Russkij jazyk na latinitse

Vytenis   Tue Aug 16, 2005 10:00 am GMT
Why Russians do not start using Latin alphabet. At least parallel to the Cyrillic? This would solve a million problems. I think the Serbs and Maccedonians do. And the Japanese also have two parallel writing systems: katakana and hiragana or whatever they are called...
Sander   Tue Aug 16, 2005 10:06 am GMT
Correct me if I'm wrong , but isn't the Cyrillic alphabet easier to operate than the Latin alphabet?
Someone   Tue Aug 16, 2005 7:26 pm GMT
Why don't Americans and Britons use Cyrillic? If they did, we wouldn't have so many problems with Unicode on Palm devices, I'm sure...
Sander   Tue Aug 16, 2005 7:39 pm GMT
Linguist   Tue Aug 16, 2005 7:48 pm GMT
Vytenis, Russian language can be written only in cyrillic, i don't understand these latin hyeroglifs when they try to imitate Russian pronouciation. shame on Serbs and Macedonians!
Guest   Tue Aug 16, 2005 9:35 pm GMT
Serbs use both Latin and Cyrillic but more Cyrillic I think. Macedonian can be written in Latin but Cyrillic is used overall. I don't like writing Latin, for some reason I find it hard to use and prefer Cyrillic - it just feels more natural and right. Anyway, I don't think anyone should be subject latinisation of a script, that's a country's choice.
Easterner   Wed Aug 17, 2005 11:34 am GMT
Yes, it is a tendency in Serbia and among Serbs living in the neighbouring countries to use Cyrillic more nowadays, but in Vojvodina (Northern Serbia), where I come from, almost everybody uses the Latin script. In Belgrade, newspapers tend to be printed in both Cyrillic and Latin script, while Cyrillic is universally used in Southern Serbia. Officially, the two scripts are equivalent, as they are based on the same phonological principles, i.e. there is one sign for each sound in both. The reason for this is that Serbo-Croatian was designed as the common language for Serbs, Croats and Bosnians, who speak two almost identical dialects, and both versions are standard if we take them as variants of the same language. They have very minimal differences of pronunciation and vocabulary, with Bosnian sharing the pronunciation with Croatian and most of the vocabulary with Serbian. In principle, both versions can be written in both scripts, but in reality, Croats and Bosnians use the Latin script, while Serbs generally write in Cyrillic (but see the regional differences above). The version of Cyrillic used by Serbs is different from both the Russian and the Bulgarian variety, but is almost identical to that used by Macedonians.

Nowadays, there is a tendency among both Serbs and Croats to view their dialects as separate languages, and keep them apart as much as possible. This results in Croats using more and more words taken from the dialect around Zagreb (which is very similar to Slovenian), or coining new ones, and in Serbs propagating Cyrillic as the only legitimate Serbian script.
Sanja   Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:57 pm GMT
I'm from Bosnia & Herzegovina and I was taught both Latin and Cyrillic script, but I use only Latin in everyday usage. When I was in school, we had to use them both, one week it was Latin and next week it was Cyrillic. I think that using Latin alphabet is an advantage nowadays, at least when it comes to computers, mobile phones etc., since most languages use it. Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian (if we can consider them as different languages, and I don't) can use both alphabets as official ones, even though, like others said before, Serbians use Cyrillic more often. Macedonian, on the other hand, uses only Cyrillic as an official alphabet, and Slovenian uses only Latin. However, when I was watching a TV show on Macedonian TV and people were sending SMS messages (on their mobile phones) which we could see on the screen, they were writing Macedonian with the Latin script. I also notice the same thing in Greek chat rooms - they write Greek with the Latin script, even though it is never done officially. I guess it is easier to do it that way on computers.
Ed   Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:57 am GMT
I remember 3 or 4 years ago an Austrian professor of Bulgarian and Slavic languages (or something like that) proposed that Bulgarian switched to the Latin alphabet. Needless to say, all hell broke lose. His honorary degrees and awards from Bulgarian universities were revoked and the media wiped the floor with him. Bulgaria will never change its alphabet. In addition, more and more Bulgarian message boards have introduced the Cyrillic-only rule, that is, everything written in the Latic alphabet (except foreign words, of course) gets deleted.
On cell phones everything on the display is in Cyrillic, and people text message using either alphabet, but more people prefer Cyrillic because it looks more natural.
Ed   Fri Aug 19, 2005 1:01 am GMT
<<Vytenis, Russian language can be written only in cyrillic, i don't understand these latin hyeroglifs when they try to imitate Russian pronouciation. shame on Serbs and Macedonians! >>

I know, they look so ugly.
P.S. Macedonians use the Cyrrilic alphabet, but they have the Latin letter "j" (which to me looks very akward in the middle of Cirillic letters).
Guest   Fri Aug 19, 2005 8:27 am GMT
Well so do Serbs
Easterner   Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:43 am GMT
Cyrillic writing is part of a Slavic Orthodox culture, so I don't think it would be proper for Russians (or Bulgarians) to change their alphabets, but at least it would be very useful if an unified transcription system into the Latin script were developed for Russian (in the same fashion as Pinyin was developed for Chinese). At present, every language uses a different transcription for Russian words and names, mostly conforming to their own pronunciation rules, and that can create quite a mess. The best would be to follow the actual pronunciation of Russian words (thus "Yeltsin" and "Putyin" rather than "Eltsine" and "Putine" as in French, "samolyot" and not "samolet", etc.).

P.S. Incidentally, changing an alphabet is not without precedents. Romanians changed the alphabet from Cyrillic to Latin in the 18th or the 19th century (I can't tell exactly when). True, Romanian being a Romance language, Latin script seems more proper than Cyrillic in this case, although the country is predominantly Orthodox.
Vytenis   Fri Aug 19, 2005 4:58 pm GMT

>>Cyrillic writing is part of a Slavic Orthodox culture

I think you have touched the nerve here. This is where all the irritation of Bulgarians or Russians at the mere suggestion of introducing Latin script comes from. It's a clash of civilizations. But we are just talking about a parallel unified transcription system which would be very useful indeed. E.g. writing emails if the computer does not recognize Cyrillic.

As an interesting fact: Russia attempted to make Lithuanian script Cyrillic in the XIX century. All Latin-script books were actually banned from 1863 until 1905. But they failed. All Lithuania revolted against that. Clash of civilizations...
Sanja   Fri Aug 19, 2005 5:16 pm GMT
Ed, there is "J" in Serbo-Croatian too, even when written in Cyrillic alphabet. How do you write it in Bulgarian?
Sanja   Fri Aug 19, 2005 5:18 pm GMT
Oops, forgot to say it is the "Y" sound (like in English word "yet").