Cyrillic alphabet

Cyrillic alphabet

Overview
The Cyrillic script or azbuka is an alphabetic writing system
Writing system
A writing system is a symbolic system used to represent elements or statements expressible in language.-General properties:Writing systems are distinguished from other possible symbolic communication systems in that the reader must usually understand something of the associated spoken language to...

 developed in the First Bulgarian Empire
First Bulgarian Empire
The First Bulgarian Empire was a medieval Bulgarian state founded in the north-eastern Balkans in c. 680 by the Bulgars, uniting with seven South Slavic tribes...

 during the 10th century AD at the Preslav Literary School
Preslav Literary School
The Preslav Literary School was the first literary school in the medieval Bulgarian Empire. It was established by Boris I in 885 or 886 in Bulgaria's capital, Pliska...

. It is the basis of alphabet
Alphabet
An alphabet is a standard set of letters—basic written symbols or graphemes—each of which represents a phoneme in a spoken language, either as it exists now or as it was in the past. There are other systems, such as logographies, in which each character represents a word, morpheme, or semantic...

s used in various languages, past and present, of Eastern Europe and Asia, especially those of Slavic
Slavic languages
The Slavic languages , a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages, have speakers in most of Eastern Europe, in much of the Balkans, in parts of Central Europe, and in the northern part of Asia.-Branches:Scholars traditionally divide Slavic...

 origin, and also non-Slavic languages influenced by Russian.

Cyrillic is derived from the Ancient Greek uncial script
Greek alphabet
The Greek alphabet is the script that has been used to write the Greek language since at least 730 BC . The alphabet in its classical and modern form consists of 24 letters ordered in sequence from alpha to omega...

, augmented by ligatures and consonants from the older Glagolitic alphabet
Glagolitic alphabet
The Glagolitic alphabet , also known as Glagolitsa, is the oldest known Slavic alphabet. The name was not coined until many centuries after its creation, and comes from the Old Slavic glagolъ "utterance" . The verb glagoliti means "to speak"...

 for sounds not found in Ancient Greek.
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Encyclopedia
The Cyrillic script or azbuka is an alphabetic writing system
Writing system
A writing system is a symbolic system used to represent elements or statements expressible in language.-General properties:Writing systems are distinguished from other possible symbolic communication systems in that the reader must usually understand something of the associated spoken language to...

 developed in the First Bulgarian Empire
First Bulgarian Empire
The First Bulgarian Empire was a medieval Bulgarian state founded in the north-eastern Balkans in c. 680 by the Bulgars, uniting with seven South Slavic tribes...

 during the 10th century AD at the Preslav Literary School
Preslav Literary School
The Preslav Literary School was the first literary school in the medieval Bulgarian Empire. It was established by Boris I in 885 or 886 in Bulgaria's capital, Pliska...

. It is the basis of alphabet
Alphabet
An alphabet is a standard set of letters—basic written symbols or graphemes—each of which represents a phoneme in a spoken language, either as it exists now or as it was in the past. There are other systems, such as logographies, in which each character represents a word, morpheme, or semantic...

s used in various languages, past and present, of Eastern Europe and Asia, especially those of Slavic
Slavic languages
The Slavic languages , a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages, have speakers in most of Eastern Europe, in much of the Balkans, in parts of Central Europe, and in the northern part of Asia.-Branches:Scholars traditionally divide Slavic...

 origin, and also non-Slavic languages influenced by Russian.

Cyrillic is derived from the Ancient Greek uncial script
Greek alphabet
The Greek alphabet is the script that has been used to write the Greek language since at least 730 BC . The alphabet in its classical and modern form consists of 24 letters ordered in sequence from alpha to omega...

, augmented by ligatures and consonants from the older Glagolitic alphabet
Glagolitic alphabet
The Glagolitic alphabet , also known as Glagolitsa, is the oldest known Slavic alphabet. The name was not coined until many centuries after its creation, and comes from the Old Slavic glagolъ "utterance" . The verb glagoliti means "to speak"...

 for sounds not found in Ancient Greek. It is named in honor of the two Eastern Roman Empire brothers, Saints Cyril and Methodius
Saints Cyril and Methodius
Saints Cyril and Methodius were two Byzantine Greek brothers born in Thessaloniki in the 9th century. They became missionaries of Christianity among the Slavic peoples of Bulgaria, Great Moravia and Pannonia. Through their work they influenced the cultural development of all Slavs, for which they...

, who created the Glagolitic alphabet
Glagolitic alphabet
The Glagolitic alphabet , also known as Glagolitsa, is the oldest known Slavic alphabet. The name was not coined until many centuries after its creation, and comes from the Old Slavic glagolъ "utterance" . The verb glagoliti means "to speak"...

 earlier on. Modern scholars consider that Cyrillic was developed and formalized by early disciples of Cyril and Methodius (such as Clement of Ohrid).

With the accession of Bulgaria to the European Union on 1 January 2007, Cyrillic became the third official script of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, following the Latin and Greek
Greek alphabet
The Greek alphabet is the script that has been used to write the Greek language since at least 730 BC . The alphabet in its classical and modern form consists of 24 letters ordered in sequence from alpha to omega...

 scripts.

Letters


As the Cyrillic script spread throughout the East and South Slavic territories, it was adopted for writing local languages, such as Old East Slavic
Old East Slavic language
Old East Slavic or Old Ruthenian was a language used in 10th-15th centuries by East Slavs in the Kievan Rus' and states which evolved after the collapse of the Kievan Rus...

. Its adaptation to local languages produced a number of Cyrillic alphabets, discussed below.
style="font-size:smaller;" | The early Cyrillic alphabet
А  Б  В  Г  Д  Е  Ж  Ѕ  З  И  І  К  Л  М  Н  О  П  Ҁ  Р  С  Т  Ѹ
Ф  Х  Ѡ  Ц  Ч  Ш  Щ  Ъ  Ꙑ  Ь  Ѣ  Ꙗ  Ѥ  Ю  Ѧ  Ѫ  Ѩ  Ѭ  Ѯ  Ѱ  Ѳ  Ѵ


Capital and lowercase letters were not distinguished in old manuscripts.

Yeri (Ы) was originally a ligature
Ligature (typography)
In writing and typography, a ligature occurs where two or more graphemes are joined as a single glyph. Ligatures usually replace consecutive characters sharing common components and are part of a more general class of glyphs called "contextual forms", where the specific shape of a letter depends on...

 of Yer and I (Ꙑ). Iotation
Iotation
Iotation is a linguistic phenomenon very characteristic of the Slavic languages. It should not be confused with palatalization, which is an entirely different process....

 was indicated by ligatures formed with the letter I: Ꙗ (not ancestor of modern ya, Я, which is derived from Ѧ), , Ю (ligature of I and ОУ), , . Many letters had variant forms and commonly used ligatures, for example И = І = Ї, = , Оу ⁄ ОУ = , = .

The letters also had numeric values, based not on Cyrillic alphabetical order, but inherited from the letters' Greek ancestors
Greek numerals
Greek numerals are a system of representing numbers using letters of the Greek alphabet. They are also known by the names Ionian numerals, Milesian numerals , Alexandrian numerals, or alphabetic numerals...

.
Cyrillic numerals
Cyrillic numerals
The Cyrillic numerals are a numbering system derived from the Cyrillic script, used by South and East Slavic peoples. The system was used in Russia as late as the early 18th century when Peter the Great replaced it with Arabic numerals....

