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Russian and Slavic Studies resources

A guide to resources for all aspects of Russian and Slavic studies in English, Russian and other Slavic languages.

Transliteration tools

Romanization tables

BobCat, the library catalog, includes all materials, regardless of the language in which they are created. Recently published materials can be found by entering your key terms (such as titles, authors' names, subject headings, etc.) in their original language. However, a vast majority of older titles can only be found by entering your key terms in the Roman alphabet. To convert from Cyrillic (or other non-Roman) alphabet to the Roman script, please use the romanization tables below prepared by the Library of Congress. 

Here is the link to romanization tables of other world languages that use non-Roman writing systems; many of them fall within our area of academic interest (e.g. languages of former Soviet constituent countries, Hebrew/Yiddish, etc.).

"Russifying" your computer

All recently manufactured computers come with the software that allows input in many different writing system while using the same keyboard. In order to add input keyboards for other languages, please follow these recommendations.

For Macintoshes:

  1. Open Keyboard Preferences and select the "Input Sources" tab. 
  2. The left-hand column is the languages list: underneath it, click the "+". 
  3. Select "Russian" in the left column, then "Russian - Phonetic" in the right column. 
  4. Below those boxes check "Show Input menu in menu bar" (if it is not already selected). 

A flag will appear near the top right-hand corner of your screen.  You can use that to toggle between language keyboards, or you can use command+space to cycle through your list (if your keyboard preferences are set to do that). [NB: The shortcut command+space used to be the default, but in the most recent operating systems, it will pull up a Spotlight search.  If you prefer command+space, you will have to set up a special shortcut (do an Internet search to find out how).

To see where the Russian characters are, with "Russian - Phonetic" selected, under the flag, select "Show Keyboard Viewer".  The Option key will give additional characters (like graphemes in other Cyrillic languages like Serbian and Ukrainian).  The Shift (and Option+Shift) combinations give uppercase letters.

For Windows:

  1. From the Windows menu (bottom left corner), select "Settings", then "Time and language", then "Region and language". 
  2. Under "Languages", select "Add a language", then select "Russian - Mnemonic keyboard".

Transliteration assistance

If your computer is not equipped with a Cyrillic keyboard or software, you can use translit.net, a free web-based transliteration tool, in order to create texts in several Slavic and Eurasian languages by using the standard Roman-based input. Just type your Russian-language text using English keyboard, and the translit.net will convert it into Russian.If you are not sure how to represent certain Cyrillic characters, such as Щ or Ъ, the menu above the text input box provides the assistance.

You can use this tool not only for typing in Russian, but also in Ukrainian, Belarusian, Armenian, Georgian, Tajik, Hebrew, Greek, Ruthenian.

Another site that works for the Russian transliteration is Russian Type-It.

AI translators

If you do not know Russian fluently, you may find help with machine translation of segments of texts. 

Google Translate is one of the most recognizable and widely used AI translation assistants. It is not perfect (none are), but it is improving. It can translate passages up to 5000 symbols long.

DeepL has an interface that is reminiscent to the Google translate, regular users claim that its translations are better than Google's (albeit also not perfect), however its catalog of languages is much shorter. Russian, Czech, Polish and several other European (incl. Eastern European) and Asian languages are available.

Pre-Reform Russian Orthography Cheat Sheet

The Russian orthography has undergone several notable reforms. The most recent happened more than 100 years ago, in the immediate aftermath of the October revolution. It simplified several rules which were in existence throughout the 18th and 19th century. If your research relies on pre-revolutionary sources, you will find  this Pre-Reform Russian Orthography Cheat Sheet useful. (Prepared by the Slavic Cataloging Manual).

Citation tools

Suggest an Item

If you would like to suggest a book purchase, a subscription to a journal, magazine or database, or an open-source website, please fill out the "Suggest a Purchase"  form, or feel free to email me at alla.roylance@nyu.edu.