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Transliteration is a conversion of a text from one script to another.[1][2] It swaps letters (thus trans- + liter-) in predictable ways (such as αa, дd, χ → ch, ն → n or æ → ae.

Transliteration is not about the sounds of the original. It is about the type or written characters, mostly the letters.

Example: the name for Russia in Cyrillic script, "Россия", is usually transliterated as "Rossiya". So, 'сс' is transliterated as 'ss', but pronounced /s/.

Transliteration typically goes grapheme to grapheme. Most transliteration systems are one-to-one, so a reader who knows the system can reconstruct the original spelling.

Transliteration is opposed to transcription, which maps the sounds of one language into a writing system.

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References[change | change source]

  1. G. Gerych. Transliteration of Cyrillic Alphabets. Ottawa University, April 1965. 126 pp.
  2. Kharusi N.S. & Salman A. 2011. The English transliteration of place names in Oman. Journal of Academic and Applied Studies 1(3), pp. 1–27. Available online at