Polivanov system

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Polivanov system is a system of transliterating the Japanese language into Russian cyrillic script, either to represent Japanese proper names or terms in Russian or as an aid to Japanese language learning in those languages. The system was developed by Yevgeny Polivanov in 1917.

The following cyrillization system for Japanese is known as the Yevgeny Polivanov system. Note that it has its own spelling conventions and does not necessarily constitute a direct phonetic transcription of the pronunciation into the standard Russian usage of the Cyrillic alphabet.

Main table[edit]

Hiragana and Katakana to Polivanov cyrillization correspondence table, for single/modified kana.[citation needed]

Kana Cyrillic Hepburn Kana Cyrillic Hepburn Kana Cyrillic Hepburn Kana Cyrillic Hepburn Kana Cyrillic Hepburn
а a и/й i у u э e о o
ка ka ки ki ку ku кэ ke ко ko
са sa си shi су su сэ se со so
та ta ти chi цу tsu тэ te то to
на na ни ni ну nu нэ ne но no
ха ha хи hi фу fu хэ he хо ho
ма ma ми mi му mu мэ me мо mo
я ya ю yu ё yo
ра ra ри ri ру ru рэ re ро ro
ва wa ви wi вэ we во wo
га ga ги gi гу gu гэ ge го go
дза za дзи ji дзу zu дзэ ze дзо zo
да da дзи ji дзу dzu дэ de до do
ба ba би bi бу bu бэ be бо bo
па pa пи pi пу pu пэ pe по po
Kana Cyrillic Hepburn Kana Cyrillic Hepburn Kana Cyrillic Hepburn
きゃ キャ кя kya きゅ キュ кю kyu きょ キョ кё kyo
しゃ シャ ся sha しゅ シュ сю shu しょ ショ сё sho
ちゃ チャ тя cha ちゅ チュ тю chu ちょ チョ тё cho
にゃ ニャ ня nya にゅ ニュ ню nyu にょ ニョ нё nyo
ひゃ ヒャ хя hya ひゅ ヒュ хю hyu ひょ ヒョ хё hyo
みゃ ミャ мя mya みゅ ミュ мю myu みょ ミョ мё myo
りゃ リャ ря rya りゅ リュ рю ryu りょ リョ рё ryo
ぎゃ ギャ гя gya ぎゅ ギュ гю gyu ぎょ ギョ гё gyo
じゃ ジャ дзя ja じゅ ジュ дзю ju じょ ジョ дзё jo
ぢゃ ヂャ дзя ja ぢゅ ヂュ дзю ju ぢょ ヂョ дзё jo
びゃ ビャ бя bya びゅ ビュ бю byu びょ ビョ бё byo
ぴゃ ピャ пя pya ぴゅ ピュ пю pyu ぴょ ピョ пё pyo

Geminate consonants[edit]

Consonants are geminated exactly as they are in romaji: e.g. -kk- > -кк-.

Common errors and deviations[edit]

In English texts, Japanese names are written with the Hepburn system.[1] Attempts may be made to transcribe these as if they were English, rather than following a dedicated Japanese Cyrillization scheme.

A common example of this[1] is attempting to transcribe shi (Polivanov: си) as ши and ji (Polivanov: дзи) as джи. This is inadvisable for use in Russian, because ши is actually pronounced like шы in Russian, and джи like джы, thus making the vowel (/ɨ/) closer to Japanese /u/ than to Japanese /i/. Whereas, щи would have a correct vowel sound, but be pronounced more like Japanese sshi.[1]

Equally often, people transcribe cha, chi, chu, cho as ча, чи, чу, чо. This is phonetically correct, but does not conform with the Polivanov scheme (тя, ти, тю, тё),[1] which more closely resembles the Kunrei-siki romanisations (tya, ti, tyu, tyo) for these particular characters.

Sometimes е, rather than э, is used for e,[1] despite е being pronounced ye in Russian (though not in other languages). This is typically not done in the initial position, despite older romanisations such as "Yedo" doing so. In any case, it does not conform with the Polivanov scheme, although it is seen as more acceptable for words that are in general use (e.g. kamikaze > камикадзе instead of камикадзэ).[1] Replacing ё (yo) with е (ye) is incorrect, however, as it will change the Japanese word too much.

The sound yo (Polivanov: ё), when in the initial position or after a vowel, is often written as йо (yo), which has the same pronunciation: Ёкосука -> Йокосука (Yokosuka), Тоёта -> Тойота (Toyota). Although, the spelling "йо" is not common in Russian words, these are more generally accepted for Japanese names than the transliterations using "ё".[1] "Ё" is not often used in Japanese Cyrillization due to its facultative use in the Russian language (and possible substitution with the letter "Е" which would affect the pronunciation), but professional translators use ё mandatory.[citation needed] Some personal names beginning with "Yo" (or used after a vowel) are written using "Ё" (e.g. Йоко for Yoko Ono, but Ёко for Yoko Kanno and all other Yokos).


Some proper names, for historical reasons, do not follow the above rules. Those include but are not limited to:[citation needed]

English (Rōmaji) Russian spelling Cyrillization Japanese
Japan (Nihon, Nippon) Япония Нихон, Ниппон 日本 (にほん, にっぽん)
Tokyo (Tōkyō) Токиo То:кё: 東京 (とうきょう)
Kyoto (Kyōto) Киото Кё:то 京都 (きょうと)
Yokohama Иокогама (also Йокохама) Ёкохама 横浜 (よこはま)
Yokosuka Йокосука Ёкосука 横須賀 (よこすか)
Toyota Тойота (Тоёта in older publications) Тоёта トヨタ (originally: 豊田)
jujitsu (jūjutsu) джиу-джитсу дзю:дзюцу 柔術 (じゅうじゅつ)
yen (en) иена эн 円 (えん)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Смоленский, Вадим (21 March 1999). "Как гайдзин гайджынам. Последний раз о дилемме "СИ" и "ШИ"". Виртуальные суси. Retrieved 2011-03-13.

External links[edit]