Cyrillic script

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Cyrillic script
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{hide}redirect2|Cyrillic|Cyrillic alphabet|national variants of the Cyrillic
script|Cyrillic alphabets|other uses|Cyrillic (disambiguation){edih}
{{Use dmy dates|date=July 2013}}

Auty, R. Handbook of Old Church Slavonic, Part II: Texts and Glossary. 1977. – {{circa>940}}|languages = see Languages using Cyrillic|states =ˈkirilit͡sɐ}}, , |fam1 = Egyptian hieroglyphsOldest alphabet found in Egypt. BBC. 1999-11-15. Retrieved 2015-01-14.|fam2 = Proto-SinaiticPhoenician alphabet>PhoenicianGreek script>Greek {edih}class=nowrap U+0400–U+04FF {{smaller>Cyrillic}} U+0500–U+052F {{smaller>Cyrillic Supplement}} U+2DE0–U+2DFF {{smaller>Cyrillic Extended-A}} U+A640–U+A69F {{smaller>Cyrillic Extended-B}} U+1C80–U+1C8F {{smaller>Cyrillic Extended-C}}}}|iso15924 = Cyrl|iso15924 note = Cyrs (Old Church Slavonic variant)|sample = Romanian Cyrillic - Lord's Prayer text.svg}}The Cyrillic script ({{IPAc-en|s|ᵻ|ˈ|r|ɪ|l|ɪ|k}}) is a writing system used for various alphabets across Eurasia and is used as the national script in various Slavic-, Turkic- and Persian-speaking countries in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and North Asia.In the 9th century AD the Bulgarian Tsar Simeon I the Great, following the cultural and political course of his father Boris I, commissioned a new Bulgarian script, the Early Cyrillic alphabet, to be made at the Preslav Literary School in the First Bulgarian Empire which would replace the Glagolitic script, produced earlier by Saints Cyril and Methodius and the same disciples that created the new Slavic script in Bulgaria. The usage of the Cyrillic script in Bulgaria was made official in 893.BOOK, Francis, Dvornik, The Slavs: Their Early History and Civilization, The Psalter and the Book of Prophets were adapted or "modernized" with special regard to their use in Bulgarian churches, and it was in this school that the Glagolitic script was replaced by the so-called Cyrillic writing, which was more akin to the Greek uncial, simplified matters considerably and is still used by the Orthodox Slavs., 1956, Boston, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 179, BOOK,weblink Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500–1250, Cambridge Medieval Textbooks, Florin, Curta, Cambridge University Press, 2006, 978-0-521-81539-0, 221–222, BOOK,weblink The Orthodox Church in the Byzantine Empire, Oxford History of the Christian Church, J. M., Hussey, Andrew, Louth, Oxford University Press, 2010, 978-0-19-161488-0, 100, The new script became the basis of alphabets used in various languages, especially those of Orthodox Slavic origin, and non-Slavic languages influenced by Russian. {{As of|2019||df=}}, around 250 million people in Eurasia use it as the official alphabet for their national languages, with Russia accounting for about half of them.List of countries by population With the accession of Bulgaria to the European Union on 1 January 2007, Cyrillic became the third official script of the European Union, following Latin and Greek.WEB, Leonard, Orban, Cyrillic, the third official alphabet of the EU, was created by a truly multilingual European,weblink European Union, 3 August 2014, 24 May 2007, Cyrillic is derived from the Greek uncial script, augmented by letters from the older Glagolitic alphabet, including some ligatures. These additional letters were used for Old Church Slavonic sounds not found in Greek. The script is named in honor of the two Byzantine brothers,Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001–05, s.v. "Cyril and Methodius, Saints"; Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica Incorporated, Warren E. Preece – 1972, p. 846, s.v., "Cyril and Methodius, Saints" and "Eastern Orthodoxy, Missions ancient and modern"; Encyclopedia of World Cultures, David H. Levinson, 1991, p. 239, s.v., "Social Science"; Eric M. Meyers, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East, p. 151, 1997; Lunt, Slavic Review, June 1964, p. 216; Roman Jakobson, Crucial problems of Cyrillo-Methodian Studies; Leonid Ivan Strakhovsky, A Handbook of Slavic Studies, p. 98; V. Bogdanovich, History of the ancient Serbian literature, Belgrade, 1980, p. 119 Saints Cyril and Methodius, who created the Glagolitic alphabet earlier on. Modern scholars believe that Cyrillic was developed and formalized by early disciples of Cyril and Methodius.In the early 18th century, the Cyrillic script used in Russia was heavily reformed by Peter the Great, who had recently returned from his Grand Embassy in western Europe. The new letterforms became closer to those of the Latin alphabet; several archaic letters were removed and several letters were personally designed by Peter the Great (such as Я, which was inspired by the Latin R). West European typography culture was also adopted.WEB, Civil Type and Kis Cyrillic,weblink, 22 March 2016,


