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Romanian Cyrillic alphabet

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Title: Romanian Cyrillic alphabet  
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Subject: Moldovan language, Romanian language, History of the Romanian language, Cyrillic alphabets, History of the flags of Romania
Collection: Cyrillic Alphabets, History of the Romanian Language, Romanian Language
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Romanian Cyrillic alphabet

Romanian Cyrillic
Languages Romanian
Time period
16th–19th centuries
Parent systems
Sister systems
Early Cyrillic alphabet

The Romanian Cyrillic alphabet is the Cyrillic alphabet used to write the Romanian language before 1860–1862, when it was officially replaced by a Latin-based Romanian alphabet. Cyrillic remained in occasional use until the 1930s (mostly in Bessarabia). It is not the same as the Russian-based Moldovan Cyrillic alphabet used in the Moldavian ASSR since 1926, and then in the Moldavian SSR between 1940 and 1989 (except 1941-44).

Between its discarding and the full adoption of the Latin alphabet, a so-called transitional alphabet was in place for a few years (it combined Cyrillic and Latin letters, and included some of the Latin letters with diacritics which came to be used in Romanian spelling).


  • Table of correspondence 1
  • Unregulated transitional alphabets 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4

Table of correspondence

The Romanian Cyrillic alphabet was close to the contemporary version of the Early Cyrillic alphabet of the Old Church Slavonic liturgical language.
Letter Numerical
Phoneme Name in
А а 1 a A a а /a/ Az
Б Б b Б Б б /b/ Buche
В в 2 v В в в /v/ Vede
Г г 3 g, gh G g г /ɡ/ Glagol
Д д 4 d D d д /d/ Dobru
Є є, Е e[2] 5 e E e е /e/ Est
Ж ж j Ж ж ж /ʒ/ Juvete
Ѕ ѕ 6 dz дз /d͡z/ Zalu
З з 7 z Z z з /z/ Zemle
И и 8 i I i и /i/ Ije
Й й[3] i Ĭ ĭ й /j/, /ʲ/
І і[4] 10 i I i и /i/ I
К к 20 c, ch K k к /k/ Kaku
Л л 30 l L l л /l/ Liude
М м 40 m M m м /m/ Mislete
Н н 50 n N n н /n/ Naş
Ѻ Ѻ, О o[2] 70 o O o о /o̯/ On
П п 80 p П п п /p/ Pocoi
Р р 100 r Р р р /r/ Râţă
С с 200 s S s с /s/ Slovă
Т т 300 t T t т /t/ Tferdu
Ѹ ѹ, ОУ оу[2] 400 u Ꙋ ꙋ[5] (Ȣ, ȣ, ɣ) у /u/ Upsilon
Ѹ Ȣ, У Ȣ[2] u (Ȣ, ȣ, ɣ) у /u/ Ucu
Ф ф 500 f F f ф /f/ Fârta
Х х 600 h Х х х /h/ Heru
Ѡ ѡ[6] 800 o O o о /o/ Omega
Щ щ șt Щ щ шт /ʃt/ Ștea
Ц ц 900 ț Ц ц ц /t͡s/ Ți
Ч ч 90 c (before e, i) Ч ч ч /t͡ʃ/ Cervu
Ш ш ș Ш ш ш /ʃ/ Șa
Ъ ъ ă, ŭ[7] Ъ ъ э /ə/ Ier
Ы ы â, î, ĭ, ŭ[7] Î î ы /ɨ/ Ieri
Ь ь ă, ŭ, ĭ[7] Ꙋ̆ ꙋ̆ ь
Ѣ ѣ ea Ea ea я /e̯a/ Eati(u)
Ю ю iu Ĭꙋ ĭꙋ ю /ju/ Io / Iu
, IA[2] ia Ĭa ĭa иа /ja/ Ia
Ѥ ѥ, IE[2] ie Ĭe ĭe ие /je/
Ѧ ѧ ĭa, ea[7] Ĭa ĭa, Ea ea я /ja/ Ia
Ѫ ѫ î Î î ы /ɨ/
Ѯ ѯ[8] 60 x Ks ks кс /ks/ Csi
Ѱ ѱ[8] 700 ps Пs пs пс /ps/ Psi
Ѳ ѳ[8] 9 th, ft T t, Ft ft т, фт /t/ and approx. /θ/ or /f/ Thita
Ѵ ѵ[8] 400 i, u I i; Ꙋ и, у /i/, /y/, /v/
Ꙟ ꙟ, ↑ în îm În în Îm îm ын, ым /ɨn/, /ɨm/ În
Џ џ g (before e, i) Џ џ ӂ /d͡ʒ/ Gea

