Cyrillic alphabets

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Distribution of the Cyrillic script worldwide as of 2008. The dark green shows the countries that use Cyrillic as the one main script; the lighter green those that use Cyrillic alongside another official script. The lightest green formerly did so. Cyrillic alphabet world distribution.svg
Distribution of the Cyrillic script worldwide as of 2008. The dark green shows the countries that use Cyrillic as the one main script; the lighter green those that use Cyrillic alongside another official script. The lightest green formerly did so.

Numerous Cyrillic alphabets are based on the Cyrillic script. The early Cyrillic alphabet was developed in the First Bulgarian Empire during the 9th century AD (in all probability in Ravna Monastery) at the Preslav Literary School by Saint Clement of Ohrid and Saint Naum and replaced the earlier Glagolitic script developed by the Byzantine theologians Cyril and Methodius (in all probability in Polychron). It is the basis of alphabets used in various languages, past and present, in parts of Southeastern Europe and Northern Eurasia, especially those of Slavic origin, and non-Slavic languages influenced by Russian. As of 2011, around 252 million people in Eurasia use it as the official alphabet for their national languages. About half of them are in Russia. Cyrillic is one of the most-used writing systems in the world.

Contents

Some of these are illustrated below; for others, and for more detail, see the links. Sounds are transcribed in the IPA. While these languages by and large have phonemic orthographies, there are occasional exceptions—for example, Russian г is pronounced /v/ in a number of words, an orthographic relic from when they were pronounced /ɡ/ (e.g. его yego 'him/his', is pronounced [jɪˈvo] rather than [jɪˈɡo]).

Spellings of names transliterated into the Roman alphabet may vary, especially й (y/j/i), but also г (gh/g/h) and ж (zh/j).

Non-Slavic alphabets are generally modelled after Russian, but often bear striking differences, particularly when adapted for Caucasian languages. The first few of these alphabets were developed by Orthodox missionaries for the Finnic and Turkic peoples of Idel-Ural (Mari, Udmurt, Mordva, Chuvash, and Kerashen Tatars) in the 1870s. Later, such alphabets were created for some of the Siberian and Caucasus peoples who had recently converted to Christianity. In the 1930s, some of those languages were switched to the Uniform Turkic Alphabet. All of the peoples of the former Soviet Union who had been using an Arabic or other Asian script (Mongolian script etc.) also adopted Cyrillic alphabets, and during the Great Purge in the late 1930s, all of the Latin alphabets of the peoples of the Soviet Union were switched to Cyrillic as well (the Baltic Republics were annexed later, and were not affected by this change). The Abkhazian and Ossetian languages were switched to Georgian script, but after the death of Joseph Stalin, both also adopted Cyrillic. The last language to adopt Cyrillic was the Gagauz language, which had used Greek script before.

In Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, the use of Cyrillic to write local languages has often been a politically controversial issue since the collapse of the Soviet Union, as it evokes the era of Soviet rule and Russification. Some of Russia's peoples such as the Tatars have also tried to drop Cyrillic, but the move was halted under Russian law. A number of languages have switched from Cyrillic to other orthographies—either Roman‐based or returning to a former script.

Unlike the Latin script, which is usually adapted to different languages by adding diacritical marks/supplementary glyphs (such as accents, umlauts, fadas, tildes and cedillas) to standard Roman letters, by assigning new phonetic values to existing letters (e.g. <c>, whose original value in Latin was /k/, represents /ts/ in West Slavic languages, /ʕ/ in Somali, /t͡ʃ/ in many African languages and /d͡ʒ/ in Turkish), or by the use of digraphs (such as <sh>, <ch>, <ng> and <ny>), the Cyrillic script is usually adapted by the creation of entirely new letter shapes. However, in some alphabets invented in the 19th century, such as Mari, Udmurt and Chuvash, umlauts and breves also were used.

Bulgarian and Bosnian Sephardim without Hebrew typefaces occasionally printed Judeo-Spanish in Cyrillic. [1]

Common letters

The following table lists the Cyrillic letters which are used in the alphabets of most of the national languages which use a Cyrillic alphabet. Exceptions and additions for particular languages are noted below.

Common Cyrillic letters
UprightItalic/CursiveNameSound (in IPA)
А аА а A /a/
Б бБ б Be /b/
В вВ в Ve /v/
Г гГ г Ge /ɡ/
Д дД д De /d/
Е еЕ е E /je/, /ʲe/
Ж жЖ ж Zhe /ʒ/
З зЗ з Ze /z/
И иИ и I /i/, /ʲi/
Й йЙ й Short I [lower-alpha 1] /j/
К кК к Ka /k/
Л лЛ л El /l/
М мМ м Em /m/
Н нН н En/Ne /n/
О оО о O /o/
П пП п Pe /p/
Р рР р Er/Re /r/
С сС с Es /s/
Т тТ т Te /t/
У уУ у U /u/
Ф фФ ф Ef/Fe /f/
Х хХ х Kha /x/
Ц цЦ ц Tse /ts/ (t͡s)
Ч чЧ ч Che // (t͡ʃ)
Ш шШ ш Sha /ʃ/
Щ щЩ щ Shcha, Shta /ʃtʃ/, /ɕː/, /ʃt/ [lower-alpha 2]
Ь ьЬ ь Soft sign [lower-alpha 3] or
Small yer [lower-alpha 4]
/ʲ/ [lower-alpha 5]
Ю юЮ ю Yu /ju/, /ʲu/
Я яЯ я Ya /ja/, /ʲa/
  1. Russian: и краткое, i kratkoye; Bulgarian: и кратко, i kratko. Both mean "Short i".
  2. See the notes for each language for details
  3. Russian: мягкий знак, myagkiy znak
  4. Bulgarian: ер малък, er malâk
  5. The soft sign ь usually does not represent a sound, but modifies the sound of the preceding letter, indicating palatalization ("softening"), also separates the consonant and the following vowel. Sometimes it does not have phonetic meaning, just orthographic; e.g. Russian туш, tush[tuʂ] 'flourish after a toast'; тушь, tushʹ[tuʂ] 'India ink'. In some languages, a hard sign ъ or apostrophe just separates the consonant and the following vowel (бя [bʲa], бья [bʲja], бъя = б’я [bja]).