Cyrillic script spread throughout the East Slavic and some South Slavic territories, being adopted for writing local languages, such as Old East Slavic. Its adaptation to local languages produced a number of Cyrillic alphabets, discussed hereafter.{| cellpadding=4 style="font-size:larger; text-align:center;" class="Unicode" summary="Letters of the early Cyrillic alphabet" The early Cyrillic alphabetА. Н. Стеценко. Хрестоматия по Старославянскому Языку, 1984.Cubberley, Paul. The Slavic Alphabets, 1996.CyrsCyrsA (Cyrillic)>А}}}} {{scriptBe (Cyrillic)}} >CyrsVe (Cyrillic)>Ð’}} {{scriptGe (Cyrillic)}} >CyrsDe (Cyrillic)>Д}} {{scriptYe (Cyrillic)}} >CyrsZhe (Cyrillic)>Ж}} {{scriptDze (Cyrillic)}}Variant form Ꙃ >CyrsZemlya (Cyrillic)>Ꙁ}} {{scriptI (Cyrillic)}} >CyrsDotted I (Cyrillic)>І}} {{scriptKa (Cyrillic)}} >CyrsEl (Cyrillic)>Л}} {{scriptEm (Cyrillic)}} >CyrsEn (Cyrillic)>Н}} {{scriptO (Cyrillic)}} >CyrsPe (Cyrillic)>П}} {{scriptEr (Cyrillic)}} >CyrsEs (Cyrillic)>С}} {{scriptTe (Cyrillic)}} >CyrsUk (Cyrillic)>ОУ}}Variant form Ꙋ {{scriptФ}}CyrsKha (Cyrillic)>Ð¥}} {{scriptOmega (Cyrillic)}} >CyrsTse (Cyrillic)>Ц}} {{scriptChe (Cyrillic)}} >CyrsSha (Cyrillic)>Ш}} {{scriptShcha}} >CyrsYer>Ъ}} {{scriptYery}}Variant form ЪИ >Cyrssoft sign>Ь}} {{scriptyat}} >CyrsIotated A (Cyrillic)>ê™–}} {{scriptIotated E (Cyrillic)}} >CyrsYu (Cyrillic)>Ю}} {{scriptyus}} >Cyrsyus>Ѭ}} {{scriptyus}} >Cyrsyus>Ѩ}} {{scriptKsi (Cyrillic)}} >CyrsPsi (Cyrillic)>Ñ°}} {{scriptFita}} >CyrsIzhitsa>Ñ´}} {{scriptÒ€}}Lunt, Horace G. Old Church Slavonic Grammar, Seventh Edition, 2001.Capital and lowercase letters were not distinguished in old manuscripts.File:Meletius Smotrisky Cyrillic Alphabet.PNG|thumb|A page from the Church Slavonic Grammar of Meletius SmotrytskyMeletius SmotrytskyYeri ({{script|Cyrs|Ы}}) was originally a ligature of Yer and I ({{script|Cyrs|Ъ}} + {{script|Cyrs|І}} = {{script|Cyrs|Ы}}). Iotation was indicated by ligatures formed with the letter І: {{script|Cyrs|ê™–}} (not an ancestor of modern Ya, Я, which is derived from {{script|Cyrs|Ѧ}}), {{script|Cyrs|Ѥ}}, {{script|Cyrs|Ю}} (ligature of {{script|Cyrs|І}} and {{script|Cyrs|ОУ}}), {{script|Cyrs|Ѩ}}, {{script|Cyrs|Ѭ}}. Sometimes different letters were used interchangeably, for example {{script|Cyrs|И}} = {{script|Cyrs|І}} = {{script|Cyrs|Ї}}, as were typographical variants like {{script|Cyrs|О}} = {{script|Cyrs|Ѻ}}. There were also commonly used ligatures like {{script|Cyrs|ѠТ}} = {{script|Cyrs|Ѿ}}.The letters also had numeric values, based not on Cyrillic alphabetical order, but inherited from the letters' Greek ancestors.{| cellpadding=4 style="text-align:center;" class="Unicode" summary="Letters of the Early Cyrillic alphabet"|+ Cyrillic numerals| 9CyrsCyrsCyrsCyrsCyrsCyrsCyrsCyrsCyrs|Ѳ}}| 90CyrsCyrsCyrsCyrsCyrsCyrsCyrsCyrsCyrsCyrsKoppa (Cyrillic)>Ò€}})|900CyrsCyrsCyrsCyrsCyrsCyrsCyrsCyrsCyrs|Ц}}The early Cyrillic alphabet is difficult to represent on computers. Many of the letterforms differed from those of modern Cyrillic, varied a great deal in manuscripts, and changed over time. Few fonts include glyphs sufficient to reproduce the alphabet. In accordance with Unicode policy, the standard does not include letterform variations or ligatures 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. In Microsoft Windows, the Segoe UI user interface font is notable for having complete support for the archaic Cyrillic letters since Windows 8.