Incorrect Usage of Cyrillic Letters last edited by FRANZlSKA on 06/23/21 09:58AM View full history

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Despite the differences between the Cyrillic alphabet (as seen in the Russian language) and the Latin alphabet (the basis for English), a number of Cyrillic characters are homoglyphic (visually similar) to Latin ones, albeit typically featuring vastly different pronunciations. These similarities have led Cyrillic characters to sometimes be used in place of homoglyphic English counterparts, regardless of whether or not the two characters are pronounced the same. Some commonly employed Cyrillic characters are 'Я', 'И', and 'Д' which, despite appearing similarly to an English 'R', 'N', and 'A', are pronounced "ya", "ee", and "de" respectively.

As portrayals of Slavic countries have become more common in video games, so too has the misuse of Cyrillic lettering in video games. Incorrect usage typically occurs in game logos, especially those themed around the Soviet Union, where developers employ it as a way of stylizing their logo, quickly establishing the game's theming, and invoking tones typically associated with the Soviet Union, including but not limited to: authoritarianism, utilitarianism, futurism, and the Cold War. Similar uses can also be found in-game through billboards, signs, and more, often intending the same effect.

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Some games take this a step further, featuring entire English words or sentences spelled from incorrect Cyrillic lettering. This can occur in when a developer especially wants to drive home a faux-Russian aesthetic, or it can occur out of attempts to convey an object's purpose or meaning while still establishing it as being Russian in nature. This is often paired with an English font which attempts to mimic the rigid, thick-lined fonts that are often associated with Cyrillic and the Soviet Union, despite actual Soviet-era printings and propaganda rarely featuring such a font choice.

As these styles of misuse have increased in popularity, so too have tongue-in-cheek jokes which poke fun at the practice by intentionally taking misuse of Cyrillic to an extreme.

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