record incorrectly).


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