Romanization of Russian is the process of transliterating the Russian language from the Cyrillic script into the Latin script.
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.
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.
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.
OST 8483 was the first Soviet standard on romanization of Russian, introduced on 16 October 1935.
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.
This standard is an equivalent of GOST 16876-71 and was adopted as an official standard of the COMECON.
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 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).
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/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 9:1995 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.
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.
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 for bibliographic cataloguing requires some diacritics, two-letter tie characters, and prime marks. The standard is also often adapted as a “simplified” or “modified Library of Congress system” for use in text for a non-specialized audience, omitting the special characters and diacritics, simplifying endings, and modifying iotated initials.
British Standard 2979:1958 is the main system of the Oxford University Press,and a variation was used by the British Library to catalogue publications acquired up to 1975—the Library of Congress system (ALA-LC) is used for newer acquisitions).
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.
In Soviet international passports, transliteration was based on French rules but without diacritics and so all names were transliterated in a French-style system.
In 1997, with the introduction of new Russian passports, a diacritic-free English-oriented system was established by the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs,but the system was also abandoned in 2010.
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,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 one that had been in the old pre-2010 passport, could apply to the local migratory office before they acquired a new passport. The standard was abandoned in 2013.
In 2013, Order No. 320of the Federal Migratory Service of Russia came into force. It states that all personal names in the passports must be transliterated by using the ICAO system, which is published in Doc 9303 "Machine Readable Travel Documents, Part 3". The 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).
|Cyrillic||Scholarly||ISO/R 9:1968||GOST 16876-71(1);|
|GOST 16876-71(2)||ISO 9:1995; GOST 7.79-2000(A)||GOST 7.79-2000(B)||Road|
|ALA-LC||BS 2979:1958||BGN/PCGN||Passport (1997)||Passport (2010)||Passport (2013), ICAO|
|Е||е||e||e||e||e||e||e||e (ye)⁵||e||e||e (ye)¹²||e (ye)¹⁴||e||e|
|Ё||ё||ë||ë||ë||jo||ë||yo||e (ye, yo)⁶||ë||ë ⁸||ë (yë)¹²||e (ye)¹⁴||e||e|
|Й||й||j||j||j||j||j||j||y||ĭ||ĭ ⁸||y ¹³||y ¹⁵||i||i|
|Ц||ц||c||c||c||c||c||cz (c)³||ts||t͡s||ts ⁹||ts ¹³||ts||tc||ts|
|Ъ||ъ ⁰||ʺ||ʺ||ʺ||ʺ||ʺ||ʺ||ʼ||ʺ ⁷||ˮ (")¹⁰||ˮ||ʺ||–||ie|
|Ы||ы||y||y||y||y||y||y'||y||y||ȳ (ui)¹¹||y ¹³||y||y||y|
|Ь||ь ⁰||ʹ||ʹ||ʹ||ʹ||ʹ||ʹ||ʼ||ʹ||ʼ (')||ʼ||–||–||–|
|Э||э||è||è||ė||eh||è||e'||e||ė||é ⁸||e ¹³||e||e||e|
|Pre-18th century letters|
|Cyrillic||Scholarly||ISO/R 9:1968||GOST 1971(1);|
|GOST 1971(2)||ISO9:1995; GOST 2002(A)||GOST 2002(B)||Road|
|ALA-LC||BS 2979:1958||BGN/PCGN||Passport (1997)||Passport (2010)||Passport (2013), ICAO|
In a second sense, the romanization or Latinization of Russianmay 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 throughout 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 a 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.
The Cyrillic script is a writing system used for various languages across Eurasia and is used as the national script in various Slavic, Turkic, Mongolic and Iranic-speaking countries in Southeastern Europe, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia, North Asia and East Asia.
Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics, is the conversion of writing from a different writing system to the Roman (Latin) script, or a system for doing so. Methods of romanization include transliteration, for representing written text, and transcription, for representing the spoken word, and combinations of both. Transcription methods can be subdivided into phonemic transcription, which records the phonemes or units of semantic meaning in speech, and more strict phonetic transcription, which records speech sounds with precision.
The Russian alphabet uses letters from the Cyrillic script to write 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.
The ISO international standard ISO 9 establishes a system for the transliteration into Latin characters of Cyrillic characters constituting the alphabets of many Slavic and non-Slavic languages.
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, 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 romanization or Latinization of Ukrainian is the representation of the Ukrainian language using Latin letters. Ukrainian is natively written in its own Ukrainian alphabet, which is based on the Cyrillic script. Romanization may be employed to represent Ukrainian text or pronunciation for non-Ukrainian readers, on computer systems that cannot reproduce Cyrillic characters, or for typists who are not familiar with the Ukrainian keyboard layout. Methods of romanization include transliteration, representing written text, and transcription, representing the spoken word.
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.
Romanization of Bulgarian is the practice of transliteration of text in Bulgarian from its conventional Cyrillic orthography into the Latin alphabet. Romanization can be used for various purposes, such as rendering of proper names and place names in foreign-language contexts, or for informal writing of Bulgarian in environments where Cyrillic is not easily available. Official use of romanization by Bulgarian authorities is found, for instance, in identity documents and in road signage. Several different standards of transliteration exist, one of which was chosen and made mandatory for common use by the Bulgarian authorities in a law of 2009.
The romanization of Arabic refers to the standard norms for rendering written and spoken Arabic in the Latin script in one of various systematic ways. Romanized Arabic is used for a number of different purposes, among them transcription of names and titles, cataloging Arabic language works, language education when used moreover or alongside the Arabic script, and representation of the language in scientific publications by linguists. These formal systems, which often make use of diacritics and non-standard Latin characters and are used in academic settings or for the benefit of non-speakers, contrast with informal means of written communication used by speakers such as the Latin-based Arabic chat alphabet.
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.
Scientific transliteration, variously called academic, linguistic, international, or scholarly transliteration, is an international system for transliteration of text from the Cyrillic script to the Latin script (romanization). This system is most often seen in linguistics publications on Slavic languages.
Romanization or Latinization of Belarusian is any system for transliterating written Belarusian from Cyrillic to the Latin.
BGN/PCGN romanization system for Russian is a method for romanization of Cyrillic Russian texts, that is, their transliteration into the Latin alphabet as used in the English language.
GOST 16876-71 is a romanization system devised by the National Administration for Geodesy and Cartography of the Soviet Union. It is based on the scientific transliteration system used in linguistics. GOST was an international standard so it included provision for a number of the languages of the Soviet Union. The standard was revised twice in 1973 and 1980 with minor changes.
The American Library Association and Library of Congress Romanization Tables for Russian, or the Library of Congress system, are a set of rules for the romanization of Russian-language text from Cyrillic script to Latin script.
The Romanization of Macedonian is the transliteration of text in the Macedonian language from the Macedonian Cyrillic alphabet into the Latin alphabet. Romanization can be used for various purposes, such as rendering of proper names in foreign contexts, or for informal writing of Macedonian in environments where Cyrillic is not easily available. Official use of Romanization by North Macedonia's authorities is found, for instance, on road signage and in passports. Several different codified standards of transliteration currently exist and there is widespread variability in practice.
The Tajik language has been written in three alphabets over the course of its history: an adaptation of the Perso-Arabic script, an adaptation of the Latin script and an adaptation of the Cyrillic script. Any script used specifically for Tajik may be referred to as the Tajik alphabet, which is written as алифбои тоҷикӣ in Cyrillic characters, الفبای تاجیکی with Perso-Arabic script and alifʙoji toçikī in Latin script.
There are various systems of romanization of the Armenian alphabet.
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: