The romanization or Latinization of Ukrainian is the representation of the Ukrainian language using Latin letters. Ukrainian is natively written in its own Ukrainian alphabet, a variation of Cyrillic.
Romanization may be employed to represent Ukrainian text or pronunciation for non-Ukrainian readers, on computer systems that cannot reproduce Cyrillic characters, or for typists who are not familiar with the Ukrainian keyboard layout. Methods of romanization include transliteration, representing written text, and transcription, representing the spoken word.
Transliteration is the letter-for-letter representation of text using another writing system. Rudnyckyj classified transliteration systems into the scholarly system, used in academic and especially linguistic works, and practical systems, used in administration, journalism, in the postal system, in schools, etc. The scholarly or scientific system is used internationally, with very little variation, while the various practical methods of transliteration are adapted to the orthographical conventions of other languages, like English, French, German, etc.
Depending on the purpose of the transliteration it may be necessary to be able to reconstruct the original text, or it may be preferable to have a transliteration which sounds like the original language when read aloud.
Transcription is the representation of the spoken word. Phonological, or phonemic, transcription represents the phonemes, or meaningful sounds of a language, and is useful to describe the general pronunciation of a word. Phonetic transcription represents every single sound, or phone, and can be used to compare different dialects of a language. Both methods can use the same sets of symbols, but linguists usually denote phonemic transcriptions by enclosing them in slashes / ... /, while phonetic transcriptions are enclosed in square brackets [ ... ].
In many contexts, it is common to use a modified system of transliteration that strives to be read and pronounced naturally by anglophones. Such transcriptions are also used for the surnames of people of Ukrainian ancestry in English-speaking countries (personal names have often been translated to equivalent or similar English names, e.g., "Alexander" for Oleksandr, "Terry" for Taras).
Usually such a usage is based on either the Library of Congress (in North America) or British Standard system. Such a simplified system usually omits diacritics and tie-bars, simplifies -yj and -ij word endings to "-y", ignores the Ukrainian soft sign (ь) and apostrophe (’), and may substitute ya, ye, yu, yo for ia, ie, iu, io at the beginnings of words. It may also simplify doubled letters.
Conventional transliterations can reflect the history of a person or place. Many well-known spellings are based on transcriptions into another Latin alphabet, such as the German or Polish. Others are transcribed from equivalent names in other languages, for example Ukrainian Pavlo ("Paul") may be called by the Russian equivalent Pavel, Ukrainian Kyiv by the Russian equivalent Kiev.
Treatises on history often use the pedantic transliteration with apostrophe for the name Rus’, even when they drop the apostrophe for all other names and words.
The employment of romanization systems can become complex. For example, the English translation of Kubijovyč's Ukraine: A Concise Encyclopædia uses a modified Library of Congress (ALA-LC) system as outlined above for Ukrainian and Russian names—with the exceptions for endings or doubled consonants applying variously to personal and geographic names. For technical reasons, maps in the Encyclopedia follow different conventions. Names of persons are anglicized in the encyclopedia's text, but also presented in their original form in the index. Various geographic names are presented in their anglicized, Russian, or both Ukrainian and Polish forms, and appear in several forms in the index. Scholarly transliteration is used in linguistics articles. The Encyclopedia's explanation of its transliteration and naming convention occupies 2-1/2 pages.
|Г г||h||h||g||h||g||h, gh¹||h||h|
|Є є||je||i͡e||ye||ye||ê||ie, ye²||ie||je|
|Ї ї||ji (ï)||ï||ï||yi||ï||i, yi²||ï||ji|
|Й й||j||ĭ||ĭ||y||j||i, y²||y||j|
|С с||s||s||s||s||s||s||s||s, ss|
|Х х||x (ch)||kh||kh||kh||h||kh||kh||ch|
|Ю ю||ju||i͡u||yu||yu||û||iu, yu²||iou||ju|
|Я я||ja||i͡a||ya||ya||â||ia, ya²||ia||ja|
Romanization or Latinization of Ukrainian refers to a system for showing the Ukrainian letter in Latin letters. Latin letters are the type that are currently used for this article.
Latinization may be used to show Ukrainian text or pronunciation for non-Ukrainian readers.
Transliteration is the letter-for-letter representation of text using Latin writing system.
Also called scientific transliteration, this system is most often seen in linguistic publications on slavic languages. It is meaning each character represents one meaningful unit of sound, and is based on the Croatian Latin alphabet.
Transcription is the representation of the spoken word. Phonetic transcription represents every single sound, or phone, and can be used to compare different dialects of a language. It is more specifed as the Transliteration.
|Г г||h||h, ghb||h||h|
|Є є||je||ie, yec||ie||je|
|Ї ї||ji||i, yic||ï, yi||ji|
|Й й||j||i, yc||i||j|
|С с||s||s||s||s, ss|
|Х х||x or ch||kh||kh||ch|
|Ю ю||ju||iu, yuc||iou||ju|
|Я я||ja||ia, yac||ia||ja|
b. gh is used in the romanization of зг (zgh), avoiding confusion with ж (zh).
c. The second variant is used at the beginning of a word.