I am studying CS in the Czech Republic and recently have noticed that when I talk to Russian programmers, I tend to mispronounce widely known words (famous site names,abbreviations, language names). So I would be grateful to anyone who could provide me with a relatively long list of phonetical conventions in Russian IT diaspora.


  • https://github.com - [г'итхуп] or [г'ифап]?
  • PHP - [пэхапэ] or [п'иэй'ч'п'и]?
  • Java - [джава] or [й'ава]?
  • C - [c'и] or [цэ]?
  • Bash - [бэш] or [баш]
  • VHDL - [вэхадээл] or [в'иэй'ч'д'иэл']


  • 5
    I like your question) Commented Feb 11, 2013 at 3:34
  • Thanks, I was just confused cause I study in another language with other conventions. We e.g. say [бэш].
    – petajamaja
    Commented Feb 11, 2013 at 3:41
  • 4
    These is no consensus on some terms (like SQL or Linux) even among English speakers :)
    – Quassnoi
    Commented Feb 11, 2013 at 9:46
  • Just as a sidenote: there is no English word "informatics", it's called IT (information technology).
    – Quandary
    Commented Jun 29, 2013 at 9:42

5 Answers 5


Instead of listing all possible variations of any which abbreviation, here is the summary of the usage of such terms:

  • Most technical abbreviations can be understood if either phonetically copied from their English reading (e.g., for HTML it would be эйч-ти-эм-эл), transliterated into respective Russian letters (e.g. ха-тэ-эм-эл, with variations such as ха / хэ, эм / мэ and so forth), or voiced in Latin letter names (аш-тэ-эм-эль) just as customary in sciences, like chemistry.
  • For brand names, again, either phonetic calque (Джава for Java, Майкрософт for Microsoft, Эпл for Apple, or, with slight modifications, such as пайтон for Python), Russian equivalent for words (Питон, Яблоко), or phonetic transliteration (Микрософт, Нове́лл, Борланд).
  • Some brand names or abbreviations may have slang versions, such as Мелкомягк(ое, ие…) for Microsoft (a bit disdainful), жаба for Java, аська for ICQ, ирка for IRC, or мускул for MySQL (humorous, near-consonance), or красная шапочка for Red Hat Linux. Or neverending associations of Fedora Linux with the phrase “дело в шляпе”.
  • WWW sometimes referred to as цэ-цэ-цэ or три цэ because it is a simple mistake one can make when forgetting to switch keyboard layout. Standard QWERTY layout corresponds to standard Russian ЙЦУКЕН, and there when one tries to use W key, the letter Ц appears.
  • CMS, as “Content Management System” sometimes translated to “Система управления контентом (содержанием)”, and thus abbreviated as СУКа, and declined accordingly. It is done in a humorous way, precisely for the reasons that Wikipedia article mentions. It may not be very common, but I had seen, and adopted it from some known site or author in RuNet (possibly, via Spectator).
  • 4
    There are too many cases of colloquial usage where a speaker which uses special jargon tries to demonstrate his personal closeness to a phenomenon using a misstyled name. One of the most weird variant I saw is "АО Межделмаш" for IBM. Also, "Бимеры" for the same firm. "Осёл" for Internet Explorer (because "И-а!") It's impossible to deduce these substantivates without some extra mental work or context:) Fedora Core - "Федорино горе". Most of such names are pejorative in some aspect and, of course, strictly prohibited in official materials.
    – Netch
    Commented Feb 20, 2013 at 5:34
  • @Netch o__O Межделмаш???? Круто.
    – petajamaja
    Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 6:11

Unreal. I believe 90% of Ru IT community will be glad to know how to spell those words correctly and if they do spell good enough now. There are too many unofficial variants to cover.
More examples:

  • www: [3цэ], [вэ-вэ-вэ], [цэ-цэ-цэ], [дабл'ю-дабл'ю-дабл'ю];
  • Mysql: [май-эс-кью-эл], [май-сиквел], [мускул], [мускуль], [мАйсикл];

All those are ~correct and depend only on local rules. Usually you can't be sure will you match or not even if you use well known spelling.