Unregulated transitional alphabets

Starting with the 1830s and ending with the official adoption of the Latin alphabet, there were no regulations for writing Romanian, and various alphabets using Cyrillic and Latin letters, besides the mid-transitional version in the table above, were used, sometimes two or more of them in a single book. The following table shows some of the many alphabets used in print.

Pre-1830 1833[9] 1838[10] 1846 (1),[11] 1848[12] 1846 (2)[13] 1858[14] 1860[15]
А а А а А а А а А а A a A a
Б б Б б Б б Б б Б б B b Б б
В в В в В в В в В в V v В в
Г г Г г Г г Г г Г г G g Г г
Д д Д д Д д D d Д д D d D d
Є є, Е e Є є Є є E e Ε ε E e E e
Ж ж Ж ж Ж ж Ж ж Ж ж J j Ж ж
Ѕ ѕ Ѕ ѕ Дз дз Дз дз Dz dz Dz dz
З з З з З з Z z З з Z z Z z
И и И и I i I i І і I i I i
І і Ї ї I i I i І і I i I i
К к К к К к K k К к K k K k
Л л Л л Л л Л л Л л L l L l
М м М м М м M m М м M m M m
Н н Н н Н н N n Ⲛ ⲛ N n N n
Ѻ Ѻ, О o О о О о O o О о О о O о
П п П п П п П п П п П п П п
Р р Р р Р р Р р Р р R r Р р
С с С с С с S s С с S s S s
Т т Т т Т т T t Т т T t T t
Ѹ ѹ У у (initial), Ꙋ ꙋ (mid and final) Ꙋ ꙋ Ꙋ ꙋ Ꙋ ꙋ Ꙋ ꙋ Ꙋ ꙋ
Ꙋ, ȣ У у (initial), Ꙋ ꙋ (mid and final) Ꙋ ꙋ Ꙋ ꙋ Ꙋ ꙋ Ꙋ ꙋ Ꙋ ꙋ
Ф ф Ф ф Ф ф Ф ф Ф ф F f Ф ф
Х х Х х Х х Х х Х х Х х Х х
Ѡ ѡ Ѡ ѡ ("(-)лѡр" only) О о O o О о О о О о
Щ щ Щ щ Щ щ Щ щ Шт шт Шt шt Шt шt
Ц ц Ц ц Ц ц Ц ц Ц ц Ц ц Ц ц
Ч ч Ч ч Ч ч Ч ч Ч ч Ч ч Ч ч
Ш ш Ш ш Ш ш Ш ш Ш ш Ш ш Ш ш
Ъ ъ Ъ ъ Ъ ъ Ъ ъ Ъ ъ Ъ ъ Ъ ъ
Ы ы Ꙟ ꙟ (initial), Ѫ ѫ (mid and final) Ꙟ ꙟ (initial), Ѫ ѫ (mid and final) Ꙟ ꙟ Ꙟ ꙟ Î î Î î
Ѣ ѣ Ѣ ѣ Ѣ ѣ Ea ea Εа εа (ligature – small letter only) Ea ea Ea ea
Ю ю Ю ю IꙊ iꙋ (ligature) IꙊ Iꙋ iꙋ (ligature) IꙊ Iꙋ іꙋ (ligature – small letter only) IꙊ iꙋ (ligature) Ĭꙋ ĭꙋ
Ꙗ ꙗ Ꙗ ꙗ (initial), Ѧ ѧ (mid and final) Ꙗ ꙗ Ꙗ Iа (ligature) ꙗ IА Iа ꙗ Ĭa ĭa Ĭa ĭa
Ѥ ѥ Йє йє Ĭe ĭe Ĭe ĭe Ĭε ĭε Ĭe ĭe Ĭe ĭe
Ѧ ѧ Ꙗ ꙗ (initial), Ѧ ѧ (mid and final) Ꙗ ꙗ Ꙗ Iа (ligature) ꙗ IА Iа ꙗ Ĭa ĭa Ĭa ĭa
Ѫ ѫ Ꙟ ꙟ (initial), Ѫ ѫ (mid and final) Ꙟ ꙟ (initial), Ѫ ѫ (mid and final) Ꙟ ꙟ Ꙟ ꙟ Î î Î î
Ѯ ѯ Кс кс Кс кс Ks ks Кс кс Ks ks Ks ks
Ѱ ѱ[8] Пс пс Пс пс Пs пs Пс пс Пs пs Пs пs
Ѳ ѳ[8] Т т Т т T t Ѳ ѳ T t T t
Ѵ ѵ[8] И, Ꙋ I, Ꙋ I, Ꙋ І, Ꙋ I, Ꙋ I, Ꙋ
Ꙟ ꙟ Ꙟн ꙟн Ꙟм ꙟм Ꙟн ꙟн Ꙟм ꙟм Ꙟн ꙟн Ꙟм ꙟм Ꙟⲛ ꙟⲛ Ꙟм ꙟм În în Îm îm În în Îm îm
Џ џ Џ џ Џ џ Џ џ Џ џ Џ џ Џ џ

