Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Russian

A guide to select article databases, library resources, links, and tips for researchers to succeed in finding, accessing, and managing quality information sources.

Find Books

Transliteration

Transliteration is the process of rendering one alphabet in terms of another. For the transliteration of Russian, there are many schemes available. The most important and commonly seen are the Library of Congress, the International Scholarly system  and what many recognize as the common reader's standard: the BGN/PCGN system, jointly developed by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names and the British Geographic Board.

The Library of Congress system is the most common in use in North American libraries. The LC system usually has diacritics, but is often seen without them. See here for the Library of Congress' Romanization table for Russian.

The International Scholarly System (ISS) is based on the Czech alphabet. Click here for an ISS table. It is often used by linguists and also seen in use by scholarly journals published in the U.S.

BGN/PCGN is perhaps the simplest to read and display. It is frequently seen in popular non-scholarly writing and is not considered appropriate for scholarly use. Simplifications are often seen, for example, converting ë to yo, simplifying -iy and -yy endings to -y, and omitting apostrophes for ъ and ь.

E.g.

Russian            Library of Congress          I S S                       BGN/PCGN
Георгий             Georgiĭ                              Georgij                    Georgi
Достое́вский      Dostoevskiĭ                       Dostoevskij              Dostoyevsky
Толстой            Tolstoĭ                               Tolstoj                     Tolstoy
Ба́бель              Babel'                                Babel'                      Babel

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.