{{citation needed|date=February 2018}}{| border="0" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="0" class="Unicode" style="vertical-align:top; border-collapse:collapse; border:1px solid #999; text-align:center; clear:both;"! colspan=12 style="background-color:#fbec5d; font-family:inherit; font-weight:normal;" | Slavic Cyrillic letters style="vertical-align:top; background:#f8f8f8;" АA БBe Ð’Ve ГGe ҐGhe upturn ДDe ЂDje ЃGje ЕYe ЁYo ЄUkrainian Ye ЖZhe valign=topZe (Cyrillic)>ЗZeЗ́>З́ZjeDze>Ð…DzeI (Cyrillic)>ИIDotted I (Cyrillic)>ІDotted IYi (Cyrillic)>ЇYiShort I>ЙShort IJe (Cyrillic)>ЈJeKa (Cyrillic)>КKaEl (Cyrillic)>ЛElLje>ЉLjeEm (Cyrillic)>ÐœEm style="vertical-align:top; background:#f8f8f8;"En (Cyrillic)>НEnNje>ЊNjeO (Cyrillic)>ОOPe (Cyrillic)>ПPeEr (Cyrillic)>РErEs (Cyrillic)>СEsС́>С́SjeTe (Cyrillic)>ТTeTshe>ЋTsheKje>ÐŒKjeU (Cyrillic)>УUShort U (Cyrillic)>ÐŽShort U valign=topEf (Cyrillic)>ФEfKha (Cyrillic)>Ð¥KhaTse (Cyrillic)>ЦTseChe (Cyrillic)>ЧCheDzhe>ЏDzheSha (Cyrillic)>ШShaShcha>ЩShchaYer>ЪHard sign (Yer)Yery>ЫYerySoft sign>ЬSoft sign (Yeri)E (Cyrillic)>ЭEYu (Cyrillic)>ЮYu style="vertical-align:top; background:#f8f8f8;"Ya (Cyrillic)>ЯYa||||||||||| valign=top Examples of non-Slavic Cyrillic letters (see List of Cyrillic letters for more) style="vertical-align:top; background:#f8f8f8;"A with breve (Cyrillic)>ӐA withbreveSchwa (Cyrillic)>Ó˜SchwaAe (Cyrillic)>Ó”AeGhayn (Cyrillic)>Ò’GhaynGe with middle hook>Ò”Ge withmiddle hookGe with stroke and hook>ÓºGhayn withhookGe with descender>Ó¶Ge withdescenderZhe with breve>ӁZhe withbreveZhe with diaeresis>ÓœZhe withdiaeresisAbkhazian Dze>Ó AbkhazianDzeBashkir Qa>Ò Bashkir QaKa with stroke>ÒžKa withstroke valign=topEn with tail>Ó‰En withtailEn with descender>Ò¢En withdescenderEn with hook>Ó‡En withhookEn-ghe>Ò¤En-gheOe (Cyrillic)>Ó¨OeO-hook>Ò¨O-hookEr with tick>ÒŽEr withtickThe (Cyrillic)>ÒªTheU with tilde (Cyrillic)>У̃U withtildeU with macron (Cyrillic)>Ó®U withmacronU with diaeresis (Cyrillic)>Ó°U withdiaeresisU with double acute (Cyrillic)>Ó²U withdouble acute valign=topUe (Cyrillic)>Ò®UeKha with descender>Ò²Kha withdescenderKha with hook>Ó¼Kha withhookKha with stroke>Ó¾Kha withstrokeShha>ÒºShha (He)Te Tse (Cyrillic)>Ò´Te TseChe with descender>Ò¶Che withdescenderKhakassian Che>Ó‹KhakassianCheChe with vertical stroke>Ò¸Che withvertical strokeAbkhazian Che>Ò¼AbkhazianCheSemisoft sign>ÒŒSemisoftsignPalochka>Ó€Palochka valign=top Cyrillic letters used in the past style="vertical-align:top; background:#f8f8f8;"A iotified>ê™–A iotifiedE iotified>ѤE iotifiedYus>ѦYus smallYus>ѪYus bigYus>ѨYus small iotifiedYus>ѬYus big iotifiedKsi (Cyrillic)>Ñ®KsiPsi (Cyrillic)>Ñ°PsiYn (Cyrillic)>ꙞYnFita>ѲFitaIzhitsa>Ñ´IzhitsaIzhitsa okovy>ѶIzhitsa okovy valign=topKoppa (Cyrillic)>Ò€KoppaUk (Cyrillic)>ОУUkOmega (Cyrillic)>Ñ OmegaOt (Cyrillic)>ѾOtYat>Ñ¢Yat|||||||