See also


  1. ^ According to Costache Negruzzi, "Cum am învăţat româneşte", first published in Curier de Ambe Sexe, I, nr. 22, p.337–343
  2. ^ a b c d e f Initial vs. non-initial shapes: Є/Е, Ѻ/О, Ѹ/У, IA/Ѧ.
  3. ^ Й is hardly a separate letter of the alphabet; the letters Ю, Ȣ and Ѡ also accept a brevity sign.
  4. ^ In loanwords of Greek origin (or ones adopted through the Greek language), letters И and І correspond to eta and iota, respectively. In the words of Romanian origin and in Slavic loanwords, their usage follows pre-1917 Russian rules, namely, І before vowels, otherwise И.
  5. ^
  6. ^ The distinction of Ѡ and О is present not only in loanwords, but in Romanian words as well.
  7. ^ a b c d Letters ĭ and ŭ represent a barely spoken/heard i or u.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Letters Ѯ, Ѱ, Ѳ and Ѵ are used for copying Greek spelling of loanwords (especially for names and toponyms).
  9. ^ Grammatică practică romano-franțozeaseă compusă dupre autorii clasicii cei ... - George Vida - Google Cărţi. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  10. ^ Filosofice și politice prin falule învățaturĭ morale - Dimitrie Țichindeal, Dositej Obradović - Google Boeken. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  11. ^ Magazinu istoriku pentru Dacia - Treboniu A. Laurian, Nicolae Bălcescu - Google Cărţi. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  12. ^ Biografia lui Viliam G. Shecspri dupe Le Fourneur: Urmată de Romeo cu ... - William Shakespeare - Google Cărţi. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  13. ^ Noul Testament al Domnuluī shī Mîntuītoruluī nostru Īīsus Khrīstos - Google Cărţi. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  14. ^ Istoria Moldo-Romănieĭ: arătîndŭ neamurile de ċare s'aŭ loċuitŭ aceste ... - George Ioanid - Google Cărţi. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  15. ^ Cîntece naționale: Tipărite cu fondul d-lor librarĭ Pusu i Petriu. A treia ... - O. Dumitrescu - Google Cărţi. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
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