ISSN: 2158-7051





ISSUE NO. 2 ( 2013/2 )










This work describes the history of the Cyrillic alphabet, which is one of the oldest, and one of the most widespread alphabets in the world nowadays, from its creation at the end of the 9th century AD to present-day times. At the beginning, the author discusses the name of the alphabet, its probable creators, and the period it was created in during the First Bulgarian Kingdom, as well as the model for the alphabet. Then he traces the spread of the Cyrillic letters to other countries and regions: Russia, Serbia, Croatia, Romania, the Caucasus, Siberia, Alaska, etc. Particular attention is dedicated to tsar Peter's orthographic reform in Russia in 1708, its influence over other Slavic and Orthodox peoples, and, at the end, to the withdrawal from the Cyrillic alphabet at the end of the 20th century. In the article there are also notes on Cyrillic hand-writing styles (uncial, semi-uncial, quickscript) and typography. Maps and a list of the languages which have used the alphabet are included, too.


Key Words: Cyrillic alphabet, Bulgaria, Russia, Slavic countries, Cyrillic typography.


The Cyrillic alphabet is one of the oldest, and one of the most widespread alphabets in the world nowadays, alongside with the Latin (or Roman) alphabet, the Chinese characters, the Arabic alphabet, and the Devanagari script. It originated during the 10th century in Bulgaria, on whose present-day territory several other alphabets were born even before this one: the Gothic alphabet of Wulfila (4th century AD), the alphabet of the Thracian tribe Bessi, invented by St. Nicetas of Remesiana (4th century AD), and the Slavic Glagolitic alphabet, invented by St. Cyril (9th century AD). Later, the Cyrillic letters spread to Serbia, Croatia, and Russia. Through Russian influence this script was accepted also by many Asian peoples, and even by some native peoples in Alaska (North America). With the accession of Bulgaria to the European Union on January 1st  2007, Cyrillic became the third official script of the European Union, following the Latin and Greek scripts.








In the beginning, the Slavs made attempts to write with strokes and notches, and later they tried to use Greek and Latin letters for this purpose, as we know from the Slavic writer Chernorizets Hrabar. On the Balkan peninsula, between the 7-9th C AD, the Slavs lived together with the (Proto)Bulgarians (and under their rule) till the former assimilated the latter. The Bulgarians came from Asia, and at that time used to speak a non-Slavic language (most probably Turkic), and used to write their official documents in Greek, with Greek letters (using at the same time undeciphered runic signs as well). The Bulgarians also faced difficulties in writing some sounds with Greek letters, for instance, the sounds [] and [ʒ] were written by the Greek and . The Arab Ibn-Fadlan wrote in the 10th century AD that the Slavs who lived in present-day Russia used to put on the grave poles, bearing inscriptions with the names of the dead people. However, it is not clear what letters were used for that purpose. If it is true, as D. Cheshmedzhiev supposes,  that the passage in Life of Saint Cyrill, in which the so-called ܬ ڬެ֬߬ Rush letters were mentioned (which Constantine-Cyrill was said to have seen in Kherson, in Crimea, during his mission trip to the Khazar Khaganate, in the year 860, and which were considered by some Russian scientists to be an original script of the Russian Slavs), was inserted in that literary work not earlier than the 12th century (when the Russians already knew the Cyrillic letters), there will be no point in arguing what the national character of these letters was. At the end of the 9th century AD, the Slavs in Moravia, Panonia, and Bulgaria began writing in the newly created by St. Cyrill original Glagolitic script. However, the Glagolitic alphabet was replaced little by little by other alphabets, and only the Croats used it for several more centuries, alongside with the Latin and the Cyrillic scripts.

The so called Cyrillic alphabet ( misleading name), which originated in the First Bulgarian Kingdom at the beginning of the 10th century, and replaced the official Bulgarian Glagolitic script, was created by Constantine the Philosopher (Saint Cyril), and  accepted by the Bulgarian ruler Boris I, at the end of the 9th century. The change took place in the reign of Boriss son, Tsar Simeon I, who was strongly influenced by Greek culture. After a period of parallel use of the Glagolitic and the Cyrillic scripts during the 10-11th centuries in the first Bulgarian kingdom (sometimes even in mixed texts), since the 11th century, the latter has been an official Bulgarian, Russian, and Ukrainian alphabet (while the other Slavic peoples have used the Latin script during certain periods or unceasingly).




There was a supposition by Pavel Šafárik (Shafarik) that first the Glagolitic alphabet was called Cyrillic, and then, when it wasnt in use anymore, this name was transferred to the invented later alphabet, currently called Cyrillic. This supposition was based on a note by the Russian scrivener Upir Lihyi, from the year 1047, who wrote that he had transcribed a book ڬ ڬݬ [is kurilotsya]. However, as Ivan Dobrev explains, the meaning of this phrase is from the original, and not from Cyrillic. Although the interpretation was wrong, it was supported by many Russian scholars. As a consequence, even modern Western authors (such as Schenker) cite this passage wrongly (ڬ ڬݬӬڬ). On the other hand, the modern term Glagolitic (designating the original Slavic alphabet) originated in Croatia where the word for a scrivener was glagolash (from ԬݬѬԬݬѬ to speak, ԬݬѬԬݬ word), but the alphabet itself was called there bukvitsa (from the word for letter).

During the Bulgarian Renaissance, the Medieval Cyrillic alphabet was called slavenski pravopis Slavic writing, and later, from Russian was accepted the term Cyrillic alphabet, alongside with the simple but true balgarska azbuka Bulgarian alphabet. In the same way, in Ukraine the alphabet is called ukrainska abetka Ukrainian alphabet, although in different periods, it was called after the names of several orthography reformers (see further). The Cyrillic variant, used in Bosnia and Croatia, was called bosanchitsa Bosnian alphabet or arvatitsa Croatian alphabet. In some other Slavic countries, the name of the alphabet is also given after a certain person: vukovitsa in Serbia, after Vuk Karadžić (Karadzich), tarashkevitsa in Belorusia (after B. Tarashkevich).




There are no certain data about who and when has created the Cyrillic alphabet, although some scholars say that it was created by Constantine-Cyril himself (who presumably created both alphabets) or his disciples Clement of Ochrid and Konstantine of Preslav.  However, there is no proof of that. The first accretion is not serious, and the other two are not supported by the facts, even the opposite is more likely (see the wonderful article by Ivan Dobrev in The Cyrillo-Methodian Encyclopedia).

In Life of of St. Clement of Ochrid or The Legend of Ohrid (in which, according to K. Mirchev, one can find a number of distorted facts), it was mentioned that the latter made some amendments to the alphabet, which his teacher (Constantine-Cyril) had created. That is why, it is more likely that the changes related to the Glagolitic alphabet; according to Chernorizets Hrabar, at the end of the 9th century or at the beginning of the 10th century, the latter was still being amended. Besides, it is a fact that in South-Western Bulgaria (Macedonia) the Glagolitic script prevailed over the Cyrillic.  Nevertheless, Šafárik (Shafarik) thought that the second Slavic alphabet, which is now called Cyrillic, was created by St. Clement. According to Dobrev, it is hardly probable that Constantine of Preslav could possibly be the creator of the Cyrillic script since, in his Alphabetic Prayer (893), the acrostic was built after the order of the Glagolitic letters, and not of the Cyrillic ones.  This shows also that the latter were created after that year. That is why, although some scholars (Emil Georgiev) consider the Cyrillic alphabet to have been invented even before the Glagolitic one, there are no preserved written data about that. Moreover, in Life of Cyril it was written that when the Byzantine emperor asked Constantine the Philosopher (St. Cyril) to create an alphabet for the Slavs (the Glagolitic one), the former complained to Constantine that the previous two emperors had not been able to cope with that task.




The Cyrillic letters have names (the same as the Glagolitic), and both alphabets differ in some cases because the Cyrillic letters resemble the number values of the Greek alphabet). Unfortunately, the question of the choice of names for the Slavic letters is still open. The first letter is called Ѭ٬ [azə] and literally means I (but there may be another motivation for that naming – see below). Other letters literally mean people (ݬլ¬), good (լҬ), how (ܬѬܬ), word (ݬӬ), and so on. The modern names of the Cyrillic letters are simplified. For instance, the letters in the Russian alphabet are pronounced like this:  [a], [be], [ve], [ge], [de] ...

The Cyrillic alphabet first consisted of 43 letters (according to . irchev). 24 of them were the letters of the Greek alphabet, and the other letters were for the rest of the Slavic sounds: , , , , , , , , , , , ©, , etc. Six of the characters were used only in Greek words (for example, in ֬լ a female name).


A table with the most of the Medieval Cyrillic letters (Kyrillisch). In the first three columns are the Greek model letters. Columns 5-6 contain the letters of the Cyrillic civil script of Peter the Great, called Grazhdanka (see further). In the last column are the original names of the Medieval Cyrillic letters (Source: Trunte 2001).

Some of the letters had variants: for the nasal [ę] were used the letters  , , ¯, and even in one manuscript, written by several persons, different variants of one letter were sometimes used. Not all of the letters (for example, in the Enina Apostle, there is only [ə], and not [ə]) were used in other manuscripts. The sound [] was written with different letter (, w) acording to its position in the word. Some letters could be written backwards ( - , - , etc.). Generally speaking, the orthography was more fixed in East Bulgaria.

Several tables, called abecedaria, containing the letters of the alphabet, have been preserved. In them, as well as in the acrostic works, the order of the letters is shown (there are some discrepancies, too). Constantine of Kostenets, who lived in the 14-15th centuries, placed the letter and the rest of the non-Greek letters at the end of the alphabet in order to show his respect to the Greek original.




