Latinization in the Soviet Union

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A Kazakh newspaper in Latin script from 1937, published in Almaty , Kazakh SSR

The Latinization in the Soviet Union ( Russian латиниза́ция , latinisazija ) was a campaign in the 1920s to 1930s that aimed to replace traditional writing systems for various languages ​​of the Soviet Union with Latin-based writing systems or to develop such for previously written languages.

Affected languages

The alphabets for the following languages ​​have been latinized or recreated:

Latinization projects for the following languages ​​have been put together and approved:

However, these were not implemented. Projects were developed to latinize all other alphabets of the ethnic groups of the Soviet Union. In total, between 1923 and 1939, alphabets for 50 languages ​​(out of 72 languages ​​of the USSR that had a written language) were created on the basis of the Latin alphabet. However, in 1936 a new campaign began: most of the languages ​​of the peoples of the Soviet Union were converted to Cyrillic , which was essentially complete by 1940.

Exceptions from the Latinization (as well as from the following Cyrillization) were Armenian , Georgian and Yiddish , each with their own writing systems. Languages ​​spoken in the Soviet Union with the traditional Latin writing system were not Cyrillicized ( German as well as Estonian , Finnish , Latvian , Lithuanian and Polish, which were more widespread in the west of the Soviet Union in 1939/1940, especially after the annexations of corresponding areas ).

See also


  • Ingeborg Baldauf : Writing reform and correspondence among the Muslim Russian and Soviet Turks (1850-1937). Budapest 1993, ISBN 963-05-6531-5 .
  • Andreas Frings: Soviet policy of writing between 1917 and 1941. Steiner, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-515-08887-9 .
  • Николай Владимирович Юшманов: Определитель Языков . Moscow / Leningrad 1941

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Алфавит Октября. Итоги введения нового алфавита среди народов РСФСР . Moscow 1934, p. 156–160 (Russian, нэб.рф ).