World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0000479879
Reproduction Date:

Title: Cyrillization  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Cyrillization, Cyrillization of Japanese, Cyrillization of Greek, Cyrillization of Korean, Transliterations of Manchu
Collection: Cyrillization, Transliteration
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


A Cyrillization is a system for rendering words of a language that normally uses a writing system other than the Cyrillic script into a (version of) the Cyrillic alphabet. A Cyrillization scheme needs to be applied, for example, to transcribe names of German, Chinese, or American people and places for use in Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian, Macedonian or Bulgarian newspapers and books. Cyrillization is analogous to romanization, when words from a non-Latin-script-using language are rendered in the Latin alphabet for use e.g. in English, German, or Francophone literature.

Just as with various Romanization schemes, each Cyrillization system has its own set of rules, depending on:

  • The source language or writing system (English, French, Arabic, Hindi, Kazakh in Latin alphabet, Chinese, Japanese, etc.),
  • The destination language or writing system (Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Kazakh in Cyrillic, etc.),
  • the goals of the systems:
  • Linguistic and/or political inclinations of the designers of the system (see, for example, the use—or disuse—of the letter Ґ for rendering the "G" of foreign words in the Ukrainian).

When the source language uses a fairly phonetic spelling system, a Cyrillization scheme may often be adopted that almost amounts to a transliteration, i.e. using a mapping scheme that simply maps each letter of the source alphabet to some letter of the destination alphabet, sometimes augmented by position-based rules. Among such schemes are several schemes universally accepted in Eastern Slavic languages:

Similarly simple schemes are widely used to render Spanish, Italian, etc. words into Russian, Ukrainian, etc.

When the source language uses a not particularly phonetic writing system — most notably English and French — its words are typically rendered in Russian, Ukrainian or other Cyrillic-based languages using an approximate phonetic transliteration system, which aims to allow the Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, etc. readers to approximate the sound of the source language as much as it is possible within the constraints of the destination language and its alphabet. Among the examples are the Practical transcription of English into Russian (Russian: Правила англо-русской практической транскрипции), which aims to render English words into Russian based on their sounds, and Transliteration of foreign words by a Cyrillic alphabet (Транслітерація іншомовних слів кирилицею) and Cyrillization of the English language (Кирилізація англійської мови) in the case of Ukrainian. While this scheme is mostly accepted by a majority of Russian and Ukrainian authors and publishers, transcription variants are not uncommon.

A transliteration system for the Bulgarian Cyrillization of English has been designed by the Bulgarian linguist Andrey Danchev.

Similarly phonetic schemes are widely adopted for Cyrillization of French.

See also

  • Транскрибиране на български език - Transcription into the Bulgarian
  • Транскрипция (Russian) - the articles on Transcription in the Russian WorldHeritage
    • Rules for practical English-Russian transcription (Russian)
    • Transcription of German into Cyrillic (Russian)
  • Транскрипція (Ukrainian) - the articles on Transcription in the Ukrainian WorldHeritage
    • Cyrillization of English (Ukrainian)
    • Transliteration of English and German words by a Cyrillic alphabet (Ukrainian)
  • Volapuk encoding


  • A. Danchev, Bulgarian transcription of English names, Narodna Prosveta, Sofia, 1982 (in Bulgarian)
  • R.S. Gilyrevsky (Гиляревский Р. С.), editor: "Practical Transcription of Personal and Family Names" (Практическая транскрипция фамильно-именных групп.) Moscow, Fizmatliz, 2004. ISBN 5-9221-0480-2. — (covers 6 European languages, as well as Arabic, Chinese, Turkish, and Japanese)
    • same, 2nd edition; Moscow, Nauka, 2006, 526. ISBN 5-02-033718-8. (11 European languages, as well as Arabic, Chinese, Turkish, Hindi, Vietnames, Korean, and Japanese)
  • R.S. Gilyrevsky (Гиляревский Р. С.), B.A. Starostin (Старостин Б. А.) "Foreign Names in the Russian Text: A Handbook" (Иностранные имена и названия в русском тексте: Справочник). 3rd edition. Moscow, Vysshaya Shkola, 1985.
  • D.I. Ermolovich (Ермолович Д. И.) "Personal Names at the Junction of Languages and Cultures" (Имена собственные на стыке языков и культур). Moscow, R. Valent, 2001. ISBN 5-93439-046-5. (23 languages)
  • D.I. Ermolovich (Ермолович Д. И.) "Personal Names: Theory and Practice of Interlanguage Transmission at the Junction of Languages and Cultures" (Имена собственные: теория и практика межъязыковой передачи на стыке языков и культур. Moscow, R. Valent, 2005. ISBN 5-93439-153-4.
  • R.A. Lidin (Лидин Р. А). "Foreign family names and personal names. Spelling and pronunciation. Practical transcription into Russian: Dictionary Handbook" (Иностранные фамилии и личные имена. Написание и произношение. Практическая транскрипция на русский язык: Словарь-справочник) Moscow, Vneshsigma, 1998. .
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.