Slavic languages

Cyrillic alphabets used by Slavic languages can be divided into two categories:

East Slavic

Russian

The Russian alphabet
А а Б б В в Г г Д д Е е Ё ё Ж ж З з И и Й й
К к Л л М м Н н О о П п Р р С с Т т У у Ф ф
Х х Ц ц Ч ч Ш ш Щ щ Ъ ъ Ы ы Ь ь Э э Ю ю Я я
  • Yo (Ё ё) /jo/
  • The Hard Sign¹ (Ъ ъ) indicates no palatalization²
  • Yery (Ы ы) indicates [ɨ] (an allophone of /i/)
  • E (Э э) /e/
  • Ж and Ш indicate sounds that are retroflex

Notes:

  1. In the pre-reform Russian orthography, in Old East Slavic and in Old Church Slavonic the letter is called yer. Historically, the "hard sign" takes the place of a now-absent vowel, which is still preserved as a distinct vowel in Bulgarian (which represents it with ъ) and Slovene (which is written in the Latin alphabet and writes it as e), but only in some places in the word.
  2. When an iotated vowel (vowel whose sound begins with [j]) follows a consonant, the consonant is palatalized. The Hard Sign indicates that this does not happen, and the [j] sound will appear only in front of the vowel. The Soft Sign indicates that the consonant should be palatalized in addition to a [j] preceding the vowel. The Soft Sign also indicates that a consonant before another consonant or at the end of a word is palatalized. Examples: та ([ta]); тя ([tʲa]); тья ([tʲja]); тъя ([tja]); т (/t/); ть ([tʲ]).

Before 1918, there were four extra letters in use: Іі (replaced by Ии), Ѳѳ (Фита "Fita", replaced by Фф), Ѣѣ (Ять "Yat", replaced by Ее), and Ѵѵ (ижица "Izhitsa", replaced by Ии); these were eliminated by reforms of Russian orthography.

Belarusian


The Belarusian alphabet

А аБ бВ вГ гД дЕ еЁ ёЖ жЗ зІ іЙ й
К кЛ лМ мН нО оП пР рС сТ тУ уЎ ў
Ф фХ хЦ цЧ чШ шЫ ыЬ ьЭ эЮ юЯ я

The Belarusian alphabet displays the following features:

  • Ge (Г г) represents a voiced velar fricative /ɣ/.
  • Yo (Ё ё) /jo/
  • I (І і), also known as the dotted I or decimal I, resembles the Latin letter I. Unlike Russian and Ukrainian, "И" is not used.
    • Short I (Й й), however, uses the base И glyph.
  • Short U (Ў ў) is the letter У with a breve and represents /w/, or like the u part of the diphthong in loud. The use of the breve to indicate a semivowel is analogous to the Short I (Й).
  • A combination of Sh and Ch (ШЧ шч) is used where those familiar only with Russian and or Ukrainian would expect Shcha  щ).
  • Yery (Ы ы) /ɨ/
  • E (Э э) /ɛ/
  • An apostrophe (’) is used to indicate depalatalization[ clarification needed ] of the preceding consonant. This orthographical symbol used instead of the traditional Cyrillic letter Yer  (Ъ), also known as the hard sign.
  • The letter combinations Dzh (Дж дж) and Dz (Дз дз) appear after D  д) in the Belarusian alphabet in some publications. These digraphs represent consonant clusters Дж /dʒ/ and Дз /dz/ correspondingly.
  • Before 1933, the letter Ґ ґ was used.

Ukrainian

The Ukrainian alphabet
А аБ бВ вà 㥠ґД дЕ еЄ єЖ жЗ зИ и
І іЇ їЙ йК кЛ лМ мН нО оП пР рС с
Т тУ уФ фХ хЦ цЧ чШ шЩ щЬ ьЮ юЯ я

The Ukrainian alphabet displays the following features:

  • Ve (В) represents /ʋ/ (which may be pronounced [w] in a word final position and before consonants).
  • He (Г, г) represents a voiced glottal fricative, (/ɦ/).
  • Ge (Ґ, ґ) appears after He, represents /ɡ/. It looks like He with an "upturn" pointing up from the right side of the top bar. (This letter was not officially used in Soviet Ukraine in 1933—1990, so it may be missing from older Cyrillic fonts.)
  • E (Е, е) represents /ɛ/.
  • Ye (Є, є) appears after E, represents /jɛ/.
  • E, И (И, и) represent /ɪ/ if unstressed.
  • I (І, і) appears after Y, represents /i/.
  • Yi (Ї, ї) appears after I, represents /ji/.
  • Yy (Й, й) represents /j/.
  • Shchy (Щ, щ) represents /ʃtʃ/.
  • An apostrophe (’) is used to mark nonpalatalization of the preceding consonant before Ya (Я, я), Yu (Ю, ю), Ye (Є, є), Yi (Ї, ї).
  • Like in Belarusian Cyrillic, the sounds /dʒ/, /dz/ are represented by digraphs Дж and Дз respectively.
  • Until reforms in 1990, soft sign (Ь, ь) appeared at the end of the alphabet, after Yu (Ю, ю) and Ya (Я, я), rather than before them, as in Russian.

Rusyn

The Rusyn language is spoken by the Lemko Rusyns in Carpathian Ruthenia, Slovakia, and Poland, and the Pannonian Rusyns in Croatia and Serbia.

The Rusyn alphabet
А аБ бВ вà 㥠ґД дЕ еЄ єЁ ё*Ж жЗ з
И иІ і*Ы ы*Ї їЙ йК кЛ лМ мН нО оП п
Р рС сТ тУ уФ фХ хЦ цЧ чШ шЩ щѢ ѣ*
Ю юЯ яЬ ьЪ ъ*

*Letters absent from Pannonian Rusyn alphabet.

South Slavic

Bulgarian

First Bulgarian Empire, late 9th century (894) Structure of the First Bulgarian Empire during the IX-X century.png
First Bulgarian Empire, late 9th century (894)
The Bulgarian alphabet
А аБ бВ вГ гД дЕ еЖ жЗ зИ иЙ й
К кЛ лМ мН нО оП пР рС сТ тУ у
Ф фХ хЦ цЧ чШ шЩ щЪ ъЬ ьЮ юЯ я

The Bulgarian alphabet features:

  • The Bulgarian names for the consonants are [bɤ], [kɤ], [ɫɤ] etc. instead of [bɛ], [ka], [ɛl] etc.
  • Е represents /ɛ/ and is called "е" [ɛ].
  • The sounds /dʒ/ (/d͡ʒ/) and /dz/ (/d͡z/) are represented by дж and дз respectively.
  • Yot (Й, й) represents /j/.
  • Щ represents /ʃt/ (/ʃ͡t/) and is called "щъ" [ʃtɤ] ([ʃ͡tɤ]).
  • Ъ represents the vowel /ɤ/, and is called "ер голям" [ˈɛr ɡoˈljam] ('big er'). In spelling however, Ъ is referred to as /ɤ/ where its official label "ер голям" (used only to refer to Ъ in the alphabet) may cause some confusion. The vowel Ъ /ɤ/ is sometimes approximated to the /ə/ (schwa) sound found in many languages for easier comprehension of its Bulgarian pronunciation for foreigners, but it is actually a back vowel, not a central vowel.[ citation needed ]
  • Ь is used on rare occasions (only after a consonant [and] before the vowel "о"), such as in the words 'каньон' (canyon), 'шофьор' (driver), etc. It is called "ер малък" ('small er').

The Cyrillic alphabet was originally developed in the First Bulgarian Empire during the 9th – 10th century AD at the Preslav Literary School. [2] [3]

It has been used in Bulgaria (with modifications and exclusion of certain archaic letters via spelling reforms) continuously since then, superseding the previously used Glagolitic alphabet, which was also invented and used there before the Cyrillic script overtook its use as a written script for the Bulgarian language. The Cyrillic alphabet was used in the then much bigger territory of Bulgaria (including most of today’s Serbia), North Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania, Northern Greece (Macedonia region), Romania and Moldova, officially from 893. It was also transferred from Bulgaria and adopted by the East Slavic languages in Kievan Rus' and evolved into the Russian alphabet and the alphabets of many other Slavic (and later non-Slavic) languages. Later, some Slavs modified it and added/excluded letters from it to better suit the needs of their own language varieties.

Serbian

Allowed italic variants of some letters in different languages. Cyrillic cursive.svg
Allowed italic variants of some letters in different languages.

South Slavic Cyrillic alphabets (with the exception of Bulgarian) are generally derived from Serbian Cyrillic. It, and by extension its descendants, differs from the East Slavic ones in that the alphabet has generally been simplified: Letters such as Я, Ю, and Ё, representing /ja/, /ju/, and /jo/ in Russian, respectively, have been removed. Instead, these are represented by the digraphs ја, јu, and јо, respectively. Additionally, the letter Е, representing /je/ in Russian, is instead pronounced /e/ or /ɛ/, with /je/ being represented by јe. Alphabets based on the Serbian that add new letters often do so by adding an acute accent ´ over an existing letter.

The Serbian alphabet
А аБ бВ вГ гД дЂ ђЕ еЖ жЗ зИ и
Ј јК кЛ лЉ љМ мН нЊ њО оП пР р
С сТ тЋ ћУ уФ фХ хЦ цЧ чЏ џШ ш

The Serbian alphabet shows the following features:

  • E represents /ɛ/.
  • Between Д and E is the letter Dje (Ђ, ђ), which represents /dʑ/, and looks like Tshe, except that the loop of the h curls farther and dips downwards.
  • Between И and К is the letter Je (Ј, ј), represents /j/, which looks like the Latin letter J.
  • Between Л and М is the letter Lje (Љ, љ), representing /ʎ/, which looks like a ligature of Л and the Soft Sign.
  • Between Н and О is the letter Nje (Њ, њ), representing /ɲ/, which looks like a ligature of Н and the Soft Sign.
  • Between Т and У is the letter Tshe (Ћ, ћ), representing /tɕ/ and looks like a lowercase Latin letter h with a bar. On the uppercase letter, the bar appears at the top; on the lowercase letter, the bar crosses the top at half of the vertical line.
  • Between Ч and Ш is the letter Dzhe (Џ, џ), representing /dʒ/, which looks like Tse but with the descender moved from the right side of the bottom bar to the middle of the bottom bar.
  • Ш is the last letter.
  • Certain letters are handwritten differently, [4] as seen in the adjacent image.

Macedonian

Macedonian cursive Macedonian cursive script.svg
Macedonian cursive
The Macedonian alphabet
А аБ бВ вГ гД дЃ ѓЕ еЖ жЗ зЅ ѕИ и
Ј јК кЛ лЉ љМ мН нЊ њО оП пР рС с
Т тЌ ќУ уФ фХ хЦ цЧ чЏ џШ ш

The Macedonian alphabet differs from Serbian in the following ways:

  • Between Ze (З з) and I (И и) is the letter Dze (Ѕ ѕ), which looks like the Latin letter S and represents /d͡z/.
  • Dje (Ђ ђ) is replaced by Gje (Ѓ ѓ), which represents /ɟ/ (voiced palatal stop). In some dialects, it represents /d͡ʑ/ instead, like Dje. It is written Ǵ ǵ in the corresponding Macedonian Latin alphabet.
  • Tshe (Ћ ћ) is replaced by Kje (Ќ ќ), which represents /c/ (voiceless palatal stop). In some dialects, it represents /t͡ɕ/ instead, like Tshe. It is written Ḱ ḱ in the corresponding Macedonian Latin alphabet.
  • Lje (Љ љ) often represents the consonant cluster /lj/ instead of /ʎ/.
  • Certain letters are handwritten differently, as seen in the adjacent image. [5]

Montenegrin

The Montenegrin alphabet
А аБ бВ вГ гД дЂ ђЕ еЖ жЗ зЗ́ з́И и
Ј јК кЛ лЉ љМ мН нЊ њО оП пР рС с
С́ с́Т тЋ ћУ уФ фХ хЦ цЧ чЏ џШ ш

The Montenegrin alphabet differs from Serbian in the following ways:

  • Between Ze (З з) and I (И и) is the letter З́, which represents /ʑ/ (voiced alveolo-palatal fricative). It is written Ź ź in the corresponding Montenegrin Latin alphabet, previously written Zj zj or Žj žj.
  • Between Es (С с) and Te (Т т) is the letter С́, which represents /ɕ/ (voiceless alveolo-palatal fricative). It is written Ś ś in the corresponding Montenegrin Latin alphabet, previously written Sj sj or Šj šj.
  • The letter Dze (Ѕ ѕ), from Macedonian, is used in scientific literature when representing the /d͡z/ phoneme, although it is not officially part of the alphabet. A Latin equivalent was proposed that looks identical to Ze (З з).