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
А В Г Д Е Ѕ З И Ѳ
10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
І К Л М Н Ѯ О П Ч
100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900
Р С Т Ѵ Ф Х Ѱ Ѡ Ц


The early Cyrillic alphabet is difficult to represent on computers. Many of the letterforms differed from modern Cyrillic, varied a great deal in manuscript
Manuscript
A manuscript or handwrite is written information that has been manually created by someone or some people, such as a hand-written letter, as opposed to being printed or reproduced some other way...

s, and changed over time. Few fonts include adequate glyph
Glyph
A glyph is an element of writing: an individual mark on a written medium that contributes to the meaning of what is written. A glyph is made up of one or more graphemes....

s to reproduce the alphabet. In accordance with Unicode
Unicode
Unicode is a computing industry standard for the consistent encoding, representation and handling of text expressed in most of the world's writing systems...

 policy, the standard does not include letterform variations or ligatures
Ligature (typography)
In writing and typography, a ligature occurs where two or more graphemes are joined as a single glyph. Ligatures usually replace consecutive characters sharing common components and are part of a more general class of glyphs called "contextual forms", where the specific shape of a letter depends on...

 found in manuscript sources unless they can be shown to conform to the Unicode definition of a character.

The Unicode 5.1 standard, released on 4 April 2008, greatly improves computer support for the early Cyrillic and the modern Church Slavonic language.

Letterforms and typography


The development of Cyrillic typography
Typography
Typography is the art and technique of arranging type in order to make language visible. The arrangement of type involves the selection of typefaces, point size, line length, leading , adjusting the spaces between groups of letters and adjusting the space between pairs of letters...

 passed directly from the medieval stage to the late Baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

, without a Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 phase as in Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

. Late Medieval Cyrillic letters (still found on many icon
Icon
An icon is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, from Eastern Christianity and in certain Eastern Catholic churches...

 inscriptions even today) show a marked tendency to be very tall and narrow; strokes are often shared between adjacent letters.

Peter the Great
Peter I of Russia
Peter the Great, Peter I or Pyotr Alexeyevich Romanov Dates indicated by the letters "O.S." are Old Style. All other dates in this article are New Style. ruled the Tsardom of Russia and later the Russian Empire from until his death, jointly ruling before 1696 with his half-brother, Ivan V...

, Tsar of Russia, mandated the use of westernized letter forms in the early 18th century. Over time, these were largely adopted in the other languages that use the script. Thus, unlike the majority of modern Greek fonts that retained their own set of design principles for lower-case letters (such as the placement of serif
Serif
In typography, serifs are semi-structural details on the ends of some of the strokes that make up letters and symbols. A typeface with serifs is called a serif typeface . A typeface without serifs is called sans serif or sans-serif, from the French sans, meaning “without”...

s, the shapes of stroke ends, and stroke-thickness rules, although Greek capital letters do use Latin design principles), modern Cyrillic fonts are much the same as modern Latin fonts of the same font family. The development of some Cyrillic computer typefaces from Latin ones has also contributed to the visual Latinization of Cyrillic type.

Cyrillic uppercase and lowercase letter forms are not as differentiated as in Latin typography. Upright Cyrillic lowercase letters are essentially small capitals
Small caps
In typography, small capitals are uppercase characters set at the same height and weight as surrounding lowercase letters or text figures...

 (with exceptions: Cyrillic ⟨а⟩, ⟨е⟩, ⟨р⟩, and ⟨у⟩ adopted Western lowercase shapes, lowercase ⟨ф⟩ is typically designed under the influence of Latin ⟨p⟩, lowercase ⟨б⟩ is a traditional handwritten form), although a good-quality Cyrillic typeface will still include separate small-caps glyphs.


Cyrillic fonts, as well as Latin ones, have roman
Roman type
In typography, roman is one of the three main kinds of historical type, alongside blackletter and italic. Roman type was modelled from a European scribal manuscript style of the 1400s, based on the pairing of inscriptional capitals used in ancient Rome with Carolingian minuscules developed in the...

 and italic
Italic type
In typography, italic type is a cursive typeface based on a stylized form of calligraphic handwriting. Owing to the influence from calligraphy, such typefaces often slant slightly to the right. Different glyph shapes from roman type are also usually used—another influence from calligraphy...

 type (practically all popular modern fonts include parallel sets of Latin and Cyrillic letters, where many glyphs, uppercase as well as lowercase, are simply shared by both). However, the native font terminology in Slavic languages (for example, in Russian) does not use the words "roman" and "italic" in this sense. Instead, the nomenclature follows German naming patterns:
  • A roman type is called pryamoy shrift ("upright type")—compare with Normalschrift ("regular type") in German
  • An italic type is called kursiv ("cursive") or kursivniy shrift ("cursive type")—from the German word Kursive, meaning italic typefaces and not cursive writing
  • Cursive
    Cursive
    Cursive, also known as joined-up writing, joint writing, or running writing, is any style of handwriting in which the symbols of the language are written in a simplified and/or flowing manner, generally for the purpose of making writing easier or faster...

     handwriting is rukopisniy shrift ("hand-written type") in Russian—in German: Kurrentschrift or Laufschrift, both meaning literally ‘running type’


Similarly to Latin fonts, italic and cursive types of many Cyrillic letters (typically lowercase; uppercase only for hand-written or stylish types) are very different from their upright roman types. In certain cases, the correspondence between uppercase and lowercase glyphs does not coincide in Latin and Cyrillic fonts: for example, italic Cyrillic ⟨т⟩ is the lowercase counterpart of ⟨Т⟩ not of ⟨М⟩.


As in Latin typography, a sans-serif
Sans-serif
In typography, a sans-serif, sans serif or san serif typeface is one that does not have the small projecting features called "serifs" at the end of strokes. The term comes from the French word sans, meaning "without"....

 face may have a mechanically sloped oblique type (naklonniy shrift—"sloped," or "slanted type") instead of italic.

A boldfaced type is called poluzhirniy shrift ("semi-bold type"), because there existed fully boldfaced shapes which are out of use since the beginning of the 20th century.

A bold italic combination (bold slanted) does not exist for all font families.

In Serbian, as well as in Macedonian, some italic and cursive letters are different from those used in other languages. These letter shapes are often used in upright fonts as well, especially for advertisements, road signs, inscriptions, posters and the like, less so in newspapers or books. The Cyrillic lowercase ⟨б⟩ has a slightly different design both in the roman and italic types, which is similar to the lowercase Greek letter Delta
Delta (letter)
Delta is the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet. In the system of Greek numerals it has a value of 4. It was derived from the Phoenician letter Dalet...

, ⟨δ⟩.

The following table shows the differences between the upright and italic Cyrillic letters of the Russian alphabet
Russian alphabet
The Russian alphabet is a form of the Cyrillic script, developed in the First Bulgarian Empire during the 10th century AD at the Preslav Literary School...

. Italic forms significantly different from their upright analogues, or especially confusing to users of a Latin alphabet, are highlighted.
align=bottom style="text-align:left; font-size:smaller; " | Also available as a graphical image.
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
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


Note: in some fonts or styles lowercase italic Cyrillic ⟨д⟩ (⟨д⟩) may look like Latin ⟨g⟩ and lowercase italic Cyrillic ⟨т⟩ (⟨т⟩) may look exactly like a capital italic ⟨T⟩ (⟨T⟩), only small.

Cyrillic alphabets


Among others, Cyrillic is the standard script for writing the following national language
National language
A national language is a language which has some connection—de facto or de jure—with a people and perhaps by extension the territory they occupy. The term is used variously. A national language may for instance represent the national identity of a nation or country...

s:

Slavic languages: Bulgarian
Bulgarian language
Bulgarian is an Indo-European language, a member of the Slavic linguistic group.Bulgarian, along with the closely related Macedonian language, demonstrates several linguistic characteristics that set it apart from all other Slavic languages such as the elimination of case declension, the...

