Skip to content
Transliteration library for Scala and Scala.js
Branch: master
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.

Build Status Maven Central

translit-scala is a transliteration library for Scala and Scala.js. It implements transliteration rules for Slavic languages. It supports converting texts from the Latin to the Cyrillic alphabet.


Back end Scala versions
JVM 2.11, 2.12
JavaScript 2.11, 2.12


libraryDependencies += "tech.sparse" %%  "translit-scala" % "0.1.1"  // JVM
libraryDependencies += "tech.sparse" %%% "translit-scala" % "0.1.1"  // JavaScript


translit.Ukrainian.latinToCyrillic("Kyyiv")  // Київ
translit.Russian.latinToCyrillic("pal'ma")   // пальма

The transliteration to Cyrillic also restores soft signs (ь) and apostrophes ('):

translit.Ukrainian.latinToCyrillic("Mar'yana")  // Мар'яна
translit.Ukrainian.latinToCyrillic("p'yat'")    // п'ять


There have been several attempts to standardise transliteration rules. For example, Український правопис could be transliterated as one of the following:

  • Ukrayins'kyy pravopys (BGN/PCGN 1965)
  • Ukrains'kyi pravopys (National 1996)
  • Ukrainskyi pravopys (National 2010)
  • Ukrayins'kyj pravopys (translit-scala)

Furthermore, there are language-specific transliterations, e.g. in German and French, that use the spelling conventions of the respective language (sch in German instead of sh in English).

Please refer to Romanisation of Ukrainian for more details.

National 2010 is the most recent standard which is mainly used for transliterating names and cities. A limitation is that it requires to drop soft signs and apostrophes. For better appearance, some letters can have multiple spellings depending on the position in the word. For example, я is transliterated as ya (prefix) or ia (infix). These restrictions make the conversion irreversible for many words.

Our transliteration was initially based on National 2010, but modified in the process to make the conversion reversible. Now it is most similar to BGN/PCGN. The rules are a compromise between compactness and simplicity.

Differences from National 2010

и, й, я, є, ї, ю

We decompose letters in their Latin transliteration more consistently than National 2010. The letter и always gets transcribed as y:

  • Volodymyr (Володимир)
  • blyz'ko (близько)

The Latin letter y is also the phonetic basis of four letters in the Slavic alphabet: я, є, ї, ю. They get transliterated accordingly:

  • ya → я
  • ye → є
  • yi → ї
  • yu → ю

Unlike National 2010, we always use the same transliteration regardless of the position in the word.

The accented counterpart of и is й and is represented by a separate letter, j.

Example: Zhurs'kyj (Згурський)

Soft Signs and Apostrophes

The second change to National 2010 is that we try to restore soft signs and apostrophes:

  • Ukrayins'kyj (Український)
  • malen'kyj (маленький)

This feature is experimental and can be disabled by setting apostrophes to false.

Convenience mappings

Another modification was to provide the following mappings:

  • c → ц
  • q → щ
  • w → ш
  • x → ж

Note that these mappings are phonetically inaccurate. However, using them still has a few advantages:

  • Every letter of the Latin alphabet is covered
  • When the user types ch, we can map the first letter to ц, then replace it by ч. Without this rule, the user would not get any visual feedback.
  • Furthermore, the following mappings were chosen considering the similarity in shapes:
    • w has a similar shape to ш
    • x has a similar shape to ж
  • Another advantage is the proximity on the English keyboard layout:
    • q and w are located next to each other; ш and щ characters are phonetically close
    • z and x are located next to each other; з and ж characters are phonetically close


The replacement patterns are applied sequentially by traversing the input character-by-character. In some cases, a rule spanning multiple characters should not be applied. An example is the word: схильність. The transliteration of сх corresponds to two separate letters s and h, which would map to ш. To prevent this, one can place a vertical bar between the two characters. The full transliteration then looks as follows: s|hyl'nist


The Russian rules are similar to the Ukrainian ones.

Some differences are:

  • i corresponds to и, whereas y to ы
  • Russian distinguishes between soft and hard signs. It does not have apostrophes. The following mappings are used:
    • Soft sign: ' for ь
    • Hard sign: " for ъ


As with the Ukrainian rules, a vertical bar can be placed to avoid certain rules from being applied.

  • красивые: krasivy|e
  • сходить: s|hodit


Latin Cyrillic
a а
b б
c ц
d д
e е
f ф
g г
h х
i и
j й
k к
l л
m м
n н
o о
p п
q щ
r р
s с
t т
u у
v в
w ш
x ж
y ы
z з
' ь
" ъ
ch ч
sh ш
ya я
ye э
zh ж
yo ё
yu ю
shch щ


Russian Transliterated
Привет Privet
Съел S"el
Щётка Shchyotka
Льдина L'dina


The rules and examples were adapted from the following libraries:


translit-scala is licensed under the terms of the Apache v2.0 licence.


  • Tim Nieradzik
  • Darkhan Kubigenov
You can’t perform that action at this time.