Bosnian

The Bosnian language uses Latin and Cyrillic alphabets. Latin is slightly more common. [6] A Bosnian Cyrillic script ( Bosančica ) was used in the Middle Ages, along with other scripts Bosnian language.

Uralic languages

Uralic languages using the Cyrillic script (currently or in the past) include:

Karelian

The first lines of the Book of Matthew in Karelian using the Cyrillic script, 1820 Matthew Karelian 1820.jpg
The first lines of the Book of Matthew in Karelian using the Cyrillic script, 1820

The Karelian language was written in the Cyrillic script in various forms until 1940 when publication in Karelian ceased in favor of Finnish, except for Tver Karelian, written in a Latin alphabet. In 1989 publication began again in the other Karelian dialects and Latin alphabets were used, in some cases with the addition of Cyrillic letters such as ь.

Kildin Sámi

Over the last century, the alphabet used to write Kildin Sami has changed three times: from Cyrillic to Latin and back again to Cyrillic. Work on the latest version of the official orthography commenced in 1979. It was officially approved in 1982 and started to be widely used by 1987. [7]

Komi-Permyak

The Komi-Permyak alphabet:

А аБ бВ вГ гД дЕ еЁ ё
Ж жЗ зИ иI iЙ йК кЛ л
М мН нО оӦ ӧП пР рС с
Т тУ уФ фХ хЦ цЧ чШ ш
Щ щЪ ъЫ ыЬ ьЭ эЮ юЯ я

Mari alphabets

Meadow Mari alphabet:

А аБ бВ вГ гД дЕ еЁ ёЖ жЗ зИ и
Й йК кЛ лМ мН нҤ ҥО оÖ öП пР р
С сТ тУ уӰ ӱФ фХ хЦ цЧ чШ шЩ щ
Ъ ъЫ ыЬ ьЭ эЮ юЯ я

Hill Mari alphabet

А аÄ äБ бВ вГ гД дЕ еЁ ёЖ жЗ з
И иЙ йК кЛ лМ мН нО оÖ öП пР р
С сТ тУ уӰ ӱФ фХ хЦ цЧ чШ шЩ щ
Ъ ъЫ ыӸ ӹЬ ьЭ эЮ юЯ я

Non-Slavic Indo-European languages

Iranian languages

Kurdish

Kurds in the former Soviet Union use a Cyrillic alphabet:

Kurdish Cyrillic script
А аБ бВ вГ гГ' г'Д дЕ еӘ ә
Ә' ә'Ж жЗ зИ иЙ йК кК' к'Л л
М мН нО оÖ öП пП' п'Р рР' р'
С сТ тТ' т'У уФ фХ хҺ һҺ' һ'
Ч чЧ' ч'Ш шЩ щЬ ьЭ эԚ ԛԜ ԝ

Ossetian

The Ossetic language has officially used the Cyrillic script since 1937.

Ossetian Cyrillic script
А аӔ ӕБ бВ вГ гГъ гъД дДж дж
Дз дзЕ еЁ ёЖ жЗ зИ иЙ йК к
Къ къЛ лМ мН нО оП пПъ пъР р
С сТ тТъ тъУ уФ фХ хХъ хъЦ ц
Цъ цъЧ чЧъ чъШ шЩ щЪ ъЫ ыЬ ь
Э эЮ юЯ я

Tajik

The Tajik language is written using a Cyrillic-based alphabet.

Tajik Cyrillic script
А аБ бВ вГ гҒ ғД дЕ еЁ ёЖ жЗ зИ и
Ӣ ӣЙ йК кҚ қЛ лМ мН нО оП пР рС с
Т тУ уӮ ӯФ фХ хҲ ҳЦ цЧ чҶ ҷШ шЪ ъ
Э эЮ юЯ я

Other

Romance languages

Indo-Aryan

Romani

Romani is written in Cyrillic in Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria and the former USSR.

Mongolian

The Mongolic languages include Khalkha (in Mongolia), Buryat (around Lake Baikal) and Kalmyk (northwest of the Caspian Sea). Khalkha Mongolian is also written with the Mongol vertical alphabet.

Overview

This table contains all the characters used.

Һһ is shown twice as it appears at two different locations in Buryat and Kalmyk

KhalkhaАаБбВвГгДдЕеЁёЖжЗзИиЙйКкЛлМмНнОо
BuryatАаБбВвГгДдЕеЁёЖжЗзИиЙйЛлМмНнОо
KalmykАаӘәБбВвГгҺһДдЕеЖжҖҗЗзИиЙйКкЛлМмНнҢңОо
KhalkhaӨөПпРрСсТтУуҮүФфХхЦцЧчШшЩщЪъЫыЬьЭэЮюЯя
BuryatӨөПпРрСсТтУуҮүХхҺһЦцЧчШшЫыЬьЭэЮюЯя
KalmykӨөПпРрСсТтУуҮүХхЦцЧчШшЬьЭэЮюЯя

Khalkha

The Khalkha Mongolian alphabet
А аБ бВ вГ гД дЕ еЁ ёЖ жЗ зИ иЙ й
К кЛ лМ мН нО оӨ өП пР рС сТ тУ у
Ү үФ фХ хЦ цЧ чШ шЩ щЪ ъЫ ыЬ ьЭ э
Ю юЯ я

The Cyrillic letters Кк, Пп, Фф and Щщ are not used in native Mongolian words, but only for Russian loans.

Buryat

The Buryat (буряад) Cyrillic script is similar to the Khalkha above, but Ьь indicates palatalization as in Russian. Buryat does not use Вв, Кк, Фф, Цц, Чч, Щщ or Ъъ in its native words.