Letterforms and typography

The development of Cyrillic typography passed directly from the medieval stage to the late Baroque, without a Renaissance phase as in Western Europe. Late Medieval Cyrillic letters (still found on many icon inscriptions today) show a marked tendency to be very tall and narrow, with strokes often shared between adjacent letters.Peter the Great, Czar of Russia, mandated the use of westernized letter forms ((:ru:Гражданский шрифт|ru)) 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 serifs, 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.(File:Cyrillic upright-cursive-n.png|frame|right|Letters Ge, De, I, I kratkoye, Me, Te, Tse, Be and Ve in upright (printed) and cursive (handwritten) variants. (Top is set in Georgia font, bottom in Odessa Script.))Cyrillic uppercase and lowercase letter forms are not as differentiated as in Latin typography. Upright Cyrillic lowercase letters are essentially small capitals (with exceptions: Cyrillic {{angle bracket|а}}, {{angle bracket|е}}, {{angle bracket|і}}, {{angle bracket|ј}}, {{angle bracket|р}}, and {{angle bracket|у}} adopted Western lowercase shapes, lowercase {{angle bracket|ф}} is typically designed under the influence of Latin {{angle bracket|p}}, lowercase {{angle bracket|б}}, {{angle bracket|ђ}} and {{angle bracket|ћ}} are traditional handwritten forms), although a good-quality Cyrillic typeface will still include separate small-caps glyphs.Bringhurst (2002) writes "in Cyrillic, the difference between normal lower case and small caps is more subtle than it is in the Latin or Greek alphabets,{{nbsp}}..." (p 32) and "in most Cyrillic faces, the lower case is close in color and shape to Latin small caps" (p 107).Cyrillic fonts, as well as Latin ones, have roman and italic types (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 most Slavic languages (for example, in Russian) does not use the words "roman" and "italic" in this sense.Name ' (Italian font) in Russian refers to a particular font family JPG {{webarchive|url= |date=26 September 2007 }}, whereas ' (roman font) is just a synonym for Latin font, Latin alphabet. Instead, the nomenclature follows German naming patterns:(File:Cyrillic cursive.svg|thumb|upright=1.35|Cyrillic letters in cursive)
  • Roman type is called ' ("upright type")—compare with ' ("regular type") in German
  • Italic type is called ' ("cursive") or ' ("cursive type")—from the German word , meaning italic typefaces and not cursive writing
  • Cursive handwriting is ' ("handwritten type") in Russian—in German: ' or , both meaning literally 'running type'
As in Latin typography, a sans-serif face may have a mechanically sloped oblique type (—"sloped", or "slanted type") instead of italic.Similarly to Latin fonts, italic and cursive types of many Cyrillic letters (typically lowercase; uppercase only for handwritten 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 {{angle bracket|т}} is the lowercase counterpart of {{angle bracket|Т}} not of {{angle bracket|М}}.A boldfaced type is called ("semi-bold type"), because there existed fully boldfaced