Romanization of Russian

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

Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script to another that involves swapping letters in predictable ways.

Russian language East Slavic language

Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although nearly three decades have passed since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia.

Cyrillic script alphabetic writing system

The Cyrillic script is a writing system used for various alphabets across Eurasia and is used as the national script in various Slavic-, Turkic- and Persian-speaking countries in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and North Asia.

Contents

As well as its primary use for citing Russian names and words in languages which use a Latin alphabet, romanization is also essential for computer users to input Russian text who either do not have a keyboard or word processor set up for inputting Cyrillic, or else are not capable of typing rapidly using a native Russian keyboard layout (JCUKEN). In the latter case, they would type using a system of transliteration fitted for their keyboard layout, such as for English QWERTY keyboards, and then use an automated tool to convert the text into Cyrillic.

Typing process of writing or inputting text by pressing keys on a typewriter, keyboard, cell phone, or a calculator

Typing is the process of writing or inputting text by pressing keys on a typewriter, computer keyboard, cell phone, or calculator. It can be distinguished from other means of text input, such as handwriting and speech recognition. Text can be in the form of letters, numbers and other symbols. The world's first typist was Lillian Sholes from Wisconsin, the daughter of Christopher Sholes, who invented the first practical typewriter.

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.

A keyboard layout is any specific mechanical, visual, or functional arrangement of the keys, legends, or key-meaning associations (respectively) of a computer, typewriter, or other typographic keyboard. Mechanical layout is the placements and keys of a keyboard. Visual layout is the arrangement of the legends that appear on the keys of a keyboard. Functional layout is the arrangement of the key-meaning associations, determined in software, of all the keys of a keyboard.

Pavel Datsyuk (Cyrillic: Pavel Datsiuk), a former NHL and international ice hockey player, wearing a sweater with Latin characters Pavel Datsyuk 2016.JPG
Pavel Datsyuk (Cyrillic: Павел Дацюк), a former NHL and international ice hockey player, wearing a sweater with Latin characters
A street sign in Russia with the name of the street shown in Cyrillic and Latin characters Udaltsova Street sign.jpg
A street sign in Russia with the name of the street shown in Cyrillic and Latin characters

Systematic transliterations of Cyrillic to Latin

There are a number of incompatible standards for the Romanization of Russian Cyrillic, with none of them having received much popularity and in reality transliteration is often carried out without any uniform standards. [1]

Scientific transliteration

Scientific transliteration, also known as the International Scholarly System, is a system that has been used in linguistics since the 19th century. It is based on the Czech alphabet and formed the basis of the GOST and ISO systems.

Linguistics is the scientific study of language. It involves analysing language form, language meaning, and language in context. The earliest activities in the documentation and description of language have been attributed to the 6th-century-BC Indian grammarian Pāṇini who wrote a formal description of the Sanskrit language in his Aṣṭādhyāyī.

GOST

OST 8483

OST 8483 was the first Soviet standard on romanization of Russian, introduced in 16 October 1935. [2]

GOST 16876-71 (1973)

Developed by the National Administration for Geodesy and Cartography at the USSR Council of Ministers, GOST 16876-71 has been in service for over 30 years and is the only romanization system that does not use diacritics. Replaced by GOST 7.79-2000.

A diacritic – also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent – is a glyph added to a letter or basic glyph. The term derives from the Ancient Greek διακριτικός, from διακρίνω. Diacritic is primarily an adjective, though sometimes used as a noun, whereas diacritical is only ever an adjective. Some diacritical marks, such as the acute ( ´ ) and grave ( ` ), are often called accents. Diacritical marks may appear above or below a letter, or in some other position such as within the letter or between two letters.

ST SEV 1362 (1978)

This standard is an equivalent of GOST 16876-71 and was adopted as an official standard of the COMECON.

GOST 7.79-2000 (2002)

GOST 7.79-2000 System of Standards on Information, Librarianship, and Publishing–Rules for Transliteration of the Cyrillic Characters Using the Latin Alphabet is an adoption of ISO 9:1995. It is the official standard of both Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

GOST 52535.1-2006 (2006)

GOST 52535.1-2006 Identification cards. Machine readable travel documents. Part 1. Machine readable passports is an adoption of an ICAO standard for travel documents. It was used in Russian passports for a short period during 2010–2013 (see below). The standard was substituted in 2013 by GOST R ISO/IEC 7501-1-2013, which does not contain romanization, but directly refers to the ICAO romanization (see below).

Street and road signs

Names on street and road signs in the Soviet Union were romanized according to GOST 10807-78 (tables 17, 18), which was amended by newer Russian GOST R 52290-2004 (tables Г.4, Г.5), the romanizations in both the standards are practically identical.

ISO

ISO/R 9

ISO/R 9, established in 1954 and updated in 1968, was the adoption of the scientific transliteration by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). It covers Russian and seven other Slavic languages.

