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How to type in Russian
("conversion from Latin" is an outdated tedious way of typing)

It's my hobby - how to use Russian outside of former USSR and I collect the information on forums and other sources.

Thus I have facts regarding that "last century" smile way of getting Cyrillic (Russian) text with the help of special software which performs (based on guessing!) the

"conversion of Latin combinations" ('sh' for Russian '', 'ch' for '',...)
This method is found tedious and error-prone (see error examples below) by many people nowadays.

It was used (because of no alternative) back in 1997-2000 when not so many Russian-speaking people had their own computer at home, and computers back then were not suitable for typing Cyrillic. But there is a thing called "progress" smile

Nowadays it's an outdated method, there are much easier methods (and no errors!).
Modern methods are easier because they are regular, natural - same as people use to type say Greek or Polish or French, etc. - no "conversion" is involved while typing the text in those languages, and now Russian can be typed that, normal way, too!

Let's take a site translit.net as an example of "guessing conversion of Latin combinations".

1) It's for occasional use of Russian (and even then it's complicated/outdated - see below in (2)).

If it's your own computer and you need to type in Russian not once a year smile then it's against common sense to use any Web site:

one can type type in Russian 100 times simple, faster, handy - same way people type in German, French or Greek (even if it's not very often) - by enabling that language's Keyboard Layout under MS Windows (and same for Mac).

Only that, system-based typing with "RU" at task bar is a normal way of typing.

See "How to type Russian on any keyboard" section on the site devoted to Russian under non-Russian MS Windows (separate instructions for XP, Vista, et al)


2) But even when you need it once a year or decided to type Russian while in a hotel in Paris - there are other sites to do so and they are simpler than translit.net.

If you read Russian well you can see how many people find that "conversion of Latin combinations" method being non-handy, tedious and error-prone:

"Complains regarding translit.net" (in Russian)

If you do not read Russian well enough, here is a synopsis of that article below.

translit.net - as any "converter of Latin combinations" - asks you:

But the main thing (even if "converters" did not have such problems) is the following (it did not exist back in 1999 because not so many people had their own PC):

why would a person (strange logic!) type in a hotel differently than s/he types at home???

At home the majority of people -

I have factual information from 30+ Russian-language forums in 20+ countries as well as the information from non-native Russian speakers say students of Russian in US universities and/or members of AATSEEL) -
type Russian as they'd type Greek or Polish or French - with system keyboard where is no "combinations" (and thus no problems, no errors/"bad Cyrillic" as there are no "special cases").

Why would I pay for Internet access in a hotel and then instead of typing as I got used to do at home, for some strange reason input Cyrillic very differently - with "converting Latin combinations" and its Rules and Exceptions???
It does not make any sense...

What does make sense is to use Virtual Keyboard that lest you type Russian in a hotel exactly as you type at home!

Here is such modern Virtual Keyboard "type same way you type at home", where one types using keyboard (mouse-based input works too) and one chooses (in the menu below the image) a keyboard layout that s/he knows very well - the layout s/he uses at home!

At home people use either Standard Russian layout or Student phonetic layout (A-A,O-O,E-E,...,-B,-D,-F,...) widely used in the US by students and teachers of Russian.

Here it is, that Vistual Keyboard "type same way you type at home":


That is, both at home and in a hotel one can type Russian normally (as people type Greek or French):
in the system keyboard mode (real with "RU" at the task bar or simulated by Virtual Keyboard)

Paul Gorodyansky. 'Cyrillic (Russian): instructions for Windows and Internet'