shapes that have been out of use since the beginning of the 20th century. A bold italic combination (bold slanted) does not exist for all font families.In Standard Serbian, as well as in Macedonian,BOOK, Pravopis na makedonskiot jazik, 2017, Institut za makedonski jazik Krste Misirkov, Skopje, 978-608-220-042-2, 3,weblink MakedonskiPravopis, some italic and cursive letters are allowed to be different to resemble more to the handwritten letters. The regular (upright) shapes are generally standardized among languages and there are no officially recognized variations.BOOK, Peshikan, Mitar, Jerković, Jovan, Pižurica, Mato, Pravopis srpskoga jezika, 1994, Matica Srpska, Beograd, 978-86-363-0296-5, 42, PravopisSrpskog, The following table shows the differences between the upright and italic Cyrillic letters of the Russian alphabet. Italic forms significantly different from their upright analogues, or especially confusing to users of a Latin alphabet, are highlighted.{| border=0 cellpadding=4 cellspacing=1 style="padding:0 .5em .2em; border:1px solid #999; margin:1em 0;" Also available as a (commons:Image:Cyrillic-italics-nonitalics.png|graphical image). style="font-family:FreeSerif,Georgia,'Times New Roman','Nimbus Roman No9 L','Century Schoolbook L','Trebuchet MS','URW Bookman L','URW Chancery L','URW Palladio L',Teams,serif; font-size:large; text-align:center; "| я style="font-family:FreeSerif,Georgia,'Times New Roman','Nimbus Roman No9 L','Century Schoolbook L','Trebuchet MS','URW Bookman L','URW Chancery L','URW Palladio L',Teams,serif; font-size:large; text-align:center; "а б bgcolor="#BBBBFF"в > г bgcolor="#BBBBFF"д >е >ё >ж >з > и bgcolor="#BBBBFF"й >к > л м н о bgcolor="#BBBBFF"п >р >с > т у ф х bgcolor="#BBBBFF"ц >ч > ш bgcolor="#BBBBFF"щ >ъ >ы >ь >э >ю >| яNote: in some fonts or styles, lowercase italic Cyrillic {{angle bracket|д}} ({{angle bracket|д}}) may look like Latin {{angle bracket|g}} and lowercase italic Cyrillic {{angle bracket|т}} ({{angle bracket|т}}) may look exactly like a capital italic {{angle bracket|T}} ({{angle bracket|T}}), only smaller.(File:Cyrillic alphabet world distribution.svg|thumb|upright=2|Distribution of the Cyrillic script worldwide:{{legend|#0b280b|Cyrillic is the sole official script.}}{{legend|#217821|Cyrillic is co-official with another alphabet. In the cases of Moldova and Georgia, this is in breakaway regions not recognized by the central government.}}{{legend|#87de87|Cyrillic is not official, but is in common use as a legacy script.}}{{legend|#999999|Cyrillic is not widely used}})

Cyrillic alphabets

Among others, Cyrillic is the standard script for writing the following languages: The Cyrillic script has also been used for languages of Alaska,"Orthodox Language Texts", Retrieved 2011-06-20 Slavic Europe (except for Western Slavic and some Southern Slavic), the Caucasus, Siberia, and the Russian Far East.The first alphabet derived from Cyrillic was Abur, used for the Komi language. Other Cyrillic alphabets include the Molodtsov alphabet for the Komi language and various alphabets for Caucasian languages.


File:Cyrillic monument.jpg|thumb|165px|Cyrillic Script Monument in AntarcticaAntarcticaSince 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 (in contrast to the "Greek alphabet"). Among the general public, it is often called "the Russian alphabet," because Russian is the most popular and influential alphabet based on the script. Some Bulgarian intellectuals, notably Stefan Tsanev, have expressed concern over this, and have suggested that the Cyrillic script be called the "Bulgarian alphabet" instead, for the sake of historical accuracy.Tsanev, Stefan. Български хроники, том 4 (Bulgarian Chronicles, Volume 4), Sofia, 2009, p. 165In Bulgarian, Macedonian, Russian, and Serbian, the Cyrillic alphabet is also known as azbuka, derived from the old names of the first two letters of most Cyrillic alphabets (just as the term alphabet came from the first two Greek letters alpha and beta).


File:Azbuka 1574 by Ivan Fyodorov.png|thumb|left|upright=1.1|A page from Азбука (Читанка) (ABC (Reader)), the first Ruthenian language textbook, printed by Ivan Fyodorov in 1574. This page features the Cyrillic alphabet.]]{{Alphabet}}The Cyrillic script was created in the First Bulgarian Empire.Paul Cubberley (1996) "The Slavic Alphabets". In Daniels and Bright, eds. The World's Writing Systems. Oxford University Press. {{ISBN|0-19-507993-0}}. Its first variant, the Early Cyrillic alphabet, was created at the Preslav Literary School. It is derived from the Greek uncial script letters, augmented by ligatures and consonants from the older Glagolitic alphabet for sounds not found in Greek. Tradition holds that Cyrillic and Glagolitic were formalized either by Saints Cyril and Methodius who brought Christianity to the southern Slavs, or by their disciples.Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001–05, s.v. "Cyril and Methodius, Saints"; Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica Incorporated, Warren E. Preece – 1972, p.846, s.v., "Cyril and Methodius, Saints" and "Eastern Orthodoxy, Missions ancient and modern"; Encyclopedia of World Cultures, David H. Levinson, 1991, p.239, s.v., "Social Science"; Eric M. Meyers, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East, p.151, 1997; Lunt, Slavic Review, June, 1964, p. 216; Roman Jakobson, Crucial problems of Cyrillo-Methodian Studies; Leonid Ivan Strakhovsky, A Handbook of Slavic Studies, p.98; V. Bogdanovich, History of the ancient Serbian literature, Belgrade, 1980, p.119The Columbia Encyclopaedia, Sixth Edition. 2001–05, O.Ed. Saints Cyril and Methodius "Cyril and Methodius, Saints) 869 and 884, respectively, "Greek missionaries, brothers, called Apostles to the Slavs and fathers of Slavonic literature."Encyclopædia Britannica, Major alphabets of the world, Cyrillic and Glagolitic alphabets, 2008, O.Ed. "The two early Slavic alphabets, the Cyrillic and the Glagolitic, were invented by St. Cyril, or Constantine (c. 827–869), and St. Methodii (c. 825–884). These men from Thessaloniki who became apostles to the southern Slavs, whom they converted to Christianity."BOOK, Kazhdan, Alexander P., The Oxford dictionary of Byzantium, 1991, Oxford University Press, New York, 978-0-19-504652-6, 507, Constantine (Cyril) and his brother Methodius were the sons of the droungarios Leo and Maria, who may have been a Slav., Paul Cubberley posits that although Cyril may have codified and expanded Glagolitic, it was his students in the First Bulgarian Empire under Tsar Simeon the Great that developed Cyrillic from the Greek letters in the 890s as a more suitable script for church books. Later Cyrillic spread among other Slavic peoples, as well as among non-Slavic Vlachs.Cyrillic and Glagolitic were used for the Church Slavonic language, especially the Old Church Slavonic variant. 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 of the Balkans and Eastern Europe, where it came to also be known as Old Church Slavonic."On the relationship of old Church Slavonic to the written language of early Rus'" Horace G. Lunt; Russian Linguistics, Volume 11, Numbers 2–3 / January, 1987BOOK, Schenker, Alexander, The Dawn of Slavic, Yale University Press, 1995, 185–186, 189–190, BOOK, Lunt, Horace, Old Church Slavonic Grammar, Mouton de Gruyter, 3–4, BOOK, Wien, Lysaght, Old Church Slavonic (Old Bulgarian)-Middle Greek-Modern English dictionary, Verlag Bruder HollinekIndo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction, p. 374 The alphabet used for the modern Church Slavonic language in Eastern Orthodox Church>Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic rites still resembles early Cyrillic. However, over the course of the following millennium, Cyrillic adapted to changes in spoken language, developed regional variations to suit the features of national languages, and was subjected to academic reform and political decrees. A notable example of such linguistic reform can be attributed to Vuk Karadžić who updated the Serbian Cyrillic alphabet by removing certain graphemes no longer represented in the vernacular, and introducing graphemes specific to Serbian (i.e. Љ Њ Ђ Ћ Џ Ј), distancing it from Church Slavonic alphabet in use prior to the reform. Today, Languages using Cyrillic>many languages in the Languages of the Balkans, Eastern Europe, and Eurasiatic languages>northern Eurasia are written in Cyrillic alphabets.

Relationship to other writing systems

Latin script

A number of languages written in a Cyrillic alphabet have also been written in a Latin alphabet, such as Azerbaijani, Uzbek, Serbian and Romanian (in the Republic of Moldova until 1989, in Romania throughout the 19th century). After the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, some of the former republics officially shifted from Cyrillic to Latin. The transition is complete in most of Moldova (except the breakaway region of Transnistria, where Moldovan Cyrillic is official), Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan. Uzbekistan still uses both systems, and Kazakhstan has officially begun a transition from Cyrillic to Latin (scheduled to be complete by 2025). The Russian government has mandated that Cyrillic must be used for all public communications in all federal subjects of Russia, to promote closer ties across the federation.{{citation needed|date=January 2011}} This act was controversial for speakers of many Slavic languages; for others, such as Chechen and Ingush speakers, the law had political ramifications. For example, the separatist Chechen government mandated a Latin script which is still used by many Chechens. Those in the diaspora especially refuse to use the Chechen Cyrillic alphabet, which they associate with Russian imperialism.(File:Scripts of European national languages.png|thumb|upright=1.2|Map of European countries by script of national language.{{Fix|link=WP:CSB|text=Eurocentric bias?|title=This map should represent all Cyrillic-alphabet regions including Central Asia and Mongolia, or the entire globe.}}{{legend-table|lang=en|title=Alphabets in EuropeGreekGreek & LatinLatinLatin and CyrillicCyrillicGeorgianArmenian}})Standard Serbian uses both the Cyrillic and Latin scripts. Cyrillic is nominally the official script of Serbia's administration according to the Serbian constitution;Serbian constitution however, the law does not regulate scripts in standard language, or standard language itself by any means. In practice the scripts are equal, with Latin being used more often in a less official capacity.JOURNAL,weblink Serbian signs of the times are not in Cyrillic, Christian Science Monitor, 2008-05-29, The Zhuang alphabet, used between the 1950s and 1980s in portions of the People's Republic of China, 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.


There are various systems for Romanization of Cyrillic text, including transliteration to convey Cyrillic spelling in Latin letters, and transcription to convey pronunciation.Standard Cyrillic-to-Latin transliteration systems include: See also Romanization of Belarusian, Bulgarian, Kyrgyz, Russian, Macedonian and Ukrainian.


Representing other writing systems with Cyrillic letters is called Cyrillization.

