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Lingua::Translit - transliterates text between writing systems


  use Lingua::Translit;

  my $tr = new Lingua::Translit("ISO 843");

  my $text_tr = $tr->translit("character oriented string");

  if ($tr->can_reverse()) {
    $text_tr = $tr->translit_reverse("character oriented string");


Lingua::Translit can be used to convert text from one writing system to another, based on national or international transliteration tables. Where possible a reverse transliteration is supported.

The term transliteration describes the conversion of text from one writing system or alphabet to another one. The conversion is ideally unique, mapping one character to exactly one character, so the original spelling can be reconstructed. Practically this is not always the case and one single letter of the original alphabet can be transcribed as two, three or even more letters.

Furthermore there is more than one transliteration scheme for one writing system. Therefore it is an important and necessary information, which scheme will be or has been used to transliterate a text, to work integrative and be able to reconstruct the original data.

Reconstruction is a problem though for non-unique transliterations, if no language specific knowledge is available as the resulting clusters of letters may be ambiguous. For example, the Greek character "PSI" maps to "ps", but "ps" could also result from the sequence "PI", "SIGMA" since "PI" maps to "p" and "SIGMA" maps to s. If a transliteration table leads to ambiguous conversions, the provided table cannot be used reverse.

Otherwise the table can be used in both directions, if appreciated. So if ISO 9 is originally created to convert Cyrillic letters to the Latin alphabet, the reverse transliteration will transform Latin letters to Cyrillic.


new("name of table")

Initializes an object with the specific transliteration table, e.g. "ISO 9".

translit("character oriented string")

Transliterates the given text according to the object's transliteration table. Returns the transliterated text.

translit_reverse("character oriented string")

Transliterates the given text according to the object's transliteration table, but uses it the other way round. For example table ISO 9 is a transliteration scheme for the conversion of Cyrillic letters to the Latin alphabet. So if used reverse, Latin letters will be mapped to Cyrillic ones.

Returns the transliterated text.


Returns true (1), iff reverse transliteration is possible. False (0) otherwise.


Returns the name of the chosen transliteration table, e.g. "ISO 9".


Returns a description for the transliteration, e.g. "ISO 9:1995, Cyrillic to Latin".



ALA-LC RUS, not reversible, ALA-LC:1997, Cyrillic to Latin, Russian

ISO 9, reversible, ISO 9:1995, Cyrillic to Latin

ISO/R 9, reversible, ISO 9:1954, Cyrillic to Latin

DIN 1460 RUS, reversible, DIN 1460:1982, Cyrillic to Latin, Russian

DIN 1460 UKR, reversible, DIN 1460:1982, Cyrillic to Latin, Ukrainian

DIN 1460 BUL, reversible, DIN 1460:1982, Cyrillic to Latin, Bulgarian

Streamlined System BUL, not reversible, The Streamlined System: 2006, Cyrillic to Latin, Bulgarian

GOST 7.79 RUS, reversible, GOST 7.79:2000 (table B), Cyrillic to Latin, Russian

GOST 7.79 RUS OLD, not reversible, GOST 7.79:2000 (table B), Cyrillic to Latin with support for Old Russian (pre 1918), Russian

GOST 7.79 UKR, reversible, GOST 7.79:2000 (table B), Cyrillic to Latin, Ukrainian

BGN/PCGN RUS Standard, not reversible, BGN/PCGN:1947 (Standard Variant), Cyrillic to Latin, Russian

BGN/PCGN RUS Strict, not reversible, BGN/PCGN:1947 (Strict Variant), Cyrillic to Latin, Russian


ISO 843, not reversible, ISO 843:1997, Greek to Latin

DIN 31634, not reversible, DIN 31634:1982, Greek to Latin

Greeklish, not reversible, Greeklish (Phonetic), Greek to Latin


Common CES, not reversible, Czech without diacritics

Common DEU, not reversible, German without umlauts

Common POL, not reversible, Unaccented Polish

Common RON, not reversible, Romanian without diacritics as commonly used

Common SLK, not reversible, Slovak without diacritics

Common SLV, not reversible, Slovenian without diacritics

ISO 8859-16 RON, reversible, Romanian with appropriate diacritics


Common ARA, not reversible, Common Romanization of Arabic


IAST Devanagari, not reversible, IAST Romanization to Devanāgarī

Devanagari IAST, not reversible, Devanāgarī to IAST Romanization


In case you want to add your own transliteration tables to Lingua::Translit, have a look at the developer documentation at

A template of a transliteration table is provided as well (xml/template.xml) so you can easily start developing.


Lingua::Translit is suited to handle Unicode and utilizes comparisons and regular expressions that rely on code points. Therefore, any input is supposed to be character oriented (use utf8;, ...) instead of byte oriented.

However, if your data is byte oriented, be sure to pass it UTF-8 encoded to translit() and/or translit_reverse() - it will be converted internally.


None known.

Please report bugs using CPAN's request tracker at


Lingua::Translit::Tables, Encode, perlunicode

translit's manpage


Thanks to Dr. Daniel Eiwen, Romanisches Seminar, Universitaet Koeln for his help on Romanian transliteration.

Thanks to Dmitry Smal and Rusar Publishing for contributing the "ALA-LC RUS" transliteration table.

Thanks to Ahmed Elsheshtawy for his help implementing the "Common ARA" Arabic transliteration.

Thanks to Dusan Vuckovic for contributing the "ISO/R 9" transliteration table.

Thanks to Ștefan Suciu for contributing the "ISO 8859-16 RON" transliteration table.

Thanks to Philip Kime for contributing the "IAST Devanagari" and "Devanagari IAST" transliteration tables.

Thanks to Nikola Lečić for contributing the "BGN/PCGN RUS Standard" and "BGN/PCGN RUS Strict" transliteration tables.


Alex Linke <>

Rona Linke <>


Copyright (C) 2007-2008 Alex Linke and Rona Linke

Copyright (C) 2009-2016 Lingua-Systems Software GmbH

Copyright (C) 2016-2017 Netzum Sorglos, Lingua-Systems Software GmbH

Copyright (C) 2017-2022 Netzum Sorglos Software GmbH

This module is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.