ISO 9

ISO 9:1995 is the current transliteration standard from ISO. It is based on its predecessor ISO/R 9:1968, which it deprecates; for Russian, the two are the same except in the treatment of five modern letters. ISO 9:1995 is the first language-independent, univocal system of one character for one character equivalents (by the use of diacritics) that faithfully represents the original and allows for reverse transliteration for Cyrillic text in any contemporary language.

United Nations romanization system

The UNGEGN, a Working Group of the United Nations, in 1987 recommended a romanization system for geographical names, which was based on the 1983 version of GOST 16876-71. It may be found in some international cartographic products.

ALA-LC

American Library Association and Library of Congress (ALA-LC) romanization tables for Slavic alphabets (updated 1997) are used in North American libraries and in the British Library since 1975.

The formal, unambiguous version of the system requires some diacritics and two-letter tie characters, which are often omitted in practice.

British Standard

British Standard 2979:1958 is the main system of the Oxford University Press, [3] and a variation was used by the British Library to catalogue publications acquired up to 1975 (the Library of Congress system is used for newer acquisitions). [4]

BGN/PCGN

The BGN/PCGN system is relatively intuitive for Anglophones to read and pronounce. In many publications, a simplified form of the system is used to render English versions of Russian names, typically converting ë to yo, simplifying -iy and -yy endings to -y, and omitting apostrophes for ъ and ь. It can be rendered using only the basic letters and punctuation found on English-language keyboards: no diacritics or unusual letters are required, although the interpunct character (·) may be used to avoid ambiguity.

This particular standard is part of the BGN/PCGN romanization system which was developed by the United States Board on Geographic Names and by the Permanent Committee on Geographical Names for British Official Use. The portion of the system pertaining to the Russian language was adopted by BGN in 1944 and by PCGN in 1947.

Transliteration of the names in Russian passports

Before 1997

In Soviet international passports, transliteration was based on French rules (but without diacritics), so all of the names were transliterated in a French-style system. [5]

1997–2010

In 1997, with the introduction of new Russian passports, a diacritic-free English-oriented system was established by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, [5] [6] but this system was also abandoned in 2010.

2010–2013

In 2006, GOST 52535.1-2006 was adopted, which defines technical requirements and standards for Russian international passports and introduces its own system of transliteration. In 2010, the Federal Migratory Service of Russia approved Order No. 26, [7] stating that all personal names in the passports issued after 2010 must be transliterated using GOST 52535.1-2006. Because of some differences between the new system and the old one, citizens who wanted to retain the old version of a name's transliteration, especially which had been in the old pre-2010 passport, might apply to the local migratory office before acquiring a new passport. The standard was abandoned in 2013.

After 2013

In 2013, Order No. 320 [8] of the Federal Migratory Service of Russia came into force. It states that all personal names in the passports must be transliterated using the ICAO system, which is published in Doc 9303 "Machine Readable Travel Documents, Part 3". This system differs from the GOST 52535.1-2006 system in two things: ц is transliterated into ts (as in pre-2010 systems), ъ is transliterated into ie (a novelty).

Transliteration table

Common systems for romanizing Russian
CyrillicScholarly

[9] [10]

ISO/R 9:1968GOST 16876-71(1);
UNGEGN (1987)
GOST 16876-71(2)ISO 9:1995; GOST 7.79-2000(A)GOST 7.79-2000(B)Road
signs
ALA-LCBS 2979:1958BGN/PCGNPassport (1997)Passport (2010)Passport (2013), ICAO
Ааaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Ббbbbbbbbbbbbbb
Ввvvvvvvvvvvvvv
Ггggggggggggggg
Ддddddddddddddd
Ееeeeeeee (ye)⁵ eee (ye)¹² e (ye)¹⁴ ee
Ёёëëëjoëyoe (ye, yo)⁶ ëë ë (yë)¹² e (ye)¹⁴ ee
Жжžžžzhžzhzhzhzhzhzhzhzh
Ззzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Ииiiiiiiiiiiiii
Ййjjjjjjyĭĭ y ¹³ y ¹⁵ ii
Ккkkkkkkkkkkkkk
Ллlllllllllllll
Ммmmmmmmmmmmmmm
Ннnnnnnnnnnnnnn
Ооooooooooooooo
Ппppppppppppppp
Ррrrrrrrrrrrrrr
Ссsssssssss ssss
Ттttttttttt tttt
Ууuuuuuuuuuuuuu
Ффfffffffffffff
Ххx (ch)chhkhhxkhkhkhkhkhkhkh
Ццccccccz (c)³ tst͡sts ts ¹³ tstcts
Ччčččchčchchchchchchchch
Шшšššshšshshshshshshshsh
Щщščščŝshhŝshhshchshchshchshch ¹³ shchshchshch
Ъъʺʺʺʺʺʺ ʺ ⁷ ” (")¹⁰ ˮʺie
Ыыyyyyyy'yyȳ (ui)¹¹ y ¹³ yyy
Ььʹʹʹʹʹʹʹ’ (')ʼ
Ээèèėehèe'eėé e ¹³ eee
Ююjujujujuûyuyui͡uyuyuyuiuiu
Яяjajajajaâyayai͡ayayayaiaia
Pre-1918 letters
Ііiiiìi (i’)⁴ īī
Ѳѳf (th)¹ fh
Ѣѣěěěěyei͡eê
Ѵѵi (ü)¹ yh
Pre-18th century letters
Єє(j)e¹ -ē
Ѥѥje¹ -i͡e
Ѕѕdz (ʒ)¹ -jsż
u-ū
Ѡѡô (o)¹ -ō
Ѿѿôt (ot)¹ -ō͡t
Ѫѫǫ (u)¹ -ǎǫ
Ѧѧę (ja)¹ -ę
Ѭѭ(ju)¹ -i͡ǫ
Ѩѩ(ja)¹ -i͡ę
Ѯѯks-k͡s
Ѱѱps-p͡s
CyrillicScholarlyISO/R 9:1968GOST 1971(1);
UNGEGN (1987)
GOST 1971(2)ISO9:1995; GOST 2002(A)GOST 2002(B)Road
signs
ALA-LCBS 2979:1958BGN/PCGNPassport (1997)Passport (2010)Passport (2013), ICAO

