Russian Transliteration

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 for 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 our preferred transliteration scheme.

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

Examples of transliteration

привет - privet
Как дела? - Kak dela?
Меня зовут Сергей - Menya zovut Sergej
компьютер - komp'yuter
хлеб - khleb
царь - tsar'

A note on using tranliteration

Please note that transliteration is appropriate for written communication and isn't a reliable guide to proper pronunciation. When we want to show pronunciation on this website, we enclose the pronunciation in green square brackets [] and use a different system that spells Russian pronunciation in Latin alphabet with a farily good degree of accuracy. All you need to do is to read the pronunciation as you would normally read it in English (e.g. привет [pree-VYEHT]). Still, transliteration may be good for an occasional student although it is superficial and makes you get used to pronouncing Russian words in an imperfect way. That is why we recommend you to avoid using such system when learning the Russian language. We suggest that you rather get used to listening to live Russian conversations and speech.






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