  • Where are these data? [вэ-вэ-вэ], [дабл'ю-дабл'ю-дабл'ю], [три дабл'ю], [май-эс-кью-эл], - it's true. I have never heard your other words at my work. Commented Feb 11, 2013 at 3:06
  • Now you know :)
    – revoua
    Commented Feb 11, 2013 at 3:10
  • 2
    That's en/ru (w/ц) letter in Russian layout and when you start to print with incorrect one it comes as [ццц].
    – revoua
    Commented Feb 11, 2013 at 3:19
  • 4
    "мускул" is really funny :):):) It reminds me of an old joke about Windows converting "My Documents" to 8+3 notation as "MyDocu~1", and someone commenting that "Мудаки" is spelled with an "a", not an "o". Commented Feb 11, 2013 at 3:27
  • 1
    ну хоть слово "аська" знаю. уже хорошо =)
    – petajamaja
    Commented Feb 11, 2013 at 3:37
  • github.com - [гит'хап]
  • PHP - [пэхэпэ] and also [пи эйч пи]
  • Java - [джава]
  • C - [c'и]
  • Bash - [б'аш]
  • VHDL - [в'иэй'ч'д'иэл']
  • HTML - [хэ тэ мэ эл'] and also [эйч ти эм эл']
  • CSS - [цэ эс эс] and also [си эс эс]
  • CMS - [цэ мэ эс] and also [си эм эс]
  • Python - [пи'тон]
  • IT - [и тэ] and also [ай ти]

All these terms are colloquial.

  • Those who know history of Python also use [пайтон], IT sometime called [ит] referring to "it" (оно).
    – revoua
    Commented Feb 11, 2013 at 3:16
  • I agree with [пайтон], but [ит] is also strange for me))) Commented Feb 11, 2013 at 3:19
  • 1
    @CleverMasha : there is an online magazine containing stories that happened in admins' or programmers' life - IT happens. Here it is a wordplay and is pronounced [ит] .
    – petajamaja
    Commented Feb 11, 2013 at 3:24
  • Making parallel with "it" people show that something goes wrong with IT staff/department. IT happens also one of the source.
    – revoua
    Commented Feb 11, 2013 at 3:27
  • 1
    ИТ, кстати, вполне себе кошерная аббревиатура фразы «информационные технологии».
    – theUg
    Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 4:56

To add a slightly different point of view to many nice answers and comments here: Probably, there is no correct answer to this question, and it is not specific to Russian only. For example, the American abbreviation SPIE is pronounced both as S-P-I-E and as [spai] by native speakers.

In Russian, not only the traditions but also the knowledge of foreign languages define how a person will pronounce a particular word. My IT professor in university tended to pronounce FALSE as [фальш], the reason being her bad knowledge of English and a logical use of the corresponding German word.

Accordingly, pronunciation such as [пэ-ха-пэ] for PHP come from Latin, since in Russian schools Latin letter names are used: [цэ] for c, [икс] for x, [ха] for h etc.

That said, I have noticed that those with good knowledge of English tend to pronounce the abbreviations, mostly coming from English, in the proper English way: using [дабл-ю] for w, [эйч] for h etc. Simply because they use the same conventions when e.g. spelling words in English.

Of course, traditions play an important role here. While the language name С will be in most cases pronounced as [си], it will also often be declined: писать на сях.

Finally, some IT terms have equivalents in Russian; in these rare cases Russian words are often used: [ада] for Ada, [опал] for Opal, [питон] for Python etc.

  • Why not close the question then, if it is not specific to RL&U ? Or maybe I'd better rewrite it (answers showed me that it can be developed into a more interesting one).
    – petajamaja
    Commented Feb 11, 2013 at 18:16
  • It is quite specific to RLU in my opinion. It's just that a similar situation sometimes occurs in other languages too.
    – texnic
    Commented Feb 11, 2013 at 18:53
  • OK then =) leave my question, however, I will still modify it. There are two answers here that seem the best to me, one is yours. I'll probably rely on voting now, cause I like both of those answers and wish I could accept two... So prepare to compete =)
    – petajamaja
    Commented Feb 11, 2013 at 18:58
  • It's the second time discussion with you makes me ask a new question. Isn't this great? =)
    – petajamaja
    Commented Feb 11, 2013 at 19:02
  • @Umari, I am pleased :)
    – texnic
    Commented Feb 11, 2013 at 22:25

I want to extend Masha's answer with what I use/see:

  • github - [жит'хап]
  • PHP - [по-ха-пэ]
  • Java - [жава], [ява], [жаба]
  • C++ - [си плюс плюс], [си пэ пэ]
  • MySQL - [май-эс-ку-эль]
  • DHCP - [дэ-хэ-цэ-пэ], [ди-аш-си-пи]
  • DNS - [дэ-эн-эс]

Some of these terms are colloquial, some of them are humorous and some are correct (i.e. follow rules of transcription )

And @revoua is right: you can't be sure will you match or not even if you use well known spelling because it depends only on local rules.

  • 2
    С++ is very often [плюсы́]
    – КуЪ
    Commented Feb 11, 2013 at 10:07
  • 2
    "Жит" for "git" is definite error. C++ is sometimes named "кресты" (mainly pejorative).
    – Netch
    Commented Feb 20, 2013 at 5:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.