Table notes

Scholarly
¹ Some archaic letters are transcribed in different ways.
GOST 16876-71 and GOST 7.79-2000
³ It is recommended to use c before i, e, y, j, but cz in all other cases.
⁴ In GOST 7.79-2000 Cyrillic і in Ukrainian and Bulgarian is always transliterated as Latin i as well as in Old Russian and Old Bulgarian texts where it is usually used before vowels. In the rare case that it falls before a consonant (for example, in the word мiръ), it is transliterated with an apostrophe i’.
Street and road signs
⁵ е = ye initially, after vowels, and after ъ and ь.
⁶ ё
= ye after consonants except ч, ш, щ, ж (ch, sh, shch, zh);
= e after ч, ш, щ, ж (ch, sh, shch, zh);
= yo initially, after vowels, and after ъ and ь.
ALA-LC
⁷ ъ is not romanized at the end of a word.
British Standard
⁸ Diacritics may be omitted when back-transliteration is not required.
⁹ тс is romanized t-s to distinguish it from ц = ts.
¹⁰ ъ is not romanized at the end of a word.
¹¹ The British Library uses ы = ui, ый = uy.
BGN/PCGN
¹² The digraphs ye and are used to indicate iotation at the beginning of a word, after vowels, and after й, ъ or ь.
¹³ An optional middle dot (·) may be used to signify:
  • non-digraphs (тс = t·s, шч = sh·ch);
  • = й before а, у, ы, э (йа = y·a, йу = y·u, йы = y·y, йэ = y·e);
  • = ы before а, у, ы, э (ыа = y·a, ыу = y·u, ыы = y·y, ыэ = y·e);
  • ·y = ы after vowels;
  • ·e = э after consonants except й.
Passport (1997)
¹⁴ ye after ь.
¹⁵ ий is either iy or y, and ый is either y or yy.

Latin script

In a second sense, the romanization of Russian may also indicate the introduction of a dedicated Latin alphabet for writing the Russian language. Such an alphabet would not necessarily bind closely to the traditional Cyrillic orthography. The transition from Cyrillic to Latin has been proposed several times through history (especially during the Soviet era), but was never conducted on a large scale, except for graphemic (such as the Volapuk) and phonemic (such as translit) ad hoc transcriptions.

The most serious possibility of adoption of the Latin alphabet for the Russian language was discussed in 1929–30 during the campaign of latinisation of the languages of the USSR, when a special commission was created to propose a latinisation system for Russian. [11]

See also

Notes

  1. Ivanov, L. Streamlined Romanization of Russian Cyrillic. Contrastive Linguistics. XLII (2017) No. 2. pp. 66-73. ISSN   0204-8701
  2. Vinogradov, N. V. (1941). Karty i atlasy (in Russian). p. 44. ISBN   978-5-4475-6305-9.
  3. Waddingham, Anne (2014). New Hart's Rules: The Oxford Style Guide. Oxford University Press. p. 240. ISBN   978-0-19-957002-7.
  4. "Search for Cyrillic items in the catalogue". British Library. 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  5. 1 2 Ministry of Internal Affairs. "Order No. 310 (26 May 1997)" (in Russian).
  6. Ministry of Internal Affairs (22 January 2004). "Order No. 1047 (31 December 2003)" (in Russian) (3386). Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
  7. Federal Migratory Service (5 March 2010). "Order No. 26 (3 February 2010)" (in Russian) (5125). Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
  8. Federal Migratory Service (27 March 2013). "Order No. 320 (15 October 2012)" (in Russian) (6041). Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
  9. Lunt, Horace Grey (2001). Old Church Slavonic Grammar (7 ed.). Berlin, New York: Walter de Gruyter. pp. 17–18. ISBN   3-11-016284-9.
  10. Timberlake, Alan (2004). A Reference Grammar of Russian. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN   9780521772921.
  11. "О латинизации русского алфавита"

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References