Saturday, April 28, 2007

Solving a Cyrillic Puzzle

Recently someone in the Apple forums had a problem with text he knew was in Russian but which would only display in Latin. It was just one word, "Dybvfybt". Since no encoding currently used for Cyrillic maps this script to ASCII, the text must have been made with some kind of custom font that did just that. But normally anyone making such a font would map the Cyrillic characters to their Latin equivalent, so the text should be recognizable as transliterated Russian, which it wasn't.

This stumped me, until I wondered whether someone had made a font designed especially to allow typing according to the standard Russian keyboard layout but on a Western keyboard. Instead of the QWERTY used in the U.S., the Russian layout goes YTsUKEN. Sure enough, typing Dybvfybt according to my U.S. keyboard, but with the layout set to Russian, produced a recognizable word, Внимание = Vnimanie = Attention.

It's the first time I've seen Cyrillic text encoded that way, and I haven't yet found an available font that supports it.


Anonymous said...


well I got a problem.

I have the 10.5 leopard system.

And I get excel sheets, from a company overseas. One document opens normal, another document opens in hieroglyphs.

need an answer.

thank you

Tom Gewecke said...

Best ask in the MS Forums designed to provide such help: