Saturday, May 23, 2009
Saints Cyril and Methodius holding Cyrillic alphabet
The Cyrillic alphabet or rather Cyrillic script (pronounced /sɨˈrɪlɪk/; also called azbuka, from the old names of the first two letters of almost all its variants) is a writing system, shared by six Slavic national languages (Bulgarian, Russian, Belarusian, Serbian, Macedonian, and Ukrainian) as well as non-Slavic (Moldovan, Kazakh, Uzbek, Kyrgyz, Tajik and Tuvan of the former Soviet Union and Mongolian). It is also used by many other languages of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Siberia and other languages in the past. Not all letters in the Cyrillic alphabet are used in every language that is written with it.
The alphabet has official status with many organizations. With the accession of Bulgaria to the European Union on 1 January 2007, Cyrillic became the third official alphabet of the EU, along with Latin and Greek.