Russian transliteration hack

I mentioned in the previous post that I had been poking around in HTML entities and noticed symbols for Fourier transforms and such. I also noticed HTML entities for Cyrillic letters. These entities have the form

& + transliteration + cy;.

For example, the Cyrillic letter П is based on the Greek letter Π and its closest English counterpart is P, and its HTML entity is П.

The Cyrillic letter Р has HTML entity &Rpcy; and not П because although it looks like an English P, it sounds more like an English R.

Just as a hack, I decided to write code to transliterate Russian text by converting letters to their HTML entities, then chopping off the initial & and the final cy;.

I don’t speak Russian, but according to Google Translate, the Russian translation of “Hello world” is “Привет, мир.”

Here’s my hello-world program for transliterating Russian.

    from bs4.dammit import EntitySubstitution

    def transliterate(ch):
        entity = escaper.substitute_html(ch)[1:]
        return entity[:-3]
    a = [transliterate(c) for c in "Привет, мир."]
    print(" ".join(a))

This prints

P r i v ie t m i r

Here’s what I get trying to transliterate Chebyshev’s native name Пафну́тий Льво́вич Чебышёв.

P a f n u t i j L soft v o v i ch CH ie b y sh io v

I put a space between letters because of possible outputs like “soft v” above.

This was just a fun hack. Here’s what I’d get if I used software intended to be used for transliteration.

    import unidecode

    for x in ["Привет, мир", "Пафну́тий Льво́вич Чебышёв"]:

This produces

Privet, mir
Pafnutii L’vovich Chebyshiov

The results are similar.

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