The alphabet itself is not a completely new invention. Like the Gothic (Gothic letter ahsa.svg / Gothic letter bairkan.svg / Gothic letter giba.svg / Gothic letter dags.svg / Gothic letter aihvus.svg ) and Coptic (CopteAmin.png/CopteBmin.png/CopteCmin.png/CopteDmin.png/CopteEmin.png ) alphabets (source for the fonts – Wikipedia.org), the Cyrillic alphabet, invented after the year 893, is an expended Greek uncial writing system, and not an original alphabet like the Glagolitic one. In it, there are some supposed borrowings from other alphabets for the letters that are missing in the Greek alphabet.

The Munich abecedarium, containing the Cyrillic (above) and Glagolitic alphabets (below) (Source: Hamm 1974).

A text written in mixed Glagollitic and Cyrillic letters from South-East Bulgaria (Source: ݬڬ֬ 2005).


Comparison between the Greek letters in column 1,2; the Cyrillic letters in column 3; and the Glagolitic letters in column 5 (Source: [Kang] 2005).


Borrowings from and through the Glagolitic alphabet:

à (the letter was first borrowed from the Samaritan alphabet);

ù à ;

à (less probably).

Borrowings from the Latin alphabet:

à ;

i à (?).

Ivan Dobrev thought that the letter was also borrowed from the Glagolitic script (from ć) but later he suggested that it could have also been influenced by the Latin x because, in Dalmatia, it was used like [ʒ] in Latin inscriptions: xe߬ (= ֬߬) woman, xivot (= جڬӬ) life. In the Freising folia (a Slavic text from the 10-11th centuries, written in Latin letters), is designated by i. Besides, Dobrev supposes that the Merovingian letter for the capital A (u) is the model for ©, which stands for the nasal o.

Borrowings from the Gothic alphabet (?):

Gothic numeral ninety.svg à .

There is also an opinion (by Rossen Milev) that the Cyrillic alphabet was also influenced by the Gothic one, created by bishop Wulfila (311-383 AD) in the 4th century, also on the territory of present-day Bulgaria (the Gothic alphabet like the Coptic, is based on the Greek alphabet, with some extra letters from the Latin and Runic alphabets, that is why there is a visual resemblance between them). Both Gothic and Old Bulgarian [] correspond in numerical value to the digit 90 (as it was mentioned, in old alphabets the numbers were designated by letters). Similar are also the names of some letters the Slavic Ѭ٬ [azə] resembles the Gothic aza God, while in Greek, there is Alpha from older Phoenician Aleph.

Other opinions look for connection between the Cyrillic letters (, ) and the Chinese characters: mi (ڷ) rice, shan (ߣ) mountain, transferred to the Balkan Peninsula by the Bulgarians (Slavi Donchev); or with old Thracian-Balkanic writing traditions (Sv. Popov).




From Bulgaria, the Old Bulgarian literary language and the Cyrillic alphabet were transferred to Russia (the Glagolitic alphabet was also transferred there and used as cryptography) and the Serbian principalities, where during the 11-12th centuries Old Russian and Old Serbian literatures were born. The Cyrillic alphabet was also used in the lands of present-day Romania, which were under Bulgarian rule. After the Romanian principality of Wallachia became independent in the 12-13 centuries, the Cyrillic alphabet was still in use there, as in the principality of Moldova for several centuries more.  Bulgarian tombstone inscription from the 11th century (Here lies prince Presian ) was found even in the town of Michalovce, Slovakia.



An inscription on a tombstone from Preslav, Bulgaria (Source: Ѭլجڬ֬, ѬѬլڬެڬӬ, ֬ݬѬެ֬ 2010).



coin of the Bulgarian Tsar Ivan-Assen II (Source: Ѭլجڬ֬, ѬѬլڬެڬӬ, ֬ݬѬެ֬ 2010).




At the end of the 10th century, the Kievan ruler Vladimir baptized Kievan Rus and the Bulgarian books came to Kievsee Iv. Dobrev, Insights into the Bulgarian Past. Literature flourished. In Novgorod, besides books, birch bark documents were written in Cyrillic, too.



Novgorod  birch-bark document (Source: Trunte 2001).     



A birch- bark abecedarium from Novgorod (Source: Wikipedia).


After Vladimirs death, several independent Russian principalities appeared (Kiev, Pereyaslavl, Smolensk, Polotsk, Galicia, Volinia, Vladimir, etc., as well as the Republic of Novgorod), and little by little separate East-Slavic peoples began to develop: the Ukrainian (with centre in Kiev, and later, in the 12-th century – in Galicia and Volyn), the Russian (with centre in Moscow), and the Belorusian (with centre in Polotsk). In neighboring Lithuania, which later conquered the Ukrainian and Belorusian lands (the Latvian people were under the rule of the Livonian Order), and then unified with Poland, the Ruthenian (Western-Russian, Ukrainian-Belorusian) language was used as official, as well as the Cyrillic alphabet, in the period of the 14-17th centuries (in 1696, it was replaced by Polish).

However, not only the Slavic and some of the Baltic peoples used the Cyrillic alphabet at that time. So did some of the neighbouring Uralic peoples: the Karelians and the Komi. A Karelian document numbered 292 from the Novgorod excavations, which was written in Cyrillic, is the oldest known document in any Finnic language, written on birch bark. It is dated to the beginning of the 13th century.

In the 14th century the Old Permic script appeared, sometimes called Abur or Anbur (derived from the names of the first two characters). It is an original ancient Permic writing system for the Komi people, derived from Cyrillic and Greek, and Komi tribal runes.  The alphabet was introduced by a Russian missionary, Stepan Khrap (apparently of a Komi mother), also known as Saint Stephen of Perm, in 1372, in Veliky Ustyug. The alphabet was in use until the 16th century, when it was superseded by the Cyrillic script with certain modifications for affricates. Abur was also used as cryptographic writing for the Russian language, alongside with the Glagolitic script.



The Karelian birch-bark document N: 292 (Source: Wikipedia).


It is possible that the Khazars have also used a modification of the Cyrillic alphabet. The Arab Fakhr ad-Din wrote in 1206 that they also had a writing system (writing from left to right), which derived from the Russian one. 

After the 14th century, the Grand Duchy of Moscow gradually emancipated from Mongol-Tatarian rule, and became the centre of the Russian lands. The German Schweipolt Fiol (Sebald Vehl) published, in 1491 in Cracow, the first book ever printed in Cyrillic script, in Church Slavonic (a literary language which originated in Russia on the basis of Old Bulgarian literary language) The Oktoikh or Octoechos (however, in the Wikipedia article about Božidar Vuković (Bozhidar Vukovich) at http://en.wikipedia.org it is written: The oldest printed book in Serbian-Slavonic was first issued in 1483, from the printing-press of Andreas Torresanus de Asula in Venice – if this were true, then Fiols book wasnt the first one). The Russians began printing books in their own country, too – the first one, in 1564, was The Apostle, printed by Ivan Fyodorov.

Fiols Book (Source: ߬֬ 1964).



At the end of the 12th century, Stefan (Stephen) Nemanja created a unified Serbian state (Rascia), which also included the Principality of Zeta (present-day Montenegro), and other smaller principalities which were under Bulgarian rule during the 10-11th centuries (which meant they knew both the Glagolitic and Cyrillic scripts), and later under Byzantine rule. After a period of glory under Tsar Stefan Dušan (Stephen Dushan), in the 14th century, Serbia was once more divided into several feudal principalities, and later conquered by the Turks. An important role for the development of the Serbian culture played the Bulgarian, Constantine of Kostenets, who settled in Stefan Lazarević's Serbia, probably around 1402. He was warmly welcomed and was given the position of educator at the palace in Belgrade and the Manasija monastery, where he helped establish the Serbian Resava School of Literature. During that time, the historical memory changed, and he himself thought that the first Slavic books had appeared in Russia (not in Moravia and Bulgaria), and considered the Russian language to be the finest Slavic language.

Several decades later, The Serbian nobleman Božidar Vuković (Bozhidar Vikovich) bought a printing-press in Venice and established it at Obod in Montenegro, from which he issued in 1493 the Octoechos in Church Slavonic.




In the 9th century, Trpimir created unified Croatia, which reached its apogee at the beginning of the 10th century under Tomislav. Although the Glagolitic alphabet survived in Croatia, and even books were printed in it up to the 20th century, the Cyrillic script penetrated into that country, as well as into Bosnia, which became independent in the 14th century (after a period of Croatian and Hungarian dominance). For several centuries, the Cyrillic alphabet was widely used in Bosnia and Croatia (including Dubrovnik – the Republic of Ragusa, where Serbo-Croatian was spoken along with the Romance Dalmatian language; and the Poljica principality near Split). Its name in Bosnian and Croatian is bosančica or bosanica, which can literally be translated as Bosnian script. Croats also call it Croatian script - arvatica or Western Cyrillic. aleographers consider that the Humac tablet is the first document of this type of script and dates back supposedly to the 10th-11th century. Bosnian Cyrillic lasted continuously until the 18th century, with sporadic uses even in the 20th century. Today it is preserved in a Franciscan monastery of Humac near Ljubuški in Herzegovina.




From 1018 till 1187, Bulgaria was under Byzantine rule but the Cyrillic tradition wasnt interrupted. It even flourished again in the years of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. However, there were some changes. Besides the backwards letters (, - ) the accent and aspiration marks, which were in use even in printed Cyrillic  books, were introduced from Greek.



The Bosnian/Croatian Cyrillic alphabet – columns 1 and 3 (Source: Wikipedia).




A computer text in Bosnian Cyrillic (Source: Trunte 2001).


During the Middle-Bulgarian period, because of the language changes, there were several unnecessary letters which were used after artificial rules (for instance, always at the end of the word: ԬѬլ town instead of ԬѬլ). An important literary Slavic centre during the 14th century was Mount Athos in Greece. Later, Euthymius of Turnovo founds and heads the Turnovo literary school. He is said to have conducted a language reform, although, these days, its opponents are more than its supporters. After the fall of the Bulgarian kingdoms and principalities (Momchils Despotate of Xanthi, Kingdom of Turnovo, Principality of Karvuna, Kingdom of Vidin) under the Turkish rule (the last one - in 1396), many Bulgarian writers (Gregory Tsamblak, Konstantine of Kostenets, etc.) went to Serbia, Walachia or the Russian principalities, and played  an important role in cultural life there.

