BGN/PCGN romanization of Belarusian

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The BGN/PCGN romanization system for Belarusian is a method for romanization of Cyrillic Belarusian texts, that is, their transliteration into the Latin alphabet.

There are a number of systems for romanization of Belarusian—the BGN/PCGN system is relatively intuitive for anglophones to pronounce. It is part of the larger set of BGN/PCGN romanizations, which includes methods for twenty-nine different languages. It 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 Belarusian language was jointly adopted by BGN and PCGN in 1979.

This romanization of Belarusian 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 (·) can optionally be used to avoid some ambiguity.

The following table describes the system and provides examples.

Belarusian
letter
Romanization Special provision Examples
А (а) A (a) None Антон = Anton
Вілейка = Vilyeyka
Б (б) B (b) None Брэст = Brest
Дубна = Dubna
В (в) V (v) None Віцебск = Vitsyebsk
Асіповічы = Asipovichy
Г (г) H (h) None Гродна = Hrodna
Брагін = Brahin
Д (д) D (d) None Добруш = Dobrush
Ліда = Lida
Е (е) Ye (ye) None Гомель = Homyel’
Беліца = Byelitsa
Ё (ё) Yo (yo) None Ёдкавічы = Yodkavichy
Нёман = Nyoman
Ж (ж) Zh (zh) None Жлобін = Zhlobin
Ружаны = Ruzhany
З (з) Z (z) None Зоя = Zoya
князь = knyaz
І (і) I (i) None Ігнат = Ihnat
Мінск = Minsk
Й (й) Y (y) Belarusian names do not normally begin with this letter. This may happen in Belarusian renderings of foreign names, though. Йосель = Yosyel’
Койданава = Koydanava
К (к) K (k) None Крапіўна = Krapiwna
Менск = Myensk
Л (л) L (l) None Лаўна = Lawna
Лёсік = Lyosik
Купала = Kupala
Вілейка = Vilyeyka
Міхал = Mikhal
Вільня = Vil’nya
Лепель = Lyepyel
М (м) M (m) None Магілёў = Mahilyow
Няміга = Nyamiha
Н (н) N (n) None Наваградак = Navahradak
Баранавічы = Baranavichy
О (о) O (o) None Орша = Orsha
Востраў = Vostraw
П (п) P (p) None Пінск = Pinsk
Дняпро = Dnyapro
Р (р) R (r) None Рагачоў = Rahachow
Сураж = Surazh
С (с) S (s) None Смаляны = Smalyany
Арэса = Aresa
Рось = Ros
Т (т) T (t) None Талочын = Talochyn
Масты = Masty
У (у) U (u) None Уладзімір = Uladzimir
Бабруйск = Babruysk
Ў (ў) W (w) Belarusian names do not normally begin with this letter. This may happen in texts written down in alternative Belarusian orthographies, though. Быхаў = Bykhaw
Воўпа = Vowpa
Іўе = Iwye
Ф (ф) F (f) None Фолюш = Folyush
фортка = fortka
Х (х) Kh (kh) None Хатынь = Khatyn’
Быхаў = Bykhaw
Ц (ц) Ts (ts) None Ганцавічы = Hantsavichy
Стоўбцы = Stowbtsy
цьмяны = ts’myany
мясцовы = myastsovy
Астравец = Astravyets
Прыпяць = Prypyats
Ч (ч) Ch (ch) None Чэрыкаў = Cherykaw
Шчара = Shchara
Нарач = Narach
Ш (ш) Sh (sh) None Шклоў = Shklow
Ашмяны = Ashmyany
Ы (ы) Y (y) Belarusian names do not normally begin with this letter. This may happen in Belarusian renderings of foreign names, though. Ыттык-Кёль = Yttyk-Kyol’
Кобрын = Kobryn
Солы = Soly
Ь (ь) This character does not occur in the beginning of a word. Копысь = Kopys
рунь = run
Э (э) E (e) None Эйсманты = Eysmanty
Крэва = Kreva
Ю (ю) Yu (yu) None Юры = Yury
уюн = uyun
Я (я) Ya (ya) None Язэп = Yazep
Івянец = Ivyanyets
’’ This symbol denotes the absence of palatalization and is not a part of the standard alphabet. зезд = z’’yezd
Зг (зг) Z∙h (z∙h) The use of this digraph is optional.
Кг (кг) K∙h (k∙h) The use of this digraph is optional.
Сг (сг) S∙h (s∙h) The use of this digraph is optional.
Тс (тс) T∙s (t∙s) The use of this digraph is optional.
Цг (цг) ts∙h (ts∙h) The use of this digraph is optional.
Ґ (ґ) G (g) This character is obsolete.

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