, Belarusian
Belarusian language
The Belarusian language , sometimes referred to as White Russian or White Ruthenian, is the language of the Belarusian people...

, Macedonian
Macedonian language
Macedonian is a South Slavic language spoken as a first language by approximately 2–3 million people principally in the region of Macedonia but also in the Macedonian diaspora...

, Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

, Rusyn
Rusyn language
Rusyn , also known in English as Ruthenian, is an East Slavic language variety spoken by the Rusyns of Central Europe. Some linguists treat it as a distinct language and it has its own ISO 639-3 code; others treat it as a dialect of Ukrainian...

, Serbian
Serbian language
Serbian is a form of Serbo-Croatian, a South Slavic language, spoken by Serbs in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and neighbouring countries....

, Ukrainian
Ukrainian language
Ukrainian is a language of the East Slavic subgroup of the Slavic languages. It is the official state language of Ukraine. Written Ukrainian uses a variant of the Cyrillic alphabet....



Non-Slavic languages: Abkhaz
Abkhaz language
Abkhaz is a Northwest Caucasian language spoken mainly by the Abkhaz people. It is the official language of Abkhazia where around 100,000 people speak it. Furthermore, it is spoken by thousands of members of the Abkhazian diaspora in Turkey, Georgia's autonomous republic of Adjara, Syria, Jordan...

, Bashkir
Bashkir language
The Bashkir language is a Turkic language, and is the language of the Bashkirs. It is co-official with Russian in the Republic of Bashkortostan.-Speakers:...

, Aleut (now mostly in church texts)
Aleut language
Aleut is a language of the Eskimo–Aleut language family. It is the heritage language of the Aleut people living in the Aleutian Islands, Pribilof Islands, and Commander Islands. As of 2007 there were about 150 speakers of Aleut .- Dialects :Aleut is alone with the Eskimo languages in the...

, Erzya
Erzya language
The Erzya language is spoken by about 500,000 people in the northern and eastern and north-western parts of the Republic of Mordovia and adjacent regions of Nizhniy Novgorod, Chuvashia, Penza, Samara, Saratov, Orenburg, Ulyanovsk, Tatarstan and Bashkortostan in Russia...

, Kazakh
Kazakh language
Kazakh is a Turkic language which belongs to the Kipchak branch of the Turkic languages, closely related to Nogai and Karakalpak....

, Kildin Sami
Kildin Sami language
Kildin Sami is a Sami language spoken by approximately 600 people on the Kola Peninsula in northwestern Russia...

, Komi
Komi language
The Komi language is a Finno-Permic language spoken by the Komi peoples in the northeastern European part of Russia. Komi is one of the two members of the Permic subgroup of the Finno-Ugric branch...

, Kyrgyz
Kyrgyz language
Kyrgyz or Kirgiz, also Kirghiz, Kyrghiz, Qyrghiz is a Turkic language and, together with Russian, an official language of Kyrgyzstan...

, Mari
Mari language
The Mari language , spoken by more than 600,000 people, belongs to the Uralic language family. It is spoken primarily in the Mari Republic of the Russian Federation as well as in the area along the Vyatka river basin and eastwards to the Urals...

, Moksha
Moksha language
The Moksha language is a member of the Finno-Volgaic subdivision of the Uralic languages with about 500,000 native speakers. Moksha is the majority language in the western part of Mordovia....

, Mongolian
Mongolian language
The Mongolian language is the official language of Mongolia and the best-known member of the Mongolic language family. The number of speakers across all its dialects may be 5.2 million, including the vast majority of the residents of Mongolia and many of the Mongolian residents of the Inner...

, Ossetic
Ossetic language
Ossetian , also sometimes called Ossete, is an East Iranian language spoken in Ossetia, a region on the slopes of the Caucasus Mountains....

, Romani (some dialects), Sakha (aka, Yakut), Tajik
Tajik language
Tajik, Tajik Persian, or Tajiki, is a variety of modern Persian spoken in Central Asia. Historically Tajiks called their language zabani farsī , meaning Persian language in English; the term zabani tajikī, or Tajik language, was introduced in the 20th century by the Soviets...

, Tatar
Tatar language
The Tatar language , or more specifically Kazan Tatar, is a Turkic language spoken by the Tatars of historical Kazan Khanate, including modern Tatarstan and Bashkiria...

, Tlingit (now only in church texts), Tuvan
Tuvan language
Tuvan , also known as Tuvinian, Tyvan or Tuvin, is a Turkic language spoken in the Republic of Tuva in south-central Siberia in Russia. The language has borrowed a great number of roots from the Mongolian language and more recently from the Russian language...

, Udmurt
Udmurt language
Udmurt is an Uralic language, part of the Permic subgroup, spoken by the Udmurt natives of the Russian constituent republic of Udmurtia, where it is coofficial with Russian. It is written in the Cyrillic script with five additional characters. Together with Komi and Komi-Permyak languages, it...

, Yuit (Siberian Yupik)
Siberian Yupik language
Siberian Yupik is one of the four Yupik languages:* Central Siberian Yupik,...

, and Yupik (in Alaska).

The Cyrillic script has also been used for languages of Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

, Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

, the Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

, Siberia
Siberia
Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

, and the Russian Far East
Russian Far East
Russian Far East is a term that refers to the Russian part of the Far East, i.e., extreme east parts of Russia, between Lake Baikal in Eastern Siberia and the Pacific Ocean...

.

The first alphabet derived from Cyrillic was Abur, used for the Komi language
Komi language
The Komi language is a Finno-Permic language spoken by the Komi peoples in the northeastern European part of Russia. Komi is one of the two members of the Permic subgroup of the Finno-Ugric branch...

. Other Cyrillic alphabets include the Molodtsov alphabet
Molodtsov alphabet
In the 1920s, the Komi language was written with the Molodtsov alphabet, derived from the Cyrillic alphabet.The letters particular to the Molodtsov alphabet are:Ԁ Ԃ Ԅ Ԇ Ԉ Ԋ Ԍ Ԏ...

 for Komi language
Komi language
The Komi language is a Finno-Permic language spoken by the Komi peoples in the northeastern European part of Russia. Komi is one of the two members of the Permic subgroup of the Finno-Ugric branch...

 and various alphabet for Caucasian languages.

Name


Since the script was conceived and popularised by the followers of Cyril and Methodius, rather than by Cyril and Methodius themselves, its name denotes homage rather than authorship. The name "Cyrillic" often confuses people who are not familiar with the script's history, because it does not identify a country of origin (contrast with "Greek alphabet"). Some call it the "Russian alphabet" because Russian is the most populous and influential alphabet based on the script. Some Bulgarian intellectuals, notably Stefan Tsanev
Stefan Tsanev
Stefan Nedelchev Tsanev is a contemporary Bulgarian writer, known for his essays, plays, poems, and historical novels.His books include Ubiytsite sa mezhdu nas , and his plays, Istinskiyat Ivaylo , which was banned....

, have expressed concern over this, and have suggested that the Cyrillic script be called "Bulgarian alphabet" instead, for the sake of historical accuracy.

The Cyrillic script is also known as azbuka, derived from the old names of the first two letters of most Cyrillic alphabets.

History


The Cyrillic script was created in the First Bulgarian Empire
First Bulgarian Empire
The First Bulgarian Empire was a medieval Bulgarian state founded in the north-eastern Balkans in c. 680 by the Bulgars, uniting with seven South Slavic tribes...

 and is derived from the Greek uncial script
Greek alphabet
The Greek alphabet is the script that has been used to write the Greek language since at least 730 BC . The alphabet in its classical and modern form consists of 24 letters ordered in sequence from alpha to omega...

