Wiktionary:Russian transliteration

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This is the transliteration system used in Russian entries. This Wiktionary-specific transliteration system is based on the conventional system of transliteration for linguistics, with modifications, and exceptions to reflect Russian pronunciation instead of Cyrillic spelling.

Wiktionary standard transliteration for Russian
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 archaic (pre-1918)
а б в г д е ё ж з и й к л м н о п р с т у ф х ц ч ш щ ъ ы ь э ю я і ѳ ѣ ѵ
A a B b V v G g, H h, X x, V v1 D d E e, Je je, ɛ2, Jó jó, ó4 Jó jó, ó5 Ž ž Z z I i J j K k L l M m N n O o P p R r S s T t U u F f X x C c Č č, Š š6 Š š Šč šč ʺ, -7 Y y ʹ ɛ, E e3 Ju ju, u8 Ja ja I i F f Ě ě I i

Table notes:

  1. The letter “г” is transliterated as h when it is pronounced /ɣ/, as x when it is pronounced /x/, and as v in genitive/accusative masculine/neuter endings (e.g., “-ого” = -ovo, and “-его” = -(j)evo, pronounced /ovo/ like “-ово” and /(j)evo/ like “-ево”, respectively). E.g., “бог” is box, “лёгкий” is ljóxkij, “ого́” (interjection) is ohó or ogó, “кого́” is kovó and “сего́дня” is sevódnja.
  2. The letter “е” is transliterated as follows:
    1. e after consonants, e.g. без ‎(bez), or after a hyphen at the beginning of a suffix, e.g. -ец ‎(-ec);
    2. je elsewhere (at the beginning of a word, after a vowel or following “ъ” or “ь”);
    3. ɛ in loanwords where the preceding consonant is not palatalised, e.g. “тест ‎(tɛst)”.
  3. The letter “э” is transliterated as follows:
    1. ɛ in the places where letter “е” is transliterated as e (after consonants and after a hyphen at the beginning of a suffix);
    2. e elsewhere (i.e. wherever the letter “е” would be transliterated as je).
  4. In running texts (excluding dictionary or textbook material, books designed for young readers), the letter “ё” is seldom used by native speakers and it's written as letter “е”, without the dots. It's still pronounced and transliterated the same way as “ё”, e.g. “легкий ‎(ljóxkij)” (such terms are treated as alternative spellings in Wiktionary, which uses a dictionary style, the main terms being those spelled with “ё”).
  5. The letter “ё” is transliterated as ó following the consonants “ж”, “ч”, “ш”, or “щ”. “ё” is transliterated as jó/ó by default as it is usually stressed, monosyllabic words, loanwords where indicating stress is not required or and rare multipart words, loanwords “ё” is NOT stressed must be transliterated as jo/o, e.g. monosyllabic words: лёд ‎(ljod), Russian words prefixed with трёх- ‎(trjox-), четырёх- ‎(četyrjox-), rare loanwords with unstressed “ё”: Пёнтко́вский ‎(Pjontkóvskij) (also Пентко́вский ‎(Pentkóvskij)).
  6. The letter “ч” is transliterated as š in the few words where it is pronounced /ʃ/ like “ш”: “что” is što, “коне́чно” is konéšno.
  7. The letter “ъ” at the end of a word—which was used in pre-1918 orthography—is not transliterated as it did not represent any sound: миръ ‎(mir), міръ ‎(mir).
  8. The letter “ю” is transliterated as u in the combinations “жю” and “шю”. For example, “жюри́” = žurí, “брошю́ра” = brošúra where “ю” doesn't produce the usual pronunciation.


There are no more exceptions if the pronunciation is expected and can be learned from the basics of Russian phonology, specifically:

  • The reduction of vowels and voicing/devoicing of consonants are not reflected in the transliteration.
  • Verb endings “-тся” and “-ться” are transliterated as written as -tsja and -tʹsja: оде́ться ‎(odétʹsja), оде́нется ‎(odénetsja).
  • Silent consonants in consonant clusters are transliterated: “че́стный” is čéstnyj, not čésnyj, and “со́лнце” is sólnce, not sónce.
  • Sibilants changing pronunciation are transliterated letter by letter as per the table: “сча́стье” is sčástʹje, not ščástʹje.
  • Combinations “жи”, “ши”, and “ци” are transliterated as ži, ši and ci, not žy, šy and cy.
  • The letter “ь” at the end of words ending in “ж”, “ш”, “щ” and “ч” has no effect on the pronunciation, but is still transliterated as ʹ: рожь ‎(rožʹ), мышь ‎(myšʹ), вещь ‎(veščʹ), печь ‎(pečʹ), де́лаешь ‎(délaješʹ).

Syllabic stress[edit]

Syllabic stress is indicated by an acute accent ´ over the stressed vowel:

  • Roman: Á, á, É, é, ɛ́, Í, í, Ó, ó, Ú, ú and Ý, ý (já, jé, jó, jú, etc.).
  • Cyrillic: “А́”, “а́”, “Е́”, “е́”, “И́”, “и́”, “О́”, “о́”, “У́”, “у́”, “Ы́”, “ы́”, “Э́”, “э́”, “Ю́”, “ю́”, “Я́”, “я́”.

E.g., ры́ба ‎(rýba, fish).

  • The vowel “ё” is normally stressed in native Russian words, but occasionally it may be necessary to show the stress for this letter: “ё́” (not recommended for templates with automatic transliteration).

Automatic and manual transliteration[edit]

Russian text is automatically transliterated according to the above conventions. Manual transliteration is only necessary in a few situations, such as where the letter “е” needs to be transliterated ɛ. Manual transliteration is specified in one of two ways, depending on the template:

  1. Most headword templates ({{ru-noun}}, {{ru-adj}}, {{ru-adv}}, etc.) take a |tr= parameter for the first headword, and |tr2=, |tr3= etc. for further headwords. Non-Russian-specific templates work similarly, e.g. {{l}}, {{m}}, {{ux}} etc. For example: {{m|ru|тест|tr=tɛst}}.
  2. The headword templates {{ru-noun+}} and {{ru-proper noun+}}, as well as all declension and conjugation templates ({{ru-noun-table}}, {{ru-decl-adj}}, {{ru-conj-1a}}, etc.) specify manual transliteration in the same parameter as the Russian, separated by //. For example: {{ru-noun-table|тест//tɛst}}.

The module that implements automatic transliteration handles a number of situations, e.g.:

  • Adjectival “-ого”, “-его” and pre-1918 “-аго” are correctly transliterated as -ovo, -evo, -avo. This also works if accents are present on the vowels. Exceptions are made for the following words: “много”, “немного”, “нaмного”, “ого”, “лого”, “сого”, “лего”.
  • сего́дня ‎(sevódnja)” is transliterated sevódnja, and all forms of “сего́днашний ‎(segódnašnij)” are similarly transliterated with sevódnašnj-.
  • что ‎(što)”, “ничто́ ‎(ništó)”, “что́бы ‎(štóby)”, “чтоб ‎(štob)” (plus forms “что́-то ‎(štó-to)”, “что́-нибудь ‎(štó-nibudʹ)”, etc.) are correctly transliterated with š rather than č.
  • Forms of “лёгкий ‎(ljóxkij)” and “мягкий ‎(mjaxkij)”, as well as words with “лёхч”, “лехч” and “мяхч” in them, are correctly transliterated with -xk- and -xč-.

See also[edit]