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 Transliteration

Definition:

transliteration is the system of representing or spelling the text written in one alphabet using the corresponding letters of another.

Converting Russian letters into English ones, the Cyrillic symbols are usually transcribed or transliterated. Transliteration is more commonly used because Russian is a phonetic language, which means that, in general, letters are pronounced nearly as written except a very few rules. Nevertheless, there is no international agreement among experts on a single unified system of converting Cyrillic into Latin letters. That's why modern transliteration tables differ a bit.

Below you can get acquainted with the transliteration scheme accepted on our site:

Letter Translit Letter Translit Letter Translit
A a A a К к K k Х х H h
Б б B b Л л L l Ц ц Tz tz
В в V v М м M m Ч ч Ch ch
Г г G g Н н N n Ш ш Sh sh
Д д D d О о O o Щ щ Shch shch
Е е E e П п P p Ъ ъ '
Ё ё Yo yo Р р R r Ы ы Y y
Ж ж Zh zh С с S s Ь ь '
З з Z z Т т T t Э э E e
И и I i У у U u Ю ю Yu yu
Й й J j Ф ф F f Я я Ya ya

If you can't read Cyrillic properly, check russification of your PC.

Please note that transliteration is appropriate for written communication and isn't a reliable guide to proper pronunciation. It may be good for an occasional student, but still it is superficial and it makes you get used to pronouncing in an imperfect way. That is why, we recommend you to avoid using such system when learning the Russian language. Try some "real" sounds. For instance, you may want to start with Introductory Phonetic Course, devoted to Russian pronunciation, or English-Russian Phrasebook where you'll find a considerable number of Russian words and sentences available with sound.


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