Latinisation in the Soviet Union

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A Kazakh newspaper in Latin script from 1937. Published in Almaty, Kazakh SSR, USSR

In the USSR, latinisation (Russian: латиниза́ция latinizatsiya) was the name of the campaign during the 1920s–1930s which aimed to replace traditional writing systems for numerous languages with systems that would use the Latin script or to create Latin-script based systems for languages that did not have a writing system.


Almost all Turkic, Iranian, Uralic and several other languages were romanized, totaling nearly 50 of the 72 written languages in the USSR. There also existed plans to romanize Russian and other Slavonic languages as well, but in the late 1930s the latinisation campaign was canceled, and all newly romanized languages were converted to Cyrillic.

In 1929 the People's Commissariate of the RSFSR formed a committee to develop the question of the Romanization of the Russian alphabet, led by Professor NF Yakovlev and with the participation of linguists, bibliographer, printers, engineers. The Commission completed its work in mid January 1930. But on January 25, 1930, Stalin ordered the stop of the development of the question of the romanization of Russian alphabet in the Russian language.

The following languages were romanised or adapted new Latin-script alphabets:

Projects were created and approved for the following languages:


See also[edit]