The overloaded Middle Bulgarian orthography was used and in the period of the 16-18th centuries, when Bulgaria was ruled by the Ottoman Turks, and the damaskin literature flourished. Between 1566-1570, Jacob Krajkov printed several books in Venice (Book of Hours, Psalter, Prayer Book), without abbreviated words (previously, instead of ҬԬ God was used ҬЌ, for instance), and using elements of the colloquial Bulgarian language. The traditional orthography was also used in the printed books during the Bulgarian Renaissance (after 1762 – when Paisii of Hilandar wrote also in Church Slavonic mixed with Bulgarian colloquial elements his Slavonic-Bulgarian History) – for example, in Peter Berons rimer from the year 1824. During the 17-18th centuries, the literature of the Bulgarian Catholics, which was developed on the basis of the so-called Illyrian literary language (an artificial South-Slavic language on Croatian basis, with Serbian and Bulgarian elements, used by the Catholic priests as common South-Slavic language - not to be taken for Ancient Illyrian) flourished also. In Illyrian, on the basis of the Bosnian Cyrillic script, Filip (Philip) Stanislavov  wrote the miscellany bagar, and had it printed in Rome in 1651. The period of the 17-19th centuries was characterized by chaotic use of different letters (old and new) by different authors. Yoakim Karchovski in Different Instructive Directions (1819) and Beron in his rimer use the letter џ for the sound []. Instead of , at that time was written ă. In 1825, in Holy History by V. Nenovich was restored © for []. In this way that sound was written in three ways:  , ©, ă. N. Gerov distinguished between and © on etymological basis in 1849.




The independent Romanian principalities of Wallachia and Moldova appeared in the 12th century. For about five centuries, the Cyrillic script was the liturgical and administrative script in these two states first in Slavic, and later in Romanian language, and the Wallach and Moldavian rulers used the Cyrillic alphabet for writing their official documents. Several Bulgarian books, printed in the Wallachian city of Targovishte, are particularly precious, among them, a Gospel printed by Macarius, in 1512, by order of the ruler John Basarab. This Macarius printed earlier Liturgy (1508) and Octoechos (1510). In Szeben (Cibinium, Sibiu), Transylvania, the printing of liturgical books for the orthodox church began in 1544. They were also printed with Cyrillic script, and their language was either Slavic or native Romanian. The Cyrillic books printed in Transylvania were transported and sold in the Romanian Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia. A printer working in Szeben with Cyrillic types was Philip deacon who followed the tradition of early liturgical books.


















A page from the book Abagar (Source: Ѭլ֬, ѬҬѬܬڬ֬ 2006).

The earliest known text in Romanian dates from 1521 and is a letter from Neacşu of Câmpulung to the Mayor of Braşov (Brashov). Neacşu wrote in a version of the old Cyrillic alphabet similar to the one for Old Bulgarian, and which was used in Walachia and Moldova until 1859. From the late 16th century a version of the Latin alphabet using Hungarian spelling conventions was used to write Romanian in Translyvania. Then in the late 18th century a spelling system based on Italian was adopted. In 1860–1862, the Cyrillic was officially replaced by a Latin-based Romanian alphabet. Cyrillic remained in occasional use until circa 1920 (mostly in Bessarabia). It was not the same as the Russian-based Moldovan Cyrillic alphabet. Between its discarding and the full adoption of the Latin alphabet, a so-called transitional alphabet was in place for a few years (it combined Cyrillic and Latin letters, and included some of the Latin letters with diacritics which came to be used in Romanian spelling).






In 1708, the Russian Tsar Peter I the Great conducted an orthographic reform, introducing a new type of Cyrillic letters, called civil script, modelled in a Dutch work shop. It was helped by the spread of the Latin script among the educated people in Russia in the period between 1680–1690. The reform was a compromise between the supporters of the old Cyrillic tradition and the supporters of West-European culture. Many of the old Cyrillic letters were replaced by newer ones, similar to them, and accentuation marks and abbreviations as well as the different letters for designating one sound in a different position in the word were no longer used,. The letter was replaced by . The use of the backwards instead of (which was borrowed from Bulgarian books) began to designate the hard [] in borrowed words: mayor, from French maire.















The Lords Prayer in Romanian Cyrillic (Source: Wikipedia).



A text in Romanian transitional alphabet (Source: Wikipedia)

The letters ѕ, , , , v were thrown out. The civil script is the basis of all modern Cyrillic alphabets. The first book, printed with the new script was I geometry.  

The first book printed in civil script (Source: Wikipedia).

Berons Bulgarian Primer (Source: Wikipedia).    



 The Russian principalities on the territory of present-day Belorussia were not affected by the Mongol invasion. However, they were included in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and later, in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and in these lands the Orthodoxy and the Cyrillic alphabet were losing ground till the 18th century when they became part of the Russian Empire. The Belorussian typography had a long tradition even before Peter I the Great. The Belorussian F. Skaryna was one of the first to publish in the Cyrillic script. In 1517, he established a printing press in Prague, where he printed his first book, The Psalter, in the same year, in a mixture of Church Slavonic and Belarusian. Since 1560s the Nesvizh Cyrillic Typography, established by Symon Budny, began to work. The Kutein Typography, established by Spiridon Sobol (who probably was Ukrainian) in 1630, near Orsha, became a centre of the Belorussian book printing.

The modern Belorussian Cyrillic alphabet was made up at the end of the 19th century, and several slightly different versions were used informally. During its evolution, fifteen letters were dropped, the last four of them going after the introduction of the first official Belorussian grammar in 1918.



In the period of the 12-17th centuries, Ukraine was under the rule of the Mongols, then of the Polish-Lithuanian kingdom, and finallyof Bohdan Khmelnytskys Cossacks, till it became part of the Russian kingdom in the 17th century. Several scholars worked in the 16-17th centuries. Lavrentiy Zyzaniy, a Ukrainian and Belorussian scholar, published a Church Slavonic Grammar in 1596 in Vilnius, Lithuania. So did Meletius Smotrytsky in 1619, another Ruthenian (Ukrainian and Belorussian) linguist. His Slavonic Grammar, published in 1619, was very influential on the use of Church Slavonic, and codified the use of the letters (ja), (e), and Ґ (g).




One of Skaryna s printed books (Source: ߬֬ 1964).


Zyzaniys Grammar (Source: Wikipedia).


Another great name was the Kievan and All-Rus Metropolitan Peter (secular name Petro Mohyla) who was born in a Moldavian boyar family. In the 1620s, Mohyla traveled to Ukraine, and settled in Kyevo-Pecherska Lavra in Kiev – the political and cultural centre of Ukraine. In 1632, Mohyla became the bishop of Kiev and abbot of Pecherska Lavra. There he founded a school for young monks where the tutoring was conducted in Latin. Later this school was merged with the Kiev Brotherhood school and turned into the Mohyla collegiums or the Kyiv Mohyla Academy.  Mohyla significantly improved the print shop at Lavra where Orthodox books were published in Latin, and for over 20 years, he played a leading role in Ukraines book printing, being one of the first to print in the Ukrainian language. Mohyla wanted to preserve the Ukrainian nations identity that had been experiencing enormous pressure from the Polish and Russian regimes. He initiated the publication of sermons for the laity in Ukrainian, Biblical texts in Church Slavonic, and scientific books in Ukrainian, Polish, Greek, and Latin. One of his most important publications was Catechesis (1640). Another notable works included Trebnyk or Euchologion (1646). There are data that he first used the civil script letters, which later Peter I of Russia introduced in 1708. 

Various alphabet reforms were influential in Ukraine, besides Peter the Great's civil script of 1708 (the Grazhdanka), which influenced Mykhaylo Maksymovych's nineteenth-century Galician Maksymovychivka script, and its descendent, the Pankevychivka, which is still in use, in a slightly modified form, for the Rusyn language in Carpathia Ruthenia. Several other reforms attempted to introduce a phonemic Ukrainian orthography during the nineteenth century, based on the example of Vuk Karadzhich's Serbian Cyrillic. These included Oleksiy Pavlovskiy's Grammar, Panteleimon Kulish's Kulishivka, the Drahomanivka, promoted by Mykhailo Drahomanov. In Galicia, the Polish-dominated local government tried to introduce a Latin alphabet for Ukrainian, which backfired by prompting a heated War of the Alphabets, bringing the issue of orthography into the public eye. The Cyrillic script was favoured, but conservative Ukrainian cultural factions (the Old Ruthenians and Russophiles) opposed publications which promoted a pure Ukrainian orthography. In 1876, the Ems Ukaz (decree) banned the Kulishivka and imposed a Russian orthography until 1905, called the Yaryzhka, after the Russian letter (yery). The Yevhen Zhelekhivsky's Zhelekhivka, which standardized the letters ї (ji) and ґ (g) became official in Galicia in Austro-Hungary in 1893, and was adopted by many eastern Ukrainian publications after 1917.



The Kingdom of Poland, informally known as Congress Poland or Russian Poland, was created in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna. It was a personal union of the Russian part of Poland with the Russian Empire. It was gradually politically integrated into Russia over the course of the 19th century, made an official part of the Russian Empire in 1867, and finally replaced during the Great War by the Central Powers in 1915 with the theoretically existing Regency Kingdom of Poland. Though officially the Kingdom of Poland was a state with considerable political autonomy guaranteed by a liberal constitution, its rulers, the Russian Emperors, generally disregarded any restrictions on their power. Thus effectively it was little more than a puppet state of the Russian Empire. The Cyrillic script was used for short period during the Congress Poland era because required by Russian law. In the middle of the 19th century, the Russian Tsar Nicholas I tried to replace the Polish Latin alphabet with the Cyrillic one but the effort was not successful. Here is a sample text of that time:  

ó۬լ٬ լ٬ܬ, ó۬լ٬ Ӭڬܬ Ѭ٬

ެ, լ ݬ ߬ Ӭ٬óܬ,

Ѭެ ĕլ լӬ߬ެ ܬęܬ߬ڬ۬ ҬѬ٬ެ,

Ҭج߬ ٬óӬ Ѭ׬ܬ (Ӭó Ѭ, ̌֬٬ . ڬܬ֬Ӭڬ).

Another variant of the same text:

۬լ լܬ, ۬լ Ӭڬܬ Ѭ٬

ެ, ݬ ߬ Ӭ٬Ԭ,

Ѭ ֬ լӬ߬ ܬЄܬ߬ڬ۬ ҬѬ٬,

Ҭج߬ ٬ެӬ Ѭë.

The idea of introducing the Cyrillic alphabet for the Polish language has supporters even now – see the site ԬѬ ݬڬܬ լݬ Є٬ܬ ݬܬ֬Ԭ in the bibliography.

After the Uprising of 1863-1864 in the North-West part of the Russian Empire, the general-governor M. Muravyov forbade printing in Latin letters for the Lithuanians, and everything had to be printed in Cyrillic up to 1904. 




Besides being in use among the Russians, the Ukrainians, the Belorussians, the Polish, and the Lithuanians, the Cyrillic script kept on spreading through the Uralic people during the 18-19th centuries: the Mordvins (Erzya and Moksha), the Mari in the 18th century, the Karelians in the 19th century, and the Nenets at the same time. However, it was used mainly for religious purposes – for creation of orthodox texts and dictionaries. Works of national literatures were not created. The first Erzya religious texts appeared in 1803. In 1884, a Primer was printed, too. A Gospel of John in the Moksha language was published in 1901 (the modern alphabet was created in the second half of the 18th century). In the 19th century, a few books were published in Karelian using the Cyrillic script, too, notably A Translation of some Prayers and a Shortened Catechism into North Karelian and Olonets (Aunus) dialects in 1804, and the Gospel of St. Matthew in South Karelian Tver dialect, in 1820. 




While the people in Croatia used the Latin (and to some extent the Glagolitic) alphabet, and in Bosnia even books in the Arabic script appeared during the 18-19th centuries, in Serbia the literary language was the Church Slavonic (and its variant, the Serbian-Slavonic). At the beginning of the 19th century, Sava Mrkal simplified significantly the Serbian Cyrillic script (the Russian Civil script was accepted first in that country).

In the middle of the 19th century, Vuk Stefanović Karadžić (Karadzhich) conducted an orthographic reform: the unnecessary letters and were discarded and the letters љ, њ, џ, j were introduced. After that reform, the Serbian Cyrillic script was called after Karadzhich: vukovitsa. In 1850, the so-called Vienna Literary Agreement was signed. It was the first step to the creation of a standardized Serbo-Croatian language on the basis of Vuks reform (representatives from Serbia and Croatia took part in signing the Agreement).

Although the oldest surviving Albanian document of the 15th century was written in the Latin script, and early Albanian writers also used a Latin-based script, adding Greek characters to represent extra sounds, Christophoridēs published a book in Cyrillic, in 1872.




















A Lithuanian Cyrillic text from 1866 (Source: Wikipedia).



A modern Mongolian banknote (Source: Wikipedia).



A Serbian-Slavonic magazine (Source: Wikipedia).


The Serbian grammar written by Karadzhich (Source: Wikipedia).



After Serbia, the civil script was accepted in Bulgaria as well in about 1830, and it was called Ӭ֬ڬ֬ݬ߬ ڬެ instructive script. Printed books from Russia and Serbia came to that country, spreading the Russian and Serbian influence. In this way, © began designating [] instead of nasal , and designated soft [] instead of nasal e. In 1806, Sophronius of Vratsa published in Church Slavonic (written in the old Cyrillic script) the first printed Bulgarian book, called A Sunday Book. The first Bulgarian book printed in the civil script   in 1821 (in Chisinau, Moldova), was Instructions for the Duties of the Rural Institutions (in Bulgarian and Russian). Then, rithmetics by Hristaki Pavlovich appeared in 1833 in Belgrade. After 1850, the Civil script dominated the laic literature, and later, even the religious, although in his memoirs, the great Bulgarian poet and writer, Ivan Vazov, wrote that his father had used the old church letters in his commercial book long after that time. At that period, Neofit Rilski and Ivan Momchilov completed several grammar works.



In 1582, the Cossack ataman Yermak Timofeyevich conquered the capital of the Siberian Tatar Khanate, and thus began the Siberian conquest. It took a long time; for example, the Chukchi people fought about 150 years against the Russian invasion but finally surrendered (by the end of the 19th century the conquest of Middle Asia – Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, etc., was completed.). The Russian explorers even reached  Alaska, which became a Russian territory, governed from 1799 to 1867 by the Russian-American Company, based in Irkutsk (Siberia). It had colonies along the whole West Coast of North America, as far as California. In 1816, a Russian fortress was even built on the Hawaii islands but the idea of making that archipelago a Russian territory was given up. Otherwise, even the people there could have used the Cyrillic alphabet.

In the 16-18th centuries, the Russian missionaries established several Orthodox missions in Siberia and even in Middle Asia (where the population originally followed Islam), and tried to teach Gods word to the native Siberian peoples in Russian. Later, attempts were made to publish books for the Siberian Tatars and the Buryats not only in Arabic and Old Mongol scripts but in Cyrillic letters, too. However, the native Siberian peoples did not like Christianity, and the printed materials were scarce – usually only the missionary had a single book, and the local people themselves could never see it. In 1897, the census showed less than 5 % literacy among the native Siberian population, and it was literacy in Russian, not in native languages. Only the situation among Buryats was a little better. At the end ot the 19th century, and at the beginning of the 20th, a Russian missionary, St. Nicholas of Japan, spread Orthodox Christianity in the Land of the Rising Sun, and translated the Bible into Japanese. Unfortunately, there is no proof of attempts having been made to introduce the Cyrillic alphabet in that country. However, a system for Cyrillic transcription for the Japanese language, called Rosiadzi or Kiridzi, was created in 1917 by E. Polivanov (Such systems were created for other languages, too, even for Hungarian: the Hungarian Cyrillic alphabet, or ެЃѬ ڬڬݬ, was invented by Samuel P. Bateman, who wanted to make it easier for Hungarians to learn Russian as a second language).

The Russians sold Alaska to the Americans in 1867. However their culture, religion, and alphabet stayed there, among the native peoples (the Aleut, the Inuit or Eskimos, and the Tlingit), and even were better accepted than in Siberia where the influence of Islam and Buddhism was strong. In the Yupik Eskimo dialect, the word for a white person is still Kass'aq, a derivative of Cossack. 

At the end of the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century, religious Cyrillic books were published in Aleut, Yupik, and Tlingit (first, in the old medieval script). Today, in Alaska, there is still an Orthodox Church – All Saints of North America Orthodox Church. The native Cyrillic texts can be found in its website (http://www.asna.ca/alaska). An example of the Cyrillic Tlingit alphabet can be found in the text Indication of the Pathway into the Kingdom of Heaven (in Russian – ܬѬ٬Ѭі Ӭ Ѭі ֬Ҭ֬߬, in Tlingit-Cyrillic – -ӬѬ-і ֬----߬- լ ڬܬ -ܬ- Ѭ-), written by the priest John Veniaminov in 1901.





After Lenin came to power in Russia in 1917, an orthographic reform discarded some letters (, Ї) from the Russian Cyrillic alphabet, which was imposed on many European, Siberian and Middle-Asian peoples that lived in the state. Some of them did not have writing systems before (see further); others used the Mongolian (the Buryats), the Arabic (the Tatars, the Avars, the Kazakh), the Georgian (the Abkhaz, part of the Ossetians) or the Greek scripts (the Alans or Ossetians, the Gagauz).


A Kazakh text in Arabic and Cyrillic scripts (Source: Wikipedia).

An Aleut Gospel with a parallel Russian text (Source: www.asna.ca).

A Tlingit Orthodox text with explanation in Russian (Source: www.asna.ca).



Yupik Eskimo religious brochures in Latin and Cyrillic scripts (Source: Jacobson 2001).

Many languages in Russia changed their alphabets several times in the 20th century. For example, in the 1920s, the Komi language was written with the Molodtsov alphabet, derived from Cyrillic. It was replaced by the Latin alphabet in 1931 (which was accepted for a short period by many other peoples), and later by the Cyrillic alphabet in the Komi Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. For Karelian, a number of Cyrillic-based spelling systems were developed during the Soviet period, though none of them took off due to Stalin's suppression and outlawing of Karelian. Some of the languages are already extinct. Ter Sami (which used the Cyrillic alphabet after the Second World War),  in the northeast of the Kola Peninsula in Russia in 2010 was spoken only by two people. The rapid decline in the number of speakers was caused by Soviet collectivization, during which use of the language was prohibited in schools in the 1930s.



Ukraine enjoyed a brief period of independence from 1918 to 1919 (when an official Ukrainian orthography was accepted), then it was taken over by the USSR and declared a Soviet Republic. In 1925, the Ukrainian SSR created a Commission for the Regulation of Orthography. A standardized Ukrainian orthography and method for transliterating foreign words were established, a compromise between Galician and Soviet proposals, called the Kharkiv Orthography, or Skrypnykivka, after Ukrainian Commissar of Education Mykola Skrypnyk. It was the first universally-adopted native Ukrainian orthography. However, in 1933, the orthographic reforms were abolished, decrees were passed to bring the orthography steadily closer to Russian. An official orthography was published in Kiev in 1936, with revisions in 1945 and 1960. This orthography is sometimes called Postyshivka, after Pavel Postyshev, Stalin's Russian official who oversaw the dismantling of Ukrainization. In the meantime, the Skrypnykivka continued to be used by Ukrainians in Galicia and the diaspora worldwide. During the period of Perestroika in the USSR, a new Ukrainian Orthographic Commission was created in 1987. A revised orthography was published in 1990. Ukraine declared independence in 1991.

There is a form of the Ukrainian language, called Rusyn, also known in English as (Modern) Ruthenian. Some linguists treat it as a distinct language; others treat it as a dialect of Ukrainian. The Rusyn alphabet has several variants, used in Voivodina (in Serbia), Slovakia, Poland, and Ukraine. In Crimea and Bessarabia, several Turkic peoples accepted the Cyrillic alphabet (the Tatars, the Karaims, the Gagauz, etc.).




During the early 20th century, many Belarusian publications were printed in both the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets. After the Soviet invasion of eastern Belorussia in 1919-1920, the Cyrillic alphabet became the only alphabet used in official writings. Meanwhile, in western Belorusssia, the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets continued to coexist, though after 1943 the majority of publications were printed in the Cyrillic alphabet. Belorussian Classical Orthography or Tarashkievitsa is a variant of the orthography of the Belorussian language, based on the literary norm of the modern Belorusian language, the first normalization of which was made by B. Taraškievič in 1918, and was in official use in Belorussia until the Belorussian orthography reform of 1933, which brought the Belorussian language closer to Russian – Narkomovka.

Since 1933, Tarashkievica has been used only informally in Belorussia and by Belorussian diaspora abroad since the legitimacy of the reform of grammar in 1933 was adopted neither by certain political groups in West Belorussia, nor by the emigrants, who left thecountry after 1944. During the Perestroika period of the late 1980s, the movement for the return of Tarashkievica in Belorussia was initiated. Belorussia gained independence in 1991. In 2005, with the publishing of the Belorussian Classical Orthography, the modern normalization of Tarashkievica was made. This proposal was adopted by some media, including the Belorussian Wikipedia. In fact, two Belorussian orthographies are used today.

In the 1980s, attempts were made for standardizing the West Polesian micro language – a transitional form between Belorussian and Ukrainian.




The historical Romanian Cyrillic alphabet was used in Moldova until 1918. A version of the Cyrillic alphabet was used in the Soviet Republic of Moldova from 1924-32, and from 1940 until 1989 (except 1941-44). The standard alphabet now is Latin. However, the Cyrillic alphabet is still used [update]in Transnistria. The official languages there are Russian, Ukrainian, and Moldavian (with Cyrillic alphabet).




In the 10th century, the Arabs called the Caucasus The mountain of the languages due to the numerous languages spoken there (in some cases, it is difficult to differentiate between a language and a dialect). Some of the peoples in the region, such as the Avars, used the Arabic letters as early as the 11th century AD; others, such as the Abkhaz, made attempts to write with Georgian letters. Excluding Georgian and Armenian, most languages in the Caucasus use or have used the Cyrillic alphabet in the 20th century. On the whole, many languages in the Soviet Union have changed their alphabets several times: Arabic à Latin à Cyrillic à Latin/Arabic. For instance, until 1928, Kumyk also was written with the Arabic alphabet. Between 1928 and 1938, it was written with the Latin alphabet, and with the Cyrillic alphabet since then. The Ossetians (or Alans) have been using a standardized Cyrillic alphabet since 1844 (created by Andreas Sjögren). However, a Cyrillic Catechism was printed in Ossetic much earlier – in 1798.  In 1923-38 this Indo-Iranian people used the Latin script. Later, since 1938, the Northern Ossetians have been using the Cyrillic, and the South Ossetians used the Georgian script up to 1954, and then changed to Cyrillic, too.

Alongside with major languages, like Azeri, and to less extent, Chechen or Ossetic, there are languages spoken in only one village. For example, Archi is a Northeast Caucasian language with about 1000 speakers in the village of Archi in the Dagestan. Some of the languages even have no standard written form – the Dagestanian Akhvakh. It is used mainly in homes, while Avar and Russian are used elsewhere. Since the 1940s a number of linguistics studies of Akhvakh have been undertaken, and a few texts in Akhvakh have been published including a collection of stories in 1949. In the 20th century, the Caucasian Ubykh language and the Indo-European Kilit became extinct, the latter being similar to Talysh, which is still spoken by a small population.

Although the creation of Cyryllic based alphabets for the native Caucasian and Asian peoples was a great achievement for Russian linguists, these alphabets are not quite successful, and in many cases the creators deliberately designated one sound by different signs in different variants of the same language (Kabardian and Adyghe, for instance).




Almost all native languages in Siberia use the Cyrillic alphabet although for some of them it was invented after the 1990s, and most of them are close to extinction (excluding widespread languages like Yakut or Even). Ket is the last surviving member of the Yenisei family of languages, and is spoken by about 550 people along the Yenisei River and its tributaries in Central Siberia. Its Cyrillic-based system was developed in the 1980s by G. K. Verner and G. H. Nikolayeva. Northern Yukaghir is spoken by about 150 people, while Southern Yukaghir has fewer than 50 speakers. The Yukaghir languages were first written in the 1970s using a spelling system using the Cyrillic alphabet devised by Gavril Kurilov, a native speaker of Tundra Yukaghir. Both Yukaghir languages have been taught to some extent in schools since the 1980s.

Itelmen is a Chukotko-Kamchatkan language with fewer than 100 speakers in the Kamchatka Peninsula in Siberia. There is no Aleut primer even now, the only Cyrillic book in Aleut, a school dictionary, was published in the 1990s. In Outer Manchuria (the region of the Amur river), there are several small peoples, like the Orok and the Orochi peoples (both less than 100 persons in number), and several more. The Cyrillic alphabet first has been used for descriptions of their languages, and later, in the period 2008-2010, materials for learning these languages were published. One of the newest Cyrillic alphabets is the Negidal – its alphabet was created in 2009, and in the next year, a manual for the primary school grades was published.

A very interesting case is that of the Soyot people. Originally they spoke a Uralic language. Then they were assimilated by the Turkic population of Siberia, and later - by the Buryats. For the revitalization of the Soyot language, in 2001, a Cyrillic script was designed. Two years later, a Soyot-Buryat-Russian dictionary appeared. In 2005, the Soyot language was introduced in the primary school grades.




The region is inhabited by a number of peoples, some of them quite numerous, like the Uzbek or the Kazakh. In 1927, the Arabic script was banned and the Latin alphabet was imposed for writing Kazakh. The Latin alphabet was in turn replaced by the Cyrillic alphabet in 1940.

Uyghur is another Turkic language, with about 10 million speakers mainly in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China, and also in Afghanistan. The Uyghur Cyrillic alphabet was devised around 1937 in the Soviet Union, because they wanted an alternative to the Latin-derived alphabet they had devised some eleven years earlier, in 1926, as they feared a romanization of the Uyghur language would strengthen the relationship of the Uyghurs to Turkey. After the proclamation of the Communist People's Republic of China in 1949, Russian linguists began helping the Chinese with codifying the various minority languages of China and promoting Cyrillic-derived alphabets, and thus the Uyghurs of China also came to use the Uyghur Siril Yëziqi. As the tensions between the Soviet Union and China grew stronger, in 1959, the Chinese devised Uyghur Pinyin Yëziqi for Uyghurs, and eventually restored the Arabic script to write Uyghur to the present day. The Cyrillic script continued to be used in the Soviet Union, however, and is currently used in Kazakhstan.

Dungan is a variety of Chinese spoken in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, and written in Cyrillic letters. There are approximately 50 000 speakers. A Cyrillic alphabet for the Daur people in China was invented and used for two years: from 1956 to 1958, when it was abandoned, like the Uyghur one.  

In Pamir, there are a number of small peoples of Indo-Iranian origin, too. Some of them still dont have writing systems despite the attemps to introduce Latin or Cyrillic alphabet among them (Yazgulyam, for instance), among others (Shughni), there is a limited use of Cyrillic letters, and for others, translation of the Gospel of Luke have been made both in Latin and Cyrillic alphabets – for Rusahni, Wakhi. More such translations could be expected, because the Institute for Bible Translation (http://www.ibt.org.ru) keeps on working in that field.

Apart from Russian Middle Asia and North-West China, the Cyrillic writing system has also been used in Mongolia by the Khalkha Mongols and the Oirats (close relatives to the Kalmyk people who live in European Russia, near the Volga River) since 1941,.

Of course, various letters characteristic only of the local alphabets, are used in all Caucasian and Asian Cyrillic alphabets .




In Bulgaria, after the Liberation from Ottoman rule, in 1878, the first Bulgarian official orthography was imposed in 1899, called Ivanchovs orthography (after T. Ivanchov). It was replaced for a short time (1921-1923) by the Omarchevs orthography of the government of Bulgarian Agrarian National Union, and then enacted again, slightly changed, till the Comunist orthographic reform in 1945, which resembled Omarchevs spelling. In 1945, the letters  and © were removed from the alphabet, and the letters , at the end of the words were no longer used.

The Cyrillic script is used also by the Gagauz and in some dialects of the Romani (Gipsy) language (in Bulgaria, as well as in Serbia and Russia). In the past, even the Ladino (Judaeo-Spanish) speakers in Bulgarian used it.

Ivan Momchilovs Grammar from 1847 (Source: http://www.libsu.uni-sofia.bg/slavica/rarafontes.html).



Yashar Malikovs Romani-Bulgarian dictionary. The back cover with the phrase Be happy! in capital letters in Romani (Photo: Ivan Iliev).




