When filling up the work history on a passport application, it says that "F" is "недопустимый символ".

How can FreeBSD be translated into Russian?

I've tried Russian Wikipedia, but somehow it thinks that Latin is acceptable in Russian, and no Cyrillic translation is required.

  • 1
    Out of curiosity, why going into such specifics for a passport application? Isn't разработчик ПО ("software developer") or системный администратор ("system administrator") enough?
    – Quassnoi
    May 15, 2015 at 18:20
  • @Quassnoi, The full entry was supposed to have been "Студент и инженер системного ПО во FreeBSD по стипендии от Google", which is supposed to portray a Google Summer of Code Student title. Somehow the consulate employees felt that "по стипендии от Google" was излишне, yet requested I provide full street name and house number, unless I don't remember, that is. Go figure!
    – cnst
    May 16, 2015 at 3:34
  • 1
    Hmm.. Very strange requirement not to use Latin even for settled terms like Linux, Google, etc. Could you please give the name of the company with that requirements ?
    – borisbn
    May 26, 2015 at 16:07
  • @borisbn, the company is called "Consulate General of the Russian Federation"; they have two online portals for passport applications, one older one (passportzu.kdmid.ru) that specifically disallows non-Cyrillic characters basically everywhere; the other newer one (zp.midpass.ru) does allow it in the company name (whilst still prohibiting it from the address fields), but the consulate employees at the end nonetheless says that any Latin is inappropriate, and spend about an hour correcting some 10 entries (even though they have the whole form in a computer!)
    – cnst
    May 26, 2015 at 16:48

5 Answers 5


Before universal acceptance of Latin characters into Russian texts during the last 30 years, English abbreviations were usually rendered using phonetic transcriptions of English letter names, separated by hyphens:

Би-Би-Си "BBC"

Си-Эн-Эн "CNN"

Ай-Би-Эм "IBM"


Camelcase English words (like "UnitedHealth") were usually separated in Russian ("Юнайтед Хелс").

So if you should transliterate FreeBSD into Russian, I think Фри Би-Эс-Ди would do.

  • What about cases like New York being Нью-Йорк? Do you have any more details where UnitedHealth translation comes from? If it was their own office, it might have as well been mere incompetence of their staff and branding specialists, as opposed to the appropriate transliteration.
    – cnst
    May 16, 2015 at 3:40
  • @chat: what about New York? As for UnitedHealth, I remember seeing it in print in a newspaper, I just paid attention to camelcase in the English spelling which was a new thing for me at the time.
    – Quassnoi
    May 16, 2015 at 6:43
  • Geographical names consisting of several words are translated with a hyphen in Russian. Company names names are left as separate words. There is no special rules for CamelCase, but since it is very unusual in Russian, writers are tempted to spell it apart or with hyphens. I have seen both "Фри-Би-Эс-Ди" and "Фри Би-Эс-Ди" on forums.
    – J-mster
    May 20, 2015 at 9:06

Perhaps Фри-Би-Эс-Ди?

Generally, stuff like New York is written as Нью-Йорк, and writing ФриБиЭсДи is weird, since if it'll be converted to all-capital or all-lowercase then it'll be quite difficult to read. So, Фри-Би-Эс-Ди seems like about the only possible option.


For all I know, everybody just use Latin version: FreeBSD. In programming and related fields, most of the time people use Latin versions of terms, like SQL, Linux, C++, FFT, malware, PC - you would expect to see their Cyrillic transliterations or translations (ЭсКюЭль, Линукс, Си-Плюс-Плюс, ДПФ, Вредоносное ПО, ПК) only in old books and public official documents (were everything must be written in Cyrillic by law).

  • 2
    FFT - не ДПФ, а БПФ
    – borisbn
    May 26, 2015 at 16:08
  • @borisbn, agree
    – Ben Usman
    May 26, 2015 at 17:43

If I had to type FreeBSD in Cyrillic, I would use ФриБСД. Anyway, ФриБСД is very rare word in Russian IT world. Usually, it is фряха, or фря, or original FreeBSD (freebsd).


You may call it "ФриБСД" while it looks funny. Russian IT guys usually call it "фряха" or "фря", but it is very unofficial name. They rarely translate technical terms except very, very old terms (or seniors who worked in USSR where everything was translated).

For example: there is a word "отладчик", which means "debugger", but everyone calls it "дебаггер".

Russian system administrators sometimes make fun of localized versions of Microsoft products: Microsoft translates terms like "website" or even "DNS" and it sounds funny in Russian.

  • you should provide microsoft translations for the complete answer! :)
    – cnst
    May 19, 2015 at 19:55

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