, augmented by ligatures and consonants from the older Glagolitic alphabet
Glagolitic alphabet
The Glagolitic alphabet , also known as Glagolitsa, is the oldest known Slavic alphabet. The name was not coined until many centuries after its creation, and comes from the Old Slavic glagolъ "utterance" . The verb glagoliti means "to speak"...

 for sounds not found in Greek. Tradition holds that Cyrillic and Glagolitic were formalized either by the two Greek
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 brothers born in Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki , historically also known as Thessalonica, Salonika or Salonica, is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the region of Central Macedonia as well as the capital of the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace...

, Saints Cyril and Methodius
Saints Cyril and Methodius
Saints Cyril and Methodius were two Byzantine Greek brothers born in Thessaloniki in the 9th century. They became missionaries of Christianity among the Slavic peoples of Bulgaria, Great Moravia and Pannonia. Through their work they influenced the cultural development of all Slavs, for which they...

 who brought Christianity to the southern Slavs, or by their disciples. Paul Cubberly posits that while Cyril may have codified and expanded Glagolitic, it was his students at the Preslav Literary School
Preslav Literary School
The Preslav Literary School was the first literary school in the medieval Bulgarian Empire. It was established by Boris I in 885 or 886 in Bulgaria's capital, Pliska...

 in the First Bulgarian Empire
First Bulgarian Empire
The First Bulgarian Empire was a medieval Bulgarian state founded in the north-eastern Balkans in c. 680 by the Bulgars, uniting with seven South Slavic tribes...

 that developed Cyrillic from Greek in the 890s as a more suitable script for church books. Later Cyrillic spread among other Slavic peoples: Russians
Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

, Serbs
Serbs
The Serbs are a South Slavic ethnic group of the Balkans and southern Central Europe. Serbs are located mainly in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and form a sizable minority in Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia and Slovenia. Likewise, Serbs are an officially recognized minority in...

 and others, as well as among non-Slavic Vlachs
Vlachs
Vlach is a blanket term covering several modern Latin peoples descending from the Latinised population in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. English variations on the name include: Walla, Wlachs, Wallachs, Vlahs, Olahs or Ulahs...

 and Moldavians
Moldovans
Moldovans or Moldavians are the largest population group of Moldova...

.

Cyrillic and Glagolitic were used for the Church Slavonic language, especially the Old Church Slavonic
Old Church Slavonic
Old Church Slavonic or Old Church Slavic was the first literary Slavic language, first developed by the 9th century Byzantine Greek missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius who were credited with standardizing the language and using it for translating the Bible and other Ancient Greek...

 variant. (See Early Cyrillic alphabet
Early Cyrillic alphabet
The Early Cyrillic alphabet is a writing system developed in the First Bulgarian Empire in the 9th or 10th century to write the Old Church Slavonic liturgical language...

.) Hence expressions such as "И is the tenth Cyrillic letter" typically refer to the order of the Church Slavonic alphabet; not every Cyrillic alphabet uses every letter available in the script.
The Cyrillic script came to dominate Glagolitic in the 12th century. The literature produced in the Old Bulgarian language soon spread north and became the lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

 of Eastern Europe, where it came to also be known as Old Church Slavonic
Old Church Slavonic
Old Church Slavonic or Old Church Slavic was the first literary Slavic language, first developed by the 9th century Byzantine Greek missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius who were credited with standardizing the language and using it for translating the Bible and other Ancient Greek...

. The alphabet used for the modern Church Slavonic language in Eastern Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

 and Eastern Catholic rites still resembles early Cyrillic. However, over the following ten centuries, Cyrillic adapted to changes in spoken language, developed regional variations to suit the features of national languages, and was subjected to academic reforms and political decrees. Today, dozens of languages
Languages using Cyrillic
This is a list of languages that have been written in the Cyrillic script at one time or another. See also early Cyrillic alphabet.- Indo-European languages :* Indo-Iranian languages**Indo-Aryan languages...

 in Eastern Europe and Asia are written in Cyrillic alphabets.

Latin script


A number of languages written in a Cyrillic alphabet have also been written in a Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most recognized alphabet used in the world today. It evolved from a western variety of the Greek alphabet called the Cumaean alphabet, which was adopted and modified by the Etruscans who ruled early Rome...

, such as Azerbaijani
Azerbaijani language
Azerbaijani or Azeri or Torki is a language belonging to the Turkic language family, spoken in southwestern Asia by the Azerbaijani people, primarily in Azerbaijan and northwestern Iran...

, Uzbek
Uzbek language
Uzbek is a Turkic language and the official language of Uzbekistan. It has about 25.5 million native speakers, and it is spoken by the Uzbeks in Uzbekistan and elsewhere in Central Asia...

 and Romanian
Romanian language
Romanian Romanian Romanian (or Daco-Romanian; obsolete spellings Rumanian, Roumanian; self-designation: română, limba română ("the Romanian language") or românește (lit. "in Romanian") is a Romance language spoken by around 24 to 28 million people, primarily in Romania and Moldova...

 (Republic of Moldova only). After the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, official status shifted in some of the former republics from Cyrillic to Latin. The transition is complete in most of Moldova (except Transnistria
Transnistria
Transnistria is a breakaway territory located mostly on a strip of land between the Dniester River and the eastern Moldovan border to Ukraine...

, where Moldovan Cyrillic is official), Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, but Uzbekistan still uses both systems. The Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n government has mandated that Cyrillic must be used for all public communications in all federal subjects of Russia
Federal subjects of Russia
Russia is a federation which, since March 1, 2008, consists of 83 federal subjects . In 1993, when the Constitution was adopted, there were 89 federal subjects listed...

, to promote closer ties across the federation. This act was controversial for speakers of many Slavic languages; for others, such as Chechen
Chechen language
The Chechen language is spoken by more than 1.5 million people, mostly in Chechnya and by Chechen people elsewhere. It is a member of the Northeast Caucasian languages.-Classification:...

 and Ingush
Ingush language
Ingush is a language spoken by about 413,000 people , known as the Ingush, across a region covering Ingushetia, Chechnya, Kazakhstan and Russia. In Ingush, the language is called ГІалгІай Ğalğaj .-Classification:...

 speakers, the law had political ramifications. For example, the separatist Chechen government mandated a Latin script (which, in fact, is noted by observers such as Johanna Nichols
Johanna Nichols
Linguist Johanna Nichols is a professor emerita on active duty in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests include the Slavic languages, the linguistic prehistory of northern Eurasia, language typology, ancient linguistic...

 to be a much better representation of the language), and is still used by many Chechens. Those in the diaspora especially refuse to use the Chechen Cyrillic alphabet, which they associate with Russian imperialism.

Serbia uses both Cyrillic and Latin alphabets, but not within the Serbian language, which is officially in use in Serbia. By Article 10 of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, the Serbian Cyrillic alphabet was made official.

The Zhuang alphabet, used between the 1950s and 1980s in portions of the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

, used a mixture of Latin, phonetic, numeral-based, and Cyrillic letters. The non-Latin letters, including Cyrillic, were removed from the alphabet in 1982 and replaced with Latin letters that closely resembled the letters they replaced.

Romanization


There are various systems for Romanization
Romanization
In linguistics, romanization or latinization is the representation of a written word or spoken speech with the Roman script, or a system for doing so, where the original word or language uses a different writing system . Methods of romanization include transliteration, for representing written...

 of Cyrillic text, including transliteration
Transliteration
Transliteration is a subset of the science of hermeneutics. It is a form of translation, and is the practice of converting a text from one script into another...

 to convey Cyrillic spelling in Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 letters, and transcription
Transcription (linguistics)
Transcription in the linguistic sense is the systematic representation of language in written form. The source can either be utterances or preexisting text in another writing system, although some linguists only consider the former as transcription.Transcription should not be confused with...

 to convey pronunciation
Pronunciation
Pronunciation refers to the way a word or a language is spoken, or the manner in which someone utters a word. If one is said to have "correct pronunciation", then it refers to both within a particular dialect....

