Ukrainian Latin alphabet

Ukrainian Latin alphabet

A Latin alphabet for the Ukrainian language has been proposed or imposed several times in history, but has never challenged the conventional Cyrillic Ukrainian alphabet. The Ukrainian literary language has been written with the Cyrillic alphabet, in a tradition going back to the eighth-century introduction of Christianity and the Old Church Slavonic language to Kievan Rus’. Proposals for Latinization, if not imposed for outright political reasons, have always been politically charged, and have never been generally accepted. Although some proposals to create an official Latin alphabet for Ukrainian language have been expressed lately by national intelligentsia. Technically, most have resembled the linguistically related Polish and Czech alphabets.

While superficially similar to a Latin alphabet, transliteration of Ukrainian from Cyrillic into the Latin alphabet (or "romanization") is usually not intended for native speakers, and may be designed for certain academic requirements or technical constraints. See romanization of Ukrainian.

In _uk. "Ukrayins’ka Latynka" or _uk. "Latynytsia" (Українська Латинка, Латиниця). Polish-influenced Latynka was known as "Abecadło" (Абецадло).


Ukrainian was occasionally written in the Latin alphabet as far back as the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, in publications using the Polish and Czech alphabets. In the nineteenth century, there were attempts to introduce the Latin alphabet into Ukrainian writing, by Josyp Lozynskyj, a Ukrainian scholar and priest from Ľviv (Josyp Łozynski Ivanovyč, "Ruskoje wesile", 1834), Tomasz Padura, and other Polish-Ukrainian romantic poets.

The use of the Latin alphabet for Ukrainian was promoted by authorities in Galicia under the Austrian Habsburg Empire. Franc Miklošič developed a Latin alphabet for Ukrainian in 1852, based on the Polish and Czech alphabets (adopting Czech "č, š, ž, dž, ď, ť," Polish "ś, ź, ć, ń,", and "ľ" following the same pattern). This initiative was taken into interest by Czech politician Josef Jireček, who managed to gain support for the project in the Imperial Ministry of Interior. As part of a Polonization campaign in Galicia during the period of neo-absolutist rule after 1849, Viceroy Agenor Gołuchowski attempted to impose this Latin alphabet on Ukrainian publications in 1859. This started a fierce publicly-debated "War of the Alphabets", and in the end the Latin alphabet was rejected. Ukrainian books continued to be published in Cyrillic, while the Latin alphabet was used in special editions "for those who read Polish only" in Galicia, Podlachia, and the Kholm region.

A Latin alphabet for Ukrainian publications was also imposed in Romanian Bessarabia, Bukovina and Dobrudja. It was also used by immigrants from these regions in the United States.

In Ukraine under the Russian Empire, Mykhaylo Drahomanov promoted a purely phonemic Cyrillic alphabet (the "Drahomanivka") including the Latin letter "j" in 1876, replacing the digraphs "я, є, ю, ї" with "ја, је, ју, јі". The Ems Ukaz banning Ukrainian-language publication doomed this reform to obscurity.

In Soviet Ukraine, during the 1927 orthographical conference in Kharkiv, linguists M. Johansen, B. Tkačenko, and M. Nakonečnyj proposed the application of the more "international" Latin alphabet to Ukrainian, but the idea was opposed by Soviet government representatives. Later, Vasyl Simovych was a proponent of the Latin alphabet.


Some letters borrowed from Polish and Czech were used in the Ukrainian Łatynka as stated above, which also has a close resemblance to the Belarusian Łacinka. Although never broadly accepted, it was used mostly by Ukrainians living in territories near Poland. The orthography was explained in "Łatynycia", a western Ukrainian publication of the 1900s.

* я, є, ю, ї = "ja, je, ju, ji"
* x = "ch", as used in Polish"

ample text

The Introduction of Josyp Łozynśkyj's "Ruskoje Wesile" ('Ruthenian Wedding', 1834):

: Perédmowa

: W tym opysi skazuju, jaksia wesile po sełach mežy prostym ruskim ludom widprawlaje. Ne mohu jednako utrymowaty, jakoby toj sposób wesile widprawlaty wsiude newidminnibyłzacho wanym; bo hdenekodyj szczoś dodajut, hdeindeszczoś wypuskajut, a znowu hdeinde szczos widminiajut. Syła w mojej syli było, starał-jemsia w rozmaitych misciach obradki i pisny ruskoho wesila póznaty i pérekonał-jemsia že prynajmni szczo do hołownych obradkiw i pisnéj wsiude tymže samym sposobom wesilesia widprawlaje. I toj sposób opysałjem w nynisjszуj knyžoczci dodajuczy jednako hdenekodyj i miscowyi widminy. Moim najperszym i najbohatszym a nawet’ i nihdy newyczerpanym źridłom, z kotorohom tyi widomosty czerpał, było dopytowanie po sełach tych ludej, kotryi czasto na wesilach bywały i wesilnyi ur’ady pistowały. Nykotorych obradkiw był jem sam okozritelnym świdkom.


* Chornovol, Ihor (2001), " [ Latynka v ukrayins’komu pravopysi: retrospektyva i perspektyva] " (The Latin alphabet in Ukrainian orthography: retrospective and perspective), in "Ji", no 23. (in Ukrainian, [ PDF] )

Contemporary literature concerning the Alphabet Wars:
* Ivan Franko (1836). "Przemyśl".
* Ivan Franko. "Азбучна війна в Галичині 1859" - 'The Alphabet War in Galicia 1859'.
* J. Łewićki (1834). "Review of the Introduction of the Polish Alphabet to Ruthenian Writing".
* Josyp Lozynskyj (1834). "On the Introduction of the Polish Alphabet to Ruthenian (Ukrainian) Writing", «О wprowadzeniu abecadła polskiego do pismiennictwa ruskiego».
* M. Šaškevyč. "Азбука і abecadło".

See also

* Romanization of Ukrainian
* Euro-Ukrainian alphabet Latin script for Ukrainian Language
* Łacinka alphabet, the pre-Soviet Belarusian Latin alphabet

External links

* [ Orthography] , [ Alphabet War] in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ukrainian language — Infobox Language name=Ukrainian nativename=українська мова ukrayins ka mova pronunciation= [ukrɑˈjinʲsʲkɑ ˈmɔʋɑ] states=See article speakers=39 million|rank=26 Spoken in= Ukraine, Moldova, Vojvodina, USA, Brazil, Portugal. familycolor=Indo… …   Wikipedia

  • Ukrainian alphabet — Type Alphabet Languages Ukrainian Time period late 18th century to the present Parent systems Cyrillic alphabet U …   Wikipedia

  • Ukrainian John Peel Sessions — Infobox Album | Name = Українські Виступи в Івана Піла Type = Compilation album Artist = The Wedding Present Released = February 1989 Recorded = 1986–1988, England Genre = folk music Length = 36:22 (re release) Producer = Dale Griffin Label = RCA …   Wikipedia

  • Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church — The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) uk. Українська Греко Католицька Церква (УГКЦ), also known as the Ukrainian Catholic Church, is one of the successor Churches to the acceptance of Christianity by Grand Prince Vladimir the Great (… …   Wikipedia

  • Ukrainian alphabet — noun a) The ordered set of Cyrillic letters used to write the Ukrainian language. b) Any of several Cyrillic or Latin alphabets used to write Ukrainian in the past …   Wiktionary

  • Romanization of Ukrainian — 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… …   Wikipedia

  • Cyrillic alphabet — Infobox Writing system |name=Cyrillic alphabet type=Alphabet time=Earliest variants exist circa 940 languages=Many East and South Slavic languages, and almost all languages in the former Soviet Union (see Languages using Cyrillic) fam1=Phoenician …   Wikipedia

  • Euro-Ukrainian alphabet — Euro Ukrainian is a proposed Latin Alphabet for Ukrainian. The Latynka is not officially used. Only in other countries do Diaspora Ukrainians rarely use the Latin Alphabet. Some young Ukrainians who do not read nor write using the Cyrillic… …   Wikipedia

  • List of digraphs in Latin alphabets — This is a list of digraphs used in various Latin alphabets. (See also List of Cyrillic digraphs.) Capitalization involves only the first letter (ch – Ch) unless otherwise stated (ij – IJ). Letters with diacritics are arranged in alphabetic order… …   Wikipedia

  • International Phonetic Alphabet — Not to be confused with NATO phonetic alphabet. IPA redirects here. For other uses, see IPA (disambiguation). For usage of IPA in Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:IPA or Wikipedia:IPA/Introduction International Phonetic Alphabet …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”