A Latin alphabet for the
Ukrainian language Ukrainian ( uk, украї́нська мо́ва, translit=ukrainska mova, label=native name, ), historically also called Ruthenian, is an East Slavic language The East Slavic languages constitute one of the three regional subgroups of Sla ...
(Latynka or Łatynka) has been proposed or imposed several times in the history in Ukraine, but has never challenged the conventional Cyrillic Ukrainian alphabet.


The Ukrainian literary language has been written with the Cyrillic script in a tradition going back to the 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 alphabet, Polish and Czech alphabets. While superficially similar to a Latin alphabet, transliteration of Ukrainian from Cyrillic into the Latin script (or ''romanization'') is usually not intended for native speakers, and may be designed for certain academic requirements or technical constraints. See romanization of Ukrainian. The Mozilla Add-ons website published the ''Ukrajinsjka Latynka'' extension to transliterate Ukrainian texts from Cyrillic to Latin script on web pages.


Ukrainian was occasionally written in the Latin script as far back as the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, in publications using the Polish alphabet, Polish and Czech alphabets. In the nineteenth century, there were attempts to introduce the Latin script into Ukrainian writing, b
J. Lozinskiy
( pl, Josyp Łozyńskyj), a Ukrainian scholar and priest from Lviv (Josyp Łozyński Ivanovyč, ''Ruskoje wesile'', 1834),''J. Lozinskiy.'
Ruskoje wesile.
W Peremyszły, w Typografii Władycznój gr. kat. 1835
Tomasz Padura, and other Polonization, Polish-Ukrainian romantic poets. The use of the Latin script for Ukrainian was promoted by authorities in Galicia (Central Europe), Galicia under the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy, Habsburg Empire. Franz Miklosich 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). Czech politician Josef Jireček took an interest in this concept, and 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 Romuald Gołuchowski, Agenor Gołuchowski attempted to impose this Latin alphabet on Ukrainian publications in 1859. This started a fierce publicly debated Alphabetical War ( uk, Азбучна війна), 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, Podlaskie, and the Chełm region. A Latin alphabet for Ukrainian publications was also imposed in Romanian Bessarabia, Bukovina and Dobrudja, Hungarian Carpathian Ruthenia, Zakarpattia. It was also used by immigrants from these regions in the United States. In Ukraine under the Russian Empire, Mykhailo Drahomanov promoted a purely phonemic Cyrillic alphabet (the ''Drahomanivka'') including the Latin letter ''ј'' in 1876, replacing the digraphs ''я, є, ю, ї'' with ''ја, је, ју, јі'', similar to the earlier Vuk Stefanović Karadžić, Karadžić reform of the Serbian alphabet. The Ems Ukaz banning Ukrainian-language publication doomed this reform to obscurity. In Soviet Ukraine, during the 1927 orthographical conference in Kharkiv, linguists Maik Yohansen, Borys Tkachenko, and Mykola Nakonechnyi proposed the application of the more "international" Latin script to Ukrainian, but the idea was opposed by Soviet government representatives. Later,
Vasyl Simovych
( uk, Сімович Василь Іванович) was a proponent of the Latin script during the tentative Latinisation (USSR), Latinization in the USSR.



Some letters borrowed from Polish Language, Polish 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 (where it was called ''Abecadło''). "Latynska abetka"
/ref> The orthography is explained in ''Łatynycia'', a western Ukrainian publication of the 1900s. As example, the Introduction of Josyp Łozynśkyj's ''Ruskoje Wesile'' ('Ruthenian Wedding', 1834): : Perédmowa : W tym opysi skazuju, jaksia wesile po sełach meży prostym ruskim ludom widprawlaje. Ne mohu jednako utrymowaty, jakoby toj sposób wesile widprawlaty wsiude newidminni był zachowanym; bo hdenekodyj szczoś dodajut, hdeinde szczoś wypuskajut, a znowu hdeinde szczoś widminiajut. Syła w mojej syli było, starał-jemsia w rozmaitych misciach obradki i pisny ruskoho wesila póznaty i pérekonał-jemsia że prynajmni szczo do hołownych obradkiw i pisnéj wsiude tymże samym sposobom wesilesia widprawlaje. I toj sposób opysałjem w nynijszуj knyżoczci dodajuczy jednako hdenekodyj i miscowyi widminy. Moim najperszym i najbohatszym a nawet́ i nihdy newyczerpanym źridłom, z kotorohom tyi widomosty czerpał, było dopytowanie po sełach tych ludej, kotryi czasto na wesilach bywały i wesilnyi uŕady pistowały. Nykotorych obradkiw był jem sam okozritelnym świdkom.

Jireček's project

Josef Jireček proposed an alphabet based more closely on Czech language, Czech orthography (except some Polish letters like ć, ń, ś, ź). # For ''є'' which is used in place of Old Church Slavonic ѧ or Polish ę (e.g. ''sěhnuty, děkovaly, ščěstje, devěť''). # For ''л'' in old Slavic ''ъl'' + cons. (e.g. ''vołk''). Jireček mistakenly believed there are three types of L in Ukrainian – hard (hart) l, soft (erweicht) ľ and potentiated hard (potenziert hart) ł. # For ''і'', which derives from Old Church Slavonic ''о'' (as Jireček distinguished і < о and і < е, ѣ). EG. ''кість - küsť, гвіздь - hvüźď''. # In foreign words only.

Modern versions

In modern Ukraine, use of Latin alphabets for the Ukrainian language is very rare. However, discussions of a united format of Latynka and its status still continue. The most popular modern versions are Luchukivka (based on Czech orthography close to Jireček's project and presented by Ivan Luchuk) and Ukrainian Gajica (based on Gajica, Croatian orthography). In western Ukraine, the Abecadło alphabet is also used, but to a lesser extent than Luchukivka. Since Ukraine's independence in 1991, the country began to use only characters that occur in both the Cyrillic and the Latin alphabet for Vehicle registration plates of Ukraine, vehicle registration plates: A, B, E, I, K, M, H, O, P, C, T, X.


Comparison of two traditional and two modern versions of Ukrainian Latin alphabet in example of the national anthem of Ukraine (pre-2003 lyrics).


See also

* Romanization of Ukrainian * Belarusian Latin alphabet * Russian Latin alphabet * Latinisation (USSR)


* Chornovol, Ihor (2001),
Latynka v ukrayins’komu pravopysi: retrospektyva i perspektyva
(The Latin script in Ukrainian orthography: retrospective and perspective), in ''Ji'', no 23. (in Ukrainian
Ruthenian Wedding Sample Text
Contemporary literature concerning the Alphabet Wars: * Markijan Szaszkewicz. Azbuka i abecadło (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''.

External links

(scroll to bottom of page) which transcribes Ukrainian into Latynka
Online romanizer of Ukrainian texts and websites

Ukraïnśka Latynka Browser Extension
— automatic transliteration of web pages, provides several romanization tables and a rule editor {{Ukrainian orthography Ukrainian orthography Latin alphabets