.

Standard Cyrillic-to-Latin transliteration systems include:
  • Scientific transliteration
    Scientific transliteration
    Scientific transliteration, variously called academic, linguistic, or scholarly transliteration, is an international system for transliteration of text from the Cyrillic to the Latin alphabet...

    , used in linguistics, is based on the Latin Czech alphabet
    Czech alphabet
    The Czech alphabet is a version of the Latin script, used when writing Czech. Its basic principles are "one sound, one letter" and the addition of diacritical marks above letters to represent sounds alien to Latin...

    .
  • The Working Group on Romanization Systems of the United Nations
    United Nations
    The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

     recommends different systems for specific languages. These are the most commonly used around the world.
  • ISO 9
    ISO 9
    The international standard ISO 9 establishes a system for the transliteration into Latin characters of Cyrillic characters constituting the alphabets of many Slavic and some non-Slavic languages....

    :1995, from the International Organization for Standardization.
  • American Library Association and Library of Congress Romanization tables for Slavic alphabets (ALA-LC Romanization
    ALA-LC Romanization
    ALA-LC is a set of standards for romanization, or the representation of text in other writing systems using the Latin alphabet. The initials stand for American Library Association - Library of Congress....

    ), used in North American libraries.
  • BGN/PCGN Romanization
    BGN/PCGN romanization
    BGN/PCGN romanization refers to the systems for romanization and Roman-script spelling conventions adopted by the United States Board on Geographic Names and the Permanent Committee on Geographical Names for British Official Use .The systems have been approved by the BGN and the PCGN for...

     (1947), United States Board on Geographic Names & Permanent Committee on Geographical Names for British Official Use).
  • GOST 16876
    GOST 16876-71
    GOST 16876-71 is a romanization system devised by the National Administration for Geodesy and Cartography of the Soviet Union. It is based on the scientific transliteration system used in linguistics. GOST was an international standard so it included provision for a number of the languages of...

    , a now defunct Soviet transliteration standard. Replaced by GOST 7.79, which is ISO 9
    ISO 9
    The international standard ISO 9 establishes a system for the transliteration into Latin characters of Cyrillic characters constituting the alphabets of many Slavic and some non-Slavic languages....

     equivalent.
  • Volapuk encoding
    Volapuk encoding
    Volapuk encoding or latinitsa is a slang term for rendering the letters of the Cyrillic script with Latin ones...

    , an informal rendering of Cyrillic text over Latin-alphabet ASCII.


See also Romanization of Belarusian
Romanization of Belarusian
Romanization or Latinization of Belarusian is any system for transliterating written Belarusian from the Cyrillic alphabet to the Latin.Some of the standard systems for romanizing Belarusian:...

, Bulgarian
Romanization of Bulgarian
Romanization of Bulgarian is the practice of transliteration of text in the Bulgarian language from its conventional Cyrillic orthography into the Latin alphabet. Romanization can be used for various purposes, such as rendering of proper names and place names in foreign-language contexts, or for...

, Kyrgyz
Romanization of Kyrgyz
The Kyrgyz language language is written in the Kyrgyz alphabet, a modification of the Cyrillic alphabet. There is not one commonly accepted system of romanization of Kyrgyz, i.e. a rendering of Kyrgyz in the Latin alphabet. Some Kyrgyz romanization systems are given below:Besides these systems, one...

, Russian
Romanization of Russian
Romanization of the Russian alphabet is the process of transliterating the Russian language from the Cyrillic alphabet into the Latin alphabet...

, Macedonian and Ukrainian
Romanization of Ukrainian
The romanization or Latinization of Ukrainian is the representation of the Ukrainian language using Latin letters. Ukrainian is natively written in its own Ukrainian alphabet, a variation of Cyrillic....

.

Cyrillization


Representing other writing systems with Cyrillic letters is called Cyrillization
Cyrillization
A Cyrillization is a system for rendering words of a language that normally uses a writing system other than the Cyrillic alphabet into a Cyrillic alphabet. A Cyrillization scheme needs to be applied, for example, to transcribe names of German, Chinese, or American people and places for use in...

.

Unicode


In Unicode
Unicode
Unicode is a computing industry standard for the consistent encoding, representation and handling of text expressed in most of the world's writing systems...

 6.0, letters of Cyrillic, including national and historical alphabets, are represented by four blocks:


The characters in the range U+0400 to U+045F are basically the characters from ISO 8859-5 moved upward by 864 positions. The characters in the range U+0460 to U+0489 are historic letters, not used now. The characters in the range U+048A to U+052F are additional letters for various languages that are written with Cyrillic script.

Unicode as a general rule does not include accented Cyrillic letters. Few exceptions are:
  • combinations that are considered as separate letters of respective alphabets, like Й, Ў, Ё, Ї, Ѓ, Ќ (as well as many letters of non-slavic alphabets);
  • two most frequent combinations orthographically required to distinguish homonym
    Homonym
    In linguistics, a homonym is, in the strict sense, one of a group of words that often but not necessarily share the same spelling and the same pronunciation but have different meanings...

    s in Bulgarian and Macedonian: Ѐ, Ѝ;
  • few Old and New Church Slavonic combinations: Ѷ, Ѿ, Ѽ.


To indicate stressed or long vowels, combining diacritical marks can be used after respective letter (for example, : etc.).

Some languages, including Church Slavonic, are still not fully supported.

Unicode 5.1, released on 4 April 2008, introduces major changes to the Cyrillic blocks. Revisions to the existing Cyrillic blocks, and the addition of Cyrillic Extended A (2DE0...2DFF) and Cyrillic Extended B (A640...A69F), significantly improve support for the early Cyrillic alphabet
Early Cyrillic alphabet
The Early Cyrillic alphabet is a writing system developed in the First Bulgarian Empire in the 9th or 10th century to write the Old Church Slavonic liturgical language...

, Abkhaz
Abkhaz language
Abkhaz is a Northwest Caucasian language spoken mainly by the Abkhaz people. It is the official language of Abkhazia where around 100,000 people speak it. Furthermore, it is spoken by thousands of members of the Abkhazian diaspora in Turkey, Georgia's autonomous republic of Adjara, Syria, Jordan...

, Aleut
Aleut language
Aleut is a language of the Eskimo–Aleut language family. It is the heritage language of the Aleut people living in the Aleutian Islands, Pribilof Islands, and Commander Islands. As of 2007 there were about 150 speakers of Aleut .- Dialects :Aleut is alone with the Eskimo languages in the...

, Chuvash
Chuvash language
Chuvash is a Turkic language spoken in central Russia, primarily in the Chuvash Republic and adjacent areas. It is the only surviving member of the Oghur branch of Turkic languages....

, Kurdish
Kurdish language
Kurdish is a dialect continuum spoken by the Kurds in western Asia. It is part of the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian group of Indo-European languages....

, and Mordvin.

Other


Punctuation for Cyrillic text is similar to that used in European Latin-alphabet languages.

