Cyrillic Alphabets
and Transliteration

Introduction -- Russian -- English transliterations


The first transliteration schemes provided by GeoNative for Cyrillic were based on English. After some good advice, we decided to change to more international standards. It is also appropiate not to be anglo-centric all the time, specially if we want to defend minorities.
For Russian, we use the so-called GOST 1983 system, also called the Montréal system because it was adopted at the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names in 1987 in Montréal. This standard uses diacritic signs non visible in HTML, so we complement that with our ASR system to represent diacritics and special characters.
Based in the GOST system, and in other well stablished standards (ISO and national choices), we provide also "International" transliteration and transcription schemes for other languages such as Noghay. Of course, there is no such "international standard" to transliterate this Turkic language, but the choices made at least try to be consistent with the well stablished schemes for other languages.
The source of the transliteration or transcription scheme is shown between brackets [ ]. Sometimes the source is GeoNative itself: they are proposals made by our collaborators.
We will try to put up tables so every transliteration and choice made regarding Cyrillic can be best viewed.
In English-language sources all these names will look differently. There are not unified english transliterations for cyrillic, but a variety of standards, more or less extended. We provide the most usual English-scheme for Russian, for instance, and a table explaining basic divergences among our so-called "International" schemes and the usual English transliterations.
The hard work regarding these transliteration schemes has to be credited to GeoNative collaborators Thomas Tvegaard and Peeter Päll.
In this page, you will find the Russian transliteration scheme, and the changes made in usual english transliterations. For other languages, check the index of Alphabet Street.
The images displayed for the Cyrillic alphabet sets are of two origins:
For brevity, only non-capitalized letters are shown in the transliterated versions.
In the Everson tables, sometimes the capital cyrillic letter is at the end of the row, and the small one at the beginning of the following row. In those cases, the corresponding transliterated sign is shown at the end of the first row, and the first sign of the following row corresponds to the following character there.


GOST [5th UN Conference on the Standarisation of Geographical Names, Montréal 1987]


GOST with ASR [GeoNative]

 a, b, v, g, d, e, ë, z<, z, i,

 j, k, l, m, n, o, p, r, s, t,

 u, f, h, c, c<, s<, s<c<, ", y, ',

 è, ju, ja

Usual English [BGN, PCGN, 1947]

 a, b, v, g, d, ye-/-e-, yo, zh, z, i,

 y, k, l, m, n, o, p, r, s, t,

 u, f, kh, ts, ch, sh, shch, ", y, ',

 è, yu, ya

GeoNative: International standards + ASR

Usual English transliterations






kh, h










y, ï


Updated: 1997-10-30


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