It's the Russian words "ta" and "tu" joined together. "ta" is the feminine form of "this one", and "tu" is something like the feminine form of "that one", except an action is being implied connecting the two (Russian often uses different forms of the same word to convey meaning where English would use extra words). The official interpretation is "this girl (likes) that girl". Most adult Russian readers would automatically mentally insert a rather less innocent meaning, though.
How does Тату decline anyway? Тату, Тату, Тати (Татуи?)...? What else ends in у?
If you take it as a single word, it doesn't, particularly (тату, тату, тату... о тату). If you take it as "та ту" (this one (does) that one), I guess you'd decline the word "та" (fem. that one; "та", "ту", "ту", "той", ... ) and stick "та" back on the front, creating some horrible perversion, and no-one would have a clue what you're on about. - MoonShadow
Declining the second part of the portmantaeu seems to lose the whole point of the nom./acc. juxtaposition, so leaving it undeclinable is probably best (is that what they do?). And, how did you get script characters?
Nothing is actually known about their sexual orientation. The producer had plans for the group before he picked the two girls. They were selected independently - not as a pair - in auditions from about 500 candidates. The "image" - that is, the alleged lesbian relationship, the undressing each other on stage etc. - is "part of the job". Source [here].
SunKitten: Yes, I read that they were picked from a large group and were therefore unlikely to have known each other before.. and thus the relationship was probably not 'real', as it were. Yick..
But that just makes them more iconic. They are a visible and concrete product of the forces which have shaped the world we live in: perestroika, the manipulation of reality through the mass media, and lesbianism.
Um, what's perestroika got to do with this? - MoonShadow
According to Now magazine (as read by my younger sister), they both have boyfriends. Would they have sold so well if not for the lesbian image?
The Russian sites don't make a particularly big secret of the fact that their image is pretty much completely manufactured. shrug - MoonShadow
The name "Юля" seems to be getting translated (Julia) rather than transcribed (Yuliya, Yulya) into English. (For comparison, the Latin name Julia is usually transcribed into Russian (in newspapers, etc.) as "Джулия" - literally, "Dzhuliya" - the precedent being, presumably, that someone hearing the name read out loud would always recognise it, whatever the surrounding language.)
I don't know, sometimes people seem to transliterate Russian in a way that makes sense for German much more than English - for example with w for a v-sound and j for y. But probably it's what you suggest.
According to www.tatu.ru, they wore T-shirts reading "Хуй войне" (F*** war) to a US talk show on 26.02.03, after they were banned from talking about Iraq. ^-^
According to dotmusic, the pair are going to represent Russia in this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Latvia. The song is titled Ne Ver, Ne Bojsia. --Oneiros
"Don't believe [them], don't be afraid." Thank goodness it's original at least ^^; - MoonShadow