Cyrillization of Greek

Cyrillization of Greek refers to the transcription or transliteration of text from the Greek alphabet to the Cyrillic script.

Modern Greek to Russian

The following system has been used for Cyrillization of modern Greek into Russian.[1][2]

Greek note Cyrillic example
α а
αι э
άι, αϊ, άυ аи
αυ before β, γ, δ, ζ, λ, μ, ν, ρ, or a vowel ав
αυ before θ, κ, ξ, π, σ, τ, φ, χ, or ψ аф
β в
γ г
γ before ε, αι, ι, η, υ, ει, or οι г Γερμανία Германиа
γι, γει, γυ before vowels й Γιατρός Ятрос
γγ нг Άγγελος Ангелос
γκ word-initial г Γκάνα Гана
γκ within a word before a voiced consonant or a vowel нг
γκ within a word before an unvoiced consonant нк
γχ нх
δ д Δανία Даниа
ε э Έλβας Элвас
ει и
ει before a vowel й
εϊ эи
ευ before β, γ, δ, ζ, λ, μ, ν, ρ or a vowel эв
ευ before θ, κ, ξ, π, σ, τ, φ, χ, ψ эф
ζ з Ζαγορά Загора
η и
θ т Θεωδόρας Тэодорас
ι и
ι before a vowel й
κ к
λ л
μ м
μπ word-initial б
μπ within a word мп
ν н
ντ word-initial д
ντ within a word нт
ξ кс
ο о
οι before a vowel й
οι и
όι ои
οϊ ой
ου у
π п
ρ р
σ before θ, κ, π, ξ, σ, τ, ψ, χ, φ, or a vowel с
σ, ς before β, γ, δ, ζ, λ, μ, ν, ρ, τ, or ζ з
τ т
υ и
υ before a vowel й
φ ф
χ х
ψ пс
ω о

See also


  1. ^ Salnova, A. V. (2005). Греческо-русский и русско-греческий словарь [Greek–Russian and Russian–Greek Dictionary]. Moscow: Русский язык Медиа. ISBN 5-9576-0124-1.
  2. ^ Borisova, A. B. (2004). Греческий без репетитора [Greek Without a Tutor]. Moscow: Корона. pp. 8–10. ISBN 5-89-815-482-5.

Cyrillization is the process of rendering words of a language that normally uses a writing system other than Cyrillic script into (a version of) the Cyrillic alphabet. Although such a process has often been carried out in an ad hoc fashion, the term "cyrillization" usually refers to a consistent system applied, for example, to transcribe names of German, Chinese, or English 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:

to render occasional foreign words (mostly personal and place names) for use in newspapers or on maps;

to provide a practical approximate phonetic transcription in a phrase book or a bilingual dictionary;

or to convert a language to a Cyrillic writing system altogether (e.g. Dungan, Kazakh)

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 (e.g. Spanish, Turkish), 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:

Cyrillization of Chinese

Cyrillization of English

Cyrillization of Esperanto

Cyrillization of French

Cyrillization of German

Cyrillization of Italian

Cyrillization of Angolan Portuguese

Cyrillization of Spanish

Cyrillization of Greek

Cyrillization of Japanese - e.g. Polivanov system

Cyrillization of Korean

Cyrillization of Arabic

Cyrillization of Hindi

Cyrillization of Polish

Cyrillization of Afrikaans

Cyrillization of Kikongo

Cyrillization of Albanian

Cyrillization of Armenian

Cyrillization of Lithuanian

Cyrillization of Romani

Cyrillization of Hebrew

Cyrillization of Malay

Cyrillization of Vietnamese

Cyrillization of Finnish

Cyrillization of Welsh

Cyrillization of Czech and Slovak

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

When the source language does not use a 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 transcription system, which aims to allow the Cyrillic readers to approximate the sound of the source language as much as it is possible within the constraints of the destination language and its orthography. 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 (uk:Транслітерація іншомовних слів кирилицею) and Cyrillization of the English language (uk: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, especially considering the fairly large number of French loanwords that have been borrowed into Russian.

Romanization of Greek

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 (/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 (/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.Traditional English renderings of Greek names originated from Roman systems established in antiquity. The Roman alphabet itself was a form of the Cumaean alphabet derived from the Euboean script that valued Χ as /ks/ and Η as /h/ and used variant forms of Λ and Σ that became L and S. When this script was used to write the classical Greek alphabet, ⟨κ⟩ was replaced with ⟨c⟩, ⟨αι⟩ and ⟨οι⟩ became ⟨æ⟩ and ⟨œ⟩, and ⟨ει⟩ and ⟨ου⟩ were simplified to ⟨i⟩ (more rarely—corresponding to an earlier pronunciation—⟨e⟩) and ⟨u⟩. Aspirated consonants like ⟨θ⟩, ⟨φ⟩, initial-⟨ρ⟩, and ⟨χ⟩ simply wrote out the sound: ⟨th⟩, ⟨ph⟩, ⟨rh⟩, and ⟨ch⟩. Because English orthography has changed so much from the original Greek, modern scholarly transliteration now usually renders ⟨κ⟩ as ⟨k⟩ and the diphthongs ⟨αι, οι, ει, ου⟩ as ⟨ai, oi, ei, ou⟩. Modern scholars also increasingly render ⟨χ⟩ as ⟨kh⟩.The sounds of Modern Greek have diverged from both those of Ancient Greek and their descendant letters in English and other languages. This led to a variety of romanizations for names and placenames in the 19th and 20th century. The Hellenic Organization for Standardization (ELOT) issued its system in cooperation with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1983. This system was adopted (with minor modifications) by the United Nations' Fifth Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names at Montreal in 1987, by the United Kingdom's Permanent Committee on Geographical Names for British Official Use (PCGN) and by the United States' Board on Geographic Names (BGN) in 1996, and by the ISO itself in 1997. Romanization of names for official purposes (as with passports and identity cards) were required to use the ELOT system within Greece until 2011, when a legal decision permitted Greeks to use irregular forms (such as "Demetrios" for Δημήτριος) provided that official identification and documents also list the standard forms (as, for example, "Demetrios OR Dimitrios"). Other romanization systems still encountered are the BGN/PCGN's earlier 1962 system and the system employed by the American Library Association and the United States' Library of Congress."Greeklish" has also spread within Greece itself, owing to the rapid spread of digital telephony from cultures using the Latin alphabet. Since Greek typefaces and fonts are not always supported or robust, Greek email and chatting has adopted a variety of formats for rendering Greek and Greek shorthand using Latin letters. Examples include "8elo" and "thelw" for θέλω, "3ava" for ξανά, and "yuxi" for ψυχή.

Existing systems

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