Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Cyrillic)

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This page documents the current usage of names in the Cyrillic script, and transliteration of those names in Wikipedia. This is not a recommendation. Discuss proposed recommendations at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Cyrillic).

Languages covered: Belarusian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Mongolian, Montenegrin, Russian, Serbian, Ukrainian.

There are many more languages which use the Cyrillic alphabet.


  1. If a name or word has a conventional English spelling, that is used (see #Conventional names, below)
  2. In linguistics topics, scholarly transliteration is used.
  3. Otherwise, the conventional transliteration method for a language is used (see below)
  4. Generally, Cyrillic is provided only where transliteration alone cannot convey the original spelling. Since many of the conventional systems are non-deterministic, this means that very often both the Cyrillic and transliteration are provided in a word's first occurrence in an article.

When no commonly accepted form exists in English[edit]


For Belarusian:

  1. The BGN/PCGN for Belarusian language system (1979) is to be used.
  2. The renderings of the Belarusian geographical names in the national Instruction on transliteration of Belarusian geographical names with letters of Latin script (recommended for use by the Working Group on Romanization Systems of the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names, UNGEGN[1]) may be additionally included, if sufficiently different from the BGN/PCGN version. The suggested form of writing it down, in absence of template would be: ...(BelarusianGeoNameBGNed, IOT2000: BelarusianGeoNameIOT2000ed)...
  3. Other systems and orthographies, e.g., ISO 9, GOST 1983 and derivatives, Lacinka are not to be used. See also Romanization of Belarusian, Łacinka alphabet

Francysk Skaryna (pronounced [franˈt͡sɨsk skaˈrɨna]; or Skoryna; Belarusian: Францыск (Францішак[2]) Скарына) was a Belarusian humanist, physician, translator and one of the first book printers in Eastern Europe, laying groundwork for the development of the Belarusian language.


For Bulgarian:

  1. The official Streamlined System for the Romanization of Bulgarian is preferred. See also #Alphabet.

Boris Christoff (Bulgarian: Борис Кирилов Христов, official transliteration Boris Kirilov Hristov pronounced [ˈbɔris ˈkirilɔf ˈxristɔf]; May 18, 1914 – June 28, 1993) was a Bulgarian opera singer, widely considered to have been one of the greatest basses of the 20th century.


For Kazakh language, BGN/PCGN romanization of Kazakh is typically used.

Nursultan Äbishulı Nazarbayev (Kazakh: Нұрсұлтан Әбішұлы Назарбаев [nʊrsʊlˈtɑn æbəʃʊˈlɯ nɑzɑrˈbɑ.jɪf]; Russian: Нурсултан Абишевич Назарбаев [nur.suɫˈtan ɐˈbʲi.ʂɨ.vʲɪt͡ɕ nə.zɐrˈba.jɪf]; born 6 July 1940) is the President of Kazakhstan, having served since before the nation's independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.


For Macedonian:

  1. There are competing transcription systems. May be written as using Serbian Latin spelling, with
    1. dz for ѕ
    2. kj or ć for ќ
    3. gj or đ for ѓ.

The Unicode digraph glyphs for consonants dz, dž, lj and nj are normally not used, they're commonly written as d+z, etc.

See also: Romanization of Macedonian


For Mongolian:

  1. Mongolian is transliterated using a modified BGN/PCGN system; details at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Mongolian).


For Montenegrin:

  1. Montenegrin Latin spelling is used


For Russian:

  1. Russian is transliterated using a modified version of the BGN/PCGN romanization of Russian; details at Wikipedia:Romanization of Russian. As in the below example, and following Russian and foreign dictionary practice, stress marks are shown on the Cyrillic name in brackets to aid pronunciation, since stress in Russian is irregular.

See also Russian alphabet, Romanization of Russian

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin (Russian: Влади́мир Влади́мирович Пу́тин, IPA: [vɫɐˈdʲimʲɪr vɫɐˈdʲimʲɪrəvʲɪtɕ ˈputʲɪn] (About this soundlisten); born 7 October 1952) is a Russian politician who has been the President of Russia since 7 May 2012.


For Serbian:

  1. Serbian Latin spelling is used. See also #Alphabets, Gaj's Latin alphabet, romanization of Serbian. Biographies usually use the term "Serbian Cyrillic" since the Latin alphabet is also Serbian. Example from Ivo Andrić:

Ivan "Ivo" Andrić (Serbian Cyrillic: Иван Иво Андрић, pronounced [ǐʋan ǐːʋɔ ǎːndritɕ]) (9 October 1892 – 13 March 1975) was a Yugoslav novelist, short story writer, and the 1961 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

The consonant đ may sometimes appear as dj in some sources, but the preferred spelling is đ. The purpose of spelling this consonant đ is to avoid confusion over the varying roles of the sound 'j' in the Serbian language.

The Unicode digraph glyphs for consonants dž, lj and nj are normally not used, they're commonly written as d+ž, etc.


For Ukrainian:

  1. Ukrainian is transliterated using the simplified BGN/PCGN romanization of Ukrainian.
  2. Official Ukrainian place names are defined by the Ukrainian National system of 1996. Details at Wikipedia:Romanization of Ukrainian. See also Ukrainian alphabet, Romanization of Ukrainian, Ukrainian Latin alphabet

Taras Hryhorovych Shevchenko (Ukrainian: Тара́с Григо́рович Шевче́нко, Taras Hryhorovych Shevchenko; March 9 [O.S. February 25] 1814 – March 10 [O.S. February 26] 1861) was a Ukrainian poet and artist.

Other languages[edit]

See also Romanization of Kyrgyz.

Conventional names[edit]

When a conventional name in English exists, use that name even if the spelling differs from the transliteration. Commonly used names in the English language may stem from various sources:

  • They may be anglicized versions, e.g., Mykola→Nicholas, Iosif→Joseph, Srbiya→Serbia.
  • They may be transliterated by a different system, or from another language, e.g., Rus→Rus’, Chaykovskiy→Tchaikovsky.
  • They may be simplified, more familiar-looking, or easier to pronounce for English-speakers, e.g., Gorbachyov→Gorbachev, Iuliya→Yulia, Khrushchyov→Khruschev, Yuriy→Yuri.
  • They may be names loanwords from a third language, e.g., Petergof→Peterhof.

Diacritics may be used in the romanization of Cyrillic languages:

  • They may be Latin transliterations, e.g., Đere rather than Djere, Miloš instead of Milos.

Formatting references[edit]

There is no recommendation about how to cite Cyrillic bibliographic information. Most Cyrillic materials in libraries of the English-speaking world are catalogued in Library of Congress transliteration. If a reference has an ISBN, then it is easy for a reader to look it up.

General info: Wikipedia:Citing sources.


  1. ^ REPORT ON THE CURRENT STATUS OF UNITED NATIONS ROMANIZATION SYSTEMS FOR GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES. Compiled by the UNGEGN Working Group on Romanization Systems. Version 4.0, February 2013. Belarusian // Working Group on Romanization Systems
  2. ^ Чалавек і грамадства: Энцыклапедычны даведнік. Мн: Беларуская Энцыклапедыя, 1998. ISBN 985-11-0108-7

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Style Sheet for Authors of the Slavic and East European Journal—an example guideline for transliteration, translation, and naming
  • Linguistics Style Sheet of Ohio State University Slavic Studies (PDF)—Scientific transliteration for various languages is shown in a table on p. 4.