Other character encoding
Character encoding
A character encoding system consists of a code that pairs each character from a given repertoire with something else, such as a sequence of natural numbers, octets or electrical pulses, in order to facilitate the transmission of data through telecommunication networks or storage of text in...

 systems for Cyrillic:
  • CP866 – 8-bit Cyrillic character encoding established by Microsoft
    Microsoft
    Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...

     for use in MS-DOS
    MS-DOS
    MS-DOS is an operating system for x86-based personal computers. It was the most commonly used member of the DOS family of operating systems, and was the main operating system for IBM PC compatible personal computers during the 1980s to the mid 1990s, until it was gradually superseded by operating...

     also known as GOST-alternative. Cyrillic characters go in their native order, with a "window" for pseudographic characters.
  • ISO/IEC 8859-5
    ISO/IEC 8859-5
    ISO/IEC 8859-5:1999, Information technology — 8-bit single-byte coded graphic character sets — Part 5: Latin/Cyrillic alphabet, is part of the ISO/IEC 8859 series of ASCII-based standard character encodings, first edition published in 1988. It is informally referred to as Latin/Cyrillic...

     – 8-bit Cyrillic character encoding established by International Organization for Standardization
    International Organization for Standardization
    The International Organization for Standardization , widely known as ISO, is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. Founded on February 23, 1947, the organization promulgates worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial...

  • KOI8-R
    KOI8-R
    KOI8-R is an 8-bit character encoding, designed to cover Russian, which uses the Cyrillic alphabet. It also happens to cover Bulgarian, but is not used since CP1251 is accepted. A derivative encoding is KOI8-U, which adds Ukrainian characters...

     – 8-bit native Russian character encoding. Invented in the USSR for use on Soviet clones of American IBM and DEC computers. The Cyrillic characters go in the order of their Latin counterparts, which allowed the text to remain readable after transmission via a 7bit line which removed the senior bit from each byte - the result became a very rough, but readable, Latin transliteration of Cyrillic. Standard encoding of early 90s for UNIX systems and the first Russian Internet encoding.
  • KOI8-U
    KOI8-U
    KOI8-U is an 8-bit character encoding, designed to cover Ukrainian, which uses the Cyrillic alphabet. It is based on KOI8-R, which covers Russian and Bulgarian, but replaces eight graphic characters with four Ukrainian letters Ґ, Є, І, and Ї in both upper case and lower case.In Microsoft Windows,...

     – KOI8-R with addition of Ukrainian letters
  • MIK
    MIK Code page
    MIK is a Cyrillic code page used with MS-DOS. It is based on the character set used in the Bulgarian IBM PC compatible system.This is the most widespread DOS/OEM code page used in Bulgaria, rather than CP 855, CP 866 or CP 872....

     – 8-bit native Bulgarian character encoding for use in DOS
    DOS
    DOS, short for "Disk Operating System", is an acronym for several closely related operating systems that dominated the IBM PC compatible market between 1981 and 1995, or until about 2000 if one includes the partially DOS-based Microsoft Windows versions 95, 98, and Millennium Edition.Related...

  • Windows-1251
    Windows-1251
    Windows-1251 is a popular 8-bit character encoding, designed to cover languages that use the Cyrillic alphabet such as Russian, Bulgarian, Serbian Cyrillic and other languages...

     – 8-bit Cyrillic character encoding established by Microsoft for use in Microsoft Windows
    Microsoft Windows
    Microsoft Windows is a series of operating systems produced by Microsoft.Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces . Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal...

    . The simplest 8bit Cyrillic encoding - 32 capital chars in native order at 0xc0-0xdf, 32 usual chars at 0xe0-0xff, with rarely used "YO" characters somewhere else. No pseudographics. Former standard encoding in some Linux
    Linux
    Linux is a Unix-like computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open source software development and distribution. The defining component of any Linux system is the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released October 5, 1991 by Linus Torvalds...

     distributions for Belarusian and Bulgarian, but currently displaced by UTF-8
    UTF-8
    UTF-8 is a multibyte character encoding for Unicode. Like UTF-16 and UTF-32, UTF-8 can represent every character in the Unicode character set. Unlike them, it is backward-compatible with ASCII and avoids the complications of endianness and byte order marks...

    .
  • GOST-main
  • GB 2312
    GB 2312
    GB2312 is the registered internet name for a key official character set of the People's Republic of China, used for simplified Chinese characters...

     - Principally simplified Chinese encodings, but there are also basic 33 Russian Cyrillic letters (in upper- and lower-case).
  • JIS
    JIS encoding
    In computing, JIS encoding refers to several Japanese Industrial Standards for encoding the Japanese language. Strictly speaking, the term means either:* A set of standard character sets for Japanese, notably:...

     and Shift JIS - Principally Japanese encodings, but there are also basic 33 Russian Cyrillic letters (in upper- and lower-case).

Keyboard layouts


Each language has its own standard keyboard layout
Keyboard layout
A keyboard layout is any specific mechanical, visual, or functional arrangement of the keys, legends, or key–meaning associations of a computer, typewriter, or other typographic keyboard....

, adopted from typewriter
Typewriter
A typewriter is a mechanical or electromechanical device with keys that, when pressed, cause characters to be printed on a medium, usually paper. Typically one character is printed per keypress, and the machine prints the characters by making ink impressions of type elements similar to the pieces...

s. With the flexibility of computer input methods, there are also transliterating or phonetic/homophonic keyboard layouts made for typists who are more familiar with other layouts, like the common English qwerty keyboard. When practical Cyrillic keyboard layouts or fonts are not available, computer users sometimes use transliteration or look-alike "volapuk
Volapuk encoding
Volapuk encoding or latinitsa is a slang term for rendering the letters of the Cyrillic script with Latin ones...

" encoding to type languages which are normally written with the Cyrillic alphabet.

See Keyboard layouts for non-Roman alphabetic scripts.

See also


  • .рф
  • .срб
    .срб
    The domain name .срб is the Cyrillic domain name of Republic of Serbia. It has been active since May 3rd, 2011.The Serbian National Register of Internet Domain Names has initiated on its forum a public discussion on the Proposal of rules and processes for registering the Cyrillic domain...

  • .укр
    .укр
    The domain name укр is a proposed internationalized country code top-level domain for Ukraine.-History:...

  • .бг
  • Appendix of Cyrillic alphabets
  • Languages using Cyrillic
    Languages using Cyrillic
    This is a list of languages that have been written in the Cyrillic script at one time or another. See also early Cyrillic alphabet.- Indo-European languages :* Indo-Iranian languages**Indo-Aryan languages...

  • List of Cyrillic letters
  • Cyrillic digraphs
    Cyrillic digraphs
    The Cyrillic alphabet family contains a large number of specially treated two-letter combinations, or digraphs, but few of these are used in Slavic languages. In a few alphabets, trigraphs and even the occasional tetragraph are used....

  • List of Cyrillic digraphs
  • Faux Cyrillic
    Faux Cyrillic
    Faux Cyrillic, pseudo-Cyrillic, pseudo-Russian or faux Russian typography is the use of Cyrillic letters in Latin text to evoke the Soviet Union or Russia, regardless of whether the letters are phonetic matches. For example, R and N in RUSSIAN may be replaced by Cyrillic Я and И, giving "ЯUSSIAИ"...

    , real or fake Cyrillic letters used to give Latin-alphabet text a Soviet or Russian feel
  • Russian Manual Alphabet
    Russian Manual Alphabet
    The Russian Manual Alphabet is used for fingerspelling in Russian sign language. The alphabet consists of Cyrillic letters, the same used in Russian and other languages....

     (the fingerspelled
    Fingerspelling
    Fingerspelling is the representation of the letters of a writing system, and sometimes numeral systems, using only the hands. These manual alphabets , have often been used in deaf education, and have subsequently been adopted as a distinct part of a number of sign languages around the world...

