Official Ukrainian Transliteration Table

Several systems are used by organisations around the world for the transliteration of the Ukrainian alphabet (and those of other Slavonic languages using the Cyrillic script) into the Roman script (“romanisation”). The current official Ukrainian transliteration table, reproduced below, was approved in 2010 by a Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. It essentially provides a correspondence between the letters of the Ukrainian alphabet and letters used to represent the equivalent sounds in written English.

Spelling of Ukrainian personal names

In cases where the customary Roman-script spelling of a person’s Ukrainian name is known (e.g. from official documents, publications authored by the individual, a memorial inscription, etc), then this spelling is used in the encyclopaedia. In other cases personal names are transliterated in accordance with the above official Ukrainian transliteration table.

Several factors may have affected the way in which a person’s customary Roman-script spelling became established. In many cases the person will have transliterated their name (or the name may have been transliterated by officials) into a Roman-script language other than English. This applies, for example, in the case of Ukrainians originating from lands which were part of the Polish state between the two world wars. Their names were generally transliterated into Polish. Names in foreign passports issued in the Soviet Union were transliterated into French. Some individuals living in German-speaking countries before coming to the UK had their names transliterated into German. Some Ukrainian names were transliterated not directly from the Ukrainian, but from their Polish, Russian or other equivalents. Some people avoided transliteration altogether and anglicised their names (forenames, surnames, or both), as in Петро (Petro) – Peter.

The following table shows the main differences between the transliteration of Ukrainian letters according to the English-oriented Official Ukrainian transliteration table and transliterations into Polish, French and German.