Computer encoding


As of Unicode version 12.0, Cyrillic letters, including national and historical alphabets, are encoded across several 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. A few exceptions include:
  • combinations that are considered as separate letters of respective alphabets, like Й, ÐŽ, Ё, Ї, Ѓ, ÐŒ (as well as many letters of non-Slavic alphabets);
  • two most frequent combinations orthographically required to distinguish homonyms in Bulgarian and Macedonian: Ѐ, Ѝ;
  • a few Old and New Church Slavonic combinations: Ѷ, Ѿ, Ѽ.
To indicate stressed or long vowels, combining diacritical marks can be used after the respective letter (for example, {{unichar|0301|combining acute accent|cwith=◌}}: ы́ э́ ю́ я́ etc.).Some languages, including Church Slavonic, are still not fully supported.{{Citation needed|date=June 2015}}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, Abkhaz, Aleut, Chuvash, Kurdish, and Moksha.WEB,weblink IOS Universal Multiple-Octet Coded Character Set, PDF, 2012-06-13,


Punctuation for Cyrillic text is similar to that used in European Latin-alphabet languages.Other character encoding systems for Cyrillic:
  • CP866 – 8-bit Cyrillic character encoding established by Microsoft for use in MS-DOS also known as GOST-alternative. Cyrillic characters go in their native order, with a "window" for pseudographic characters.
  • ISO/IEC 8859-5 – 8-bit Cyrillic character encoding established by International Organization for Standardization
  • KOI8-R – 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 7-bit line that removed the most significant bit from each byte—the result became a very rough, but readable, Latin transliteration of Cyrillic. Standard encoding of early 1990s for Unix systems and the first Russian Internet encoding.
  • KOI8-U – KOI8-R with addition of Ukrainian letters.
  • MIK – 8-bit native Bulgarian character encoding for use in Microsoft DOS.
  • Windows-1251 – 8-bit Cyrillic character encoding established by Microsoft for use in Microsoft Windows. The simplest 8-bit 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 GNU/Linux distributions for Belarusian and Bulgarian, but currently displaced by UTF-8.
  • GOST-main.
  • GB 2312 – Principally simplified Chinese encodings, but there are also the basic 33 Russian Cyrillic letters (in upper- and lower-case).
  • JIS and Shift JIS – Principally Japanese encodings, but there are also the basic 33 Russian Cyrillic letters (in upper- and lower-case).

Keyboard layouts

{{see also|Keyboard layout#Keyboard layouts for non-Latin alphabetic scripts|label 1=Keyboard layouts for non-Latin alphabetic scripts}}Each language has its own standard keyboard layout, adopted from typewriters. 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 unavailable, computer users sometimes use transliteration or look-alike "volapuk" encoding to type in languages that are normally written with the Cyrillic alphabet.

See also




  • Ivan G. Iliev. Short History of the Cyrillic Alphabet. Plovdiv. 2012. Short History of the Cyrillic Alphabet
  • Bringhurst, Robert (2002). The Elements of Typographic Style (version 2.5), pp. 262–264. Vancouver, Hartley & Marks. {{ISBN|0-88179-133-4}}.
  • Nezirović, M. (1992). Jevrejsko-Å¡panjolska književnost. Sarajevo: Svjetlost. [cited in Å mid, 2002]
  • Å mid, Katja (2002). "WEB,weblink Los problemas del estudio de la lengua sefardí, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 7 April 2008,  {{small|(603 KiB)}}", in Verba Hispanica, vol X. Liubliana: Facultad de Filosofía y Letras de la Universidad de Liubliana. {{ISSN|0353-9660}}.
  • 'The Lives of St. Tsurho and St. Strahota', Bohemia, 1495, Vatican Library
  • Philipp Ammon: Tractatus slavonicus. in: Sjani (Thoughts) Georgian Scientific Journal of Literary Theory and Comparative Literature, N 17, 2016, pp. 248–256

External links

{{Commons}}{{wiktionary|Appendix:Cyrillic script}} {{Slavic languages}}{{List of writing systems}}{{Cyrillization}}{{ISO 15924/footer}}{{Authority control}}

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