     Cyrillic alphabet)
  • Cyrillic Alphabet Day
  • Vladislav the Grammarian
    Vladislav the Grammarian
    Vladislav the Grammarian was a fifteenth-century Bulgarian monk, writer, historian and theologian.He worked in both medieval Bulgaria and Serbia and is regarded as both Serbian and Bulgarian author...

  • Russian cursive
  • Cyrillic (Unicode block)

External links



Letters of the Cyrillic alphabet (see also Cyrillic digraphs
Cyrillic digraphs
The Cyrillic alphabet family contains a large number of specially treated two-letter combinations, or digraphs, but few of these are used in Slavic languages. In a few alphabets, trigraphs and even the occasional tetragraph are used....

)
А
A
A (Cyrillic)
A is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It commonly represents an open front unrounded vowel , like the pronunciation of ⟨a⟩ in "father".The Cyrillic letter A is romanized using the Latin letter A.-History:...

Б
Be
Be (Cyrillic)
Be is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet. It commonly represents the voiced bilabial plosive , like the English pronunciation of ⟨b⟩ in "bee"...

В
Ve
Ve (Cyrillic)
Ve is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It commonly represents the voiced labiodental fricative , like the pronunciation of ⟨v⟩ in "very"....

Г
Ge
Ge (Cyrillic)
Ge is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet. It is also known in some languages as He. In Unicode this letter is called "Ghe".It commonly represents the voiced velar plosive , like the pronunciation of ⟨g⟩ in "go"....

Ґ
Ge upturn
Ge with upturn
Ge with upturn is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet. In Ukrainian, Urum and Rusyn, this letter is called "Ge", and the letter ⟨Г⟩ is called "He"...

Д
De
De (Cyrillic)
De is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.De commonly represents the voiced dental plosive , like the pronunciation of ⟨d⟩ in admit.De is romanized using the Latin letter D.-History:...

Ђ
Dje
Dje
Dje is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.Dje is the sixth letter of the Serbian Cyrillic alphabet and of the Montenegrin Cyrillic alphabet, used in the Serbian language to represent the voiced alveolo-palatal affricate , similar to the pronunciation of ⟨j⟩ in "jet".Dje corresponds to the Latin...

Ѓ
Gje
Gje
Gje is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It is used in Macedonian to represent the voiced palatal plosive or the voiced alveolo-palatal affricate , similar to the pronunciation of ⟨j⟩ in "jet"....

Е
Ye
Ye (Cyrillic)
Ye is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet. In some languages this letter is called E.It commonly represents the vowel or , like the pronunciation of ⟨e⟩ in "yes".Ye is romanized using the Latin letter E....

Ё
Yo
Yo (Cyrillic)
Yo is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet. In Unicode, the letter ⟨Ё⟩ is named CYRILLIC CAPITAL/SMALL LETTER IO.It commonly represents the sounds , like the pronunciation of ⟨Yo⟩ in "York"....

Є
Ye
Ukrainian Ye
Ukrainian Ye is a character of the Cyrillic script. It is considered as an individual letter of modern Ukrainian alphabet and as a variant form of Ye in modern Church Slavonic language...

Ж
Zhe
Zhe (Cyrillic)
Zhe is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It commonly represents the voiced postalveolar fricative , like the pronunciation of ⟨s⟩ in "treasure".Zhe is romanized as ⟨zh⟩ or ⟨ž⟩.-History:...

З
Ze
Ze (Cyrillic)
Ze is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It commonly represents the voiced alveolar fricative , like the pronunciation of ⟨z⟩ in "zoo".Ze is romanized using the Latin letter ⟨z⟩....

Ѕ
Dze
Dze
Dze is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet, used in the Macedonian language to represent the voiced alveolar affricate , pronounced like ⟨ds⟩ in "pods"....

И
I
I (Cyrillic)
I is a letter used in almost all ancient and modern Cyrillic alphabets.It commonly represents the close front unrounded vowel , like the pronunciation of ⟨i⟩ in "machine", or the near-close near-front unrounded vowel , like the pronunciation of ⟨i⟩ in "bin".-History:The Cyrillic letter I was...

І
Dotted I
Ї
Yi
Yi (Cyrillic)
Yi is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It represents the iotated vowel sound , like the pronunciation of ⟨yi⟩ in "playing", and is used in the Rusyn and Ukrainian alphabets....

Й
Short I
Short I
Short I is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet. It is made of the Cyrillic letter И with a breve.Short I represents the palatal approximant , like the pronunciation of ⟨y⟩ in toy....

Ј
Je
Je (Cyrillic)
Je is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It commonly represents the palatal approximant , like the pronunciation of ⟨y⟩ in "yes".-Usage:-Related letters and other similar characters:...

К
Ka
Ka (Cyrillic)
Ka is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It commonly represents the voiceless velar plosive , like the pronunciation of ⟨k⟩ in "king".-History:...

Л
El
El (Cyrillic)
El is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.El commonly represents the alveolar lateral approximant , like the pronunciation of ⟨l⟩ in "lip".-Form:...

Љ
Lje
Lje
Lje is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.Lje represents a palatal lateral , a sound similar to the palatalized alveolar lateral which is represented by the digraph ЛЬ and pronounced like the ⟨ll⟩ in "million".Lje was invented by Vuk Stefanović Karadžić...

М
Em
Em (Cyrillic)
Em is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.Em commonly represents the bilabial nasal consonant , like the pronunciation of ⟨m⟩ in "him".It is derived from the Greek letter Mu ....

Н
En
En (Cyrillic)
En is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It commonly represents the alveolar nasal consonant , like the pronunciation of ⟨n⟩ in "nice".-History:The Cyrillic letter En was derived from the Greek letter Nu ....

Њ
Nje
Nje
Nje is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It is a ligature of the Cyrillic letters En ⟨Н⟩ and Soft Sign ⟨Ь⟩. It was invented by Vuk Stefanović Karadžić. It corresponds to the digraph ⟨nj⟩ in the Serbian Latin and Croatian alphabets.It is used in Macedonian and Serbian, where it represents a...

О
O
O (Cyrillic)
O is a letter of the Cyrillic script.O commonly represents the close-mid back rounded vowel , like the pronunciation of ⟨o⟩ in "go".-History:The Cyrillic letter O was derived from the Greek letter Omicron ....

П
Pe
Pe (Cyrillic)
Pe is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It commonly represents the voiceless bilabial plosive , like the pronunciation of ⟨p⟩ in "pack".-History:...

Р
Er
Er (Cyrillic)
Er is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It commonly represents the alveolar trill , like the "rolled" sound in the Scottish pronunciation of ⟨r⟩ in "curd".-History:...

С
Es
Es (Cyrillic)
Es is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It commonly represents the voiceless alveolar fricative , like the pronunciation of ⟨s⟩ in "sand".-History:...

Т
Te
Te (Cyrillic)
Te is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It commonly represents the voiceless alveolar plosive , like the pronunciation of ⟨t⟩ in "tick".-History:...

Ћ
Tshe
Tshe
Tshe is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet, used only in the Serbian, Bosnian and Montenegrin alphabets, where it represents the voiceless alveolo-palatal affricate , somewhat like the pronunciation of ⟨ch⟩ in "chew". The sound of Tshe is produced from the voiceless alveolar plosive by iotation....

Ќ
Kje
Kje
Kje is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet, used only in the Macedonian alphabet, where it It represents the voiceless palatal plosive , or the voiceless alveolo-palatal affricate . Kje is the 24th letter In this alphabet...

У
U
U (Cyrillic)
U is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet. It commonly represents the close back rounded vowel , somewhat like the pronunciation of ⟨oo⟩ in "boot"...

