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About this Site

One of the challenges of having a web site dedicated to Church Slavonic is the fact that the Church Slavonic alphabet has a unique look and there is not a standard encoding for Church Slavonic fonts. The problem is compounded by the fact that web browsers work with fonts differently and not all fonts will work on different computers (in fact, the machine I use most frequently can't use any of the common Church Slavonic fonts). For this reason, I decided not to use a special Church Slavonic font on this site.

I briefly considered using Russian characters to represent the Church Slavonic characters, since there is a standard Internet encoding for Russian and since many prayer books and musical settings of texts use Russian characters. I decided this was unsuitable because the Russian characters eliminate many differences in spelling as well as typographical distinctions, such as accents, that are important in Church Slavonic.

I settled on a compromise of using transliterated text in conjunction with a graphics-based "font" that uses GIF images to represent Church Slavonic letters. As a rule, graphics characters are used in tables and in any lists that are used for primarily for memorization. Transliterated text is used in notes, questions, and in the middle of paragraphs where the graphics characters would look out of place. The transliterated text is also useful for e-mail correspondence since it is plain ASCII and does not require special fonts to make oneself understood.

Typographical Conventions

Transliterated text is surrounded by angle brackets, <like this>.

Answers to questions appear in italicized text, like this.

For the sake of readability, I often omit accent marks in transliterated text, however in vocabulary lists and other similar contexts, I specify the accents when use transliteration.