The Permanent Committee on Geographical Names

 for British Official Use



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Romanization Systems

PCGN and the US Board on Geographic Names jointly agree romanization systems to be used by official bodies in the United Kingdom and the United States for geographical names originally rendered in non-Roman scripts. Many of the joint systems are published in the latest edition (September 2008) of Romanization Systems and Roman-script Spelling Conventions.  Click here to read the Introduction to the Guide (pdf 2217KB) and here to download Appendix B (Optimizing Software and Operating Systems to Display BGN-Approved Geographic Names) (pdf 1617KB).  For more information on displaying and using letter-diacritic combinations and non-Roman characters, go to

The romanisation tables are available to download in .pdf format.  Click on the required script to access the tables:

Abkhaz (pdf 174KB)
Afghanistan (pdf 355KB)
Amharic (pdf 581KB)
Arabic (pdf 719KB)
Armenian (pdf 352KB)
Avar (pdf 148KB)
Azerbaijani (pdf 395KB)
Baluchi (pdf 429KB)
Bashkir (pdf 212KB)
Belarusian (pdf 93KB)
Bulgarian (pdf 365KB)
Burmese (pdf 199KB)
Chechen (pdf 62KB)
Chinese Characters (pdf 231KB)
Chuvash (pdf 287KB)
Dzongkha (pdf 397KB)
Georgian (pdf 279KB)
Greek (pdf 333KB)
Hebrew (pdf 536KB)
Japanese Kana (pdf 361KB)
Kabardian (pdf 208KB)
Karachay-Balkar (pdf 171KB)
Kazakh (pdf 397KB)
Khmer (pdf 240KB)
Kirghiz (pdf 346KB)
Korean - for use in the Republic of Korea (81KB)
Korean - for use in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (135KB)
Kurdish (pdf 255KB)
Lao (pdf 450KB)
Macedonian Cyrillic (pdf 355KB)
Maldivian (pdf 390KB)
Moldovan (table of correspondences for Roman script) (pdf 256KB)
Mongolian Cyrillic (pdf 357KB)
Nepali (pdf 210KB)
Ossetian (pdf 285KB)
Pashto (pdf 702KB)
Persian (pdf 573KB)
Russian (pdf 535KB)
Serbian Cyrillic (pdf 325KB)
Shan (pdf 770KB)
Syriac (pdf 246KB)
Tajik (pdf 246KB)
Tatar (table of correspondences for Roman script) (pdf 379KB)
Thai (pdf 186KB)
Tigrinya (pdf 253KB)
Turkmen (table of correspondences for new Roman script) (pdf 347KB)
Udmurt (pdf 227KB)
Ukrainian (pdf 379KB)
Urdu (pdf 221KB)
Uzbek (table of correspondences for new Roman script) (pdf 347KB)
Yakut (pdf 59KB)

Roman-script spelling conventions (pdf 285KB)

The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names established a Working Group on Romanization Systems to consider and reach agreement on romanization systems proposed by national official bodies.
For more information and to download tables of systems adopted by the UN, please click here.


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Last modified February 2013