Ў
Short U
Ф
Ef
Х
Kha
Ц
Tse
Tse (Cyrillic)
Tse is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It commonly represents the voiceless alveolar affricate , like the pronunciation of ⟨ts⟩ in "cats".In English, Tse is commonly romanized as ⟨ts⟩...

Ч
Che
Che (Cyrillic)
Che or Cha is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It commonly represents the voiceless postalveolar affricate , like the pronunciation of ⟨ch⟩ in "change"....

Џ
Dzhe
Dzhe
Dzhe is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet used in Serbian and Macedonian to represent the voiced postalveolar affricate , like the pronunciation of ⟨j⟩ in "jump"...

Ш
Sha
Sha
For other uses, see Sha .Sha is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet. It commonly represents the voiceless postalveolar fricative , like the pronunciation of ⟨sh⟩ in "sheep", or the somewhat similar voiceless retroflex fricative . It is used in every variation of the Cyrillic alphabet, for Slavic and...

Щ
Shcha
Ъ
Hard sign (Yer)
Yer
The letter yer of the Cyrillic alphabet, also spelled jer or er, is known as the hard sign in the modern Russian and Rusyn alphabets and as er golyam in the Bulgarian alphabet...

Ы
Yery
Yery
Yery or Yeru is a letter in the Cyrillic alphabet. It represents the phoneme after non-palatalised consonants in the Belarusian and Russian alphabets...

Ь
Soft sign (Yeri)
Soft sign
The soft sign , also known as yer, is a letter of the Cyrillic script. In Old Church Slavonic, it represented a short front vowel. As with its companion, the back yer, the vowel phoneme it designated was later partly dropped and partly merged with other vowels...

Э
E
E (Cyrillic)
E , also known as Backwards E from , E oborotnoye, is a letter found amongst Slavonic languages only in Russian and Belarusian, representing the sounds and...

Ю
Yu
Yu (Cyrillic)
Yu is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet. After a palatalized consonant, it represents the close back rounded vowel , somewhat like the pronunciation of ⟨oo⟩ in "boot"; elsewhere it is a so-called iotated vowel representing the combination , like the pronunciation of ⟨you⟩ in "youth"...

Я
Ya
Ya (Cyrillic)
Ya is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet, the civil script variant of Old Cyrillic Little Yus . Among modern Slavonic languages it is used by Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian and Bulgarian to represent both the combination in initial or post-vocalic position and after a palatalised consonant; in...

Cyrillic non-slavic letters
Ӏ
Palochka
Palochka
Palochka is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet. This letter usually has only a capital form, which is also used in lowercase text. The capital form of Palochka often looks like the capital form of the Cyrillic letter Dotted I , the capital form of the Latin letter I , and the lowercase form of the...

Ә
Cyrillic Schwa
Schwa (Cyrillic)
Schwa is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet. It is currently used in Abkhaz, Bashkir, Dungan, Kalmyk, Kazakh, Kurdish and Tatar...

Ғ
Ayn
Ҙ
Bashkir Dhe
Dhe (Cyrillic)
Dhe or Ze with descender is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet. It is used in the Bashkir language where it represents the voiced dental fricative , like the pronunciation of ⟨th⟩ in "this".-Computing codes:-See also:*З з : Cyrillic letter Ze...

Ҫ
Bashkir The
The (Cyrillic)
The is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet. The name "The" is pronounced , like the pronunciation of ⟨the⟩ in "theft". In Unicode, this letter is called "Es with descender"...

Ҡ
Bashkir Qa
Bashkir Qa
Bashkir Qa or Bashkir Ka is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet. It is formed from the Cyrillic letter Ka with the top extending horizontally to the left....

Қ
Ka with
descender
Ң
Ng
Ng (Cyrillic)
En with descender is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet. Its form is derived from the Cyrillic letter En by adding a descender to the right leg.It commonly represents the velar nasal , like the pronunciation of ⟨ng⟩ in "sing"....

Ө
Barred O
Oe (Cyrillic)
Oe or Barred O is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.- Shape :Its form was copied from the Latin letter Barred O used in Jaŋalif and other alphabets. Despite having a similar shape, it is genetically related neither to the Greek letter Theta nor to the archaic Cyrillic letter Fita...

Ү
Straight U
Ue (Cyrillic)
Ue or Straight U is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet. It is a form of the Cyrillic letter U with a vertical, rather than diagonal, center line...

Ұ
Straight U with stroke
Kazakh Short U
Kazakh Short U is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet. In Unicode, this letter is called "Straight U with stroke". Its form is the Cyrillic letter Ue with a horizontal line through it...

Һ
He
Cyrillic archaic letters

A iotified
Ѥ
E iotified
E iotified
Iotated E is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It is no longer used in any modern language.-History:Iotated E has no equivalent in the Glagolitic alphabet, and probably originated as a ligature of ⟨⟩ and ⟨⟩ to represent [je]....

Ѧ
Yus small
Yus
Little Yus and Big Yus , or Jus, are letters of the Cyrillic script, representing two Common Slavonic nasal vowels in the early Cyrillic and Glagolitic alphabets. Each can occur in iotified form , formed as ligatures with the letter Decimal I...

Ѫ
Yus big
Yus
Little Yus and Big Yus , or Jus, are letters of the Cyrillic script, representing two Common Slavonic nasal vowels in the early Cyrillic and Glagolitic alphabets. Each can occur in iotified form , formed as ligatures with the letter Decimal I...

Ѩ
Yus small iotified
Yus
Little Yus and Big Yus , or Jus, are letters of the Cyrillic script, representing two Common Slavonic nasal vowels in the early Cyrillic and Glagolitic alphabets. Each can occur in iotified form , formed as ligatures with the letter Decimal I...

Ѭ
Yus big iotified
Yus
Little Yus and Big Yus , or Jus, are letters of the Cyrillic script, representing two Common Slavonic nasal vowels in the early Cyrillic and Glagolitic alphabets. Each can occur in iotified form , formed as ligatures with the letter Decimal I...

Ѯ
Ksi
Ѱ
Psi
Psi (Cyrillic)
Psi is a letter in the early Cyrillic alphabet, derived from the Greek letter psi . It represents the sound /ps/, as in English naps...

Ѳ
Fita
Fita
Fita is a letter of the Early Cyrillic alphabet. The shape and the name of the letter are derived from the Greek letter Theta .In the Cyrillic numeral system, Fita has a value of 9.- Shape :...

Ѵ
Izhitsa
Izhitsa
Izhitsa is a letter of the early Cyrillic alphabet. It was used to represent ypsilon in words derived from Greek, such as . It represented the same sound /i/ as the normal letter и in Russian...

Ѷ
Izhitsa okovy
Ҁ
Koppa
Ѹ
Uk
Uk (Cyrillic)
Uk is a letter of the early Cyrillic alphabet. It was originally a digraph of the Cyrillic letters O and U or less frequently O and Izhitsa . To save space, it was often written as a vertical ligature , called "monograph Uk"...

Ѡ
Omega
Omega (Cyrillic)
Omega is a letter used in the early Cyrillic alphabet. Its name and form are derived from the Greek letter Omega .Unlike Greek, the Slavic languages had only a single /o/ sound, so Omega was little used compared to the letter On , descended from the Greek letter Omicron...

Ѿ
Ot
Ot (Cyrillic)
Ot is a letter of the early Cyrillic alphabet. Though it originated as a ligature of the letters Omega and Te , it functions as a discrete letter of the alphabet, placed between х and ц...

Ѣ
Yat
Yat
Yat or Jat is the thirty-second letter of the old Cyrillic alphabet. Its name in Old Church Slavonic is jěd’ or iad’ . In the common scientific Latin transliteration for old Slavic languages, the letter is represented by e with caron: .The yat represented a Common Slavic long vowel...