Chinese characters for transcribing Slavonic
Chinese characters for transcribing Slavonic were Chinese characters created for the purpose of transcribing Slavonic sounds into Chinese. The Russian Orthodox Church's mission in China had an interest in translating liturgical texts into Chinese and Japanese, and sought to devise new characters for this purpose.
Many of these new characters were proposed by Archimandrite Gurias, the 14th head of the Russian mission from 1858–1864. They would have transcribed certain syllables normally not valid in standard Chinese phonology, such as vin, gi, or reia. These characters were later used for transcription into Japanese as well, with the character pronunciations changed to account for Japanese phonology. However, in both China and Japan, leaders of the Russian missions eventually decided to translate liturgical texts using standard vernacular Chinese and katakana, respectively.
The majority of the new characters were composed through combining two existing characters side-by-side as radicals, which would also indicate their pronunciation. Unlike the typical rule of pronouncing the character based on the side radical, used in pronouncing phono-semantic compounds, the radicals are presented in initial-rime pairs. In a method similar to Fanqie, the right-hand character would indicate the syllable initial, while the left-hand character would be used as an indicator of the final. This approach to character formation was intended for vertical reading, where the flow of the text is from top-to-bottom, and ordered from right-to-left. Two exceptions were vertically-arranged characters used as abbreviations of "Christ" and "Jesus".
Twenty Slavonic transcription characters were included in Unicode Standard version 10.0.
U+9FE6 鿦 CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-9FE6
|Equivalent to vin (вин) as in Навин (Nun, 那⿰英微)|
U+9FE4 鿤 CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-9FE4
|Equivalent to ge (ге) as in Нигерр (Niger, 尼⿰耶格爾)|
U+9FDA 鿚 CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-9FDA
|Equivalent to gi (ги) as in Сергия (Sergius, 些爾⿰伊格乙)|
U+9FE3 鿣 CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-9FE3
|Equivalent to ke (ке) as in Кесария (Caesarea, ⿰耶克薩⿰利爾亞)|
U+9FD9 鿙 CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-9FD9
|Equivalent to ki (ки) as in Езекия (Hezekiah, 耶捷⿰伊克亞)|
U+9FDC 鿜 CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-9FDC
|Equivalent to ra (ра) as in Израиль (Israel, 伊斯⿰拉爾伊利)|
U+9FE5 鿥 CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-9FE5
|Equivalent to ran (ран) as in Аран (Haran, 哈爾⿰郎爾)|
U+9FDE 鿞 CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-9FDE
|Equivalent to re (ре) as in Назарет (Nazareth, 那匝⿰列爾特)|
U+9FDD 鿝 CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-9FDD
|Equivalent to ren (рен) as in Терентий (Terence, 鐵⿰楞爾提乙)|
U+9FE8 鿨 CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-9FE8
|Equivalent to reia (рея) as in назареянин (Nazarene, 那作⿰雷爾)|
U+9FE0 鿠 CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-9FE0
|Equivalent to ri (ри) as in Христос (Christ, 合⿰利爾斯托斯); can also represent a final l in Japanese transcriptions.|
U+9FDF 鿟 CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-9FDF
|Simplified variant of ⿰利爾. Same usage as the traditional ri.|
U+9FDB 鿛 CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-9FDB
|Equivalent to rin (рин) as in Коринф (Corinth, 适⿰凌爾福)|
U+9FE1 鿡 CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-9FE1
|Equivalent to ro (ро) as in романский (Roman, ⿰羅爾瑪)|
U+9FE7 鿧 CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-9FE7
|Equivalent to ron (рон) as in Аарон (Aaron, 阿阿⿰隆爾)|
U+9FE9 鿩 CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-9FE9
|Equivalent to ru (ру) as in Иерусалим (Jerusalem, 耶⿰魯爾薩利木)|
U+9FE2 鿢 CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-9FE2
|Equivalent to khe (хе) as in Сихем (Shechem, 西⿰耶合木)|
U+9FD8 鿘 CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-9FD8
|Equivalent to khi (хи) as in Мелхий (Melchi, 羋利⿰伊合乙)|
U+9FD6 鿖 CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-9FD6
|Abbreviation for the word Christ (Христос, Khristos). The full form in Classical Chinese would be 合⿰利爾斯托斯.|
U+9FD7 鿗 CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-9FD7
|Abbreviation for the word Jesus (Иисус, Iisus). The full form in Classical Chinese would be 伊伊穌斯|
- Small characters used in transcription indicate initial or final Slavonic consonants, while a small circle next to the character indicates a stress on the syllable.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chinese characters used for Slavonic transliteration.|
- Shardt, Yuri; Chin, Mitrophan; Adreev, Aleksandr; Andersen, Deborah (2014). "Proposal to Encode Chinese Characters Used for Transcribing Slavonic" (PDF). unicode.org. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 June 2017. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
- (The Unicode Consortium). "The Unicode Standard, Version 10.0 - Core Specification" (PDF). p. 684. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
- "Who is Yīyīsūsī Hélìsītuōsī?". Orthodox Fellowship of All Saints in China. Retrieved 25 March 2018.