In 1918, the Serbo-Croat-Slovene Kingdom was created, and in 1929, its name was changed to Yugoslavia. In 1954, linguists and scholars signed the Novi Sad Literary Agreement, which made the Latin and the Cyrillic scripts equally acceptable in the country. However, only the Serbs used both alphabets in fact, while the Croats and the Bosnians preferred the Latin one. Albanians in Yugoslavia who were educated in Serbian schools used Cyrillic letters to communicate in Albanian during the 20th century. However, this was restricted to vulgar usage only. Yugoslavia finally fell apart in 2003, and several Slavic states replaced it: Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Macedonia. Nowadays, the Cyrillic alphabet is used in the following of these countries: Macedonia, Serbia (alongside with the Latin alphabet), Bosnia and Herzegovina (informally), Montenegro (alongside with the Latin alphabet).

The standard Macedonian orthography appeared in 1945 on the pages of New Macedonia newspaper. The modern Macedonian alphabet was created by Krum Toshev, Krume Kepeski, and Blazhe Koneski. It has 31 letters (unlike the Bulgarian, which has 30), and mostly resembles the Serbian alphabet (typical for the Macedonian alphabet are the letters Ѕ, Ќ, and  Ѓ). 

The first Montenegrin Cyrillic alphabet appeared in 2009, designed by Milenko Perovich, Lyudmila Vasileva, and Yosip Silich. With the two new letters, ć and , added to it in 2011, it contains totally 32 letters. 




Many rulers have tried to forbid the Cyrillic alphabet, in different times and in different states. The Austro-Hungarian goverrnment did not allow the Serbs to write Cyrillic during World War I. Ante Pavelich did the same in Croatia, in 1941. In 1991, the Soviet Union fell apart, and many people from the Caucasus and Middle Asia replaced the Cyrillic letters with Latin or some other alphabets: the Azeri (1991), the Chechen (1992), the Uzbek (1992), the Turkmens (1996). The Assirian Cyrillic alphabet, introduced in the 1920s, was replaced with the Latin one only ten years later (one of the few such examples). Since Belorussia gained independence in 1991, efforts have been made to revive writing in the Latin alphabet. One major problem is that nobody can agree on a spelling system. Recently as part of a modernization program, the government of Kazakhstan has stated plans to replace the Cyrillic alphabet with the Latin script. Currently the costs and consequences of such a move are being investigated. Today, although Mongolian is still written using the Cyrillic alphabet, an official reintroduction of the old script was planned for 1994, but has not yet taken place as older generations encountered practical difficulties. However, the traditional alphabet is being slowly reintroduced through schools. Several years ago, even in Bulgaria the idea (given by the Austrian Otto Kronsteiner) of replacing the traditional Cyrillic alphabet was suggested.

There are several small peoples in Russia, who could acquire neither the Latin, nor the Cyrillic script, although for some of them, there are grammar descriptions in Cyrillic: Yazgulyam, Bats, Budukh, Khwarshi, Enets (by the way, in some sources, like Omniglot, some of them are also considered to be languages, using the Cyrillic alphabet).

Most of the Western scientists use the Latin alphabet for transcribing Cyrillic sources in the bibliography of their works, and this is not professional. Imagine what would happen, if a scientist from Bulgaria or Russia cited in the same way the titles he or she has used. Then, instead of Jacobson, S. A Practical Grammar of Yupik, for instance, there would be ج֬۬ܬҬ, . ֬ܬڬܬ Ԭ֬ެ ڬ ... Isnt it funny?




It is difficult to say if some day the Cyrillic alphabet will be totally out of use. Nowadays, alongside with the use of the civil script in everyday life, and the use of the Medieval Cyrillic script in the Orthodox typography, we can see how the latter even penetrates the internet. A special mixture of civil-script letters and medieval letters can be seen in Wikipedia (http://cu.wikipedia.org). If you visit Wikipedias main page, you will see the inscription Є« Welcome to Wikipedia.  The Cyrillic letters are also used for writing the so-called adonkaffsky jargon (Ѭլ߬ܬѬܬڬ or ݬҬѬ߬ܬڬ ۬֬٬ or ۬Ѭ٬ Ѭլ߬ܬѬ) a cant language developed by padonki of Runet. It started as an Internet slang language. The language is based on phonetic spelling of the Russian language and sometimes transliteration of Ukrainian language, and often uses profanity. It combines complex orthography with creative use of idioms and literary expression. It is often used to express disagreement, amusement, or to create political satire. A similar jargon existed among young people in Russia even in the 19th century. In one of his novels, Y. Tynyanov narrates about the young idle prince Obolenskiy, who wrote in such a manner: ѬѬԬ Ѭ֬ ٬ѬӬ ެ֬߬ ܬ߬ ֬Ԭ֬ ҬѬݬ֬߬ܬ Ѭ-ެڬ ԬѬܬѬӬ ݬܬ ڬج ֬ լڬ ٬߬Ѭ֬ ٬ Ҭ ٬ ܬѬ֬ ݬ֬ܬ ԬݬѬӬ߬֬۬֬ Ҭڬ ܬެѬ߬լڬ ߬ѬѬݬ߬ڬܬ լڬӬڬ٬ڬ ҬѬ߬ ҬլҬ֬Ԭ ߬ѬڬѬ Ѭڬڬݬ߬ ڬެ ݬ Ѭܬ, ڬլ֬ ӬڬҬԬ ج Ԭ ֬ݬ, ܬݬܬ լ֬جѬ ެ Ҭ ٬߬Ѭ֬.

Another experimental innovation is the creation of artificial Slavic and non-Slavic languages, in the way Esperanto was created (the Esperanto alphabet officially has only Latin version but, in Soviet times, it was even printed in Cyrillic letters, because it was difficult to find type-writers with Latin letters). Slovianski (ݬӬ߬ܬ or ݬјѬ߬ܬ) is a Slavic interlanguage, created in 2006 by a group of language creators from different countries: Ondrej Rečnik, Gabriel Svoboda, Jan van Steenbergen, Igor Polyakov. Its purpose is to facilitate communication between representatives of different Slavic nations, as well as to allow people who don't know any Slavic language to communicate with Slavs. For the latter, it can fulfill an educational role as well. Slovianski can be classified as a semi-artificial language with several hundred speakers. Sample text (the Lords prayer): ߬Ѭ, ܬ j֬ ߬֬ҬѬ, լ Ӭ֬֬߬ j Ӭj ڬެ֬߬, լ jլ Ӭj ܬݬ֬ӬӬ, լ Ҭլ Ӭj Ӭݬ, ܬѬ ߬֬ҬѬ Ѭ ߬ ٬֬j. ݬ֬ ߬Ѭ Ӭ֬ܬլ֬߬߬ լj ߬Ѭ լ֬߬, ڬ٬Ӭڬ߬j ߬Ѭ ߬Ѭ Ԭ֬, Ѭ ܬѬ ެ ڬ٬Ӭڬ߬Ѭެ ߬Ѭڬ Ԭ֬߬ڬܬ. ߬ Ӭ֬լj ߬Ѭ ܬ֬j, Ѭݬ Ѭj ߬Ѭ ٬ݬԬ.

Another artificial Slavic language is Slovio (from the Slavic slovo word). It is a constructed language launched in 1999 by Mark Hučko. Hučko claims that the language should be relatively easy for non-Slavs to learn as well, as an alternative to tongues such as Esperanto which are based more on Latin root words. The vocabulary is based on the shared lexical foundation of the Slavic languages. As of October 2007, Slovio had over 44,000 words. Sample text in Slovio (Cyrillic alphabet): Ӭڬ۬ ެ: լѬԬ۬ ٬ݬ۬ ج֬, ެ ֬ܬѬ۬ ެݬլڬ, ֬ݬ۬ ߬ ֬ݬ۬ լ֬ ެڬݬڬ ݬ . ֬ݬ۬ ߬ ڬެѬ ߬ڬ , ֬ݬ۬ լ֬ ڬެѬ Ӭڬլ֬߬ڬ֬ Ӭ ֬ܬѬ۬ ڬ, ܬڬ ֬ݬ. Or: ݬӬڬ ֬ ߬Ӭ ެ֬ج߬Ѭլ ٬ڬܬ ܬ Ѭ٬ެڬ ڬ ެڬݬڬ ݬլڬ ߬ ֬ݬ ٬֬ެݬ. ڬ۬ ݬӬڬ ֬!

Lingua Franca Nova (abbreviated LFN) is an auxiliary constructed language created by C. George Boeree of Shippensburg University, Pennsylvania. Its vocabulary is based on the Romance languages French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Catalan. The grammar is highly reduced and similar to the Romance creoles. The language has phonemic spelling, using 22 letters of either the Latin or Cyrillic scripts. Sample (the Lords prayer): Ѭլ, ܬ ֬ ֬ ڬ֬ݬ, Ѭ߬ ֬ ߬ެ, ֬߬ڬ Ӭ Ӭ֬߬, Ӭݬ Ӭ ֬ Ѭլ, ֬ ֬ ܬެ ֬ ڬ֬ݬ






There were four types of medieval hand-written Cyrillic script: uncial, semi-uncial, quickscript, and vjaz (embroidery style), between which were transitional stages. These scripts could use either only capital letters (majuscules), or only small letters (minuscules), besides the calligraphic letters (like the letter K in the picture below).  The oldest script was the uncial - a majuscule script, written entirely in capital letters, commonly used from the 3rd to 8th centuries AD by Latin and Greek scribes. The Slavic uncial derived from the Greek majuscule of the 9th century AD. In the 12th century popular uncial scripts appeared, and the majuscule Italic script was invented for writing notes, signatures, etc.

The Slavic uncial script developed into another majuscule script - the semi-uncial, which later became the basis for the typographical pre-civil Cyrillic script. For example, the Dubrovnik Charter of the Bulgarian Tsar Ivan-Assen II (from 1230) was written in semi-uncial. In the 15th century, it totally replaced the uncial.

Middle Bulgarian liturgical uncial script (with a calligraphic letter K, and embroidery style in the title) from the Middle Bulgarian Tsar  Ivan-Alexanders 4 Gospels (Source: جӬ 1981).











Middle Bulgarian semi-uncial script (Source: ߬֬ 1964).

