The idea is to provide enough alternative ways of rendering the Russian letters so that people can use different letter combinations according to their liking. However, our major concerns are consistency of coding and the ability to unambiguously and automatically render latinized Russian texts into various "native" forms (using any existing coding schemes such as KOI-8, PC or Macintosh) and vice versa.
At present time, people are using some kind of latinized phonetic representation of Russian, and different representations disagree with each other. This makes the conversion of such phonetically represented Russian texts into a native coding rather tedious. The development of a standard coding scheme will especially facilitate electronic communication in Russian language between those limited to text-mode terminals and keyboards and those using a "native" Russian encoding and a graphical representation ("Russian fonts").
The Russkaya Latinica coding scheme was designed with you, the user,
in mind. What seems most intuitive to you is most probably implemented in
our scheme. In fact, we are sure that when you typed Russian text using
Latin letters you used almost exactly the same coding as the one we
propose. The words which are difficult to transliterate are the ones
Russkaya Latinica helps you with. Russkaya Latinica isn't
just another set of difficult rules to memorize. It's a flexible standard
accomodating a wide range of intuitive perceptions, and you definitely
won't have to drastically change your typing. At the same time, it's
rigorous in the sense that every Russian word can be represented exactly
To make it all work for people, I created a software package to convert texts from Russkaya Latinica to native encodings and back, as well as between various existing native schemes; currently, we support KOI-8, KOI-7, DOS866 ("alternative"), DOS1252 (MS-Windows native), and Macintosh encodings.
The standard we propose has only a few new rules you have to remember.
That's it! Now you know enough to use Russkaya Latinica. Most probably, the phonetic code that feels right to you is compatible with our rules.
Examples of usage
Let us show a few examples to illustrate the proposed scheme.
Bystraja Ryzhaja Lisa Prygnula Cherez Lenivuju Sobaku.
(translation of "A Quick Brown Fox Jumped Over the Lazy Dog")
Odin brityj anglichanin finiki zheval kak morkov'.
Kazhdyj ohotnik zhelajet znat', gde sidit fazan.
Zaqiqajuqajasya zhenwina zhevala szhizhennyj zhen'shen'.
V'juwijsya plyuw ne zakryval vida s verandy na roskoshnyj plyazh,
raskinuvshijsya na beregu zaliva. Vglyadyvajas' v ob~ektiv binoklya,
maj'or Wukin skazal:
- Chto-to malovato chajek segodnya. Mozhet, e'to iz-za holodov?
- Kakie tam ewyo chajki! - ne otryvajas' ot zhurnala, prognusavil
Jeryomenko. - Nam by e'togo nashego negodyaja za zhabry sxvatit'...
Direktrisa Federal'noj migracionnoj sluzhby g-zha T. Regent izdala
prikaz, zapreschajuschij predostavljat' status bezhencev (tochnee,
vynuzhdennyh pereselencev) "licam chechenskoj nacional'nosti".
Korrespondentu "Moskovskih novostej" ona zajavila, chto prikaz
prinjat "pod davleniem sverhu".
Zakony i konvencii, imejuschie silu zakona, kotorye etim narusheny, mozhno perechisljat' dolgo, i etot perechen' nachinaetsja s Konstitucii RF, zapreschajuschej dazhe "trebovat' ot grazhdan opredelenija ili ukazanija svoej nacional'noj [etnicheskoj] prinadlezhnosti". Zabavno, chto eta stat'ja mozhet byt' priostanovlena pri rezhime ChP (v otlichie ot takih dejstvitel'no fundamental'nyh svobod, kak pravo chastnoj sobstvennosti). Vprochem, ChP ne vvodilos'.
We hope that you will like Russkaya Latinica enough to start using
it. The more people stick to the standard, the easier it will become to
Some advanced features
Caveat: The symbols @, ' and ~, when used alone, stand for lowercase letter e' and the lowercase soft and hard signs. If a stand-alone uppercase "E'" is needed, one cannot use a stand-alone "@" because that would be lowercase.
The standalone uppercase soft and hard signs are never used in a Russian text. Should one need to use them, there is a special way to do this. All malleable symbols become uppercase when preceded by ^, and become lowercase when preceded by _.
The malleability is akin to the property of two-letter combinations to become uppercase if the first letter is uppercase. For example, both SH and Sh mean the same uppercase letter "sha".
Another use of the backslash is to prevent quotes (` and ') from being translated as the soft sign (use \` and \' for quotes; at the beginning of word, the quote characters ` and ' don't have to be escaped, since no Russian word begins with a soft sign). Actually, all malleable characters - @ ~ ' ` - can be escaped using backslash (preventing their translation).
After a backslash-space combination and until the next one, no translation whatsoever is performed on the text. This may be useful for entering English, TeX commands or other text that uses backslashes and special characters. If you need to enter native coded Russian TeX commands... well, you probably don't need to use Russkaja Latinica for that purpose.
Here are some suggestions on how to handle common difficulties of spelling.