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Cyrillic Script (Non-Russian)

This page focuses on languages other than Russian which are written in the Cyrillic script.

See also: Cyrillic Chart | Russian | Ukrainian | Slavic | Turkic

Page Content

  1. Languages in Cyrillic
  2. Font Recommendations
  3. Typing Cyrillic
  4. iPhone/Droid New Page
  5. Web Development and Language Codes
  6. Cyrillic Alphabet Unicode Chart (New Page)
  7. Links

Languages Written in Cyrillic

Not surprisingly, many languages that were part of the former Soviet Union are written in the Cyrillic alphabet or use Cyrillic as one of the possible available scripts. Some languages include Slavic languages like Ukrainian, Belarussian, Bulgarian, Macedonian sometimes Serbian.

However, Cyrillic is also used for non-Slavic Central Asian languages such Uzbek, Kazakh, Kyrghiz, Azer and others. Many are Turkic languages, but the list covers a wide variety of language families including Caucausian, Iranian, Uralic, Mongolian and multiple indigenous languages of Siberia.

Note: Some languages in Central Asia can be written in either Cyrillic, the Western Latin alphabet or even the Arabic script depending on the location of a particular speaker community.

Font Recommendations

Extra Cyrillic Letters

The Cyrillic script as a totality includes letters not used in Russian, but which are important for other languages. If you are working with a language other than Russian, it is important that have access to fonts which include these characters. A font that supports Russian may not support all the extra Cyrillic characters.

Test Characters

Examples of non-Russian Cyrillic characters are shown in the table below. You can see additonal examples on the Cyrillic chart page.

Some Non-Russian Capital Letters
Character Name Character
CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER IE WITH GRAVE Ѐ
CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER DJE (Serbian) Ђ
CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER UKRAINIAN IE Є
CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER NJE Њ
CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER ZHE WITH BREVE Ӂ
CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER GHE WITH STROKE
(Kazakh/Central Asian)
Ғ
CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER LITTLE YUS
(Early Slavic)
Ѧ

Recommended Fonts

The fonts below support a wide range of characters including historical characters and those from Central Asian Cyrillic languages.

Common System Fonts

The most recent version of these fonts support a

Third Party Fonts

Central European Languages

If you are working with languages such as Russian, Ukrainian, Macedonian or other languages more closely related to Russian, you may discover additional fonts which support the the characters you need even if they don't include all Cyrillic characters.

Typing Cyrilic

Activating Keyboards

Both Windows and Macintosh provide a wide range of keyboard utilities which can be activated to allow a user to type in a particular Cyrillic language.

Note that in many cases the layout will match that used in the different countries.

If a particular language is not supported, you can look to see if one has been developed by another source. It is important to make sure the developer is reputable in this situation.

Transliterated Keyboard Options

If you wish to use a transliterated (or phonetic/QWERTY) layout in which Cyrillic letters are mapped to the closest English keyboard counterpart, the options are more limited.

Bulgarian and Ukrainian

Other Options

One possibility is to use a Russian or other transliterated keyboard and use other techniques to insert additional letters as needed.

Another is to search to see of a transliterated keyboard has been developed and posted online. It is important to make sure the developer is reputable in this situation.

Web Development and Language Codes

This section presents information specific to the Cyrillic script. For general information about developing non-English Web sites, see the Encoding Tutorial or the Web Layout sections.

Test Web Site

If you have all the utilities set up correctly, then your browser should be able to see the following Cyrillic test pages correctly.

Penn State Cyrillic Chart

If this sites is not displaying correctly, see the Browser Setup page for debugging information.

Encodings

Unicode (utf-8) is the preferred encoding for Web sites, especially because it includes all Cyrillic and non-Cyrillic characters.

Selected Language Tags

Language Tags allow browsers and other software to process Russian text more efficiently. Below is a list of selected languages written in Cyrillic.

Script Codes

Some languages in this region can be written in Cyrillic or alternate scripts. Below are some ISO-15924 script tags which can be used to identify which script is being used.

Script Code Examples

For a language like Uzbek which has been written in three scripts (Cyrillic, Arabic and Latin), the codes would be:

Similarly, Serbian in Cyrillic is sr-Cyrl while Serbian in the Latin alphabet would be sr-Latn.

Using Unicode Escape Characters

If you wish to input a word or short phrase, you can use Unicode entity codes. See the Cyrillic Unicode Block Codes or for details.

Links

Eastern European/Central Asian Languages

Duke University Webliography

Cyrillic Characters

Cyrillic Fonts

Cyrillic Computing

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Last Modified: Monday, 26-Jun-2017 10:59:10 EDT