The quickscript (sometimes called italic or cursive, and more precisely, semi-cursive) developed from the semi-uncial in the 14th century, and first, it was used as administrative writing. Calligraphy developed out of it and later (19th century), the modern hand-written script, which is taught at schools, when no intervals were left between the letters. This hand-written style is the most diverse, and the least researched of the scripts. For example, in the 19th century, in Bulgaria, there were three types of quickscript: a Church Slavonic type, a Greek type, and a Russian semi-cursive type.

The vjaz or embroidery style is a kind of writing, in which the letters stay close to each other, and get connected into a continuous ornament. These models were known among the Greeks and the South Slavs but they were mostly practiced in Russia, after the 14-15th centuries, even in Ivan Fyodorovs printed books.

Croatian Cyrillic quickscript (Source: http: // www.croatianhistory.net/etf/et04.html).



Russian Cyrillic quickscript (Source: Ѭܬڬ 1928).   





Ukrainian Cyrillic quickscript: Bohdan Khmelnytskys  signature (Source: Wikipedia).


01-Russian alphabet- .svg , 02-Russian alphabet- .svg, 03-Russian alphabet- .svg, 04-Russian alphabet- .svg,05-Russian alphabet- .svg, 06-Russian alphabet- .svg, 07-Russian alphabet- .svg, 08-Russian alphabet- .svg, 09-Russian alphabet- .svg,  10-Russian alphabet- .svg

Hand-written forms of the Modern Russian Cyrillic letters (Source: Wikipedia).




Although Gutenberg (1394 -1468) had as model only hand-written scripts, his first typographic scripts looked different from the old hand-written letters. During the Renaissance period (the second half of the 15th century), attempts began to design scripts with pair of compasses and a ruler. Since then, a lot of scripts have been created, not only typographic, but also cartographic, placard, decorative, etc. One of the first typographs, who made new printing scripts, in the 15th century, were Aldus Manutius, Claude Garamond, etc. The first typographic Russian scripts resembled the old semi-uncial script, for example, Ivan Fyodorovs printed books (the script of Statute of Lithuania was a rare example of a Slavic typographic quickscript; besides, in Russia, some scientific books were printed in typographic uncial). The Russian semi-uncial was used in religious and secular literature till 1708, when the civil script was invented for the laic books, and the typographic semi-uncial was identified for the religious works only. In designing the civil script, Peter I was helped by Ilya Kopievsky (or Kopievich). Between 1699-1700,  he worked with the Dutch Yan Tessing in publishing Slavic books, and in 1700, he opened  his own typography in Amsterdam. 

The Cyrillic typography  passed directly from the medieval stage to the late Baroque, without a Renaissance phase as in Western Europe: New Roman cursive, also called minuscule cursive or later Roman cursive, developed from old Roman cursive, and later evolved into the medieval script known as Carolingian minuscule, which was used in 9th century France and Germany in the imperial chancery, and whose revival in the Renaissance (by Petrarca and other writers) forms the basis of the modern Latin lowercase letters, which Peter I the Great took as a model for the civil script. However, the first models for Peters civil script appeared even before him. With the purpose of stylization, original scripts were created and used in Ukrainian engravings from the 17th century and, later, in Petro Mohylas books. Peter I the Great only legalized this practice. The westernized letter forms which he mandated to be used in the early 18th century, were largely adopted in the other languages that use the script. Thus, unlike the majority of Modern Greek fonts modern Cyrillic fonts are much the same as modern Latin fonts of the same font family.











Carolingian minuscule (Source: ߬֬ 1964).

 A title written in Russian calligraphic Vjaz script (Source: Wikipedia).

The modern typographic cursive originated from the hand-written minuscule cursive. Since it was very typical for Italy during the Renaissance, in France and England it was called italic (script), unlike the upright roman (script). The cursive variant of the typographic civil script has been used since 1734 (for the first time – in the newspaper  Sankt Petersburg News). The form of the typographic cursive first was similar to the hand-written cursive but with time it changed under the influence of the roman script.


Tessings Cyrillic font (Source: Wikipedia).

Gothic Style Cyrillic script (Source: Wikipedia).

Russian and Serbian/Macedonian Roman and Italic letters (Source: http:// jankojs.tripod.com).


Statute of  Lithuania of 1588 in Ruthenian (Source: Wikipedia).

Similarly to Latin fonts, italic and cursive types of many Cyrillic letters are very different from their upright roman types: /, /,/, /, /, /, etc. In certain cases, the correspondence between uppercase and lowercase glyphs does not coincide in Latin and Cyrillic fonts: for example, italic Cyrillic is the lowercase counterpart of not of . In Serbian, as well as in Macedonian, some italic and cursive letters are different from those used in other languages.

Nowadays, the design of new Cyrillic scripts is going on. In Russia, several famous font designers, such as Vladimir Efimov, Artemiy Lebedev, Olga Florenskaya, Sergey Serov, and Yuri Gordon work in this field. Throughout the world, there are competitions on designing scripts. One of them, the Granshan competition, was initiated by the Ministry of Culture of Armenia in 2008 and received woldwide popularity. The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia and the Typographic Society Munich (Typographische Gesellschaft Munchen) intended to enhance the importance of other script systems, beginning with Armenian, Cyrillic and Greek. Later, Indic and Arabic text typeface categories were included in the competition. In addition, an international triennial of stage poster was held in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 2011.

Various Cyrillic scripts can be found on the internet – for example, at http://www.fontyukle.net/en/1,cyrillic or at http://fonts.ru/help/language/ (in the latter, they are arranged in alphabetical order according to the language). Typographic Church Slavonic fonts are available at http://irmologion.ru/fonts.html. At http://graphics-video.ru/photoshop/fonts?page=1, funny Cyrillic scripts, more Church Slavonic, and Eastern-style Cyrillic scripts can be seen.




A book on Bulgarian Cyrillic epigraphy (Photo: Ivan Iliev).



Posters from the International triennial of stage poster The Letters of Bulgaria with the Cyrillic letters and (Photo: Ivan Iliev).

Eastern-Style Russian Cyrillic Scripts (Source: http://graphics-video.ru).




















Bulgarian Cyrillic scripts (Source: ߬֬ 1964).

The development of some Cyrillic computer typefaces from Latin ones has also contributed to the visual Latinization of Cyrillic type. Modern Cyrillic fonts, as well as Latin ones, have roman (upright type) and italic or cursive type.
















Funny Russian scripts for children (Source: http://graphics-video.ru).

A special system, called Unicode is used for facilitating computer writing in Cyrillic (and other scripts, as well). It is a computing industry standard for the consistent encoding, representation and handling of text, expressed in most of the world's writing systems. Developed in conjunction with the Universal Character Set standard, and published in book form as The Unicode Standard, the latest version of Unicode consists of a repertoire of more than 110 000 characters covering 100 scripts.


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( (ج ӢӬ֬լجڬ֬ݬ " ӢӬެ " Ӭ֬ (Ҭ ٬֬Mђ« " µ ӢӬ ج Ӭ ߬ڬ " ֬ܬ լ ڬ٬߬֬֬ ٬֬M © © " « ޡ ߬ լ " µ ߬ լҬڬ " µ լ֬ݬ " Ӭ֬ݬ߬ڬ֬ެ ڬ« ӢӬ֬ ݬ " լѬӬЄ ޡ «ެy " µ ݬҬ Ӭ ߬լ " ݢѬӬ ެݬڬӬ ߬ѬЄ " µ ݬ Ӭ (ݬԬӬ֬߬ڬ ߬ ެ֬߬ " Ӭ٬լѬ " ڬݬ« (ѬԬ Ӭ֬Ԭ ( " µ ެ߬ج جڬ ٬֬ެ " µ լӬ ֬ݬ߬Ѭ " ҬݬCђݬӬ " լ ӢӬެ ҬԬѬѬ֬ެ ѬҬ Ӭ " µ ӢӬ լӬݬ ڬ© " µ٬Ҭܬy֬ެ " Ӭ ӢӬܬެ լݬ ҬݬѬ٬ " dђ Ҭ ֬ ( ެڬy (Ѭ (Ѭެ ߬Ѭڬެ " µ ֬Ҭ {


A computer text, written in one of the modern Old Bulgarian fonts (Source: ߬֬Ӭ 2006).






1Bulgarian with 1b Macedonian (ҬݬԬѬܬ ֬٬ڬ/ެѬܬ֬լ߬ܬ јѬ٬ڬ) two

literary variants of one language with differences in the graphic systems – the latter must not be confused with Ancient Macedonian;

2 – Russian (ܬڬ ٬);

3Serbo-Croatian (3a – ܬ/3b ߬Ԭܬ/3c – ҬѬ߬ܬ or ҬњѬܬ/3d –ӬѬܬ ј֬٬ڬ);

4Ukrainian with 4b Rusyn or Ruthenian (ܬї߬ܬ ެӬ/ڬ߬ܬ Ҭ֬іլ or ڬ߬ܬ ٬);

5Belorussian with 5b West Polesian (Ҭ֬ݬѬܬѬ ެӬ/٬Ѭլ߬іܬ ݬѬܬ Ӭݬլ or jiј֬ج);

6Polish (٬ ݬܬ).




7Old (Church) Slavonic or Old Bulgarian (߬ܬ Є٬ܬ) and 7b – New Church Slavonic variants: Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian (ܬӬ߬ݬ ߬ܬ Є٬ܬ, ݬѬӬ֬߬-֬Ҭi);

8Illyirian (ڬݬڬܬ je٬ڬ);

9Slovianski (cݬӬ߬ܬ or cݬјѬ߬ܬ);

10 – Slovio (ݬӬڬ).




11 – Abaza (ѬҬѬ٬ Ҭ٬Ӭ);

12Abkhaz  (aҧ Ҭ٬ә);

13 Adyghe (ѬլԬҬ٬ or ѬլaҬ٬) with 13b – Kabardian (ܬҬլ֬ڬҬ٬);

14 Aghul (aԬ IѬ);

15 Akhvakh (awѬl ެڬl);

16 – Albanian (in Latin letters: gjuha shqipe);

17 Aleut (߬Ѭ,Ѭ ߬ or ߬y,Ѭ ެ);

18 Altai (ѬݬѬ ڬݬ) with 18b - Kumandin (ܬެѬ߬լ, or ܬҬѬ߬լ or ܬўѬ߬լ or ܬӬѬ߬լ), and 18 c – Teleut (ѬլѬ ڬ);

19 Archi (ѬѬ֬ ӀѬ);

20 Assyrian Neo-Aramaic or Aisor (ݬڬѬ߬ -Ѭ۬ or ݬڬѬ߬ Ѭ);

21Avar (ެѬIѬ ެѬI);

22 Azerbaijani or Azeri (ѬәҬјҹѬ  լڬݬ);

23 Balkar  with 23b Karachay (ܬѬѬѬ-ެѬݬܬѬ ڬ or Ѭݬ ڬ);

24 Balochi (ҬѬݬ or ҬѬݬ);

25 Bashkir  (ҬѬҡ ֬ݬ);

26 Budukh (ҬլѬ ެ֬);

27 Buryat (ҬѬ ݬ);

28 Chechen (߬ڬ۬ ެ);

29 Chukchi (ԓԬѬӬԓ ۬ԓ۬ԓ);

30  Chulym (ұݬެ or ڬ ڬݬ);

31 Chuvash (ӑӬѬ ӗݬ);

32 Dargwa (լѬԬѬ ެ֬);

33 Daur (in Latin letters: Dáwòěr Zú);

34 Dungan (۬ў ү or ج߬Ѭ߬ );

35 Enets (o߬Ѭ ҬѬ٬ѬѬ);

36 Even (Ӭլ or Ѭ ) with 36b Evenki or Evenk (Ӭլ̄ ̄);

37 Gagauz (ԬѬԬѬ լڬݬ or ԬѬԬѬ٬);

38 Godoberi (ԬڬҬլڬӀ ެڬ);

39 Hunzib (Ԭ߬ܬ ެ);

40 Ingush (ӀѬݬӀѬ ެ);

41 Itelmen (ڬ߬ެ);

42 Kalmyk with 42b Oirat (Ѭݬެ ܬ֬ݬ/in Latin letters: Oyirad kelen);

43 Karaim  (ܬѬѬ ڬݬ);

44 Karakalpak (қѬқѬݬқ ڬݬ);

45 Karelian (ܬѬݬѬ ܬڬ֬ݬ);

46 Kazakh (қѬ٬қ іі);

47 Ket (ԬѬ߬߬ ӄ');

48 Khakas (ѬܬѬ іі);

49Khanty (in Latin letters: Ѭ߬ );

50 Khinalug (ܬѬ ެڬӀ);

51 Khwarshi (Ѭܬڬݬ);

52 Kilit (?);

53 Komi-Zyrian (ܬެ ܬ) with 53b Komi-Permyak (֬֬ ܬެ ܬ);

54 Koryak (߬ެݬ' or Ѭ"ӬѬ");

55 Kubachi (ӀԬҬԬѬ);

56 Kumyk (ܬެܬ ڬ);

57 Kurdish (öլ or ܬެѬ߬լج or Ѭ߬);

58 Kyrgyz (ܬԬ ڬݬ);

59 Ladino or Judaeo-Spanish or Sephardic (ݬѬլڬ߬);

60 Lak (ݬѬܬܬ ެѬ);

61 Lezgi (ݬ֬٬Ԭ ӀѬ);

62 Lingua Franca Nova (ݬڬ߬ԬӬ Ѭ߬ܬ ߬Ӭ);

63 Lithuanian (ݬ́֬Ӭ ܬѬݬҬ);

64 Mansi (ެѬ߬ or ެѬ߬; in Latin letters: maan's'i  latyng);

65 Mari Western or Hill with 65b Mari Eastern or Medow (ܬ ެѬ ӹݬӹ/ݬ ެѬڬ ۬ݬެ);

66 Meskhetian Turkish (aҳܬ ÿܬä);  

67 Mongolian or Khalkha Mongolian (ެ߬Ԭ );

68 Mordvin: Erzya with 68b Moksha (٬߬ ܬ֬ݬ/ެܬ֬߬ ܬݬ);

69 Nanai  (߬Ѭ߬Ѭ);

70 Negidal (߬ғڬլ);

71 Nenets (߬֬߬ ӬѬլ and ߬֬ӈ ӬѬ);

72 Nganasan (߬'');

73 Nivkh (߬ڬӬԬ լڬ or ߬ғӈԬ);

74 Nogai (߬ԬѬ ڬݬ);

75 Oroch ();

76 Orok (۬ݬ);

77 Ossetic or  Ossetian (ڬ ӕӬ٬Ѭ or լڬԬ ӕӬ٬Ѭ);

78 Romani (pެѬ߬ ڬ);  

79 Romanian with 79b Moldovan or Moldavian   (in Latin letters: limba română /ݬڬެҬ ެݬլӬ֬߬ܬ);

80 Rushani (in Latin letters: Rihūn ziv);

81  Rutul (ެIѬҬڬլ I֬ or ެӀѬҬ);

82 Sami: Kildin Sami with 82bTer Sami (ӣݬݬ ̄ެ ӣݬ/̄ެ ӣݬ);

83 Selkup (ӧݬӄެ ә or ެݬ ӄެ ә or ӱccӱ ӄެ ә or ӧ ӄެ ә or ӱ ӄެ ә);

84 Shor ( ڬݬ);

85 Shughni (Ԭ߬ - ?, in Latin letters: xuãnūn ziv);

86 Slovio;

87 Soyot (۬ or yha );

88 Tabassaran (ѬҬѬѬѬ IѬ);

89 Tajik (٬ѬҬ́߬ ҷڬӣ́ or ́ ҷڬӣ́);

90 Talysh (ݬə ٬Ӭ);

91Tat (٬ Ѭ or ٬

92Tatar: Kazan Tatar with 92b Kreshen Tatar (tatarça or ѬѬ ֬ݬ); with 92c Crimean Tatar (ܬެѬѬ ڬݬ), with 92d Krymchak  (ܬެѬ ݬ) and 92e Urum ( ݬ); with 92f Astrakhan Tatar; with 92g Alabugat Tatar, 92h Tobol Tatar (֬Ҭ֬ѬѬ ֬ or ֬Ҭ֬ ֬), and 92i Baraba Tatar (֬Ҭ֬ѬѬ ֬ or ֬Ҭ֬ ֬);

93 Tlingit (in Latin letters: Lingít); 

94 Tsakhur (II߬ ެڬ);

95 Tsez (֬ ެ֬); 

96  Turkmen (үܬެ֬ լڬݬ);  

97 Tuvan (Ӭ լ); 

98 Tofalar or Tofa ( լ);

99 Ubykh (aҳəҬa);

100 Udi  (լڬ ެ);

101 Udihe or Udekhe or Udege ( - ?);

102 Udmurt   (լެ ܬ);

103 Ulch (?);

104 Uyghur (ғә or ғ ڬݬ);

105 Uzbek  (Ў٬Ҭ֬ ڬݬ);

106 Veps (in Latin letters: vepsän kel');

107  Votic (in Latin letters: vaďďaa ceeli);

108 Wakhi (ڬ ٬ڬ);

109 Yaghnobi   (ғ߬ӣ ٬ڬӬ);

110 Yakut or Saka or Aka (Ѭ ݬ) with 110b – Dolgan (ҕѬ);

111 Siberian Yupik or Yuit (,Ѭ٬ڬ,ެڬ and ߬Ӭ,Ѭ,ެڬ) with 111b Alaskan Yupik (in Latin letters: Yugtun), and 111c   Kodiak Yupik (in Latin letters: Alutiiq);

112Yukaghir: Northern and Southern (Ѭլ Ѭ/լ Ѭج).


Below: A teacher and activist from Bulgaria (Svetla Ilieva) introduces the Bulgarian alphabet to Korean pupils in 2007-2008, as member of UNESCOs Cross-Cultural Awareness Programme. In the background – the Bulgarian national flag, the Bulgarian letters and their Korean counterparts: /, / , / , O/ (Photo: Ivan Iliev).























ҬѬԬѬ ߬ ڬݬڬ Ѭ߬ڬݬѬӬ – ڬ. 1615 (. Ѭլ֬, . ѬҬѬܬڬ֬). ֬ݬڬܬ ߬Ӭ. 2006.

٬Ҭܬ. In: Ѭ֬ ֬֬Ӭ ݬԬѬڬ. In: http://www.bgjourney.com.

ݬ֬ܬѬ ڬެ֬߬߬. In: http://ru.wikipedia.org.

AݬѬӬڬ ߬֬ݬѬӬ߬ܬڬ ٬ܬ ѬݬѬӬڬѬެ ߬ ߬Ӭ ܬڬڬݬݬڬ. In:


ݬܬ. In: http://ru.wikipedia.org.

֬ݬѬі ܬݬ߬ ѬӬѬі. In: http://be-x-old.wikipedia.org.

֬ݬܬڬ ѬݬѬӬڬ. In: http://ru.wikipedia.org.

֬ݬܬ – ܬѬڬ߬ܬ ܬ߬ڬԬ֬ѬѬ߬ڬ. In: http://www.izbornyk.ru/ohdruk/ohd03.htm.

֬֬߬ ԬѬެ. In: http://ru.wikipedia.org.

լجڬ֬, . ݬԬѬܬѬ ԬѬڬ߬ ڬ֬ެ. In: ݬԬѬܬ ֬٬ڬ ݬڬ֬Ѭ, 4, 1973.

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Votic language. In: http://en.wikipedia.org.

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*Ivan G. Iliev - Associate Professor, Plovdiv University, Bulgaria