The Buryat Mongolian alphabet
А аБ бВ вГ гД дЕ еЁ ёЖ жЗ зИ иЙ й
Л лМ мН нО оӨ өП пР рС сТ тУ уҮ ү
Х хҺ һЦ цЧ чШ шЫ ыЬ ьЭ эЮ юЯ я

Kalmyk

The Kalmyk (хальмг) Cyrillic script is similar to the Khalkha, but the letters Ээ, Юю and Яя appear only word-initially. In Kalmyk, long vowels are written double in the first syllable (нөөрин), but single in syllables after the first. Short vowels are omitted altogether in syllables after the first syllable (хальмг = /xaʎmaɡ/).

The Kalmyk Mongolian alphabet
А аӘ әБ бВ вГ гҺ һД дЕ еЖ жҖ җЗ з
И иЙ йК кЛ лМ мН нҢ ңО оӨ өП пР р
С сТ тУ уҮ үХ хЦ цЧ чШ шЬ ьЭ эЮ ю
Я я

Caucasian languages

Northwest Caucasian languages

Living Northwest Caucasian languages are generally written using Cyrillic alphabets.

Abkhaz

Abkhaz is a Caucasian language, spoken in the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia, Georgia.

The Abkhaz alphabet
А аБ бВ вГ гГь гьӶ ӷӶь ӶьД дДә дәЕ е
Ж жЖь жьЖә жәЗ зӠ ӡӠә ӡәИ иЙ йК кКь кь
Қ қҚь қьҞ ҟҞь ҟьЛ лМ мН нО оП пҦ ҧ
Р рС сТ тТә тәҬ ҭҬә ҭәУ уФ фХ хХь хь
Ҳ ҳҲә ҳәЦ цЦә цәҴ ҵҴә ҵәЧ чҶ ҷҼ ҽҾ ҿ
Ш шШь шьШә шәЩ щЫ ыҨ ҩЏ џЏь џьЬ ьӘ ә

Other

Northeast Caucasian languages

Northeast Caucasian languages are generally written using Cyrillic alphabets.

Avar

Avar is a Caucasian language, spoken in the Republic of Dagestan, of the Russian Federation, where it is co-official together with other Caucasian languages like Dargwa, Lak, Lezgian and Tabassaran. All these alphabets, and other ones (Abaza, Adyghe, Chechen, Ingush, Kabardian) have an extra sign: palochka (Ӏ), which gives voiceless occlusive consonants its particular ejective sound.

The Avar alphabet
А аБ бВ вГ гГъ гъГь гьГӀ гӀД д
Е еЁ ёЖ жЗ зИ иЙ йК кКъ къ
Кь кьКӀ кӀКӀкӀ кӀкӀКк ккЛ лМ мН нО о
П пР рС сТ тТӀ тӀУ уФ фХ х
Хх ххХъ хъХь хьХӀ хӀЦ цЦц ццЦӀ цӀЦӀцӀ цӀцӀ
Ч чЧӀ чӀЧӀчӀ чӀчӀШ шЩ щЪ ъЫ ыЬ ь
Э эЮ юЯ я
  • В = /w/
  • гъ = /ʁ/
  • гь = /h/
  • гӀ = /ʕ/
  • къ = /qːʼ/
  • кӀ = /kʼ/
  • кь = /t͡ɬːʼ/
  • кӀкӀ = /t͡ɬː/, is also written ЛӀ лӀ.
  • кк = /ɬ/, is also written Лъ лъ.
  • тӀ = /tʼ/
  • х = /χ/
  • хъ = /qː/
  • хь = /x/
  • хӀ = /ħ/
  • цӀ = /t͡sʼ/
  • чӀ = /t͡ʃʼ/
  • Double consonants, called "fortis", are pronounced longer than single consonants (called "lenis").

Lezgian

Lezgian is spoken by the Lezgins, who live in southern Dagestan and northern Azerbaijan. Lezgian is a literary language and an official language of Dagestan.

Other

Turkic languages

Azerbaijani

Cyrillic alphabet (first version 1939–1958)
Аа, Бб, Вв, Гг, Ғғ, Дд, Ее, Әә, Жж, Зз, Ии, Йй, Кк, Ҝҝ, Лл, Мм, Нн, Оо, Өө, Пп, Рр, Сс, Тт, Уу, Үү, Фф, Хх, Һһ, Цц, Чч, Ҹҹ, Шш, Ыы, Ээ, Юю, Яя, ʼ
Cyrillic alphabet (second version 1958–1991)
Аа, Бб, Вв, Гг, Ғғ, Дд, Ее, Әә, Жж, Зз, Ии, Ыы, Јј, Кк, Ҝҝ, Лл, Мм, Нн, Оо, Өө, Пп, Рр, Сс, Тт, Уу, Үү, Фф, Хх, Һһ, Чч, Ҹҹ, Шш, ʼ
Latin Alphabet (as of 1992)
Aa, Bb, Cc, Çç, Dd, Ee, Əə, Ff, Gg, Ğğ, Hh, Iı, İi, Jj, Kk, Ll, Mm, Nn, Oo, Öö, Pp, Qq, Rr, Ss, Şş, Tt, Uu, Üü, Vv, (Ww), Xx, Yy, Zz

Bashkir

The Cyrillic script was used for the Bashkir language after the winter of 1938.

The Bashkir alphabet
А аБ бВ вГ гҒ ғД дҘ ҙЕ еЁ ёЖ жЗ з
И иЙ йК кҠ ҡЛ лМ мН нҢ ңО оӨ өП п
Р рС сҪ ҫТ тУ уҮ үФ фХ хҺ һЦ цЧ ч
Ш шЩ щЪ ъЫ ыЬ ьЭ эӘ әЮ юЯ я

Chuvash

The Cyrillic alphabet is used for the Chuvash language since the late 19th century, with some changes in 1938.

The Chuvash alphabet
А аӐ ӑБ бВ вГ гД дЕ еЁ ёӖ ӗЖ жЗ з
И иЙ йК кЛ лМ мН нО оП пР рС сҪ ҫ
Т тУ уӲ ӳФ фХ хЦ цЧ чШ шЩ щЪ ъЫ ы
Ь ьЭ эЮ юЯ я

Kazakh

Kazakh can be alternatively written in the Latin alphabet. Latin is going to be the only used alphabet in 2022, alongside the modified Arabic alphabet (in the People's Republic of China, Iran and Afghanistan).

The Kazakh alphabet
А аӘ әБ бВ вГ гҒ ғД дЕ еЁ ёЖ жЗ з
И иЙ йК кҚ қЛ лМ мН нҢ ңО оӨ өП п
Р рС сТ тУ уҰ ұҮ үФ фХ хҺ һЦ цЧ ч
Ш шЩ щЪ ъЫ ыІ іЬ ьЭ эЮ юЯ я

The Cyrillic letters Вв, Ёё, Цц, Чч, Щщ, Ъъ, Ьь and Ээ are not used in native Kazakh words, but only for Russian loans.

Kyrgyz

Kyrgyz has also been written in Latin and in Arabic.

The Kyrgyz alphabet
А аБ бГ гД дЕ еЁ ёЖ жЗ зИ иЙ йК к
Л лМ мН нҢ ңО оӨ өП пР рС сТ тУ у
Ү үХ хЧ чШ шЫ ыЭ эЮ юЯ я

Tatar

Tatar has used Cyrillic since 1939, but the Russian Orthodox Tatar community has used Cyrillic since the 19th century. In 2000 a new Latin alphabet was adopted for Tatar, but it is used generally on the Internet.

The Tatar Cyrillic alphabet
А аӘ әБ бВ вГ гД дЕ еЁ ёЖ жҖ җ
З зИ иЙ йК кЛ лМ мН нҢ ңО оӨ ө
П пР рС сТ тУ уҮ үФ фХ хҺ һЦ ц
Ч чШ шЩ щЪ ъЫ ыЬ ьЭ эЮ юЯ я

The Cyrillic letters Ёё, Цц, Щщ are not used in native Tatar words, but only for Russian loans.

Turkmen

Turkmen, written 1940–1994 exclusively in Cyrillic, since 1994 officially in Roman, but in everyday communication Cyrillic is still used along with Roman script.

Cyrillic alphabet
Аа, Бб, Вв, Гг, Дд, Ее, Ёё, Жж, Җҗ, Зз, Ии, Йй, Кк, Лл, Мм, Нн, Ңң, Оо, Өө, Пп, Рр, Сс, Тт, Уу, Үү, Фф, Хх, (Цц) ‚ Чч, Шш, (Щщ), (Ъъ), Ыы, (Ьь), Ээ, Әә, Юю, Яя
Latin alphabet version 2
Aa, Ää, Bb, (Cc), Çç, Dd, Ee, Ff, Gg, Hh, Ii, Jj, Kk, Ll, Mm, Nn, Ňň, Oo, Öö, Pp, (Qq), Rr, Ss, Şş, Tt, Uu, Üü, (Vv), Ww, (Xx), Yy, Ýý, Zz, Žž
Latin alphabet version 1
Aa, Bb, , Çç, Dd, Ee, Êê Ff, Gg, Hh, Ii, Jj, Žž, Kk, Ll, Mm, Nn, Ññ, Oo, Ôô, Pp, Rr, Ss, Şş, Tt, Uu, Ûû, Ww, Yy, Ýý, Zz

Uzbek

From 1941 the Cyrillic script was used exclusively. In 1998 the government has adopted a Latin alphabet to replace it. The deadline for making this transition has however been repeatedly changed, and Cyrillic is still more common. It is not clear that the transition will be made at all.

The Uzbek Cyrillic alphabet
А аБ бВ вГ гД дЕ еЁ ёЖ жЗ зИ иЙ йК к
Л лМ мН нО оП пР рС сТ тУ уФ фХ хЧ ч
Ш шЪ ъЭ эЮ юЯ яЎ ўҚ қҒ ғҲ ҳ

Other

Sinitic

Dungan language

Since 1953.

The modern Dungan alphabet
А аБ бВ вГ гД дЕ еЁ ёЖ жҖ җЗ зИ иЙ й
К кЛ лМ мН нҢ ңӘ әО оП пР рС сТ тУ у
Ў ўҮ үФ фХ хЦ цЧ чШ шЩ щЪ ъЫ ыЬ ьЭ э
Ю юЯ я

Tungusic languages

Chukotko-Kamchatkan languages

Eskimo–Aleut languages

The modern Aleut alphabet
А аА̄ а̄Б бВ вГ гӶ ӷГў гўД дД̆ д̆Е еЕ̄ е̄Ё ёЖ жЗ зИ иӢ ӣ
Й йʼЙ ʼйК кӃ ӄЛ лʼЛ ʼлМ мʼМ ʼмН нʼН ʼнӇ ӈʼӇ ʼӈО оО̄ о̄П пР р
С сТ тУ уӮ ӯФ фХ хӼ ӽЦ цЧ чШ шЩ щЪ ъЫ ыЫ̄ ы̄Ь ьЭ э
Э̄ э̄Ю юЮ̄ ю̄Я яЯ̄ я̄ʼʼЎ ʼў

