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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
OST 8483 was the first Soviet standard on romanization of Russian, introduced in 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.
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.
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 requires some diacritics and two-letter tie characters, which are often omitted in practice.
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 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), so all of the 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 Ministry of Internal Affairs,but this 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 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.
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 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).
|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||ʺ||ʺ||ʺ||ʺ||ʺ||ʺ||’||ʺ ⁷||” (")¹⁰||ˮ||ʺ||–||ie|
|Ы||ы||y||y||y||y||y||y'||y||y||ȳ (ui)¹¹||y ¹³||y||y||y|
|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 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.
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 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.
Yery, Yeru, Ery or Eru is a letter in the Cyrillic script. It represents the phoneme 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.
Jaꞑalif, Yangalif or Yañalif is the first Latin alphabet used during the Soviet epoch for the Turkic languages in the 1930s. It replaced the Yaña imlâ Arabic script-based alphabet in 1928 and was replaced by the Cyrillic alphabet in 1938-1940; several former Soviet states in Central Asia switched back to Latin script, with slight modifications to the original Jaꞑalif.
Romanization of Greek is the transliteration (letter-mapping) or transcription (sound-mapping) of text from the Greek alphabet into the Latin alphabet. The conventions for writing and romanizing Ancient Greek and Modern Greek differ markedly, which can create confusion. The sound of the English letter B was written as β in ancient Greek but is now written as the digraph μπ, while the modern β sounds like the English letter V instead. The Greek name Ἰωάννης became Johannes in Latin and then John in English, but in Greek itself has instead become Γιάννης; this might be written as Yannis, Jani, Ioannis, Yiannis, or Giannis, but not Giannes or Giannēs as it would have been in ancient Greek. The masculine Greek word Ἅγιος or Άγιος might variously appear as Hagiοs, Agios, Aghios, or Ayios, or simply be translated as "Holy" or "Saint" in English forms of Greek placenames.
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 writes 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 in lieu of 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.
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 ALA-LC Romanization tables for Slavic alphabets is a set of standards for romanization of texts in various writing systems used in North American libraries and publications. The latest version was published by the American Library Association and the Library of Congress in 1997. This article is about the ALA-LC method of transliteration 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 Macedonian 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 alifboji toçikī in Latin script.
The BGN/PCGN romanization system for Belarusian is a method for romanization of Cyrillic Belarusian texts, that is, their transliteration into the Latin alphabet.
Romanization of Persian or Latinization of Persian is the representation of the Persian language with the Latin script. Several different romanization schemes exist, each with its own set of rules driven by its own set of ideological goals.
There are various systems of romanization of the Armenian alphabet.
BGN/PCGN romanization system for Kazakh is a method for romanization of Cyrillic Kazakh texts, that is, their transliteration into the Latin alphabet as used in the English language.