Other languages

Constructed languages

International auxiliary languages
Fictional languages

Summary table

Cyrillic alphabets comparison table
Early scripts
Church SlavonicАБВГД(Ѕ)ЕЖЅ/ЗИІКЛМНОПРСТОу(Ѡ)ФХЦЧШЩЪЫѢЬЮѤѦѨѪѬѮѰѲѴҀ
Most common shared letters
CommonА БВГ Д  Е  Ж З И   ЙК Л М Н  О П Р С Т У  ФХ Ц Ч ШЩ   Ь  ЮЯ 
South Slavic languages
BulgarianА БВГ ДДжДзЕ  Ж З И   ЙК Л М Н  О П Р С Т У  ФХ Ц Ч ШЩЪ  Ь  ЮЯ
MacedonianА БВГ Д ЃЕЅ Ж З И Ј  К ЛЉМ НЊ О П Р С ТЌУ  ФХ Ц ЧЏШ
SerbianА БВГ ДЂ Е  Ж З И Ј  К ЛЉМ НЊ О П Р С ТЋУ  ФХ Ц ЧЏШ
MontenegrinА БВГ ДЂ Е  Ж ЗЗ́И Ј  К ЛЉМ НЊ О П Р СС́ТЋУ  ФХ Ц ЧЏШ
East Slavic languages
RussianА БВГ Д  Е ЁЖ З И   ЙК Л М Н  О П Р С Т У  ФХ Ц Ч ШЩЪЫ ЬЭ ЮЯ
BelarusianА БВГ Д  Е ЁЖ З  І  ЙК Л М Н  О П Р С Т УЎ ФХ Ц Ч Ш Ы ЬЭ ЮЯ
UkrainianА БВГҐД  ЕЄ Ж З ИІ ЇЙК Л М Н  О П Р С Т У  ФХ Ц Ч ШЩ  Ь  ЮЯ
RusynА БВГҐД  ЕЄЁЖ З ИІЫЇЙК Л М Н  О П Р С Т У  ФХ Ц Ч ШЩЪ ѢЬ  ЮЯ
Iranian languages
KurdishА БВГГ'Д  ЕӘӘ'Ж З И   ЙКК'Л М Н  ОÖПП'РР'С ТТ'У  ФХҺҺ' ЧЧ'ШЩ   ЬЭ   ԚԜ
OssetianАӔБВГГъДДжДзЕ ЁЖ З И   ЙККъЛ М Н  О ППъР С ТТъУ  ФХХъЦЦъЧЧъШЩЪЫ ЬЭ ЮЯ
TajikА БВГҒД  Е ЁЖ З И Ӣ ЙКҚЛ М Н  О П Р С Т УӮ ФХҲ  ЧҶШ Ъ   Э ЮЯ
Romance languages
MoldovanА БВГ Д  Е  ЖӁЗ И   ЙК Л М Н  О П Р С Т У  ФХ Ц Ч Ш  Ы ЬЭ ЮЯ
Uralic languages
Komi-PermyakА БВГ Д  Е ЁЖ З ИІ  ЙК Л М Н  ОӦП Р С Т У  ФХ Ц Ч ШЩЪЫ ЬЭ ЮЯ
Meadow MariА БВГ Д  Е ЁЖ З И   ЙК Л М НҤ ОӦП Р С Т УӰ ФХ Ц Ч ШЩЪЫ ЬЭ ЮЯ
Hill MariАӒБВГ Д  Е ЁЖ З И   ЙК Л М Н  ОӦП Р С Т УӰ ФХ Ц Ч ШЩЪЫӸЬЭ ЮЯ
Kildin SamiАӒБВГ Д  Е ЁЖ З И ЙҊЈК ЛӅМӍНӉӇО П РҎС Т У  ФХҺЦ Ч ШЩЪЫЬҌЭӬЮЯ
Turkic languages
BashkirАӘБВГҒД ҘЕ ЁЖ З И   ЙКҠЛ М НҢ ОӨП Р СҪТ У ҮФХҺЦ Ч ШЩЪЫ ЬЭӘЮЯ
ChuvashАӐБВГ Д  ЕЁӖЖ З И   ЙК Л М Н  О П Р СҪТ УӲ ФХ Ц Ч ШЩЪЫ ЬЭ ЮЯ
KazakhАӘБВГҒД  Е ЁЖ З ИІ  ЙКҚЛ М НҢ ОӨП Р С Т УҰҮФХҺЦ Ч ШЩЪЫ ЬЭ ЮЯ
KyrgyzА Б Г Д  Е ЁЖ З И   ЙК Л М НҢ ОӨП Р С Т У Ү Х   Ч Ш  Ы  Э ЮЯ
TatarАӘБВГ Д  Е ЁЖҖЗ И   ЙК Л М НҢ ОӨП Р С Т У ҮФХҺЦ Ч ШЩЪЫ ЬЭ ЮЯ
UzbekА БВГҒД  Е ЁЖ З И   ЙКҚЛ М Н  О П Р С Т УЎ ФХҲ  Ч Ш Ъ   Э ЮЯ
Mongolian languages
BuryatА БВГ Д  Е ЁЖ З И   Й  Л М Н  ОӨП Р С Т У Ү ХҺЦ Ч Ш  Ы ЬЭ ЮЯ
KhalkhaА БВГ Д  Е ЁЖ З И   ЙК Л М Н  ОӨП Р С Т У ҮФХ Ц Ч ШЩЪЫ ЬЭ ЮЯ
KalmykАӘБВГҺД  Е  ЖҖЗ И   ЙК Л М НҢ ОӨП Р С Т У Ү Х Ц Ч Ш    ЬЭ ЮЯ
Caucasian lannguages
AbkhazА БВГҔДДәЏЕҼҾЖЖәЗӠ ӠәИ  ЙКҚҞЛ М Н  ОҨПҦР С Т ТәҬ ҬәУ  ФХҲ ҲәЦ ЦәҴ ҴәЧҶШ ШәЩ Ы
Sino-Tibetan languages
DunganА БВГ Д  Е ЁЖҖЗ И   ЙК Л М НҢӘО П Р С Т УЎҮФХ Ц Ч ШЩЪЫ ЬЭ ЮЯ

See also

Related Research Articles

Russian alphabet Alphabet that uses letters from the Cyrillic script

The Russian alphabet was derived from Cyrillic script for Old Church Slavonic language. Initially an old variant of the Bulgarian alphabet, it became used in the Kievan Rus' since 10th century to write what would become the Russian language. The modern Russian alphabet consists of 33 letters. It has twenty consonants, ten vowels, a semivowel (⟨й⟩), and two modifier letters that alter a preceding consonant.

Bashkir language Turkic language in Russia

Bashkir is a Turkic language belonging to the Kipchak branch. It is co-official with Russian in Bashkortostan. It is spoken by approximately 1.4 million native speakers in Russia. It has three dialect groups: Southern, Eastern and Northwestern.

Kalmyk Oirat

Kalmyk Oirat, commonly known as the Kalmyk language, is a register of the Oirat language, natively spoken by the Kalmyk people of Kalmykia, a federal subject of Russia. In Russia, it is the standard form of the Oirat language, which belongs to the Mongolic language family. The Kalmyk people of the Northwest Caspian Sea of Russia claim descent from the Oirats from Eurasia, who have also historically settled in Mongolia and Northwest China. According to UNESCO, the language is "Definitely endangered". According to the Russian census of 2010, there are 80,500 speakers of an ethnic population consisting of 183,000 people.

I (Cyrillic)

I is a letter used in almost all Cyrillic alphabets.

The European ordering rules, define an ordering for strings written in languages that are written with the Latin, Greek and Cyrillic alphabets. The standard covers languages used by the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, and parts of the former Soviet Union. It is a tailoring of the Common Tailorable Template of ISO/IEC 14651. EOR can in turn be tailored for different (European) languages. But in inter-European contexts, EOR can be used without further tailoring.

Romanization of Russian Romanization of the Russian alphabet

Romanization of Russian is the process of transliterating the Russian language from the Cyrillic script into the Latin script.

Two scripts are currently used for the Tatar language: Arabic, Cyrillic.

Soft sign

The soft sign also known as the front yer or front jer, is a letter of the Cyrillic script. In Old Church Slavonic, it represented a short front vowel. As with its companion, the back yer ⟨ъ⟩, the vowel phoneme that it designated was later partly dropped and partly merged with other vowels.

Yery

Yery, Yeru, Ery or Eru, usually called Ы [ɨ] in modern Russian or еры yerý historically and in modern Church Slavonic, is a letter in the Cyrillic script. It represents the close central unrounded vowel after non-palatalised (hard) consonants in the Belarusian and Russian alphabets.

The Ukrainian alphabet is the set of letters used to write Ukrainian, the official language of Ukraine. It is one of the national variations of the Cyrillic script. The modern Ukrainian alphabet consists of 33 letters.

The Shor language is a Turkic language spoken by about 2,800 people in a region called Mountain Shoriya, in the Kemerovo Province in Southwest Siberia, although the entire Shor population in this area is over 12000 people. Presently, not all ethnic Shors speak Shor and the language suffered a decline from the late 1930s to the early 1980s. During this period the Shor language was neither written nor taught in schools. However, since the 1980s and 1990s there has been a Shor language revival. The language is now taught at the Novokuznetsk branch of the Kemerovo State University.

The Belarusian alphabet is based on the Cyrillic script and is derived from the alphabet of Old Church Slavonic. It has existed in its modern form since 1918 and has 32 letters. See also Belarusian Latin alphabet and Belarusian Arabic alphabet.

The Even language, also known as Lamut, Ewen, Eben, Orich, Ilqan, is a Tungusic language spoken by the Evens in Siberia. It is spoken by widely scattered communities of reindeer herders from Kamchatka and the Sea of Okhotsk in the east to the Lena river in the west, and from the Arctic coast in the north to the Aldan river in the south. Even is an endangered language, with only some 5,700 speakers. These speakers are specifically from the Magadan region, the Chukot region and the Koryak region. The dialects are Arman, Indigirka, Kamchatka, Kolyma-Omolon, Okhotsk, Ola, Tompon, Upper Kolyma, Sakkyryr and Lamunkhin.

Kazakh alphabets

Three alphabets are used to write the Kazakh language: in the Cyrillic, Latin and Arabic scripts. The Cyrillic script is used in Kazakhstan and Mongolia. An October 2017 Presidential Decree in Kazakhstan ordered that the transition from Cyrillic to a Latin script be completed by 2025. The Arabic script is used in parts of China, Iran and Afghanistan.

The Cyrillic script family contains many specially treated two-letter combinations, or digraphs, but few of these are used in Slavic languages. In a few alphabets, trigraphs and even the occasional tetragraph are used.

JCUKEN is the main Cyrillic keyboard layout for the Russian language in computers and typewriters. Earlier in Russia JIUKEN (ЙІУКЕН) layout was the main layout, but it was replaced by JCUKEN when the Russian alphabet reform of 1917 removed the letters Ѣ, І, Ѵ, and Ѳ. The letter Ъ had decreased in usage significantly after the reform.

Russian Braille

Russian Braille is the braille alphabet of the Russian language. With suitable extensions, it is used for languages of neighboring countries that are written in Cyrillic in print, such as Ukrainian and Mongolian. It is based on the Latin transliteration of Cyrillic, with additional letters assigned idiosyncratically. In Russian, it is known as Шрифт Брайля.

Dolgan language

The Dolgan language is a Turkic language with around 1,000 speakers, spoken in the Taymyr Peninsula in Russia. The speakers are known as the Dolgans. The word "Dolgan" means 'tribe living on the middle reaches of the river'. This is most likely signifying the geographical location of the Dolgan tribe.

The Komi language, a Uralic language spoken in the north-eastern part of European Russia, has been written in several different alphabets. Currently, Komi writing uses letters from the Cyrillic script. There have been five distinct stages in the history of Komi writing:

Since its inception in the 18th century and up to the present, it is based on the Cyrillic alphabet to write the Udmurt language. Attempts were also made to use the Latin alphabet to write the Udmurt language. In its modern form, the Udmurt alphabet was approved in 1937.

References

  1. Šmid (2002), pp. 113–24: "Es interesante el hecho que en Bulgaria se imprimieron unas pocas publicaciones en alfabeto cirílico búlgaro y en Grecia en alfabeto griego... Nezirović (1992: 128) anota que también en Bosnia se ha encontrado un documento en que la lengua sefardí está escrita en alfabeto cirilico." Translation: "It is an interesting fact that in Bulgaria a few [Sephardic] publications are printed in the Bulgarian Cyrillic alphabet and in Greece in the Greek alphabet... Nezirović (1992:128) writes that in Bosnia a document has also been found in which the Sephardic language is written in the Cyrillic alphabet."
  2. Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500–1250, Cambridge Medieval Textbooks, Florin Curta, Cambridge University Press, 2006, ISBN   0521815398, pp. 221–222.
  3. The Orthodox Church in the Byzantine Empire, Oxford History of the Christian Church, J. M. Hussey, Andrew Louth, Oxford University Press, 2010, ISBN   0191614882, p. 100.
  4. Peshikan, Mitar; Jerković, Jovan; Pižurica, Mato (1994). Pravopis srpskoga jezika. Beograd: Matica Srpska. p. 42. ISBN   86-363-0296-X.
  5. Pravopis na makedonskiot jazik (PDF). Skopje: Institut za makedonski jazik Krste Misirkov. 2017. p. 3. ISBN   978-608-220-042-2.
  6. Senahid Halilović, Pravopis bosanskog jezika
  7. Rießler, Michael. Towards a digital infrastructure for Kildin Saami. In: Sustaining Indigenous Knowledge, ed. by Erich Kasten, Erich and Tjeerd de Graaf. Fürstenberg, 2013, 195–218.

Further reading